Sunday, October 22, 2017

Driving down to a Boston Train Show

It was a lovely day, dry, warm, sunny.  Leaves are a bit past peak in Franconia Notch, but are at peak down south.  I93 was in good shape except the widening project south of Manchester hasn't gotten anywhere since I was thru there last.  More NH infrastructure money spent with out improving the road at all. 
   The North Shore Model Railroad Club of Wakefield MA, of which I used to be a member until I retired to NH, put on the show.  They had the swap meet at the Wakefield Americal Hall, across the street from the club layout.  The vendors had a lot of rolling stock and some structures, no tools or parts.  A fair number of steam engines that could serve as project locomotives, except I have two such project locomotive in my shop awaiting work.  The crowd was mostly older guys, a few very small children who were entranced, no kids old enough to be into electric trains on their own.  The hobby is not recruiting new hobbyists to replace the older guys who are dying off.  The North Shore club had three member who I had known die just this fall. 
  The club layout is down stairs from Brother's restaurant on Main St.  The layout is 90 feet long.  The newest and last section toward the back is largely done.  Benchwork is in, track is laid, trains run.  Scenery is coming along nicely.  The old core of the club was still there, still guiding the work.  This layout was large enough to make a cover story of Model Railroader back in 1985, and it's bigger now. 
   Anyhow a nice day.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Something must be happening that isn't Donald Trump

All the TV newsies talk about these days is Donald Trump.  Nothing else is covered.  Not even the stock market.  Surely there is something significant happening somewhere in the world that isn't about Donald Trump.  But we will never know.  Unless we do some web surfing. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Oh Say Can You See

Small patriotic ritual, performed before sporting events.  Americans are expected to stand and place their hand over their heart as the national anthem is played.  It's a symbol of respect for the flag, and the Republic for which it stands, to borrow a line from the pledge of allegiance.  And it's a sign of unity.  Anyone who fails to participate is saying they don't like the flag, they don't like the country, and they don't like other other Americans. 
   No beef with anyone or anything justifies failing to stand for the national anthem.   I don't like it, and a whole big bunch of my fellow Americans don't like it.  It may be legal. but we don't have to like it.  And we don't accept any excuses for failing to stand.  

The Microsoft Computer scammer calls again

This guy pretends to be from Microsoft, and wants to fix your computer.  The first time he called (maybe a year ago) I played along until he tried to get me to upload a piece of malware onto Trusty Desktop.  I used some salty service language on him and hung up.  Since then he has called back about once a month, giving me another opportunity to insult him. 
   Anyhow, if you get a call from someone who says he is from Microsoft, he is trying to plant a virus on your computer.  The real Microsoft never calls anyone. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Print is up, E-books are down

According to the Wall St Journal, sales of printed books are up 5% this year whereas sales of e-books are down 17%.  The Journal gave no reasons.  Wow! 
   The electronic wave of the future stopped cold by Gutenberg's printing press from the 1400's.  
    I'm in favor, I like reading a printed book better than I like fussing with a laptop to read an e-book.  I only mess with e-books to read old favorites no longer in print.  Old Edgar Rice Burroughs, old E.E. Smith,  old Andre Norton for example.  The laptop is bulky but it has a decent screen, the special e-book readers are micro screen devices which don't excite me much.   Even the idea of having the Library of Congress packed into a hand held device doesn't really excite me.  Apparently the market agrees. 


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Leaf Season in Franconia Notch

Does Weinstein affair account for poor Hollywood movies?

No doubt about it, Hollywood is making fewer movies, many of them are comic book movies, and box office has been terrible this season.  And then we have Harvey Weinstein, allegedly a top man in Hollywood.  Maybe he doesn't pay enough attention to making decent movies, and wastes too much time harassing and raping actresses?  If Harvey is typical of Hollywood management, no wonder the movies are lacking.