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Got the track laid and secured, hooked up the power pack, and ... nothing. The left side of my dual-pack controller is dead. The ancient controller still works, so I connected it to the inner loop, and set about to test the fleet. All of the locomotives ran very well - some gear noise and burning dust smell out of the older ones, and there's a cheap Geep that occasionally picks a switch, but after the first few laps, things looked to shake themselves out. Inventoried the leftover track, and saw that I have enough to build a second simpler layout, and I'm of a mind to do so in order to be able to practice more modeling and operation ideas.

Oh heck yeah. It'll be single-tracked, so there's my Frankfort Avenue mockup.
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In one move or another, a shitload of my track has gotten misplaced - some switches and all of the curved track. So, there went about $60 to replace it. Now I've got the track to put this thing together.

More tech issues. The trackball's crapping out. Replacement is ordered - a first-generation Magic Mouse, because every wireless trackball I could find uses a USB receiver and the Magic Mouse 2 requires macOS X 10.11 or newer.
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Several years ago, Intermountain produced a limited-run N-scale SD40-2T in RJ Corman colors. I lusted after that model. RJC served my former employer,  and I saw the prototypes for these specific models with some regularity around Lexington. But, for whatever reasons, I never bought one, and I've regretted it since.

More recently, Kato produced models of Norfolk Southern's gorgeous heritage fleet. Growing up, most of the locomotives I saw were Southern Railway high-hood units in their classy black-and-white scheme. So, having learned my lesson, I bought one of the Kato models, the Savannah & Atlanta SD70ACe. It is a beaut of a model, and a very nice graduation gift to myself.

Met up with one of my X-Wing pals for a couple of practice games and to exchange some promo items last night. The A-Wing just didn't synergize with its ARC squadmates at all, so it's probably going back to the hangar. I've got a couple of other ships in mind - a Y-Wing and T-70 - and will probably test those tonight. The drive back home was going great until I got to MM28 or thereabouts. A motorcycle running from KSP wound up hitting the median barricade, and the left two (of three) lanes were closed. Long delay. Should have stuck around and flown another couple of rounds.

Got an e-mail this morning alerting me to an upcoming Kickstarter campaign for a new edition of Top Secret. Way back when, TS/SI was one of my go-to games, and I still have a lot of love for it. With Spycraft 3 still in maybe-someday space, I'm definitely up for giving TS: New World Order a shot.

UofL baseball ends the regular season this weekend. I haven't made it to a game all season, and won't be able to catch either of the remaining two. Louisville's hosting the ACC tournament, so with some small luck I can get over to Slugger Field for some games, and we should (should) host NCAA Regionals and maybe Super-Regionals, too. Here's hoping.

Hound Dog

Nov. 6th, 2016 10:35 am
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Life on Gray Street.

Wednesday morning, had to call LMPD on a couple having oral sex right on the sidewalk. Thursday morning, get to watch as an overdose patient gets a hit of naloxone and manages not to die in the LMPHW parking lot. Friday was short of madness; installed some bleeding control aid kits and trained a couple of volunteers on 'em.

X-Wing league championship and Epic game on Friday night. My Rebel group lost the Epic game - we were badly outgunned from the start, and the GR75 just cannot hold its own. The game was a blast, though - all four capital ships from the game on the table, 15 or so starfighters. We did some work.

Trip to Liberty yesterday to see some of my high school class - informal annual dinner. Saw Mom for a while; watched UofL clobber Boston College.

Saw something of a rarity this morning - three standard cab locomotives (2x CSX SD40-2, a NS GE) on a train crossing Hurstbourne. Unit train of coil steel flatcars.
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Cardinal football whupped the everloving daylights out of Florida State Saturday. Final score of 63-20. FSU never really threatened. Louisville jumped to #3 in one poll and #4 in another, and noise about a national championship slot is starting to appear. I'm trying to manage expectations, but a showing like that in one of the season's three big games is pretty spectacular, and it's bound to be good for the team's confidence. Next up is Marshall, who let Akron put up 60+ points on them, and then Clemson (big game #2).

I did not go to the game. After the Heart Walk, I wound up lighting out for Bowling Green, and for part of the drive, had some questions about my judgment in doing so. Extremely heavy rain from the Outer Loop down to E-town, many miles of road construction, and more rain as I closed in on BG. But, I'm glad I went. For under a hundred, I picked up a Chessie System SW9, a Southern RS-3, and three miscellaneous freight cars. Both locomotives ran very well on test tracks. Drove back to Louisville in growing disbelief at the game's progress and was able to listen to the second half from the comfort of my bed. Still a little bit amazed at the score.

Halfway through the week. End of calendar summer (and probably the 50th 90F+ day of the year here in Louisville). Six more market days. Seeing Shadow this weekend.

In all of the buildup to Saturday's football, I didn't mention this story. We kicked a student out of school last week. This guy was something of an odd duck anyway; consistently unkempt and ill-mannered, and just had this vibe of something-is-off. So, last week (which, for those keeping score at home, was the fourth week of the semester, a full quarter of the way through), dude walks into a classroom with some documents in hand (maybe his class schedule), and asks if that's the class he's supposed to be in. I guess he didn't get the answer he wanted, got shouty and aggressive towards the instructor and some students. A meeting was quickly called, and his department dean (who had been working above and beyond with this guy) determined that he just shouldn't be here, and he was dismissed. Guy's a foreign student, not sure of his visa status, but I haven't heard anything like deportation mentioned. I'm not concerned about him causing any harm, but the staff has been told to keep him out of the building and to contact ULPD if he attempts entry. Better to be sure, I guess.

Better wrap this up. Need to finish a brief paper for tonight's class.

Onward.

The Storm

Feb. 24th, 2016 10:30 am
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NCAA baseball season started last week. UofL swept the opening weekend opponent, outscoring SIU Edwardsville by 43-5 over the three games. Friday was a little cool and very windy, but a pretty good day at the stadium. Saturday - oh, man, Saturday. Sunny, warm, about perfect. Mom&Dad came up for the game, and D came with us, and it was just a delight. And barbecue for dinner after the game, so heck yeah.

Sunday, weatherwise, was not sunshine and rainbows. Well, there may have been rainbows, because there sure was a lot of rain. I drove to Lexington to play X-Wing and despite going 0-3, it was a pretty good day. The second and third games could have gone my way - agility dice betrayed me both times on a gunnery pass. Did manage to kill Bossk with a TIE Defender and one-shotted Guri with a TIE Bomber, and anytime I can blow up a flying sandcrawler, I'm happy.

I threw the Defender into this list mostly because I didn't want to fill up the leftover space with the default of a couple of Fighters. It's got some problems (next time, FFS, put the Mark 2 engine on the thing), but it is a solid ship, and can deliver and endure a lot of damage. It's going to see more use when the Imperial Veterans pack arrives; I'm going to keep it in the rotation for a while. It's an interesting ship.

I cancelled on CincyCon. The getaway would have been nice, but prepping a couple of games for the con was adding more of a cognitive load than I wanted. May port some of the notes into a Slur Your Role day over at Kaiju as a warmup for ConGlomeration.

Great Train Expo here in Louisville this weekend. Probably going for at least a few hours; otherwise I'll be deeply immersed in prepping for a biostats midterm, and I will have to have a break from that.
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I won't - almost can't - mourn the death of Antonin Scalia. The man was clearly intelligent and well-spoken, but as The Onion put it, he lost a 30-year battle with progress. This year's Presidential election has become even more important.

Because of course they are, the Party of No is insisting that no replacement nomination will even be considered until 2017, following the inauguration of Barry O's successor. Down in my unapolgetic leftist heart, I hope it plays out something like this: Obstruction happens, and the Clinton or Sanders campaign grabs hold of it. The Senate flips, and for my 45th birthday, I get to see the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Barack Obama.

A few of the cohort came over for the Super Bowl. Good time, a good game, and incredible playing by the Denver defensive line.

Saw another NS Heritage unit Friday evening - the Conrail one. Paced it for a few miles down US127, but couldn't get a good photo. That's five for me, I think - CofG, Southern, Jersey Central, NYC, and CR.

Strangled

Jan. 10th, 2016 07:17 pm
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And we're back in session at SPHIS. A couple of days to, really, get paid for doing nothing before classes started. Read quite a bit. Directed a few new students. Held a few hands.

Went to Indianapolis for a model train show yesterday. Saw some very nice modular setups, bought a whole damn Amtrak train. Didn't stay long; the facility was crowded and ventilation wasn't great, and that combination usually leads to me getting very uncomfortable very quickly. Kinda wish I'd sprung for the Chessie SD-35 I've been lusting after for a while, because what I need is more motive power.

NFL playoffs have started. The Chiefs rolled into Houston and embarrassed the Texans. The Bengals threw away a win against the damn Steelers with a set of penalties. The Vikings lost in the final few seconds when their kicker blew a short field goal. And at the moment, Green Bay and Washington are trading possessions and scores. Even if I haven't been happy with a couple of the outcomes, the games have mostly been good matches.

Winter showed up last night. Couple inches of snow, and it's been below freezing all day. I'm still in pajamas, having had no real reason to get out of the house; nothing that I can't take care of after class tomorrow night, anyway.

Stranded

Mar. 17th, 2015 04:07 pm
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Got out to the CardBoard Gamers to-do on Saturday. Pandemic, Elder Sign, Escape, City of Terror, and something I forget the name of. About 50 boardgamers - really good turnout. Lot of fun.

Saw a lot of emergency vehicles just off of Bardstown Road on my way home. Didn't really think much of it until I got home and saw posts to a Facebook group. And video. A car ignored the lights and bell and horn, shot into a railroad crossing. Not across, mind you, as a hojillion tons of train moving at about 45-50MPH prevented the successful completion of the attempt. Two instant fatalities, two survivors in bad shape.

Sunday, went to a UofL baseball game. Gorgeous day, great game. Just a terrific afternoon out at the park.

Found out that afternoon that a cousin's kid had been found dead that morning. 13 years old. John, the father, was very much a second brother when we were kids, and up into our early 20s. Visitation is tomorrow, on what woud have been the kid's 14th birthday. This will not be easy.

More baseball today - except for games against IU and UK, UofL baseball games offer free admission, so there's no reason for me not to go. A little cooler, but still a great day at the park, and the busloads of elementary school kids were having great fun - really made the day even more fun. Patterson Stadium turns out to be a pretty good place for railfanning, too!

Tried out a solo RPG option - The 9Qs. Interesting ideas, and it worked out well enough that I'll keep tinkering with it. I'm going to take a crash course in Shadowrun over the next few days, and give that a shot pretty soon.
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So, in all of the excitement, I forgot a few little things from the trip - train-related, of course.  Got to see a CSX maintenance-of-way train, powered by an ancient B23-7 in Bright Future paint.  It sounded very good.  Saw the same train twice at my aunt's - once loaded, once empty.  Although I didn't get to see it, CSX #1, The Spirit of West Virginia, was at Logan's yard on Tuesday (photographed here).  And when I was passing through Huntington, I got to see an MP15 working the yard there.  Man, switcher-style carbodies are cool.

Slept very well last night.  In my own bed.  Not a small hotel bed.  Not on a couch.  My bed.  Mine.  Not someone else's.  Mine.

Today, a trip to AutoZone to get a couple sets of bushings for the Explorer.  And probably not much else, unless Erin summons me to Lancaster.
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A quiet and fairly dull week so far.

Picked the animated Iron Man DVD this morning.  Watched most of the supplemental material before heading to work - the Dr. Strange trailer looks pretty nifty.  Planning to go home and watch the movie itself tonight.  And work on Mutants & Masterminds.

Planning to go to Louisville for the Great Train Expo this weekend.  I'm going to make myself not spend money there.  Will probably spend it at Colin's store, instead.

Finished reading Conspiracy X Second Edition last night.  Interesting stuff, and worth investigating further.  Started in on World War Z this morning.
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So, at last, photos of the layout and most of my locomotives.  I have the usual ridiculous ratio of locomotives to rolling stock.  Need more hoppers.

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Yesterday, when I drove into the H-L's parking lot, what did I see but a pair of RJ Corman's GP16s pushing three boxcars onto the spur that serves our building.  I was very pleased, not only because I do like the trains, but because maybe it means that we're going back to rail service for paper delivery and those who park in the back lot won't have to deal with a maze of poorly-driven tractor-trailers.

Today, arriving within a couple of minutes of yesterday's arrival time, I saw the same two locomotives picking up the empty boxcars.  I had Erin's camera with me, and snapped one decent pic of them - one had a case of bottled water on the short hood, in front of the cab windows!

After work tonight, particularly if we're lucky enough to wrap up early, I'm heading over to the NMRA setup to take some more pictures and mine for ideas.  And maybe, I'll finally get around to posting some pics of my layout, now that I've cleaned it off and finally unpacked everything.

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