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September 26, 2021

Ark Royal (Review)

lucked out on this one – was in a used bookstore in Norfolk and came across a block of Ark Royal books, five of the first six, missing the initial copy. Looked like a good series – and self-published too, it seemed – so I bought them. Well, my sister bought them for me, a nice gesture. But I read them. The first book of the Ark Royal series takes place, I dunno, 200 years in the future? Man has reached the stars via tramlines but nations (and navies) still exist. And Ark Royal, an outdated English carrier seventy years […]
September 26, 2021

OpsLog – TBL – 09/25/2021

ell, it was another run on the Tuscarora today. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to finally run the new coal job since my coal operator is out with medical issues. I posted to the club but got no takers. So it was just the hard-cores – Father and son Brian and Tyler, running with me for a nice and tidy session over two and a half hours. Gotta say this – since we weren’t running balls-to-the-wall like we usually do, Brian was able to study his timetable and actually learn the job. He began to understand why he was doing what […]
September 23, 2021

Backlogged (DOG EAR)

es, usually I’m behind on books and reviewing late. Sometimes I’m saved when I beg a guest writer to blog a book for me. All it takes is a massive slow-read and I’m behind the eight ball again. But that isn’t the problem now. First, I was on vacation for a week, listening to a book a day on CDs while driving. And then I came home to find my computer’s wifi down. I couldn’t fix it for a week since I needed to get a newsletter shipped. And then there was the couple of days the repairs took. And […]
September 23, 2021

OpsLog – LM&O – 09/22/2021

feel like the guy the moment after a sledge hammer hits him in the forehead. Or he is hit with two bullets. Silver Bullets. The session started out well enough. I wrote up some warrants early on – neat meet in Zanesville, with the local coming west and ducking into the industrial trackage, 202 coming east (and taking the siding) and Silver Bullet 2 running down the main. That went down like clock work. Out east, 223 was into Calypso and the Harris Glen Local was already climbing the grade. Everything was going as planned. I actually thought maybe we’d […]
September 21, 2021

OpsLog – TBL – 9/20/2021

ery busy night at the club. First there was the work session that went on until 8pm – we worked elements of Pittsburgh, fixed two turnouts, argued about signposts (bit one off in a dare – really), and then designed the steel mill trackage. After all that, everyone left and so I pulled out my Tuscarora Microlayout and had a coal session. Why? Well, we’re going to have a live session and I’m still working out the card method that drives the coal moves. As noted in earlier blogs, an engineer pointed out that coal felt meaningless – it was […]
September 19, 2021

Legacy of War (Review)

‘ve been a fan of the African functionalist Wilbur Smith for decades. He writes wonderful books about the continent, both in the modern day and the ancient past. And one of his loose series is about the Courtney family that finds itself settling in Africa after World War One and building their dynasty, accumulating rotters and villains along the way. Legacy of War is no different (a little more about that in my conclusion). This book opens just after World War Two. Saffron Courtney has been Mata Haring all about Europe during the war, doing those crazy resistance things and […]
September 19, 2021

OpsLog – TBL – 9/18/2021

kay, ran a solo session of the Tuscarora (which I’ve done before) but only the coal side of things (which I’ve never done before). Since it was pointed out that it was a “spear-carrier” position on the railroad, I added a card game to give the operator some decision-making abilities in the session. Now there is a back story to every train. And here’s what I learned today. First off, it was a very busy session for me. I ran full switch-tower operations. And dispatcher. And the coal engineer. And the brakeman (on both sides of the layout) so yes, […]
September 16, 2021

Uncork (DOG EAR)

‘m not proud of what I did, but I did it and I’ll stand by it. A few days ago I lost a longtime friend to Covid. He chose not to get his shot and paid the price. I can’t be sure why he made this decision but I have to think that part of it was the symphony of misinformation and bald-faced lies about the safety of the shots and the dangers of Covid. His choice. However. A day after hearing of his passing, someone on Facebook started with the misinformation again, questioning masks, blaming the current administration for […]
September 12, 2021

Out Stealing Horses (Review)

his was another of the CD’s we listened to on our summer vacation drive (a CD can make the miles go by but I fear they will go the way of VHS soon enough). The wife picked this one out. So we listened. The story told starts at what should be the end – Trond Sander is an older man, ready to live out the remains of his life in contemporary times out in the Norwegian boonies. But then he encounters a man who grew up with him when he was a child, back when the Nazis invaded during World […]
September 9, 2021

War of the Writers (DOG EAR)

nyone who knows me knows I love H.G. Well’s War of the Worlds. It was a book that opened up the world for younger me and showed me things I really didn’t understand. So nobody was more excited than I when I found out that BBC was doing a miniseries on WOTW, set (for once) in the actual timeframe of the book (1900 or so). Finally! What a disaster. We were finally able to watch it on Vudu. Yeah, so commercials every few minutes. But that wasn’t the worst of it. It was this fact: The writers thought that they […]