A Hammerhead And Metalheads

by Jim on 2014/04/21

[Jimbaux is reminded that overthinking, overanalyzing separates the body from the mind.]

Yin And Yang

Today – Monday 21 April 2014 – was a mixed day in many ways.  Both despite and because of a good Easter weekend and the changing of seasons, I was agitated and cranky today, not running on full cylinders both bodily and and equipment-wise, as we shall shortly see.  I had a little opportunity of time this morning to check out what was happening on the track in Woadieville, and with nothing particularly captivating on the NS Back Belt or France Yard, I made a quick check of the Arabi-Plaquemines branch (I don’t know its official name.)  I spied a headlight of a train coming out of Oliver Yard, and I decided to get set up for a shot – one that I had never done before – at the diamond with the NOPB, where I finally caught an NOPB job working on the NOPB track in November, which, coincidentally, is also the last time that I shot the train to Arabi, and, that time, I actually went to Arabi and photographed it there.

Camera?  Lens?

Well, it is time to quickly set up for a shot at France Street; so, I get out of the truck and then reach in the back for my camera and telephoto lens.

Where are they?  Oh, crap!  Dammit!  Yes, this does happen sometimes.  Some kind of way in my morning crankiness that was more amplified than usual this morning, I left both my good camera and good lens at home.  However, there is a silver lining to this stinky cloud of excrement: my lesser camera, the SuperHeroSupreme’s camera, was in the truck along with that 15-85mm/f3.5-5.6 lens.  This lens is not good on the narrower end of its range, and that is what I needed now, but there is not much else I could do here and now than this:

Well, look at that!  That is the same old B32-8 that I shot on the CN transfer five days before!  This time, it is running hammerhead-style, which means that the “front” of the locomotive is actually leading the train.  Yes, these B32-8s are considered “bi-directional,” with the control console being parallel to the side of the cab rather than at a 45° angle.  Scenes like this one are what I remember from my visits to New Orleans in the 1980s and 1990s as a child; y’all should have read the previous post about my move to the area and the reasons for it and parallel and related stories.

I guess that that’s not really a bad outcome considering the lesser camera and lesser lens.

Yes, this is a new shot; I had never done this shot before.  The train pulled up to the NOPB diamond – or the diamond with the NOPB – and stopped.

This spot was inaccessible for much of the last few years as a major construction project was taking place here.

Well, let’s get down off the top of the truck to get some more shots; that Poland Avenue bridge presents some “merging horizon” problems.

That switch at the right foreground is for that plastics place that the NOPB serves.

That’s better.  Check out those cylindrical hoppers!  They look like they could be CN cars.  Let’s get a closer look.

I Photoshopped out one of those annoying fiber-optic cable markers here; you can hate thank me later.

While we are here, we see this old ICG hopper car.

Maybe the ICG wasn’t considered a “fallen flag” until the same was considered of the IC.

I was curious to see what would happen next, but I had somewhere to be, needed to leave, and left.

More Fallen Flags For Lunch

I was able to get out for lunch, and I saw these old Missouri Pacific hopper cars on a CSX-to-UP train on the Back Belt.

The weather was getting warm, and I was therefore getting cranky (or crankier.)  Part of the crankiness stemmed from the fact that I was stuck in an un-air-conditioned place after lunch, though the weather is still cool enough to park in the shade of a tree and enjoy lunch.

No Good Radio

The heat-exacerbated crankiness, though, is basically why I did not post a reminder for my Monday afternoon radio show today, as I had done a week before.  I got through the show, but I am sure that I did not sound as good – was not as effective – as normal times.  Oh, well.

Live Music?

One of my radio station whoadies alerted me to the fact that a metal band would soon be taking the stage nearby in preparation for some event to take place Wednesday.  Well, since I am so close by, I will check this out!

The lead singer saw me with a camera – it’s too bad I have the lamer camera with the lamer lens today – about taking pictures, which I was apparently intending to do anyway.  I told him that I would take a few pictures.  Then, I asked him if I could get on stage after with the guitar and perform a few tunes, and he said that I could!

A Real “Fallen Flag”

I went inside of the building before the band got on stage, and I got this picture.

This was the flag that was found on campus about two weeks after Hurricane Katrina, soaking in floodwater.

I get something of an emotional reaction looking at that flag (and even this picture), but it is not quite the same as the emotional reaction of people who were actually New Orleans residents at the time of Katrina had.  That is that feeling of not being “real” that I mentioned last time.  Again, you should read the previous post (hit your “Home” button, and see the automated “Previous Post” link) on this matter.  Angeline correctly said that what I suffered was “survivors’ guilt,” but that does not negate my “perverted form of survivors’ guilt” that I mentioned.  The fact that I said that I had a “perverted form of survivors’ guilt” should have indicated that I had – and knew that I had – survivors’ guilt; it’s just that my “perverted form” of it was “perverted” because it was not – and did not need to be – shared by anyone else from back home in bayouland, since they were not in the process of moving to New Orleans, or they did not have that intention.  So, what I suffered was indeed a “perverted form of survivors’ guilt”; that means that it was survivors’ guilt.

Again, though, I’m largely over that now, as evidenced by the mere fact that I am talking about it!  A New Orleans resident reader wrote to me privately after that post and said that new blood in the city was appreciated after Katrina; she told me “thanks for sticking around,” that I could have left after being laid off but still chose to stay.  Nobody had ever told me that so explicitly before, and I appreciate her saying that.  Still, I did not really want to move back to bayouland, and I felt that to do so would have been to concede defeat.  Fortunately, by late 2007, more than two years after Katrina, this largely (but not completely) became a moot point for me, and I finally started to feel somewhat settled in New Orleans, with Katrina finally not defining my life so much and weighing over me.

That post was about so much more than Hurricane Katrina and my experience of it, but the fact that all of the comments so far mention almost nothing but Katrina only reinforces my point about how it, despite other aspects of life, like those mentioned in the post, came to define my life, whether I wanted it to define my life or not.

Seeking The Illusionist

That is the name of the group.  Here they are, Seeking The Illusionist:

Black guys doing heavy metal – and a good job of it at that – give me more hope than white guys rapping give me, and, yes, both give me hope.

Since this stage was in front of reflective windows, most of these pictures of this band are also self-portraits.  Do you see Jimbaux in these pictures?  He is the one hiding behind the camera, as he typically does.  That is part of the problem of advancing his own musical aspirations and projects.  Dammit!

That’s the lead singer Jamal seen smiling – along with his bass player – below.

Use that smile on stage, kid; it is certainly an asset.

There is some event to be held out here on Wednesday, and that was the purpose of this little practice.

These guys were pretty good; I think that they have a bright future doing this stuff.

The sun is about to set, and because of how late it is getting, I once again aborted a get-together with The Cajun Porkchop.

Hey, look, that is a seven-string guitar!  I don’t know how to play one of those, though it can’t be that much different than a six-string (or a 12-string, something that I’d love to acquire.)

Well, let’s get one more shot.

Well, now it is Jimbaux’s turn to go on stage!  Or is it?  Another act started taking the stage, and when I asked Jamal h0w their guitars were tuned, he told me that they were in drop-C tuning, which would have meant that I’d have to tune them to regular tuning for what I wanted to play, which would have taken plenty of time.  Oh, well.  Actually, plenty of the stuff that I want to learn how to play is in drop-C tuning, but that requires a different level of commitment, or so it seems.  I need to get on it!  Dammit!  My crankiness is making me crankier!

Hey, guys, I’m sorry that I didn’t have my better lens and better camera today; hopefully, I’ll see, hear, and photograph you guys again some time.

Really, I needed to get home; so, that is what I did, after watching another train – the AARWX, just like I shot two years and one day earlier – move on the NS Back Belt.  I was really tired.  In addition being out-of-shape from  recent emergency back surgery, some off-again-on-again breathing problem was returning, making feel depleted.  Dammit!  Maybe I’ll get it together one day.  Really, when I get “depleted” like this, it usually gets better within a week.  In the meantime, I’ll try to improve my mood!  Y’all be good.

Good night.



1 Ray Duplechain April 22, 2014 at 21:03

Not a bad report from a guy that is suppose to be crankie…Good job again…..THANKS…rxd

2 Angeline April 22, 2014 at 21:32

Thanks for the mention. You can refer to it as a perverted form of survivor’s guilt as long as you recognize that it is, indeed, survivor’s guilt.

I didn’t even notice your reflection in the pictures until you pointed it out. Honest, I am paying attention…

3 EDITOR - Jimbaux April 22, 2014 at 21:51

A “perverted form of” something is a “form of” something is, therefore, that something. Cake is a “form of” food, meaning that it is therefore food. Therefore, that I called what I had a “perverted form of survivors’ guilt” should not have been construed to mean that I didn’t think that I had survivor’s guilt.

What it was like, too, was paying money for a nice new car only to receive something battered and in need of refurbishment. I felt cheated in multiple ways, but there was nobody to blame but Mother Nature and terrible timing; therefore, I blamed myself.

4 fil morales April 22, 2014 at 22:17

Actually the guitars are in drop a#. I tune it up a half step up from drop a when playing on the 7 string lol. This os the guitarist from seeking the illusionist.

5 Fred April 26, 2014 at 04:25

Bonjour James, I discover your blog today.
Outstanding pictures and tons of interested things to read ! BRAVO !
Fred from Paris, France.

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