Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Theodore Roosevelt Quotes

Theodore Roosevelt, my favorite president. Some of his quotes spoken like he was looking into the future and daring us to pay attention. I think, as a nation, we may have failed to heed his warnings.

Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far

    Apparently this is a West African proverb that Teddy was fond of.

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.

   Citizenship in a Republic (Sorbonne, Paris April 23, 1910)

Let the watchwords of all our people be the old familiar watchwords of honesty, decency, fair-dealing, and commonsense.... We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less.The welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us.

   New York State Fair, Syracuse, September 7, 1903

We demand that big business give the people a square deal; in return we must insist that when anyone engaged in big business honestly endeavors to do right he shall himself be given a square deal.

   Letter to Sir Edward Gray, November 1913

Viewed purely in the abstract, I think there can be no question that women should have equal rights with men."..."Especially as regards the laws relating to marriage there should be the most absolute equality between the two sexes. I do not think the woman should assume the man's name.

   The Practicability of Equalizing Men and Women before the Law - Senior Thesis at Harvard 1880

Working women have the same need to protection that working men have; the ballot is as necessary for one class as to the other; we do not believe that with the two sexes there is identity of function; but we do believe there should be equality of right.

   Speech, National Convention of the Probressive Party, Chicago IL, August 6, 1912

For unflagging interest and enjoyment, a household of children, if things go reasonably well, certainly makes all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison.

   An Autobiography, 1913

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground.

   The Groton School, Groton, MA MAy 24, 1904

Optimism is a good characteristic, but if carried to an excess, it becomes foolishness. We are prone to speak of the resources of this country as inexhaustible; this is not so.

   Seventh Annual Message to Congress, December 3, 1907

There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country.

   Confession of Faith Speech, Progressive National Convention, Chicago, IL, August 6, 1912

The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others.

   Address to the Deep Waterway Convention, Memphis, TN, October 4, 1907

A healthy-minded boy should feel hearty contempt for the coward and even more hearty indignation for the boy who bullies girls or small boys, or tortures animals."..."What we have a right to expect of the American boy is that he shall turn out to be a good American man.

   The American Boy, St. Nicholas Magazine, May 1900

The object of government is the welfare of the people." "Conservation means development as much as it does protection. I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us.

   The New Nationalism speech, Osawatomie, KS, August 31, 1910

I don't think any President ever enjoyed himself more than I did. Moreover, I don't think any ex-President ever enjoyed himself more."... "Success - the real success - does not depend upon the position you hold, but upon how you carry yourself in that position.

   University of Cambridge, England, May 26, 1910

Men with the muckrake are often indispensable to the well-being of society, but only if they know when to stop raking the muck." "An epidemic in indiscriminate assault upon character does not good, but very great harm." "There should be relentless exposure of and attack upon every evil practice, whether in politics, in business, or in social life. I hail as a benefactor every writer or speaker, every man who, on the platform, or in book, magazine or newspaper, with merciless severity makes such attack,

   Washington, DC, April 14, 1906

No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor.

   Third Annual Message to Congress, December 7, 1903

Alone of human beings the good and wise mother stands on a plane of equal honor with the bravest soldier; for she has gladly gone down to the brink of the chasm of darkness to bring back the children in whose hands rests the future of the years.

   The Great Adventure, 1918

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

New Tools - Longmill Mk2 CnC Router - Sienci Labs

Another tool that I can't put together yet has arrived. This is the Longmill Mk 2 CnC router from Sienci Labs in Canada. The first time ever I have had to pay UPS an import tax! I'm looking forward to putting this one together and putting it through its paces. For now it gets to remain in the box as there is literally no place for me to put it at the moment. It won't be to long now though, we are 15 days, and counting, from our new workshop getting built. Until then I can only dream about mounting up bits and starting projects on this one, much like the D1 laser cutter from Xtool.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Garden Upgrade - New Potting Shed/Greenhouse

We finally bit the bullet and decided to replace the 30 year old wood storage shed with something we could actually use. The original was a small 8'x10' gamble roofed shed that was really a garage for the old lawn tractor and all the accoutrements that went with it. My wife's father never did anything in half measures!

It was built on a concrete pad with a built in concrete ramp. When the old shed came down the concrete looked like it was brand new, not a single crack. Her dad certainly took a lot of pride in his work and concrete was his business. Anyway the new shed is 10'x12' and the whole south side is filled with windows to make this both a workspace and a greenhouse. I'll be insulating this one within the next week or so as we gear up for the planting season, which doesn't start here for another month. We keep telling the new folks in the area that you really can't start planting outside here yet despite the unusually warm and snowless April.

Unfortunately these two windows will have a terrific view of the fence once we put it back up. You can see the fence post right between the two windows.

The door side, a little shorter than I expected but I don't bump my head so it works fine.

The window side, 4 windows plus transoms to really let the natural light in.

All the remains is to insulate the inside which requires a trip to the DIY store for insulation and plywood.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Thomas Jefferson - Quotes

And back to the comfort of an American; Thomas Jefferson who has somewhat sadly dropped down a few pegs in my admiration levels, and not because he owned slaves. Still a brilliant man that was so important to the creation of our nations. 

 I do try and make sure that the quotes I list have been verified as being spoken or written by Jefferson, just like I did with other famous speakers. There are lots of quotes out there attributable to famous individuals that have been twisted or just plain made up.

"But this momentous question. Like a fire bell in the night, awakened and filled with terror." On the Missouri question 1820

"I find friendship to be like wine, raw when new, ripened with age, the true old man's milk and restorative cordial." To Benjamin Rush 1811

"No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden...But though an old man, I am but a young gardener." To Charles Peale 1811

"I cannot live without books: but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object." Jefferson to Adams 1815

"This institution [University of Virginia] will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it." to William Roscoe 1820

"I have sworn upon the alter of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." to Benjamin Rush 1800

"But as it is, we have the wolf by the ear, and we neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other." to John Holmes 1820 on the Missouri question.

"This was the object of the Declaration of Independence. Not to find out new principles, or new arguments never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to lace before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take. Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it was intended to be an express of the American mind, and to give to that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion." to Henry Lee 1825.

"To all of which is added a selection from the elementary schools of subjects of the most promising genius, whose parents are too poor to give them further education, to be carried at the public expense through the college and university. The object is to bring into action that mass of talents which lies buried in poverty in every country, for want of the means of development, and thus give activity to a mass of mind, which, in proportion to our population, shall be double or treble of what it is in most countries." to Jose Correa de Serra 1817

"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government." First Inaugural Address 1801

A little food for thought.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

New Tools - Keeping it Square - Bridge City Tool Works

I have needed to really tune up my miter saw, every time I think I have it adjusted correctly it seemingly just falls back out of square. While I have a number of pretty standard squares in the shop; a combination square, a carpenter's square and a speed square just off the top of my head none of them are really good for tuning in the miter saw. At this point I have been taking the combination square apart and using that to try and adjust the miter saw blade to get a nice straight cut and it just doesn't seem to do the trick.

I have admired the Bridge City Tools squares and there was a sale (which is about the only way I can afford these) and I just had a bonus from work so I bit the bullet and dived in. I bought a mini miter square, a small try square and (drum roll) a Universal Gauge Imperial Left (yea, I don't know what it is either but it looks cool and it was half price).

The boxes are worth the price of admission, sleeves and heavy weight boxes inside. The squares are just amazing to look at and feel solid in your hands. Just waiting for an opportunity to get back into the shop so I can use them. 

Just the boxes are impressive

First up is the mini miter square, the extra steel piece is the foot which connects with three magnets and can then be slid from one side to other when flushing up against a piece of wood.
The try square so I know longer need to worry that my combination square is not actually square. It even has a profile for dove tail joints built right in.

And then there is this beast; the Universal Gauge (left handed in this case). You can use it to check angles on just about anything and the protractor is built right in. I'm pretty sure its smarter than I am.

Just need to let the cooler weather pass to get back into the shop.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Winston Churchill - Quotes

I have decided to step out of the comfort of American quotes and bring a few from across the pond. Winston Churchill may well be one of the most quotable speakers of his age. I do try and make sure that the quotes I list have been verified as being spoken by Churchill, just like I did with Mark Twain and John Adams There are lots of quotes out there attributable to famous individuals that have been twisted or just plain made up.

A few shorter quotes from Mr. Churchill

"Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result." 1898

"I object on principle to doing by legislation what properly belongs to human good feeling and charity." 1902

"The nose of the bulldog has been slanted backwards so that he can breathe without letting go." 1905

"The usefulness of a naval invention ceases when it is enjoyed by everyone else." 1913

"At the beginning of this war, megalomania was the only form of sanity." 1915

"Nothing makes a man more reverent than a library." 1921

"He spoke without a note and almost without a point." 1931

"France, though armed to the teeth, is pacifist to the core." 1932

"Never...was so much owed by so many to so few." 1940

"If we win, nobody will care. If we lose, there will be nobody to care." 1941

"We must beware of needless innovation, especially when guided by logic." 1942

"The English never draw a line without blurring it." 1948

"If you destroy a free market you create a black market." 1949

"Nationalization of industry is the doom of trade unionism." 1950

And a few longer ones to feed the beast:

"The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays is coming o a close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences."

"United wishes and good will cannot overcome brute facts. Truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it. Ignorance may deride it. Malice may distort it. But there it is."

"In the twinkling of an eye, I found myself without an office, without a seat, without a party, and without and appendix."

"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries."

"Danger gathers upon our path. We cannot afford - we have no right - to look back. We must look forward"

"We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. June 4, 1940

Some of those should get the blood flowing!

Friday, April 15, 2022

Mark Twain - Quotes

One my favorite writers, Samuel Longhorne Clemens, more famously known as Mark Twain, has a lot to say and his quotes easily relate to us today as they did when he wrote them.

Of course we start off with my most favorite quote:

"Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile."

"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."

"The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read."

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."

"Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option."

"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't."

"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man."

"Out of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most."

"Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."

"Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason."

"In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards."

And wrap it up with one that is perhaps more thoughtful and less off the cuff:

"The government is merely a servant - merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them."

Hopefully some of those will make you both chuckle and think!

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

John Adams - Quotes

As I continue to pursue my interest in the War of Independence I have read quite a bit about the founding fathers and, quite frankly, to have that many brilliant minds come together in one time and place is truly astonishing. It wasn't a single individual that led us to the Declaration of Independence but a combined effort of more brilliant men than this nation has seen since. I do think that we focus way to much on a few members of that team though; Washington, Franklin and Jefferson. But I do believe without the driving force of John Adams the whole thing would have stalled for a lack of a truly driving force. It speaks volumes that Adams was not on the list of continental congress members that the British would have been willing to pardon.

Obnoxious and disliked but still becoming one of my favorites among the Founding Fathers and our Presidents. Here are a few quotes from Adams that I find enlightening:

"There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our constitution."

"The science of government it is my duty to study, more than all other sciences; the arts of legislation and administration and negotiation ought to take the place of, indeed exclude, in a manner, all other arts. I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain."

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion, - as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims], - and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretest arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

"...Cities may be rebuilt, and a People reduced to Poverty, may acquire fresh Property: But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty once lost is lost forever. When the People once surrendered their share in the Legislature, and their Right of defending the Limitations upon the Government, and of resisting every Encroachment upon them, they can never regain it."

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood."

"Negro Slavery is an evil of Colossal magnitude and I am utterly averse to the admission of Slavery into the Missouri Territories."

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."

"Let us tenderly and kindly cherish therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak and write."

"Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it."

Enough for now, hopefully one or two of those will appeal to you. Adams was a prodigious writer!

Monday, April 11, 2022

New Tool - Xtool D1 Laser engraver cutter

As part of the wood workshop build (hello retirement!) I have gradually been accumulating the bigger tools that we need while I'm gainfully employed. Two of the biggest areas of indecision have been around a CnC router and a laser cutter/engraver. Now I already have a small laser engraver and while it has certainly proven useful its not a great laser cutter (to be fair its an engraver not a cutter) and the "cutting" area is small. It has proven quite useful on several projects so I think there is real value in having this tool in the woodshop. Recently Xtool has released its D1 laser cutter/engraver and I have been very impressed with what I have seen it do and the maker's that are using it.

They had a sale in March and since we had a little extra money we opted to take the plunge. I also pre-ordered some of their accessories at the same time including a more powerful laser head. Still based on what I have seen the existing 10w laser is going to be able to handle most of the ideas that I can come up with and there are more than one or two ideas percolating around in my head. The other big plus is the much larger cutting area 17" x 16" which means that a couple of my ideas will be much easier to pull off especially for cutting out buildings for Calamity! 

As you can probably tell I'm pretty excited about this tool, the only drawback I see right now is that I don't have anyplace to set it up and start cutting things out!

That's a lot of black foam! The first thing you see in the box are the instructions and the risers. There is an extra set of risers so you can increase the height based on the material you need to cut or engrave.

Side supports

The coolest bit in the box, this is the rotary engraver that allows you to engrave cylinders and spheres (I'm thinking some pens will find their way into this at some point).

More side supports, the laser head and power and communication cables

I have read through the instructions and it should be pretty easy to setup. Then it will just be a matter of picking the software and learning how to use it. Xtool has their own software; Laserbox basic or just about any other software will work we will probably be going with Lightburn.

Friday, April 8, 2022

Caboose Project - C&N Caboose #1 - Step 1

C&N Caboose, photo property of the Carnegie Branch of the Boulder Public Libary

Really, the last thing I needed to do was start another project but here we go right off the deep end again. It started when I was trying to organize the basement workroom...again and I opened up one of the unlabeled Bachman On30 boxes. It turned out to have been my attempt to change the Bachman short caboose to a bobber (2 axle, no trucks) caboose. It wasn't bad but in the end I would count it as a learning experience and besides I really wanted to make a model of the C&N caboose. There are plans for this caboose, by Ed Gebhardt, in the July/Aug 1986 issue of the Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette. 

The biggest issue facing me is building the underframe and how the two axles are supported. While I was muddling through this bit I was watching a YouTube video from Thunder Mesa Studio, from about a month ago, about building an On30 Short Caboose (ThunderMesaStudio). The base kit was by Chris Bohn at Full Circle Models (ibrake4trains@yahoo.com) and the 2 axle underframe is cast in resin (it might be 3D printed, I didn't think to ask). I downloaded the catalog for FCM from the link in the Thunder Mesa Studio link and reached out to Chris. The base underframe for the FCM kit has a wheelbase that's to short and overall the whole frame is to short and I figured that was a non-starter. Chris suggested that I just cut the existing frame into three pieces and lengthen to fit. That's why talking to other people about your project is a good idea! Chris was willing to sell me just the underframe and wheels, so I purchased two and those arrived earlier this week so I'm off and running!

The C&N cabooses, there were two, were very similar to the early D&RG cabooses (the class 1s) about the same from the frame up to the roof. I found a set of drawings made by John Maxwell online at JohnMaxwellDrawings which pretty much confirm that. They differ radically at the cupola. The D&RG caboose has a cupola that is centered and is the full width of the roof. The C&N cupola is off centered, taller, narrower and doesn't have any windows on the sides. The only windows face forward and backward. I would love to see what the interior of one of these cabooses looked like, especially since there is a smoke jack for a stove but that stove would have to be directly in front of one of the center windows. Alas neither of these cabooses survived so what that interior looked like will remain a mystery.

Found online at http://www.missouri-riverside.us/railroading/JohnMaxwell/
The initial D&RG cabooses where built by Jackson & Sharp and its possible that the C&N cabooses were built there as well just based on the similarity in design. 

Here are the plans from the Gazette, and the FCM underframe. I need to stretch the whole thing out to 23' and change the wheelbase from 6' to 9'. That means adding 3' to the middle and 1.5' to each end. That 1.5' needs to be added between the axles and the steps. A little hard to describe but pictures are worth a thousand words.

Here are the first cuts, separating the ends from the center. This is where the 1.5' inserts need to go, so two of those. You can see the line for the center cut going across the top of the frame.

The second cut is right down the middle. I'll insert a 3' section here to stretch the wheelbase to 9'.

I laid the parts out on a ruler to get a feel for what it will look like. At this point I just need to find something to make the inserts from, probably styrene. Time to rummage through the boxes and see what I have on hand.

Next step is to put the whole thing back together!

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Railroad Research - New Book - A Century + Ten of D&RGW Narrow Gauge

This is a weighty tome, everything you ever wanted to know about D&RGW narrow gauge freight cars! This is a second edition of Robert E Sloan's "A Century + Ten of D&RGW Narrow Gauge Freight Cars, 1871 to 1981", published in 2008. The first edition was published in 2000 but the 2nd edition has been expanded and the photographs and drawings were improved/enhanced.. I have seen this book going for almost double the retail price, but I decided to visit the publisher's website (BHI Publications) and they still have it in stock for $80, still expensive but better new at $80 than used at $160!

Just broadening my knowledge of the D&RGW narrow gauge empire With visions of designing the layout of the C&N, I figured that I should have a few D&RG visitors on the layout. There are a few photos in the "Switzerland Trail of America" by Forrest Crossen showing foreign freight cars on the C&N and that's all the excuse I need. With the new project in flight I'm really mostly interested in the cabooses; chapter 8, pages 191-256, that's a lot of information about cabooses. Pretty much a must have reference book for devotees of the early days of the D&RG (before the W). The one feature that makes this a great book for modelers is the spiral binding, every page can lay flat for scanning or photocopying when using a plan from the book.

Here is my, soon to become dog eared, copy.

Monday, March 21, 2022

Another State of Mind

So the biggest stressor on our plate is finally off the plate. We closed the sale on the old house on Friday which makes us officially debt free. That little project started in August with work on all the outdoor bits (replaced the concrete driveway and 3/4 of the old fence) and the work moved inside on 12/1 when the tenants moved out. New kitchen, new floors, new furnace, new appliances and paint were on the list. Then we got hit with removing the old deck (which we then replaced with an expanded concrete pad) and replacing the fuse box. Of course there were a few more curve balls after that; a radon mitigation system and a sewer clean out (tree roots, so many tree roots). We put more money into it than we expected to, but it sold for way more money than we expected it to as well. So happy days there.

This sale will completely fund the workshop, the last few big tools we need (a jointer, CnC Router, Laser cutter/engraver and a dust collection system) and a greenhouse to replace an old shed in the back corner of the yard. Looking good for the part time job for retirement. We have been "collecting" wood and this past weekend we were given a 50 year old stash of walnut; 12 pieces each 4" square and 4+ feet long. That will make a lot of pens among other things!

These are among the first pens that I did. I have finished about 20 more since then. I find the whole process quite relaxing.

I'm doing research into NASA mission patches, a serious a can of worms! Fortunately there are a couple of really good websites out there that are actually helpful trying to figure it all out. The core will be the patches from my uncle and I'll add on to it from there. It has the advantage of having historical interest, family history and it can be stored in small albums. Storage is always an issue so I'm seriously considering down sizing the game collection again. I don't really need a copy of every version of Clue that has been produced.

And of course life itself never stops, we lost Lani back in October to cancer and my son lost his dog Sadie, just to old age about a month ago. She literally passed away in her sleep next to his bed (it was quite startling, I had to go help him, she was in the bed, her head resting on her front paws and her ears straight up just like she heard you coming into the room). But that means new beginnings as well and while Sadie and Lani can never be "replaced" new dogs come into ours lives.

Sadie, 1/2 Blue Healer, 1/2 Catahoula Hound

Lani (Kahlani) giving driving directions, 1/2 Great Pyr, 1/2 Anatolian Shepherd and 134#

Meet Tulip, an 8 week old German Shepherd puppy. She is adorable and very sweet!

While the blog doesn't really show it, I am still here and actively working on hobby items its just tended to be a lot more on the research side than the building and gaming side. While I did just do a state of the blog recently I think I have refined things even more.

I still love trains and I fully intend to have a layout. I have designs for an HO layout based on warehouse row in Denver and an On30 layout set around the town of Sunset on the Colorado & Northwestern. The HO scale would be a more "serious" layout while the C&N would be a bit more whimsical with less emphasis on historical accuracy and more on just having fun. Both have aspects that really appeal to me. So trains, one way or another, are still on the list.

And that leads us back to gaming. Like I mentioned above, the Clue collection is likely to become a victim of space (if I have something you are interested in let me know and we can work something out). I think the rest of my games are safe...for the moment. I have my eye on reducing the train game collection as well and I do have some sought after games in that bunch.

That takes us to game design, specifically 18xx game design. I'm still, slowly, moving forward with my version of Colorado, still trying to work my way through some concepts to see what will work and captures the feeling of railroading in Colorado. On top of that I have finished typing 1869, The Golden Spike and 18GM, Game Maker back into the word documents. The electronic files disappeared somewhere into the vast saved space on Colin's computer(s) and no one has been able to find them. I'm seriously considering republishing those again possibly as a print and play games.

Then, of course, there is miniature gaming. I don't think much has changed here yet. I still want to build Calamity for western games and with the coming of the laser cutter that becomes much closer to reality. I think the key to Calamity will be remembering to keep most of the buildings pretty simple and only going whole hog on the most frequented haunts (i.e. the concept of buildings as major and minor NPCs from a build point of view). I still have visions of lighting all the buildings though!

I don't think the rest of the list has changed much:

Dropping out of 15mm WWII (I have an Afrika Korps army that will need to find a home)

Staying in with 15mm Napoleonics (British), ACW (Union) and Ancients (Vikings, not really ancients I know).

Staying in with 28mm WWII

I'm tempted to get started in with Stargrave, I discovered a stash of Hasslefree miniatures that would be perfect for that.

Overall with the sale of the house out of the way I'm starting to feel a bit better about things. We are also planning on attending ReaperCon this year. Its the only trip we have planned at this point and we are a little nervous about it but its time to do something that is a bit closer to the things we used to do.

Hopefully you will be seeing some more action here on the blog. The BFG is being dusted off as an entry for ReaperCon, something I can dive into with a prayer of finishing it in time for the convention. Not quite sure how I will get it there but that's the plan at the moment.

So stay safe, stay well and be happy...never regret anything that makes you smile!

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Kickstarter Loot - Gamelyn Games Tiny Epic Dungeon

Another game in the Epic series, Tiny Epic Dungeon from Gamelyn Games. My hat is off to Gamelyn for another high quality game. As part of my "reward" I received the main game with all of the kickstarter updates, the additional scenario box, the Boss Meeples and a reprint of the Dungeon Heroes game.

What was in the shipping box

Meeple Monsters

Miniature Heroes, note the ad on the side of the box for Tiny Epic Pirates
The supplement

More plastic heroes!