PhotoHunt: Letters

I am a little late this week.

I got a little “surprise” yesterday (which included a letter). A meeting with one of the Principles in my company informed me that, as of December 31st, 2010, I will be unemployed. The mandate of the government department for which I work ends in March 2012 and they are precipitously reducing the number of contractors doing the work.

If I had gotten this news a year and a half ago, I’d be freaking out.

My mother’s health situation means that I need to be in a flexible work situation. That makes getting a full-time position difficult. Since I need to be on a flexible schedule and preferably work at home, this reduces my chances of getting work. However, I am not concerned with this.

A year ago, my mother’s finances were… worse than a shambles… Now that I have managed to get her out of debts and ensured that her pension isn’t simply going out to pay the interest on her debts, we can manage quite well on one income. I want to be able to spend time with my mother while I can and I can be a better care-giver than I have been up until now.

Now for my PhotoHunt submissions…

I was intrigued not just by the graffiti on these rail cars, but by the various intended painted lettering on them. To their intended audience, the handlers and rail-workers, they probably make sense. Not knowing what they actually means, we are forced to take whatever meaning we can from them.

"1 1/2 In. Comp. Shoes"

"SOO 63317"

"Sens" (click image for full size)

I’ve done a little research on the tagger, here. I have no idea where “Sens” is based but their tags appear in both Europe and in North America.

And, of course, since I can’t just take a photo…

More photos here


  1. magiceye said,

    October 5, 2010 at 10:24 am

    wonderful captures and fascinating post!

    best wishes on your employment front

  2. October 5, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Very interesting graffiti. A really nice take on the theme. Sorry form the late visit.

    Ah you and me both are about to be ex civil servants. I am leaving the British Civil Service in 2.5 weeks..

  3. Sandy said,

    October 4, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    FYI, Sis… SOO is the Reporting Mark of the car and indicates the owner of the car – in this case, The Soo Line Railroad is the primary United States railroad subsidiary of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP), controlled through the Soo Line Corporation, and one of seven U.S. Class I railroads. Although it is named for the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad (MStP&SSM), which was commonly known as the Soo Line after the phonetic spelling of Sault, it was formed in 1961 by the consolidation of that company with two other CP subsidiaries, the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railroad and Wisconsin Central Railroad. It is also the successor to other Class I railroads, including the Minneapolis, Northfield and Southern Railway (acquired 1982) and Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (Milwaukee Road, acquired at bankruptcy in 1985). On the other hand, a large amount of mileage was spun off in 1987 to Wisconsin Central Ltd., now part of the Canadian National Railway. The Soo Line and the Delaware and Hudson Railway, the CP’s other major subsidiary (before the 2008 DM&E acquisition), presently do business as the Canadian Pacific Railway, and most equipment has been repainted into the CP’s scheme, but the U.S. Surface Transportation Board groups all the CP’s U.S. subsidiaries under the Soo Line name for reporting purposes.

    “1 1/2 In. Comp. Shoes” is the indication the type of brakes on the trucks. “Comp” referring to composition.

    LD LTM refers to the car’s maximum allowable weight in interchange service.
    Interchange service is the movement of the car from the owner’s RR to another RR as would occur when a car is moved across the continent.

    LT WT refers to the car’s empty weight.

    The markings on the trucks indicate the last inspection date of the trucks.

    The partly obscured BLT 10-7? indicate the month/year the car was manufactured. Could also be REBLT indicating when car was repaired or upgraded.

    Sometimes a car will have chalk marks from info needed by yard crews to show where the car is going when trains are made up.

    Cars which never leave the owner RR’s rail do not need these markings.

    Enough info? Too much?

    Love ya…

  4. Lilian said,

    October 3, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Sorry to hear about the job (or lack of), but it’s good that you will be able to spend more time with your mum. Interesting photographs. I’ve often wondered about the railway workers’ markings as well.

  5. October 3, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    those are interesting looking graffitis. hope your mom gets better soon.

  6. October 3, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Sorry to hear about your employment situation but it’s good that there’s something of a silver lining to that particular cloud.

    I love your unusual take on the theme. You make the graffiti on the railway cars look very attractive!

  7. ann chin said,

    October 3, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    I am looking at your flight of the Concordes. These guys are New Zealand most famous exports. They were nominated but didn’t win the oscar.
    Just recently, they were written to the Simpsons.

  8. ann chin said,

    October 3, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Do you know, I was just looking at your comment when youra came to my post.

    What has happened to your mum? I hope she is better.

    Re: Trolley taces, in New Zealand, they have all sorts of funny races, especially if it is by engineering students.

  9. Mar said,

    October 3, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Glad you see the glass half full! interesting graffiti, a different take on the theme!
    Enjoy your weekend.

  10. Marites said,

    October 3, 2010 at 3:56 am

    graffitis always intrigue me..they seem to have their own world and I do find some of them quite interesting. have a good weekend!

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