Trolley Modeling in N Scale

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Christmas Adwrap Trolley ~ Thursday, December 15, 2016

Seen on the VTA at Mountain View.

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Art at the County Tax Office ~ Wednesday, November 30, 2016

It's time to pay the property taxes again. Nobody likes paying taxes, but at least this money stays local and pays for useful things like schools and trains.

Our county government building has interesting art in the foyer by local artists, and it's changed frequently enough that there's always something new for my semiannual visits.

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Door Stuck ~ Friday, November 18, 2016

I had no idea train crews had crowbars onboard, but the door is struck on this car and they're trying to fix it.

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Warm Rain ~ Friday, October 14, 2016

This is not a weather combination we're used to around here.

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Nate's on this Bus ~ Thursday, October 13, 2016

And I'm not!

His first time riding to school without me tagging along.

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Catzilla! ~ Saturday, October 08, 2016

He patiently watches...

...then strikes!

Inspecting the vanquished prey

Can we play again?

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House Painting ~ Wednesday, October 05, 2016

No, this isn't my house! Nor was this from one of our expeditions to the City--Redwood City has a few older homes, such as this one getting a much-needed coat of paint.

A house getting repainted would make an interesting layout scene, although probably only old the "old" color seen here is very likely for the "golden age" that most of like to model; blue paint seems to have been expensive and unusual back then (though admittedly it's hard to be sure since all the pictures are B&W).

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Frogger ~ Sunday, October 02, 2016

This well-labelled piece of track is at the F-line stop right in front of the MSR's museum by the Ferry Building.

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Muni Heritage Weekend ~

It was last week. We were busy and didn't get to ride as much as some years, but still at least got to see some "old friends" out and about.

We also caught some Pokémon. There's a lot more of them in the City than out in the burbs!

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First Pie of the Season ~

I read an article with the "shocking" revelation that most canned pumpkin is actually other kinds of squash, such as butternut, and figured that if I had never noticed the difference, maybe I should try the same trick when making a pie from scratch. Butternut squash has an advantage that you get a whole lot more squash and a lot less seeds. Also, I softened up the squash in our pressure cooker, and I only had to cut it into three big chunks first. A pumpkin would not be so convenient.

Next I recruited some help and started baking.

Everyone was pretty happy with the results.

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Daily City Shops Sticker on BART ~ Sunday, September 11, 2016

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Dresden via Berlin ~ Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Apologies for a late post--actually, it's about a year late! Last September I attended a conference in Dresden, and have been sitting on pictures from the trip ever since.

The trip had an auspicious start in that we flew right over the Western Railway Museum at Rio Vista Junction.

Naturally there are no direct flights from SFO to Dresden, and rather than change planes somewhere I flew into Berlin to take a train. The new central station in Berlin is nice, and even contains an HO model of itself.

I had to jump right into speaking German because on arrival, I discovered I had forgotten to bring a printout of my train reservation. The staff at the DB office said they needed a confirmation number to help me. I knew I had this somewhere in my email, but I didn't have internet access--their unofficial recommendation was to stand next to Starbucks and try their WiFi. It worked!

All this took up a little while but I still had some time before my train to see a few sights and take pictures.

...and shopt for a few things. Back Home, Nathan was about to start first grade right after I got back, and I found a stationery store in the station and bought him a Schultüte and school supplies to stuff it with. Maybe we can make this tradition catch on in the US, too.

I had a late night change of trains in Leipzig. The Leipzig station turns out to have some vintage railway equipment on display, such as this Krokodil:

There are several stations in Dresden, and "Dresden Neustadt" was closest to my hotel. This is a small neighborhood station. The lobby has a coin-operated model railroad!

Dresden has an extensive tram network.

There are plenty of things to see in Dresden, which is nicknamed "Florence on the Elbe". A few pictures of more conventionally-touristy signts...

This building looks like a mosque, which is intentional, but it's a fake: originally it was a warehouse for a tobacco importer. It is called the Yenidze, and today it contains a restaurant and a children's theater, which shows performances of fairy tails, appropriately including stories from the Arabian Nights.

These "Ampelmännchen" pedestrian crossing signals are found all over the former East Germany.

A colleague and I did some exploring of the city. At the east side of town, there is a hill with two funiculars. One is simultaneously a funicular and a suspended monorail, called a Schwebebahn (like the more famous monorail in Wuppertal). We rode up this one; there is a very nice view from the top.

On a lunch break I visited this local hobby shop. It's small, but when I asked for N scale kits, the proprietor found a whole stack of them in the back. I found a few that seemed applicable to my layout, and got a Roco "Hirter Märzen Dunkel" boxcar purely as a souvenir.

I also attempted to get a look at the main carbarn, but did go quite the right way and had to get back to work. If you want to see it, it's labelled as "Btf (Betriebshof) Gorbitz" and is on the 2,6, and 7 lines, and is actually close to hobby shop I visited.

I also briefly saw, but too quickly to get a picture, vintage Tatra trams, and a few Trabants.

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