Showing posts from August 28, 2016

Gone Fishing

When I was a child and teenager, I loved fishing. I loved being out on the water... whether it be a lake, the ocean or a bay... and applying my fishing skills to bring home an assortment of fish for dinner. My experiences proved that autumn was always best for a large assortment of fish in one outing.

After I'd do my homework, I would sometimes spend the night getting my fishing gear ready... spooling new line... cleaning and rewinding fishing pole guides... organizing my tackle box... and even studying characteristics of all the types of fish I might encounter in future fishing excursions. I really enjoyed fishing.

Getting up early in the morning to catch fish was never a problem for me... fishing at dusk was my favorite but also a bit of a frustration because not only were the hungry fish biting but so were the insatiable mosquitoes. I liked fishing any time but I knew that fishing in midday was typically a big waste of time and energy. I saved midday for sports and especially wat…

Detailing a Hopper

I wrote a little bit about a week or so ago about starting to convert some old American Flyer S scale hoppers to O scale narrow gauge. I do a little bit on this project every now and then and today I made some more headway on this project.

I had already stripped the bodies in a bath of rubbing alcohol. The lettering and any paint came off easily with a toothbrush after only a few minutes in the bath. Of course, I had previously removed all the trucks and couplers. 

After taking a dip in the alcohol bath, I quickly found that three of the hoppers are molded gray plastic and one is molded black plastic. The black plastic is softer than the gray plastic so it is easier to work... cutting, filing, sanding... but that does not mean the more brittle gray plastic makes any of these things difficult to accomplish. I suspect the black plastic will hold paint better too.

I built a small jig to start bending brass grab irons. I will need 16 small ones... and 8 large ones. I might also bend some of …

Some Signs of Autumn

As most of the east coast deals with a wet and windy tropical storm, we are experiencing beautiful, sunny and mild weather here in our neck of the woods which is really nice. There is definitely a feel of autumn in the air now.

The past couple of times that I cut the lawn, I was mowing a leaf-covered lawn... mostly dry greenish leaves but definitely a sign of our approaching autumn season.

I wandered outside yesterday morning with a camera in hand to see if anything was worth photographing in the backyard. I found a few things to photograph as the season changes...

(I just remembered that I still have photos from earlier in the summer which I have not written about nor shared here... If my health continues to struggle and limit my activities, maybe I'll spend some time collecting some of those photos to share.)

Consumed with Thoughts of the Lake House

I'm not quite sure why but I've been consumed with thoughts of the lake house lately... when I'm awake and even when I'm asleep and dreaming... all the time.

Perhaps it is because my health has been mostly on the poor side since being at the lake earlier in the summer. Lately, my health has been exceptionally poor especially when it is warm or hot outside. I'm overwhelmingly exhausted on most days and can barely keep my eyes open nevermind find some energy to accomplish something small. I'm so exhausted that I find it impossible to stay focused on any task or to even think clearly. I don't know... maybe I simply want to go back to the lake house and do things.

Don't get me wrong. I occasionally have a pretty good day. On these rare days, I find that I am using up this rare fairly good health on everyday chores like cutting the lawn, laundry, straightening the house or even showering. It doesn't take much to wear me down to the point of uselessness. I …

Small Woodworking Project Finished

It took much longer than I planned because of more lousy health slowing me down to a crawl but I finally finished a small woodworking project I started about three weeks ago.

Up until yesterday, the grandkids were using an old, small, plastic stepstool to reach the sink in the bathroom. I never liked that plastic stool... it is sort of cartoonish with rounded edges making it pretty damn ugly... the hard plastic rounded edges make it rather slippery on hard floors... and, it is so lightweight that it is easy to slide it across the floor unintentionally. I wanted to find a nice, old-fashioned wood stool but we couldn't find one anywhere... so I designed and built not just one, but two! (One for each bathroom.)

I also designed and built a small stand for Lukey to use with his trains. This stand holds whichever power supply controller is necessary for whichever trains he is running at the time (unfortunately, different trains require different controllers)

After assembling all the wood…

First Day of School

The grandkids had their first day of school yesterday! 

I can't help but think about all they've already experienced in their first four years, all the photos I've shot of them since their birth (I must have thousands upon thousands of photos of them) and the staggering number of years of schooling they have ahead of them... eek... that is a frightening number!

I knew I wanted to get some photos of this day and, as with any big event, I happened to have a few specific ideas in mind before the day even arrived. 

I knew I did not want the typical awkward snapshots of kids standing stiff as boards, awkwardly still, as a parent shoots a snapshot. I did not want the usual nonsense of kids standing at the front door of the house wishing they were anywhere else other than in front of a camera with that bored deer-in-the-headlights look on their faces. I wanted the grandkids to be natural and animated... I wanted to capture their laughter as they told us about their first day of scho…