Micronaxx The adventures of Finn & Henry

19May/190

Train Trip vol. 1: Big Boy Bash

Man, it's taken a full week for Henry & me to decompress from our trip and to just start sharing our adventures. To make things manageable, I've opted to break our epic into sections. So... here we go!

Flying into Salt Lake on Wednesday afternoon, we bumped into some fellow railfans who were already prepping their period garb for the celebrations. After landing we grabbed our car & headed up to Ogden, UT, where the famous Big Boy steam engine—the world's largest at 1.2 million pounds (!), and newly restored after years of work—was due to make its triumphant return. Hen & I found shelter from the blustery evening in the trackside Zephyr Cafe, constructed from an old railcar!

And then, the next morning—it was time. Hen was, of course, practically vibrating with excitement, and he wasn't let down. Union Pacific & the state of Utah put on quite a show—bringing in the governor & other speakers, and shutting down streets to host numerous pop-up shops. After much excited waiting, we finally saw the old gal pull in & get reunited with UP's other working steam engine, the 844. Making up with sneakiness what he lacks in height, Hen was able to make his way to near the front of the crowd to capture some shots.

Check out those images & more in our gallery!

5May/190

Hot roddin’ with Hen

G-Man might forget a thing or three, but not when it comes to vital details like when local car shows are taking place. 😌 On Friday he & I checked out San Jose show we attended last year, this time bringing along my drone. Happily he shares my interest in photography, so the two of us captured a bunch of details large & small. Here’s a little gallery from our evening out plus a 360º drone pano. (Click & drag it, mom. 🙃)

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21Apr/190

Moose of the Sea

 We spent a wonderful (if salty, sandy, and tiring) Easter Sunday enjoying the beach & giving Mr. Seamus his first taste of the sea—making him at last the long-prophesied Sea Moose. 😌 Besides play-battling other dogs & digging well into the earth’s crust, Seamus enjoyed crashing out next to our little shade tent & standing dutiful, excitable watch against marauding seagulls. Check out a little gallery of photos, plus this vid of his seaside stylings:

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10Apr/190

Hot-rodded cars & pups

We had a busy weekend with Grandma & Grandpa Nack. While Grandma braved the long lines of La Villa to score us some raviolis, Henry got up close with a beautifully hot-rodded Model T:

The next day, it was a posse of puppies that got all spun up. Check out Seamus's first puppy social:

19Mar/190

St. Paddy’s on the Farm

Realizing that we were long overdue for a visit to our friends Matthias & Samantha's farm, the dudes & I headed over on Sunday for some high-speed mayhem on the quad, followed by a little farm work and some mayhem in the sprinkler. Check out the action below plus a handful of pics.

24Feb/190

Meet the famous Mr. Seamus!

He’s here, he’s here!

After many months of deliberation and research, we finally have our own pup—the happy & wiggly Mr. Seamus Liem Murdog Nack! He flew in on Thursday afternoon, and we’ve been having a ball having him explore the yard, make himself at home in Finn’s room, and generally make our lives at least 200% more fluffy. 😌 He’s kept us busy enough that I’ve hardly gotten to take my customary raft of photos, but you know those are coming! Meanwhile, check out his arrival:

19Feb/190

Cavortin’ in Davenport

Yesterday we seized on our first sunny day in a while to tool up Highway 1 with Grandpa Liggett, visiting Finn’s favorite restaurant (the Davenport Roadhouse), then heading south to check out beachfront Capitola. Hen went bonkers upon seeing the giant train trestle, so he & I spent some quality time exploring up there with my drone while the other guys chilled down below. Here’s the latest installment of Henry Nack Model Train Central…

…plus some footage I captured of him…

…and a 360º panorama I shot from above:

7Feb/190

The Mad Scientists of Willow Glen

On Tuesday night we were delighted to check out the fruits of the dudes’ recent forays into science (see gallery).

In the video below, car-lovin' Henry discusses his explorations of Matchbox physics and the impact of a car's age, weight, and axle cleanliness on its downhill speed.

And here Finnster talks us through his & Ethan's experiments to see which substances best keep a paper lion's feet dry & thus keep him afloat the longest.

20Jan/190

Hey Porter!

Henry I spent a frosty few hours chilling in Barstow, CA, during our long journey home. Though the Western America Railroad Museum & historic Harvey House were closed due to the New Year’s holiday, we had a free hand to scramble all around the engines and check out the old equipment. Check out our gallery plus this hands-on tour from Hen:

And here's a little drone footage from Dad-O, set to Johnny Cash:

Lastly, here's an interactive 360º shot from overhead:

13Jan/190

Bunking aboard the Hornet

The guys and I are just back from an overnight visit to the USS Hornet, a highly decorated World War II-era carrier we last visited some 7 years ago (photos). This time around we spent the night with our Cub Scout pack & several hundred other scouts & parents from around the area. On the whole we had a ball touring the ship, grabbing chow on board (“The cookie was exceptional!” reports Hen), and bunking among pals. Check out our gallery.

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I also had a little fun flying my drone over the Hornet & her adjacent Navy ships:

And here’s an interactive 360º panorama from overhead:

5Jan/190

Who’s down for ghost town?

New year, old school: we kicked off 2019 by dropping by the Calico Ghost Town just outside Barstow, CA, during our long journey home. Hen was naturally drawn to the narrow-gauge railroad, while Margot & Finn checked out old shops (sorry, “shoppes”) and sundries. Here’s a gallery and a quick tour of our visit:

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12Dec/180

A Willow Glen Caboose (!)

Who knew that for the last 10+ years, we’ve been living just walking distance from a 100-year-old caboose? Henry & I dropped in on last Sunday’s potluck meal for the Silicon Valley Lines & were treated to a tour of our neighbors’ restored machine-turned-office. Here’s a quick peek:

9Dec/180

Backyard Beatdown

When life gives you lemons in the form of a back yard that resembles an urban war zone—well, make it a Nerf war zone! Our trusty neighborhood horse-headed gunslinger "Horz" is back in action against neighborhood menaces "Doggo" and his sister. Enjoy!

3Dec/180

The G-Man Mission Plan

It seems that every kid who grew up in California remembers (often fondly) creating a fourth-grade project that explores the complicated history of the state’s Spanish-built missions. With the help of Legos & some oversight from foreman Mom, Henry produced a pretty great one to turn in today. Check it out:

2Dec/180

SLO Beach Bros

Cabin fever, at least in the days post-Thanksgiving, has proven no match for us the past couple of years, seeing the fam head out to Yosemite, Hearst Castle, and Point Reyes. This year we fired up the Westy and headed down to San Luis Obispo & stayed right by the water & the famous dune of Oceano Beach (see 360º panorama from my drone, at bottom). During the days we checked out SLO’s mission, butterfly grove, and antique shops (you’re welcome, Hen 😉), and at night Finn & I enjoyed some epic long walk-and-chat sessions to the beach and back.

The highlight, though, had to be renting a squad of 4-wheel ATVs:

We tore around the beach amidst thousands of other folks riding dune buggies, motorcycles, trucks, and RVs. Although we experienced a few close calls, Henry does not remain at the bottom of the Return of the Jedi-style Sarlacc pit into which he & his machine plunged, and remained un-crushed by Finn’s stranded vehicle. At the end everyone emerged happy if sandy. (“My legs feel like jelly!” reported Hen.)

Check out this album showing the whole weekend’s worth of adventures, plus our videos from the beach & from the air:

31Oct/180

Horzing Around

Lately we’ve been trying to get our screen-obsessed lads out from behind their devices & out of the house. If we can’t quite pry them off the screens, we can at least get them outside & onto the other side of the device.

Behold the weird tales of “Horz” and his associates “Gophie” and “Doggo” (“a couple of nose-picking morons he found online,” Finn informs me) featuring the acting & filmmaking talents of our dudes plus neighbors Henry D & Sadie. Behold the magic below—and soon you’ll have as little idea what’s going on as we do. 🤷🏻 ♂️😌

27Oct/180

Best night ever? 🚂

Lately Hen has quite reasonably bemoaned the fact that few kids share his passion for old cars, coins, and trains. Well, I told him, in a city of nearly a million souls, we must be able to find your people somewhere, right? And so we have!

Last night we dropped in on Silicon Valley Lines, the local model railroad club that turns out to be located just a mile or so from our house. All the guys we met (including a German Googler named Bernard, who spent ages letting Hen drive a train) couldn’t have been nicer, and of course I needed a crowbar to pry our man out of there—even after two hours. And today he’s raring to go back, hoping to meet another kid who might be dropping by.

“On a scale of 1 to 10,” says Henry, “I’d rate it a billion.” ☺️ Check out a little gallery plus this vid of our budding engineer in action:

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23Oct/180

Niles Canyon 2018

On Sunday we took our budding engineer & his long-suffering (but not excessively suffering :-)) big brother up to the Niles Canyon Railway for an afternoon of riding the rails and—in Dad-O’s case—flying over them. In addition to the gallery of photos we snapped (featuring Hen mugging with innumerable old cars), you can check out this little installment of Henry Nack Model Train Central…

…as well as some Johnny Cash-flavored touring from the air…

…and a 360º panorama from above.

All in all, a solid outing!

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16Oct/181

Postin’ from the Pool

Not content (finally!) just to sit & watch YouTube, both of the dudes are becoming rather avid creators. The last few nights have seen the lads filming up a storm with Henry D. & his sister Sadie (stay tuned for that horse-mask-clad craziness 😌), and meanwhile Hen has turned from posting about trains & currency (see previous) to posting from the pool in Cabo. (His mortification at the sound of his own voice reminds me of when I got a tape recorder at age 5 or so from my Aunt Dolores. I told him that we all hate our voices. 🤷‍♂️)

10Oct/180

Farm boys, now & then

Our flight from Cabo gave me a chance at last to edit some photos & vids from our August trip to Galena. The dudes loved visiting our friend Tom’s farm—driving tractors and scaling silos (file that one under “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again”!). Tom’s brother Jerry was a great host, while Maria & Bert (the Buffalo) were good-natured passengers.

Check out a gallery from the day (including vertiginous 360º shot from atop the silo!) and watch the budding “Uber drivers” in action:

I love comparing this to how the dudes looked while visiting the farm with Uncle Ted back in 2011...

…and in 2014 (when they made “corn angels” in the silo):

Lastly, here’s a 360º overhead shot of the farm that you can click & drag: