Thursday, December 31, 2009

May you and yours have a blessed and happy new year in Christ... for me and my house, a quiet one (as quiet as 5 kids will allow anyway).

My desire for the coming year is to continue to use modeling as a vehicle to propagate the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice on the Cross, on behalf of a hopelessly lost humanity, through regular posting of Scripture, personal testimonies and trusted links to other sound teachers and brethren.

Blessings, grace and peace, Br'er Shaygetz


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

From Larry Thompson's blog...

...December 22, 2009...

O Holy Night, or abolitionist theme song?

This song is a standard for Christmas Eve church services and programs. It is an old Christmas standard, plus lends itself to dramatic presentation.

However, like many songs we sing, including some in our hymnals, the words we know to this song are not the original words.

The original text to this song, or “carol” if you prefer, was written in French as a poem in 1847 by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure. It was titled “Mi­nuit, chré­tiens, c’est l’heure so­len­nelle”. Here are the lyrics, translated into English.

Midnight, Christians, it's the solemn hour,
When God-man descended to us
To erase the stain of original sin

And to end the wrath of His Father.
The entire world thrills with hope
On this night that gives it a Savior.

People kneel down, wait for your deliverance.
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!

The Redeemer has overcome every obstacle:
The Earth is free, and Heaven is open.
He sees a brother where there was only a slave,

Love unites those that iron had chained.
Who will tell Him of our gratitude,
It's for all of us that He is born,
That He suffers and dies.

People stand up! Sing of your deliverance,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer!

These words are Biblical. (Although my Arminian brothers might squirm a bit.) They deal with incarnation, original sin, God’s wrath on sin removed by the Savior, humility before God, worship and celebration of salvation.

But, you say, I never heard these words! That is true, because someone changed them before you heard them.

That someone was John Sullivan Dwight, an American Transcendentalist , Unitarian and abolitionist.

A Unitarian does not believe in the deity of Christ. He believes Jesus was a prophet and good man, but not God or God’s son.

The Transcendentalists came out of Unitarianism, stressing the inner essence of man as capable of finding and celebrating truth and beauty and unity with all mankind. (It reminds me of my hippy friends in the ‘60s and ‘70s, all carrying around their paperback copies of Walden Pond.)

In short, Dwight was not a Christian, not a Trinitarian and not a believer in Jesus as savior in the orthodox sense. Therefore, he did not translate the lyrics, but changed them and adapted the thought to his philosophy.

Given Dwight’s religion and philosophy, you can see why he changed the reference from ending God’s wrath on original sin to “the soul felt its worth”. In other words, Jesus showed us our worth, rather than our need for salvation. This may be why this song is so popular today, it says Jesus came to raise my self esteem.

Much of the English lyrics are abolitionist. Though the original had a reference to slave and brother, it has greater emphasis in Dwight’s version.

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.

There is nothing about atonement, or turning away the wrath of God, but in universal brotherhood and the defeat of slavery. At least it does not tell me I should “fall in love with Jesus”.

Wednesday's Word, Acts 2:36-42...

Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Monday, December 28, 2009

One of the more unique trainsets...

...that I've ever seen.


Lionel HO scale Alco FA in American Freedom Trains colors...

...bringing my "Christmas Train Mondays" to a close for this holiday season.

It's a Frankenstein creation, using a shell from one friend, a mechanism from another and repaired with the technical help from a third. The paint has some minor dings, many were removed by carefully scraping the blemish with an Xacto knife until the white paint came through.

A fine runner, it will pull my "Spirit of '76" themed train for many years to come...


I do have two of the five original Lionel Freedom train cars, but they don't take too kindly to 14" radius curves...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Psalms 116

I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.

The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.

Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.

I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living. I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted: I said in my haste, All men are liars. What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds. I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people, In the courts of the LORD'S house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem.

Praise ye the LORD.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Original Ad Saturdays...

Varney Li'l Joe 0-4-0 Docksider ad, back cover, Model Railroader magazine, November 1957...


...could you imagine the public reaction to a similar ad posing a product on a pack of Luckies today?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

THIS is the gift...

...that came to us 2,000 years ago, wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger...

For he (God) hath made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Blessings, grace and peace to you and yours this Christmas season, Br'er Shaygetz.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies....

...Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed;...Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. (Proverbs 31:10, 25-26, 28-31)

We've been in a family emergency these last 5 days. We drove 5 hours to get my wife to her grandmother's bedside, in time for her to see her in the hospital Saturday night. She was also able to be at her bedside when her grandmother passed away early Sunday morning.

Tuesday was to find me driving back home in time to pickup my mother at the airport. She was looking forward to seeing grandchildren she hadn't seen in 7 years. However, just a couple hours before she was to get on the plane, my sister found that she had passed away in her sleep.

There is a sad joy over the house right now, but we need not console ourselves with empty words and platitudes. Both women served their Lord and Saviour well, and it is with great confidence that we can say that they really are in a better place and that in God's appointed time we shall be together again.

May you and yours have a blessed and safe holiday, Br'er Shaygetz

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wherefore comfort one another with THESE words....

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Original Ad Saturdays...

IHC's Corkey's Carnival Caravan, December 1994...







Known as the "Birthday Cake Train" by my son ever since I got it, it's been a Christmas favorite ever year since. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for a "Spider" car (a reference to the ride, not the arachnid) to complete the train.

You'll notice that the carousel car is equipped with one of my Masonite track cleaner pads. The wheelsets have also been replaced with Intermountain 33" wheels, a drop-in fit.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

...still printing calenders..., back to my store of unposted Photobucket pictures...


...a TYCO Rock Island 250 ton crane, a "Thank you" gift from a fellow modeler.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday's Word, Mat 2:1-23...

...Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life. And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's calender printing time again...

...leaving me with a computer that has no picture files or editing capabilities that I'm familiar I'll draw from my Photobucket account and post pictures of my Road Signature 1:18 scale '67 Camaro, a resident castoff for a minor body flaw that buffed out with some 1:1 scale Turtle Wax...




Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas trains in 1920...

...from a Keen Christmas 1920 at image is exceptionally large at the link, go there to check out the detail and work that went into this particular garden...


---picture edited for size by me for posting...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Luke 2:21-39

...And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Shirt card board models...

Years ago when I was a child, our Christmas garden featured a building my father had constructed using cardboard, balsa and kitty litter as a stone facade. Shortly after I got married, my beloved and I continued with that low budget idea on our garden...I being the builder, she following with paint...


...most were done with a heavy card that I was given a box of, using lighter gauges of shirt box cardboard and the wooden sticks from large kitchen matches. My beloved would paint them with inexpensive craft paints. The windows were fitted with hand drawn and colored decor on typewriter paper.

"Wizards in Winter"...Frisco Christmas lights... of the better jobs of synchronizing lights I've seen yet...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The end of International Hobby Corporation...

...has apparently come. They took up where AHM left off, putting out a nice quality product for the introductory level hobbyist---certainly better than TYCO, Bachmann and Life-Like low end trains were. Their steam locomotive models were their best effort, even when they were built by Mehano rather than Rivarossi...



...their chuffing steam sound car made for perfect vengeance against those annoying QSI sound equipped locos I put up with at the club...


...and who around at the time can forget Corkey's Carnival Caravan...


That C-liner runs quite well and the train's pastel colors have earned it the name "Birthday Cake train" from my son...

As it was put by someone over at another forum... "Thanks for the effort, IHC. It was fun while it lasted."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wednesday's Word, Luke 1:56, Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 2:1-20...

...And Mary abode with her (Elizabeth) about three months, and returned to her own house... (Luke 1:56)

...Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS...
(Matthew 1:18-25)

...And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them...
(Luke 2:1-20)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tour of the A.C. Gilbert American Flyer factory...

Can you imagine pulling down a paycheck to bench test trains? And A.C. Gilbert had 15 people doing that at one time. It's interesting to note that, until the early 1970s, 90% of the toys sold in the United States were made here. Now, less than 10% of the toys sold in America are produced here.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas trains in history...

I grew up with Christmas gardens, my beloved had never heard of such a thing 'til our first Christmas as husband and wife, 1991...




This one was built onto a Life-Like expandable styrofoam over and under layout we had purchased at an auction for $5, the trolley was a AHM product, the cars by Tootsie Toy and Hot Wheels and the buildings we did from shirt cardboard and acrylic paints.

Seems like a thousand years ago...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Luke 1:57-79

...Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.

And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all.

And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be!

And the hand of the Lord was with him. And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Original Ad Saturdays...

Kadee Micro-Trains ad, Model Railroader magazine April, 1977...


It irked me back then that N scalers had a manufacturer who could mount working doors on their rolling stock without using giant claws or oversized hinges and latches. Kadee also managed to make finer stirrups and brake wheels as well and the list of cars, road names and numbers they've cranked out over the years is impressive. The collector market is quite rabid and can command $3000-6000 per car for the right ones...just keep the boxes...

Thursday, December 3, 2009 the eyes of the beholder...

Picked these Kadee N scale CP and CNR boxcars up at the swap meet I've referred to for next to nothing. The reason they were priced so low was because "Canadian stuff don't do too good down south here, you know?".

I can't imagine letting something like Canadian markings get between me and a good deal...after all, I like Canadians, made good friends with a bunch of 'em in Bible College. They taught me how to use a serviette, call my M&Ms "Smarties" and eat my Mac-n-cheese with ketchup and my fries with mayonnaise. Heck, we even almost speak the same English, eh?



The black CS Models CP hopper and the Kadee 50' CN plug door car were both found at the same meet...ten cent box lot rejects that only needed one truck each. I split a pair of Kadee medium shank roller bearing trucks between the two, making the Rapido coupler equipped hopper a transition car between the Kadee equipped car fleet and my Rapido equipped older motive power.

---But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. (1 Corinthians 1:27-29)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday's Word, Luke 1:26-56...

...And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

AHM HO scale Cargill Flex-flo hopper car...

One of the things I miss most about AHM was its willingness to put out nicely detailed models of rare, obscure or unusual cars at a price that was easily affordable, something sadly lacking in the marketplace today. They well lived up to their motto; "Fidelity, Economy, Quality".

This is their model 5427-F, picked up at a swap meet last week...


1909 San Francisco cable car "dash cam" footage...


---3 years after the Great Earthquake...

---3 years before Titanic...

---9 years before World War I...

---6 years after the Wright brothers flew...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Athearn HO scale North Pole Express 40' boxcar...

Picked up at last weekend's swap meet...the graphics are up to Athearn's usual standard of excellence and unusual for a car of this type. I'll be putting a Kadee at one end and a horn-hook at the other so that it can be used as a transition car...most of my better running locomotives having already been converted to knuckle type couplers long ago.


Christmas trains and Dean Martin...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Luke 1:5-25...

There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.

And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.

And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless. And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Original Ad Saturdays...

...Model Railroader magazine, December 1966...


Alas, there really was a day when TYCO was a contender...sigh...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Night Christmas Lights...

Anson 1:18 scale 1932 Cadillac Sport Phaeton...

Father Bill was a retired parish priest who lived on my property. He didn't start out as a priest, but became one in his 40s after being a lay minister in the Catholic Church. Before that, he served in the Army as a tanker and did a stint in Korea during the Korean Conflict.

He collected antique firearms and had a small collection of diecast cars which become our point of commonality. He had a car in particular that caught my eye, this Anson Cadillac, a model of a car, not designed in the halls of Congress, but by folks who knew what "Sweet Ride" meant. While no Franklin Mint special, it is an attractive model, even with its missing side wind deflectors and hood ornament.

I mentioned to him that I had a blog and would like to take and post pictures of it someday, an idea he seemed to enjoy. Sadly, that day did not come until I found myself assisting the people settling his estate, as he had passed away earlier this month. It now is a part of my collection of cars and posted in his memory...




Thursday, November 26, 2009

"Thank you for the fleas..."

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."  -1Thess 5:18

It's simple to thank God when He does miracles and answers prayers just the way we want them answered. It's also pretty easy to thank Him when we can look around and see many blessings in our lives. When our situation seems awful, though, and we're struggling through tragedy or just plain hard times, it can seem hard to believe that God is really there taking care of things; it can be hard to say, "I know You love me. Thank you for what You are doing even now."

Jobless rates in 29 US states rose last month, with Michigan suffering the worst rate at 15.1 percent and Nevada and Rhode Island close behind at 13 and 12.9 percent respectively. In California alone, payrolls have dropped by 687,700 workers in just the past year. It's a very difficult time for a lot of people across America and around the world, and giving thanks to God may be the last thing in the minds of those who don't know how they're going to pay their electric bill or put gas in the car.

Yet, it's good to know that the economy does not have God worried. His arms are not tied. The One who looks after the sparrows is fully capable of looking after each one of us as well, and even the rotten things that happen in our lives are in His hands. Jesus says, in Luke 12:7, "But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows."

Jesus never promised us gardens of roses or even daisies in this life. He did promise he would never leave or forsake us (Heb 13:5).

Thank You For The Fleas:

In her book The Hiding Place, Corrie Ten Boom tells of a time she discovered that God was working even in the most horrific circumstances.

Corrie and her sister Betsie had been imprisoned by the Nazis for hiding Jews behind the wall of their Holland home, and Nazi prison conditions pretty well unbearable.

Corrie writes:

"Barracks 8 was in the quarantine compound. Next to us--perhaps as a deliberate warning to newcomers--were located the punishment barracks. From there, all day long and often into the night, came the sounds of hell itself. They were not the sounds of anger, or of any human emotion, but of a cruelty altogether detached: blows landing in regular rhythm, screams keeping pace. We would stand in our ten-deep ranks with our hands trembling at our sides, longing to jam them against our ears, to make the sounds stop.

"It grew harder and harder. Even within these four walls there was too much misery, too much seemingly pointless suffering. Every day something else failed to make sense, something else grew too heavy."

Yet, in the midst of the suffering, the women prisoners around Corrie and Betsie found comfort in the little Bible studies they held in the barracks. Corrie writes they gathered around the Bible "like waifs clustered around a blazing fire…The blacker the night around us grew, the brighter and truer and more beautiful burned the Word of God."

When they were moved to Barracks 28, Corrie was horrified by the fact that their reeking, straw-bed platforms swarmed with fleas. How could they live in such a place?

It was Betsie who discovered God's answer:

"'"Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus." That's it, Corrie! That's His answer. "Give thanks in all circumstances!" That's what we can do. We can start right now to thank God for every single thing about this new barracks!'

"I stared at her; then around me at the dark, foul-aired room…"

They thanked God for the fact they were together. They thanked God they had a Bible. They even thanked God for the horrible crowds of prisoners, that more people would be able to hear God's Word. And then, Betsie thanked God for the fleas.

"The fleas! This was too much. 'Betsie, there's no way even God can make me grateful for a flea.'

"'"Give thanks in all circumstances,"' she quoted. 'It doesn't say, "in pleasant circumstances."  Fleas are part of this place where God has put us.'

"And so we stood between tiers of bunks and gave thanks for fleas. But this time I was sure Betsie was wrong."

It turned out that Betsie was not wrong; the fleas were a nuisance, but a blessing after all. The women were able to have Bible studies in the barracks with a great deal of freedom, never bothered by supervisors coming in and harassing them. They finally discovered that it was the fleas that kept those supervisors out.

Through those fleas, God protected the women from abuse and harassment.  Dozens of desperate women were free to hear the comforting, hope-giving Word of God.  Through those fleas, God protected the women from much worse things and made sure they had their deepest, truest needs met. 

We all have "fleas" in our lives. We all have those things that we can see no use for, things that are obviously horrible, unpleasant, painful things that we want gone. No life is free of "fleas", but if Corrie and Betsie can be our examples, God can use even these nasty insects for our protection and blessing. As we celebrate Thanksgiving Day, lets thank God for His constant care and provision, and for His hidden blessings that come in ways we can easily overlook.

---K-House eNews

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

May you all have a blessed and safe holiday...

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. (Ephesians 5:15-21)

George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation...

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

For my International readers, may you have a blessed and safe journey for the remainder of this week.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bachmann HO scale Union Pacific 2-8-2 Mikado...

I owned one of these some time back and really wished I hadn't sold it. It has a delightfully chunky, all business look with its wide Wooten firebox, Elesco feedwater heater high on the nose (neither of which is a UP feature BTW) and piping detail that would shame brass locomotive manufacturers not too long ago. It appears to me that they did some modifications to their 2-8-0 mechanism from the 1970s and applied a trailing truck as it looks like it was just stuck in there. The firebox is short enough to do without but that's just another part of its appeal to me.

Sometime during their production, Bachmann improved the drive on them because, unlike my first example, this one is a smooth, powerful and quiet runner with a billowing smoke feature. Its original owner mounted Kadee couplers to it---and---failed to tell me about the broken clips for the tender trucks...sigh...but it was inexpensive enough that I would have picked it up anyway. I purchased it, along with several other low priced goodies I'll be posting later, at a swap meet this past weekend...


Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas trains at Aventura Mall, Aventura, Florida...

...and a custom made Christmas train made by Brian over at the Tyco Forum running at the Southern Christmas Show in Charlotte NC on the Metrolina Model Railroad club's portable layout...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Exodus 12:2-14

I believe and teach that the first Thanksgiving as celebrated by the Pilgrims was America's Passover. And so I present to you the first Passover of all...

This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.

Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD'S passover.

For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Original Ad Saturdays...

In 1977, Model Railroader magazine introduced Kalmbach Publishing's newest spokesman, Ralph...


Ralph was a rivet counter.

Ralph was a pain in the hinder parts.

Ralph could always tell you where you could have paid less for your latest loco.

Ralph didn't have his own model railroad...

Ralph had to go Photobucket

It's my understanding Ralph is one of the staffers hammering out our health care bill.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Night Christmas Lights...

...and some music...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tyco/Athearn Hi-Railer kitbash... of my first from about 18 years ago. Its base is a frame, front wheels and stake body from a very cheaply made toy truck of no known make. Can you believe the stake bed was chrome plated!? I added the cab of an old Tyco truck and the rear axles off of an Athearn 45' trailer. Assorted kibbles and bits were used for the remainder of the details including the wheels off of a discarded N scale car...



It now graces the MOW shed on the Gulf Coast and Western Railroad.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday's Word, Psalm 94...

O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself. Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud. LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph? How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?

They break in pieces thy people, O LORD, and afflict thine heritage. They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless. Yet they say, The LORD shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.

Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see? He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know? The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.

Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law; That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked. For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance. But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it.

Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity? Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up. In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.

Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law? They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood. But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge. And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the LORD our God shall cut them off.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Christmas 2008, Marx toy train setup...

Br'er Shaygetz's annual Christmas track cleaning post...

It's that time of year again so I thought I'd dig up one of my most requested "How tos"...

Because THE TREE makes for about an 8' tunnel that's a bear to keep the track clean in, I brought back an old favorite for track cleaning. Using Masonite, I cut myself pads 1 3/8" x 2 1/2" in size. I laid out a center line at 11/16" lengthwise and cross lines at 3/8", then epoxied two 1 1/4" drywall nails centered on the cross lines. While hardening, I drilled two 1/8" holes centered into the bottom of my car 1 3/4" apart. I then set the pad lengthwise on the rails, placed the car over the nails. That's it, there are no fasteners as the pad needs to freely travel up and down. Leave it in your regular consist and you'll never have a problem with dirty rails or wheels thru the holiday. It's also easily modified for Thomas' Clarabelle coach by shortening your measurements. The second pic shows just how much dirt "clean" track gives up after 20 laps.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

For rare tinplate, I came up with the following to avoid drilling into a family heirloom or pricey collector's item. Using the same basic pad, I added a flexible plastic arm attached by sandwich gluing the pad to the arm with cardboard. I added a small lead weight to the end of the pad away from the arm. Then, at the other end, I sandwich glued two powerful magnets copped from those blinky pins sold at Wal-Mart (they come two to a pin) and placed another set on the car floor. Heirloom is now safe and track now gets cleaned as evidenced by the pad after ten laps.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The final pics show them in action. The train's wheels now stay clean and I no longer have to clean the rails themselves on a daily basis as I had to before.

Some may wish to color them on the sides and tops with black magic marker to hide them.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ephesians 1:2-23

Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Original Ad Saturdays...

...Model Railroader magazine, October 1974.

Few things peaked my interest (or my avarice) in the ninth grade more than those classic PFM ads on the back of most MR magazines throughout the '60s, '70s and early '80s. And nothing turned my clock more than brass shays...

...except maybe a certain girl in Ms. Welker's Home Ec class...sigh...


BTW...I went to my 10th Reunion and saw that certain girl---there are NO regrets.

Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this. (Ecclesiastes 7:10)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"How About Railway Modeling" by John Craven

I covet older modeling publications for the less brand oriented level of modeling offered. This one is especially interesting in that it comes from the UK and is written on a more down-to-earth, conversational level. British modelers usually have much less available space to use and so the modeling tends to be more finely detailed and exacting---no room filling Plywood Pacific Railroads to consume large quantities of brain space, money and time.


Ahhh...the '70s were indeed a weird time for hair...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day 2009...

Thankfully, the closest I ever came to deploying was Grenada in 1983. Being the only military police unit trained in POW ops (and a reserve unit at that, go figure), we were 72 hours away from going to the party before another unit was fingered for the job.

My reasons for joining were purely mercenary, a $3,000 signing bonus being a nice incentive in the economic wasteland known as the Carter Administration. My scariest moment happened early on in my budding career. It was the height of the Iran hostage crisis and Reagan was just elected president while I was in basic training at Fort McClellan, Alabama.

We had just lined up for breakfast after PT when one of the girls in my training unit came out of the CO's office sobbing her eyes out. The senior drill said something to the effect of, "Private So-and-so has something to tell you all."

"Aw ****," I thought, in my best pre-salvation vocabulary, "...we're off to ******* war." You could feel the same tension course through the rest of the unit as well.

As Private So-and-so took front and center, she sobbed out, "Somebody shot John Lennon last night."

With all due respect to Mr. John "Imagine all the people/more popular than Jesus Christ" Lennon, the collective "What the..." that went through my unit, followed by the myriad ways we were disemboweling our little Private Benjamin in our minds for putting us through the wringer for that bit of info, was quite palpable.

For the first 6 and a half years of my hitch, I was the perfect picture of the south end of a north bound horse. The transformation wrought in me after one night alone in my tent with God did not go unnoticed by my superiors wasn't long after that that I was made lay chaplain in my unit under Chaplain Lee, where I finished out the remainder of my 9 years as company RTO. In the end, I finished that race as it should be done in Christ, with no regrets and a healthy respect for those who take it on full time.

To all our vets, big and small, thank you...


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tropical storms and a back injury...

...have made this an interesting week already. I pray this finds you and yours well in the Lord and cradled in His love and peace.

Blessings, Br'er Shaygetz

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments. (Habakkuk 3:17-19)


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Habakkuk 1:1-5

The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see.

O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.

Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Original Ad Saturdays...

Model Railroader magazine, August 1965...