Archive | September 21, 2017

Cape Cod Central Railroad: The Good, The Bad & The UGLY.

by Anura Guruge


Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution will be strictly enforced.

Cape Cod Central Railway Anura Guruge Sony a7II




On Thursday, August 10, 2017 Teischan & I took the ‘midday’, 2-hour Cape Cod Central Railroad excursion.


BOTTOM LINE: It is indeed a railway excursion, in historic carriages, pulled by a very well maintained and attractive EMD GP28 diesel engine (in our case, #2009). If you have never been on a train and are itching to do so, and this is your one big opportunity, by all means go ahead and do it — but unless you are ‘rich’ don’t bother paying the premium for the Dome. Yes, get the cheapest tickets. Notice that they never refer to this as a ‘Scenic’ ride — since the scenery is pick-a-boo. 70% of the time what you will see is this ⇓ (below) and they will tell you that that will be the case once you are on the train and it is moving. Yes, overgrown, dense foliage wreathed in thick vines (a feature of the Cape Cod landscape).


The station in Hyannis, the only one of the route, is NOT much of a station and as such there is NO railway station experience. Ditto when it comes to the engine. So, do not expect to see other engines, carriages etc. as you would do, say at the ‘Conway SCENIC Railway‘. This is NOT for the true railway enthusiast —  as in my case.

The onboard staff, especially an OLD (like in his late 70s), grossly obese conductor we had, are downright HOSTILE! That was something new. It was like being in a prison. No you can’t stand, no you can’t walk, no you can’t look out of the window. It was NO, NO, NO. I did not enjoy the experience. It reminded me of the joke about the Italian, on honeymoon with his new wife ‘Virginia‘, on a sleeper train out of New York heading down to Florida — when the conductor, early on in the evening shouts out, over the speakers ‘Norfolk, Virginia‘! (Say that out loud and try to imagine what an Italian married to a ‘Virginia’ might hear if he is in bed.)

So, this is my recommendation: only do it if you must and if so keep your costs down.



THE GOOD

1. Nice, well-maintained engine.

2. FREE (to $5) parking on the side of the station, which is great as parking in Hyannis is not easy and is expensive. You can see the parking, through the glass, to the side, behind Teischan.

3. Some decent scenery, including cranberry bogs (which I wanted to see) though interrupted views are not the norm:

4. Good view of the Bourne Bridge and the Cape Cod Canal:


THE BAD

1. Expensive! Overall, you have to question whether their prices are justifiable.

2. There is NO railway experience. I feel bad for the kids. A stark & bare station — badly maintained. It is like getting on a subway. The yard is 1/4-mile away and they don’t allow you to visit that! ‘Norfolk, Virginia‘!


THE UGLY

1. Very badly maintained rolling stock, with peeling paint, cracked window in the dome and totally glazed over windows:

2. Downright HOSTILE onboard staff. ‘Norfolk, Virginia‘! It was NOT a good experience and that is a shame!


P.S., The parked engine in the yard, at top, with a single BIG light, is an EMD F7, one of my favorite U.S. locomotives.


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by Anura Guruge

Getting ‘SSL Certificates’ For HTTPS Web Security From GoDaddy — Some TIPS.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and ADMIRE. Website: madeonearth-online.com


The GoDaddy SSL certificate plans.


Given that it is a full-blown e-Commerce online Website we had to add SSL-certificates to the new ‘Made On Earth‘ Website yesterday.

This WordPress(.org)-based Website had been hosted (as a subdomain) at GoDaddy before I got involved in July 2017. So, of course, we went to GoDaddy to get the SSL certificates. That SSL is NOT part of the hosting does not make me happy.

SSL-certificates are NOT cheap from GoDaddy (and forget the 20% discount). Luckily we just needed them for one-and-one site (and it did NOT matter that it was a subdomain). [So, note: GoDaddy will let you get SSL for a subdomain even if you do NOT have SSL for the main domain. That was good. I had visions that we would need the very expensive, $269.99/year, package.]

GoDaddy charges $50 to install it — in addition to the $55.99/year! Yes, YOU could try to do it yourself BUT that did NOT appeal to I.

However, even with that $50 fee paid, YOU still have to do some work — cutting and pasting the SSL certificate into a window. Why GoDaddy can’t do this as part of their service is a mystery.

So, some important TIPS.

  1. The $50 install fee will APPLY EACH time you RENEW. It is NOT a one-time install, the first time you get SSL! So, if you get just one-year, you will have to pay the $50 again — next year. Yikes. 3-years is the MOST they will let you buy. Yes, this is a money making option for GoDaddy. So, we bought 3-years. They gave us a $10 discount, BECAUSE I asked. It came to $207. That is sobering. So, that is part of the new Web hosting costs at GoDaddy.
    ….
  2. I did the transaction over the phone and I am glad I did so. Too many ‘things’ I would have missed IF I tried to do this online — including the discount.
    ….
  3. A GoDaddy specialist has to do the install. IF one is not immediately available, GoDaddy will hang-up and call you back. We were lucky. One was available and could do it while we waited.
    ….
  4. GoDaddy sends you an e-mail with THE CERTIFICATE. It is a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very long string. You have to copy and paste it onto a GoDaddy page. Why GoDaddy wants us to do this is a mystery.
    ….
  5. Doing the copy and paste was NOT as easy as you would think. Kept on getting ERRORS at the GoDaddy end. Had to clear the cache. That didn’t work. Then they wanted me to try it using Chrome ‘Incognito Mode’! That worked. Hhhhmmmm.
    ….
  6. Said it would take 1-hour for the certificate to kick in.
    ….
  7. 2.5-hours later I am still NOT seeing HTTPS. Call GoDaddy.
    ….
  8. Ahhh! It is because you are using WordPress. You need a PLUGIN to force HTTPS. Why didn’t they tell me that earlier. Typical GoDaddy. Plus they wouldn’t tell me what PLUGIN to use. Had to Google it.
    ….
  9. Used this PLUGIN. Worked immaculately. Thanks. So, finally, about 3-hours after I had first called GoDaddy we were all set with HTTPS.

Click for more details, IF you are interested.


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by Anura Guruge

I File A ‘Better Business Bureau’ Complaint Against Samsung — 2.5 Months Without Ice-Maker!

by Anura Guruge



Click to ENLARGE.


Bloody Samsung finally, finally, finally sent a technician on September 8, 2017 to look at the non-functioning ice-maker. He took one look and said you need a NEW ice-maker and I will order one for you.

Then Samsung CLOSED the Trouble Ticket — so that the technician can’t order a new one! Just bloody amazing.

So, we have no recourse. They closed the Trouble Ticket without fixing ANYTHING. It is beyond the pale.

I have had fairly good luck with the BBB. So, I am hoping that they will bail me out again.


Related Posts:
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by Anura Guruge

You Could Say That ‘Mormonism’ Got Its Start This Day 194-Years Ago, In New York State — September 21, 1823.

by Anura Guruge



Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel_Moroni


Though my knowledge of the history of mormonism is still, alas, quite sketchy, I think it is fair to say that Moroni’s appearance to Joseph Smith, on September 21, 1823 definitely got the ball rolling.

Mormonism intrigues me. I have had the pleasure of knowing ‘quite’ a few — including the Marriott family. I used to make a point of visiting the spectacular Mormon temples — and have been to the Mothership in Salt Lake City. In the 1980s when I used to come over from the UK to consult with ITT Courier in Tempe, Arizona I stumbled upon the Mormon Temple in Mesa, AZ (which was like next door). I was struck by it splendor and many an evening, before going to dinner, I would go and walk around the absolutely gorgeous grounds with a ton of petrified trees. Here is a contemporary picture. It wasn’t as grand 30-years ago.


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by Anura Guruge

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