A Review of the Uniden BC72XLT Handheld Programmable Scanner Radio

For the record, I do not own the featured image. I downloaded it from Radio Reference.

I have been listening to scanner radios since September of 2002, when I was fifteen going on sixteen.

In those days, I wanted to listen to police traffic, because I was a rebellious teenager and I felt very empowered when I did so.

At the age of twenty-two, I was seeing a new psychiatrist and she advised me that I shouldn’t listen to police traffic because it was too stimulating.

By that time, I was interested in listening to other stuff.

Since 2003 or so, I’ve been listening to retail, security and janitorial frequencies.

In 2011, I began listening to railroad traffic and was actually taught by others to understand what was being said.

Also 2011 was when I became a full blown foamer.

I say full blown because, since infancy I had harbored an interest in trains, but in late 2011 at the age of twenty-four going on twenty-five, I finally had the time to dedicate to my railroad hobby.

In 2015, after learning that railroads will eventually go to Nexedge, I was inspired by a dream in 2015 to start listening to marine traffic

I had been through several different scanners which I used specifically for my railroad and later my marine hobbies:
From December of 2011 until March of 2014; I used a Radio Shack Pro-404, it died on me in July of 2014, but always had receiver issues.
From March of 2014 until August of 2016; I used a Uniden BC75XLT, it worked great until the display failed-more on that in a bit.
From August of 2016 until October of 2018 and February of 2019 to present; I used a Uniden BC72XLT, which this piece will be a review of.

In August of 2016, the display on my Uniden BC75XLT had begun to malfunction. I was strapped for cash at the time and couldn’t afford a new one, so I looked on eBay and found a gently used Uniden BC72XLT for around $50. I purchased it and it came in the mail a few days later.

It was definitely a downgrade from the previous Uniden I had purchased.

For example:

It could only hold 100 memory channels whereas the BC75XLT could hold 300 channels.

It wasn’t narrowband capable like the BC75XLT.

It did not have a dedicated railroad search function.

It couldn’t be charged with USB.

Despite all of this, I find it was built more ruggedly and it was slightly more compact-excellent for when foaming or gongoozling on foot.

While it doesn’t have a dedicated railroad search, it does have dedicated service searches for conventional police, fire/medical, civilian aircraft, 10m/6m/2m/70cm FM amateur radio, VHF marine and weather radio.

This scanner can accept most frequencies between the ranges of 25-54 MHz, 108-174 MHz and 406-512 MHz.

It also has ten custom searches that can be programmed to search between those aforementioned bands.

There is a Uniden Close Callâ„¢ RF Capture Technology, which allows the user to detect nearby frequencies in use. This is especially useful for listening to retail or janitorial frequencies.

There is an orange backlit display for reading in low light conditions.

It has a generous runtime on 2 AA batteries.

From 2016 onward I had taken this scanner on just about every railfanning trip I’d been on and it pulls the signals in nicely and it does so even with just the stock antenna. The speaker has decent, crisp audio reproduction.

This scanner has assisted me watching trains in places like Raceland, Louisiana, (almost daily from August 2016 to January 2018), Des Allemands, Louisiana (every Sunday from August 2016 to January 2018), Schriever, Louisiana, (frequently between 2016 and 2018), Lafayette, Louisiana, (October 2016, January 2017, Ferbruary 2017, January 2018, February 2018, March 2018) Lake Charles, Louisiana, (February 2017, February 2018), Livonia, Louisiana, (December 2016), Plaquemine, Louisiana, (April 2016, December 2016, April 2018), Alexandria, Louisiana, (October 2016, January 2017, January 2018, April 2018), Oakdale, Louisiana, (October 2016), Meridian, Mississippi, (November 2016, November 2017), Baton Rouge, (April 2016, December 2016, April 2018), New Orleans (multiple times), Dallas (January 2017 and 2018), Shreveport (January 2017 and 2018), Little Rock (August 2018), Beaumount (February 2018), and Houston (February 2017.)

As for marine listening, this scanner has helped me in places like Houma, Louisiana, Amelia, Louisiana, Morgan City, Louisiana, Bourg, Louisiana, Bayou Blue, Louisiana, Lockport, Louisiana, Larose, Louisiana, Plaquemine, Louisiana, Tallulah, Louisiana, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Baytown, Vicksburg.

Most of the fire dispatch voice pagers are still in analog FM and I do have their frequencies stored in this scanner.

Usually, I have it in a special slot of the console of my Buick Century and it keeps me informed and entertained.

So, even though it is 2019, there is still a good bit of stuff to hear on a budget friendly, entry level scanner.

In October of 2018, I had sold mine in order to have some extra spending cash.

However in February of 2019, I had ordered another one for about $60. Iinitially, I wanted it because I had planned to take it with me whilst fishing. However, I hadn’t been able to go fishing like I wanted to, but it is still frequently carried by me.

In fact, it is sitting on my computer stand in front of me as I am typing this review.

Even though narrowbanding to 6.25 KHz steps was mandated for 2018, many radio users are still using 15 KHz or 25 KHz steps in FM mode, including the railroads in 2019. They come in loud and clear in most cases. As for marine traffic, they will still be in 25 KHz steps for years maybe even decades to come, since VHF Marine is internationally implemented and regulated. This means that for listening to VHF Marine, this scanner is perfect and will be for a good while.

This scanner came on the market in 2004 and I believe was sold brand new until about 2011 or 2012. In the mid to late 2000s decade, this scanner was common among volunteer firefighters as a cheaper alternative to a voice pager. It was usually clipped to their belts next to the badge and a red Mini Maglite in its Nylon holster. It is now quite common on eBay, usually still in good condition.

I really enjoy this scanner, even though it was never top of the line.

I do give it a 4.85 out of 5 stars because it didn’t come with a dedicated railroad search and it didn’t cover 800 MHz, but other than that it is an awesome scanner radio.

This therefore concludes my review of the Uniden BC72XLT…

Back to “Product Reviews”

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Donald John Trump: A Polarizing Figure

This is something I’ve noticed for years, but finally, I think the time is right to post what I see going on:

By the way, I have no agenda to push, I have no narrative to forward nor am I trying to sway anyone’s political views.

This is simply a casual observation of mine.

For the record, I belong to a one-man political party, known as The Ethical Party.

This means I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican, but my one-man party takes what I perceive as the good from both Democrats and Republicans, alike, and rejects what I perceive as the garbage from those two parties.

Without further ado, here I go:

It’s no secret, Donald Trump is a very polarizing figure.

He is someone whom you either revile or draw inspiration from.

There really isn’t any in between.

By the way, it has been like this for him long before he got into politics.

I’ll give examples of how he is both reviled, yet inspiring:

First, I’ll point out how he is reviled:

I have noticed that Hollywood for years has been hating on Donald Trump.

These years date long before he decided to get into politics.

The biggest example I can think of is back in 1990 when NBC aired a made for television movie known as, “The Great Los Angeles Earthquake.” I first saw this movie in 2008 when I purchased it on DVD. My ex-wife now, unfortunately, has that DVD, but she can keep it. I’m glad to part with it and all my other stuff she got when we split up if it means I don’t have to interact with her. Also, out of respect and reverence for my girlfriend, I don’t want to go around any woman whom I am not related to.

It is one of my favorite movies, actually, because, I think Los Angeles is a really neat city and would very much like to visit it one day, but also I like the movie for several other reasons: One of my favorite flashlights ever made has a cameo in that movie, the Eveready Commander No. 5122. There is footage of the now defunct railroad Southern Pacific, which is my favorite former railroad. Also, I am highly interested in technology from the late 1980s and early 1990s and there is a good bit of the then current computer, cellular phone and other technologies featured in that movie. I also like seeing all of the now vintage cars and trucks in that movie.

The arch villain in that said movie, Wendell Kaetes, or however his name is spelled, I believe is heavily inspired by Donald Trump. I mean, he resembles Trump physically. He is a real estate developer. He is a shrewd businessman with a quick temper. And there is a line in the movie where he is referred to as “The Donald Trump of the West Coast.” He meets his demise by falling out of his office window of the high rise building he owns when one of the quakes occur. The character has Donald Trump written all over it.

While Hollywood may be hating on him, other entities draw on him for inspiration.

This too has been going on long before he got into politics.

The biggest example I can find is in the Radio Shack Catalogs.

By the way, I do not own the featured image on this page, Radio Shack does-it is straight from their 1996 catalog.

From 1996 until 2001, in order to sell Business Band radios, Radio Shack featured a picture that entailed a businessman in a suit and tie supervising a construction project and giving out commands over a Radio Shack Business Band radio. The model in the suit and tie is obviously a reference to Donald Trump, which I would have never realized had I not seen that aforementioned movie. On one side of him there is a black lady holding the building plans and on the other side, there is a hispanic man going over a checklist. The ironic part is that these two models on the sides of him come from ethnicities of people whom the media vehemently tries to put Donald Trump at odds with.

The reason why I say that the model in the suit and tie is an obvious reference to Donald Trump is that he definitely resembles him physically, he is in charge of a construction project. He appears to be barking orders over the radio. And he is dressed like a businessman. If he isn’t the owner of the construction project going on, he is likely an executive in charge of it.

So, basically, my theory is Radio Shack likely capitalized on Trump’s image and likeness in order to sell their rebadged Motorola and other manufacturer’s Business Band radios.

I’m not sure of their success though, because I don’t have access to their sales data.

For whatever reason though, in about 2004 or 2005, Radio Shack quit selling Business Band radios and this was a huge mistake in my opinion.

This mistake probably was a factor in them going under in the mid to late 2010s.

My biggest question behind all of this is:

Has anyone else noticed these things or am I the only one?

By the way, prior to me watching that earthquake movie, the only time I had ever heard of Donald Trump was on the rapper Nelly’s album Country Grammar. This may come as a shock to just about all of you and I’ve only realized it in the past few minutes, but the lyrics in that said album subconsciously inspired parts of my infamous “Grocer and Writer” stories!

If there is anything to be learned from all of this it is that controversy sells and the juicier any content is, the more profitable it becomes…

As a writer, I am well aware of this, though I have yet to earn a single red cent on anything I’ve written. However, when I write something controversial, I know that is what attracts my readers more than anything else.

I hope, you, the reader, find me informative and entertaining…

Back to “Articles I Have Written”

Phone Conversation-Cyrus’ Perspective

The next day Cyrus woke up with feelings of euphoria. He had lived a lonely life up until this point when he had met Tabitha Howell online the previous night. He conversed with her for a while and quickly developed feelings for her. She revealed to him that her feelings for him were mutual.

After slowly waking up in his bed, Cyrus looked at his smartphone charging on the night table.

He selected Tabitha’s number and sent her a text: “Do you have free texting?”

A minute passed, but then he got a reply: “I sure do.”

“Great! I texted you because I remember you telling me that your parents are overprotective.” He sent another text “I don’t know how they’d react hearing you talking to me.”

“Well, I am nineteen so they can’t do or say much.” “Anyway they went shopping, so you can call me if you want to.”

So Cyrus then texted. “I’ll call you then.”

“Wonderful. I’m waiting.” Tabitha replied back.

Cyrus was nervous. At the same time, however, he was much excited for a chance to call Tabitha. So, he selected her number on his phone then touched the “Call” icon.

After only one ring, Tabitha answered “Hey!”

“Hi,” Cyrus replied.

“Finally I get to hear your voice. It’s very sexy!”

Cyrus blushed, caught his composure and then replied: “I like your voice as well.”

“Are you off all day today?” Tabitha asked.

“Yes, but I go on duty at six o’clock tomorrow morning. I assume you’ll be getting ready for school at that hour.”

“I will, but I have half days all week since we are having third quarter exams.”

“Well I would definitely love to spend time with you, but I know you should be studying.”

“Yes sir, Mister Braden. Gosh, you sound just like my teachers.”

“I just want you to be successful so you might have a job with an easy schedule.”

“I’m disabled and I doubt I could get any good job, especially in this economy.” Tabitha paused and then continued “I only go to school because I still live with my parents and they want me to.”

“What’s your disability?” Cyrus asked.

“I’ll tell you, but I hope and pray you don’t leave me.”

“I won’t leave you. If anything, your writing has taught me that everyone deserves to be loved.”

“Okay. I’ll tell you: I’m a schizophrenic. That’s why I had to take my medicine last night. Actually, I’m supposed to take it every night.”

“That doesn’t faze me at all,” Cyrus replied with assurance.

“You really mean that?” Tabitha asked with a mixture of happiness and desperation.

“Of course. There are lots of foamers I know with yours and similar disabilities.”

“What are foamers?”

“Oh, I’m sorry. Not everyone knows that term. A foamer is someone who likes trains but doesn’t actually work for the railroad.”

“Oh, okay. That’s cool I guess.”

“Many of them take heavy medications which sedate them. That, in turn, prevents them from getting any railroad job.”

“How come.”

“Because to work for the railroad you have to be awake and highly alert for shifts as long as twelve hours.”

“That makes sense, actually. Many times I fall asleep in class, because of my medicine. Other students mock me and accuse me of being drunk. In reality, though, I don’t drink at all.”

“Would you drink if you didn’t have to take medicine?”

“I don’t know. I would want to, but I’m way too afraid of the consequences.”

“You mean like getting injured or injuring someone else while behind the wheel?”

“No, I don’t drive. I meant like someone taking advantage of me while I was drunk.”

“Why can’t you drive?”

“My doctors and my parents don’t want me to. It’s mostly because my medicine sedates me. God, Cyrus, I hope you don’t leave me because of that. I’m so afraid that you will.”

“I know we’re just starting our relationship, but rest assured that nothing in creation can make me leave you unless you cheated on me or something like that.”

“I would never cheat on you, who else would want me. But, I hope you really mean what you said.”

“I remember from your writing how the main point you try to drive across is that everyone deserves to be loved. I definitely see this in the way your characters love each other. I want to love you like that and I only hope and pray that you will love me the same way.”

“You’re very sweet. Oh, if only I was alone with you right now.”

“I wouldn’t want to take advantage of you in a week moment.”

“If you did, it wouldn’t be taking advantage of me. Instead, it would be something wonderful!”

“How would you know it would be wonderful? Have you been intimate with anyone else?”

“Never. What about you?”

“I’ve never been intimate with anyone either! Believe it or not, I’m a twenty-five-year-old virgin!”

“Then when or if we do become intimate, it will be very special for us!”

Cyrus’ heart skipped a beat and he was filled with excitement. A plethora of his coworkers made fun of his virginity at his age, but now he felt vindicated.

There was an awkward silence, but then Tabitha asked: “Would you even want to be intimate with me?”

“I sure would! I was just thinking about how glad I am because I actually waited for the right one! All those guys taunting me through school and at work will be worth it!”

“People harass me about this too. Girls at my school constantly mock me. Only the nasty guys want to touch me, but I refuse them.”

“Just forget about them. I can also tell you this: If I’m ever able to pick you up from school, I’ll throw my arms around you and plant a huge kiss on your lips in front of everyone. I bet that would make everyone super jealous of you!”

“You really would?”

“Most definitely!”

“I would love you to do that, but I might get expelled if you. My school is very strict about PDA. I would then have to go to the public high school and get tormented even more about my weight.”

“Well, maybe we should just meet at the Landing Station depot then. How would you get a ride there, though?”

“I do have one friend that has a car, but I would have to convince her that you’re decent.”

“How could you do that? I would really like to meet you and shower you with affection!”

“I don’t know.”

Cyrus was frustrated for a moment, but then an idea hit him “I have an idea: Maybe you could show her all of our online conversations and my facebook profile. I have nothing to hide.”

“I remember you saying that the previous owner of your house was murdered. Did that happen in his house and why did that happen?”

“I can fully explain The previous owner of my house used to work at The Downtown Grocer. There was a deli cook who constantly harassed him. After he became a successful writer, he took his girlfriend to the park and proposed to her in front of everyone. She accepted. In an unfortunate twist of fate, that cook also happened to be in the park. She began to make trouble with him and his girlfriend. He warned that he would call the cops, so she pulled out a pistol and shot him dead. His girlfriend watched him die and then also died of a broken heart.”

“So how did you get his house?”

“His parents sold it to me through the help of the engineer on the train I work. But they sold it for double the price.”

“That doesn’t seem fair.”

“Well, in all fairness, he had fixed it up after he became a successful writer.”

“That’s fine then; I guess.”

“His writing style was very similar to yours. He also seemed to convey the same message that you do.”

“I wish I could be a writer, but I would have to make it big overnight or risk losing all of my medical coverage.”

“I think you could do it, but I fully realize that your health and medical needs come first.”

“Thanks for understanding. I wish my parents realized that.”

“Anytime. I see all the time what those foamers with medical conditions go through.”

Then came another awkward silence, until Cyrus said “You know I have all of his composition books, journals, and flash drive. Maybe we could read them together one day.”

“Sure, I guess.”

“Does it bother you to read the thoughts of a dead man?”

“Sort of, but I would like to see his work if he indeed wrote like me.”

“Great!”

“Now, if and when my friend decides to bring me to the train station, how will I know that you’ll be there?”

“Right before I go on duty, I can text you every morning whether or not my train has work to do at Landing Station or not. But afterward, I have to turn my phone off. It’s a railroad mandate for me to do so. But, I’m sure I’ll have work to do in Landing Station at least one day this week. I know the economy is stagnant right now, but Landing Station still has some rail traffic.”

“Awesome, I can’t wait until then!”

“And if my train has to park in the siding for a few hours, we can hang out on the passenger platform. The only problem is that I won’t know that far in advance.”

“Hey, my parents just got home. I have to go now.”

“All right, but please keep in touch with me.”

“I will as much as I can.”

Cyrus then hung up the phone, got dressed and left home to make his groceries for the week. He had fallen even more in love with Tabitha but didn’t want to tell her and scare her off…

https://ericjohnmonier.com/home/works-of-fiction/a-freight-train-conductor-meets-a-disabled-aspiring-writer/

Phone Conversation-Tabitha’s Perspective

The next day, Tabitha had woken up and began writing more love stories on her computer. Her parents were getting ready to go make groceries.

“We’re leaving, Tabby.” Her mom said.

“Is there anything you want us to get you?” Her dad added in.

“No, I’m good right now,” Tabitha replied.

“Call us if you need anything.” Her mom said.

“Will do,” Tabitha replied.

And then they left.

Tabitha resumed her writing. She had felt more encouraged to write her love stories than ever before since she met Cyrus Braden the previous night and he told her how he enjoyed her work even though many people didn’t. She thought about her conversation with him and the feelings she had developed for him. For a brief moment, she began to think just about him and paused from her writing.

Then she received a text on her smartphone. It was from Cyrus and read, “Do you have free texting?”

Tabitha sat in amazement for about a minute because of how she believed that she and he were having mutual thoughts of each other. Then she realized that she should reply and texted back, “I sure do.”

About a half minute passed; then Tabitha got two replies. The first one read, “Great! I texted you because I remember you telling me that your parents are overprotective.” The second one read, “I don’t know how they’d react hearing you talking to me.”

She was definitely going to try and make the relationship with Cyrus work as best as she could, so she answered with two messages, First, “Well, I am nineteen so they can’t do or say much.” Then, “Anyway they went shopping, so you can call me if you want to.”

She got a quick reply from him, “I’ll call you then.”

“Wonderful. I’m waiting.” Tabitha replied back.

After about two minutes, Tabitha’s phone rang. She only let it ring once and quickly answered it as she was no doubt infatuated with him.

“Hey!” She said.

“Hi,” Cyrus replied.

Tabitha then said “Finally I get to hear your voice. It’s very sexy!”

“I like your voice as well.”

“Are you off all day today?” Tabitha asked.

“Yes, but I go on duty at six o’clock tomorrow morning. I assume you’ll be getting ready for school at that hour.”

“I will, but I have half days all week since we are having third quarter exams.”

“Well I would definitely love to spend time with you, but I know you should be studying.”

“Yes sir, Mister Braden. Gosh, you sound just like my teachers.”

“I just want you to be successful so you might have a job with an easy schedule.”

Tabitha’s fear of rejection began to surface, but her desire to be honest with Cyrus outweighed it. So she said, “I’m disabled and I doubt I could get any good job, especially in this economy.” Tabitha paused and then continued “I only go to school because I still live with my parents and they want me to.”

“What’s your disability?” Cyrus asked.

Tabitha became more desperate and nervous as she said, “I’ll tell you, but I hope and pray you don’t leave me.”

“I won’t leave you. If anything, your writing has taught me that everyone deserves to be loved.”

She breathed a sigh of relief and then said, “Okay. I’ll tell you: I’m a schizophrenic. That’s why I had to take my medicine last night. Actually, I’m supposed to take it every night.”

“That doesn’t faze me at all,” Cyrus replied with assurance.

“You really mean that?” Tabitha asked with a mixture of happiness and desperation. She only hoped and prayed that Cyrus was being truthful.

He then continued, “Of course. There are lots of foamers I know with yours and similar disabilities.”

Puzzled, Tabitha asked, “What are foamers?”

“Oh, I’m sorry. Not everyone knows that term. A foamer is someone who likes trains but doesn’t actually work for the railroad.”

“Oh, okay. That’s cool I guess.”

“Many of them take heavy medications which sedate them. That, in turn, prevents them from getting any railroad job.”

“How come.” She asked with curiosity.

Cyrus answered, “Because, to work for the railroad you have to be awake and highly alert for shifts as long as twelve hours.”

“That makes sense, actually. Many times I fall asleep in class, because of my medicine. Other students mock me and accuse me of being drunk. In reality, though, I don’t drink at all.”

“Would you drink if you didn’t have to take medicine?”

“I don’t know. I would want to, but I’m way too afraid of the consequences.”

“You mean like getting injured or injuring someone else while behind the wheel?”

“No, I don’t drive. I meant like someone taking advantage of me while I was drunk.”

“Why can’t you drive?”

Tabitha became more nervous and her feeling of fear about rejection resurfaced again. Still, she knew it was best, to be honest; so she told him, “My doctors and my parents don’t want me to. It’s mostly because my medicine sedates me. God, Cyrus, I hope you don’t leave me because of that. I’m so afraid that you will.”

“I know we’re just starting our relationship, but rest assured that nothing in creation can make me leave you unless you cheated on me or something like that.”

Tabitha assured him, “I would never cheat on you, who else would want me. But, I hope you really mean what you said.”

“I remember from your writing how the main point you try to drive across is that everyone deserves to be loved. I definitely see this in the way your characters love each other. I want to love you like that and I only hope and pray that you will love me the same way.”

Her heart skipped a beat and she began to be filled with strong desires for him as she said, “You’re very sweet. Oh, if only I was alone with you right now.”

Cyrus replied to her. “I wouldn’t want to take advantage of you in a week moment.”

Hearing that made her want him even more, so she told him, “If you did, it wouldn’t be taking advantage of me. Instead, it would be something wonderful!”

Cyrus asked, “How would you know it would be wonderful? Have you been intimate with anyone else?”

“Never. What about you?”

“I’ve never been intimate with anyone either! Believe it or not, I’m a twenty-five-year-old virgin!”

Tabitha was then sure that she and Cyrus were meant to be and she said, “Then when or if we do become intimate, it will be very special for us!”

There was an awkward silence, but then Tabitha asked with a heavy heart, “Would you even want to be intimate with me?”

“I sure would! I was just thinking about how glad I am because I actually waited for the right one! All those guys taunting me through school and at work will be worth it!”

“People harass me about this too. Girls at my school constantly mock me. Only the nasty guys want to touch me, but I refuse them.”

“Just forget about them. I can also tell you this: If I’m ever able to pick you up from school, I’ll throw my arms around you and plant a huge kiss on your lips in front of everyone. I bet that would make everyone super jealous of you!”

Tabitha became filled with such a mixture of happiness and excitement as she asked, “You really would?”

“Most definitely!”

“I would love you to do that, but I might get expelled if you. My school is very strict about PDA. I would then have to go to the public high school and get tormented even more about my weight.”

“Well, maybe we should just meet at the Landing Station depot then. How would you get a ride there, though?”

“I do have one friend that has a car, but I would have to convince her that you’re decent.”

“How could you do that? I would really like to meet you and shower you with affection!”

“I don’t know,” Tabitha said as she grew frustrated. She realized that she might have trouble being able to meet up with him.

But then Cyrus said, “I have an idea: Maybe you could show her all of our online conversations and my facebook profile. I have nothing to hide.”

Tabitha thought of all their online conversations and thought of one disturbing part, then said, “I remember you saying that the previous owner of your house was murdered. Did that happen in his house and why did that happen?”

“I can fully explain The previous owner of my house used to work at The Downtown Grocer. There was a deli cook who constantly harassed him. After he became a successful writer, he took his girlfriend to the park and proposed to her in front of everyone. She accepted. In an unfortunate twist of fate, that cook also happened to be in the park. She began to make trouble with him and his girlfriend. He warned that he would call the cops, so she pulled out a pistol and shot him dead. His girlfriend watched him die and then also died of a broken heart.”

Tabitha seemed relieved, but was still concerned as she asked, “So how did you get his house?”

“His parents sold it to me through the help of the engineer on the train I work. But they sold it for double the price.”

“That doesn’t seem fair.”

“Well, in all fairness, he had fixed it up after he became a successful writer.”

“That’s fine then; I guess,” Tabitha said.

“His writing style was very similar to yours. He also seemed to convey the same message that you do.”

“I wish I could be a writer, but I would have to make it big overnight or risk losing all of my medical coverage.”

“I think you could do it, but I fully realize that your health and medical needs come first.”

She felt very happy hearing this and told Cyrus, “Thanks for understanding. I wish my parents realized that.”

“Anytime. I see all the time what those foamers with medical conditions go through.”

Then came another awkward silence, until Cyrus said “You know I have all of his composition books, journals, and flash drive. Maybe we could read them together one day.”

“Sure, I guess.”

“Does it bother you to read the thoughts of a dead man?”

“Sort of, but I would like to see his work if he indeed wrote like me.”

“Great!”

With a slight anxiety, Tabitha changed the subject and asked Cyrus, “Now, if and when my friend decides to bring me to the train station, how will I know that you’ll be there?”

He replied, “Right before I go on duty, I can text you every morning whether or not my train has any work to do at Landing Station or not. But afterward, I have to turn my phone off. It’s a railroad mandate for me to do so. But, I’m sure I’ll have work in Landing Station at least one day this week. I know the economy is stagnant right now, but Landing Station still has some rail traffic.”

“Awesome, I can’t wait until then!”

“And if my train has to park in the siding for a few hours, we can hang out on the passenger platform. The only problem is that I won’t know that far in advance.”

Tabitha then said with sadness, “Hey my parents just got home. I have to go now.”

“All right, but please keep in touch with me.”

She felt bliss realizing that he wanted her and replied, “I will as much as I can.”

Tabitha hung up the phone. She realized that she was beginning to fall in love with Cyrus. With a big smile on her face, she went into the kitchen to help her parents unload the groceries.

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Cyrus Braeden Meets Tabitha Howell Online-Tabitha’s Perspective

On a late Saturday night in March, Tabitha Howell was checking the replies to her posts on several writing forums. Most of them were giving her harsh critiques. She sulked in depression. In her mind writing was the only thing she thought she was good at, but this wasn’t the case according to her online peers. She kept scrolling through the members’ feedback. People made comments like “Lovely but very inappropriate.” “Trashy.” “Not believable.” She had mixed feelings about these reactions. In part, she was glad that she was able to provoke the emotions of others, even though they were negative. However, in a much bigger part, she felt hurt by some of the comments. Tabitha was about to log out and take a bath to wash away the stench of failure when she saw a new post. She began to read it.

It was posted by someone known as Mister Trainman and it read, “Don’t worry about what the others tell you because I think your work is beautiful. I wish I could write at least half as well as you. Your stories bring about all kinds of feelings in me. Usually, I am able to suppress them, however, when I read your work, I can’t. But I don’t want to either. Keep it up. I look forward to your next post.”

Immediately she pulled up his profile and gained a great deal of information about him. He was a twenty-five-year-old train conductor named Cyrus Braden. At first, she seemed nervous due to the fact that he was six years older than her and might only be interested in sex, but also knew that no other worthwhile boys or men ever paid attention to her. She looked at his profile picture and was instantly attracted to him. She began to search for content he posted, but couldn’t find any. This made her slightly suspicious, but she still wanted to know more about him. His profile displayed “Online Now.”

So, she decided to send him a private message.

“Hi. I’m glad you enjoy my stories. No one else does. I would like to know more about you, so could you please message me back.”

She patiently waited for his reply until she saw the screen flash.

“Thank you for messaging me. I’m somewhat new here, but I know a beautiful story when I see it. My profile says it all, I’m 25 and I’m a train conductor. I work five sometimes six days a week, but I’m off tomorrow. Before I say any more, I would like to know more about you. You seem young and, even though I wouldn’t dare do anything, I don’t think it is right for me to be in contact with a minor.”

“Oh, I’m sorry I should have told you. I’m 19, so you have nothing to worry about. I don’t think you would want to do anything with me though, because I’m fat.”

“Don’t be so hard on yourself. You seem like a genuine person and your writing is very beautiful. I never even saw a picture of you, but if I did I bet I would think you’re pretty.”

“I’m on Facebook and I have pictures on there. Are you on Facebook?”

“Yes. I am. I’m blushing right now because I’m going to ask you a dumb question: What’s your full name? All your profile name says is CuteCuddlyTabby.”

“Oh. I’m sorry. I should have told you. My name is Tabitha Howell.”

“Okay, I’m looking you up.”

“Don’t be too grossed out.”

She waited for his reply.

Finally, a message popped up on her screen “You are very beautiful. Even though you are somewhat overweight, I think it actually compliments your body. Please don’t think I am a pervert or anything for telling you that. I just admire you very much but I also revere you!”

Tabitha’s heart skipped and beat and she began to blush. She began to feel attracted to him.

She messaged him back “You’re so sweet to tell me that. You’re very cute too. There must be some lucky girl in your life.”

“Nope. There isn’t. Us railroaders have trouble getting and staying in relationships because of the hours we work. I do enjoy my job don’t get me wrong but my love life is quite lonely.”

“Oh. I see.”

“Would it be all right I friend request you on Facebook?”

“Sure. As if you had to ask.”

“Awesome. I’ll request you.”

“And I’ll confirm that request!”

After Tabitha had confirmed Cyrus’ friend request she told him “Message me on Facebook instead.”

“Will do.”

She began to study his Facebook profile and realized that he lived only fifty-five miles northeast of her. This made her slightly nervous, but also even more attracted to him. She wanted a relationship with him but also wanted to make sure he wasn’t any type of danger.

So Tabitha told him “You’re not that far away from me.”

“Wow, really? You don’t have your current location listed on here.”

“Yes. That’s for safety reasons.”

“I fully understand.”

“I trust you somehow, so I’ll tell you my hometown. It’s in Landing Station.”

“Wow, the train I work on makes a stop there almost every day that it runs.”

“Cool!”

“Sometimes we park on the siding track there and let higher priority trains pass us.”

“I want to ask you something, but I’m nervous. I’m afraid I’ll scare you off.”

“Just ask. I’ll do my best.”

“Maybe one day, you could come to the train station and visit me while we are parked in the siding. I can even have a special agent there for both of our safety.”

“You’re making me blush. What’s a special agent though?”

“A railroad cop.”

“Oh, I see.”

“So is that a yes or a no.”

“Yes, one day.”

“Could you tell me more about yourself, before we actually meet?”

“Well you know I am nineteen. I’m still in high school because I had to take a year off for medical reasons. Because of that, I still live with my parents and they can be overprotective. I attend a very strict Catholic school, but I wouldn’t go to the public school because everyone would torment me about my weight.”

“You mean you’re beautiful curviness!”

“You’re making me blush again. What about you?”

“I’m originally from Checker which is 15 miles east of where you are, but I ran away when I was 18 and wandered into the railroad yard. I almost got hit by a train, but the engineer named John Blythe took me under his wing and offered me a job. I gladly took it. He helped me buy my house too. I got it for $30 grand. The previous owner of the house was murdered right after proposing to his girlfriend. He too was an aspiring writer and had just made it big but a former coworker killed him.”

“What happened to his girlfriend?”

“Her heart burst when she saw him die.”

“That’s horrible.”

“Yes. I frequently think about it because their love for each other is inspirational to me it makes me wish I could love someone like that.”

“You can.”

“Are you talking about you and me?”

“Of course.”

“Well I work long hours and I am away from home a lot-I’ve seen that ruin the love lives of many of my buddies.”

“I don’t care; I would wait for you to have free time. You’re cute. You’re sweet. And who else would want me?” Tabitha paused but then “Do you even want me?”

“Yes. I do want you. You’re a very beautiful young lady and you write the most beautiful love stories. Your soul is also beautiful! Like I said before, I admire you but I also revere you!”

“So you’ll be mine?”

“I sure will!”

“You’re making my heart sing and dance!”

“Just as long as it will sing and dance with mine!”

“Of course it will!”

“Could I give you my phone number?”

“Sure. Would you like mine as well?”

“Most definitely.”

Tabby and Cyrus exchanged their phone numbers and continued talking.

She messaged him, “I don’t want my parents to hear me talking to you and freak out. They are very protective.”

“That’s fine. I don’t want to get on their bad side because I want things to work for us.”

“You’re so sweet.”

“And so are you! I would like to meet them to let them know that I mean no harm and I will always treat you right as long as you let me be yours!”

“Uh-oh. I forgot to take my medicine. I’ve been talking to you all night.”

“Well go take it. Your health is important.”

“I guess. That medicine is the reason why I’m so fat. It also makes me very sleepy.”

“Well your health is still important, so why don’t you go take it and we can talk tomorrow, either online or on the phone.”

“Okay. Thanks for understanding. I know you’re someone special because you don’t judge me because I have to take medicine and you think my weight compliments me.”

“I think you’re beautiful both inside and out. I just hope and pray you will put up with my crazy work schedule.”

“Of course I will now let me go take my medicine.”

“I’m going to miss you, but I hope and pray that I dream about you.”

“And I hope and pray to dream of you as well.”

Tabitha walked to the kitchen and took her Abilify with a glass of water. She was anxious because she knew she would eventually have to explain to Cyrus what she takes medicine for and was afraid that he might leave her.

She walked back to her computer and typed “I guess I will tell you goodnight.”

“And good night to you. I wish I could hug you.”

“Would you want to kiss me too?”

“Only if you would want. I don’t want to overstep my boundary.”

“You wouldn’t be overstepping because I would definitely want you to kiss me.”

“Then, yes, I would give you a long, loving kiss.”

“You make me happy!”

“You make me happy too!”

“Now I’m getting sleepy-it’s because of the medicine.”

“Then get some rest. I will too.”

“Okay, good night.”

“Good night.”

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Cyrus Braeden Meets Tabitha Howell Online-Cyrus’ Perspective

On a late Saturday evening in March Cyrus Braeden was reading stories on a writing forum. He came across a love story that caught his undivided attention. He thought it was beautiful, albeit a little graphic. He looked at the original poster’s profile and saw that her username was CuteCuddlyTabby. He figured she was someone who deeply desired to be loved. However, her age wasn’t listed on her profile. This made him hesitant to contact her in case she might be underage. The comments that other members made about these stories made him want to stand up for her. People on the forum had said things like “Lovely but very inappropriate.” “Trashy.” “Not believable.” He decided to comment on the story, just to give her hope and let her know that he appreciated her writing.

So he posted “Don’t worry about what the others tell you because I think your work is beautiful. I wish I could write at least half as well as you. Your stories bring about all kinds of feelings in me. Usually, I am able to suppress them, however, when I read your work, I can’t. But I don’t want to either. Keep it up. I look forward to your next post.”

He then continued to look at the other posts this person known as CuteCuddlyTabby made and was deeply moved by her writing. He was beginning to feel attracted to her but didn’t send her a private message in case she could have been a minor.

Cyrus was a lonely twenty-five-year-old who had just about given up on finding a relationship. He was frequently teased by coworkers for being unknown to the opposite sex. But he wanted commitment and couldn’t find someone who would stay with him because of his constantly on-call freight conductor schedule. But when he read these stories posted by this person known as CuteCuddlyTabby, he thought as if there was hope. When he read those stories, he felt as if they spoke to him and told him “everyone deserves to be loved.” He thought could maybe find love with her, provided she was of age.

Suddenly a private message appeared in his inbox. It was from CuteCuddlyTabby and read “Hi. I’m glad you enjoy my stories. No one else does. I would like to know more about you, so could you please message me back.”

Carefully he selected the words for his reply, “Thank you for messaging me. I’m somewhat new here, but I know a beautiful story when I see it. My profile says it all, I’m 25 and I’m a train conductor. I work five sometimes six days a week, but I’m off tomorrow. Before I say any more, I would like to know more about you. You seem young and, even though I wouldn’t dare do anything, I don’t think it is right for me to be in contact with a minor.”

Very quickly a new message appeared “Oh, I’m sorry I should have told you. I’m 19, so you have nothing to worry about. I don’t think you would want to do anything with me though, because I’m fat.”

So they began conversing in an online exchange of messages, “Don’t be so hard on yourself. You seem like a genuine person and your writing is very beautiful. I never even saw a picture of you, but if I did I bet I would think you’re pretty.”

“I’m on Facebook and I have pictures on there. Are you on Facebook?”

“Yes. I am. I’m blushing right now because I’m going to ask you a dumb question: What’s your full name? All your profile name says is CuteCuddlyTabby.”

“Oh. I’m sorry. I should have told you. My name is Tabitha Howell.”

“Okay, I’m looking you up.”

“Don’t be too grossed out.”

He looked at her Facebook profile, and while she was overweight she was still very beautiful. It was as if her weight complimented her appearance. Cyrus was extremely attracted to her and carefully selected the words for another message to send to her, “You are very beautiful. Even though you are somewhat overweight, I think it actually compliments your body. Please don’t think I am a pervert or anything for telling you that. I just admire you very much but I also revere you!”

Instantly Tabitha replied “You’re so sweet to tell me that. You’re very cute too. There must be some lucky girl in your life.”

Cyrus knew it was time, to be honest, so he typed “Nope. There isn’t. Us railroaders have trouble getting and staying in relationships because of the hours we work. I do enjoy my job don’t get me wrong but my love life is quite lonely.”

“Oh. I see.”

He had deeply hoped that she would somehow put up with his hectic schedule if he would just have the chance to shower her with affection and attention. He knew that he should contact her through other mediums besides the writing forum. So he asked her, “Would it be all right I friend request you on Facebook?”

“Sure. As if you had to ask.”

“Awesome. I’ll request you.”

“And I’ll confirm that request!”

After Tabitha confirmed his friend request she told him, “You’re not that far away from me.”

Cyrus was shocked but even more attracted. He realized this might be able to work. So he replied, “Wow, really? You don’t have your current location listed on here.”

“Yes. That’s for safety reasons.”

“I fully understand.”

“I trust you somehow, so I’ll tell you my hometown. It’s in Landing Station.”

“Wow, the train I work on makes a stop there almost every day that it runs.”

“Cool!”

“Sometimes we park on the siding track there and let higher priority trains pass us.”

Cyrus now wanted to meet her but also thought of her with great reverence. Carefully he typed a message to her “I want to ask you something, but I’m nervous. I’m afraid I’ll scare you off.”

“Just ask. I’ll do my best.”

He wrote “Maybe one day, you could come to the train station and visit me while we are parked in the siding. I can even have a special agent there for both of our safety.”

“You’re making me blush. What’s a special agent though?”

“A railroad cop.”

“Oh, I see.”

Saying the words “railroad cop” made Cyrus realize that Tabitha might not be some cute nineteen-year-old young lady, but an imposter. He wanted to meet her but was beginning to feel leery that she might not be whom she says she is. He then remembered her beautiful stories and his ongoing loneliness and put the thoughts out of his mind and type another message.
“So is that a yes or a no.”

“Yes, one day.”

“Could you tell me more about yourself, before we actually meet?”

Tabitha replied “Well you know I am 19. I’m still in high school because I had to take a year off for medical reasons. Because of that, I still live with my parents and they can be overprotective. I attend a very strict Catholic school, but I wouldn’t go to the public school because everyone would torment me about my weight.”

He realized she was extremely sensitive about her weight, so he decided to tell her “You mean you’re beautiful curviness!”

“You’re making me blush again. What about you?”

“I’m originally from Checker which is 15 miles east of where you are, but I ran away when I was 18 and wandered into the railroad yard. I almost got hit by a train, but the engineer named John Blythe took me under his wing and offered me a job. I gladly took it. He helped me buy my house too. I got it for $30 grand. The previous owner of the house was murdered right after proposing to his girlfriend. He too was an aspiring writer and had just made it big but a former coworker killed him.”

“What happened to his girlfriend?”

“Her heart burst when she saw him die.”

“That’s horrible.”

“Yes. I frequently think about it because their love for each other is inspirational to me it makes me wish I could love someone like that.”

“You can.”

“Are you talking about you and me?”

“Of course.”

Cyrus’ heart skipped a beat. The young lady he had been desiring also wanted him. However, he knew of the plethora of failed relationships that seemed to plague most railroaders.

He typed, “Well I work long hours and I am away from home a lot-I’ve seen that ruin the love lives of many of my buddies.”

Tabitha replied, “I don’t care; I would wait for you to have free time. You’re cute. You’re sweet. And who else would want me?” Tabitha sent another message “Do you even want me?”

Carefully Cyrus replied, “Yes. I do want you. You’re a very beautiful young lady and you write the most beautiful love stories. Your soul is also beautiful! Like I said before, I admire you but I also revere you!”

“So you’ll be mine?”

“I sure will!”

“You’re making my heart sing and dance!”

“Just as long as it will sing and dance with mine!”

“Of course it will!”

His heart eased. He had admired this young lady and then desired her, and now she made an advance at him and he accepted her. Everything was beginning to feel complete.

Boldly he asked her, “Could I give you my phone number?”

“Sure. Would you like mine as well?”

“Most definitely.”

Tabby and Cyrus exchanged their phone numbers and continued talking.

He then got a message from her saying “I don’t want my parents to hear me talking to you and freak out. They are very protective.”

“That’s fine. I don’t want to get on their bad side because I want things to work for us.”

“You’re so sweet.”

“And so are you! I would like to meet them to let them know that I mean no harm and I will always treat you right as long as you let me be yours!”

There was a quiet, but then Cyrus got a message, “Uh-oh. I forgot to take my medicine. I’ve been talking to you all night.”

Out of concern for her, he said. “Well go take it. Your health is important.”

“I guess. That medicine is the reason why I’m so fat. It also makes me very sleepy.”

Cyrus thought of all his foamer friends who took medication and how it disqualified them from obtaining railroad jobs for those very reasons. Still, he knew what some of those foamers were like without medication and sent Tabitha another message.

“Well your health is still important, so why don’t you go take it and we can talk tomorrow, either online or on the phone.”

“Okay. Thanks for understanding. I know you’re someone special because you don’t judge me because I have to take medicine and you think my weight compliments me.”

“I think you’re beautiful both inside and out. I just hope and pray you will put up with my crazy work schedule.”

“Of course I will now let me go take my medicine.”

“I’m going to miss you, but I hope and pray that I dream about you.”

“And I hope and pray to dream of you as well.”

There was a brief silence, but then he got a message, “I guess I will tell you goodnight.”

“And good night to you. I wish I could hug you.”

“Would you want to kiss me too?”

“Only if you would want. I don’t want to overstep my boundary.”

“You wouldn’t be overstepping because I would definitely want you to kiss me.”

“Then, yes, I would give you a long, loving kiss.”

“You make me happy!”

“You make me happy too!”

“Now I’m getting sleepy-it’s because of the medicine.”

“Then get some rest. I will too.”

“Okay, good night.”

“Good night.”

Cyrus too went to bed feeling happier than he had been in a long time.

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ASDF Movie Questions and Speculations

Since about 2011, I have been a fan of the ASDF Movies.

I had seen some kids watching them and when I saw the “I Like Trains Kid” character, I could only think to myself and eventually be public about it, “No fair, I liked trains before it was cool to even like trains.”

I even commented that on YouTube.

Of course, then someone called me a “hipster.”

Anyway, I could still watch these ASDF Movies over and over again and laugh myself silly.

At some point in 2014, someone whom I will refer to as my “bestest buddy” and myself wrote down most of these questions and speculations we came up with about some of the characters in the said cartoon.

Here they are without further ado:

Desmond the Moon Bear:
He was sent him to the moon because he was very smart and knew how to speak English. Since he spoke English, he was launched into space by the USA and not the USSR/CCCP. His memories of being in the rockets were probably wiped out somehow.

The Girl Who Wanted to go to the Moon:
We thought she would miss the moon and/or other planets but went into the sun and burned up. She might not have made it through Earth’s atmosphere and fell back down. Then we wondered if the moon talked to her like he talked to the couple on the hill when he wanted them to kiss. This could be why she and Desmond never met. Also, when she was leaving the earth did he talk to her like he told goodbye to the guy who blew his brains out?

Stegosaurus and The Mine Turtle:
How did the stegosaurs learn how to speak English to the guy who traveled back in time? How does the stegosaurus step on the mine turtle and survive?

The I Like Trains Kid (my personal favorite):
Does the train just hurt whom the I Like Trains Kid wants to hit or does it hurt everyone nearby? Does he have some kind of power to guide the train to his target? Does he get hit? In one scene he does get it, or at least it looks like it. Maybe it is because he had no target that time. If only I myself had the power to summon a train simply by saying, “I Like Trains.” Of course, I wouldn’t use the train as a weapon, unless my life or the life of someone whom I care about was in danger.

The Die Potato: When the potato was about to be smashed but his assailant was rolled over by the train; was the potato also smashed by the train? Who taught the potato how to handle a firearm?

The Boy that Turned into a Pie:
Maybe he baked a pie and hid. Maybe he turned into the pie, by baking himself, but then the pie might taste like steak. How would he have turned into a perfectly shaped pie, like the pie flavored pie? Could the baby on fire be trying to bake into a pie by his mother, since she wanted more jewelry? Maybe she wanted to have a bake sale?

Child Arrested for Doing Homework:
Maybe this takes place in a dystopian society where any types of learning are forbidden. Maybe there was a free-thinking teacher who assigned the student to read some forbidden book and do a report on it, hence that it the homework the child was arrested for.

That’s all I have for the moment.

Hopefully, in the not to distant future, I can further elaborate on this.

Also, I am willing to accept input on your thoughts if you yourself also watch ASDF Movies…