The Polar Express meets LMFAO

12 Dec

What does a children’s book about a train that takes kids to the North Pole on Christmas have to do with an electro pop band from California? Well, nothing really. Talk about two completely unrelated topics; however, they are the things that are currently on my mind. Surely you jest Dave! No, I haven’t started reading kids books on a whim, nor have I changed my musical tastes (LMFAO is not at the top of my playlist on my Ipod or Blackberry). I’ll explain.

The football highlight video finally made it on to the web (for all of an hour) after I made a few tweaks this weekend that were wholeheartedly embraced by the players. This year, the team (or at least the offensive pretty boys…can you tell I coach defence?) adopted the LMFAO song “Sexy and I Know It” as their motto. They even named our offensive spread package after a line in the song, “Wiggle Wiggle.” So, at the behest of the coaches, I added this song to the end of the video. The words have been stuck in my head since. Unfortunately all my efforts have come to naught; when I uploaded the video, the audio was disabled because of a copyright issue. So I deleted it and I’m back to the drawingboard looking for new music.

As for the Polar Express, I’ve been thinking a lot about one of the images in the book that I saw while I was reading it to my son Ethan one night. The picture was of the train, pulled by a steam engine, passing through a forest of conifers as it picks up children on its way to the North Pole. It was snowing and dark, and it had an almost mystical sense to it. That image made me think of the railway, and something I seldom envisioned. Most of my exploration of the PD has taken place in the summer, mostly because it makes it a lot more difficult to see things with snow on the ground. I’ve often found myself picturing what it would have looked like in the area that I am exploring when the trains were still running. The image from the book made me think of a forested and remote place, and my mind was immediately drawn to the boundary waters of North and Gunflint Lakes. I visualized a train, similar to the one in the book, gliding along the snow-covered tracks in those early years (1893-94ish) in what was a very lonely, but probably beautiful and breathtaking place. It must have been an amazing sight and I would have loved to see that!

Speaking of the railway, things having been plugging along. The research continues unabated, though nothing substantive in the last few days. Last week my investigation on Alexander McEwen (yes, apparently this is the spelling of his name) continued. I did find some bio material of his life in a June 1891 obituary, but I’m amazed that there is not more information out there on a man who is supposed to have been such a big investor. I posted on Ancestry looking for help, which netted the following response; “type Alexander McEwen 1831-1891 photographs into Google and you’ll get tons of hits.” Ah, thanks, but I posted because I couldn’t find anything on the net! Well, hopefully my plea turns up something.

As for the article, I’ve started clicking a few keys;  I’m officially up to a whopping 128 words! I must say it was a bit of a struggle. I guess I need to spend some time refining my outline to make it more specific. Maybe that will help me focus my thoughts since I have little wiggle room with the word count. It’s really tough trying to figure out what I NEED to include and what I can leave out. Makes for some tough decisions. Hopefully I’ll have time this week to write a bit more.

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Posted by on December 12, 2011 in Hiking, Miscellaneous, Research, Writing


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