Thursday, November 30, 2006


I got the idea for this post from some of the comments that were provided on Skittle's Place's T13 post. Some of them commented on liking the little bicycle that I took a picture of. There really isn't much of a story about it. But it is a neat little item. I found it in a store in a small town north of Detroit called Frankenmuth. There was a little shop there with nicknack's and it was there that I bought it. The neat thing about the bicycle is that it actually works. When you turn the pedals, the wheel turns. And when you squeeze the handbrake levers, the brakes work too. Just thought it was a neat thing to post about. Till next time BYE!!

Surprise of the Day

Well, I think I caught up on all my sleep. I did however go to bed a bit early last night and wake up at about 2am lol. This gave me the chance to post my first Thursday Thirteen. I had seen Skittles posting these and had helped with some pictures and such for her in the past, so I though, why not.

Now onto the surprise. After taking what amounted to a short nap after posting my TT, I got up and was checking my site meter to see if anyone had been to my blog that was new. I went and saw a new url so I went to see who it was. WOW, I looked down their list of posts and to my surprise, every picture that I had taken for my wife Skittles Thursday Thirteen post was posted on this other persons blog. Now don't get me wrong here, if someone likes a picture and wants to use it I don't have a problem with it. BUT, this person took the whole 13 of them. And what's worse was the comment that someone had left. It was sexual in nature and that's all I will say about it. But talk about misrepresentation.

I'm not really angry about this, just a bit shocked. I just don't know what else to say about it.
Till next time BYE!!

An addition ...... This post has been deleted from the offenders blog site. All that wrote of their displeasure was appreciated. Thanks :)

Last of the Kits

These boxcars are the last of the kits I got last Christmas. I finally got them put together and weathered. Now, it's onto the train cars that are already put together but not weathered. A bit of disassembly will be required for this, but I think the results will be worth it. Till next time BYE!!

Thursday Thirteen

For my first ever Thursday Thirteen I have decided to list 13 States I have visited.

1 Ohio

2 Pennsylvania

3 New York

4 Vermont

5 New Hampshire

6 Virginia

7 West Virginia

8 Kentucky

9 Tennessee

10 North Carolina

11 South Carolina

12 Georgia

13 Florida

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!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

6 Weird Things About Me Meme

I have also been tagged to do a 6 weird things about me meme. Thanks Maggie! I have done this in the past, but I'll try it again for fun lol.

Here goes...

1 I didn't start smoking till I was 46 yrs old

2 I didn't get my real drivers license till I was 19

3 I use hairspray more than my wife does (for the model trains lol)

4 I'm a packrat (just ask Skittles)

5 I've eaten bologna and strawberry jelly sandwiches

6 I've taken 20 years to finish a model

The rules of this are: I'm supposed to tag 6 people and they will put 6
weird things about themselves on their blog.

altjiranga mitjina


wooden porch

yada yada yada


crazy working mom

Till next time BYE!!

5 Favorite Christmas Songs Meme

OK, I got tagged to do my 5 favorite Christmas songs. Thanks Asara!

Here goes...
1 Carol of the Bells

2 Have a Holly Jolly Christmas Burl Ives

3 Silent Night

4 Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree Peggy Lee I think?

5 Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer

You may have noticed that I haven't put any artist by a few of these,

that's because I like them sung by various singers or choir's even.

I'm supposed to tag 5 people for this, but seeing as I have been tagged twice today, I won't. Besides, I'm not good at figuring out who to tag lol. Till next time BYE!!

What a Day

To start off with, I had to get up early (for me that is) to go see my regular doctor for a checkup after having my back surgery. As far that goes, I seem to be in good condition other than gaining a little weight. The doctor pretty much understood this as she knows I haven't really worked in 4 months now. In my line of work, I did a lot of walking and without doing that, some pounds have found there way onto me. Not even walking around the mall would take it's place unless I walked for 8 hours or so. My blood pressure was good so she kept me on my current medication for that(it has risen some during the early back pain stages and had me wondering).

After seeing the doctor it was off to the bank and then a little bit of Christmas shopping. I got that done and came home. As I didn't sleep well last night, I lasted about an hour or 2 then hit the hay and slept about till 3pm or so.

OK, on to why I didn't sleep so well last night. I know you folks must be getting tired of hearing about my trains, but it was just that that kept me from sleeping like I normally do. Here's why. If you remember, I ordered a train in early November. They sent me a nifty little e-mail to let me know it was shipped. Well, when I got my package it was the wrong one. I got an e-mail from the guy who ordered from there saying he got mine and that I got his. Well, I, being the nice guy that I am, went to the post office the next day and mailed his package to him. BUT, as of today, I still haven't gotten mine. And what got me somewhat angry was that when I shipped his package, I had the post office put one of those delivery confirmation tags on it. So, I went online and typed in the number of it and what do you think I got? Yep, it was delivered to him on the 20th of November.

So I sent him an e-mail asking what was going on and why haven't I got my package. I also sent one to the place that I ordered my train from. The answer I got from them was that if this wasn't resolved soon, they would send me another train. The part that's frustrating me is the time factor. I ordered this thing in early November and it's already the end of the month.

I went to bed pretty much at my usual time, but as usual, my mind wouldn't stop thinking about this.I got maybe an hours sleep. Hence the nap today and the late start.

It just bugs me as I feel like I've been screwed over on this deal. I think the next time I will ship the order back to the place that I ordered it from and let them deal with it. No more being nice and shipping things to someone else I don't know. It makes for me the idea of trusting others a bit harrowing now.

So now I am going about my day as usual(so to speak) and will get back to sleeping normally tonight hopefully. Just wanted to let you folks know what's going on in my little world. Till next time BYE!!

P.S. I got tagged by Maggie for a 6 weird things about me meme. I'll get to that a bit later.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Just when you think things aren't what they're supposed to be lol. I did my shopping and came home. Skittles tells me to check my comments on the post below, that she left me a comment. So I did, lo and behold, while I was shopping, the HO switcher I ordered came. WHOOOOHOOO. Now all I have to do is wait for the train that was shipped to the wrong fellow to appear. I hope it's soon. Till next time BYE!!

It Makes Me Wonder

Yes it does! I guess I have to explain though don't I? It's like this, I ordered an HO scale engine in early November. I also ordered another HO engine(this ones a switcher for those interested) in mid November. Plus I ordered my Christmas gift (a new lens for my digital camera) just before Thanksgiving.

Guess which one came today? The lens! The last thing I ordered. How can that be? Well, I admit, the first train I ordered went to the wrong person, so that explains a bit. But, with the deal I got on the new lens, I didn't have to pay shipping. You'd think since it was free that it would be delivered by Alaskan sled dogs or something.

Is our mail system that slow? I guess it's no wonder the USPS gripes about how people don't use them as much as they used to and that they are losing revenue.

OK, enough with my rambling on. Time for me to get on with my day here. I have some shopping to do for the things I didn't get yesterday while shopping. Till next time BYE!!

A Quick Thank You

I'd like to take this time to thank all those who have made the effort to visit my blog. As this week has seen a milestone of sorts. The little counter thingy says that I have had over 1000 visitors. So, a hearty thanks to those who have stopped by for a little peek into my life and thoughts. Till next time BYE!!

Monday, November 27, 2006

I Guess I Just Don't Get It

I read an article on the homepage of my web browser that says " A public Christmas festival is no place for the Christmas story". HUH??? It seems that there was a Christmas Festival going on in downtown Chicago sponsored by a group called German Christkindlmarket. Part of the festival was that a movie studio, New Line Cinema. was going to sponsor the festival and show a film called "The Nativity Story" as part of the festival. From what I understand, the city is concerned that ads from the film will offend "non Christians". Heeeelllllloooooo!!! Isn't it a Christmas Festival already? Why would an ad for a film possibly offend anyone more than the festival itself? Furthermore, it's already on city property. From what the article says, there is already a Nativity Scene in Daly Plaza too, although there are items representing other religions there. I just don't get it. I don't get why anyone would be offended by an act of portraying ones belief. Maybe it's just me. Or is there that many people out there that are offended by any depiction of ones religion other than there own? I'm not offended if I see someone else's religion being displayed. To me, I feel this is something that a few are exploiting for their own pleasure. I don't see the fact that viewing something is having that something forced upon you. You're free to look the other way. I do know that at Christmas it may be difficult to get away from the carols being played at Malls and such. But, it seems to me that we are becoming an intolerant society. I'm not saying that being unfair to others should be tolerated, but is the viewing of a particular religions belief really unfair? I guess the bottom line for me is this, if they stop the Christmas displays, what will be next? Will we be forced to keep our beliefs hidden in a dark dungeon? Like I said, maybe it's just me. Till next time BYE!!

Previous Christmas's

I just felt like posting about some of my previous Christmas experience. Part of this ties in with my love of trains. I don't remember the year exactly, but it was quite a while back. My ex and I had seen some of those cute little houses that are used for Christmas. You know, the ones with the light in them. We thought it would be a nice addition to our Christmas settings.

We ended up really getting into the little houses and after a few years of collecting them had 27 of them. At first, we just put them on top of one of my speakers that were in the living room. Mind you I had BIG speakers in those days. They were big enough to sit a 19" TV on them, just to give you an idea how big.

But, we did start with a small set of houses to begin with, a set of 3. Then we added to that and the next year, I found myself buying a hollow core door and drilling holes in it to put the houses on. Naturally, I added a small loop of track and purchased an old time steam engine with a few cars to run around. Pretty Christmassy huh?

I'd run the cords for the lights through the holes I drilled in the door so that they didn't show when viewing the little village that we had.

After about 3 years of collecting little houses in various sets, we ended up with the 27 that I mentioned earlier. By this time, we moved the "village" to our dining room. Also by this time, the village was on 2 hollow core doors, also with holes drilled in them and lay ed out side by side, giving it a roughly 6X6 ft size.

We numbered the houses and drew a diagram of where they would sit so we could set them up the same way each year. This " village" ended up having many nice features in it, including working street lamps, roads, a pond, and countless details.

I expanded the train track to go all the way around the edge of the village which made it look quite nice. We even added a scenic backdrop to make it look as though it were in the mountains. It was quite the job to put it all together and it sat on 2 wooden sawhorses. The edges of the doors had some red plastic from a table cloth attached to them to hide the sawhorses.

The part that I liked though, was after Christmas. I would get out my other trains and run them around the track. Not quite a Christmas scene, but I did have fun with it. My ex used to say that I would run my "monster" trains after Christmas was over lol. It was a bit out of place to run modern diesels and big boxcars in a late 1800, early 1900 period setting, but I did get to have fun.

I no longer have any of the village pieces. And I don't yet have a layout to run my trains on. But someday I will. Till then I will have fond memories of running my "monster" trains at Christmas. Till next time BYE!!

Naughty or Nice

Are you Naughty or nice
Your Result: You're Nice! all sugar, no spice!

You're all about sweetness, sunshine, and smiles. We've never met anyone nicer than you. Actually, we wouldn't be surprised to come across you sitting in a peaceful green meadow, surrounded by adorable baby animals eating out of your hand whilst your halo shines in the sun. Ah, we're just taking the mickey. But you are awfully good. Certainly, you may have dipped your toe in the naughty pool once or twice, but you generally stay in the shallow end, leaving the deep waters to the leather-and- nude-magazine crowd. It's all well and good to follow the straight and narrow, but it's okay to walk on the wild side once in a while, too. Have a drink. Organise a practical joke. Go to a strip club. Trust us - as long as no one gets hurt, it's fun to be bad!

your Naughty! wild thing!

Are you Naughty or nice

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Digital Camera's, Ya Gotta Love Em!

I bought the digital camera that I own about 2 years ago. It's a Canon Digital Rebel, and will take 6 mega pixel pictures. Part of the reason I bought the Canon brand was that I had already bought the 35mm Canon Rebel and had 2 lenses to fit that one. The nice thing is that these lenses also work with the digital camera also.

I've taken this camera on our vacations and other occasions where we wanted pictures. I can't imagine anything being simpler or easier to use. The only thing that might scare some away would be it's size. It's a bit bigger than a regular 35mm camera. The other thing that might scare folks away would be the "changing lenses" routine. Many want a simple point and shoot style camera and that's fine if that's what you want. As you can tell, it wasn't what I wanted. I wanted the flexibility that I had with my 35mm and multiple lens setup.

My digital camera can be used in the same manner, but you do have to set how much of the subject you want with the lens. Other than that, it's pretty much a point and shoot. The neatest thing though, is that I can take pictures and just pop out the memory card, put it in my pc, then bring up the pictures I just took. There's even a program that lets you put the pictures into photo albums also. How neat huh? No stopping to drop the film off and no waiting to scan the pictures into your pc, they're already there. Another neat feature of my camera is that you can set the size of the pictures you want to take. This makes taking a lot of pictures easy.

At the setting I have my camera on, I can take 286 full sized pictures with my 1 gigabyte memory card. If I set it to the smallest setting, I can get nearly 1000 pictures. This is how I have taken all the photos of my trains you have seen. I do however scale them down to size when I upload them to make it quicker to get them uploaded. I keep the original sized photo in a folder.

I now have 3 lenses that fit this camera and one for Christmas on the way. At the moment I have an 18-55mm lens that came with the digital camera plus a 35-80mm and a 80-200mm that came with the 35mm rebel. These lenses cover pretty much all that I usually use.

The new lens that I have ordered has a bit more range to it, plus the macro feature. I am thinking it will be the lens of choice when I get it. With the exception of portrait photos, and really wide angle photos.

So, all in all, I think this digital camera thing is a very good idea. I won't get rid of my 35mm film cameras though. I still like being able to use that format and have some nice equipment to use. Till next time BYE!!

Christmas Gift

I know at least one gift I'm getting this Christmas. How do I know you might ask? Well, it's because I ordered it lol. Skittles and I often ask each other what we would like as gifts for Christmas so we have an idea what to get. One of my gifts this year will be a new lens for my digital camera. A nice zoom lens to be exact. It's a beauty too. 70-300 mm with macro. Now I will have the focal length to take better pictures plus the macro feature to take nice closeups of flowers and such. Till next time BYE!!

Grammar Test

Your Language Arts Grade: 86%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
Make a Quiz

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Keep on Blogging

OK. I feel I have to rant about this. I have been blogging for about 2 months now and have seen at least 3 blogs that either feel they have to quit blogging or change their names because of what other people have said about their blogs. I know all about the "keeping others feelings in mind" thing. But to me these other people putting their feet where it don't belong is total bullshit. Blogging is a way for people to put their feelings or whatever else out there. How else would we get to know each other.

Certainly, I wouldn't have gotten to know ANY of these people in my real life situation. This to me is like censorship at it's worst. I don't agree with everything that is posted by everyone, but I do agree with the idea that everyone who blogs has the right to their opinion. If we don't allow others to express their opinions and thoughts, what kind of society will we have? One of only rosy pictures? One of only happy thoughts? The fact is simple, life isn't always rosy and it isn't always happy. For those who don't have a continually happy life they ought to be able to express it in a free manor.

Usually, it's only one or two instances of something that isn't what someone else thinks someone should have put into their blog that creates this mess. I feel deeply for those who feel they have had to change the way they blog or even go so far as changing their name just to avoid being singled out.

I just want to say that I wish all that blogs would have a free say in how they want to do their posts. Also, I wish other people would quit sticking their noses into where they don't belong. This isn't to say that it's wrong to have an opposing view, but to have such an impact on ones blog to the affect of making one change their blogs name or even making them think about quitting is altogether different.

I've had my say. I just wanted to post this as it has pissed me off pretty well. I do hope those that have had this happen to them keep blogging. Till next time BYE!!

Friday, November 24, 2006

3 things meme

I was tagged by heather from Beautiful British Columbia for a 3 things meme

1. 3 Things that scare me: death, heights, irs
2. 3 People who make me laugh: Ron White, Bill Cosby, Larry the Cable Guy
3. 3 Things I love: trains, music, biscuits
4. 3 Things I hate: rude people, traffic, no Internet
5. 3 Things I don’t understand: Spanish, quantum physics, html
6. 3 Things on my desk: train car, iced tea, medsr>
7. 3 Things I’m doing right now: answering this meme, watching tv, drinking iced tea
8. 3 Things I want to do before I die: see the pyramids, buy a house, build a train layout
9. 3 Things I can do: repair cars, build model trains. carpentry
10. 3 Things I can’t do: play piano, make my dog mind, hurt myself on purpose
11. 3 Things I think you should listen to: your parents, music that you like, teachers
12. 3 Things you should never listen to: fools, bad music, people telling you that you aren't worth anything
13. 3 Things I’d like to learn: html, airplane physics, to be an architect
14. 3 Favorite foods: meatloaf, chicken and dumplings, turkey
15. 3 Beverages I drink regularly: diet pepsi, iced tea, decaf coffee
16. 3 Shows I watched as a kid: Captain Kangaroo, Gunsmoke, I love Lucy
17. 3 People I’m tagging : Skittles , and 2 others to be named soon lol


Well, I seem to feel a bit better. So I am going to post some pictures of the latest train cars that I have weathered. The first one is a "pickle car". It is used to transport pickles. That's what the vats on the car are used for. The hatches on the top are used for loading and unloading. The second is a pretty standard boxcar, the third one is a gondola. Gondolas are used for loads that are too tall or bulky to put into boxcars, like railroad track, steel coils, and stuff like that. I included a few extra shots of the gondola to show you how I weathered the inside of it and also a picture with a coffee cup behind it to give you some sense of scale of the cars I work with. I hope you enjoy them, I certainly do. Till next time BYE!!


I ordered a new HO locomotive from an online store at the beginning of November. They ended up sending me the wrong order and I also found out that another guy had mine. I e-mailed them to find out what they wanted me (actually us) to do. They told me to just mail this fellows locomotives to him and he was supposed to mail mine to me. They also said that they would refund my expenses for mailing to him. Well, I checked the mail today and found an envelope in my mail from the place I ordered the train from. The funny thing was, it had a name on the envelope that was crossed off(a funeral home) with the name of the train place written in. It was the name that was crossed off that got my attention. I am including a scan I made of the envelope for your enjoyment. I know I got a chuckle out of it. Till next time BYE!!

Hint, if you click on the image it will bring it up in another window a bit bigger


Not much too post about today. I have no plans on braving the holiday shopping crowd that is out in force. First off, I don't really care for the crowds. I can deal with it, but not when they are in a shopping frenzy. I'm in a bit of a dull mood today anyway. I don't even feel like working on my trains. I did however finish off another one last night. I'll post some pictures sometime later. Till next time BYE!!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Panda Poop Paper

Yeah, you heard it right! A Thailand Zoo that rents panda bears from China has come up with an idea to offset the cost of keeping the cute little bears. It seems the caretakers got tired of disposing of the 55 lb's of poop that the 2 panda's create. So they came up with a way to treat the poop and turn it into paper products such as paper fans, notebooks, bookmarks, and key chains. Don't worry, they process the poop in a day long process that bleaches it and makes it usable for a paper type product. A spokesman for the Zoo said that the products sell well in the Zoo, but lack much interest in outside sales. Talk about environmentally friendly huh? So now you have another Christmas gift idea that would be indeed unique. Till next time BYE!!


I woke up this morning to find it quite foggy out. With the construction going on in back of our apartment, this gives it a much nicer look. A little eerie, but nicer than bulldozers and backhoes. Till next time BYE!!


Today is the day where we give thanks for all that we have. I must admit I am blessed in many ways. I have a good job, a very good wife and the cutest grand kids anyone could ask for. My mother will be spending Thanksgiving with my sister. Barb and I will be spending this Thanksgiving here in our apartment. It's the first Thanksgiving either of us will have spent without some other family around us. A thought has come to me though. This thought is about all those who aren't as fortunate as myself. I just wanted to say that I hope all those less fortunate than myself have a Happy Thanksgiving. And I hope they can turn things around in whatever fashion they can to make their lives better. I, for one, know you don't have to be rich to be happy. So, here's to happiness in whatever you do. Have a Happy Thanksgiving all. Till next time BYE!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Thanksgiving has come

It's that time of year

Where we enjoy

Good times and good cheer

I'm thankful for family

I'm thankful for friends

and here's to hoping

That it all never ends.

Happy Thanksgiving all :)


After getting some folks from other countries visiting my blog, I thought I might help them along with a translation thingy. It was free and might start some dialog's with new people. Till next time BYE!!

35mm SLR

Waxing nostalgic about my band days got me to thinking about my cameras. I got my first 35mm camera when I was about 25 years old. It was a pretty nice camera but only had the most basic of features. I had pretty much out grown my first 35mm camera and wanted more flexibility shooting pictures. So I went and bought the 35mm camera that I still have to this day. Both were the Sears brand which I later found out was actually made by Ricoh. I soon out grew the 50mm lens that came with the camera and bought a 28mm wide angle lens. Then I added an 80-200 mm zoom lens with macro so I could take pictures up close of objects like flowers. Then came the 2x adapter to get more focal length and a motor drive.

The motor drive came in very handy when I went to see the Detroit Grand Prix. When the Grand Prix first debuted in Detroit, they ran Formula one cars. Later, they ran the more familiar Indy type cars.

I used to get a photo pass for the Grand Prix which allowed me to get into better areas to get pictures of the cars roaring around the track. One noticeable difference between the Formula One races and the Indy car races is in the way they qualify. In Indy car, they qualify one at a time, in Formula one, you take you chances with who else is on the track. Therefore, even during qualifying, there are several cars on the track at a time with Formula one.

The last lens I bought for this camera was a short zoom lens, a 28-85mm one. It was the lens I tended to use most of the time. I also have an assortment of filters to use with these lenses.

This was the camera I used for many years until I decided I wanted something newer with auto-focus about 2 years ago. Here's a picture of the camera. Till next time BYE!!

My First Band Experience

Not long after I had gotten out of high school, I met Gary, who was the son of a woman my mom worked with. I helped him move the first time I met him. It was also Gary who became my friend and got me a job where he worked. About that time I decided that I wanted to learn to play the electric bass guitar. Gary also connected to a band. So, one day he and I went to a music store and out I walked with an inexpensive bass guitar.

I took it home and fiddled around with it. I didn't even have an amp to play it on. A bit of time went by and one day at work, Gary asked me if I wanted to learn a few songs with the band he knew. I have to admit, I was pretty nervous about it. I told him I would give it a try.

So, I went over to the house that the band practiced at(in the basement) and started my journey into the world of music. The guys in the band were pretty nice to me and let me learn a few easy songs. I had my big debut at a party that was thrown for another friends birthday. It was in a hall and I got to play in a short set. I think I did pretty well.

The only thing was that in order for me to play, I had to help set up and tear down after the party was over. The friend who introduced me to the band, was running the sound board that evening and asked if I wanted to sit with him. I took him up on the offer and enjoyed it. The only problem was, the sound board happened to be right next to the bar. You guessed it, the bartender would look over and see our empty pitcher sitting there and asked if we wanted another. By the end of the night, I was well smashed. I ended up staying over at my friends house(no I didn't drive).

That was my first experience playing in a real band. I didn't practice with them much after that till their regular bass player quit a few months after that. I did get better though. I played with that band for about 3 or 4 years. We mostly played rock and roll songs by bands like Grand Funk Railroad, ZZ Top and Foghat.

I am including a picture of one of the bass guitars that I still own. This one is a Gibson RD Standard, I payed 800$ for it in 1979 and I still have the receipt. I've owned 5 of them through the years. I still have 2. Till next time BYE!!

Tuesday Night

Well, I couldn't sleep, so I worked on another model train. I have finished another one since the last one. I'll post pictures of both when I am done with this one. Not much new going on really. I did all the shopping for Thanksgiving already. All that's left is to get all the fixin's ready on Thursday. Till next time BYE!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Woo Hooo

Yesterday, I was having a problem with my original counter that I had installed on my blog. It isn't as nice as the new one I have, but it has info that isn't on the new one. I tried just about everything I knew how to do to get it to work. So, I ended up writing the webmaster at the site telling about my problem with it. Lo and behold, it works today. This makes me happy. Till next time BYE !!

Vacation Memories

I watched a program the other day on the National Geographic channel about Yellowstone in the winter. It was so beautiful and it reminded me of the vacation that Barb and I took last summer. Our intended destination was the Black Hills of South Dakota. We saw some wonderful sights on the way. We don't really plan our vacations. We pick a destination and if we change our mind, so be it. After we saw the Badlands we headed on over and saw Mount Rushmore, then the Crazy Horse mountain carving(it isn't done yet). We decided that since we were that far, we would just go see Yellowstone. On the way we got to see Devils Tower also. Then, on the way back, we took the long way and saw Little Bighorn, the site of Custer's Last Stand. We saw other interesting things also. I have decided to put a few pictures in my blog for your viewing pleasure. After watching the Yellowstone documentary the other day, I thought it was worth a revisit of our
vacation. Till next time BYE!!

Badlands South Dakota

Badlands South Dakota

Mount Rushmore South Dakota

Devils Tower Wyoming

Old Faithful

Bison at Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Little Bighorn Memorial Montana

Wagon Ruts from the Oregon Trail in Wyoming

Old Fort Laramie in Wyoming

Monday, November 20, 2006


Barb and I have different approaches to things. You can see it in our blogs. One of the way you might not be able to see it is in the way, and the things we read.

For instance, we have 3 bookcases in our apartment. One in the living room, one in our bedroom and another in our spare bedroom/pc room. The ones in our living room and bedroom are full sized bookcases. They are pretty much Barbs. They are both full sized bookcases which stand about 6' tall. The one in the living room is filled with hard cover books and the one in our bedroom is filled with paperbacks. Both of these are really over filled.

So that brings me to the one in our spare bedroom. That ones primarily mine. It only has 3 shelves. The bottom shelf is filled with photography books. (when I get into something, I get into it lol) The second shelf is filled with various "coffee table" type books. You know, the ones that have nice big glossy pictures and a story or two. The top shelf is filled with computer and car manuals . It also serves as a display for a few of my models that I have built. Which leads to the differences in reading material between myself and Barb. She tends to read actual books where I tend to read more manual type books.

I have to admit that since I met Barb, I have read more books than I ever had in my life before(barring school that is). We both enjoy our reading choices though, and that is the important thing. So, there you have a view on one of the differences between Barb and I. Till next time BYE!!


I went and got a new counter for my blog. The only thing about it is that it's too big to fit into my sidebar. So if you want to see it, you'll have to scroll to the bottom of my blog. I think it's pretty neat. Till next time BYE!!


I am going to rehash something that I posted on before. That post, unfortunately has been deleted. So, I will go over it again. One of my hobbies is model trains. I model in HO scale, which is 1/87th the size of the real thing. I started model railroading in my teens, with a train set that I got for Christmas. I added cars and engines to that since. I now have over 100 cars and engines. I have also gone from the inexpensive type to a more advanced and better built train. I still have the "cheaper" cars and engines and plan to use them on my layout when I get one built.

But, all of the cars and engines that I have were all shiny and new looking. As I have progressed in this hobby, I came to the conclusion that I wanted a more realistic looking fleet of trains. I mean, surely you have noticed real trains going down the tracks right? How many train cars do you see that look like they are brand new? Practically none right?

So, that is where I am now. Getting my trains to look more real. It's called "weathering" to model railroaders. There are various methods to get the same result. Currently I am using artists pastel chalks that have been ground from a stick of whatever color I have and applied with a brush. Then I spray it with hairspray to hold it in place. It sometimes takes several applications of this "powder" to get the look I want. When I am happy with the way it looks, I finish it off with a coat of Testors Dull Coat. It's a lacquer that is sprayed onto the train and it stays dull to make it look real, but also to make it so the affect that I have applied doesn't come off while I handle the train cars.

So, I hope I didn't make this too long of a post. But, I did want to give those who haven't followed my blog from the start to have a better idea about why I do what I do to my model trains. Till next time BYE!!


Not really a whole lot going on today. I did our shopping for Thanksgiving. It was a bit expensive, but if you look at it the right way, we will have several meals plus leftovers to munch on. Besides, it's a Holiday right?

It's that time of year when us model railroaders start working in earnest on our projects. As you have seen in my past posts, I am doing just that. I find it interesting as well as a stress reliever. So, just to warn you, I am going to be posting pics and such about the trains I am working on.

I will however, be posting about my other interests also. And, when spring gets here, I'll probably get into something else. What else you may ask? I'm thinking I'll probably get out my gas powered R/C car and take it for a spin or two. I tell ya, I'm like a little kid at times lol. Till next time BYE!!

For Those Who Want To Know

For those interested in my model train that I just finished and what it does, you can simply click on my sidebar and look at the "New Project" link. It gives a short history of the train and it's uses. Till next time BYE!!

I have Musical Intelligence

Your Dominant Intelligence is Musical Intelligence

Every part of your life has a beat, and you're often tapping your fingers or toes.
You enjoy sounds of all types, but you also find sound can distract you at the wrong time.
You are probably a gifted musician of some sort - even if you haven't realized it.
Also a music lover, you tend to appreciate artists of all kinds.

You would make a great musician, disc jockey, singer, or composer.

I've been Critiqued

I was going through my normal routine this morning when my attention was turned to the "Critique My Blog" site. To my surprise, I found that my blog had been critiqued. It is a nice surprise though. I now wonder if I am going to place some pressure on myself to come up with interesting blog posts. Something for me to ponder. Oh well, I'll try to just keep posting as I have been. The only unfortunate part of this critique is that with having "deleted" my previous posts, there wasn't an opportunity for Billy Mac to see what I had done in the past. Till next time BYE!!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ta- Daaaaa

Well, I did it. I finished the Jordan Spreader train car. I included a couple of pictures of it to show you what it looks like. I did a mild weathering job on it. On to the next one. I only have about another 100 to go lol. Till next time BYE!!


Wow, what an ordeal this has been. I ordered a new HO locomotive from an online company early in November. They let me know in an e-mail that they were out of them. So, I wrote back and asked if they had my second choice to which they replied they did. SO, I ordered one of those. I waited for the delivery and to my surprise, the package contained not 1 but 2 locos in it. Problem was, they weren't the ones I ordered. So I pondered my next move. Later that day I got an e-mail from a gentleman that claimed he had my loco and asked if I by chance had his. I replied that I did and wondered why I got 2 in the wrong scheme. To make a long story short, I mailed this guys locos and hopefully he mailed mine to me. Now I get to play the waiting game once again.

Today, I ordered another new locomotive from a different online company. I guess I'll wait and see how this one goes lol. What can you do? Till next time BYE!!

The Draft

I just read an interesting article that was on my homepage. It seems that a Representative, Charles Rangel, a Democrat from NY has an idea about reinstating the military draft. In it he would have all citizens from 18 to 26 years of age register for it. In his explanation of it he states that it would be a deterrent for Congress or the President to start a war. He says that if there was a draft before the war on Iraq begun it would have never happened because of the concern for the son's and daughters of members of Congress. He also states that it would be a way to bolster the number of troops needed to help in Iraq. I don't know about you, but the way I see it is, if there are more soldiers available, wouldn't it be a bonus to start another war? Instead of having only 500,000 troops, we could conceivably end up with more than 2 million or so. I can just see someone in a high political position saying to the President- Hey, we got 2 million soldiers, why don't we just wipe North Korea off the map and not have to deal with these guys anymore? I personally don't agree with a call for a military draft, unless there is a major conflict that would require that type of action. I don't see it as any kind of deterrent at all. That's just my take on it though. Till next time BYE!!

My Dads Camera

I posted before about the camera that I have that was my dads. I have since gotten film for it and taken a few shots with it. I haven't finished the roll of film yet though as the weather here just doesn't want to cooperate. Plus, I haven't been out in the car with it to stop and get any good pictures. I have found out a few things about it though.

It's from the late 50's or early 60's and it is about as simple a camera as one can get. It is a twin lens reflex type and has 2 lenses, one for seeing what you are going to take a picture of and the other lens, the one on the bottom, takes the actual picture. It doesn't have much means of focusing either, it's done manually and all you can do is set it for the distance you are from the subject and hope it comes out clear.

I know most people wouldn't want to use this camera because of it's archaic nature. But this camera means much to me because it was my fathers. He has been past away for almost 20 years now and this is my way to remember him. I also have other little memento's to remember him by, but I think this one is one of the neater things I have of his. I have included 2 pictures, one with the camera itself and the other in the leather case it came in. The leather is in remarkable condition. Part of the reason for that is that the camera flash broke many years ago and my dad simply put it away. I now have it and treasure it. I have 3 other cameras that are easier to use and also better quality than this one, but I still like to take it out now and then to get a picture with it. When I finish the roll of film in it, I might share some pictures on my blog. Till next time BYE!!


While I'm at it here. Seeing as I can't sleep at the moment I might as well put up a post that is of interest to me. If you look at my sidebar you will see one or those "site meter" thingies. They are a neat option I think. It keeps track of how many visitors I get and if I want, I can see where they have come from. It's nice because as we bloggers know, not everyone that visits our site will leave a comment. The part that's interesting to me is the number of "foreign" visitors that I have had. In foreign I mean those that do not speak English. Don't get me wrong here, I appreciate all the folks that have visited my site. But, in checking my site meter thing and seeing where others are from that have visited me, I just don't think there's a whole lot of interest to them unless they understand English. I know for a fact that there isn't one word of any other language in my blog. Well, other than a few "slang" terms I have used in the past. It's just something that I have found to be interesting to me. Something to do while I think of another post lol. Oh, you might have also noticed I have a map thingy too. I like to see where y'all are when you come visit. Just another little thing I like about this blogging thing. It's a neat way to connect folks from far away and share thoughts and ideas. I have to admit, I have more people coming to my blog than I ever though would. So, a hearty thank you to all who have visited my blog. And while I'm at it, a heart felt thanks for all who commented on my putting my blog back up. THANK YOU!! Till next time BYE!!

Saturday Night

Well, here I am instead of in bed. I just couldn't sleep, so I am working on my model train a bit more. It's almost done. About all that's left is to weather it like I have been doing my other trains. After looking at this model a bit though, I have come to a conclusion. It won't fit in the box it came in. It's just too big when it's put together to fit. So I will have to figure out how to store it until I get a layout to put it on. OK, let me get back to weathering this model and maybe in the process I will get sleepy enough for bed. At least doing this beats counting sheep lol. Till next time BYE!!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

AAhhhh, That's Better

I guess I have to explain the title for this post. You see, I had just posted the last blog entry when my keyboard started to stick. Specifically, the space key. making it almost impossible to post the last blog entry. So, I had to disassemble my keyboard to clean it all up. Apparently, what had happened was that I coughed a few times and had grabbed a glass of tea that was on my desk and I coughed again. At the time it happened, I didn't notice anything had spilled onto my keyboard. But, like everything, give it time. It took about 15 or 20 minutes for it to have it's full nasty affect. So, for the last hour or so, I have been cleaning all the little keys and such for it. It wasn't all bad really as I got to keep an eye on the Michigan-Ohio State game that's going on now. But it is a lot nicer now(my keyboard that is). There's currently under 9 minutes left in the 4th quarter with Ohio State in the lead. Till next time BYE!!


Not much to blog about today so far. I'm still plugging away at my new model train. Lots of small parts in it and many fragile parts also. Lots of fitting of small parts too. I've already had to make one very small pin to hold another part on. I could have ordered a new one but didn't want to wait for it. I guess it's a good thing I keep a lot of extra plastic train parts handy.

The wife and I have been doing more talking as of late, so that's good.

Other than that, not much going on. Till next time BYE!!

How Strange are You?

I saw these tests on another blog so I thought I'd give them a whirl

You Are 15% Strange!

Well it looks like you are completely normal. There really isn't much strange about you. You most likely fit in easily with the crowd and don't go against the grain. Don't feel bad that you aren't strange--there are benefits to being normal afterall!

How Strange Are You?
Quizzes for MySpace

Smart Ass Test

How much of a smart @ss are you?
Your Result: What?

You call yourself a smart @ss? Your smart @ss level is too low to even be considered being a smart @ss. You really need to work on your smart @ss skills if you want to have a higher score




a start.

How much of a smart @ss are you?
Quizzes for MySpace

Satruday Reading Fun

Here's the rules Grab whatever book you are reading and open it to any page, then write down the first paragraph of how many paragraphs you think will get someone interested in your book.

From the Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub

It took Jack less that a week to decide that a detour into the Territories was the only way they could possibly escape the Sunlight Home. He was willing to try that, but he found he would do almost anything, run any risk, if only he could avoid flipping from the Sunlight Home itself. There was no concrete reason for this, only the voice of his undermind whispering that what was bad here would be worse over there. This was, perhaps, a bad place in all worlds. . .like a bad spot in an apple which goes all the way to the core. Anyway, the Sunlight Home was a bad enough; he had no urge to see what its Territories counterpart looked like unless he had to.

Vocabulary Test

Your Vocabulary Score: B+

You have a zealous love for the English language, and many find your vocabulary edifying. Don't fret that you didn't get every word right, your vocabulary can be easily ameliorated!
How's Your Vocabulary?
Not bad for being out of high school for 30 years huh?

Friday, November 17, 2006

A Small Rant

After we got married, we moved to a small town. It isn't that I don't like the town, but it just isn't convenient at times. Take for instance electronics, we have a Wal-Marts, and a Staples. We don't have any "big box" stores though. If these 2 stores don't have what we want, it's a 20 mile or more drive to get to a store that does. Which leads me to my little rant. Don't worry, it's just a little one. There are NO, repeat NO, hobby shops in this town. We have a craft store, but it aint no hobby shop by a long shot. I can get paint and glue and some plastic model cars there, but as far as train supplies, forget it. The nearest hobby shop is once again, a 20 mile or more drive. The reason I bring this up? I am building a train car and need a specific color to touch up the spots where I cut them off the sprue. It's a reddish brown and is a railroad color. So, to keep from having to wait and make a 20 mile or more trip, I have to custom mix the color from the paints I have available. I have come up with a color that is pretty close, so I am happy with it. It's just that it sucks being so far away from the conveniences I was accustomed to. Oh well, I guess on the other hand, I get to see how creative I can get. Till next time BYE!!


Well, after talking to Barb, it has been decided we are going to stay home for Thanksgiving. I'm not supposed to be in a car for longer than 20 minutes until I see my doctor again in December anyway. So, we get to fix our dinner and enjoy all the leftovers lol. We'll have the usual, Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes with gravy MMMMMM!! What else remains to be seen. It's making me hungry just thinking about it. Till next time BYE!!


Nothing really new today. Did a little shopping and such. I still don't know what to think about the Google thing though. I haven't been able to even log into my blog using IE. I am getting used to using Firefox now. Oh well, it works lol. I guess that's about all I have for now. Till next time BYE!!

New Project

For those who have been reading my blog, you know that I am a lover of HO scale trains. I recently started weathering them also(I hadn't done that to any of them previously). Well, I started another model train project recently. This one is a bit tougher than a regular train car. This new one is called a Jordan Spreader. What's a Jordan Spreader you might ask? I'll tell you lol.

A bit of history on them.
These railroad machines were first developed by a fellow named Oswald F Jordan. He worked for a subsidiary of the New York Central. The railroads had to maintain the area surrounding the tracks so that water and other debris wouldn't foul the tracks or cause problems. This guy came up with a machine that properly tapered the sides of the tracks so that this could be done in one fell swoop. What a smart guy huh? He started making them around 1900. In 1910, he bought some land and started building them on his own. They are still used to this day, so the idea was a pretty useful one. I have included a couple of pictures of a model that someone else built to let you see what it will look like. (mine isn't done yet. Many,many small parts to this model) The first pic is with the "wings" closed, the second with them open. The wings were used to shape the area on the side of the railroad tracks for drainage and such.

Blog Problem

I have been trying to get into my blog since about 4 or 5 this afternoon and can't with IE7. When I go to sign in, only about the top 1/2 inch comes up with the sign in screen and the rest looks like my blog page. Is everyone else having this problem as well? I even asked Barb to try it and she got the same thing. She usually uses the Firefox browser. I have had to post everything since using Firefox as well. I guess the changes that the Google folks did, didn't fix whatever they were going to fix. I even went as far as restoring my system to an earlier date trying in vain to get IE7 to work. But after seeing what happened with Barb's, I guess it's just Google. I couldn't sleep anyway, so what the heck. Till next time BYE!!


I don't usually write poetry, but this came to me and I wanted to share it with you.
It's dedicated to my wonderful wife Barb, who I don't say much about but should.

There's a time when one should hear

There's a time when one should listen

There's a time when one doesn't

That makes another's tears glisten

A stain upon ones memory

A stain upon ones heart

So please heed this warning

Listen, before it tears you apart

To my wife Barb I Love You!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Remove the Sign PLEASE!

I think someone put a sign either on my car or my forehead today that says "Pull or Walk out in front of me". I've been out twice so far and both times someone has either pulled out or walked out in front of me. It's been raining here so I have been driving carefully. But, it irks me when people do this. Especially in the rain. Neither of them has been what you would call a "near miss", but still!
I guess on the other hand, both Barb's and my cars are fixed now. So that's good.
Till next time BYE!!

I'mm Baaaaack

I have decided to do this blog thing again. Yes, I deleted my old blog. I won't get into it, but I have decided that I like sharing things with others. I'll begin my posts when I have some more.