Category Archives: Fashion

Old Pictures From An Early AMTRAK

In posters from the era, trains were pitched to passengers as the most modern and aspirational way to travel.


With taglines in the 1970s encouraging travellers to ‘get off your wheels and on to ours’ Amtrak showcased a series of vibrant adverts depicting the freedom of the network


President Ford on an Amtrak train in the 1970s surrounded by supporters and the press


Staff members known as Red Caps at Santa Fe Depot in Fort Worth, Texas, move sacks and parcels between the baggage car and depot. Red Caps helped passengers with baggage navigate through the station; here they wear a jumpsuit introduced in early 1972 and their trademark red hats. The baggage car features the Phase II paint scheme introduced in 1975.


A color photograph showing the TurboTrain stopped at Petersburg, Virginia, during its 1971 national tour. This type of train was primarily used between New York and Boston until its retirement in 1976


Passenger service representative Patty Saunders speaks with travellers in a first-class Metroliner club car – known as Metroclub. In her role, Saunders assisted customers on the train and served them food and beverages at their seat. The first class Metroclub had roomy, individually reclining swivel parlour chairs and there was also a phone booth available to passengers

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Treasury’s new $10 bill idea prompts outcry in defense of Alexander Hamilton

The Obama administration has a money problem.

More specifically, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is under attack for announcing that the U.S. Treasury will change the $10 bill in order to add a woman’s portrait to the currency.

The scathing critiques, from former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to the USA Today editorial board and leading historians, have come after Lew’s decision to demote Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first Treasury secretary, from his prominent position on the face of the $10 bill.

Lew’s decision is “sad and shockingly misguided,” wrote Hamilton biographer Ron Chernow.

The Wall Street Journal even compared Lew to Aaron Burr, the vice president to Thomas Jefferson who killed Hamilton in a duel.

Former Treasury officials are expressing their “disappointment” to the current administration directly as well.

Not even a grassroots advocacy group that collected 600,000 names on a petition in favor of putting a woman on the $20 bill and removing former President Andrew Jackson from that note is happy with Lew’s decision. It is still pushing on its website for Lew to put a woman on the $20 bill rather than the $10 bill.

Inside the Treasury Department, there is some handwringing over the decision and the subsequent backlash, according to one source who has spoken to officials in the administration.

All of Lew’s critics have applauded the decision to put a woman on U.S. currency for the first time in over 100 years, but the chorus of voices is also virtually unanimous that Lew should change the $20 bill instead and remove Jackson, the nation’s seventh president, from that bill.

“A better solution is available: Replace Andrew Jackson, a man of many unattractive qualities and a poor president, on the twenty dollar bill,” Bernanke wrote Monday.

Why Alexander Hamilton?
Why not General Grant? Not a great President No Civil War Generals were great. But my favorite bill. Used to say “Give him a couple of pictures of Grant.
Lincoln and Washington stay.
So what is great about Ben Franklin? Discovered lightning and enjoyed the company of French girls in Paris???
What did Andrew Jackson do?
Thomas Jefferson: let’s not get into his relationships with his slaves.
Let’s reissue the “big bucks currency” like the $100,000 bill with Woodrow Wilson on it. Put Hillary on it instead. She would be comfortable there.
July 11, 1804
Standing on the heights of Weehawken, New Jersey, Hamilton and Burr fired their pistols. Some people said that Hamilton purposely missed Burr. Burr’s shot, however, fatally wounded Hamilton, leading to his death the following day. Aaron Burr escaped unharmed.
Always confuse Aaron Burr with Benedict Arnold
How about a picture of current Treasury Secretary Jaci Lew in drag instead?

Penney Vanderbilt’s New WebSite. Great WebSite from World’s Greatest Blogger!

Well readers, I just finished my newly renovated WebSite: WWW.OMINOUSWEATHER.COM/Penney.html

The first feature we like is Penney”s Best Blogs. The ranking of these sites is from YOU, not me. We start out with the Troy Union Railroad.

It does not exist anymore so maybe it is a “folk lore” attraction? There are several other railroad blogs on the most popular list.

“Folk lore” is very popular. Check out “

The Tobin Packing Company of Albany (Makers of First Prize Hot Dogs)

Don’t forget that in addition to my very popular blog, that we have three other popular blogs. I am the “big mama” of the group and decide what I want to publish. KC Jones picks up some of the blogs I can’t get to. The Ancien Hippie marches to his own drummer. Being the oldest and wisest in the group. Yes he can be opinionated, but he is loveable. Our young Crazy Pasta Child looks for new and different topics.

There are over 400 Web Pages you can reach from my WebSite!!!!!

Some have been blogged, some not.

GrandCentral1965Grand Central19216070-sb-on-h-l-bridge

Saratoga and North Creek, which operates passenger trains between Saratoga Springs and North Creek, and freight trains between Saratoga Springs and Tahawus, also runs snow trains in the winter months and the Polar Express during the Christmas holiday period. The railroad is looking at expanding service to the Albany-Rensselaer train station. While it connects with Amtrak’s Adirondack services at Saratoga, the Rensselaer station has far more Amtrak service. Saratoga & North Creek Railway is looking into the feasibility of extending passenger train service to Rensselaer to better serve passengers aiming to head north.

Revolution – rock n roll

Perspectives on Life, the Universe and Everything

Shut the gate, shut the gate
Right in the face of the enemy you hate
Shut the gate, shut the gate,
Shut, shut, shut, shut
Shut the gate
Iron minds, long marches,
Picket arches, barricades
Shut the gate, shut the gate
Shut, shut, shut, shut
Shut the gate
Power brokers, men with guns,
Electrocuted, maimed, stunned,
it is invariably just too late
Shut the gate, shut the gate
Shut, shut, shut, shut
Shut the gate
Fire at will, how many to kill
they will keep…coming still,
Diabolical, abominable nanny state
Shut the gate, shut the gate,
Shut, shut, shut, shut
Shut the gate
Right in the face of the enemy you hate
Just keep going, never ever stop
Thick headed forces, penny will drop
Shut the gate, shut the gate,
Shut, shut, shut, shut
Shut the gate

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It’s not just Hello Kitty: Japan’s character craze

We just did a story on “Hello Kitty” not being a cat. Along comes a follow up on Japan”s “Character Craze”

There are thousands, and they are ubiquitous: Long-time favorite Doraemon (who really is a cat) has a daily quiz in a national newspaper. Little monster Pikachu hosted a theme cafe in Tokyo this summer. Stress-relieving Rilakkuma (“relaxed bear”) dangles from teenage girls’ school bags.

Characters are not just for kids in Japan, but a part of business and social life. Some see Japan’s cute-craze, known as “kawaii,” as a sign of immaturity, but others say it’s rooted in a harmony-centered way of life that goes back to ancient animist traditions.

Japanese used to worship many gods, and portrayed ghosts as comical characters. In what is seen as the origin of Japanese manga, or comics, a set of 12th-century scroll paintings humorously portray frogs, rabbits and other animals in human activities, from sumo wrestling to temple worshipping.

The  Kumamon goofy “Black Bear” character originated in Japan’s Kumamoto prefecture, or state.

Kumamon the goofy black bear
Kumamon the goofy black bear


Funassyi appears regularly on TV and is releasing a CD from Universal Music Japan. The character reportedly earned 200 million yen ($2 million) last year. unofficially representing the city of Funabashi

funassi unofficially representing the city of Funabashi
funassi unofficially representing the city of Funabashi


Doraemon is NOT a third grade girl



Rilakkuma is very popular



See more pictures in the Albany Times Union

Hello Kitty and Doraemon now face hordes of newcomers, many launched by municipal governments to promote tourism and local products. Regular “character summits” choose a national favorite.

“Hello Kitty” not a cat, has never been: We Have Been Deceived

Hello Kitty is not a cat, the company behind Japan’s global icon of cute insisted, despite an uproar from Internet users who spluttered: “But she’s got whiskers!”

When is a cat not a cat? When it’s Hello Kitty, apparently.


We’re not really sure how to feel about this revelation. Clearly this character has cat ears and whiskers, but it has just come to light that Hello Kitty is in fact a British schoolgirl in the third grade.

The moon-faced creation that adorns everything from pencil cases to pyjamas the world over is, in fact, human.

“Hello Kitty” is a cheerful and happy little girl with a heart of gold,” brand owner Sanrio says on its website.

The shocking revelation came to light when a Hawaii-based academic specialising in the epitome of “kawaii” (“cute” in Japanese) asked Sanrio to fact-check captions for an exhibition she was curating to mark the 40th anniversary of Hello Kitty

Christine Yano, an anthropologist from the University of Hawaii, told the Los Angeles Times that she “was corrected — very firmly” by Sanrio that Kitty was not a cat.

“That’s one correction Sanrio made for my script for the show,” the paper quoted her as saying.

“Hello Kitty” is not a cat. She’s a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She’s never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature.”

And indeed, an AFP enquiry as to the status — feline or otherwise — of one of Japan’s most famous exports confirmed her non-cat identity.

“It is a 100-percent personified character,” a Sanrio spokesman told AFP in Tokyo. “The design takes the motif of a cat, but there is no element of a cat in Hello Kitty’s setting.”

Her life story has always been there, the spokesman said, adding the personification is meant to make her fans feel closer to the character “as a friend”.

Web users were agog at the news.

“Hello Kitty is not actually a cat. MIND BLOWN”, tweeted @killedbydying

“‘Sanrio confirms that Hello Kitty is NOT a cat.’ One of the many reasons why I have trust issues”, wrote @eisakuivan

“So Hello Kitty isn’t a cat? Everything I know is a lie,” said @nymbc

Asked about the worldwide reaction to the shock revelation that Hello Kitty is not a cat, the Sanrio spokesman offered: “I don’t think anyone in Japan found it surprising.”

“There is an explanation we have made the whole time, and I think that’s how people have understood it.”

A straw poll of Japanese people within the AFP Tokyo bureau found that not to be the case, however.

The Sanrio spokesman explained that Kitty and her family were given no specific nationality but were designed to be living in Britain, because many girls in Japan had strong admiration for the Western lifestyle in the 1970s.

Ever since the mouthless white character first appeared in 1974 on a coin purse in Japan, she has graced tens of thousands of products, from handbags to aircraft, in some 130 countries.

But just remember: she’s not a cat.

Now, let’s stand up for real cats. How would you like it if you were a cat and people kept telling you you looked like a third-grade kid? Cats are such wonderful animals.

Unfortunately, not all cats are so lucky and get adopted by third graders with no mouth. Many need help and good shelters are slim.

 Let’s all get together and help a good shelter:

Let’s help Refuge les Chamours in Ste-Béatrix, Quebec

On the  internet, go to you can click on the PayPal button or on “faire un donne”

Easy to give to them. Don’t need to know a word of French.

Mail instead?

Refuge les Chamours 100 de la Colline Ste-Béatrix, J0K1Y0

Québec, Canada

Looking for a life outside FACEBOOK? Look to FAIRPROMISE and Fairpromise

It’s Summer: Time to Visit Saint-Tropez


International tourist mecca, St. Tropez’s mythical tame has played a large part in the renown of the whole Côte d’ Azur.

The world’s most rich and famous have found escape in St. Tropez for centuries. Icons Brigitte Bardot and artist Henri Matisse helped spread word of the unbridled, isolated luxury of France’s southern peninsula.

Thoughts on Your Trip to St Tropez

Coming from Nice generally, the lure of a trip to St Tropez is hard to resist. If the timing of the daily boat from Nice Quai Lunel (or less frequent out of season) doesn’t suit, independent travel is still a viable option. The most flexible way is the fairly frequent train from Nice Gare Ville to St Raphael, which breaks the back of the journey, and then change to a few options for the final approach. At St Raphael Port there is the Bateaux St Raphael who run 5 – 6 round trips a day in high season. There is also a local bus service connecting St Raphael with the main towns of the gulf to St Tropez, which is a viable option outside the car-madness of peak season. Likewise taxi is not impossible, but pricy.

Step 1: Try the ferry to St Tropez

Get to the port from the airport on Bus 98

Alternate 1: Rail/Ferry or Rail/Bus

There’s no rail line to St Tropez. The nearest station is at St Raphael, 38km away. Trains from Nice to St Raphael are fairly frequent, with the fastest journeys taking just under an hour. Get to the SNCF station from the airport on Bus 99 A boat shuttle between Saint-Tropez and Fréjus Saint-Raphael harbor operates every day from Easter to October.
Phone 04 94 95 17 46; Fax 04 94 83 88 55
Address : Port – 83990 Saint-Tropez
Fare is 21€ for adults, 11€ for children and it is a 50 min journey
The bus
(Route 104) from St Raphael station to St Tropez takes 1 hour 20 minutes but they’re fairly infrequent, with roughly 1½ or 2 hours between services.

Alternate 2: Bus from Nice Airport

Alternate 3: Helicopter

Alternate 4: Taxi or limo: right out the front door of the airport.

Hotels in St Tropez and the surrounding areas

Tourist information about the Côte d’Azur

Tourist Information about the towns to the East of Nice

Tourist information about the towns to the West of Nice

Saint Tropez (Population : 5.542 h, Surface : 1.118 ha )

International tourist mecca, St. Tropez’s mythical tame has played a large part in the renown of the whole Côte d’ Azur.

In St. Tropez everything is famous :
– Beaches : Bouillabaisse Beach, Caneliers Beach, Salins Beach; there are at least 40 on the peninsula.
– There is the Place des Lices where movie stars and local stars get together to play a game of boules or sip Pastis under the plane trees.

Everybody, of course, wears their leather Tropéziennes sandals !

St. Tropez became “St. Trop” when the show business people, artists and writers all fell under the spell of this charming little port in the 1950’s. In the summer one could bump into Picasso, Francoise Sagan, Jacques Prévert and many others, With the arrival of Brigitte Bardot in the 6O’s the myth was installed for good. Since then St. Tropez has become the in vacation spot for chic Parisians and the international Jet Set.

People watching is a favorite sport here in the summer, Visitors like to sit at the outdoor cafés hoping either to be seen or to see some one else. Competition is rife. Huge yachts line up in the port rivaling to see which is the biggest, the prettiest, the best kept, or has the snappiest crew .

Only beautiful people hop on board. It is quite a spectacle for the casual visitor !…

St. Tropez’s true nature can really only be appreciated in the off months.

If you have the choice come here in May, June or September, without the crowds one can take the time to admire the charming little streets and alleys.

Early in the morning at the Place aux Herbes one can find fruit vegetables and flowers and watch the local fishermen selling their new catch.

This is also the neighborhood of the famous brasseries Le Gorille and Sénéquier.

A typical Provengal market is held every Tuesday and Saturday morning in the Place des Lices. Religious and festive processions called “Bravades” are lively celebrations which begin in May and continue until the 15th of June.

The Musts of St-Tropez :
The old port.
Place des Lices,
Rue Gambetta.
Place des Ormeau.
The 18th c. church and bell tower.

Museums :
Musée de l’Annonciade (Paul Signac, Braque,
Matisse, Utrillo, Van Dongen, Bonnard, Dufy) and its butterfly house.
Musee Galerie – Victoire de la Messardiere

Activities :
Water sports.
Tennis. Squash. Golf,
Horseback riding,
Hiking along the coast.

Night clubs.

Lodging :
Holiday houses – Furnished apartments and rooms.
No campsites in St Tropez, but lots in neighbouring villages (some even “4-STAR”)

The hottest Riviera beaches are at St-Tropez.

The best for families are closest to the center, including the Plage de la Bouillabaisse and Plage des Graniers. More daring are the 9.5km (6-mile) crescents at Plage des Salins and Plage de Pampelonne, some 3km (2 miles) from the town center. At Pampelonne about 35 businesses occupy a 4.8km (3-mile) stretch, located about 10km (6 miles) from St-Tropez. You’ll need a car, bike, or scooter to get from town to the beach. Parking is about 3.80€ ($4.95) for the day. Famous hedonistic spots along Pampelonne include the cash-only club La Voile Rouge, which features bawdy spring-break-style entertainment. This is the most outrageous, the sexiest, and the most exhibitionist (not for children) of the beaches of St-Tropez. Also thriving are Le Club, 55 bd. Patch, Plage de Pampelonne, and Nikki Beach, Plage de Pampelonne. Maintained by an American from Miami, Nikki Beach is wild, frenetic, uninhibited, and about as Floridian a venue as you’re likely to find in the south of France. Plage des Jumeaux is another active beach; it draws many families with young kids because it has playground equipment.

Notoriously decadent Plage de Tahiti occupies the north end of the 5.5km-long (3 1/2-mile) Pampelonne, lined with concessions, cafes, and restaurants. It’s a strip of golden sand long favored by exhibitionists wearing next to nothing (or nothing) and cruising shamelessly. If you ever wanted to go topless, this is the place to do it.

All about Public Transportation in the Côte d’Azur

Should Herkimer Diamonds Be An Official State Symbol?


The bluebird. The sugar maple. The garnet. And now the Herkimer diamond?

The Mohawk Valley’s famous quartz crystals could soon join the ranks of those other state symbols if pending legislation is approved to name them the official mineral of New York. The measure already has passed the state Senate, and is awaiting Assembly action.

The bill, sponsored by state Sen. James Seward, R-Oneonta, has been in this position before; but Seward hopes this time it won’t die in the Assembly.

“This is a great way to highlight the uniqueness of the Mohawk Valley,” he said. “I just see all plusses in pursuing this.”

Several area business owners and officials agreed the bill would be nothing but good for the tourism if it passes.

“To have it more well-known than it already is can only enliven the economic activity in the area,” said Renee Scialdo Shevat, owner of the Herkimer Diamond Mines in Middleville and Gems Along The Mohawk, a visitor center located in Herkimer.

John Scarano, executive director of Herkimer County’s Chamber of Commerce, said Herkimer diamonds act as the tourism pull for the southern portion of the county, just as Old Forge calls people up north.

“We’ve got the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs, and the symbol of diamonds are on the county and chamber websites,” he said. “The name is out there; it’s synonymous with industry and tourism.”

The Herkimer diamond, a faceted quartz crystal, draws thousands of tourists, from both in and out of state, to a couple of mining sites each year. While here, they spend money to prospect for their own stones and to visit other local businesses. Mine owners say it’s not just a local draw, however.

“You can take a Herkimer diamond any place in the world and people know what it is,” said Ted Smith, owner of the Ace of Diamonds mine and campgrounds.

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