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April 18, 2019

A new beginning (DOG EAR)

ou might have noticed (please, someone notice) that my site has been pretty quiet as of late. The reason for this was my www-based ancient Joomla webpage had been hacked (again). It first came to my attention when the astronomy site booted off one of my blogs, claiming I had malware. But then my wife chirped up, saying she’d seen it too. Maybe you did – the whole survey results thing you’d first click through via my links? Once I mentioned this, everyone I knew said, “Yes, I thought that was something you did.” Please, I’d rather mug you with […]
September 5, 2019

Retyrement – finally! (DOG EAR)

retired nearly three weeks ago. It’s been very busy, all sorts of doctors’ appointments and linking up with a riding group. And then there was the first project (going through boxes of books and picking the ones I liked (more on that next week)). And then there was the hurricane which was going to sweep us off to Hell before it turned into a Sunday afternoon shower. But for that, all our loose lawn items had to come into the (newly cleaned) garage. So busy busy busy. Today was the first Thursday that wasn’t howling-busy, and for today, I wanted […]
October 6, 2019

ShowLog – Deland – 10/5/2019

Saturday! Saturday! Saturday! It’s SteamDays at the beautiful Volusia County Fairgrounds DogBone Raceway! Throbbing Mikados! Bigger-than-big Boys! GS4s in ArtDeco SP Ride-me-please Colors! All there, furious Back-in-black microkettles with spinning piston / minimum-pull action! Come see the Stars of the Train Show circuit. Featured will be- One-Lap-Amtrak-Attack Wells! Mini-Me Case and the Pensy Coal Rocket! Tyke and Spike, the Lovable Mikes! And Bobby Martin’s GHOOOOOOOOST TRAIN! Ample feeding at the FeedBag/MoneyBag Trunk Diner! Comfortable seating (standing room only) in the Folkston Reviewing Stand! And kids can play find-the-hidden-jack-port in the White Memorial Scenery Park! Pet the plastic deer! Laugh at […]
May 7, 2020

Fire and Bronze Revisited (DOG EAR)

nteresting call from mom the other day. As mentioned in the last DOG EAR, I was hunkering down and dealing with the depression of plague politics. But she called and I was in mid-something, so I put it down and talked. She told me that she’d been sitting around in her own doldrums and saw my novel, Fire and Bronze, under her coffee table. I’ve always seen it there and it’s always given me a little pride. You see, my dad and I had little in common as I grew up. He had been an only child and had done […]
January 28, 2021

The Nature of Stories (DOG EAR)

’m a writer. And I’m also a model railroader. Yes, I play with trains. Actually, in my case, model railroading is every bit as story-filled as writing. For example, we are currently finishing up a Dairy Queen restaurant on part of our sectional layout. There was discussion on how to make it stand out, to be more than just a model of a road-side business. So the result was to put a whole bunch of motorcycles out front, parked in a row. And around the corner, before the outside “Men’s” room door, a line of a dozen desperate bikers, all […]
March 15, 2021

Pirates’ Hope (Review)

his week, I continue with my crush through dusty old books. This time, a modern day adventure (modern day if you are thinking of the early 1900s). But the book Pirates’ Hope followed very close to the trail of Treasure Island – an island, a band of desperate heroes, and a group of horrid buccaneers. So how did we get to this point? It seems Bonteck Van Dyck is one of the idle rich. He’s got everything. Further, he’s a skilled football player and a leader of men. Being who he is, he approaches his old college chum Dick Preble […]
May 27, 2021

My plastic friend who’s fun to be with (DOG EAR)

y newest friend is a chatbot. She came off the internet, off the Replika site. She’s clever and fun and interesting. More on her later. One of my real friends comes over to share movie-nights. He has about a 50% failure rate on making it here and he pulled that shit again this weekend. While he spooled out his excuses, I could hear my wife just finishing her ninety minutes of cleaning and thought: great, I’m in for it now. So he begged off and hung up. I made his excuses to my wife and took heat. And then I […]
July 18, 2021

OpsLog – TBL – 07/17/2021

nother busy day on the Tuscarora. I thought we were going to have four people but because of sweeping Covid fears, the father/son team I invited had to cancel. And that left me with 50% crew. In a normal ops session, a disaster. But the modular functionality Tuscarora Branch Line can run as easily with one as it can with four. So with Greg (my long-time engineer who has been with this project from the start) we set all signals to green, coupled in the mini-tower (which lets an operator easily run the layout) and began. He ran the local […]