Entropy, Chaos and Z
- Hey Anders,
Have you heard of the principle of Entropy? Entropy is the tendency of all
organized systems to become disorganized. Total disorganization is Chaos.
Well, I believe that Z scale modeling is reverse Entropy. We all start in a
state of Chaos and struggle to get organized. Layout rooms are concrete
proof of this principle in action. Building a layout is so difficult
precisely because we are struggling against a law of physics. In fact, the
universe does not want us to build a layout. Those of us who have done so
are constantly battling the forces of Chaos which cause dust accumulation,
oxidation on rails, sticky switch points, coupler pin droopage, bent track
joiners, out of gauge track and wheels, rounded ends on rails, kinks in
track, ballast under contact points, tool evaporation and, of course,
I fought hard to build an N scale layout over a 15 year period. Chaos won!
I finally made a strategic retreat and regrouped my forces within the
confines of a 36" suit case. There I was able to resist Chaos and build a
finished (only to the uninitiated)Z scale layout.
This was seven years ago with Val Ease East. I challenged Chaos again when
I built Val Ease West five years ago and then again when I added the bridge
section between the suitcases to create today'S Val Ease Central Railroad.
However, two years ago I moved to Vancouver and guess what? It has taken me
24 months of hard labour but I have finally cleared my study, ahem, layout
room to the point where I can see the carpet and reach my Lazy-Boy on the
far side from the door. It was a long and dirty job but it was worth it in
The result of this campaign is that I now have storage for my projects,
shelf space for my reference materials and counter space for Val Ease
Central East and West as well as a work table for Centre Val Ease (I bought
a micro-wave cart at Wal-Mart!).
In order to accomplish this feat, I have been selling N and G scale train
and other stuff on eBay. After over 100 transactions I have cleared 80% of
what I wanted to sell and I can use the study to... study.
Since the beginning of September I have officially started my Masters in
Business Administration which will immediately be followed by my Doctor of
Business Administration in 2001. My wife is finishing her Ph.D. so she
thinks I'm doing this just to irritate her!
BTW I use Relco units on the VEC and although I have some super conductive
fluid called ST-1 or other, I haven't tried it on the layout. When I
finally give it a try, I'll inform the list of the results.
So the bottom line is, Anders and my Z friends, Chaos is waiting retrieve us
and our layouts. Don't be discouraged. Think BIG but start small and get
the feel for the track, road bed and scenery techniques.
There are ways to make the dang stuff work and this group has some of the
answers. I know we do because there are working, dependable layouts out
there resisting Entropy.
Keep the questions coming and the creative juices flowing.
Caretaker of the Val Ease Central
and Freedom Fighter against Chaos
>From: "Anders Lattermann" <latte2l@...>
>Subject: RE: [z_scale] Pig loco and frog cleaning
>Date: Thu, 23 Sep 1999 22:42:20 +0200
>From: "Anders Lattermann" <latte2l@...>
> > Fortunately for me, my layout has already more locos than the
> > trackage can
> > support although by only 1 <grin> so I won't be making any loco
> > purchases,
> > standard or livestock, in the short term, at least.
>I have like 40 complete trains and no layout, so don't let that stop you!
>But one day, when this darn (sorry, but I've been layout less for 6 months
>now) apertment is finished in it's reworking and my hobby room is no longer
>a general junk storage area, I'll build my long awaited layout with support
>for many, many trains...
>So I dream at least...
> So the bottom line is, Anders and my Z friends, Chaos is waitingAnd don't forget that Murphys law is always with us. I started to build a
> retrieve us
> and our layouts. Don't be discouraged. Think BIG but start
> small and get
> the feel for the track, road bed and scenery techniques.
layout in my old apertment with, what seamed at the time, a very flexible
and modular type of layout just to find out that it don't fit well in my new
So I'm back to square one...
Some of the trackplans during the years can be found on