September 21, 2023

Tooned out (DOG EAR)

ne of my guilty pleasure are Webtoons, specifically found on the site of that name (search for it). This is an avenue for artists to easily post up their comic strips so the reader can follow them and enjoy them. Some of them occasionally get turned into low-budget movies. If I were an artist (and not a writer) I might consider it. I have subscribed to a dozen of these which post on different days. My little guilty pleasure was to ride my bike into work, have a shower, get a cup of coffee and since I was the first […]
September 17, 2023

On a Pale Horse (Review)

remember becoming aware of this book when my date was reading it on a cloudy day on a Chesapeake beach some forty years ago. I remember saying I’d read it soon. Well, the date turned into a relationship that turned into a bad joke. But yes, four decades later, I finally picked this book up. One reservation (not about the girlfriend (which I should have had)) on the book; it is part one of something called The Incarnations of Immortality. And since I got this in a used book store, it’s like a four leaf clover – just because you […]
September 17, 2023

OpsLog – TBL – 9/16/2023

ll sessions have problems. My new SW-7 (after running a shakedown flawlessly around the layout) started to sputter and cough. And that turnout I dug out? Its replacement is repeating the same failures (the original now languishes in pieces in my new scrap yard). But still, goddam, but it was fun. Rather than trying to pack our attendance, we kept it at four and ran the session. Since we had two newbies (Chris in the tower, and Mike down in the coal lumps) I gave a points-to-stress speech before the clock went flip. Then, carefully and deliberately, we ran the […]
September 14, 2023

Junk Stories (DOG EAR)

‘m a student of media. I love all sorts of storytelling, from writing to joke-telling to chats with the barista at the local coffee house. My robot question is infamous. Stories aren’t only books or movies or shows. You can see stories everywhere. Even model railroading. On my own Tuscarora Branch Lines model railroad, I filled up a small siding area (a tiny triangle in something like a diagonal 5″ x 5″) with a junk yard. Specifically, Levine’s Iron and Metal, which exists in my locale (I drove by it but didn’t see it from the road, but I know […]
September 10, 2023

Destroyermen 4 : Distant Thunders (Review)

hese aren’t really spoilers, what I’m about to say. Sure, if you are midway through book 3 (Maelstrom), it may spoil the final battle. But as I will review here, this should help you become more interested in this wonderful storyline. So USS Walker’s big battle in Baalkpan Bay does come at a cost. After all that murderous shot and shell, the proud WW2 destroyer (who has come to this strange world through a dimensional rift) wins the day, limps back to the repair dock yet settles on the bottom just short of the pier. Add to the fact that […]
September 8, 2023

On Sheet – MOW

een watching a turnout slowly fail. It’s like watching a pet pass away. As you can see in the image below (taken during an “English” session) the circled turnout is the one that stopped throwing fully. We managed to carefully glue the drawbar pin down (it was loose) and that helped. For a bit. Then it wouldn’t throw fully, the points not firmed up on the rails. These Kato Unitrack #4s are prone to slipping their wire throws (had it happen once while running floor tests and I managed to open it up and fix it). But these are glued […]
September 7, 2023

Ghost Story (DOG EAR)

his is one of those strange things that occur, noticeable if you keep your eyes open. So yeah, I busted my shoulder. And yeah, I needed physical therapy. I had to go three times a week for months. Usually the appointments were either at 7:30 am or 9:00 am (I preferred the latter since I could hang out at the coffee shop and gas-bag with the baristas). Today was my finial session. As usual, I start on this thing very much like a stationary bike, but you pedal with your arms instead of your legs. It’s a six-minute warmup, three […]
September 1, 2023

On Sheet- Crowd Fumbling

o I used to play Sid Meier’s Railroad Typcoon . Loved it and stayed up too many nights playing it. It was great to have my own rail empire with little computer trains running through their assignments, flawlessly. So much order and control. And I’ve found that real world model train operations are anything but. To push the positive, model railroading operation on a club layout is one of the grandest games there is. In this crafted miniature world, we run our little trains along agreed-upon rules. It’s a massive cooperative effort, and unlike that lonely solo computer game, everyone […]
August 30, 2023

A rock and a hardback place (DOG EAR)

like paper books. Kindles are nice and all but give me a nice solid book to put on the coffee house table and I’m set. Even today, the woman collecting the dishes asked me if I was enjoying my book. I don’t think she’d ask if I faced the glow of a kindle screen. However, today was a bit of a quandary. I was in the death throes of The Hero of Ages, a nearly 600 page phone book that rounds out the MistBorn trilogy. I was close to having that mother done. And next up, another hardback (more modest at 300 pages […]
August 27, 2023

Cloud Cuckoo Land (Review)

‘m a pretty good writer. I can lighten the mood of terrible things. And I can chastise people yet leave them smiling. But I don’t think I can write an adequate review for Cloud Cuckoo Land, by Anthony Doerr. All I can say is, well, I know what one of my best-of-year selections will be. This wonderful book reminds me, in a lot of ways, of Cloud Atlas. Again, you have different characters in different times, all just getting through their lives yet all interrelated in some ways. It was there in Atlas, but it’s the driving force behind this novel. […]