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    • January 7, 2019 10:19 PM EST
    • 7 January, 2019

      Location - Ridge Live Steamers, Dundee, Florida

      Yesterday, we completed the Ridge Live Steamers First Ops Session of 2019.  We'll have 2 more this Winter/Spring.  One in 2 weeks and then another in March.  These are great fun and lots of good camaraderie.  Always room for interested train buffs. 


    • December 28, 2018 2:26 PM EST
    • Welcome back Ric and Jan,

           Hope you'll make it up to Big Boots for the winter meet.  I should have the drive train repaired and the speeder running by then.

      Happy New Year!    Tom

    • December 28, 2018 2:14 PM EST
    • HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and yours!.

      And to you.  Hope we'll get to bump into you this winter.


    • December 28, 2018 8:08 AM EST
    • 28 December, 2018 - We are back at the Ridge Live Steamers for hopefully our final drive of 2018.  We did a "Marathon Session" of driving starting in Carlyle at 0236 CST and arrived at Ridge in Dundee, Florida at 2156 EST.  We had a great Christmas at home with family, but great to be back in the south for the rest of the Winter. 



      The traffic was so heavy on I-75 south of Atlanta, you would think nobody was left in the other States.  I guees 2 days after Christmas is when everyone heads back home, down south or maybe a little New Year's R and R. 


      We'll start a new thread for 2019.  Thank you all for the kind wishes and reading my rants.


        HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and yours!.

    • December 12, 2018 8:56 AM EST
    • Welcome home..................

    • December 12, 2018 8:44 AM EST
    • 12 December, 2018 - Carlyle, Illinois.  We are back home for the celebration of Christmas with the family.  Big temperature difference from Carlyle, Illinois to Dundee, Florida.  We "hot seated" home in the pickup truck yesterday.  Plan to head back south during the first "weather window" on or after the 26th.


      Big news down at the Ridge Live Steamers (well at least big to me) is the acquisition of a structure for the storage of equipment and the creation of the 


      "KV CITRUS TRANSFER AND FREIGHT HOUSE - connecting the Florida Citrus Groves with Southern Illinois and Points North"  Look for the formal Press Release in 2019.


      Living the dream, one mile at a time. 

    • December 26, 2018 11:05 AM EST
    • Ah, Blues! My absolute favorite music. Tell us about the telescope sometime.

    • December 26, 2018 9:07 AM EST
    • I'd like to see the sound card and loco that those go with...


      Really cool Todd, you'll have a blast with those!

    • December 26, 2018 12:18 AM EST
    • Cool. I share that love for vintage gear. Just out of college in the 70's I tried to convince my dad to loan me the cash to buy out a system of home brew reflex cabinets with Altec 15's and Voice of the Theater horns plus a pair of 200 watt Altec amps. He loaned me the cash but insisted I earn the money to pay him back by renting them out. That started a 10 year stint in the pro-audio business, I still have a tiny bit of Altec gear hanging around, but alas, no cabinets.

    • December 25, 2018 11:08 PM EST
    • That’s a sweet sound, Todd. It’s hard for me to have a true appreciation for the tunes coming out of those vintage speakers while listening through a cheap set of pc speakers, but I can hear enough to know it’s prett darn good. Thanks for sharing. 

    • December 25, 2018 8:35 PM EST
    • Audio is my real passion and my love for JBLs and Altec goes back to the 60's.  In ~1973 I laid down some synthesizer tracks for a friend at Momma Jo's Studio in North Hollywood.  They used Altec "Super Big Reds" which were a special aftermarket endevor.

      I found a studio going out of business and selling off their equipment.  For $700 for the pair, including a custom made electronic crossover, custom made high frequency contouring units, and all the cables with dual banana plugs, I had these delivered to my living room.  BTW, the cabinets are 5'2" and weigh over #300 each.  Those are 15" woofers.



      Back in the early 70's it just didn't get any better than this:





    • December 23, 2018 2:39 PM EST
    • Forrest & Todd, I am envious of your creative skills. I do a lot of technical writing myself, but if it takes any creativity, I’m lost. Thanks for sharing.

    • December 23, 2018 1:43 PM EST
    • BTW, It's not all technical.  I actually have a copyright on this one.  Enjoy:


      Corvette Christmas©                                       Todd Brody


      T’was the night before Christmas, and in the garage,

      The Corvette was covered, as was the Dodge;

      And I  had just drank and few beers to get high,

      And hoped that Old Santa Claus soon would come by.


      Vette owners were nestled all snug in their beds,

      While fuelies and big blocks danced in their heads;

      And I and my loved one, forever to keep,

      Had both cuddled up for a long winter’s sleep.


      When out on the street there came such a roar,

      I sprang from the bed to see what’s in store.

      I flew to the window and opened the blind,

      Not knowing at all, what I would find.


      The moon on the pavement shown like daylight below,

      As wonder and amazement made my eyes grow,

      For down on the street approaching the stoop,

      Came a jolly old man in a split window coupe.


      This little old driver, so lively and quick,

      I knew in a moment it must be Saint Nick.

      Faster than lightning, with engines he came,

      And he honked and he flashed and called them by name:


                  Come small blocks, come big blocks, come Blue Flames, come fuelies;

                  With Holleys, with Carters, both singles and duelies;

                  To the top of the tach, redline one and all,

                  Now rev’em up, rev’em up, we gotta haul!


      Like a tank full of nitro will make a car fly,

      When the blower is set with the boost up to high;

      So up the driveway the split window flew,

      Loaded with parts and accessories too.


      The paint on the glass, such sparkle, such shine,

      The chrome, smooth as silk, the leather so fine.

      The wheels so wide, the tires so fat,

      A space-saver spare, in case of a flat.


      The tips of the pipes were shiny and clean,

      The windows were smoked, the glass such a sheen.

      With features and options and power galore,

      And zero to sixty in just two-point-four.


      And then from the drive, the sound of a cough,

      Like that from a fuelie when the ignition’s turned off.

      He then set the brake and flipped in the lights,

      Just as he does all Christmas Eve nights.


      He was dressed in red leather, with fur up above,

      A ’63 Vette on his right driving glove.

      Parts and accessories slung on his back,

      A multitude more in the coupe in a sack.


      He looked like old Duntov, a jolly old man,

      With hair white as snow, a Miami tan;

      Such gleam in his eye, such spring in his walk,

      As quick as a cheetah, with eyes like a hawk.


      He spoke not a word but went straight to work,

      Opened the garage, with one quick easy jerk.

      New pistons and rings, two overbores larger,

      And even a hemi to speed up the Charger.


      He sprang to his coupe, threw his sack in the rear,

      Brought up the revs, and dropped it in gear;

      And I heard him call out as he peeled out of sight,

      Happy Vetting to all, and to all a good night.


    • December 22, 2018 5:40 PM EST
    • Writing is my other hobby, has been for decades.  Mostly 'sword and sorcery' type tales, though trains do make appearances in the others. 

    • December 20, 2018 12:50 AM EST
    • Rick Marty said:...thought " what the hell has this got to do with trains, model or otherwise".

      That's an odd thing to say on a forum section titled, "

      Other Hobbies What else are you interested in besides trains?"

      But, hey, thanks!

    • December 19, 2018 11:18 PM EST
    • Forrest,

      I got to tell ya your topic title intrigued me so I started reading and immediately thought " what the hell has this got to do with trains, model or otherwise", but I stuck it out and read on to the end.  I then read your excerpts from your stories. Very good, very catching and making the reader want some more! I think you have something here good luck on your new adventure.


    • December 19, 2018 9:43 PM EST
    • Sometime in November when I was browsing stores in our little county seat farm burg’s 3-block downtown, I got started talking with a gal working on pricing and shelving books in it and it turned out she was a publisher, the books were by local authors, and she was one of the ‘ringleaders’ in a local creative writing group.
      She invited me to come.

      They meet at 9 am on Saturday mornings in a locally owned bake shop.
      Early time makes sense for getting other things done during the day but for people in my health it sure is an effort to get going at that time of day.
      The gal I visited with has Lyme Disease and understands that, so at least one person already there can grasp the concept of occasional brain fog and physical limitations which can be variable, and that’s okay with me.

      I have a science-fiction/fantasy story which I have played at writing on and off for several decades – a work on it for a couple months put it away for a couple years, kind of thing. In last couple years I have gotten a lot more serious about developing it. Some of that serious is developing concurrently with my hands having more and more problems building model trains and model rockets. And even flying kites :(

      Whether the other members truly understand is an open question but I did say to them, Understand this, while I can do a damn good job of passing for neurotypical I have autism and the more the physical things are roughing me up the more it comes out, so do not be astonished when that happens, because it eventually Will happen.

      Anyway, I’ve been going for a month and a half now and enjoying the company and conversation, and the writing exercises we often do during meetings.

      Hmm, maybe I will work toward getting my story published …
      It has been said that to set it up to appeal to the average neurotypical mass-market reader it will be necessary to divide the chapters differently from what pleases me as a reader; another hmm …


      That below would be the majority of the story's manuscript. Some is on yellowed loose leaf, college ruled with round outboard corners -- how long has it been since those were sold! Some is on high school and college typing paper from that old reliable Smith-Corona manual portable :) A lot of it is handwritten: can't do that much any more.



      And earlier here in 2018 I came across a few pages of some railroad stories I wrote while at VA Tech in 1980s. Had pretty much forgotten about them.

      Have probably mentioned that on here before but will mention it again anyway.

    • December 12, 2018 10:22 PM EST
    • Good to see you back, Dan was about to call and issue a BOLO or have them take the door on a

      welfare check. How did the pizza party get by with no

      pizza to party with??

    • December 12, 2018 8:14 PM EST
    • I resemble that remark, Sean .  Here lately, I could be the poster child for it, but I'm back in the saddle for a while now.