More links to map resources

Historical and general reference

  • USGS TopoView – entry point for all current and historical topographic maps published the US government; can download maps or display them overlayed within the main viewer


Outdoors, off-roading, etc.

  • U.S. Forest Service – Interactive Visitor Map – shows national forest locations, forest service roads, trails; indicates if roads are paved, dirt, 4wd-only.
  • Forest Service Roads – Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest – color coded by road status (open, seasonal, temporarily closed, permanently closed)
  • Georgia Wildlife Resources Division – Interactive Map – shows state Wildlife Management Area locations, hunting, fishing, camping, shooting ranges, roads. I have learned not to trust these maps to be up to date about road closures!
  • MyTopo – Online Maps – these are older USGS topo maps overlayed with some such as forest service road numbers. In spite of some maps being outdated, the simple interface makes for a quick reference.
  • Georgia DOT Maps – Index to county road maps, which are basically the only maps online that actually show the paved or dirt status of all roads outside of national/state forests! Reasonably up to date. Unfortunate interface requires downloading individual county maps one by one.
  • Trails Off-Road Map – detailed trail guides for individual roads, including photos, videos, reviews. Requires sign-up with email address, facebook, etc. Some features (including to view all trails on the map at the same time) require paid membership.
  • Georgia Trails/Offroad Registry – user contributed map, publicly editable; not sure how up to date
Example historical map (1895) in TopoView
Example of Fed. Railroad Admin map
Example US Forest Service Map
Example GA Dept. of Natural Resources Map
Example MyTopo map
example of GA DOT maps

Direct links to archived pages was the most comprehensive site on the net for information about railroads in Georgia, until a couple of months ago when it just mysteriously went down.

Fortunately most of the pages were archived by the Wayback Machine.

Railroad History Index

North Georgia Map

South Georgia Map

Dadsplaining Dad-Rock, Part II – The Metal Years

Part of “an incomplete history of hard rock, heavy metal, and punk rock music”, continued from here.

I am going to dispense with most of the commentary and concentrate on simply listing things. Otherwise I will never actually finish any of these posts. As with part 1, videos disappearing off of youtube is a constant threat to the usefulness of these links. Ye have been warned.

Heavy Metal – the NWOBHM and its fellow travelers

Many of the bands here were part of the “New Wave of British Heavy Metal” (NWOBHM) circa 1979-1982. Confusingly but predictably, this music is now referred to as Traditional Heavy Metal.

NHOBHM wasn’t so much a single musical style as a cultural movement, and elements of later genres can already be heard.

Glam Metal and its strange bedfellows

Glam Metal (also known as “Hair Metal”) was not so much a musical fusion of Heavy Metal with Glam Rock, as the adoption of Glam Rock hair and clothing by hard rock and metal bands. The earliest Glam Metal was, musically speaking, almost indistinguishable from the Heavy Metal listed above. But these similarities faded fast.

By the late 80s, Glam Metal was so popular that it was the “default” style of hard rock in the popular mind. The genre nearly vanished from public view during the 90s.

Speed Metal

Neoclassical Metal and other “shred” artists

Thrash Metal

The darker, edgier, heavier Metal of the mid to late 80s. The sonic characteristics that defined Thrash have become so widely diffused, in the 21st century to say that a band or genre is influenced by “metal” is mostly synonymous with saying they have a Thrash influence.


Stuff that simply has to be listed but doesn’t fit elsewhere on the page.

Coming in part 3: 80s hardcore, crossover thrash, alternative metal, etc etc


Junker’s Rebellion

A comic that I drew during the 1992-1993 academic year, mostly during first period A.P. Spanish II, taught by “Señor Bryant”.

These strips were the first mention of “Fluxum Florum” (later spelled FLVXXVM FLORVM), some time before I thought to start using it as a musical alias.

This strip is probably a redrawn version of a lost original. You can tell by the late date (too late for that school year), the fact that it is inked, and the fact that it is not on 3-hole notebook paper. These very-evenly-sized panels were created on a computer, printed out, and inked-over so they looked drawn.

This is a genuine drawn-in-class one. It was the introduction of Junker’s nemesis, “Spearmint Sherry”. The “Franco-Prussian War Flying Ace” was a running gag, of which this was the first instance.

Another re-drawn one on printer paper, a tribute to Dr. Demento:

A roughly drawn two-parter that mentions Fluxum Florum and sees the introduction of “Kermit Grande”.

I’m pretty sure this Holodeck was not the only Trekkie reference in the strip. I distinctly recall one where Kermit Grande was a Ferengi.

A stand-alone drawing of “Kermit Grande”:

Three more genuine classroom productions. This one, the version I chose to scan was a photocopy made soon after drawing it. It is better preserved than the pencil version.

A really rough one. The “small people” here refers to, if I recall correctly, an internal parody of “Mr. Men and Little Miss” that may or may not have appeared in other strips.

The “Ben Gray” in this strip is not, as some have assumed, a parody of Ben “The Thing” Grimm. (He doesn’t even look like The Thing, ffs) He is rather a fairly accurate depiction of a classmate. “Junior” is an accurate rendering of the sign from a convenience store of that name close to the school.

Note the backstory of Junker’s parents was changed from that depicted in the first strip shown above. At some point I decided that they were not just generic “square middle aged people”, but very specifically they were “square middle aged people who used to listen to punk rock back in like 1977 or something”.

Here’s two more strips involving the “Franco Prussian War Flying Ace”. I did these in pencil with the intention of tracing in ink later, but never did. The fact that the letterhead and panels appear to be printed on something better than a dot matrix suggests these were much later than all the others here. (I have no memory of having any access to inkjet or laser printers at any time while in high school)


Shit My Kids Said – compilation #1

In no particular order. Culled from various posts and emails where I quoted them.

4/7/12, kid #2:

“I wish *I* was a nerd”

5/5/12, kid #2:

“no matter where you go, you’re on top of the world”

7/29/12, kid #1, on Martin Prince from the Simpsons:

“I think he _wants_ to get punched. I think he _enjoys_ it.”

7/8/12, kid #1 on college:

“Change my name, get contacts, start a whole new _punk_ style…”


me: do you like reggae?

kid #2: what?

Me: this kind of music (Bob Marley playing)

kid #2: no. why would you think I would? I’m a little girl.

4/8/12, kid #1:

“I don’t pick up pennies if I drop them.. they will make some little kid happy, because it might be their lucky penny”

8/17/12, kid #1:

“Dogs are like friends. Sort of. You don’t walk your friends. And don’t talk to your dogs in front of people, only in private”

10/16/11, kid #1:

“Shel Silverstein wrote some _weird_ poems!”

2/13/15, kid #1, context lost in the mists of time:

“Oh no no no, I forgot my eyes! I forgot my eyes!”

3/2/12, kid #2, watching “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern”:

“I want it, I want it, I want it!”

7/1/12, kid #2:

“Almost nothing _men_ wear is fashionable.”

2/3/12, kid #1, on some “ninja warrior” type show:

“they don’t show the episodes where people die”

2/12/12, kid #1, on bluegrass:

“This music makes me want barbeque”

12/17/11, kid #1, on Reader’s Digest:

“Don’t tell anybody I was reading that. It’s a magazine that old people read to help them poop”

3/26/12, kid #2:

“The two words I hate most in the world? Funky and groovy”

4/27/12, kid #1:

“anything cute renders us helpless”


“I’m crying because I know someday I’ll have to be a crazy old lady”

5/5/12, kid #2:

“we’re never going to be in the eighties, Dad, so why are you telling us about them?”

8/17/13, kid #1:

“We are living through one of those times that people are going to look back on and say we had good cartoons”

8/2/13, kid #2:

“Maybe old people like margarine because it sounds like an old person’s name.”


kid #2: oh no.. it’s [boys’ name]. Do I have anything on my face?

Me: yes

kid #2: (wiping face) I’m gonna go annoy him, cuz I hate him.

9/22/13, kid #1:

“I don’t drink ‘normal’ coffee. I drink the expensive kind.”

1/31/15, kid #2:

“There’s a seed in this orange. I’m suing the company”

7/15/12, kid #1 to #2:

“That’s _not_ a vampire haircut”

1/9/12, kid #1:

“You can’t just say ‘I wish to be healthy’ when you make a wish, say something like ‘ward off illness’ or ‘summon great health'”

7/22/13, at the swimming pool:

kid #2: my arch enemy is in the shallow end.

Me: who?

kid #2: we do not speak of him. (quietly) lets get in the pool and ignore him.

9/2/12, kid #2:

“I don’t trust candy from little boys. I don’t trust little boys.”

12/23/11, kid #2:

“My life is awesome. Everybody thinks I’m so adorable that I get away with everything”


kid #2: “I want to be a vampire”.

kid #1: “you’ll be seven years old forever”.

kid #2: “I meant when I’m sixteen”.

7/27/11, kid #1, on a Pac-Man wedding cake:

“I just love that. I want that for my wedding. If he doesn’t agree to it, I’ll dump him”

9/2/13, kid #2:

“Being so awesome is tiring”

5/22/11, kid #2, a positive review of restaurant ramen:

“I couldn’t have cooked these noodles any better myself!”

7/19/11, kid #2, on “orange” cough syrup:

“It doesn’t taste like the fruit, it tastes like the color.”

6/24/11, kid #1 watching the “Man vs Food” guy cry in pain from spicy bbq:

“I wish I could have some of that”

6/19/11, kid #1:

“So few people know that ‘thrice’ is a word”

6/19/11, kid #1:

“The closest thing to winning is losing”

7/24/11, kid #1, when learning the US was founded by slave-owners:

“Oh God that’s ironic!”

“But I thought they were the Good Guys!”

“Ooh I hate the government”

4/28/12, kid #1, on reading history:

“The underdogs you root for always turn into bullies in the next chapter”

10/12/13, kid #1:

“You said you were going to drop the bass, you just sat it down carefully. You need to throw the bass down like you hate it, break it into a lot of little pieces..”

6/15/15, kid #1 watching “Golden Girls”:

“I hope I find friends like that. Otherwise I’ll have to live in a one room apartment with just a cat to keep me company.  I don’t want to wait until I’m *old* to live in a big house with all my friends. I want to do that in my 20s!”

3/26/15, kid #1 after learning about household budgets at school:

“I plan to be single and childless and live in a tiny apartment and eat ramen, so even if I don’t make much money I’ll be able to spend it on whatever the fuck I want”

10/18/13, kid #1:

“I found another idiot on the Internet!”

11/29/14, kid #1, on Ugg boots:

“these will go with my intense craving for Starbucks”

10/8/15 conversation after we saw a train carrying what look like giant pipes:

Me: “I bet those are sewer pipes. Someday they’ll be full of poop.”

Kid #1: (groans) “dad..”

Me: “Who knows, some of those pipes could end up carrying *our* poop.”

Kid #1: “dad, what the actual fuck?”

5/11/16: kid #1 got 2-weeks banned from miiverse for posting “you don’t have to be lonely at farmers only dot com” as a joke.


kid #1: what kind of person puts cream cheese on a croissant?

kid #2: you’re just jealous you don’t have a croissant.

#1: I don’t want a croissant!
#2: you’re just jealous you don’t have cream cheese.
#1: no, I hate cream cheese!
#2: you’re just jealous you don’t have a cream cheese croissant!
#1: just eat it, you freak of nature.
#2: here. You must try the cream cheese croissant
#1: [takes a bite] that’s quality!
#2: who’s the freak of nature now?!

1/30/14: kid #1 has read all about “bigots” and “allies” from tumblr or somewhere,  pronounces these words as “bye-gots” and “alleys”.

5/9/14, kid #1 assorted quotes:

“If you take yourself seriously as a shipper, you better get over homophobia, because everybody knows the most kawaii pairings are not straight”

“The boys that like me are the socially awkward ones that you feel sorry for. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great having guys that will do whatever I say..”

(Looking at drawings of women dressed like the anthropomorphic representations of foods) “this is what I’m gonna wear to the prom!”

5/12/18, kid #1 (be note this was said while my wife was in labor with kid #3):

“I’m legally changing my name to Mother Shabubu”

6/6/14, kid #1:

“When I go to college I’m gonna be that roommate everyone wants, because I’ll already know how to make ramen”

1/1/15, kid #1:

“The only reason anyone drinks Faygo anymore is because of Homestuck”

1/28/14, #1 on the state of “Invader Zim” fan fiction:

“Oh my god the Mary Sue’s have taken over”

5/2/14, kid #1:

“When I get in high school I’m gonna dye my hair teal, and people are gonna call me ‘that weirdo with the blue hair’, and I’m gonna be like, ‘it’s not blue, it’s teal!!'”

4/13/14, kid #1:

“let’s go out in ironically bad homestuck cosplay!”

3/11/15, kid #1:

“What if the characters on Regular Show aren’t actually anthropomorphic animals, what if they are just people in suits, and no one questions it?”

3/29/16, kid #1:

“When you’re a little girl everybody thinks you should love horses, but they’re terrible. They’re ugly and they smell and they are not anywhere as majestic as you see in the movies. I don’t mind My Little Pony, but that is the only exception”

12/15/15, kid #1:

“The internet was a mistake”


(TV ad about how if you buy some thing you won’t have to pay until 2020)

Me: that’s when you graduate high school
kid #1: it’s like there’s a giant number “2020” gently tapdancing towards me.
#2: breakdancing towards you
#1: yes, gently breakdancing towards me
#2: you can’t break dance gently. You have to go all the way.

1/27/16, kid #1:

“I hate this new trend of getting girls with soft, smooth, clear voices to do voiceovers for commercials. Her voice makes me want to punch somebody”

5/20/11, watching some movie where a child cusses in one scene:

kid #1: “how’s a kid know those words?!”
me: “from movies like this”
kid #1: “oh, yeah..”

7/7/17, kid #1:

“Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC – the Triple Entente”


kid #2: I’m gonna work at Hot Topic.
kid #1: hopefully by the time you’re old enough to get a job, Hot Topic will be outlawed.

11/21/13, kid #1 watching fractal zoom videos:

“It’s like I’m a drugged-out hippie!”

5/23/17, kid #1, working on a big project the night before it was due:

“You know Mozart finished one of his symphonies just minutes before they played it live!”

12/23/14, kid #1, while at Whole Foods:

“Every class always has that one kid who smells weird because their mom is a hippie that only shops at Whole Foods”

7/29/14, kid #1:

“Animal Crossing is my anti-drug”

7/3/15, kid #1, on “Cats”:

“When I see the poster for it I don’t think ‘that looks like a respectable Broadway musical’, I think ‘that’s just a bunch of furries'”


Me: why are you dressed up? We’re just going to the drive through, you’re not even going to get out of the car.. are you cosplaying!?

kid 2: no

kid #1: but you do kind of look like you could be a character from something

kid #2: then other people can cosplay as ME

2/6/14, kid #1:

“We can listen to some of your music as long as there’s no flutes involved”

(You make the kids listen to “Thick as a Brick” just once, and you never live it down)

1/7/16, kid #1:

“I have connections on the the Dark Web”

12/19/14, kid #1:

“Kids are terrible”

5/3/15, kid #1 on internet trolls, or something:

“Internet people are real live people. They’re out there somewhere. Just because they don’t live near you, doesn’t mean they don’t live near someone..”


Me: do you have homework?
kid #2: no
Me: then what are you working on ?
kid #2: I have a list of kids who are paying me to draw ponies for them.

3/30/11, kid #2 on those touch-screen soda fountains:

“It’s like an iPhone that gives you drinks”


Kid #2: “Can we go to one of those hipster areas?”

Kid #1: “They don’t have grumpy old people telling you to get off their lawn, they just have grumpy old goth chicks giving you disapproving side-eye looks”


Kid #2: …something something something… had to shut their twitter account down.

Kid #1: glad to hear Furry Twitter is still woke.

Kid #2: yeah furries are accepting of everybody, unless you’re a fuckboy.

Me: what?

Both: nothing!


(Listening to “don’t trust me” by 3OH!3, and the line “do the Helen Keller”)

#1: that’s so wrong, but it’s Helen Keller so I don’t care

#2: what did Helen Keller ever do to you?

#1: uh, I think she was racist or something… maybe she was one of those people that says they “don’t see color”…

7/18/15, kid #2:

“I don’t want to eat somewhere called ‘Pizza Den’. It sounds like eating pizza in some guy’s basement that he calls his ‘man cave’ but it’s really just where he keeps his figurines and watches anime all day”

6/12/14, kid #2:

“When I get a Homestuck shirt I’m gonna wear it to school and people will be like, ‘what is that shirt from?’, and I’ll be like, ‘oh it’s just a thing I like. You wouldn’t know about it'”

6/29/13, kid #2:

“I wish I had the power to snap my fingers and instantly make a baby stop crying”

7/16/15, kid #2:

“I would buy that place and open up a House of Witchcraft”

1/9/15, kid #2:

“Doraville: there’s more swiping here than we’d like”

1/7/14, kid #2:

“I wish it was like the 80s when there were arcades everywhere and you could just go to them anytime you wanted”

5/18/13, kid #2:

“The Harlem Shake is over three hundred years old”

10/5/14, kid #2, on Virginia Highland:

“Seems like the kind of neighborhood where everybody has a child named Caden who isn’t allowed to watch more than one hour of TV a day”

“This seems like the kind of neighborhood where the people all have stick figure families on their cars”

“..where the moms have all read ‘Eat, Pray, Love'”

11/17/15, kid #2:

“Remember when we thought the guy from AWOLNATION was Mr. Rogers?”

12/13/14, kid #2, mocking stereotypical geek fandom members:

“I’m not like other girls, I can read!!”

7/16/14, kid #2, wanting to be allowed to play “Cards Against Humanity”:

“I don’t have the mind of a natural nine year old, so I think I’m good”

10/10/13, kid #2:

“There’s a robot that can solve Rubik’s cube in 5.35 seconds and I want to watch it. Don’t crush my dreams.”

7/25/14, kid #2, unimpressed with “Sky Mall”:

“They expect you to put these in your home?!”

1/16/15, kid #2:

“Blame it on the fructose”

4/5/15, in Waycross, GA:

Kid #2: “What is that thing on the water tower?”

Me: “Looks like Pogo Possum”

Kid #2: “He doesn’t look like a possum he looks like a furry version of Squidward”

5/7/16, kid #2, watching an ad for goldfish crackers:

“This is just like Ouran High School Host Club..”

7/23/17, kid #1 seeing one of our dogs with a rawhide bone:

“She looks like she’s smoking a blunt!”

8/19/17, kid #1:

“the only way I’d be a cheerleader is if someone murdered me and turned my body into a marionette”


kid #1: “me and some of the other girls had fake gay weddings on the last day of school. I married <rattles of two or three names>”

Me: “that’s polygamy. Do you know what that means?”

kid #1: “It means I get all the bitches”.


kid #2: what’s the thing old people fear most?
kid #1: the gays
kid #2: what’s the second most thing?
kid #1: confident young people

9/2/17, kid #1:

“All the kids _like_ Broadway now.”

7/27/17, kid #1 eating some weird blue snack food:

“I feel like for every one of these you eat, that’s another month you have to spend in the underworld with Hades”

7/7/16, kid #1:

“Lisa Frank is true art”

4/21/16, kid #1:

“Why are all these anime set in middle school? *Nothing* happens in middle school!”

10/4/15, kid #1, disapproving of restaurant music:

“It sounds like the default desktop background image of Windows XP is yelling at me”

8/4/15, kid #1:

“I love YouTube channels full of nothing but lyrics videos with small spelling mistakes. You can tell those people haven’t been corrupted by the world yet. They’re just here for the music”

7/2/15, kid #1 (on further questioning she said she meant Ross):

“I can’t really remember what my elementary school science teacher looked like, so I just pretend he looked like the guy from ‘Friends'”

7/1/15, kid #1:

“Who needs to watch sports on TV when you can watch *anime about sports* instead?”

6/24/15, kid #1:

“They should call it *dumb* teens react”

8/5/15, kid #1:

“Isn’t it amazing how I started out as a baby but now I’m basically a fully functional human being who can do things for myself?”

4/23/15, kid #1:

“The only reason I’d want to be a parent is so I can make jokes. If my kid told me, ‘I’m gay’, I’d be like, ‘hi Gay, I’m mom'”

1/18/15, kid #1:

“I know I sound like a hipster, but new SpongeBob is crap”

1/17/15, kid #1:

“The only reason I’d ever sign up for Facebook is if I needed to ‘like’ something to get a discount”

1/16/15, kid #1, on Honey Nut Cheerios:

“I hate him! I hate that bee so much!”

12/24/15, kid #1:

“There’s a reason new stuff is popular: it’s better”


“We’re pretty sure John Egbert is going to die [soon], so we’re building a shrine”

10/9/14, kid #1:

“It tasted good but I couldn’t stop feeling like we might be eating Menudo the band cooked into a soup”

9/18/14, kid #1:

“So this is why iMovie calls that effect the ‘Ken Burns'”

8/16/14, kid #1:

“You’re literally telling me that every time you see aviators worn with a hoodie, you think of that bomber guy?”

6/28/14, kid  #1:

“Memes don’t belong on tv, they don’t belong on tshirts worn by kids too young to know what it is, they don’t belong in pop songs. They belong to the weirdos of the internet!”

6/5/14, kid #1, on “Sylvan Learning” and its ilk:

“Pay money to torture your child all summer”

11/12/15, kid #2:

“Justin Timberlake was in U2”

12/5/14, kid #2:

“Sometimes I think ‘this is a bad dub, I wish I was watching the sub’, and then I remember I’m not watching anime”

12/28/13, kid #2:

“Some people say vinaigrette, some people say vinaiGRAY”


kid #2: “Too bad I can’t marry this hamburger”

kid #1: “But you’d just end up eating it”

kid #2: “That’s the point!”

2/13/16, kid #2, observing a man change the moveable letters on a tall fast food sign using a telescoping tool to grab them and put them in place:

“I wonder if he enjoys his life. I wonder if he’s satisfied with this occupation”

5/28/15, watching some “true crime” show:

kid #1: that cop looks really gay. Sometimes you can just tell by looking at a guy’s face. It’s in the bone structure.

kid #2: no. he’s married and his wife bosses him around a lot. And he doesn’t understand his kids at all. And he is always barbecuing but he’s terrible at it.

12/29/13, kid #2:

“We are the government, we take your money and kill things..”

3/4/11, kid #1:

“No real boy wears nice clothes”

10/4/13, kid #1, watching “Back to the Future”:

“Who names a kid ‘Biff’? It’s like you _want_ him to punch his way through life.”

“You can tell they’re supposed to be dumb, because they have cows”

“This still doesn’t make her likable, it just makes her a hypocrite!” – on 1955 Lorraine compared to 1985

“No guy who isn’t *looking* to get punched in the face would act like that” – on poor George McFly

4/12/13, kid #1:

“Maybe *I* could be a street performer someday”

4/2/11, kid #1:

“Anime people wear _short_ shorts!”

1/17/11, kid #1:

Pizza doesn’t laugh. If it could make any noise, it would cry”


kid #1: “I don’t want to grow up!”

kid #2: “Well you’d have to get bitten by a vampire to stay 9 forever. Apparently vampires aren’t real

12/29/10, kid #1:

“I hate nice things”

12/27/10, kid #1:

“My favorite thing about the holidays is getting a Pez dispenser, filling it up, and eating all the Pez in one day”

12/18/10, kid #1, watching “Hell’s Kitchen”:

“Most of the people that have been on that show committed suicide”

11/15/10, kid #1:

“I love nerdfights”

10/29/10, kid #1, watching “Seinfeld” for the first time:

“This is a horrible, horrible show”

10/15/10, kid #1, on the Iron Giant:

“He’s so cute! I like metal guys.”

9/19/10, kid #1:

“Kids don’t get tired”

8/20/10, kid #1 on computer shopping:

“Get one that has access to Google”

5/30/10, kid #1:

“How many Justin Bieber haircuts do I have to see today? It’s kinda creepy.”

12/12/10, kid #2:

“People are staring at us, wondering ‘why is he letting those little girls drink coffee?'”

7/28/10, kid #2:

“I wonder what Canadian people look like”


Me: “How’s your steak?”

kid #2: “If I’m gobbling it down in one bite, that means it’s good”.

10/26/10, kid #2:

“There *is* such a thing as an upper-case ‘4’, you know”

10/6/10, kid #2:

“I’ve already told you, you should not mess with me”


kid #1: here dad put my DS in your pocket and walk around wherever you see a bunch of nerds, so it’ll pick up street passes

Me: I’m not going to creep on a bunch of teenagers for you

kid #1: you don’t have to talk to them, just kinda walk near them

10/19/12, kid #1:

“Don’t be such an eight year old, Dad”


kid #2: “how do you spell happiness?”

kid #1: “I don’t know, I’ve never experienced it”

9/28/12, adding two new goldfish to the aquarium:

kid #1: I wonder if the new ones have strange accents.

kid #2: Like British accents?

kid #2: They wouldn’t have British accents. All fish fear the British, because of Fish and Chips.

7/6/13, kid #1:

“You mean the government knows what I’ve been texting to my friends?! They know who I have a crush on!”

10/19/12, kid #1:

“I’m so high on pixie sticks I wont be surprised if I wake up on the curb”


kid #1: The cops in my school only do three things. Enforce dress codes, bust kids for skipping class, and yell at the autistic kids for flapping their arms in the hallway.

kid #2: could you make friends with the cops so they won’t arrest you ?

kid #1: that only works in movies, not in real life.


kid #1: some guy today gave me his watch and told me to fix it for him and then give it back to him on Monday.

Me: some guy? you mean like a kid your age?

kid #1: yeah, he’s in the same grade (fourth) as me but in a different class.

Me: why does he think you’ll fix his watch?

kid #1: he must have heard about me. I fix lots of stuff.

Me: at school?

kid #1: yes!

Me: like what?

kid #1: There was this really annoying sound in math class that you could only hear when things were quiet, but made it hard to think when you could hear it. It was coming from a little alarm that was connected to some electrical wires, and I saw there was a knob on it that said “turn to silence alarm”, so I started to turn it but you needed a screw driver to turn it with and I didn’t have one, so I started using a paperclip to turn it with. But the principal happened to be walking by and he thought us kids were trying to stick the paperclip in the electrical outlet, so he made a rule that kids were not allowed to touch that thing anymore, and now every day that alarm goes off and there’s nothing we can do about it. The principal didn’t give the teacher the chance to explain what I was doing..

Me: wait, your teacher knew you were messing with the “alarm”? Why did she let you?

kid #1: because I’m the teacher’s pet and she knows I know what I’m doing!

Me: well why didn’t she get you a screwdriver so you wouldn’t have to use a paperclip?

kid #1: for some reason there’s a rule against giving kids construction tools.

Me: I’d like to see this “alarm”. I don’t suppose you could take a picture of it? Do they allow cameras at school?

kid #1: I don’t know, but the other day some guy I didn’t know had his Nintendo DS at school and was taking pictures of me and the other girls with it without asking us.

Me: how old was he?

kid #1: about my age I guess. Why would a boy do that?

Me: I don’t know.. I think I’m going to walk you into your classroom tomorrow so I can see this alarm. I want to get there early so I can see it before anyone else is in the room.

kid #1: ok but don’t mess with it.


10/9/13, kid #1:

“So the New Testament is basically fan fiction.”

11/5/11, kid #1 looks at Hot Topic:

“no thanks, teenagers kind of scare me”

10/19/12, kid #1:

“Disney’s gone steam punk! It’s awesome!”


Me: So.. you didn’t stay up all night reading fan fiction, you stayed up all night writing it?

kid #1: .. yes

6/29/14, kid #1:

“It’s a good thing you have a beard, Dad. Just having mustache is creepy”

9/26/13, kid #1 watches “Pretty in Pink”:

“I’ve got advice for you Duckie: stop being so creepy.. stop hitting on every girl..”

“I’m not sure what kind of hat that is, but I’m sure it’s not a guy’s hat”

“I would not even be able to talk to a guy who was wearing leopard shorts”

“I don’t care how gay that guy is, dangly earrings are for girls”

“[Andi] is the only girl whose hair doesn’t make me want to punch someone”

“She’s got relatively nice clothes for the time she lives in”

“She’s got stalkers, she can’t be that unpopular”

“I didn’t know hair could have that many spikes! Wow, I’m genuinely impressed!”

“The only thing that guy has going for him is long flowing poofy hair”

“That suit is so floppy! It looks like a suit that a business man would wear but it’s all soft!”

“I wouldn’t let [Duckie] into my home, much less my room”

“This should be a vine!”

“Blane is one of those names like ‘Brad’, and ‘Ryan’, that are always names for popular guys. Girls could be like hey ‘who’s that dork’, but if he says ‘hi I’m Brad’, they’re like ‘oooh, Brad!'”

9/28/12, kid #2:

“Every second gets us closer to when we die”

12/31/13, kid #2, imaging how boys think:

“Oh look a girl! I’ve never seen a real live girl before!”

9/29/12, kid #2, eating devil’s food cake:

“I’m gonna taste some Satan!”

7/31/11, kid #2:

“Someday I’ll get myself a princess job.”


“Standard” Locomotive Cab Variations

Because while writing about wide nose variations I realized there also didn’t really exist such a catalog of non-wide cabs. Conventional road-switchers only!

Except for the railroad custom jobs at the end, standard cabs are not being built new since the 1990s. However, so many were sold over the years that they remain ubiquitous in all situations other than the lead unit on a mainline train: trailing power, locals, switching; not to mention museum-pieces.


Early high nose

The classic, original EMD look of the 1950s. Used on early road-switchers such as the GP7, GP9, GP18, etc.

GP7 (Sean Lamb)

Early low nose

Used on a very small number of GP9s, and then on GP18, GP20, etc. The factory low nose sloped downward from back to front. I have seen divided and undivided windshields, not sure if both are original or not.

Low-nose GP18 (Montgomery County Planning Commission)

GP18 (Sean Lamb)

Early, chopped nose

Most of the low-nose first generation EMD’s are the result of modification by the owners. These vary wildly in appearance depending on who rebuilt them and when.

GP10 – rebuilt GP9 (Mose Crews)

GP7 (Paul Rome)


Unique design, never used again, but serving as a transitional model between the generations before and after.

GP30 (Harvey Henkelmann)

If you think that looks unusual, check out the high hood version:

High-Hood GP30 (Richard Gibson)

Standard, aka “Spartan” Cab

This is the normal basic EMD cab, the face of US railroading for decades. Introduced with the GP35 in 1963 and used up through the SD70.

GP35 at the 1964 World’s Fair (Chuck Zeiler)

Final models (SD70s, some SD60s and GP60s) have a housing on the side of the nose for the “ICE” (Integrated Cab Electronics).

SD70 (source)

Standard, high nose

Associated with Southern and N&W. Considered more crashworthy than the low version. (It was also cheaper for a long time) These kept their high short hoods well into the NS era.

GP38-2 (Paul Leach)

The Snoot

Elongated nose to hold early radio control equipment. Used only on SD40-2 – taking advantage of the model’s long frame.

SD40-2 (Sylvester Herrera)


Used only for demonstration units, this is the standard cab with the edges rounded off.

GP59 demonstrator (Tom Golden)


GE’s standard cabs had generally stubbier noses than their EMD counterparts.

There are probably more variations than shown here, but one so rarely encounters older GEs that I’ve never had a reason to try to learn more about it than this.

Early version, low nose

Characteristic of U-boats, Dash-7s. Short, “round but square” nose, rounded roof.

C30-7 (Ricardo Frontera)

The side view shows how short the nose really is:

C30-7 (my own photo)

Note the first model, the U25B, had a longer nose than its successors.

U25B (credits/license)

Early version, high nose

Southern ordered their GE’s with a high nose, because of course they did.

B23-7 (Bernie Feltman)

Hunchback cab

Transitional design used on early Dash-8s. The nose is more like the next version, but the round roof is still round. Notice the roof is lower than than body behind it.

C32-8 (Andrew Koenigsberg)

Late version

Seen on Dash-8s and the small number of Dash-9s that were not built with wide cabs. The roof is angled instead of round, and matches the height of the overall body. The nose has sharper angles and is not as blunt as the Dash-7 version.

C40-9 with air “top hat” air conditioner (John Mueller)

B40-8 (credits/license)


All of these are museum pieces now, but relevant in the history of road-switcher design.

1st version

Used on RS-1, RS-2, RS-3, etc., all the way back to 1941. These were by far the most popular ALCO models, so this is the look usually associated with the builder. The short hood is the same height as the long hood, but the cab is notably taller than both.

RS-1 (credits/license)

Later models are “rounder” than the RS-1.

RS-3 (credits/license)

1st version, chopped

No low-nose alternative was offered for these early ALCOs. But like their EMD counterparts, they ended up getting chopped every which way, resulting in a snoot almost like an SD40-2.

Chopped RS-1 (Bob Krug)

Chopped RS-1 (Allan Williams)

2nd version, high

Starting with the RS-11 they made the hood as tall as the cab, and changed the shape of the nose.

RS-11 (Sean Lamb)

2nd version, low

The lowered version of the same nose as above. There appear to have been both one- and two- window variants.

RS-11 (Jeff Pfeiffer)

The length of the nose compared to its height is truly crocodilian, especially on the 6-axle RSD-15. The “Alligator” is disproportionately famous for a model that sold only in the double digits.

RSD-15 (James Huff)

On the even less successful RS-27, they shortened the nose down to a mere stub of its former self.

RS-27 (Drew Jacksich)

Century cab

The Century Series featured a totally new look. They simplified the look of the nose, and angled the front windows. Most models had a very short GE-like nose. The C420 had a different, longer nose than the others.

C424 (Roger Puta)

C420 (credits/license)

Santa Fe CF7 Cab

The CF7 program to rebuild F-Units into a road-switcher involved an oddly proportioned parody of the standard EMD cab. Both rounded and angular roofs were used.

CF7 (Roger Puta)

CF7 (Marc Grinter)

NS Admiral Cab

This is used by NS for some of their rebuilds. It is similar to the EMD standard cab, but with sharper edges, higher number boards (which go above the roof), and windows angled outwards (from bottom to top).

SD40-2 (Don Woods)

CSX “Dash 3” Cab

Some of CSX’s rebuilds use this blocky design which is very controversial among railfans.

SD40-3 (Brian Gessel)

Similarities to the cab used on various NRE Genset models have been noted, but they are not so identical as to suggest that CSX simply bought the cabs from NRE.

3GS21B (credits/license)

Wide-nose Locomotive Variants

There have been several flavors of wide-nose / wide-cab designs over the years. I have not seen a site that has pictures of all on one page. So here they are in rough chronological order.

This article covers only hood unit and cowl units. Carbodies and monocoque designs are a different subject altogether.

Early EMD

The earliest version from 1967 had no crash safety benefits over a standard cab, and was designed purely for aesthetic reasons. Created for the cowl units FP45 and F45, the same design was also used on the DDA40X hood unit.

FP45 (from Wikipedia; credits/license)

DDA40X (from Wikipedia; credits/license)

Passenger-only no-steps version

This was similar to the first design, but lacked stairways and handrails. Used most notably on the ill-fated SDP40F of 1973, and F40C. All locomotives with this cab were cowl units.

The first ones built had a nose almost exactly like the FP45:

SDP40F(Ron Hawkins)

On subsequent units the point of the nose, where the door was, was flattened.

SDP40F (Drew Jacksich)

When the SDP40F was put into freight service as the SDF40-2, stairs and cutouts in the nose were added.

SD40F-2 (credits/license)


Unique and unmistakable for anything else, especially by EMD. The F40PH of 1975 featured a much simpler nose design than its older cousins, and became the face of Amtrak for the next 20 years.

(Drew Jacksich)

Early GE

GE, like EMD, produced wide-nosed cowl units for passenger service. Unlike the EMD counterparts, these appear to be one-offs, not part of the overall evolution of cab design. Not very many of these were ever built, and none survive.

U30CG (Charles Stookey)

P30CH, the “Pooch” (Roger Puta)

Canadian Comfort Cab

The true “Canadian” Cab was created by CN in 1973. This was the first cab that was designed with crew safety in mind. All units with this design were originally sold in Canada but a number have been resold to US railroads and can be seen on shortlines and lease fleets.

For many years, US railfans tended to call almost any freight locomotive with a wide nose a “Canadian Cab”, as wide nose designs didn’t catch on down here until the early 90s.

The actual Canadian version can easily be distinguished by the four front window panes. Unlike the earlier (and most later) EMD designs, these windows are vertical rather than slanted back.

CN continued to order these from multiple manufacturers into the 90s, when they switched to the same 2-window models as US railroads.

EMD version

Used on GP38-2W, GP40-2LW, GP40-2W, SD40-2W, possibly others.

GP40-2LW (my own photo)

MLW version

Differs from the contemporaneous EMD design by the shape of the windows.

M-420 (credits/license)

GE version

Looks very similar to the EMD one, but on a GE locomotive. Used on C40-8M, C44-9LW, possibly others.

C44-9WL (James Gardiner)

EMD Triclops

Unmistakable 3-window design. Otherwise very similar to the Canadian cab. Introduced circa 1988 and used for the SD40-2F, F59PH, and the earliest orders of SD60M. This can still be seen on mainline freights, but is rare and much sought after by railfans.

SD60M (Terry Cantrell)

EMD North American Safety Cab

The most numerous EMD variation, starting in 1990. “North American” means the cab was sold in both the US and Canada, unlike earlier versions that were only for one country or the other.

Note superficial resemblance to the original 1967 design, particularly the shape of the windows. One visible, though small, difference is the nose on these is  slightly tapered and the corners are more rounded.

Used on SD60M, SD60MAC, SD70M, SD70MAC.

SD70M (credits/license)

Sante Fe offset-light version

Designed by Sante Fe and used only for the GP60M. This design has a headlight that is not actually in the center of the nose but just to the right of center when facing the locomotive. Unlike the standard EMD wide cab, the nose is not tapered and looks more like the FP45 cab.

GP60M (Sam Botts)

Whisper Cab

This looks nearly identical to the standard version, but was the first EMD cab isolated to reduce noise and vibration. A vertical seam is visible on the side of the nose. Used on SD60I, SD70I, SD80MAC, early SD90MAC.

SD60I (Dave Parker)

Later “notched” version

Used on late examples of SD70M and SD70MAC. Nose has a slightly taller mid-section to accommodate full-height door, resulting in a somewhat “notched” appearance. The whole nose is less rounded and more angular than before, and no longer tapered.

SD70M (David Sommer)

Current Design, “more notched”

Late SD90MAC-H (1999), SD70ACe (2004-2014), SD70M-2, and several others. The nose is deeply notched to improve visibility. The distinctive teardrop window shape of earlier designs is gone.

SD70ACe (credits/license)

On the SD70ACe-T4 produced since 2015, the nose shape is simplified – but still deeply notched – and the original EMD window shape has returned.

SD70ACe-T4 (Jonathan Camacho)

General Electric, Current Design

Unlike the constantly changing EMD, GE’s cab/nose design basically looks the same on nearly models since 1990. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

There are thousands on the rails, the most likely thing to see leading any mainline train. Examples include Dash-8, Dash-9, AC4400CW, ES44AC, ES44DC, etc.

ES44AC (credits/license)

Prototype version

This one-off prototype was created in 1988 from a B40-8.

Prototype B40-8W (Bill Wilcox)

Canadian Dash-9 “Australian” Cab

This seems to have been used in North America only on CN C44-9W’s, and on  several GE models sold to the Australian market. Notice the EMD-like front windowpane shape.

C44-9W (Jon Hall)

Norfolk Southern Crescent Cab

Used for the SD60E rebuild program. This cab is designed by NS and manufactured by Curry Supply.

SD60E (Alan Niebel)

NS has a similar cab built by RLS that is used on the Dash-8.5 rebuilds.

C40-8.5W (Der Langsame)

Dadsplaining Dad-Rock – Part 1

An incomplete history of hard rock, heavy metal, and punk rock music, Part 1 of ???

The subtitle of this blog promises “classic rock”, a promise I have until now failed to make good on.

This post is mainly a series of links to youtube videos illustrating the music genres in question. This is not meant to teach you, the reader, anything you didn’t already know, but may be helpful in explaining these genres to your kids or something. I started making it for that purpose myself, but it has grown way longer than I expected it to.

Band names are links to Wikipedia, song titles are links to music videos.

Keeping the links alive is already turning out to be a constant battle – at least one song was removed from youtube for copyright reasons between when I started writing this post, and when I published it.

Blues, Jazz, early Rock-n-Roll

We begin with a very brief selection of early songs that “look forward” to fuzztone, distortion, and fast guitar pickin’.

British Invasion, British Blues, Freakbeat

The standard narrative of the early 60s musical invasion of the US by British bands is that the Brits, being less racist (or at least racist against different races than Americans were), “got” the Blues in a way that most white Americans didn’t. This is almost certainly bullshit.

However, many of these bands did (re)introduce some of the rawer, grittier elements of the music back to American audiences.

Garage Rock

Garage rock can be seen as one of America’s first two punches back against the British Invasion (the other, more successful punch, was Motown).

Garage Rock was dismissed as teeny-bopper stuff at the time, merely a derivative of both British bands and of 50s rock and roll.

The retroactive re-appraisal of Garage Rock started with the Nuggets series. In the 70s it came to be seen as the direct ancestor of punk rock, also recognized for having pushed the envelope towards psychedelic or “acid” rock later in the 60s.

This section could use expansion.. or you could just go find more yourself.

Psychedelic Rock, Blues Rock, Acid Rock, Proto-Metal (1967-1969)

This was the point when Rock (with a capital “R”) really split off from the pop mainstream. This is a selection of some of “heavier” songs; this period also featured a lot of wispy psychedelia, folk rock, and semi-classical chamber-rock that eventually became Progressive Rock.

This music is obviously directly ancestral to 70s hard rock and heavy metal, but most reckon punk rock’s ancestry to have already split off (see Proto-Punk).

Early Hard Rock / Heavy Metal

At this point, “hard rock” and “heavy metal” were not defined as different genres, and indeed were not really even distinguished from progressive rock yet.

The standard sound was rooted in blues and early rock, usually mid-tempo, with a guitar sound that tended to be powered by fuzz pedals at first and gradually relying more on amplifier overdrive as that technology became more advanced, and a vocal style that bordered on screaming (but would of course be considered “clean” by extreme metal standards).

Songs consist mostly of guitar power chords, swinging/shuffling rhythms inherited from blues, riffs derived from the blues scale, and frequent guitar solos. The bluesy nature is a main thing that distinguishes this style from later styles of metal and rock.

Proto-Punk, Glam-Punk

Here we pause the progression of hard rock in the 1970s, and step back to the 60’s to explore the development of punk out of garage-rock roots.

Other than the Velvet Underground, who were too artsy-fartsy to be lumped into a “genre”, these bands were characterized as Hard Rock or Glam Rock by contemporary observers. Later (meaning after the Ramones and Sex Pistols) they were retroactively re-christened as punk forebears.

Even after the deluge of the 1977-style punk rock, there have been continual waves of new punk- or punk-related bands that still sound more like these ancestral bands.

Glam Rock

Glam Rock was closely related to hard rock, but had a glitzy hair-and-makeup image completely different from the “dirty hippie” look of most other contemporary rock. It was an almost exclusively British phenomenon except in the very late phases.

It should be noted the Glam Rock was more of a fashion movement than a musical one. Musically, if glam rock has a central tendency, it would be towards a sound firmly based in 1950’s Rock n Roll – including such trappings as I-VI-IV-V chord progressions, boogie-woogie rhythm guitar, pounding piano, vocal harmonies,  saxophone as a main instrument – but updated for 70s production values and hard rock guitar sounds, with a certain pompous grandeur that’s harder to describe in words than it should be.

The same 50’s nostalgia can be heard in much other 70s rock, from Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock” to about half of Bruce Springsteen’s career, not to mention the Rolling Stones and Faces – Glam was musically continuous with its contemporaries and hard to draw a box around. It’s not for nothing that this was also the decade of “American Graffiti” and “Happy Days”.

The musical elements of Glam – especially the pounding beats and “Chuck Berry turned up to 11” guitar – were important influences or inspirations to punk and post-punk, and even more obviously an influence on Glam Metal (especially the 2nd, less metallic wave of bands like Poison).

This list only includes the harder-rocking songs by these artists.

Pub Rock

Pub Rock was a “back to basics” style of music based on early Rock and Roll that existed mainly in the mid 70s and almost exclusively in London. Most of the bands involved in Pub Rock were never well-known in the US, and never will be, though a few individuals later became big name as New Wave solo artists.

It is notable mainly for being the genre that Punk Rock directly replaced as the “hot new thing” on the British music scene.

Further Developments in Hard Rock

“Everyone knows Rock attained perfection in 1974”

Meanwhile, after about 1973, Hard Rock itself was developing towards a more “radio-friendly” sound increasingly divorced from the fuzzy sound of the 60s. This development eventually led to Arena Rock.

Gradually, Progressive Rock and Heavy Metal were allowed to go off into their own spaces and be their weird selves in secret, while Hard Rock went mainstream in outlook.

This is still a large chunk of the music played on “classic rock” stations, along with the later Arena Rock.

Arena Rock

Here I am following the definition of “Arena Rock” as laid out by TV Tropes:  mainstream radio-oriented hard rock of the late 70s and early 80s. The lines around this category are pretty fuzzy, but you just sort of know it when you hear it. Most of the bands involved in this were not newcomers, but had been around in some form or other for years. This was the style that hard rock and prog-rock musicians seemed to naturally slide into as the 70s became the 80s. This is probably the first style someone unfamiliar with anything else on this page would identify if asked to name some “classic rock” songs.

Punk Rock and close relatives

The initial wave of Punk Rock took the Glam/Proto-Punk template a step further away from mainstream hard rock. Songs became shorter, faster, simpler, with fewer (or at least simpler) guitar solos, almost universal lack of any instruments beyond guitar/bass/drums, and deliberately unskilled vocals.

Punk Rock per se was short lived as a major commercial genre. Many of the more successful bands and/or their constituent musicians moved off, by the 80s, into the world of Post Punk, and the ones that didn’t change went back to a small niche market. Punk was largely replaced, in the public eye, by “New Wave“.

However, the stage had been set for descendants of punk rock to flourish underground, in local clubs and small independent record labels, in hand-written fanzines, out of sight and out of mind, to periodically burst back into the rock mainstream over the decades. (Seen this way, these bands here may actually count as the 3rd such eruption, after Garage Rock and Proto-Punk)

We’ll stop there for now. Next installment: The 80s, with everything from “Don’t Stop Believing” to “Angel of Death”!