Union Pacific 844

Union Pacific 844 was one of 10 locomotives that were ordered by Union Pacific in 1944, designed for passenger engines.  Like the rest of Union Pacific’s FEF-3 locomotives, UP 844 was originally designed to burn coal, but was later converted to run on fuel oil. UP 844 was reassigned to freight service when diesel-electric locomotives took over passenger service and operated from 1957 to 1959 in Nebraska. It was saved from scrapping in 1960. It was chosen for restoration and since 1962 the engine has run hundreds of thousands of miles as Union Pacific’s ambassador of goodwill.

This massive steam engine and it’s train were at the Amtrack station in downtown Houston this past Saturday, part of the Union Pacific’s 150th celebration. I saw President Lincoln there and he was only too happy to pose for a photo for me. He and the engine are both looking pretty good for their age.

This massive steam engine and it's train were at the Amtrack station in downtown Houston this past Saturday, part of the Union Pacific's 150th celebration. I saw President Lincoln there and he was only too happy to pose for a photo for me. He and the engine are both looking pretty good for their age. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

The Interior Court of the Palace of Versailles

One of the pleasures of owning a home is walking out to the back porch to rest a spell. Away from the noise and traffic of a busy street, it’s a place of refuge. There are regular size back porches and then you expand to courtyards. From there they just graduate to “courts”.

The previous occupants of the Palace of Versailles had no lack of places to relax. How about a court that looked upon almost 50 statutes lining the walls and roofs?  Toss in a little gold ornamentation along the roof and it could almost feel like home.
  

The previous occupants of the Palace of Versailles had no lack of places to relax. How about a court that looked upon almost 50 statutes lining the walls and roofs? Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

 

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German Gun Embankment

It was July 4, and it had just started raining hard when we left the American cemetery at Omaha Beach in Normandy. The bleak weather was kind of fitting to the somber mood of that national memorial. Our last stop before returning to Paris was a German gun embankment. While most everyone waited on the bus, a few of us ventured out into the rain. The umbrella in my backpack proved useful that afternoon.

From Wikipedia…

The Longues-sur-Mer battery, near the French village of Longues-sur-Mer in Normandy formed a part of Germany’s Atlantic Wall coastal fortifications. The site consisted of four 152-mm navy guns, each protected by a large concrete casemate, a command post, shelters for personnel and ammunition, and several defensive machine-gun emplacements. The battery was situated between the landing beaches Omaha and Gold.

On the night before the D-Day landings of June 6, 1944, the battery was subject to heavy bombing from allied air forces. The battery fired a total of 170 shots throughout the day. Three of the four guns were eventually disabled by British cruisers Ajax and Argonaut, though a single gun continued to operate intermittently until 1900hrs that evening. The crew of the battery (184 men, half of them over 40 years old) surrendered to the 231st Infantry Brigade the following day.
  

It was July 4, and had just started raining hard when we left the American cemetery at Omaha Beach in Normandy. Our last stop before returning to Paris was a German gun embankment. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

 

 

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October Sunset at the Beach

Going to the beach in the fall season  is great. Most days are warm enough to enjoy, but there is still a crisp in the air in morning and evening. But the best thing is most everyone is back at the office. The crowds from summer are gone and the beach is yours. The rates for lodging are cheaper too. But don’t tell anyone. I don’t want the summer crowds to find out. Otherwise, I’ll have to go in January.

 

Going to the beach in the fall season is great. Most days are warm enough to enjoy, but there is still a crisp in the air in morning and evening. But the best thing is most everyone is back at the office. The crowds from summer are gone and the beach is yours. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

A-7 Corsair II

Earlier this month, I was able to visit the National Naval Aviation Museum again. Last year I spent a day shooting photos and was later contacted by them to use several images in their advertising and museum brochures. It has been a real treat to see these images in print, on their Facebook page and more.  I was happy to donate their use to this non-profit foundation, as it is one of the best aviation museums in the country and should be on anyone’s list of airplane exhibits.

The Vought A-7 Corsair II is a carrier-capable subsonic light attack aircraft introduced to replace the A-4 Skyhawk. The A-7 airframe design was based on the successful supersonic Vought F-8 Crusader. It was one of the first combat aircraft to feature a head-up display(HUD), an inertial navigation system (INS), and a turbofan engine.

The Corsair II was used in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War and Dessert Storm. This VA-46 on display at the National Naval Aviation Museum flew over 30 strike missions in Dessert Storm. Floating above the Corsair is the Harrier Jump Jet, the first operational close-support and reconnaissance fighter aircraft with vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL).
  

The Vought A-7 Corsair II is a carrier-capable subsonic light attack aircraft introduced to replace the A-4 Skyhawk. The A-7 airframe design was based on the successful supersonic Vought F-8 Crusader. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

 

 

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Little French Church

You can’t help but notice all the churches as you travel through the French countryside. Every village or town has one. You can see a few others here. This was taken between the rain bursts we drove through while leaving Normandy. The skies had been dark all afternoon and the rain came and went until we hit Paris, when the bottom fell out. Even on a rainy day, it still has an old world charm.
  

You can't help but notice all the churches as you travel through the French countryside. Every village or town has one. This was taken between the rain bursts we drove through while leaving Normandy. The skies had been dark all afternoon and the rain came and went until we hit Paris, when the bottom fell out. Even on a rainy day, it still has an old world charm.<br />

 

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A Constellation Sunset

Our new minor league baseball team, the Skeeters, play at the new Constellation Field. It’s a great ballpark and every seat is a good one. The more expensive seats behind home plate have a good view of the infield and are close to all the food vendors. But the hidden gems at this ball park are the “cheap” seats in the outfield. I suppose the setting sun might be in your eyes for an inning or two, but when there’s a pretty sunset, they have a great front row seat.  Don’t tell anyone though, or they might start charging more for the extra view.

Here are some more views of Constellation Field in Sugar Land, TX.
 

Our new minor league baseball team, the Skeeters, play at the new Constellation Field. It’s a great ballpark and every seat is a good one. The more expensive seats behind home plate have a good view of the infield and are close to all the food vendors. But the hidden gems at this ball park are the “cheap” seats in the outfield. I suppose the setting sun might be in your eyes for an inning or two, but when there’s a pretty sunset, they have a great front row seat.  Don’t tell anyone though, or they might start charging more for the extra view. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.