Saturday, January 31, 2015

M/V Hoosier State passes Huntington

It had been a while since Adam, now 15, had seen the boat he steered five years ago. It's his favorite boat on the river, so when we saw it in the distance we knew we had to get a couple of snapshots.

This one is okay considering the time of year, but some of us prefer getting our towboat photos when the hills are deep green.

If you wonder how big this boat is, you can judge its size based on the heights of these two crew members.

Next up: Crew change for the M/V Yvonne Conway.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

There's nothing like a crashed hard drive

Or having to type on a Kindle. Or when the power connector plug inside the other computer breaks off. Or waiting for the mailman to deliver your replacement startup disks.

Or, for that matter, water line problems and a possibly malfunctioning kitchen appliance.

It's been an eventful January at the Ross household. I should have one computer running and making money by this weekend. I have some entries waiting to go up.

If you were on the Hoosier State this past Sunday as it went past Huntington and saw a couple of people on shore getting pictures, that was me and Adam. And if you were on the Yvonne Conway during crew change at Huntington this morning, yeah, that was me under the umbrella getting some pictures. I wanted to get some shots along the shore, but those rocks were all covered with ice.

Pictures to come, depending on when I get my computer back from the shop.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Time out

I need to take another time out. New posts will be back around the end of the month, I hope.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Ice time

There are occasions this time of year that I wish I worked on a boat or a fleet or a lock or a dock so I could see winter up close and for hours at a time. But all I have to do is spend a few minutes outside and that particular yearning yields to the reality that I really don't like cold weather.

Today I was near the Ohio River, so I decided to get a few images of objects that have been subjected to the river's waves during this cold spell. (Please don't make me call it a polar vortex or an Alberta Clipper or a Siberian Express).

Of course, if you're looking at objects on the shore, you will see a Mountain Dew bottle or a beer bottle. You just can't get away from those things.

These images were okay, but they did not top some of my all-time favorites, such as ice that formed on some tree branches in the shape of an Afghan hound.

My only regret this morning was that a Crounse boat pushing 15 barges loaded down 11 feet with coal didn't come by. I would guess the waves splashing over the lead barges would have made some interesting forms. Alas, no boat within range.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

More coal-fired power plants for sale

American Electric Power is shopping its merchant power plants, including several along the Ohio River, according to the electric utility trade press.

Among the plants for sale is Gavin at Cheshire, Ohio. Because Ohio has deregulated its electric utility industry, AEP has separated its generation and distribution assets.

As the article explains, merchant power plants sell electricity into the open market, while power plants in tightly regulated states like West Virginia have rates that are negotiated with state agencies. Companies can expect a certain rate of return in regulated states, but with merchant plants the business is far more risky.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Lonesome bird, reflected

This one didn't turn out as sharp as I had hoped.

Maybe the camera battery was low. Yeah, that's it. I'll blame the battery,

Friday, January 2, 2015

A couple of leftovers from December

First, it looks like the R.H. Beymer has or had a new paint scheme.

Then on New Year's Ever the Caleb Lay passed Huntington.

40 years ago

I have kept this photo in a book for a long time -- almost 40 years. On the back of the print is the date 1-2-75, so I assume that is the day I took this particular picture.

This was taken from a hill near where I grew up. You can see the Ohio River and the locks to the Gallipolis Locks and Dam. You can see a small boat pushing several barges, at least three, but I cannot come close to identifying the boat. If you know where to look you can see the old farmhouse where I was born.

If the calendar I found on the Internet is correct, January 2, 1975, was a Thursday. A few days later I would return to Athens, Ohio, to continue my junior year at Ohio University. The Vietnam War was winding down and would be over in less than four months. I made a lot of good friends that school year -- probably the most in all the years I spent at Athens. I joined the staff of The Post and began my newswriting career.

The area in his picture has changed so much in 40 years. Most of the people who lived in the houses you see are either dead or have moved away. Some of the houses themselves are gone. I would guess the boat and the barges have met the scrapper's torch. And the locks you see have been decommissioned and replaced by new ones in a canal cut through the bend there at Hogsett, W.Va.

Yeah, this photo probably doesn't mean much to anyone except me. But that's okay. It's why I've kept it the past four decades, tucked inside the same book so I always know where it is.