Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day....

I spent most of the weekend trackside...

Photobucket wired...



...and grilled a switch machine.


How about you?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ecclesiastes 9:1-12

For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God: no man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them. All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.

This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead. For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment. Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day, 2011....


At the risk of appearing overly cynical, a lot of cheap and easy words will be spoken about country and service this weekend. Less than 2% of Americans have ever served in the military in the history of our country, that includes women.

Are you really thankful for what has been done to secure our freedoms?

"Of The Troops And For The Troops!"

200th MP Co. 115th MP Battalion MDARNG

Friday, May 27, 2011

Varney, 1959...


Though only two real ones were ever built, the B&O Docksider is hands down the most replicated locomotive in HO scale. Right off I can think of Varney, Life-Like, Pemco, and Rivarossi at the low through medium end market and Tenshodo and Gem in brass.

If you don't have one, you've not been in the hobby long enough.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ezekiel 36:1-15

Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD: Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession:

Therefore prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because they have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen, and ye are taken up in the lips of talkers, and are an infamy of the people:

Therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes, and to the cities that are forsaken, which became a prey and derision to the residue of the heathen that are round about;

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and against all Idumea, which have appointed my land into their possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey.

Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel, and say unto the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy and in my fury, because ye have borne the shame of the heathen:

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I have lifted up mine hand, Surely the heathen that are about you, they shall bear their shame. But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come.

For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown: And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded: And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I am the LORD. Yea, I will cause men to walk upon you, even my people Israel; and they shall possess thee, and thou shalt be their inheritance, and thou shalt no more henceforth bereave them of men.

Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because they say unto you, Thou land devourest up men, and hast bereaved thy nations; Therefore thou shalt devour men no more, neither bereave thy nations any more, saith the Lord GOD. Neither will I cause men to hear in thee the shame of the heathen any more, neither shalt thou bear the reproach of the people any more, neither shalt thou cause thy nations to fall any more, saith the Lord GOD.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

May 21, 2011...enough said...

And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.---(Deu 18:21-22)

Bachmann HO scale MDT Plymouth 3 axle switcher....

Like most of their Products during the 1980s, these suffered from a poor grade of plastic used in the drive train that was prone to cracking---even while sitting on the hobby store shelf.

This one was no different but I found a fairly easy fix for the mechanically minded individual with a pin vise and some drill bits.

I ordered the axle sets currently offered on the Bachmann parts page, hoping that they were a drop-in fit. Alas, that was not to be---note the difference in the bearings on the two wheelsets...


Note also that the newer gears (in black) are helical cut for meeting with a worm gear and not cut for the spur gearing of the older locomotive...sigh...more on that later.

Of course, Bachmann couldn't leave well enough alone and made the newer wheels with smaller axles, making a simple swap out of the question. What I ended up doing was carefully enlarging the axle holes in the new gears to fit the older wheels. By stepping up to the next size drill bit rather than going for the whole smack in one shot, I was able to keep the new axle holes properly centered with no wobble...


Note that they also had to make the new gears narrower...a problem overcome with a snug fit and an NMRA wheel gauge for uniformity.


The helical cut on the new gears mesh well enough with the spurs and, since aren't noted for their quiet drives at this market level, the slightly elevated growl isn't any more noticeable over any other locomotive of the period.

Mantua (pronounced man-CHU-ah) September 1960 ad....


Friday, May 20, 2011

AHM HO scale track cleaner car circa 1971...


Like the many other types manufacturers have offered over the years, they make for an interesting car...but not much else. The old tried and true Masonite pad beats them all hands down in my book. I've upgraded mine with metal wheelsets and Kadee couplers.

From a January 1971 Model Railroader magazine Trade Topics review...


The Rapture, May 21, 2011...


While I don't see it happening tomorrow, I'll not mock the man's effort...understandng that one day, as people are eating and drinking and giving in marriage, the trump will sound at an hour they think not, and the Son of man will come. Then there's gonna be some serious hangovers to nurse for those who party every time one of these dates is set.

My God has a great sense of humor and could be waiting 'til Sunday to show men their hearts on this matter AND because it will be at an hour when they think not.

Just sayin'....

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Psalm 50:14-23

Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee.

When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son.

These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.

Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Kadee HO scale Magne-Matic couplers...

...original product review, Model Railroader magazine 1960,



HO scale Mercedes tractor/trailer DHL promo...

I put the 'cuss' in customer when I find out you have promotional diecast---just cough it up and I'll go away....


TYCO HO scale Super Turbo Train television commercial...

Is it me...or do they not show these things making a complete climb or loop in the ad---just like the ones we took home?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Atlas # 2790 N scale turntable...

As we nervously watch the Mississippi remind us how small we are, I'm reminded of something Augustine was quoted as saying. As he was tending his garden, someone asked him, "What do you wish to be found doing when the Lord comes for His Church?" Augustine answered, "I'd like to be found tending my garden."

His point was that there was no action or deed that could add to his own righteousness apart from Christ so...why not be found gardening---or---in my case, working on my trains.

There is no amount of worry that can assuage the rising floods around us. There is no amount of good works or witnessing I can do to make God hear my pleas for rescue. Yes I pray, yes I continue in good works, but only as one who has all the righteousness in Christ necessary to go boldly into the Throne of Grace and make my petitions now, not after some holy work, trusting that, regardless of outcome, Christ is sufficient in all things regarding me and my family.

Plotting and planning...

Photobucket install.

The Atlas turntable is quiet and well engineered, I highly recommend it for a beginning modeler looking to add a turntable to their layout. Easy to install, easy to maintain, easy to convert to DCC controls in the future and, yes, there are prototypes for them. Check out the one inside the B&O Railroad Museum...



Sunday, May 8, 2011

Matthew 16:13-17

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Bachmann N scale DD40X and Brill Trolley...

Both are now running and fully assembled.

The DD40X now sports Unimate couplers fore and aft, hates 9 3/4" radius curves and looks great on my one wide curve with the roof top blinkies in their full glory. An 80s offering, they're weak in the power department but, have the open walk throughs that they took away in their later offerings.


The Brill trolley suffered from the classic Bachmann malady of the 80s, a weak plastic gear train given to cracking, even when new in the box on the store shelf. I replaced the truck assemblies with later ones that were a drop in fit. It runs great now.


Both were finished with parts offered on their online store. Take advantage of it as certain parts, like the coupler boxes I got the last of, are no longer available.

Friday, May 6, 2011

PFM/United HO gauge Mich-Cal #2, later oil fired version...

I have longed for this model since I first saw it in the early 1970s. #2 was one of the smallest shays ever built. It ran for over 60 years on at least two different railroads. Originally built as a wood burner, it was later converted to oil. Interestingly, a man named Tom Jinkerson was its only engineer its whole running life.

And it is...owned by


Pneumatic turnout control...the early daze using Freon 12...

Back in the early days of model railroading, there was an ongoing effort to come up with an effective method of using air to throw switches, just like the real roads did.

Being an EPA certified refrigerant handler, you can imagine my amusement at the thought of using Freon 12, an ozone depleting product, as a propellent for model turnouts...but then again, some of these guys were using stove black for paint and powered asbestos for scenery...



Sunday, May 1, 2011

Proverbs 31:10-31

To my beloved...

You have been my joy from the moment I saw you all those years ago. It is 20 years ago this week that we left Bible college and stepped on the train together as starry eyed bride and groom to be, into a future that has been anything but boring, planned or predictable.

To my wife, my lover, my friend and mother of my children...

I love you.

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.