Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday's Word, John 1:1-5

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Model Power/Mantua Classics HO scale Southern Pacific 2-6-6-2 Mallet, Part 2...

The model is finished...welll...mostly, there's some wiring to clean up---it was set up for DCC and I'm an old school DC powered modeler---and the boiler sits slightly to the left coming out of a curve. That doesn't affect its operation but it is a minor cosmetic issue that I figure may be related to the fall it took. The frame isn't bent or anything like that, it swings to and fro just fine, it just likes to settle just to the left coming out of a curve. The forward engine is only held in place by a drawbar between it and the rear engine, and a flexible tube between the front and rear gear boxes. Therefore, the tube itself could be the culprit as it is not a flexible as it could be. I have a line into NorthWest Short Line for replacement universals that should straighten this out.

I successfully reseated the loose driver by cleaning the axle and hole with denatured alcohol, then scoring the surfaces with an Xacto knife to give it some tooth for the JB Weld to grab. If you do this, make sure you understand that the quartering of the driver is critical...a variation of more than a degree or two can hinder the operation of the valve gear and, once hardened, JB Weld is NOT forgiving---it will not come loose...


It runs flawlessly in both forward and reverse, clock-wise and counter clock-wise on my test bench...

All in all a deeply satisfying project that takes me further away from the RTR, plug and play drone I had become all those years ago. A picture of the finished locomotive is on the way...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Model Power/Mantua Classics HO scale Southern Pacific 2-6-6-2 Mallet...

I finally found the round tuit necessary to finish this little beastie. It took about 8 hours and required that I reassemble it without the benefit of an instruction sheet. It was given to me for the price of postage on the condition that I don't part it out over way that was going to happen as I've wanted to own one since I was 14.




The valve gear shown were incredibly mangled but straightened out easily with a pair of pliers. The only real damage was a broken crankpin that I managed to cobble together from a jar of small screws and a small bushing. Here is a video of the first test run on the bench after I fixed the crankpin...

The only problem I'm having right now is that the geared driver on the rear engine managed to break lose in the fall and goes out of quarter easily...I'll see if JB Weld will fix that. All in all a very nice runner with amazing pull for such a small motor---you'll notice that the flexible coupling mysteriously shortened itself between Pic 2 and Pic 3...that's because the motor rung it in half when the driver locked, before I could cut the power.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

John 10:7-11

Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Greater Baton Rouge Model Railroad club open house, Jackson, LA, June 12, 2020...

Forgot to post these, there were 3 live steam 45mm gauge engines running and my table, on which I featured my Wilesco D10, my marine engine (running off of a compressor) and my Mamod TE1A...






The tea kettle is for preheating my water for faster steam-ups. All in all a very successful first show, I can hardly wait for Diamondhead in January...

Friday, June 25, 2010

TYCO HO scale "7-11" promo car...

Nostalgia can make you get excited over some pretty goofy stuff you may find in a box lot, I haven't seen a 7-11 since I moved away from Maryland...back in the '80s, I used to live off of their 1/2 pound chili and cheese burgers, fresh from the microwave and washed down with a Big Gulp when I was in construction...num num...


Thursday, June 24, 2010

To Chris...and others....

Blessed is the whose spirit there is no guile.

Thank you...I really did sense a different life was awaiting us least job wise. I'm 50 years old now and my body simply can't handle the physical demands of the work I know how to do. Schooling is still an option but again, at age 50, to do what? I've tried and failed to set up my own business and, with each passing year, the regulations, licensing, tax and legal issues only increase and I am obligated before God to follow every one of them, I don't have the fight left to plow through any of that any longer.

Pastoring a church is out as I am not up for the control our tax laws place on the pulpit---and---I don't have a very high regard for the folks in the have to love the sheep to serve them and, quite frankly, I don't right now...think Jonah 4:5.

Some time ago I also had to face the awful truth that, the only reason I pursued the ministry to begin with was so that I could get out of the bull work that I do for a living---not a good reason to take the pulpit and, I can't honestly say that it wouldn't be the overriding reason to say yes to it should it be offered in the future.

I'm currently waiting for an appointment for an interview for a job doing...drum roll please...apartment maintenance---again. At least I can console myself in that, 1. I'm no longer living on the property so my life and that of my family will be our own, if expressing my faith costs me my job, it'll be nothing to toss my tool bags in the car, kick the dust off my shoes and drive off into the sunset....and 2. I'll be a tech and not a supervisor---let someone else catch the spears, coddle and stroke the owner and management and juggle the budgets for awhile, thank you very much.

No, I'm not your average American pew warmer. I don't start my week with an '80s 'do and Pepsodent teeth saying, "This is my Bible: I am what it says I am; I have what it says I have; I can do what it says I can do. Today, I will be taught the Word of God. I'll boldly confess. My mind is alert; my heart is receptive; I will never be the same. I am about to receive the incorruptible, indestructible, ever-living Seed of the Word of God. I'll never be the same - never, never, never! I'll never be the same, in Jesus' Name." The last thing I want to do is spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ through a medium like smacks of everything I despise in the Church in my country today,---focus group faith, i.e. Christian bikers, Christian surfers, Christian left-handed albinos, blah, blah, I am.

I covet the prayers of those who are moved to pray for me and my family...know that they are greatly appreciated.

Blessing, B


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wednesday's Word, Psalm 62:5-10

My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.

Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity. Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.

I really had better hopes for our new home...a feeling that this time, things were going to be different. Now I wake up feeling like I spent the day before being a tackling dummy for the Baltimore Ravens defensive line. How did Joseph do it...every morning waking up to the light of day shining through the bars of his cell? Unlike him though, I'm guilty of every charge laid against me.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Father's Day 2010

Is it just me? In churches across this land on Mother's Day, orchids are handed out and the grand virtues of mothers are spilled out from the pulpit, raising them up on a pedestal that culminates in a dinner at Cocodrie's. On Father's Day, we guys get a cheap ball point pen and are smacked around to work on some particular character flaw that has plagued us since the Garden...then we get to cook our own dinner over a flaming pyre in the backyard...sigh...

My enjoyment of model trains goes back to a TYCO trolley followed by an AHM/Pocher 4-4-0 "Genoa" that my father would have running around our Christmas tree every year. In the end, I was their demise, the trolley when I used it with our Hotwheels cars in the playground at school, the Genoa to my many ventures into weathering and detailing in my early daze in the hobby. These are the replacements I've picked up since...


The blessing I have on Sunday is that our Bible study group doesn't follow fashion trends, we got to stay home and be family***---followed by a 1/2 pound bacon cheeseburger smothered in grilled onions on a fresh baked roll and a chocolate shake at a favorite local eatery...urp

***Yes, my beloved got her dinner on her day at an appropriately haute cuisine type eatery---with French names for the entries and 2 digit prices with no decimal points in them on the menu...eeek...

Monday, June 21, 2010

TYCO C&FW "Pettycoat Junction" coach and baggage car...

...a neat find in that box lot I picked up last week.

No one really knows what the "C&FW" stood for, though it's interesting to note that the show's engineers were named Charley, Floyd and later Wendell. These were part of a 3 car set with a TYCO "Dixie Belle" Ten-Wheeler...



Sunday, June 20, 2010

Matthew 24:36-51

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Box lot...

What does one do when one's chores are done and you've put out your feelers (i.e. resumes/applications) for the week?

You spend a couple hours turning a box lot of parts...


...into a string of cars...


...nineteen and counting to be precise---and two locomotives. Sweet.

I have four classes of rolling stock I set up in the initial inspection of any new box lot;

RTR = Complete and ready to roll, all bits are there, may need a cleaning at best.

Rolling wounded = Complete with all axles rolling, missing minor bits and/or couplers.

Round tuits = Cannot roll, missing major parts but still salvageable, will sit for awhile 'til I get a 'round tuit.

Buzzard bait = Saved only to strip of all usable parts, then unceremoniously tossed in the trash.

Oh yeah, I can see you're edified. ;-)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

TYCO #226 dual motored F9 in Santa Fe colors...

In the mid 1960s, Mantua/TYCO put out a dual motored version of their F9 diesel model. A honest effort, it still could not compete with Irv Athearn's beloved creations, which were cheaper and much more reliable. The concept simply took a balky mechanism with not enough electrical pickup and no way to disassemble it for maintenance, and stuffed it under the hood with another balky mechanism with not enough electrical pickup and no way to disassemble it for maintenance.

Information is scant, there are few of these around, the coveted ones being those that were offered to dealers and sported a clear see-thru shell, so that you could see the balky mechanisms with not enough electrical pickup and no way to disassemble them for maintenance at work. Mine came in a box lot I picked up at a local club open house last weekend. That it's a War Bonnet F9 with very little wear on its paint is sweet enough for me.



Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday's Word, Matthew 7:1-6

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tall Timbers and Santa Fe Railroad...

I saw this old school marvel a couple of weeks ago at the invitation of its owner. The layout is 35 years old and runs on basic DC using block and cab control. It features handlaid Code 100 nickle silver rail. This weekend I've been invited to an operation session using vintage (30-40 year old) locomotives.


I took this shot at my first visit...I hope to take a few more as we run the vintage steam.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Matthew 6:24-34

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Action Racing Collectibles 1:24 Martin Truex Jr. #1 Bass Pro Shop 2008 Impala SS...

Wherever I work, if they have a race car, I'll get a model of it---especially if it's clearance priced with an added employee discount...





Yesterday was my first---and last day there. I had to face what men have had to face since Adam and Eve were first booted out of the Garden, namely, a body subject to the effects of aging. I simply couldn't live up to the physical demands of the job.

In any one situation, I am plenty brute enough to lift engine blocks and small environmentally friendly cars. However, the constant repetition involved in unloading truckloads of canoes, outdoor smokers and a near endless stream of boxes and repacks very nearly put me in the hospital yesterday (no kidding) and, had me bawling like a school girl at 4 o'clock this morning trying to loosen up my back and joints for another go at it.

This morning I had to humble myself before my supervisors and take myself out of the game, before pride put me in the hospital---or---they were forced to take me out of the game themselves. I now have some understanding as to why older football players tend to stay on a season or two longer than they should.

Unlike Brett Farve though, I don't have Sears ad revenue to fall back on, so the hunt for work continues next week...after a weekend of recuperation.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Midsouth Model Railroad club of Baton Rouge... an informal club that meets once a week in a building owned by a club member. It is an impressive double stack layout that is built to represent the state of Louisiana. Visitors are welcome as well. It was nice to see a layout big enough to give a sense of distance and industries big enough to justify the car traffic to and from them. They are currently putting the finishing touches on a working signal system and Centralized Traffic Control.










Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wednesday's Word...Matthew 6:1-8

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Like...far out, man...


I dunno...kinda reminds me of a '70s one hit wonder album cover...maybe they headlined for Abba...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Newbie steamer Lesson #65...

..."Ionized water is not distilled water but can be sold as such."

Make sure you use the real deal in your engines---read the label thoroughly---


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Matthew 5:1-20

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Newbie steamer Lesson #64...

...drain the boiler completely as it helps to avoid a nasty little thing called "boiler dezincification", a process where the zinc chemically separates itself from the brass, causing pinhole leaks. I use a modified marinade injector that seems to reach most of the excess water...


...I just cut off the point past the side ports on the needle. Then (as I have been so well taught at the Mamod forum), I leave the safety valve and whistle off until the inside is dry.

I'm learnin'...

Friday, June 4, 2010

IHC #318 James E. Strates Shows train set...

...gave me a opportunity to own a retro TYCO SD24 "Torpedo Boat", so called because of the noticeable air tanks on the roof...


A common practice in lower end model trains is the passing down of tooling from one company to another, most often through bankruptcy. "The best way to make a small fortune in model trains is to start with a large one." is a time tested adage in the business.

This set is made for the shelf queen collector market. The locomotive is all wheel drive, but only 8 wheel pickup and is impossibly light, depending entirely on the traction tires to pull the load. The cars are classic Rivarossi heavyweights that desperately need added weight, better couplers and good replacement wheelsets. Small details are left to the owner to apply. I give it very good marks for its paint scheme and extreme high praises for its resiliency---because it tracks so poorly, it took a header off of my layout, falling 4 and a half feet to the floor...interestingly, the only time the couplers held between all four cars...go figure. The locomotive popped apart like a school girl at a Jonas Brothers concert, but was easily reassembled. The train shows no signs of the fall, not even a scuff.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I have a job...

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.

Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore. For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.
---(Psalm 37:23-29)