It's not JUST about what I had for breakfast...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

More Sunflowers & Model Railroad Stuff

First, the sunflowers!

These pictures just look a lot better in their giant size, but I'm taking pity today on the person who is on dial-up, you KNOW who you are! Click the image to visit my Zooomr page for the BIGGER images.

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I chopped off a couple of the sunflowers as they were dried up. I found that the stalks are hollow inside. Who knew?

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and lastly, back lit spectacularity! Is that a word?

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Now for the trains!

I'm making a "track cleaning" car to keep the rails shiny. It consists of a piece of hardboard mounted on two nails that slides along under a car, scraping the crud off the tracks. Yesterday I ran Attempt I for a half-hour. It kept catching on stuff, as it was too wide.

Attempt I on the right, Attempt II on the left.

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Actually, Attempt I should be Attempt .5, because initially it was too narrow, then it was too wide, AND too thick.

I messed up on Attempt II and spaced the nails too far apart. This shows the holes that the nails are SUPPOSED to be aiming at. But see how neatly I counter-sunkted the nails heads?

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A fairly pointless pic showing the coupler boxes being fastened back on. Also showing that I forgot to paint the plastic coupler box spacers!

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Oh, you probably want to know what it looks like mounted under the car. Here you go!

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No, those are not the stock wheel sets! Yes, I will clip the nails and add a load. Patience!

So I decided to drill new holes, probably properly spaced. This would be Attempt 2.5, I guess.

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By the way, I used the Harbor Freight el cheapo miniature table saw to cut the sucker nice and square. Very dusty, however, my lung capacity will be diminished for a while!

Yes, I HAVE a cutting mat, I just don't USE it! I need a smaller one for to fit on this, my second-favorite cutting space.

So, where are we? The epoxy is curing, I will test it tomorrow. I hope I've the width right this time, too. It seems fairly critical. Too narrow, falls between the rails on curves. Too wide, catches on stuff like switch machines and other trackside details!

During all this I noticed the black boxcar has a coupler height problem. It was catching on rails on turnouts! Using the trusty Kadee coupler height gauge, I can see that the height is incorrect, and the coupler is DROOPING! Yikes!

This pic, utilizing the flash, shoes us the gauge on the RIGHT, the boxcar is on the LEFT.

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I tried to edit out that vertical line in the background, but gave up and left it alone. This pic demonstrates the importance of good lighting technique...

Now THIS pic is without flash, just the natural light. Too bad it it didn't forcus on the foreground!

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Also by the way, if you go to the big pics, notice the difference in detail between the silver gondola and the boxcar. The boxcar is too delicate to really handle, but the gondola can be banged around quite a bit, and has been!

I should probably start a new blog, the Compleat Idiot's Guide To Bad Model Railroading!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Of Books And Model Bicycle Stores

I have discovered, in reading (if one can call what I do "reading") Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver, that Book Two goes much faster than Book One. It took me two weeks to get to Book Two, around 300+ pages, and last night I knocked off 100 pages of Book Two. Too much of that brainy stuff in Book One! Now, I've heard that Eliza's letters are interminably long, but I haven't got that far, yet.

I put a light in the HO scale bicycle store, and the bicycles are in place.

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Ooohh, it's nighttime!

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They probably shouldn't leave that bike in the bike rack outside at night! It's not even locked!


Friday, July 25, 2008

Today's Sunflower Pic

A really tall sunflower!

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It's about ten feet tall!

That's all!

Monday, July 21, 2008

A panorama of sunflowers, created with Irfanview and The Gimp.

A larger version is available on my zooomr page, click the image to go there.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cactus Flower

This cactus flower popped up when I wasn't looking. I've spent a couple of hours trying to identify it, but I find I cannot. Do YOU know what it is?

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Some sort of Mammillaria I think, maybe a elongata or a sphacelata, I don't know.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

This and That

First, the latest sunflower picture.

How many sunflowers can you find?

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Now, some model railroad stuff.

I believe this is a Dyna Models haberdashery or shoe store. Many of the glue joints have let go. It was assembled with Ambroid glue, you can see where it caused the paint or wood to change color. Or something. My grandfather built this in the 50s. The top of one of the end walls is missing. That is one reason the roof is so crooked.

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In my attempt to rehabilitate it, I took off the surely-patented Dyna plastic roof and cleaned off MOST of the Walther's Goo, using lacquer thinner and and brass wire brush. It took a long time, and was not entirely successful. This is about halfway through the job.

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This is pretty much what it is going to look like, finished. It's now a bicycle shop! Imagine that!
I think the roof is not really crooked, I think (I HOPE) that it just isn't seated completely.

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A close up, showing how little I did. I guess grandpa painted it after assembling it. Boy, that Ambroid glue really soaked into the wood and affected the paint! I am hoping that when I hit it with some Dullcote, that sheen from the glue will disappear.

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The whole top side of this wall was broken off and disappeared, so I had to replace it. I also got new plastic windows to replace the missing metal ones. The replacement siding is not clapboard, but scribed, but you can't REALLY tell the difference!

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Looking through the window we see the poster hanging on the wall, and the door that really needs more frame around it! Poster and all signs are from the telephone book.

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Through the other window. That Schwinn sign looked better when not so enlarged!
I intend to get some bicycles to display in the window and inside.

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Things I should have done differently:
  • Should have disassembled EVERYTHING!
  • Should have squared-up the walls a bit more carefully
  • Should have replaced warped floor (from being mounted in wet plaster)
  • Should have then painted everything properly.
Woulda coulda shoulda!

I decided on a business and made a sign for the container office. That white window glazing is not so effective, I'm thinking. I'm going to get some heavy equipment, like a bulldozer, to display outside the office. The model was inspired by this one, which looks so much nicer, plus it's only half as long. Mine still needs an air conditioner.

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This HO scale farmhouse was built by my grandfather, back in the 50s. I believe it was a Revell kit. Looks a bit worse for wear!

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That's about it for now!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I felt bad after visiting the Tomato Librarian's blog, because I had no tomatoe pictures up, so I took a couple today.

Six bushes in a raised bed. Well, SORT of a raised bed!

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Then I took a picture of the tomato hanging thereon. While editing the image, I found there were TWO tomatoes! Sneaky little booger!

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And a deformed sunflower. This poor plant was eaten partially through by rats or snails or cats or something, fell over, but kept on growing anyway! And now it is flowering!

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Well, that is all from the land of plants!


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Flower Times

A couple of sunflower pics, just for you.

Look, up in the sky! It's...SUPER SUNFLOWER!

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And that is not even the "Original" size!

Here's another.

Hey, you looking at ME??

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Also, "Large", but not "Original".

One more. I caught this bird pecking at the sunflower leaf. What is up with THAT?

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That one IS the "Orignal" size.

I was going to note the sunflower variaties I planted, as there has been some inquiry, but I seem to have thrown the seed packages away. Alas!

Monday, July 07, 2008

I Got Links!

Just for a change, I thought I would post some links I saw on Reddit, because I'm sure YOU don't spend hours checking it.

Why Black Nerds Are Unpopular. I think first you have to get over wanting to BE popular. I'm still working on it.

Human Mirror prank. Cool. I wonder if I would have even noticed?

Essential Life Lesson #1: Over is Right, Under is Wrong
. Settles the toilet tissue question once and for all. With illustrations.

And now, back to the garden!

A hummingbird in the garden, getting drink of water.

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More pics on my zooomr page, but this is the best one.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Big Feet

I think those darn roofers stomped their big roofer feet on my work desk, because I found several more broken things.


I think the mo'sickle will be without a sidecar in the future, but the rest of the stuff is easily repairable.

Oh, well, my fault for not cleaning off the desk. At least I took the Cutty Sark into the house for the duration!


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

In The Yard

I uploaded a passel of pictures (garden) to the zooomr page, all 700k each, so go there if you want to see the BIG PICTURE!

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