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New Year's Resolutions: How'd I do and What's New for 2002?

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  • Jeffrey MacHan
    Hi Gang, Since the beginning of this group I have posted my New Year s resolutionZ. Why? because I thought that by making a public spectacle of myself there
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 1, 2002
      Hi Gang,

      Since the beginning of this group I have posted my New Year's resolutionZ.
      Why? because 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. It worked well enough for my Year 2000 resolutions. If you want to
      you can check to see how I did by referring to the original message #2477.

      Before I get to my 2002 resolutions it is helpful to review how I did
      concerning the year that has just come to a close so here are my original
      2001 resolutions followed by my excuses, ahem, results...

      <2000 Resolution #1. I will complete the Civil Engineering AP certificate
      and complete judging on
      <some models for Master Builder - Locomotives and Master Builder - Cars.
      <means that I will prepare at least one loco and one car for AP merit award
      <judging in 2001. I don't feel very ambitious concerning these objectives
      <they are the dreaded 'Scratch Build' certificates.

      I have to confess that this is a "0" on the completion scale. As a token
      nod to this goal, I started laying ties December 31st on the track base for
      the Civil AP certificate. I did pick up a tracklaying manual and find
      several excellent web sites for the skilled turnout builder. I purchased
      all of the necessary materials to complete the job, PCB ties, gauges,
      stained sleepers, solder, flux, tools etc. I won't actually solder any
      rails to the ties for a while yet since it will take me several days to glue
      the 750 ties in place, cut them to length and then sand them all down to the
      height of the PCB ties. Only after all that is done will I begin soldering.
      It won't be a problem with the stock rails but the real challenge is
      crafting the frogs and points. I'll let you know when I get down to serious
      business. I'll post pictures to VECRR@yahoogroups.com for those of you who
      are interested in my progress or lack thereof.

      As for the Locomotive AP certificate, I did decide on which locomotive I
      will scratch build...a Budd Rail Diesel Car or RDC3. It should be fun to
      stretch a Micro-Trains drive train to fit the scratch shell. I'll have to
      add directional lighting and maybe even a DCC decoder. There will certainly
      be enough room inside for it. An RDC3 has passenger, express bagage and
      Railway Post Office (RPO) sections so the interior will have to be fully

      I didn't do a thing for the Car AP certificate. Well almost nothing...I did
      pick up some MOW decals from Ed Scullin. Does that count? I'm still
      planning on scratch-building a Union Pacific business car and a MOW bunk
      train like the one I enjoyed for 2 summers working as a lineman for CN-CP
      telecom back in my undergraduate days. Just gotta get to work!

      <2000 Resolution #2. I will continue my frugal ways in the acquisition
      department. I found that I could live <with my rules and not spend more than
      I am able to generate in Profits on eBay. Notice that I said profits...
      <I'm not planning any major expenditures in 2001 but you never know what the
      manufacturers have
      <in store. That Casey Jones train set looks mighty inviting!!!

      Not only did the Casey Jones look inviting I actually bought two sets at 6
      month intervals and sold one to a local collector. It was just too
      beautiful to pass up. My excuse was that the prices on eBay had actually
      dropped over the summer. I handily blew the "not more that eBay profits"
      part with several purchases at the 2001 National Train Show including
      M�rklin yard lights, an FR Models boxcab, 2 sets of Pennzee reefers in the
      Fall and several M�rklin International Imprint Cars this winter. I did make
      a few sales but I have to hang my head in shame when it comes to my spending
      habits. Is there a 12 step program for "Z" scale buying bingers? So far in
      2002 I have not bought anything!!!!!

      <2000 Resolution #3. I will continue to provide Ztrack Magazine with
      articles for every issue of the year. I <already have two delivered and I
      have 5 others that you voted on to complete in their order of popularity. I
      <usually write in binges so I don't know exactly when I'll be pounding the
      keys during the next 2 months.

      This one I passed with flying colors. Not only did I produce at least 1
      article for Rob, a copule of times he was kind enough to print 2. At the
      moment I'm okay until the March-April issue when I expect to have a report
      from Sinsheim ready for Ztrack. Unfortunately, I didn't write all the
      articles that were voted for. This just proves that I could never be a
      staff writer for a magazine!

      <2000 Resolution #4. I will complete my web site and upload the html files
      to the ISP. I keep playing with <the code but neglect to upload the files.
      The web site has never been a priority and it probably won't be in <2001.
      However, I have a new tool in my struggle to publish my web pages, a HTML
      editor and FTP <program on my HP Jornada 690. If I can play with my gadgets,
      there is a better chance of getting the job <done! I also think that I will
      change the web address from www.val-ease-central.com to
      <something easier to spell and to remember (don't ask me why I didn't think
      of this the first time although <my wife did!) such as simply

      I finally got around to uploading my home page about a month ago. I have
      lots of ideas and material...just too many projects in the way. The FTP and
      HTML programs work fine with the Jornada so I can't blame the gadgets.
      Let's see what my resolutions for 2002 have in store. As for changing the
      domain name, I succumbed to Verisign's reregistration offer and renewed for
      9 years. I figure that I'll have the site ready by the time the next
      renewal is due ;-)

      <2000 Musings:

      <Plans are under way to take the layout to the 2001 National Train Show in
      Saint Louis, MO from July 13 - <15. I still don't have confirmation from the
      NMRA train show organizers that space has been reserved to <the Val Ease
      Central although I have contacted them twice already. If further problems
      crop up, I
      <might have to reconsider taking the layout. I may simply go to the show and
      have fun watching the trains <on the modular setups.

      Good thing that we decided to make the very hot trip to St. Louis, don't you
      think? It was a great show and the "Best of Show" was a huge thrill. I had
      hoped to improve on my score from San Jose. To say that I take the
      competitions seriously is an understatement. The guys who saw me hunched
      over the layout getting it ready for judging while snarling at everyone who
      came within 10 feet can attest to that fact. :-D

      <Generally speaking, 2001 will be much calmer than 2000. I have my MBA to
      complete by the end of May <2001 followed by the doctorate in the Fall. As a
      result 2001 will not see me taking the Val Ease Central to <the 6 to 8 train
      shows annually where I usually exhibit the layout. I will attend the Niagara
      Frontier Region <regional meet in April but without the layout.

      Was I ever off the mark on this one! Calmer? The year was chock full of
      activities: 6 outings with the layout including a photo session at Model
      Railroader Magazine. In addition to the Ztrack articles, I wrote 1 for the
      NMRA Bulletin which went into their circular file, sold 1 to Model
      Railroader and had 1 published in ZClub92 issue 3-2001. I spent some time
      preparing for the upcoming trip to Sinsheim, Germany. Of course all this
      frivolous activity distracted me from my studies...however I did finish the
      MBA at the end of November. The DBA gets under way in February.
      Fortunately my job doesn't get in the way of my FUN!

      Okay, what resolutions do I have in mind for 2002?

      Resolution #1: set a budget for "Z" purchases of $999 USD. I want to be
      able to check off the $70-1000 US choice on next December's omnibus poll!
      Of course this amount is net after anything that I sell during the year. ;-)

      Resolution #2: finish the Civil Engineering AP certificate. Hey, it's
      doable! I have all the ties glued down and I'll be ready to lay track by
      the weekend.... There is a Niagara Frontier Region train meet January 22 in
      Paris, Ontario where I hope to arrange judging for the trackwork. If I get
      the required 87.5 points I'll send off the file to the regional AP
      coordinator by the end of January.

      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. Building the loco or the UP business car is almost the same level of
      difficulty. I might as well go for the locomotive. If I come up short, I
      can make the improvements and corrections needed in time for the NMRA
      National Convention in Ft. Lauderdale in July. I won't have the time to do
      much of anything else i.e. MOW train. We'll be moving to Montr�al, Qu�bec
      in July and I'll be taking up a new job so I expect that my mind will be on
      other things next Summer and Fall. ;-)

      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?
      Hey, you never know!

      Four resolutions are enough...can't think of anything significant. I expect
      that I'll try to complete the incomplete resolutions from 2000 2001.

      As always, I have enjoyed sharing my love for tiny trains with you. Thanks
      for putting up with my musings and have a healthy and prosperous 2001.

      Jeffrey R. MacHan
      Chief Imagineer - Val Ease Central RR
      NMRA NTS2001 "Best of Show"
      Z_Scale SIG Coordinator & Moderator:
      Columnist - Ztrack Magazine:

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    • sutfin
      Jeffrey, One additional resolution might be suggested, check your calendar with some frequency, especially when writing checks, legal documents, Z musings,
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 1, 2002

        One additional resolution might be suggested, "check your calendar with
        some frequency, especially when writing checks, legal documents, Z
        musings, etc."

        Your last line in your "New Year's Resolutions" says "have a healthy and
        prosperous 2001." Those of us who 'survived' 2001 were apparently
        somewhat healthy, unfortunately, for many it was not so prosperous...but
        we can hope and pray that "2002" will be healthy, prosperous, and

        HAPPY NEW YEAR....gotcha!!! (:-))

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