robert

September 15, 2019

Pennsylvania Railroad Facilities – Volume 10 (Review)

nlike our model railroad club sectional layout, which was designed and evolved along the stretch between Jacksonville, Florida to Folkston, Georgia, our sprawling permanent layout was little-planned (with an overall concept design or two and a clay mockup). Originally it was transcontinental (which is pretty damn foolish, looking back from twenty years later). About a decade ago, we decided to shorten this to a realistic concept and modeled Bound Brook, New Jersey to Cincinnati, Ohio (still rather big, but better). In the middle (closest to the entry) we have Pittsburgh. Because that’s what it was, not because we’d actually lain […]
May 3, 2020

Fire and Bronze (Review)

kay, I might be a little biased on this. After all, I literally wrote the book. But I’ll do my best to give you an honest assessment. Fire and Bronze is the story of Princess Elisha of Tyre (a city on an island that used to be off Lebanon (as for why it no longer is, refer to my own Early Retirement)). At a young age her father the king passes and she ends up in a power struggle against her brother for the throne of Tyre (and her very survival). She opposes him with her own power faction, noble […]
June 21, 2020

Treasure Island (Review)

y opening shot from the fo’c’sle: this is a great book! I’ve read it years back and loved it. Watched the pretty-close 1990’s version and loved that too. And now, after watching the show Black Sails (which serves as a prequel , but I’ve my own issues with it), I pulled this one out of the public library and had another go on it. Did I already tell you to get it and read it? So the story opens with young Jim Hawkins (who works in his parent’s inn) taking on a new boarder, an old salt of the sea […]
July 26, 2020

Pennsylvania Railroad Facilities – Volume 9 (Review)

his is another picture-heavy volume of Pennsy Railroad memories, collections of snapshots presented in order of location, east to west, Antis, PA to Derry, PA, along the PRR Allegheny Division. A train club friend loaned me this one (as he had Volume 10, which I reviewed HERE). It’s a compilation of images from the early days of railroading to the near-present, showing changes to the railroad, the equipment, and the towns and cities through which this proud railroad ran. For me, the book came at a timely moment – I’m building a microlayout west of this division, out in the […]
October 22, 2020

Are you Robert Raymond? (DOG EAR)

ould you possibly hope to be the world-adventurer, man about town, writer, game designer, rocket engineer? Review the list below and score your points (1 for each thing you’ve done). Then look to the bottom to see if you are Robert Raymond. 1) Flown an airship? 2) Ridden a bike 60 miles in one go? 3) Lived in foreign country for several years? 4) Written a novel picked up by an agent and publisher, and placed on bookstore shelves? 5) Read thousands of books? (The list for the last decade is HERE) 6) Dispatched a complex model railroad? 7) Written […]
December 12, 2021

A Pirate’s Life in the Golden Age of Piracy (Review)

y friend Brian loaned me this one, a book about the history of piracy over the golden age (1600’s, mostly). I went into it with my engine room set to dubious speed – author Robert Jacob notes in his opener that he isn’t really a historian in any way. He is just into pirates (his author picture shows him in pirate cosplay garb). So, I figured, let’s see about pirates. I’ll give him this – he did a very competent and thorough job. He works his way from 1640 onward, following each captain as he plunders and blunders about, picking […]
February 27, 2022

Peril (Review)

ut front with my thoughts, the book is as difficult to read as Old Yeller. But in this case, we’re not seeing the death of an old dog but rather our democracy. Peril, written by Woodward and Costa (two political writers with the chops to drill into this), looks at the final year of the Trump administration, the election, and the first year of Biden’s administration. In that, it reads like a slow car wreck, with Trump poo-pooing the virus, demanding corners to be cut to get it to market before the election, the “steal”, the moaning and carping when […]