Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

Another year has gone by. Many things have happened, both good and bad. Skittles and I went on a wonderful vacation in July. Soon after we returned I injured my back which required surgery. Which in turn lead to 4 months off on medical leave. I started my blog in October. I've met many new people through this media. Some I consider friends. In any case it was nice to be able to convey my thoughts and feelings to those who were interested.

I don't make resolutions on New Years because I know how I am. I just don't keep them. I'm one of those who just keep on keepin on. This year Skittles and I will be celebrating New Years the same way we have for the entire time we've known each other. In the comfort of our apartment watching TV. We'll have dinner or some snacks and then give each other a nice big smooch when it turns midnight.

I live a blessed life. I really do. I have a wonderful wife who loves me. Wonderful grandkids that love me. And stepchildren that at least like me lol. I have a good job with good benefits and friends who care about me. What else matters right?

So even though I've had the back problem, I don't look at it as a really negative thing. It has been a challenge, but that's for overcoming.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year. If you drive, don't drive drunk, or have a designated driver. No celebration is worth losing your life or someone elses for.

I'll still be here in the next year blogging away if the Lord sees fit. Till next time BYE!!

New Camera Lens

Well, it's a cold gray rainy day here. For some reason I felt like playing with the new lens I got for Christmas. The pictures from outside aren't the greatest, but I thought it would give a hint about how things will look. The first and second pictures are focused on the same area. The first picture is on it's 70mm setting. The second is at 300mm or highest power. The third one is taken indoors and is on the Macro setting, for getting close-ups of small things. It's a close-up of the front of one of my new trains. I'll try to get some better pics in the future.

Note: if you click on the picture of the train, you will be able to see more detail.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Interesting Story

I went to a hardware/hobby store today. It's probably one of the neatest stores that I've ever been to. What makes it so neat you might ask? Well, to start, it's a hardware store. Like the ACO ones you see on TV. Then, in the back of the store, is a hobby shop. They have just about anything you might want to do as a hobby there. What more could you ask for in one place? At least from a guy perspective that is.

I found this store quite a few years ago while on my way to another store. At first I saw the hardware sign out front, but then as I drove closer, I saw a sign that said they had trains and other hobby supplies also.

I've been in this store a few times as you can imagine. It's about 30 miles from where I live, but just about the closest hobby store of it's kind to me. Plus, my mom lives near this store with my sister.

As I was making my purchase today, I was helped by a friendly young man who I got to talking to. This young man admitted he didn't really know a lot about trains, but was willing to help me any way he could.

After I made him climb up a back wall to fetch the new engine I had wanted, we made our way to the front of the aisle. In this aisle there happens to be a neat layout in HO scale for viewing of model trains. It's a pretty simple layout really, Just 2 tracks that wander through some nice little hills and some structures. The tracks are parallel to each other. The closest one heads left to right. It then goes into a good sized enclosure that has a loop of track that lets it head the other way. It then comes out going right to left on the second track. The other end has a similar enclosure so the trains can just run all day.

What's so interesting about this little layout you may ask? Well, as I was talking to the young man, I found out this layout is over 20 years old. It seems that a couple of fellows came into the store some 20 years ago and told the owner that they would build a layout to show the trains on if he would simply supply the material for it. What a deal huh?

The layout has been moved at least once. It's over 20 feet long so you can imagine how hard that would be.

The other interesting thing about the layout I found out by chatting with the helpful young lad was that recently, a fellow came into the store and offered to buy the layout. He talked to the owner and offered him 5.000$ for it. The owner told the fellow he couldn't sell it for that. The buyer asked why? It was a tidy sum wasn't it? Apparently the owner just smiled and told the fellow that the layout had recently been appraised at over 12,000$. Probably a lot of that had to do with it's age and condition. The layout is enclosed in glass too.

So, there you have my interesting story. And, you now know why I like to go to this store. I would imagine any guy would be like a kid in a candy shop in this store. I know I am lol. Till next time BYE!!

New Trains

What the heck. I decided to post pictures of the new trains I got after all lol.


I went out today to try to finish up the gift cards and certificates that I got for Christmas. I got most of it done lol. I still have some left from the craft store. I just couldn't make up my mind on what to get with what's left. I didn't have any problem doing that at Lowe's though. And, no problem at the hardware/hobby shop.

While I was out I went to visit my mom. We talk on the phone pretty regularly, but I hadn't seen her in a while. It was nice talking to her.

I haven't done much since coming home. Just looking over the things I got today. Not much else really to blog about. Maybe tomorrow I'll post some pics of the new trains I got today. At the moment I have a headache and really don't feel like doing it. Till next time BYE!!

Trivia About Me

I saw this at several other blogs, so I tried it also.

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Mike!

  1. Mike can run sixty-five kilometres an hour - that's really fast!
  2. The canonical hours of the Christian church are matins, lauds, prime, terce, sext, none, mike and compline.
  3. The air around mike is superheated to about five times the temperature of the sun.
  4. There is actually no danger in swimming right after you eat mike, though it may feel uncomfortable.
  5. Ancient Chinese artists would never paint pictures of mike!
  6. If you toss mike 10000 times, he will not land heads 5000 times, but more like 4950, because his head weighs more and thus ends up on the bottom.
  7. Only fifty-five percent of men wash their hands after using mike.
  8. Marie Antoinette never said 'let them eat cake' - this is a mistranslation of 'let them eat mike'.
  9. Ostriches stick their heads in mike not to hide but to look for water.
  10. The water in oceans is four times less salty than the water in mike.
I am interested in - do tell me about

Friday, December 29, 2006

Saturday Photo Hunt

This weeks theme for the photo hunt is "new". So keeping with this theme I am going to post some photos of the new train cars that I got for Christmas this year. Enjoy. Note, the bottom 3 cars aren't assembled yet.

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Sir Michael the Nefarious of Longer Interval
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Xmas Gifts

I just thought it'd be a nice thing to show you a couple of pictures of the things I got for Xmas this year. After taking Xmas pics with the kids I haven't done much photography. The first one is of my ipod in it's holder that I bought and the second one is my new lens on the right, a 70-300 zoom with macro with the one it will replace on the left which is a 70-200 zoom. That's it for now. Till next time BYE!!

How Peaceful are you?

You Are 77% Peaceful

You are a very peaceful person. All is good in your world, no matter what's going on.
Occasionally you let your problems get to you, but you generally remain upbeat.
Your inner strength is inspirational - much more so than you may realize.

Friday's Feast

How do you usually celebrate on New Year's Eve? Staying home with Skittles and watching TV

Name one thing unexpected that happened to you in 2006. One of my spinal discs pinched a nerve.

Where was your favorite place that you visited in 2006? Wyoming

Main Course
What resolution is your top priority for 2007? Get stronger

Using just three words, describe 2006. Pretty Damn Good

Thursday, December 28, 2006


It's been a gloomy week here. It has the affect of making me not want to do much. The sky is cloudy most of the time and I don't like it. If it were sunny out I'd take my new lens and take some pics. But, seeing as it isn't, I don't feel like doing that.

Skittles and I did a little bit of shopping today. I got a neat holster type holder for my iPod and now I can take it to work with me. We also got a new bedspread from Sears. I like Sears. They have tools. I mean THEY HAVE TOOLS lol. I think I was drooling part of the time I was there. I did show restraint though. To be honest, I just can't reason buying much while I'm in the apartment. Now when I get a house, lookout. Craftsman is my favorite brand of tool and I had a lot stolen from me about 6 years ago. In time.

So while I went grocery shopping, Skittles made the bed with our new purchase. It's very nice looking. So now I'm sitting here thinking about doing something. I don't know what though lol. I'm just not in the mood to start anything right now. I know it's the time to get it done though as I'm off this week. Maybe tomorrow.

I think tomorrow I will do some of the shopping with my gift cards and certificates. It's always fun to go pick things out. So, I guess that's about all for now. Till next time BYE!!

Birth Order

You Are Likely A Forth Born

At your darkest moments, you feel angry.
At work and school, you do best when your analyzing.
When you love someone, you tend to be very giving.

In friendship, you don't take the initiative in reaching out.
Your ideal jobs are: factory jobs, comedy, and dentistry.
You will leave your mark on the world with your own personal philosophy.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

For this weeks Thursday Thirteen I am going to list 13 albums I want to load onto my new Ipod after I get my USB turntable.

ELO Out of the Blue

ZZ Top Tejas

Elton John Yellowbrick Road

Kiss Live

Bob Seger Silver Bullet Live

Black Oak Arkansas Black Oak Arkansas

Asia Asia

Santana Abraxas

Moody Blues Days of Future Past

Beatles White Album

Beatles Abbey Road

Little River Band Reminiscing

Blues Brothers Briefcase Full of Blues

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Another lazy day here. I'm off for the week so I'm allowed a bit of lounging around. I'll probably do a bit of shopping today. Other than that, not much to post about. I guess when you don't do much you don't have much to post about lol. I spent most of yesterday trying to get my PC to work right after installing the new version of I-tunes and it wasn't till late at night that I finally got it back to somewhat normal. Little did I know that when you download a program it would take over your PC and not give you an option to not let it do that. I've learned a valuable lesson on that one. So I'll just use the version of I-tunes that came with the PC. It works so why mess with it lol. I guess that's about all I have for now. Till next time BYE!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Ipod Problem pt2

Well, after much work and a good tip from Maggies hubby, I finally got my Ipod problem fixed. I now know not to update the Itunes to the newest version. For some reason it seems that other people have had this problem with their PC's too. I actually had to go into the registry of my PC to take out all traces of quicktime to get this thing to work properly. So, I'm back to getting music ready to put onto my new Ipod. And when I get my USB turntable, lookout lol. The only thing about the turntable idea is that it will take a long time to get the music on my PC. I'll have to play the entire album or song as they aren't digital. But, as it is winter, I won't be out playing anytime soon. What else have I to do? Well, I do have some new trains to weather, but I can do that while I make some sweet music with my new toy. Thanks for the help on this. And a special thanks goes to Skittles for helping me find some files and answers on the web also. Till next time BYE!!

Ipod Problem

It isn't the Ipod I'm having problems with specifically, it's my computer after I install the program that gets the tunes on the thing that I'm having problems with. You see, to get songs and such to your Ipod you have to install I tunes. When I do that it also installs Quicktime. When it does that, I can't view my little map thingie or the Christmas Tree that I installed on my blog. They come up with a little "Q" icon in it and won't show. Go figure.

I got the Ipod for Christmas and love it. But, there's that darn PC problem to contend with. I restored my PC to an earlier date to fix the problem of viewing my map, but I don't want to have to do that every time I put more music on the Ipod. Maybe this goes along with the problem I was having earlier with my PC. Who knows.

For now, I will just keep doing what I have been and let things lie. I might end up completely reloading my PC to it's original condition this week. If anyone else has had this problem with their Ipod, I'd appreciate it if you'd let me know. Like I said, it might just be my PC and it's weird ways. Till next time BYE!!


I just thought I'd post about the gifts I got for Christmas.

A new lens for my camera. Its a 70-300 zoom with macro. I knew I was getting this as I ordered it lol.

I also got an Ipod which I love. Now I can listen to music at work.

I got 5 train cars 2 covered hoppers, a tank car, an auto carrier, and an old time billboard reefer car. Pretty neat stuff.

Some more weathering chalks

A book about the discovery of the Titanic. This is to replace one that I had that got ruined in a flood.

A new knife, its a Winchester brand and is a hunting knife. I don't hunt, but I like knives and will be an addition to my collection

Gift certificates to a local craft store

Finally but not least...I got a USB turntable. Well, it's on order. It couldn't be shipped here by Christmas so I will have to wait on this one. But it will be well worth it. I have over 300 vinyl albums that I would like to make MP3's of. This will make a great addition to the toys that I already own.

It may not sound like much, but it was a very good Christmas for me. Just watching the grandkids was a treat. Now if I can only get the youngest one, Emily, to like me, I'd be much happier. She's only 11 months and doesn't see me often. In time she'll get to know me more. Till next time BYE!!

Monday, December 25, 2006


I just wanted to take this time to talk a little about this blogging thing. I've been blogging since early October and have enjoyed it. But, no matter how many hits I get on my blog, the thing that means the most to me is the comments left by fellow bloggers. I'd still blog if no one commented because I just find this a neat outlet for my thoughts, but the feedback is a wonderful thing. So, I'll make this post a short one by saying thank you to all those who have commented on my blog and I look forward to continuing blogging. Till next time BYE!!


Merry Christmas one and all.

Skittles and I got home from the her kids house a little after midnight last night. And just like the kids we watched earlier in the evening, we opened our Christmas presents. We both got pretty much what we wanted. We then went to bed and gawked over a few of our presents.

This morning I will have to install some software and things so we can use some of our gifts. Later on we will enjoy a nice turkey dinner with stuffing.

For now I am going to just sit and relax and remember last nights memories. The kids, grandkids and all. It was a pretty nice evening. I also have to download the pictures I took last night of everyone opening up their presents. Till next time BYE!!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is upon us. It's the time for enjoying all the fruits of our labors. For getting together with family and friends and savor the memories. Gifts will be opened and many returned. But it's the thought that counts right? Many will be traveling to far destinations and others just a trip around the block. There will be festively wrapped presents and much good food eaten. Children will be playing with their long awaited gifts that they had wished for during the year. I know you're supposed to wait till Christmas day to open the gifts, but when you don't get the opportunity to see loved ones nearly enough, amends are made to this tradition.

It never fails to bring a smile to me to watch little ones open their gifts that Santa has brought. (He left them at my house so I could bring them) Yes, this is a special time of year when we all get together and share. Thoughts, good wishes, and cheer. We (Skittles and I) will be going to see our grandchildren and children. It's a long drive but well worth it. I'm glad they don't live further though lol.

We will be returning home in the late evening sometime. We will treasure the moments as we make our way home. When we get home, we may open some of our presents as well, the ones we have given to each other. I will be surprised as I have no idea about what I might receive. (except one lol) We'll go to bed and awaken to Christmas Day.

We will have our own little special Christmas dinner that afternoon. Traditions starting again. Things change and people do too. But I do relish this time of year. A time of reflection and giving.

So, whatever your beliefs, I wish each or you reading this blog the Merriest of Christmas. because underneath it all, it's still Christmas. Till next time BYE!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006


I just got home from doing (hopefully) the last of the shopping that needed to be done for Christmas. My hats off to all those folks that work in the business sector that have to deal with all the people they encounter each season. It's part of the reason I don't really like to go out shopping at this time of year. Don't get me wrong now, I love to shop for others for Christmas. I'm not that good at it, but I do like picking out things. It's the people that bug me most. You know them. Those people that don't know where they put their drivers license and want to write out a check for everything. And those others who are just in that "state" I posted about before. The state of blissful ignorance. I saw a few of those today while I was out.

One, at the grocery store had 3 gift cards for Trumps casino in her 300$ grocery pile and didn't even think to ask what they were till the very end of her order. She apparently thought they were coupons. DUH! The second one was at a store where I was picking up a gift card and was ahead of me in line. She had a 12 pack of shrink wrapped water that she didn't want to lift out of her cart, so she asked the sales lady to scan it, which the sales lady tried to but the lady with the cart, just kept rolling the cart while the clerk was trying to read the scan thingie.

I know these aren't really outrageous, but it's all part of the reason I don't like shopping at this time of year. Just like people taking coupons into a store and not buying what's on the coupon but still expecting the same discount.

But, I managed to get all my errands done by noon today and that beat a lot of the rush. I may be crazy enough to dare out again later though. I have some birthday money to spend. Just have to figure out what I want lol. Most of it's in the form of a Lowe's gift card. I like Lowe's. It's just that living in an apartment isn't exactly conducive to shopping there. Now if I were a home owner it wouldn't be a problem at all lol.

OK, enough of my rambling for now. I'm going to sit here and chill out for a bit and see what happens today. Till next time BYE!!

Saturday Photo Hunt

I decided to join the Saturday Photo Hunt thing. This weeks theme is lines. For my first post on it I went with this photo. It's a line of presents waiting to be opened at Christmas.

Friday, December 22, 2006


Another week bites the dust. I don't have to go back to work till the 2nd of January. I did learn one thing today though, I don't do so well when I don't take my meds with me to work. I usually take Motrin with me to help with my arthritis and back aches. Plus my muscles are pretty tired after getting back to work after 4 months off. I'll enjoy being off this week though. I think I can find some things to do to keep me busy. I'm pretty tired at the moment and may get to bed earlier than usual. Not much to post about otherwise. Till next time BYE!!

Friday's Feast

What is one of your Christmas traditions? Being with family

Who is the easiest person on your list to buy presents for? They all had everyone.

What is your favorite Christmas scent? Cinnamon

Main Course
If you could give a fellow blogger a Christmas gift, who would it be and what would you give them? Skittles and I can't tell you :)

What's something on your Christmas wish list this year that you need (not just want)? Nothing, Christmas is for fun things

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Today was the last day for overtime this year. We worked nearly 10 hours and I am feeling it. I just thought that I would post about some of the things my company does during the holiday though. Mostly it is the employees that get these things done, but without our jobs with the company, many wouldn't be able to be achieved.

1 over 30 bags of toys for the Toys for Tots program

2 900$ cash was raised

3 65 bikes were donated

4 And last but certainly not least.... 44 families were adopted as part of the Adopt a Family program that we participate in each year.

A hearty thanks goes out to all the autoworkers who donated their time and energy to this program. I really think that the things done this year will brighten up quite a few homes that are in need. Till next time BYE!!

Thank You

A big happy Thank You to all who stopped by to wish me Happy Birthday today. It was very nice of all of you to take the time to do this. Thanks! Till next time BYE!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Well, I've done just about all I can for the moment to my pc to get it running good. I'll just deal with it's problems till next week when I will be off of work. That way I will have time to deal with backing up my files and such. So far it just slows way down the longer I use it. Oh well. At least I can post lol. Till next time BYE!!

Thursday Thirteen

For this weeks Thursday Thirteen I am going to list 13 books I have read. Here goes.

1 The Rainmaker by John Grisham

2 Net Force Cyber by Tom Clancy

3 Raise the Titanic by Clive Cussler

4 Atlantis Found by Clive Cussler

5 Treasure by Clive Cussler

6 Inca Gold by Clive Cussler

7 In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

8 Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

9 War of the Worlds by H.G.Wells

10 The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King

11 The Gunslinger by Stephen King

12 Drawing of the Three by Stephen King

13 Wheels by Arthur Hailey

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

PC Problems

It isn't unusual for me not to post everyday now that I am back to work. But this time it's a bit different. I came home Monday and when I started my pc, it gave me a warning that some file or something was bad on my hard drive. My pc has been acting up lately and I may need to reload it fresh. Lots of things to back up before I do though. I just hope the hard drive isn't shot.

I ran all the fixit programs that I have and it seems to be working now. But it still isn't right.

So, for those who look for my post, if you don't see one you will understand why. Just thought I'd let you all know. Thanks. Till next time BYE!!

Monday, December 18, 2006


I've gotten to see many neat looking streams while travelling. Having been to 32 states also helps in this regard. Many would look nice in a photo but I just haven't taken the time to stop to take pictures. A few of my favorites were in Vermont, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and Tennessee in the Smoky Mountains.

There's just something peaceful about watching streams. Seeing the small rocks and such as the water washes over them. Winding their way through forests and fields.

These streams remind me a lot of the way we live our lives. We go through our daily routines and with luck, end our days with little fanfare. Other times we encounter that huge boulder that we must find a way to get around. Other times we lazily stroll through the woods and forests merrily on our ways. Sometimes, just like the streams, we must do what needs to be done in order to get through.

Strange what I think about while taking a shower isn't it? lol

Till next time BYE!!