New Year's Resolutions: How'd I do and What's New for 2003?
- Hi Gang,
This is my third yearly public humiliation regarding
my New Year's Resolutions. My original goal in
actually making resolutions and posting them to the
lists is, and I quote, "I thought that by making a
public spectacle of myself there would be greater
incentive for me to actually DO something to achieve
these goals.", unquote.
So how did I do for starters? Let's see...
2002 Resolution #1: set a budget for "Z" purchases of
Result: I actually passed this one and I can hardly
believe it! My gross spending on Z this year was
around $250. Let me see...I bought a 4 pack of the
new Pennzee Pacific Fruit Express reefers on eBay
($70), a Railway Express Miniatures crane at NTS2002
($10), a souvenir pair of Schenker OSS freight cars in
Goeppingen ($28). In Sinsheim, I picked up the
Faszination Modellbau commemorative car ($25), a pair
of Z bicycles ($10)and a set of test rollers ($60).
I don't think that I can pull this feat off two years
in a row!
2002 Resolution #2: finish the Civil Engineering AP
Result: This one is still on the "way overdue past
business" file. I made a big effort to lay the last
sleepers but then we moved this summer and I only
brought it out again in early November.
Honestly, I thought about finishing it but I got
sidetracked with a new AP project, the Dispatcher
certificate. I'm now happily working with
spreadsheets and drawing programs to complete the
timetable and schematic track plan. At least the
Dispatcher certificate will be finished by the end of
February. I have a knack for finding substitute
projects that somehow bump the ones I thought were
priorities. I absolutley have to finish the track
laying by the Toronto National Convention in July!
2002 Resolution #3: have the scratch-built UP RDC3
diesel ready for a first attempt for a merit award at
the NFR Spring meet in Kitchener, Ontario next May.
Result: This didn't happen...didn't go to the meet in
Kitchener either. In fact, I have decided to mothball
the scratch loco projects until some far future date.
It is more likely that I will find the time to
complete the Master Builder - Cars certificate during
2002 Resolution #4: try to arrange for 1 BIG trip with
the VECRR in 2003. My partner in crime, Terry Sutfin,
is ready to go and the custom shipping crate is
perfect for world-wide adventures. How about G�ppingen
in May 2003?
Result: Well Goeppingen is out but Utrecht, NL is IN!
Terry and I are scheduled to run the VECRR at
Eurospoor next October. The timing is much better for
both of us and for our wives who have made it clear
that any trip to the Netherlands must include them.
Fine by us!
So much for the 2002 resolutions. I guess that I'm 2
for 4 on them. What about 2003 resolutions$
2002 was a wonderful year for me and the VECRR with 10
shows, a trip to Europe with my best friend, articles
in Ztrack, the Bulletin and lots of fun with Z_Scale.
I've GOT 2 SLOW SOWN so 2003 resolution #1 is to
participate in no more than 5 train shows including 1
in Qu�bec and 1 overseas. The schedule is as follows:
1- Feb 1-2, 2003, West Springfield, MA, Amherst BIG
Train Show (Definite unless weather conditions prevent
making the trip)
2- April 21, 2003, Sanford, ME, Lion's Club annual
train show (Confirmed but subject to cancellation due
to unforseen events)
3- July 18-20, 2003, Toronto, ON, National Train Show
(Definite barring illness or injury)
4- October 17-19, 2003, Uetrecht, NL, Eurospoor
(Definite but still 9 months away. Anything can
happen in the meantime)
5- November 23-24, 2003, Hartford, CT, Great American
Train Show (Confirmed but also subject to weather
2003 resolution #2 is to complete the NMRA Master
Model Railroader requirements before the end of 2003.
Yeah, I know that this is a major challenge but I have
my reasons for wanting to complete the MRR this year
so I am motivated.
I need AP certificates 5, 6 and 7 to reach this goal.
Numbers 5 & 6 should be done before the Toronto
National Convention. I have registered for the
convention this year so that I can present rolling
stock for merit judging. If I don't get sidetracked I
hope to do a 4-car MOW train and a Union Pacific
business car. I have already completed 3 of the 8
cars needed for the Car certificate. I don't expect
to qualify with all the cars so I'll be able to
improve where needed for judging later in the year.
I think that 2 resolutions are more than enough for
2003. We'll see how I manage about this time next
Thanks for putting up with my musings and have a
healthy and prosperous 2003.
Jeffrey R. MacHan
Chief Imagineer - Val Ease Central RR
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- Hi Gang,
Way back in January 2003, I made 2 new year's resolutions.
Let's see how I did and what I have in mind for this year...
> 2003 resolution #1 is toWeather conditions and health issues DID prevent me from
> participate in no more than 5 train shows including 1
> in Québec and 1 overseas. The schedule WAS as follows:
> 1- Feb 1-2, 2003, West Springfield, MA, Amherst BIG
> Train Show (Definite unless weather conditions prevent
> making the trip)
making the trip. The good news for 2004 is that we're booked for
W. Springfield next February 7-8. This is a great show and
should be on everyone's schedule to attend. Don't make the
mistake of trying to take it all in in less than two days. Three
buildings of vendors, layouts and manufacturers booths.
> 2- April 21, 2003, Sanford, ME, Lion's Club annualDidn't make this one either! Actually, 2003 got off to a really slow
> train show
start. I didn't get the VEC out of the house until May when I
hosted a mini-meet at the St-Bruno Station, a Québec Historic
Building just down the street from my house.
> 3- July 18-20, 2003, Toronto, ON, National Train ShowThis show was cancelled by the NMRA for health reasons
(SARS). In record time, the Toronto organizing committee put on
a great but much smaller show. The NMRA disappointed many
due to their withdrawal of support.
Mid-August my wife and I spent a wonderful weekend showing
the VEC at the Canadian Railroad Museum during their model
train exhibition. This show took place in the new 'Exporail'
building and led eventually to something very exciting.
> 4- October 17-19, 2003, Utrecht, NL, EurospoorThis was the second VEC European Adventure. The weather all
week was sunny and pleasant. Not only did Terry and Helen
Sutfin take part as crewmembers, we had a wonderful time as
tourists in the Netherlands. Met a whole bunch of great
Z-scalers and made plans to return to Europe in 2004.
> 5- November 23-24, 2003, Hartford, CT, Great AmericanGATS decided to remove this show from their schedule. Too
> Train Show.
bad. Doesn't look like I'll be back to GATS since they don't have
anything even remotely close by planned for 2004.
> 2003 resolution #2 is to complete the NMRA MasterBoy, was I overly optimistic about this resolution. I did make
> Model Railroader requirements before the end of 2003.
some spurts of progress on the Civil and Dispatcher certificates
but I don't know when I'll be able to get back to them in the short
term. I'll be more than happy to finish one certificate in 2004.
So what about resolutions for 2004? Actually, I have come to
realize that, in the last three years, I have maintained a 50%
completion rate, which isn't all that bad, I guess. Today, there is
so much going on that I have come to accept that certain projects
will be completed in their own sweet time, if ever. I'm now simply
resolved to enjoy the trip. ;-)
Speaking of trips, here's hoping to see you all in Paris, France
next April 10-18 for the World Miniature and Scale Model
Exhibition for the continuing European AdventureZ of the Val
Ease Central RR.
Here's wishing you a healthy and prosperous 2004.
Jeffrey R. MacHan
Chief Imagineer - Val Ease Central RR