Saturday, December 31, 2011

Duratrax 1/10 scale Evader ST electric stadium truck....Happy New Year...

...celebrating with family and friends and staying off the road.

...or is it off road?

Blessings, grace and peace to you and yours, may you have a happy and safe celebration...



Monday, December 26, 2011

I now understand what my parents and grandparents meant....

...when they would say that their best Christmas presents were us...

...from my kids, the monster truck "Derailed".


I pray that this holiday season has been a blessed and safe one, abounding and abiding in the love and grace offered by the only gift that really matters, our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Blessings, grace and peace to you and yours as we count down the last days of 2011, and endeavor to trust 2012 in the hands of the One who is already there....

Duratrax 1/10 scale Evader ST electric stadium truck....

...a gift to my son from an online friend. My boy thinks the battle scars just make it all the cooler...especially when he did his own aerial 360 back-flip off the neighbor's driveway yesterday---and planted it on its feet. Not bad for a first time R/Cer...he'll be impossible to live with now....



Sunday, December 25, 2011

Luke 2:7-20

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.

Saturday, December 24, 2011




Friday, December 23, 2011


...ALWAYS know the location of your neighbor's main breaker panel. The life you save

The Incarnation is a promise....

Think of it for a minute. If God loves us so much as to become man, then the blessings which he intends to bestow must be incalculable. The Incarnation is in itself a promise big with untold blessing. Gaze upon the Son of God in Bethlehem’s manger, and you feel sure that if the Infinite has assumed the forum of an infant, his incarnation betokens infinite love, foreshadows intimate intercourse, and foretells unbounded blessedness for the sons of Adam. If Jehovah himself in human flesh walks toilsomely over the acres of Judea, if he bears human sicknesses and sorrows, if he in human form gives his hands to the nails and his heart to the spear, there must be boundless affection in his heart towards the seed chosen from among men. What rivers of blessings must come to us if God himself comes to us, and comes in such a fashion and in such a spirit.

What meaneth the union of Godhead with humanity but this, that though he was rich yet for our sakes he became poor? And what can his purpose be but “that we through his poverty might be made rich”? rich with riches as vast as those which he renounced in order to espouse our nature in all its poverty and degradation? Let us at this time joy and rejoice in the Son of diary, the Son of Man, who is also the Son of God; let us exult to-day as we believe that Jesus is as truly man as he is truly God.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Rivers Of Water In A Dry Place," delivered July 11, 1875.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

May you and yours have a blessed holiday season...

...Merry Christmas.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ephesians 2:8-18

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

...up and running.


From left to right: HO scale Bachmann Spectrum GP-30 in Pennsy colors, AHM/Pocher 4-4-0 "Genoa" circa 1969, Marklin HR800 4-6-2 Pacific and a President's Choice 4-6-4 Hudson in CP colors...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

...and then there was light.

Three Christmases ago, my building light string inexplicably went "Poof", without the benefit of the customary magic blue smoke of all things electrical. Replacing bulbs (there are only ten), jiggling wires, liberal doses of magic blue language...all was for naught, leaving my Christmas village a dark and dreary place to behold for the next two Christmases.

Then, in what can only be described as that Biblical "still, small voice", I was bid to try just one more time, on a socket I know I've tried many times before, and after we had already set up the tree, leaving any ability to really service it impossible.

The result....


Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.----(1Corinthians 3:18-20)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Nehemiah 9:32-38

Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee, that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day.

Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly: Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them. For they have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land which thou gavest before them, neither turned they from their wicked works.

Behold, we are servants this day, and for the land that thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we are servants in it: And it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins: also they have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress.

And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Intermountain HO scale 33" replacement wheelsets... product of choice for most of my rolling stock. I try to replace all plastic wheels with metal ones because the metal ones work as they roll to clean the track, just like the real ones.

A short circuit that showed up recently had me momentarily baffled until my alter ego, CAPTAIN OBVIOUS came to the rescue. One of the last cars I converted was an older Athearn 50' reefer with its original metal sprung trucks. When I lifted the car off the track, all my power was back.

NOTE TO SELF: When installing metal wheelsets, get into the habit of checking the insulated side of the axles to make sure they are all on the same side of the car. That way, self is not inadvertently creating a short circuit through the metal truck...duh. Bonus points are gained by making sure both trucks are insulated on the same side in metal framed kits.

NOTE TO NEWCOMERS: The insulated side is the one done in a non-conductive plastic, usually black. --->Can you believe they used paper or varnish not too long ago? The varnish breaking down over the years is the more likely reason Grandpa's old trains aren't working for some right now...that creates a dead short, leaving folks to believe that the motor is toasted.




Legacy... You have one?
Local 'Can Man' —Giant in the Lord

December 2011

Everybody in his neighborhood in Tucson, Arizona, knew him as “The Can Man, Charley.” Every day he had a route of about 6 miles where he walked to collect recyclables. But you didn’t meet Charley for very long without realizing that money from the cans didn’t just go into his pocket, supplementing his retirement income. He was really about something else. And everyone that he met on his route was offered one of those other somethings: a no-nonsense gospel tract. You soon would learn that the sale of the cans kept the tract supply going.

And if you followed him a little while, you found a complex system of ministry in this tiny little man. And it started early. Charley remembers the Holy Spirit prompting him to praise God while playing toy cars with his friends. Later, in World War II, the Lord erected a sudden wall of protection against an enemy attack that should have killed him.

Back home, working in the steel industry, Charley began buying tracts and sharing the gospel. He organized outreaches for his church covering specific neighborhoods with repeated visitations leaving a different tract each time. Over the years, his consistent passion for God’s word deepened his ability to follow up the tracts with strong personal ministry.

Retirement freed him to expand his vision. To him the tracts were just an opening where personal ministry began. His consistency in reaching out to others built confidence in his contact with the Lord and strangers began approaching him with additional questions about their relationship with God and their concern about eternity. With hours of personal Bible study each day, he seldom was at a loss for an appropriate biblical answer to their concerns.

His can collecting not only provided funds for more tracts, he became well known to the businesses on his route. They began saving cans for him and he would leave stacks of tracts on their counters, replenishing them on the next visit.
His wife, Dot, says he would frequently come in from his route with a little bigger smile and more spring in his step, to announce: “One more led to the Lord, today.” Maybe it would be the homeless man who was begging by the supermarket or someone he had met on the street. Occasionally, someone driving by would recognize him and pull over for a chat.

His obituary reports that, after he was saved in 1961, he logged over 285 cover-to-cover trips through his Bible. “Seldom was he at a loss for a scripture to share with anyone who might have a question,” says Dot.

Only the Lord knows how many tracts he actually handed out in his lifetime, but in the last 10 years of his retirement, Chick Publication’s records show well over 125,000 tracts bought, mostly with money from sale of his cans. As friends on his route learned how he financed his ministry, they offered money to help. At first he refused until Dot convinced him that it was not for him, but so that more tracts would reach more people for Christ. At 87, his eyesight and hearing was fading and his gait slowing. One morning in October the Lord welcomed him home from doing what he loved, crossing the street while walking his route. The driver of the SUV saw him too late, but some of his tracts will still be pointing people to the Lord for years, perhaps until Christ returns for us all.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Dundalk Firehouse Christmas Garden...

I love my new home state don't know nuthin' about Christmas Gardens. Growing up around Baltimore, THIS is what you looked forward to every year. Get a bunch of firefighters to bring together their trains, clear a truck out of one of the engine bays...a couple of tools, some adult beverages and a plump member of the station to be Santa's helper...and, WA LAH!...a high voltage Christmas that would give a coronary to any unwitting Fire Inspector...

Click on the pictures for more....




Sunday, December 4, 2011

Luke 1:1-56

Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

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.

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.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

LSU 42, Georgia 10...


WE'RE 13-0....


UPDATE: That's Brutus dealing with the BCS circus clown that put Alabama in the National Championship game by .009 points...sorry Cowboys, guess they didn't think you had enough of a market share. In the end, it's all about the Benjamins...


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Miniatur Wunderland...

...if you find yourself in Hamburg, please go there in my place...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Modeling water... short, I hate it. I'm not too fond of any of the current techniques, each having their own compromises. One simply learns to live with the shortcomings of ones chosen technique, mine being varying shades of acrylic paints coated with many coats of clear gloss medium, interspersed with gloss coats that have been tinted with various shades of brown, green and blue.

The water where I live has a noticeable tea color from the cypress trees along the shore. I simulate this with a couple drops of brown craft paint to tint the gloss coat. Ditto for one coat of green for algae and one coat of blue for reflected sky. The effects are much more subtle than the camera gives justice. A nice touch is the ripple effect in the simulated sand bottom created by the tinted water settling in the styrofoam beads that is very noticeable near the ends of the bridge...



The acrylic, like most products, has an unsightly edge creep that needs dressing up...not as bad as most but foliage patiently applied works very well here.

The girl is Frankensteined together from 3 different Plasticville figures. I made a putty out of styrene sprues dissolved in liquid plastic cement. Once applied and hardened, it carves easily to any shape, in this case, the hair and contouring her body to be more feminine (she started out life as a brakeman, mail carrier and male pedestrian).

The pier is cobbled from scraps in the junk box with some wood dowel for pilings, then aged and weathered.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Matthew 24:4-14

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.


One need only look to last Friday, the day after the day when everyone supposedly gave thanks for all they had (...up to that point, I guess) to understand that we, as a nation, have a problem. And, since God sees fit to start His judgment at His house (1Peter 4:17), then it is a safe bet that our problem as a nation can be traced back to its pew warmers.

I'm not going into the list, it is long, nasty and bloody and does not need a Congressional committee to have a hearing on it to know that it exists. I do know this, as some wise sage put it sometime back;

"Because nations are temporal entities and not eternal, their sins must be judged in the here and now, for there is no judgment for them in eternity."---paraphrase, currently tracking source.

If we as a nation do not repent, then we as a nation will fall...and all the evidence points to right soon.

Where is your treasure stored up?

Where lies your anchor?

To whom will you/do you call out to?

...just saying.

BTW: The problem people have with Tim Tebow is not his praying, it's his faith and that, for once, there's someone on the field whose testimony off the field matches his genuflecting on the field. American "Christian", stand up and take note or sit down and shut up...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mehano HO scale 4-6-4 Hudson semi-streamlined in Canadian National paint, epilogue...

Remember that cool bell I made?

Guess what I found in my parts bin...


Seems like all those part lots I buy for a couple of bucks at train shows can hide a gem or this case, an original Mantua bell the fits just fine with a little adjusting of the bracket holes---and it has a clapper to boot.

I'm not tossing the other bell'll serve to stand in somewhere else as needed.

LSU 41 Arkansas 17...

...I love smoked ham...woo hoo...


Scenicking the Procrastenatan River...

...4 1/2 years after I put the shell down...sigh...

My technique is fairly lots of cheap half-full bags of Woodland Scenics ground foam at train shows for pennies on the dollar. Paint the shell with a generous coat of equally cheap Wally World craft paint...then coat it liberally with various shades and coarseness of ground foams while the paint is still wet. Over spray it all with a mist of water with a bit of alcohol in it to help drying time, then dribble a 50/50 water and acrylic matte medium solution over it all...touch up as needed.




Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011...

Anything I come up with sounds too superficial and self-centered. I've given God countless reasons to flick me off of this planet like an old rag and into any tormented flaming eternity He deemed fit and all with more than good cause.

That my family is laughing together in the other room right now, in a home that is mortgage free and secure, with food enough to feed a small third world nation, provided by God to the benefit of this wayward and thankless husband and father is more than I can take in at times.

May you and yours have a blessed holiday...

National Day of Thanksgiving, October 3, 1789

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 shown 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

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Delmarva Model Railroad club...

...glad to see they're getting it back together after a very hard year...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

John 21:20-23

Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Con-Cor/Rivarossi N scale 2-8-8-2 N&W Y6b....

...gets an early Kadee Micro-Trains #1048 conversion kit installed. Nicely engineered for a relatively painless install, Kadee is to be commended for its early foray into a fledgling scale, without which N scale probably wouldn't enjoy the following it does, and certainly at a time when what was offered usually did not line up with the quality of the conversion kit Kadee designed for it.

The Con-Cor Mallet was one of the better running locomotives offered in its day, and certainly well worth the extra work to convert...even today. The conversion kits are still relatively easy to find online for these old locos, and usually run between $3-10 apiece.




The original pilot coupler provided in the kit grenaded on me, leaving me to modify one (actually two, one of THOSE grenaded as well...sigh...) from a U-boat conversion kit I had lying around. It does work but serves as a reminder to how fragile they are...

Friday, November 18, 2011

AHM/Rivarossi Limited Edition HO scale Conrail Bicentennial GG1 #4800...

...the first GG1 built and the only one with a riveted carbody, the others being welded, hence the nickname "Old Rivets". Along with this paint scheme, #4800 wore Pennsylvania RR, Penn Central and the standard blue Conrail paint before being retired to a museum siding around 1980.

Number 2091 of 2700 made, the AHM/Rivarossi model falls short only in that they use a welded carbody on their rendition, but is an otherwise faithful and accurate reproduction of Old Rivets when she wore this paint scheme in the years around our nation's 200th birthday. I especially enjoy the silver running gear and the kitschy 70s stylized graphics. It comes complete with its original foam lined box, certificate of authenticity and commemorative belt buckle...



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mehano HO scale 4-6-4 Hudson semi-streamlined in Canadian National paint...

...part of a set offered in a Canadian retail chain. I just love the colors, the whitewalls and elephant ears---a feature added to some passenger engines to lift the smoke higher over the equipment behind for appearance and passenger comfort.



It is an excellent runner but...alas...its bell had gone the way of odd socks and Kadee coupler springs. Since replacements are hard to find, I made my own with a bit of brass wire, an odd rivet in my scrap box and a blob of solder...



After a bit of bending and then a good buff with my Dremel tool, my Canadian Belle had a bell again...



Sunday, November 13, 2011

Jeremiah 23:1-8

Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.

And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.

And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Con-Cor/Kato JNR DD13 N scale Centercab Switcher, circa 1978---boo boos.... has developed a nasty grind, especially climbing grades. Further inspection revealed a gear that has had half of its teeth chewed off by the worm gear...

...what it should look like...


...what it now looks like.

By removing these three spur gears, including the offending one, I am now able to run it still...albeit with greatly reduced traction ability...


I wonder if Kato still stocks 35 year old locomotive parts?

TCU 36, Boise State 35

Thank you Texas Christian University Horned frogs for shuttin' them Boise State "We deserve a shot at the title" Broncos up...


Apparently, our guys came all this way to play in the Meineke Bowl...sigh...

UPDATE: Maybe not, I think they found their game somewhere in the icy stare of the Mad Hatter during halftime....

Final score...LSU 42, Western Kentucky 9

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Matthew 24:3-12

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

LSU 9, Alabama 6....

"...'round the bowl and down the hole...Roll Tide, Roll!!"


As we enter the holiday season...

I detest most group movements and boycotts as they almost always start with finger pointing at some boogeyman or another that needs knocking down. An honest assessment of our nation's current situation starts with realizing that, for every finger we point, there are three pointing back at us.

With that I offer this -- slightly edited version -- of a current movement that has caught my eye. Without further comment, I ask, "What say you?"

Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide North Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of Canadian/American labor. This year could be different. This year North Americans could give the gift of genuine concern for others. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American or Canadian hands.

Yes there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?

Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, locally owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down the $$$$ on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town businesses with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of lights, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas could no longer be about draining North America's pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas could now be about caring for our neighbors and encouraging small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about our neighbors, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.

THIS could be the new Christmas tradition.

Consider forwarding this to everyone on your mailing list -- or posting it to discussion groups -- or throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section in your city -- or send it to the editor of your local paper, radio stations, and TV news departments. This could start a revolution of caring about each other as a people, and isn't that a part of what Christmas is about?

Tru-Scale Models READY-TRACK, November 1970...

...can you believe it's that time already?


Pennsyvania Railroad engine crew fire control video....

Thursday, November 3, 2011

N scale Arnold 0-8-8-0 Tenderlok BR-96 Mallet

Having wanted one for many years, I was pleased to have the opportunity to have one come my way...even if it was only to repair damaged running gear.

Pretty tight work for my beastly mitts---keep in mind that the drivers on this locomotive are just over a 1/4" in diameter and that rod is a half inch long with a 1/16" hole to line up with a 1/32" hole.


A beautifully detailed locomotive and an excellent runner, its one shortcoming appears to be the egg shaped eccentric. Unlike the rest of the rod work, it is made of plastic and appears to crack, but only enough to pop the rivet out under stress. Because the rivet is peened, it simply snaps back in...albeit with the aid of high powered magnifiers and a jeweler's needlenose pliers.



I wish I could have taken better pictures but I simply don't like to take chances with such models in my house. Though 30+ years old, they still command a premium price, usually $200-250 easily. They came in four colors, each a representation of an actual color used on the Bavarian Railways at the time: black, blue, green and tan and all with the colorful red running gear.

So, like some "catch and release" fishing trophy, one more picture before I sent it back to its owner.



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nothing wrong with this HO scale 4-8-4 Mountain...

...start with a good running mechanism, a empty six pack and some hand tools...woo hoo...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The 'Twilight Zone' meets "Mister Rodger's Neighborhood'...

...hands down the best model train video yet.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Amos 8:4-6

Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?

There was a day when stores were closed on Sunday and stew bones and chicken wings were priced so that the poorer folks had some form of affordable meat on the table. Lest there be finger pointing though, it helps to remember that SIN is spelled S-"I"-N...not S-"T-H-E-M"-N. You'll find God an ever present help to those who don't forget that...

...(B)e clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
---(1Peter 5:5b-11)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Long week at work....


Yes...that's a floor that level is sitting on...sigh....

Monday, October 24, 2011

Too early for Christmas lights yet...

...but...dang...some folks have a lot of time on their hands to be able to do this for two holidays so close together...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Let us trim our lamps,...

It is of the greatest service to us all to be reminded that our life is but a vapor, which appeareth for a little while and then vanisheth away. Through forgetfulness of this worldlings live at ease, and Christians walk carelessly. Unless we watch for the Lord’s coming, worldliness soon eats into our spirit as doth a canker. If thou hast this world’s riches, believer, remember that this is not thy rest, and set not too great a store by its comforts. If, on the other hand, thou dwellest in straitness, and art burdened with poverty, be not too much depressed thereby, for these light afflictions are but for a moment, and are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Look upon the things that are as though they were not. Remember you are a part of a great procession which is always moving by; others come and go before your own eyes, you see them, and they disappear, and you yourself are moving onward to another and more real world.... Our duty is to trim our lamps against the time when the Bridegroom comes; we are called upon to stand always ready, waiting for the appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, or else for the summons which shall tell us that the pitcher is broken at the fountain, and the wheel broken at the cistern, that the body must return to the earth as it was, and the spirit unto God who gave it.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Stephen's Death," delivered May 24, 1874.

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
---(Matthew 25:1-13)

Saturday, October 22, 2011