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Building a new club layout - Update: Moving on after the club

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, January 25, 2020 9:24 PM

Spring will be here soon, Dave, and you and Dianne can get out and enjoy some bird watching.

That has always been rewarding for me. Especially when you fill the feeders around the yard and the birds come around to thank you for it.

 Oriole_feeding by Edmund, on Flickr

You can find the little pleasures in life. They are very rewarding.

Regards, Ed

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Posted by BigDaddy on Saturday, January 25, 2020 11:14 PM

Looks like a Bawlmer Oriole, I only saw 1 ever in Maryland.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, January 25, 2020 11:24 PM

BigDaddy
Looks like a Bawlmer Oriole, I only saw 1 ever in Maryland.

They sure like to visit Ohio. Thank you!

The Baltimore oriole (Icterus galbula) is a small icterid blackbird common in eastern North America as a migratory breeding bird. It received its name from the resemblance of the male's colors to those on the coat-of-arms of Lord Baltimore.

That Lord Baltimore sure was a flashy dresser!

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, January 26, 2020 12:19 AM

Thanks Ed,

We go bird watching all year round. In the winter it is mostly to look for snowy owls, but other things show up too. On Friday we spotted a pair of bald eagles. That was a big thrill! We rarely see them.

We started putting out oranges and grape jelly last year and managed to attract several Baltimore orioles. For a while they were eating a jar of jelly in less than a week.

We have booked three days in May at Point Pelee on Lake Erie to see the migrating birds. I couldn't get reservations until the middle of the month so I hope we aren't too late. A great deal of the birding success depends on which way the wind is blowing. North wind = few birds but a southerly wind brings them across the lake by the thousands.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, January 26, 2020 1:09 PM

 We get all sorts of birds here, but I haven't seen any Baltimore Orioles unless I'm watching a baseball game on TV. Everything from a pair of hawks that nest on top of the water tower next to my house to all sorts of hummingbirds. We put out several types of feeders to try and get the most variety.

 There is a pair of ducks who have been pausing here every year I've lived here, probably because of the pool. They stick around for a week or so and then move on to a more permanent home for the Summer.

 The lore says that cardinals are loved ones coming back to check on us - I'm very much a science oriented person, but it is too coincidental that from the day I moved in here, there was a solitary male cardinal hanging around. Never any females. My dad passed away in 1975. Then the first spring after my mom passed away, the male was joined by a female. Every year since this pair has always been here hanging out. 

 Plenty of squirrels, too - and they love to tease my dogs. Just the other day, the old dude saw one sitting about halfway across the yard. He took off (slow trot is best he can manage these days) and the squirrel just sat there looking at him, until he got a lot closer, only then did the squirrel take off for a tree. The two pugs can be quick over short distances, so the squirrels usually move right away, but they only go about 6 feet up the tree trunk and then face head down and chatter at the dogs, knowing they can't possibly reach up that high.

 It's rather pleasant sitting out on a nice evening listening to nature. Sometimes it's easy to forget there are other houses all around, most of us have 3/4 acre lots here. Early evening is great - then the bats come out, the pool attracts insects for them to scoop up. Even better is being in the pool and watchign them swoop around overhead. Friend of mine designed a bat detector circuit which trnaslates the frequency down to human range, I have the schematic and the key component, I should build it.

                                      --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, January 26, 2020 9:19 PM

rrinker
 It's rather pleasant sitting out on a nice evening listening to nature.

Dianne and I sit on our deck every day in the milder months and every time the weather permits when it isn't too cold. The deck has a clear fiberglass roof so it doesn't matter whether it is raining or snowing as long as the wind isn't really strong. Sometimes the best birding is right in our backyard.

Thanks everyone for making me think pleasant thoughts!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, January 26, 2020 9:25 PM

I live close to a creek now and we see all types of birds including turkey vultures.

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, January 30, 2020 6:39 AM

Hi guys,

First, I want to say how much I appreciate your support. Then I want to give you a little more insight into how much damage depression can do. If you are not interested then tune out right now. For those that are, here is an honest update on where my mind is:

I have been telling myself that I am over the club experience. I haven't totally cut off my contact with the club. One member who I deeply respect has been asking me questions about various things I was working on and I have been happy to help him out.

However, when I said that I was trying to convince myself that I was over the club experience, I was deceiving myself. Over the past few days I have spent a huge amount of money on train stuff. It has just dawned on me that I was trying to buy myself happiness, and by spending so much money I was trying to prove to myself that the negative club experience hasn't pushed me out of the hobby yet.

Spending tons of money is a major indicator that you are still in a major depressive episode. As the saying goes, "you can't buy happiness...", but you can ruin yourself trying. I believe that I have stopped 'trying'.

Talking to you about this is really cathartic. You have no idea about how important your support has been to me. It is not over yet.

Thanks everyone for listening!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, January 30, 2020 7:52 AM

hon30critter

One member who I deeply respect has been asking me questions about various things I was working on and I have been happy to help him out.

Helping others can be a rewarding and even healing thing to do.

However, when I said that I was trying to convince myself that I was over the club experience, I was deceiving myself. Over the past few days I have spent a huge amount of money on train stuff. It has just dawned on me that I was trying to buy myself happiness, and by spending so much money I was trying to prove to myself that the negative club experience hasn't pushed me out of the hobby yet.

Spending tons of money is a major indicator that you are still in a major depressive episode. As the saying goes, "you can't buy happiness...", but you can ruin yourself trying. I believe that I have stopped 'trying'.

It's true that traumtising events don't heal over night and can stick with you a long time.

As for spending, yes, it's an age old thing to try to fill a void or salve wounds.  My former wifes mother lived a loveless marriage for the last 10 or so years of hear life.  When she passed away, the house was literally filled with cloths she had bought, maybe half or more still had price tags on.  She shopped to fill the emptiness.

Anyway, it's good you recognize what is going on because that helps you to take steps to protect yourself from further harm and to heal.

It might be helpful too, as suggested, to see if any helpful souls would help you with some layout benchwork contruction at home.  It might be relaxing and enjoyable to work on your own layout, perhaps with some of your favorite music playing.  I play music on Alexa while working on my layout.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Thursday, January 30, 2020 9:27 AM

Dave - as rewarding bird watching is, it´s something limited to the months with more pleasant weather. Once a model railroader, always a model railroader, you just cannot get that virus out of your system. You and I share a back issue. I cannot stand up more than a few minutes before my back starts to scream painful insults at me. Building a layout is nearly impossible, unless you take a different approach, like being able to sit down while building, say, modules for a layout. While Freemo modules may be too big to be handled on a desk, N scale T-Track modules aren´t, nor are my own design of mini-modules I built a few years ago. Building these modules is very rewarding, a simple task, involving very little money, but lots of fun!

Just for reference, here is what I did back then (and might be continuing to do)!

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by Water Level Route on Thursday, January 30, 2020 11:48 AM

Dave,

I feel for you here, and do agree that anything you can do at home would be beneficial.  In light of any difficulties contructing benchwork, perhaps a simpler approach is in order.  Tony Koester's recent article using the plastic top folding leg tables as a base is in line with what I'm thinking of.  Pick up one of those and put a 4x8 sheet of OSB, plywood, or 2" thick foam on top and start creating.  Simple, cheap, and the height would be right for working off a chair or stool.  Model railroading is great therapy.  I for one had a layout for a number of years in my teens that was nothing more than a sheet of 1/2" OSB laid on top of three sawhorses.  No box framing, L-girders, nothing.  Never had an issue with it.  Benchwork doesn't always have to be furniture grade.  Heck, my first layouts as a kid were nothing more than sheets of 1/2" OSB laid on top of either 4 or 6 upside milk crates (can't remember which).  Stood exactly one milk crate height off the floor.  Talk about weak benchwork, but for an 8 year old kid, it was perfect.  Again, no support related issues there either.  My issues then were related to either train set quality stuff, or sabotage by my older brother! Laugh

Mike

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, January 31, 2020 7:04 AM

Tinplate Toddler
While Freemo modules may be too big to be handled on a desk, N scale T-Track modules aren´t, nor are my own design of mini-modules I built a few years ago. Building these modules is very rewarding, a simple task, involving very little money, but lots of fun! Just for reference, here is what I did back then (and might be continuing to do)!

That is interesting work Ulrich, and your workmanship is excellent as always too. It is certainly something I will consider, although N scale doesn't interest me a whole lot.

Thanks,

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, January 31, 2020 7:09 AM

Rio Grande and Mike,

Building a layout is something I am considering. I have been playing with designs trying to come up with a way that involves a minimum of heavy lifting. Even that shouldn't be a problem because I can recruit my son to do the heavy work. He is only 1/2 hr. away.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by rrebell on Saturday, February 1, 2020 10:27 AM

Like I said before, you can build real lightwheight benchwork, just finished mine (minus a few extras I need to add once yard design is compleat which is an extention of the main layout).

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, February 2, 2020 2:23 AM

rrebell
Like I said before, you can build real lightwheight benchwork,

Hi rrebell,

I hear ya. I absolutely need to move towards something positive with my model railroading and everyone's suggestions about starting my own layout are very encouraging.

Thanks.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, February 2, 2020 2:39 AM

Tinplate Toddler
Dave - as rewarding bird watching is, it´s something limited to the months with more pleasant weather.

Hi Ulrich,

I responded to your comment in the middle of an earlier post so I hope you don't mind me responding to your comment again, but Dianne and I do far more travelling to do bird watching in the winter than we do in the warmer months. We go out at least once per week in the winter to look for Snowy Owls and Hawks. In the warmer months we do make our annual pilgrimage to Point Pelee in May, but most of our bird watching during that time is done right in our own backyard. We do rent a cottage for a week or so every summer, and I always try to find a place with lots of trees around the property so we can watch birds on vacation as well. So far in the past few years we have been pretty successful in that regard. This summer's retreat looks good for birding too:

https://www.vrbo.com/en-ca/cottage-rental/p3534537?adultsCount=4&arrival=2020-08-09&departure=2020-08-16

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, February 2, 2020 8:56 AM

Dave, that looks like a perfect place to be at ease.  I like it!

Mike.

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, February 2, 2020 10:59 AM

 Indeed. I would love to hang out in that place for a week or two, phone shut off, just relaxing. Hopefully there are lots of waterfowl on that lake, too. 

 Have to practice a bit with those canoes, not sure if I'd be able to stay upright or not. Plenty of time in small boats, but never did use a canoe before. But to just get out on the water, all nice a quiet with just the sounds of wildlife around you.. man, I'm ready to go now. Been too long since I went camping last. It may be time to step it up and give up the tent though, my back and knees no longer appreciate sleeping like that, even with an air mattress. Though my truck could pull a small popup camper....  We are lucky around here to have many state parks only a short distance away, and most of them have separate camping areas for those with tents and small trailers vs those with motorhomes and those huge palaces on wheels that make that nice cabin look somewhat plain. Lakes, wtaerfalls, all sorts of things to see in the different places. One of the hiking trails at the one park ends up at railroad tracks, too. In service tracks, not some abandond bit.

                                                   --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, February 2, 2020 11:11 AM

Maybe a little off-topic here, but —

A while ago you were looking for N scale signal bridges, Dave. I wonder if you are still searching?

I stumbled across this while searching for other items:

https://tinyurl.com/swwz3ys

I have assembled other Alkem brass structures. Takes a little patience, and the right solder, but it is rewarding. Maybe there is a source for Alkem models in Canada? 

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, February 2, 2020 7:37 PM

gmpullman
A while ago you were looking for N scale signal bridges, Dave. I wonder if you are still searching?

Hi Ed,

Thanks for the lead. Alas, the person who I banged heads with at the club is the same person that I had offered to build the N scale signals for. Unfortunately I won't be building his signals unless there is a major change in circumstances, which I'm not expecting.

I mentioned a little while ago that I had gone on a spending spree in order to try to appease my depression. I said I would stop but there was one item that was up for auction on eBay that I couldn't resist, and I just won the auction. The item is a Rapido Canadian Pacific Tweedsmuir Park dome/observation car. It has the red Pac Man livery but I have ordered a set of replacement decals in the maroon and gold colours to match my other cars. I have been watching eBay for one of these cars for quite some time. There are lots of Rapido and Walthers mid train dome cars listed but this is the first dome/observation end of train car that I have seen.

That car will complete my version of the 'Canadian'. Most of the cars are Walthers more recent models and the locomotives will consist of one Rapido FP9A and two InterMountain F series, one A and one B, all powered and with sound. My next steps will be to install the grab irons on the Walthers units and populate the cars. I will also install lighting with keep alives in the cars that don't have it yet.

Dianne has been supportive of my recent purchases, and she is also very much in favour of me building a layout or having one built. What's not to love?!?

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, February 2, 2020 10:11 PM

She sounds like a keeper to me. Bottom feed on e-bay for awhile,you won't spend much money but you may buy alot of stuff at bargin basement prices, did that for years when I had no money.

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, February 2, 2020 10:45 PM

rrebell
Bottom feed on e-bay for awhile,you won't spend much money but you may buy alot of stuff at bargin basement prices, did that for years when I had no money.

I did that for a long time, but then the shipping costs to get the stuff to Canada got prohibitive. The Global Shipping program was a real killer.

At some point I will pare down my Athearn BB collection, but for now it can just sit there. I'm thinking of approaching one of the re-sellers but that will only get me pennies on the dollar. I might rent a table or two at the Greater Toronto Train Show in September. Selling the BB stuff on eBay is frustrating because Canada Post's costs are so high.

Dave

 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Monday, February 3, 2020 6:07 AM

I guess I have to agree with you on the shipping, Dave.  I've found a lot of what I'm looking for on Ebay, from Canadian sellers, but the shipping scares me away.

Mike.

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 12:28 AM

mbinsewi
I've found a lot of what I'm looking for on Ebay, from Canadian sellers, but the shipping scares me away.

I guess that's the price we pay for having to cover such huge distances. British postal rates are half what the Canadian rates are. I'm not sure if the British government is subsidizing them or not, but I believe that Canada Post has to stand on its own.

What stopped me from buying on eBay from the US was the Global Shipping Program. Pitney Bowes and eBay hooked up to create a system where the US sellers could simply ship an international package to a distribution center and Pitney Bowes would handle all the shipping details. From the sellers' point of view it was wonderful, but what very few of them understood was the exorbitant fees that the buyers were being charged. When the system was first set up the shipping cost for a $10.00 BB freight car could be close to $40.00! Pitney Bowes was charging a shipping fee that was about 25% higher than USPS First Class mail, and then they were charging an 'Import Fee' which was around 60% of the shipping fee on top of that. The Import Fee was a total cash grab. There are no duties on model train stuff coming into Canada that is worth less than $100.00. The whole system was an absolute rip off, but most sellers had no idea what was going on because they were never shown the shipping costs unless they looked up the Canadian eBay listing. I used to send notes to the American sellers telling them how much the Global Shipping Program was charging. To their credit, many of the sellers agreed to ship via USPS First Class instead, but even that has become too expense for low $ items.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 6:54 AM

I didn't know all that Dave, thanks.  I never dug into the reason, just always thought buying some from Canada seemed expensive.

I have bought stuff from Kaslo Shops, it was sent via USPS, and seemed reasonable.

Mike.

PS.  On a side note Dave, the wonders of the internet.  Ever since I looked at your get-a-way cabin on VRBO, the right side ad space has been filled with different VRBO places in Canada.  Laugh

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 3:02 PM

mbinsewi
Ever since I looked at your get-a-way cabin on VRBO, the right side ad space has been filled with different VRBO places in Canada.  

Hi Mike,

What are you waiting for?!? Come on up!! The $USD goes a long way up here!

 

I get the same thing on my browser page. I just ignore them.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 3:17 PM

Laugh  It's tempting Dave!  Laugh  I used to go fishing with a group of guys in Canada.

I'm so wrapped up on my place up North in WI., trying to get it all done while I still can.  Laugh

And, unfortunately, through years I have one major blemish on my drivers license record, and I'm not sure if I can get in anymore.

But that's not for here.  The places look great!  There are many VRBO sites in the USA as well, and in northern WI.

Back to your original thread topic.  Smile, Wink & Grin

Mike.

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 6:14 PM

mbinsewi
I'm so wrapped up on my place up North in WI., trying to get it all done while I still can.

Having your own retreat in the wilderness can be great, and it can also be very demanding. We have a family cottage on the north shore of Georgian Bay in Killarney Provincial Park. Our family has enjoyed it since the 1950s. It was built in 1910 as a temporary headquarters for the Spanish Lumber Company.

Therein lies the problem! Dianne and I spent our vacations there for years, but half of that time was spent doing patchwork repairs and we weren't really addressing the major problems like the log crib that it was built on turning into peat moss years ago. We also had huge mouse and bat problems. Suffice it to say that we gave up on it several years ago. It is now for sale.

These days we find it so much easier to just rent a place for a week or two. Let somebody else worry about the problems and do the grunt work. The places we have rented have been pretty good, and the nice thing about VRBO is that every listing has reviews so any negatives are usually clearly stated. However, if you want to get a place, you have to start looking early because all the good places get snapped up pretty quick.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 8:25 PM

hon30critter

 

 
rrebell
Bottom feed on e-bay for awhile,you won't spend much money but you may buy alot of stuff at bargin basement prices, did that for years when I had no money.

 

I did that for a long time, but then the shipping costs to get the stuff to Canada got prohibitive. The Global Shipping program was a real killer.

At some point I will pare down my Athearn BB collection, but for now it can just sit there. I'm thinking of approaching one of the re-sellers but that will only get me pennies on the dollar. I might rent a table or two at the Greater Toronto Train Show in September. Selling the BB stuff on eBay is frustrating because Canada Post's costs are so high.

Dave

 

 

Forgot babout that, last shipment I got from up there, there was a cheap work around, guess that loophole left.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, February 6, 2020 2:12 PM

All right!  this has gone to far.... Grumpy.  I went to watch a video this morning about a  track geometry train...  and guess what the first commercial was I had to endure?.....VRBO !  Laugh Laugh

Mike.

 

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