Sunday, August 30, 2009

Psalms 5

-To the chief Musician upon Nehiloth, A Psalm of David.- Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.

But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple. Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face. For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue. Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Model Power N scale FA-2 "dummy" in Santa Fe colors, circa 1977...

...only it ain't no dummy. Found at a thrift store today for $1, the box is indeed marked as an unpowered locomotive, but it was very clearly a powered unit if one only looked at it from underneath.


I will loose no sleep tonight though...anyone familiar with Model Power knows that they are the Tyco of N scale modeling---and that would be an insult to Tyco. Their mechanisms were horrendously cheesy with their pathetic open frame motors, mounted on flexible sub-frames that are hooked up to gear drives with mechanical tolerances rivaling those of stone age tools. The fingernails to chalkboard sound as it's running would send the lead singer for Metallica screaming out of the room.

---But---it is, after all, painted in the classic Santa Fe "War bonnet" scheme and a model of one of the classier F units of the day---an Alco to boot---...and was only a buck, which is like twelve cents in 1977 money.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday's Word...

...the Lord reward him according to his works...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Great Planes PT-40 MKII "The Perfect Trainer"...

I must have this Oliver Twist "Please sir, may I have some more?" look about my face. This is the third complete R/C airplane kit I've been given...the second in 2 months...the last two by retirees who'd like to see me assemble them...sigh...



The second kit is a Coverite "Black Baron Special". I sent the first kit given to me some years back on down the road to another modeler. At best, I'll likely assemble and finish them for the satisfaction of said retirees, then hang them from the ceiling. I really have no means to power or equip them properly and I certainly have no desire to see them careening to the ground at 120+ MPH after all that.


Monday, August 24, 2009

On one's mortality...

I received an N scale three bay hopper lettered for the B&O from the estate of a modeler who passed away recently.


It never escapes me in this hobby that we truly are like a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow, leaving all our work to the next generation of modelers by way of yard sales, auctions and inheritances. There it will be appreciated as it is or painted over and added to a layout full of other treasures, where it will quickly disappear into anonymity. Who can tell if my Ambroid Russell Plow didn't grace Bill McClannahan's layout...or Linn Westcott's?...John Allen's?...Frank Ellison's? (Stop it...your blank stare is making me feel older than my years.) That most of those names are no longer recognized in modeling circles speaks volumes about making our mark on this world, their layouts and work in the hobby having long been tossed into the dust bin of history.

Ours is an odd little hobby that can consume so much in time and resources if we're not careful, the ultimate cost being relationships with one's family and God. Never forget that your work as a modeler is less than one generation away from being a forgotten box lot of train stuff at the local thrift store.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Psalms 90

--A Prayer of Moses the man of God.--Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.

Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants. O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

School starts Monday...

...and the countdown to Fall begins.

I miss snow, I really do...


Friday, August 21, 2009

MTH Gauge One 4-8-8-4 "Big Boys" in action...

...side-by-side with an MTH 4-6-6-4 "Challenger".

Until now, I despised the tinny bleats that pass for sound in models. My first introduction was to a bell mounted in a quad of E units at the club that was left clanging for well over a half hour as it idled in the yard---while its owner ducked out for coffee. I just know that if a rock or brick were handy at the moment, I surely would have answered the primal urge to smash them to pieces.

Mike's Train house seems to have addressed the tinny sound that comes from a lack of proper bass response in the smaller scales...

...however, at $3500 US, I'll enjoy watching someone else's in action...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday's Word, Psalm 31...

---To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David---In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me. Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength. Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.

I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD. I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities; And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.

Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly. For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed. I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me. I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel. For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.

But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God. My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies' sake. Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave. Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city. For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.

O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 that they are without excuse...

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.---(Romans 1:18-23)

In light of the truth of the Gospel...that the vast majority of those we meet are lost and without hope for eternity, it's way too easy to freak out over something that appears so trivial as the time and money spent on model trains---even when one spends very little of each on the hobby.

" that they are without excuse..." is very one goes screaming off into eternity by accident. Somehow, someway, God has put the evidence of the full Gospel of God in Christ in the hearts of even the most distant and far fetched indigenous aborigine, and no cell phone carrying 21st century technophile will be able to point an accusing finger at the throne and sob, "Unfair".

Still, those of us who are redeemed must answer the call to "Go ye therefore into all the world...", sometimes slogging through the bogs of lethargy and apathy brought on by the sheer size of the task at hand, and at the very late hour that it truly is, wondering if it matters anymore...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tyco Daredevil Jump race set with Nite Glow, Part II...

Spent a pleasant afternoon surrounded by kids on a sugar high that was obtained at my expense through my daughter's birthday party...sigh...

After that I cleaned and tweeked the elements of this Tyco race set that I picked up some time back. Everything works properly except for one controller, an item easily picked up online. My son is looking forward to driving his dad into the rails on this one. Though Tyco, it's still way better than the battery powered race set he has.

There is a certain air of nostalgia about it, having longed for one of these as a kid, the glitzy ads during Saturday morning cartoons singing their siren song invoking the spirits of avarice and malcontent in this young mind. I've spared my children the Saturday cartoons, leaving them easily delighted by what things God has blessed us with and all in a world materialistically light years beyond what I grew up in.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Zac's Tractors 25,000th visitor contest...

...who doesn't have room for a 1:64 scale John Deere 9630T. I'm in...


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Did He?


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sew E-Z portable battery operated sewing machine...

...circa 1945-1949, US Zone, Berlin, Germany. Its base measures 7 7/8"l x 4 3/8"w x 1 1/2"h and runs on two "D" cell batteries.

My beloved and I found it at a local flea market and, while not normally given to frivolous purchases, thought it too unique a piece to pass up for the price. Originally we thought it was a toy miniature but came to find it was built to be used as a quick stitcher that was compact and powerful for the adult market of its time. It came with its instruction sheet and the original box.


(shown here with rear cover removed)



(a cleaning and a couple of drops of oil later...)"

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Isaiah 41:8-29


But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel. When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together: That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.

Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together. Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you. I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come: from the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name: and he shall come upon princes as upon morter, and as the potter treadeth clay.

Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say, He is righteous? yea, there is none that sheweth, yea, there is none that declareth, yea, there is none that heareth your words. The first shall say to Zion, Behold, behold them: and I will give to Jerusalem one that bringeth good tidings. For I beheld, and there was no man; even among them, and there was no counsellor, that, when I asked of them, could answer a word. Behold, they are all vanity; their works are nothing: their molten images are wind and confusion.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Playing Mantis 1:48 scale Grandpa Munster's "Dragula"... explanation needed for those 40 and over. The original car debuted on the Munster's TV show in 1965 in the episode "Hot Rod Herman". In 1966, it was used in the movie "Munster Go Home".

Yeah...I just knew you needed to know that...



Friday, August 7, 2009

Of First Importance...

“That Christ should love man when he was most unlovely, that man’s extreme misery should but inflame Christ’s love and mercy, this melts the believing soul.

That Christ should leave the eternal bosom of his Father; that he that was equal with God should come in the form of a servant; that he that was clothed with glory, and born a king, should be wrapped in rags; that he that the heaven of heavens could not contain should be cradled in a manger; that from his cradle to his cross, his whole life should be a life of sorrows and sufferings; that the Judge of all flesh should be condemned; that the Lord of life should be put to death; that he that was his Father’s joy should in anguish of spirit cry out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”; that that head that was crowned with honour should be crowned with thorns; that those eyes that were as a flame of fire, that were dearer than the sun, should be closed up by the darkness of death; that those ears which were wont to hear nothing but hallelujahs should hear nothing but blasphemies; that that face that was white and ruddy should be spit upon by the Jews; that that tongue that spake as never man spake, yea, as never angel spake, should be accused of blasphemy; that those hands which swayed both a golden sceptre and a iron rod, and those feet that were as fine brass should be nailed to the cross; and all this for man’s transgression, for man’s rebellion: Oh! the sight of these things, the believing of these things, the acting of faith on these things, makes a gracious soul to break and bleed, to sigh and groan, to mourn and lament.”
—Thomas Brooks, Heaven on Earth

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wednesday's Word, Psalm 28..

--A Psalm of David.-- Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit. Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.

Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts. Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert. Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.

Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed. Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tyco Daredevil Jump race set with Nite Glow...

...picked up at a local thrift store sans the two '79 Pontiac Firebird Trans Ams with headlights...sigh... But hey, now my son and I can race each other, his interest especially peaked with the addition of Batman's "Tumbler"*** and a Gotham City PD cruiser to race around the track. It also had all the track, guard rails, pillars, controllers, wall wart and 5 of the 6 barrels for the jump. With only one nicked connector, that's not bad for a 30 year old set.


I was disappointed in the phony wheels on the Tumbler, especially when I realized they went to great lengths to duplicate the unique front wheel arrangement. They completely redesigned the chassis for this car, it would have been no mean step to add some knobby weenies to it, instead of those cheesie shrouds. The lack of working flashers on the cruiser, in a day when McDonald's Kid's Meal toys come with more sophisticated circuitry, makes for another noticeable shortcoming. Alas, my boy is smitten, I'll just have to figure out a way to wire in 6 volts of power as these are also made for battery powered sets.

***No, my son has not and will not see any of the Batman movies, except for "Batman, The Movie" from 1966. He has however, inherited his father's enjoyment of plausible science fiction, the Tumbler being quite a piece of work in that regard.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Isaiah 54

Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD. Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.

For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.

O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children. In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.

Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

"The HO Model Railroading Handbook" by Robert Schleicher

Originally published as the "Tyco Model Railroad Manual" in 1979, it was a Paperback Swap find that has been a great read. All the basics are there except for DCC, and it brings the hobby back to what it is---a hobby.

Too much of what is written today turns model trains into an obsession that can easily rob attention and time from family and friends. I look at all these basement empires and cannot but ponder...not the monetary costs...but how much was and has been given up in relationships with people and with God. In the Grand Play of Eternity, it just isn't that important that the Pennsy never used that shade of black or that no manufacturer has put out a model of a GE U18B.