In the ink well

Dog Ear

March 9, 2023

A cannonade of FUs (DOG EAR)

don’t know what’s going on with me. I seem to be changing, slowly. Maybe. The other day, I was third bike in line crossing a road with clearly marked crosswalks. The city, of course, screws things up (and covers their asses) by putting small baby stop signs on the bike side of things (and big yellow crosswalk signs roadside). All I knew was that a car had stopped and the first guy, second guy, then me were crossing, one after another. As I passed, the car let out an angry honk, I know I shouldn’t have (and kids, don’t do […]
March 2, 2023

Breakfast Club (DOG EAR)

ne of the best things about retirement is having time on my side again. Sure, I’m busy. I’ve got a lot going on. But now I can schedule things a bit more… humanly. Recently I had a pair of breakfast dates in the book. One was with a friend Steve, where we’d meet at Perkins and then go over to get a helpless railroader’s trains running again. The other was with my friend Chris, where we’d meet at Maple Street Cafe and then go to his house for a short little ops session on his CSX-Taft layout. Both of them […]
February 23, 2023

Goodnight, Moon (DOG EAR)

he other night I had just shut off the light (and fired up the CPAP) to go to sleep. I lay in the dark, thinking of tomorrow’s events. I’d be getting up early and driving way down into Disney territory (i.e. Occupied Reedy Creek) to meet with a friend for breakfast. Then we’d go over to a guy’s place in Champion’s Gate (where the elite prop up their feet) to help him get an old layout running again (and hopefully scraping up some club donations). I know traffic around Disney can be crazy so I decided to get there early. […]
February 16, 2023

Avatar (DOG EAR)

alked into my local bookstore about thirty minutes before zen class. The place was about to close (for the public) and the owner had two young adults working the front (I think it is some sort of work-credit thing – I always see different young people working around the place). Now this part was weird – I’m not sure what their gender was. Both of them had crazy hair and lipstick and spoke in “valley-girl” lingo. But something said that they might, deep down, have XY chromosomes. If you think I’m bothered by this, I’m not. This is Colonialtown. Many […]
February 9, 2023

Untold Stories (DOG EAR)

love finding the irony of events around me and composing a story around them. And I love good stories, where things happen and there is a humorous/moralistic/ironical meaning to them. I’m not keen on the “why I was great and everyone else is an idiot” stories – usually these involve straw men and simplistic one-upsmanship that serves no purpose outside of self-gratulation. However, every so often a story comes up that I’m reluctant to share. Often it will hurt the other person by telling it (even though, if it involves me or takes place around me, I’ll consider it public […]
February 2, 2023

Sign Language (DOG EAR)

ometimes I’ll craft a word up whose meaning is obvious. And sometimes someone will tell me it isn’t a “real word”. To that, I explain, “If you know what I meant and what I communicated to you, then it serves as a ‘real word’. Information was communicated.” Noticed it today while driving the wife to breakfast. In our little neighborhood in Orlando, originally Virginia was a neighborhood street. Sometime along the way, the city sacrificed about a hundred front lawns and made it four lanes (me, I think if you want to live way outside of town, you should deal […]
January 26, 2023

Speaking “Ute” (DOG EAR)

ing ting!” went the bell of the coffee house. “One cup, black, please,” I told the young guy behind the counter. He eyed my shirt. “Hey, which anime is that?” I had to look down – I wasn’t sure how I dressed that morning. “Oh, this is ‘My Hero Academia.” He told me his roommate watched it but he loved Bleach. I had to confess that I was dragging through it. Once the coffee was up, I went outside to read in the sun. But it was interesting that we could chat over a shirt. Look, I read some manga […]
January 19, 2023

The End of the Blogatorium (DOG EAR)

ough Sunday night. Went to the clubhouse to help unload modules (even though I’m still in the mask-for-safety aspect of post-covid). Came home. Wrote a blog detailing the show. And then, while it was still in draft status, I poked around. My updates were showing some issues and it told me I needed to upgrade my PHP. I clicked the UPDATE  button. It should have been marked APOCALYPSE. It said it would take a minute. Twenty minutes later, the site was still in maintenance mode. I closed that browser and opened another. I was told my site suffered a critical […]
January 12, 2023

Public Speaking (DOG EAR)

o I got railroaded (har-dee-har-har) into giving a two hour-long clinics at Protorails, a convention of model railroaders who focus on the prototypical. Mine was named TT&TO for Dummies, an introductory course about how trains were dispatched from pre-Civil War until recently (when you don’t have any direct communication or control over the crews). I took a Dale Carnegie  at work a couple of years back. It taught me a couple of things: First, you need to prepare, testing out your speech to make sure you have it down flat, that you can pick right back up after an interruption […]
December 29, 2022

Best of 2022 (DOG EAR)

t’s time for my site tradition, a review of the best five books from 2022. Of course, these aren’t when they were published but that I read them this year. Now, to be truthful, there wasn’t a lot that I remember that knocked my hat off this year. However, let me take a quick peek into my records and list the top five. And they are (in order from the beginning of the year)… Steamboats Come True (Review) – A very interesting history of the development of the steam boat and its importance to the settling of America. With a […]