Dave Winer called me tonight and we had a nice chat about families and parents and all that. In the middle of the conversation a long train rumbled past. "The Internet is here" I told Dave. My end was being held in front of the Chop House, which is an excellent restaurant in Livingston.
He didn't quite understand until I explained it to him. See, the Internet is powered by electricity. What, you think those data centers at Yahoo and Google and MSN don't require much power? Think again. In fact, Google is planting its data centers near power sources because they require so much power.
So, when a train loaded with coal rumbled past, the first thing I thought of was that coal was going to power some of our Internet.
Of course I took a picture.
I told Dave that the railroad is a big deal here in Livingston. I know train buffs (they call them rail spotters, or if you really are a train buff, a "flimsie") come from around the world to watch the trains go over the Bozeman pass between Livingston and Bozeman, Montana. It's one of the most scenic train crossings in the world. Tomorrow I might follow a train or two and try to capture a picture as four, or six, electromotive engines pull a mile-long train over the pass.
It's an awesome sight to watch. The sheer physics are amazing.
Are any of you train fans? What draws you to watching trains? I think that's something I picked up from my ex-boss, Steve Sloan. When I worked for him he wrote a newsletter, named "Flimsies." Today he has a train page, although much of that doesn't seem to link up anymore. I'm sad, cause he had some really great photos of trains all over the Western United States.
But I think my love of trains goes back to the Lionel set that Uncle Victor gave our family when I was young. I still remember setting that up and driving it so fast that it flipped off of the tracks. Weird what we remember from when we were young.
Anyway, tomorrow I hope to catch a train after I take my brother to the airport. Even as I type this I hear a train horn in the distance. I wonder what's on it? Toys? Cars? Oil? Or more coal?