18 December 2020


I draw your attention to the US Constitution, Article II, section 1, paragraph 2:

"Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector."

Most states appoint their Electors according to the popular vote, but this is by no means the only way it can be done. For the election of 2020 the States have chosen their Electors, the Electors have cast their votes, and Joe Biden, for better or for worse, has been legally elected as the 46th President of these United States.

(As a side note, this illustrates the importance of voting in down-ticket races as well since the State Legislatures direct the appointment of electors, unless of course they allow themselves to be negated by the Governors during times of crisis like a bunch of pussies.)

How long he will  hold that title is another matter. I'm going to predict by January 2022 we will have our first female President. If Hillary is still kicking I would advise President Harris to beef up her security detail. But I digress.

I believe this election was a massive fraud. I believe that in the six states in question Donald Trump was the actual winner and the Democrats had to resort to extreme measures in order to expand the margin of fraud in order to get Biden elected. I also believe that with the Democrats poised to take control of the Executive Department that absolutely no investigations will be done.

And of course since it is impossible to gather evidence if you don't bother investigating, there will never be any evidence of fraud in the 2020 election.

But the real damage is not in a Harris...excuse me, Biden...Presidency. A President, by design, is fairly powerless domestically, it's the Congress and Senate that makes the real difference. The Congress is held by a razor thin margin and the Senate has, at the time of this writing, yet to be determined (which means the Democrats are still trying to expand the margin of fraud enough to make a difference), and next election I believe the disaster that I predict the Biden/Harris administration will be will cause a shift back to the right in both chambers.

Not that it will make a great deal of difference. I have long since given up hope that the Stupid Party will ever grow a set, but that's a different subject altogether.

No, the real damage is that faith in the electoral system has forever been shattered. Right now the Democrats and leftists (BIRM) are having a huge celebration because they were able to cheat their way back into the White House. Soon you will start hearing the proclamations that there will never again be a Republican President (not that we haven't heard those claims from both sides many times), but there will be, and perhaps the next Republican President will be elected through the same sort of shenanigans that saw this Democratic President elected.

I doubt it, because Party of Stupid, but it could happen.

The biggest issue is that the fraud was so blatantly obvious that you have to be willfully ignorant or such a partisan hack that you don't care as long as your guy benefited. At any rate, future elections will forever be tainted by what happened in this one. Since no one is going to prison for it there won't be any reason to stop the shenanigans, and it will just get more and more obvious until one day they are done away with altogether.

In other words, this election was the death of our Republic.

Sorry Ben.

16 November 2020

Things I Didn't Expect To Have To Do for $1000...

 Last weekend I went to a train show, the first one in a very long time due to all the pan(dem)ic nonsense. That was a good weekend.

Monday I got a text with these pictures:

Eldest Son has had the Subaru since he hit a deer with his Honda. So guess what happened here. Yep, at the same place and near about the same time of day as the Honda. Not as bad as the Honda, it was totaled because there was only one and he hit it at speed. This time there was three, two of them went by and since he was already on the brakes the third one didn't do as much damage. Headlight smashed, fender and hood crumpled and the right mirror cracked. Yes there was definitely some underlying damage because the inner fender was bent, but the frame was still straight.

I got on the Baja group at the Book of Faces and scored a hood and fender in the proper Baja Yellow color. Problem was, it was in Altoona. Well hell, I was going to have the next weekend off anyway so I made a deal. Friday afternoon I tagged the trailer onto the back of the Jeep and off to Pennsylvania we went.

Of course while in Altoona...

That's Horseshoe Curve, on the former Pennsylvania Railroad mainline. It's something of a railroading mecca, being a marvel of engineering and such. But I digress.

Parts loaded Saturday morning and on the road. Back home by suppertime. Sunday morning Eldest Son brought the battered Baja over and we started stripping parts. 

He had already bought a set of headlights, so as soon as the old fender was off we commenced to straightening what we could of the inner fender. That went fairly well and the replacement fender went on without too much fuss, but when we put the headlight in we found the radiator support on the right side had been pushed back about 3/4 of an inch. We tried to pull it back with brute force but the distance was just too great, so we cut a couple of spacers out of steel brake line and put longer bolts in it.

The hood and mirror went on without too much drama although now there is a definite mismatch because the right mirror is black and the left one is body colored. It might be easier to just paint the left mirror black instead of trying to match the paint, but the results are acceptable.

We started around eight and were done about 11, not bad considering we had to make a trip to the parts store in the middle. It's not perfect but it's pretty close, the paint actually matches and if you don't look at it with the critical examiners eye you wouldn't be able to tell anything had happened to it until you saw the mismatched mirrors. Under the hood isn't too much more obvious, the only real clue is when you look at where the headlight mounts to the radiator support but I think we did a fairly passable job putting all that together as well. The headlight is nice and solid, but one thing we did miss until we were done is the lense on the right foglight is cracked. It's missing the cover, too, but that isn't anything new. I had to replace that foglight once before, so I'm sure I can find another one again. What the hell, it's not the only scar that little trucklet has.

He has a bid in to buy back his totaled Honda, he thinks he can replace the front clip on it and put it all back to rights. The insurance company short-changed him on it, it's an SI but they only paid him for a regular Accord. They do that, I know a guy that had a Shelby convertible get run over by a truck (he was OK) and the insurance company would only pay him for a regular GT. Dealing with insurance companies is just like dealing with the mob but at least the mob is more honest about it. I hope he will get that Honda back and fixed soon so I can have my scoobytruck back. I like the Jeep but it isn't as comfortable a ride as the Baja.

He's a bit paranoid now going through that stretch of road, so maybe he can avoid impacting the deer population any more. At least with vehicles.

28 October 2020

Since Last We Met

Family is still fine, Dad is still doing well without meds, Eldest Boy hit a deer with his car so he has the Subaru (the AC issues turned out to be a worn compressor clutch, I pulled the compressor clutch off of the one I got with the replacement engine and it's working fine now except for still always being on), and the birthday trip to the East Broad Top went fine. It was a beautiful weekend to run with the top down in the Mustang, and I try not to miss the chance to do that whenever I can.

Orbisonia Station, East Broad Top, Rockhill Furnace PA. The "Orbisonia" sign is gone, possibly forever since apparently it wasn't present during common carrier operations and the railroad's new management has decided to back date a bit and then move forward as if the railroad had never shut down. 

That means, among other things, that the EBT's signature ballast, cinders from the long gone iron foundry, is being replaced with crushed stone. It is somewhat sad, but the crushed stone is a superior material and the railroad's new management determined that had the railroad continued to be a going concern it would have been only natural to upgrade to the newer materials as time went on. I certainly can't argue with the results, the trackwork in and around Orbisonia hasn't looked this good for a very long time.

The window crew's project for this work session was to install the windows we had rebuilt the last work session into the freight house. This finishes up the restoration efforts on that structure, just in time for the railroad's grand re-opening weekend which was August 13. It was a Thursday, but it was chosen because that's when the EBT re-opened the first time for tourist service in 1960.

 Don't say you weren't warned. This sign from the railroad's common carrier days still hangs in the freight house.

Memories of rails past. These ghostly impressions were from rails that have long since been removed when the trolley museum opened in the wye.

The freight house windows, rebuilt and repainted, now hang back in their proscribed places. It is a marked improvement from where we started. The funny looking wooden blocks above the window were from where the original knob and tube wiring was removed, the EBT had an on-site generator at one point but of course it is all on commercial power now. There is currently no power in the freight house, I don't know if that will change in the future but if it does it will get all modern wiring.

The side windows were a bit of a challenge. The window under the shutters had no frame at all, it had rotted away over the years. Previous restoration efforts put the basic framework back in, but all of the supporting structures for the window sashes had to be built and installed as well as the restoration of the windows themselves. Interesting note, these are the windows that were pinned together with wooden dowels, there isn't a single nail in either sash.

Someone caught me working. See, I have pictures to prove it. ;)

 Someone also caught me looking for the windows to arrive to be installed. The frame has been restored and painted, and all that is left is for the sashes to be installed.

The finished product, just in time for opening weekend. Sadly I wasn't able to make that event but by all reports it went very well. I will make the time to go up there again to ride when the steam locos are back in service. The railroad is currently working on both 14 and 16 and hopes to have at least one of them in steam for 2021.

That will be a great day.

28 July 2020

Still Alive

The annual Hades Family Run to the Beach has been canceled for this year.

Every year Mrs Hades' family has a beach week in Myrtle Beach SC starting the last Sunday in July. My father in law has a time share there (yeah, I know, time share, but if he didn't have it he would never take a vacation) and we go down to join in the fun. For the past couple of years we have rented our own room, and we haven't used it even once.

Last year was an epic year. My folks came out for it, along with my younger sister and my aunt, and they took our room. All of my kids made it down for a day, including the one from Wyoming. A good time was had by all and it was likely the last time my kids will see my Dad, he's not dying or anything but due to disability his travel days are about done.

Speaking of Dad, he was diagnosed with leukemia last year, prompting an unplanned Thanksgiving trip, but he stopped taking his meds a couple of months ago (with his new doctor's approval) and now Doc thinks he may not have had it in the first place. She is suspecting something else instead (something that non-medically trained me can't pronounce), which isn't as serious. So not all news in 2020 is bad news I guess.

This year due to the EpiPanic of 2020 (yeah, you can count me on the side that is throwing the BS flag, sure people are dying but I suspect the numbers are heavily skewed...or screwed, as the case may be, and the fear really pisses me off) and the fact that Mrs Hades got a new puppy ("Anything but a chihuahua" I said, so guess what she got) and the resort has a no puppy policy the room will be empty. I did try to get it rented out to cover the cost, but no one else was interested either so it sits empty.

So instead I am taking a trip up to Pennsylvania to do some volunteer work on the East Broad Top Railroad. It's been a while since the last time I was up there, Youngest Boy and I went up before I retired from the USN in 2004, but I did do some volunteer work there a couple of weeks ago. I took the Jeep, but that's not a trip I'll gladly make with it again; that Jeep is a real beast on the interstates. I have an appointment tomorrow to take the newly-engined Baja to the Subaru dealer to hopefully get the air conditioning straight (it works when it wants to; it is always on (problem one) but when it is hot outside the time between the off cycle and the on cycle gets rather long(problem 2)) and I'll take it next weekend, it's a much more civilized ride for the distance involved. And, if the AC doesn't get fixed it will be a good trip for the Mustang,it doesn't get the miles on it that it used to before Mrs Hades came along. Either way, Mrs Hades has approved the trip (she's not coming along, if she were we would drive her car as usual) as a birthday present.

Yeah, August the Deuce will mark my 54th orbit. Yay me. Beats the alternative I guess. Which is a reminder that Laura has been gone now for 10 years. I still miss her but I am loving my life with Mrs Hades, which seems to be a bit of a contradiction, doesn't it?

I think that should catch us up now.

02 June 2020

It Lives

I just couldn't bring myself to get rid of it. So when a motor came up on the Baja forums from a 2003 that was being parted out, I jumped on it.

 The old engine came out

 The new engine went in

I ran out of parts at the same time that I was out of places to put them

and when the oil, coolant, and freshly charged battery went back in it fired right up. I did have an O2 sensor go bad while it was sitting around, so I have it on order and I will pick it up and put it in tomorrow.

The hard part will be learning how to drive it again. It is certainly a different beast than the Jeep.

And speaking of the Jeep, it has not been neglected either. It got a new top this past week, a very nice twill top that looks a lot better than the old torn up vinyl top, is quieter (relatively speaking, driving a soft top Jeep has been accurately described as driving in a tent) and the windows are clear so the inside rear view mirror is actually usable.

And since I'm off for the next two days, Mrs Hades has a fence building job in mind for me. That will be different from being under the hood of cars, I guess.

15 December 2019

Since We Last Spoke

 Yes, the Baja is broken again. This time it is rod bearings so not an easy fix, the motor will have to come all the way out and I just don't have time to deal with it. Fortunately this time I was only 5 miles from home so it didn't cost me an arm and a testicle to get it home.

 And when I got it home I mentioned to Mrs Hades that perhaps, instead of fixing the Baja, I should just replace it. If nothing else I should maybe get something else to drive until I have time to deal with the Baja. Something that can handle the weather, unlike the 440 HP beast that is the Mustang.

Her being a Jeep gal she said maybe I should do that. And so I idly searched the interwebs while I talked to her and voila! what to my wondering eyes (or wandering eyes, as it may be) should appear but this little beauty, on a very local dealers lot, for a reasonable price. I went by to see it on the 9th, went home and filled out some loan paperwork online with Navy Federal Credit Union, and was approved immediately (much to my surprise; if you ever get a chance to cosign a student loan...don't) so the next day I exchanged cash for keys and now the bank and I are Jeep owners.

And speaking of testicles, on the day I went to pick this up I went to the doc for my annual checkup and found out I'm herniated. So I have that going for me. Surgery to follow on a day yet to be determined.

Also, the North Raleigh Model Railroad Club is once again having a display at Raleigh's Union Station, weekends from 10 AM to 5 PM. If you get a chance please do stop in and see it.

21 September 2019


Today Mrs Hades bought her first ever holster.

She got an IWB holster for her new Sig and she's excited about trying it out tomorrow. I told her to not be upset if she doesn't like it and told her all about the box of holsters that every gun owner has that he/she liked less than was hoped for. I told her that it's OK if she has to go through a holster or five to find the one she likes, and not let anyone elses opinions of her final choice sway her.

I carry the Glock in a Galco Stow n Go, I also have a Tuck n Go that I don't like as much. I have another IWB holster that was custom made that I don't like as much as I wanted to and a SOB holster that I really wanted to like better than I do, as well as a few OWB holsters that run the gamut from really like to "WTH was I thinking". The Sig I really only have two holsters for, but it fits in the custom OWB I had made for the Glock 36 so it works out OK.

At any rate, she has her new EDC and holster and tomorrow it will get a full range test.

UPDATE: The range test went well, she carried it all day and indicates that she will likely do so in the future if we are out and about and she's not off to her unarmed victim zone for the day. Also, I'm happy to say the Glock 36 works with the new barrel, I put 200 rounds through it without incident and it's back on my hip again.

18 September 2019

Mission Accomplished

I got my Sig back today. :)

09 September 2019


I approached this weekend with the best of intentions.

I was going to get the lawn mowed and get the oil changed in both of my cars.

Yeah...didn't happen.

So what did I do instead?

I took Mrs Hades shooting of course. My ulterior motive was to find something for her so that I could get my Sig back. But to do that it looks like I'm going to have to buy another Sig.

A little bit about Triangle Shooting Academy first, it's a fairly new place with an indoor range that opened up a few years ago that has a pretty nice selection of guns to rent. That's really the best way to get to try them out before you buy them, you can see what the gun is like to shoot before putting down your hard earned coin. Also, if you have a mind to do so, they have a selection of full rock-and-roll guns you can rent.

And by that I don't mean AR-15 ermuhgerd scary black "assault weapon" rifles, I mean no bullshit M-16 assault rifles with the rock and roll setting. They also had an AK and a Thompson, those were the ones I recognized right off, and their price listing includes a belt fed. So there you go.

But we went to look at handguns for the missus.

One thing I don't like about TSA is you have to be unloaded and no concealed carry in their facility. I understand the reasoning even though I don't like it; they cater to the new shooter and the casual crowd, the ones that either really aren't down with the gun thing or that are just getting into it, so not the group that is intimately familiar with their firearms. But I knew that going in, so I was ready for it and left my hardware locked up in the car.

On the plus side their staff is friendly and helpful, and not once did I hear any of them tell Mrs Hades that what she needed was a .38 Chief's Special. Instead they listened to what she wanted and helped her find what she was looking for.

What she was originally looking for was a Glock 43, which they had. She put a magazine through it and decided that she had really wanted to like it much more than she actually did, and after putting a magazine through it myself I was inclined to agree with her. That is one evil handling little firearm, tons of recoil and not much grip. And if that's not enough of a kick to the shorts, it (like the Glock 36) only has a 6 round magazine. It's perfect for pocket carry or as a backup but not something I personally would choose for an every day carry item.

The next thing she wanted to see was the Sig P365, and they had that as well. Two flavors of it in fact, one regular and one XL. The regular has a shorter barrel and grip with a 10+1 magazine and a curved trigger. The one we tried out had the 12 round magazine which has an extension on the bottom, which worked well but as you fired the gun the magazine would rock slightly and pinch the palm of your hand near the pinky finger. It was a good little gun but IMHO not quite great.

The XL on the other hand is slightly longer in both grip and barrel with a 12 round flush bottom magazine and a flat trigger. It's nice to shoot, it has a distinguished recoil but it's not snappy and uncomfortable like the Glock, and because it has a full length grip there are no problems with pinching. Even though it's slightly bigger than the standard 365 it's still plenty small enough to conceal easily, even on Mrs Hades' small frame. It retails for around $580 so the price isn't too bad, either. Some of the reviews I've read say it has a problem with going back into battery, but the one that we fired was flawless.

The one she REALLY liked, however, was the P229 Legion Compact. It has a full metal frame and is nice and heavy, meaning recoil is laughable and the gun pulls right back down onto target quick as a thought. It's a really nice gun, but being as big as it is (even though it's a "compact") it wouldn't be easy for her to conceal. So, even though it might be a really nice gun to have, and something that I might carry, it isn't ideal for her. Still, she really did like it. But it's also a bit over twice the price of the XL.

Anyway, it looks like she's a Sig girl, so if I want to get my P220 back I'll have to buy her a P365 XL. And even then I might still have to fight her for the P220, she really loves that gun. At any rate we had a great time at Triangle Shooting Academy and if you are in the Briar Creek area of Raleigh NC and looking to try out some guns I would recommend it.

I've also got another barrel for the Glock 36 on it's way in an attempt to cure the FTE problems that gun has. I really would like to love that gun, but as long as I'm having issues with it that won't happen. I've read that barrel changes sometimes fix the problem, and another thing I've read about is the ejector rod. I'll try those two things before I give up on it completely. I really hope the barrel fixes the issue though.

Sunday was spent at the hair cuttery and grocery store and afterwards standing in front of the grill.

There are worse ways to spend a weekend.

23 July 2019


Refuge Mobile is back online!

We're back and better than ever, in fact. After doing some research I decided to go with a solid state hard drive rather than replacing it with the same type of standard disk as came out of it. It's a bit more expensive but all I read said it was both faster and more robust. While I was at it I decided I'd upgrade the size, so I went from 750G to a 1T drive.

The only issue I was having was with the software. The computer was delivered with Windows 8, but did not have the installation disks, nor did it have the software key. I had a copy of Windows 7, which I prefer over 8 anyway, so I just figured I would install 7 and be done with it.

Not so fast.

The copy of 7 I had was a 32 bit, this is a 64 bit computer. No problems, you can change the boot to take a legacy system. Bah. It just doesn't look good on the new computers. So, remove the hard drive, connect to the desktop, wipe it and download a copy of Windows 8 from the Microsoft website (the only thing you have to purchase is the key now). Then I shot a message off to tech support and found that the product registration key is programmed into the BIOS on the motherboard.

Load 8 and be done then, right? Yeah...no. I had some sort of error about the software not being able to load because the file system isn't right. Fortunately the Internet had the answer, I was able to reconfigure the hard drive and load the software from the CD and all is well.

A bit of Classic Shell to restore the start menu button and I'm all set. Now all I have to do is find and reinstall the rest of the software I want.

I also still have the boot disk, so I'm all set there.

19 July 2019

Wow (an update)

Mrs Hades got her tub installed yesterday.

Not one of those cheap Home Depot tubs, oh no, one of those walk-in tubs with the heaters and water jets and air bubblers.

Problem is, when they went to hook the electrics up for it there wasn't enough room in the breaker panel for the new circuits. So now we're paying an electrician to come in and install a bigger panel.

Add to that the ductwork has been smelling kinda moldy so we had someone come out to see what it would take to clean the ducts. Turns out that when I paid good money to have a new AC system installed nine years ago the ductwork was...let's just say, less than optimal. So it all had to come completely out and be replaced.

So! Tub, ductwork, electrical, all told comes to a little over 25K.

I'm beginning to think it would have been cheaper to burn this bitch down and put a new one on the foundation.

15 July 2019

Computers Are Supposed To Make Your Life Easier

ya right.

So Refuge Mobile has had what looks like a catastrophic failure of its hard drive. Honestly I've been looking for it to happen for a while, it got really unstable a few months ago and I had to do a recover on it. Fortunately at that time I recovered all of the data to a USB stick that I wanted so nothing important is lost. But the hard drive is toast, it will boot up Windoze (8) after a long while but then it does nothing. Click on all the buttons you want, fool, you will get nothing and LIKE IT!

Off to Amazon where a new exact replacement hard drive was 40 USD's and it's on its way. But, then I started thinking about solid state drives...more expensive but if they are better (and faster) that might be the way to go. Maybe another day.

The second issue is software, specifically the OS. I dislike Windoze 8 (it's better if you have the Classic Shell installed) but I loathe 10 (we have it on some of the work computers) and the last one I really liked was 7. So I'm thinking about Linux again.

I have been told that no one who has ever switched has disliked it, but I know there are some compatibility issues with software that was made for Windoze and some of the software I have I don't know if it will work (for example I have Photo Transfer App to move my pictures off of the cell phone through the wifi). I still have the desktop for all of that and I've heard there are emulators to make that software work with Linux.

The two versions of Linux I am looking at are Mint and Zorin. I've heard very good things about Mint and Zorin looks like it's very familiar and intuitive for us Windoze refugees. When the hard drive arrives I'll put some Zorin on it and experiment. If I don't like it I guess I will become a Mac user. Either way I think I'm done with Windoze.

29 June 2019


Mrs Hades just inked the deal for a new walk-in tub, the kind with the door, that has the jets and heaters and all of that, installed. She was expecting a price of X, I was expecting a price of 2X, but it came in at a little over 3X.

I'm sure she will really like it, and after a while the 3X price will seem more and more reasonable (she has RA and so we expect her mobility to decrease over time), but right now she's experiencing some severe sticker shock.

But tomorrow I have a wall to take out so that the tub will have a place to live.

10 June 2019

Old Dogs

Laura will be getting her dog back today.

On his last check up Boots had some swelling the docs wanted to take a closer look at, so today I dropped him off at their office for some Xrays and ultrasounds.

Dropped him in truth on the way out the door, actually, so he went in with a limp, the poor thing. His paw got caught in my shirt pocket as I went to put him down and he fell out of my arms. Xrays showed a broken outer toe in his left front paw.

Once there the tests showed that he has Cushing's Disease, an overproduction of cortisol. It causes a number of issues including tumors on the adrenal glands in some dogs, and of course he is one of them. The tumor is impinging on his heart as well.

So with the broken foot, his age (he's 14), and the extensive treatments needed for Cushing's it was determined that it would be kinder to just let him go.

So long buddy. Mommy is waiting.

06 June 2019

I Hate To Do It

but it looks like I'm going to have to purge my Wall O' Shame due to some of you not posting anything for years.

I mean, I'm lax as all get-out, but at least I will put SOMETHING up now and again.

24 May 2019


I've been off for a few days, Mrs Hades is still in school but The Boy has been gone all week. So I've managed to finish off a few projects and get some things done around the house.

Back to work tonight. All good things must end.

30 April 2019


It's been a while.

It's not that there isn't anything going on. It's that there hasn't been anything going on that I've considered worth talking about. But it has been a half a year since I've graced these pages, and I have something on my mind for a future post, so I figured I'd play some catch up.

First off, M's new ride has a few blemishes on it courtesy of yours truly. First I ran it off the side of the road and scraped up the new wheels on the left. It was then we discovered that the warranty we had paid extra for to cover the wheels...didn't in fact cover cosmetic damage, only structural. Big surprise, the dealer lied, and the only thing that we can do about it is fume. Bastards.

Second, and worse, last week M and I were on vacation, and Friday I scarred up the corner of her new ride. We were in a rest area with diagonal parking spots directly across from each other and the guy in the one behind me started backing out at the same time as I did, we were both in each other's blind spots and we met in the middle. No injuries, just dents and scrapes which can be repaired. The backup camera (required by Federal law in all new vehicles starting in 2015 or so) was completely useless and so was the collision avoidance beepers; it went off a split second before the impact. I was able to push the bumper cover back into place but the scrapes remain, fortunately they are on the plastic bumper cover so no worries about corrosion. She's never going to let me drive her car again...

I also told you about my A1C levels being elevated. So a little more about that. Normal is actually under 5.7, the docs (as they are wont to do) have decided that they aren't making enough dough off of us (that's unfair I know, but I have a deep suspicion of the medical "experts" sometimes) so they have invented a thing called "pre diabetes" which means an A1C of 5.8 through 6.9. Funny thing is, the year before my A1C was at 6.4 and the doc said absolutely nothing about it.

Quick note, I've seen a different doc every year at the place where I used to go...which is nothing new for me, the Navy is good at rotating docs around, too. But I digress.

Anyway this one lost her ever-lovin' mind at me. She wanted me to go on three different kinds of medication (heart, even though I have no heart problems; blood pressure, which was a bit high but in spec; and cholesterol, which is also in normal range) and start going to the gym for an hour a day every day and see the dietician.

I told her that I'm not really fond of the idea of taking medicine every day for the rest of my life and expressed the opinion that maybe we should see what the diet does before doing anything drastic. I also told her that unless dieticians had learned something different in the past 15 years I wasn't going to bother because I've heard it already. I left out the part where I walk 3 times a week and that's all she's going to get.

Her response? Doctors ORDERS.

My response? I stopped taking doctors ADVICE as orders the minute my doctors were no longer commissioned officers.

Long story short, I have a new doctor and the diet is going well, my A1C in December, 3 months after I started the diet, was at 6.3 so I'm no longer going to die of diabetes tomorrow. I'm a bit curious to see what my A1C is going to be after I've been on the new diet for a year, I'm hoping for something under 5.7 - not that I'm going to revert, it looks like the low carb thing is going to be a lifetime commitment, but given the results so far I think I'm OK with that.

As a happy side effect, I've lost a bit over 50 pounds and my blood pressure has dropped back down into the normal ranges as well. I've even been able to put my old Navy uniform on, it's not a comfortable fit yet but it does fit. Another reason to keep the low carb lifestyle going...but I did gain back about 7 pounds on our recent vacation so I need to get serious about it again. Too much eating out during vacation, you really do need to cook to do the low carb thing because you really don't know what's in the food that you get at restaurants, most everything nowadays has some kind of breading or something on it anymore it seems. I'd like to lose another 50-60 pounds just to see if I can, but I'll be happy with another 25-30. The weight loss has slowed lately but I think that's more as a result of me getting comfortable and cheating on my diet a bit. Like I said, I need to get serious about it again.

I got the new barrel for the Glock 19 installed and got a range day to get it sighted in, and the results are greatly improved. I can actually consistently hit the broad side of a barn with it now. I want to get a barrel for the Glock 36 next and see if it cures the persistent FTE problems. I have a suspicion that it will, but I'll have to make a purchase and schedule another play date to see for sure.

M and I took a trip last week for the Easter/Spring Break holidays, we went from here to see her folks for a day in PA, to Iowa to see my folks, then down to Branson MO for a couple of days, and finally to Gatlinburg TN for a few days before making our way back. We had a lot of fun, we spent way too much money, and we were glad to get back home.

And now I have a large pile of laundry to do.

25 October 2018

It's Not That

I don't have anything going on.

It's just that I don't have anything interesting going on.

As soon as that changes...I'll let you know.

26 September 2018

M Gets a New Ride

M bought her car two days after we met, a 2015 Ford Focus in Ruby Red. She told me about it in a message, saying that she liked my red car so much she had to go out and buy one of her own. This is what got us talking to each other in the first place, so Ruby will always have a special place in our memories. However, while she really liked it overall the transmission was something that she never did like.

The 2015 Focus came with an option for what they call a Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) which as far as I have read on the 'net (where they can't ever put anything that is not true) is essentially two computer controlled standard (IE, not planetary gearsets?) transmissions with actual dry clutches instead of torque converters that work in parallel. One has the even number gears and the other has the odd number gears and they switch off as the car accelerates. It works like an automatic, but it isn't really an automatic because it doesn't have a torque converter (which absorbs a lot of driveline vibration in addition to it's clutch-like duties).

The up side is improved fuel economy due to the actual clutches instead of the torque converter slushbox and faster shifts, but the down side is increased driveline vibration because there is no torque converter. M didn't like it because once upon a time she had a Jeep with a bad torque converter and it felt just like the DCT, so she was always worried that the torque converter was going to fail in the car and leave her stranded. Apparently the salesman didn't know enough about the DCT to explain the difference between it and the automatic and the service people only told her "it's supposed to do that" without explaining why. Judging by the many complaints and the quiet discontinuation of the transmission in future models she wasn't the only one, but alas for poor Ruby it was just a little too little a little too late.

Bottom line, she wasn't ever completely satisfied with the car, and the electronic power assist unit going out within a couple of hundred miles after the warranty expired just sealed poor Ruby's doom. When the she took it in to have them look at the transmission yet again (they had already replaced at least one clutch and the electronic brain under warranty) and they quoted her a 2K price tag to replace the clutches yet again she had had enough, especially since they wouldn't warranty the work (which IMO they should have because they had already replaced them once).

So last Saturday she took Ruby back to the dealer and drove home in this:

So far she's liking it but we'll see how much of that good feeling remains after she makes the first payment on it. It is a 2018 Escape SEL, fully loaded. Seat warmers (which, after driving the Mustang she decided she just had to have), dual zone climate control (which is something I am very fond of), 2.0 Ecoboost which satisfies the drag racer in her, and best of all it has a true automatic which means no more driveline shudder, which was the whole point to begin with.

What I like about it is she got the extended warranty and the extended service plan, so I won't have to be wrenching on it any time soon (unlike the Subaru which went through a right rear brake caliper last weekend). With the extended warranty if she does have issues with it she won't end up paying extra for it like she did with the EPAS and would have had to do with the clutches (although part of me thinks the clutches weren't all that bad and the service department was just looking for something to change so they could tell her they found and fixed the problem).

Hopefully it won't have any issues at least until the last payment is made.

14 September 2018


Aunt Flo has come to visit.

Hurricane Florence, that is. At the time of this writing she's a Cat 1, about 35 miles off of Wilmington and moving at 6 MPH, which will put her at the shoreline at about 8 AM unless she puts some pep in her step.

So far at the Refuge just north of Raleigh we have some wind blowing the treetops around, enough rain to keep the ground wet, and that's about it. The power and cable is still on and I still have cell phone reception.

There is still quite a bit of storm left to go so keep coastal Carolinas in your prayers, the large size and slow speeds of the storm is going to keep the storm surge up for quite some time, which means flash flooding and high water is going to continue to be a problem for a while.

In other news, my barrel came in for the Glock 19, so as soon as possible I'm going to have to get another range day in to sight it back in.

10 September 2018

Shooting Day

Saturday there was supposed to be a cruise-in near me.

I made plans to go to the cruise-in, which also happened to be in the same town as the shooting range, which also happened to have a yarn store. So M and I decided to make a day of it. We were going to take the new bows along...well, the old bows that I got from my father in law...but the case wouldn't fit in the Mustang so they stayed home.

First we met Range Partner for some shooty goodness and I discovered that I suck at this game and I need to practice more. I also found my Glock 19 shoots to the left until the third or fourth shot, and then it slowly comes back to the right although I was shooting consistently slightly left of centerline even when it was all warmed up.

In fact the 19 shoots so far to the left that the sights are drifted way to the right to compensate for it, which should not be a thing. I have ordered a different barrel for it, hopefully that will cure its ills. Between the 19 shooting sideways and the 36 being such a jam-o-matic I'm starting to rethink my whole Glock ownership status.

Whatever. I like the Sig better anyway...but M has effectively commandeered it. Oh no, I guess I will have to get another one...oh woe is me...

While we were there Range Partner unlimbered his Lapua for the first time in a long time, and she still sounds off with authority and rings the 300 yard gong with boring regularity. Much to my surprise I was able to make some 300 yard ring-a-dings with the 30-06, even though it's sighted in for 100 yards. The 200 yard was no problem, either. That's a flat shooting round, and I was using Winchester target rounds, so any qualms I ever had about going with a less expensive bullet slinger are now laid completely to rest. I am altogether satisfied with my Mossberg 100ATR.

After the last round had cleared the chamber we all went out for a steak. Something that I failed to mention, at my last annual checkup I had the whole battery of blood draws (and I should have worn the kilt even though it wasn't September yet), and last week my doc sent me a text message saying she was very concerned about the numbers. Nice gal, young-ish (any more they all are), small fingers, wanted me to lose weight and get more exercise, yada yada. I told her I was walking the parking lot at work 3 times a week (about a mile, getting it done in 20-21 minutes) so she would have to be satisfied with that. She's not, wants me to do it 5 days a week. I don't work 5 days a week...so guess who isn't going to get what they want? But I digress.

The medical center puts all of the test results and whatnot on a portal, so I signed in and checked my messages to see what she was on about. It turns out my cholesterol is good, my blood pressure is on the high side of good (she wants me to watch my salt. Whatever, I don't use it much anyway), but my A1c is IN THE DIABETIC RANGE!!!OMG!!!IMMEDIATELY GO ON A LOW CARB DIET AND MAKE AN APPOINTMENT!!!

Panicked, I flip over to the blood sugar test results, expecting the worst...and...it's at 7.1 (normal is under 7 for those of you who have never had to deal with it, myself included). Which, yeah, it's above normal, but seriously?

So I've cut out the bread and rice for a while, which is about the only thing carby I eat. Well, that and sugary drinks from Dunkin' Donuts where M is a regular customer, so it's back to plain old unsweetened iced tea for me when we go through the drive through (good luck with getting M to give up her DD iced coffee/extra/extra). We'll see what the numbers are in a month, I'm guessing they will be under 7 again and then maybe she can ease off of DEFCON ELEVENTY. I'll still leave the sugary drinks and rice alone though.

Anyway, so off for a steak where I get a salad for my side rather than a potato, some good conversation and then we're off to the...waitaminute...M forgot her coupon for the yarn store, which is why she wanted to go to the yarn store in the first place. Also, it's a couple of hours yet to the cruise in, and quite frankly I'm ready to call it a day. So instead I hit up the train store for some scenery supplies and we went on home.

I hope they had a good turnout at the cruise-in.

25 August 2018

Tuning Up the Ice Cream Machine

So what's happening for the past month or more?

I am one year older, we had our family vacation, my brother got married (again) and this time I actually made it to the wedding, and I got to see the only child I helped to create for the first time in 25 years. I also met the son in law and 4 grandchildren I had not met.

I'm making progress getting the train layout scenery done, I'm not getting everything done on the house I wanted to but I am getting some things done, I had to change the oil in all my cars this past weekend, but they are all running well (including the Subaru).

M goes back to work Monday, she is doing something new again this year. She has had a different class every year that I have known her, I just wonder what they will come up with next year. She has a couple of grades she hasn't been through yet, so it is possible she will do something different next year, too.

That's about it, I guess. I hope your summer has been good.

16 July 2018

Dear Senator

I've been watching this whole deal unfold, with the Russia thing that I don't quite understand (was it Trump colluding with them against Hillary or Hillary colluding against Trump, and what's the deal with that dossier they keep going on about?) and the other day you had that FBI guy, whatsisname, Strunk or something like that, and damn but that guy...that fuckin' guy...

I mean to tell ya that if you don't put his ass in the slammer for disrespecting Congress or whatever the hell you call it then you need to go apologize to every swingin' dick you ever put the screws to for it in the history of ever. I mean to tell ya, that guy just OOOZED disrespect  out of every pore of his body, not just for you...but for us, We the People, us little guys...you know, the guys you suck up to and lie to every two to four years to get us to vote for you so you can go suck the tax dollars out of my pocket for your cushy digs in DC and your fat ass paychecks with the free medical and dental.

Which is kinda what I'm here today for.

So my question, Senator, is after all the investigations and testimonies and dispositions and guys going to jail for not remembering they said and instead of or on the third of October at two thirty-seven exact EST and all of that...when are some of these people going to prison? And I don't mean the Scooter Libby kinda guys, I mean the big guys, the ones who sit on airport runways and schmooze to each other about looking the other way and then lie about talking about grandkids and such and swear to God on a stack full of bibles they never talked about what we all know they talked about. Those guys.

I mean, some of these guys, if I pulled half the shit they did I can guaran-damn-tee ya I wouldn't be sitting on some pile of cash from the book I just wrote making pathetic excuses for not doing my job, or even worse, flat breaking the law, no...hell my ass would be buried so far under the jail it would take a whole TEAM of geologists just to find it. But hell, these assholes are smugging it up on the Sunday news shows, so what gives?

I mean, there's that guy who went on national TV saying Hillary flat broke the law but no prosecutor would ever make a case against her. Really? And that Navy guy goes to jail for taking pictures of his bunk on the sub but whatsername stuffs classified documents in her panties and tries to sneak them out and nothing? Are you f'n KIDDING ME???

I remember reading that book, Atlas Shrugged or something like that, and they were talking about people with pull instead of ability making the decisions, and I thought it was a boring long-winded book at the time but I'm beginning to think, damn, did she nail it or what? And now I'm listening to people talk about the new civil war, and I mean to tell you...it bothers me.

Maybe it's just the 24 hour news cycles and such and they gotta fill the time with something, but I'm watching all these riots and assholes in pink hats screaming at the sky cause they lost elections and crazy people shooting congressmen who are playing baseball and I'm wondering...just how bad is it going to get?

Cause seriously, I know the only reason something bad hasn't happened is guys like me ain't got the time for that shit. See, the daughter's dance recital is next Tuesday, and she needed this dress see, but the budget just wouldn't handle it unless I pick up a little OT this week, which isn't a big deal cause we were kinda letting some things slide so we could make our numbers for end of quarter, but now that's over the boss is carping about getting caught up...so the OT is there. Only thing is, I can't do it past five Wednesday cause the boy has a baseball game that I promised I'd make it for and if I miss it the ex is gonna hold it over my head, and honestly that's just one more thing I really don't need from that bitch. And besides, that's my boy and I don't want to disappoint him any more than I have to. He used to look at me like I was some kinda hero, ya know? and lately...well, let's just say I understand the old man more now than I used to, and if he was still here God rest his soul I'd love to sit down and have a beer with him, but he worked his way into an early grave when he was in his 40's busting his ass and not taking care of himself, providing for us, and I was such an ungrateful bastard. If I had only known, ya know?

Which reminds me, the old lady is bitching about me making a doctors appointment cause I got a little dizzy mowing the lawn last weekend, but what the hell it was like 100 degrees in the shade and I felt better when I got some water in me, so what's the big deal? except my dad...well, you know. And my buddy at work just got a new fishing boat, man it's a beaut, but if I want to go out on the lake with him Sunday like he invited me to I promised the missus that I'd get some stuff done around the house on Saturday. Happy wife happy life, right?

Point is, I ain't got time for all that. Which is why we hire guys like you, to take care of stuff like this. And then you go to Washington and set yourselves up like kings, which we mostly don't mind as long as you leave us the hell alone, mostly, but once in a while...it would be nice if you would do your damn jobs. Cause I don't wanna live in a Matthew Bracken novel, ya know? I like my comfortable life, I like sleeping in on Saturdays and grilling in the afternoons, and days on the lake, and tee times, and all of that, which is why I'm willing to put up with the bullshit from you jackasses that I put up with. But seriously, it's getting out of hand and we're way overdue for tar and feathers if you know what I mean...and if you don't maybe it's time for you to pick up one of those Bracken books.

Thing about those books, it doesn't end well for any of us, which is probably closer to the truth than what some of these idiots are spouting off about.

So step up and take care of this shit like I hired you to do, cause I've done my time in shitholes like Trashcanistan and the former Yugoslavia and such garden spots as Uncle Sam sends his uniformed folks to, and even though I may not have seen any actual fighting I've seen enough to appreciate that it doesn't happen here. And I know some guys. And the stories THEY tell...well they ain't pretty. Which makes me even MORE glad we have guys like that, and that we don't have to deal with the stuff they dealt with Over There over here. And I'd kinda like to keep it that way. And all these Antifa pussies and the other assorted dingleberries who have never seen shit like that and think it might be fine and dandy to have a little war over here? I don't wanna have to deal with them. Not that I won't, if it comes to that, (I have my battle plan all laid out, I'm gonna follow Johnny and just hand him ammo cause the guy is just a stone cold bad-ass, he doesn't talk about it but I've seen his medals) but I don't wanna. So handle it.

So that's about all I got to say.

Bottom line: my advise to you, take care of it and let guys like me sleep.

It would be best for all of us.

(disclaimer, my Dad is alive and well thanks, this was just a sort of stream of conscious thing that I came up with listening to some of the guys I know)

05 May 2018

Speaking Of The Bow

The recurve bow that we got from Father In Law had a simple rubber tip arrow rest that had gotten old and brittle and then fell off. I haven't been able to find a replacement online, but today after we went to the yarn store we went to the sporting goods store and they had one!

The guy behind the counter told us that some of the Bear bows are collectible, so when I got home I looked it up. What we have is a fairly standard 52" 45 pound Bear Kodiak Magnum. The brass coin and K series serial number puts it fairly securely right at 1970, which was the last year for the flush mounted brass coin and the first year for the K series serial numbers. The value of the bow is probably somewhere between $150 and $200, so not very collectible. That's fine, with its new arrow rest installed it should be a fun bow to play with.

We also inherited his compound bow, a Bear Whitetail Hunter of approximately the same vintage set to 55 pounds. It looks to be in good shape and has reportedly taken a deer or two in its time.

So maybe next range day we will take the bows along.

Range Days

I've had a good week.

I've been off work all week since I had some days I had to burn up or lose. This gave me a chance to complete a couple of projects around the house, and it also gave me a chance to go to the range a couple of times.

Youngest Son's birthday was last Friday and one of the range days was his. We shot rifles that day although I did take a couple of rounds through the Glocks and some through the Sig as well. I took the Arisaka and Youngest Son took the Saiga, both performed well. I am extremely happy with the scope on the Arisaka, with the iron sights I can't hit a darn thing but with the scope it is a bullseye shooter, much more capable than I am.

With the pistols I finally got them all sighted in and if I take my time and carefully line everything up, watching the flinch, I can hit the X ring with all of them (although the Glock 36 continues to demonstrate why I don't carry it anymore, having its occasional FTE every forth or fifth magazine, never the same magazine, sometimes two or three in a row).

Today it was Mrs Hades turn. We met Range Partner and his companion at the range, of course we were late and they were already busy putting lead downrange when we showed up. As usual she laid claim to the Sig and I shot the Glocks. Both of us had much success with our chosen firearms (the 36 with its usual failures) and we quickly shot through a large part of the ammo we had brought.

Afterwards we had lunch with Range Partner and his girl and then it was off to the yarn store! A relatively quick trip through netted enough to keep Mrs Hades happy for a day or two, and then it was off to the gun store where we bought more ammo to replace what we had shot off and also picked up a magazine loading tool for the Sig and an arrow rest for the bow that Father In Law had gifted us with.

When we got home Mrs Hades was insistent that she learned to clean the Sig. So we broke out the cleaning gear and the manual for the Sig and everything got the necessary attention. Afterwards as I was putting everything back in the safe I noticed I was a box short. Look as I may I could not locate the Sig. I went back through the house and there, poking up out of Mrs Hades range bag, was the missing box.

It looks as if I may have lost a Sig.

I can't think of a better place for it to go.

All in all a very good day. Heck, all in all a pretty darn good week. Too bad it all comes crashing to a bad end on Monday.

03 April 2018

The Cat Is Away

And when that happens...

M is off visiting her mother this week, I couldn't go along because I'm saving my vacation days for other things. So while she's been gone I've been finishing up some of the trim work around the new flooring (it is in all the way through the kitchen into the dining room now) and trying some recipes that I can't try while she is here, due to her lactose intolerance mostly. One of those things is beef stroganoff.

Beef Stroganoff

1 1/2 lbs beef, sliced thin. You can use just about anything...heck, you can even use hamburger if you get the lean stuff...but the better the beef the better the stroganoff.
1/2 medium Vidalia onion, sliced thin
8 oz mushrooms, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
2 T butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1 T flour
2 C beef broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 C sour cream
Egg noodles or rice

If you are using hamburger, cook and drain it. If not, skip to the next step.

Melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet, add the olive oil. Stir in the beef (unless you are using hamburger), onion, mushroom and garlic. Cook until the beef is browned and the onion begins to turn translucent. (If you are using hamburger, add the cooked hamburger in now.)

Add salt and pepper to taste, then add the flour and stir until smooth. Add the beef broth and the soup and again stir until smooth. Allow this mixture to come to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes.

Now is a good time to cook the egg noodles or rice as per package directions.

Stir in the sour cream and cook for another 5 minutes until everything is heated up. Serve over noodles or rice.

26 March 2018

I Am

This was payday weekend.

As with all payday weekends I got online and did the electronic bill pay thingie. I also activated my new credit card.

And since the new card went active I had to change some reoccurring payments that uses the card. One of those was my lifetime membership payment for the NRA.

And before you start, I have to be an NRA member to be in the gun club. I'm also a member of my local pot-stirring group, so that makes up for any tendencies the NRA has for going wobbly.

Anyhoo, when I went on the NRA site I saw I only had a single payment left. So I made it instead of updating the card information.

Which means...

Natural Progression

For all your firearms related videos go here. As of April they will no longer be found on the 'tube.

Just another example of how the hoplophobes ruin things for everyone.

At least they will still have model train videos. I hope.

On a side note, since this blog platform is hosted by evil (nobody says the G word) I wonder how long it will be allowed to continue. It's not a "gun" blog per se, but there are at least a few firearms related posts here. It's not like I can get completely away from them either, since my cell phone carrier seems to be intimately intertwined with them as well.

Maybe one day I'll have to go back to landlines and snail mail. Oh the horrors.

Oh well. Wha'cha gonna do.


She's back!

Doom on those who drove her away. May you spend eternity in the Special Hell.

This post makes it all worth while (that's a lie, of course...all of them make it all worth while).

And now we do the dance of joy!

11 March 2018


They just never end...

I have to finish up the last strip on the right, it was too dark to drag the table saw out by the time I had gotten this far. After that is the trim along the edges and doorway thresholds, and then the baseboards and door trim. The wife wants to go with simple 1x4 or 1x6 baseboards and door trim. I'm not objecting, it's quick and easy.

This flooring looked so good when it went down that now she's thinking about running it through the rest of the house. I kind of wish she had decided that before I cut that near edge off, but that's fine. They make a T shaped wood strip that will cover the seam just fine.

But that's a project for another weekend.

20 February 2018

It's Not That We Aren't Listening

It's that we've heard it all before. Gun control, yadda yadda, scary rifles, blah blah blah, FOR THE CHIIIIILDRENNNNN (and may I point out to you that accusing us of not loving our children is not conducive to getting us to agree to your inane schemes that have proven to a) not work and b) be extremely destructive of personal liberties).


Evil AR-15 thundercannon murderstick
 This is an AR-15. It is the generic term for a rifle originally designed by the Armalite Corporation (hence the A in AR) and sold to Colt in 1959. It is a semi automatic magazine fed rifle chambered in .223 Remington. It has been available to the civilian market since 1964, but after the original patents expired in 1977 the market really exploded. The select fire version, designated the M-16, went into service in 1961when the US Air Force purchased 8500 of them. The AR-15 is the most popular sporting firearm in America today. I probably should own one some day.

Nice Ruger Mini-14 like Grandpa used to have
This is the Ruger Mini-14. It is also a semiautomatic magazine fed rifle chambered in .223. Functionally there is absolutely no difference between the two rifles; they are chambered in the same cartridge, have the same size magazines available, and have the same rate of fire (just as fast as you can work the trigger). The Mini-14 is also a very popular sporting firearm.

If you show these two pictures to a hoplophobe they will most likely wet their pants in sheer terror of the first one and not mind the second one so much since it looks so much like Grandpa's squirrel rifle. After all, they are trying to be reasonable, they don't want to take your guns...right?

Ruger Mini-14 Tactical

OK, fine...

I have been taken to task for my lack of blogging.

Not really, but it was pointed out to me that I haven't done it for a while.

So, here's what I've been up to:

 This dollhouse has been a work in progress for several years, Laura bought it ten or eleven years ago. I finally got it done and took it to Florida for the eldest grand-daughter. She's going to have to finish the shingles on the roof, but all the structure is complete at least.

 Along with the bathroom we are also pulling up all the carpet in the house. We got the front room more or less complete (SWMBO still hasn't decided what final floor covering she wants) and moved the bookshelves in what will become the library when I get around to relocating a few walls.

 My Little Pony got a styling bar for my birthday, I've wanted to put one on it for a while and now I have.

 Eldest Boy finally moved out and I got my train room back!

 I had some passenger equipment custom painted. Above is a 4-6-4 Hudson streamline locomotive in Erie paint. To the best of my knowledge the Erie never had Hudsons, much less streamlined ones, but it sure does look good. It leads a set of streamline cars that I also had painted in the Erie scheme...just before finding a full set of factory painted cars at the local hobby shop.

Below is a set of heavyweight passenger cars in Norfolk and Western paint. Of course, as soon as I had them painted a set of factory painted ones showed up at a train show...

 I also had a semi-streamlined Pacific painted for the N&W. Again, as far as I know the N&W did not have semi-streamlined Pacifics. It was a fine running locomotive when I disassembled it for paint. Unfortunately it isn't any more. It will look good on the display line I guess.  Maybe one day I'll figure out how to get it to run properly again, but until then I have a pair of J class locos to pull the varnish.

Last but not least, yesterday was the third anniversary of my first date with M. It was snowing, so the restaurant was empty and we had the full attention of the wait staff...which wasn't so good when I was trying to monopolize her attention...but the date went well.

And that's about it.

26 May 2017


When last we met I had just started on the shower. I am pleased to report that the work is now done, it was a long hard pull but it all came together in the end.

 The last post talked about the drain and the floor board that had to be replaced, much to my surprise I managed to measure everything just right and it came out perfectly. So, starting from there, we continue.

 Here is the shower pan installed. If I were going to do it again I would cut the bottom 2 or 3 inches off of that back wall so the pan would be against the studs. I would have taken the paneling off, but it is glued to the wall board (and the wall board is glued to the studs) and I didn't feel like replacing the wall boards. Maybe I should have. I did use a mortar bed, but I could have done a better job leveling it. It isn't bad, but it's not perfect.

With the purple board up it was now time to install some corrugated metal. Notice the beam at the top, it is there to stabilize the new wall. We opted not to go all the way to the ceiling with that wall because of the vent fan right there, it will get a new fan with a light because it is somewhat dark in that corner with the new cabinet installed.

And the finished product, with the shower doors installed., the woodwork stained (I'm going to try to convince milady that the 2x4 stud there in the middle should be painted; the beam got stained, too, and it looks great) and the cabinet painted. Everything is leak-free and it works pretty good.

The train room is also coming along well, there are no pictures but I did get the linoleum floor cut and put in. Unfortunately I missed two of the old carpet staples, so there are two small holes in the linoleum. They are small enough that they shouldn't be noticed and they will be under the train tables anyway. Next in there is to get the door trim painted and put on, and I really should have painted the baseboards before I put them back in, too. Now I'll have to paint them in place.

And last but not least, I must sadly announce the end of the Redhead of the Month. It's getting harder and harder to find the time to update the blog as I should, not to mention more and more difficult to find pictures that I like well enough to use that I haven't used already. So, as a final offering, the last ROTM will not be a picture, but a painting.

Love and Pain by Edward Munch

Much love to you.

12 March 2017

What I've Been Up To

M wants a new shower. She doesn't like the old one because it's too small. So we have ordered a shower pan and the old tub has been removed. I built a wall to enclose the new shower and got the pieces for the plumbing.

The drain for the tub was nestled inside a huge hole cut into the floor, so I had to cut the huge hole out to put in a piece of plywood from floor joist to floor joist. But wait...for that I must have tools!

OK, that was too many tools, so I ended up just getting the set that had the circular saw and the drill. The collecting of tools and materials took up my Saturday, so the drain and floor work was scheduled for Sunday. But lo and behold, Sunday brought this:

Fortunately it was only a light dusting, and by noon the sun had come out and it was gone. So, under the house I went to change out the water filter and install the drain. Once the drain had been assembled and tied in it was time to install the patch on the floor.

With that being done we are now ready to mix and spread mortar to bed in the shower pan and then we can start putting the surround up. She wants to go with corrugated metal for the surround, so I will have a fun time figuring out how to poke the faucet handles through the wavy metal without creating a channel for water to get in behind it.

But that will wait for another day.