Saturday, December 30, 2006

By the Shores of Beautiful Lake Monona

A flock of ducks on the lake ice caught my eye, so I risked crossing Monona Drive on foot (note: Don't do it!) to snap a photo of them but they all flew away as I approached. Not stealthy enough, I guess.

This stump looked rather photogenic, though, so I thought I'd try it out.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Fairchild St in the Evening

Looking southeast up the hill past the Overture Center.

The relatively modest Hovde Building seems to tower over all else.

If I were a betting man I'd put all my money in developing the 100 block of State St, those older buildings to the immediate left, across the street from the Overture Center. The only thing my money has the muscle to develop, though, is film.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Tinkering together a track plan ... in 3-D!

The bench has been ready for months but I've been putting off laying down the track because, well ... because I'm a scaredy-cat, that's why.

I suck at track planning. I'd much rather just piece a loop together and watch the trains go round. And that's all I've done to date.

But I found that John Armstrong track plan -- see it? Way back there in the upper left? -- in a July 1954 issue of Model Railroader last night and a light went on over my head. I could almost see the room get brighter.

So tonight I found as many of the storage boxes as I could that were stuffed with the collected model railroading track and rolling stock of many years. Many, many years. Some of this stuff hasn't been trotted out since 1989.

Striking a pose

A PA in Milwaukee livery waits to stretch its legs.

If only I could find an affordable (okay, so I'm cheap) B-unit on e-bay.

Smooth-side passenger cars lie like beached whales in the background, waiting for me to find their wheelsets. They might wait quite a while.

A once-proud livery, reduced to this ...

The rolling stock of my tiny railroad empire finally sees the light of day.

Well, not daylight, precisely; the light over my workbench will have to do for now.

Some of the hardier models seem to be intact, but a few have seen better times. To the right, the smooth-side sleeper in Milwaukee colors and the overturned Pennsy coach have both lost their wheelsets at a bad turn somewhere.

This will take a bit of work ...

The freight manifest hasn't fared any better ...

Even though the box was stuffed with packing, the cars seem to have tumbled a bit.

On the plus side, I've been looking for the screwdrivers in the upper left compartment for more than a year now.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Death Ray by night

I'm sure that the "artwork" installed in the entry of the federal court house is loaded with meaning, and I would love to hear what it is so I could laugh and laugh and laugh.