New Year's Resolutions: How'd I do and What's New for 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
<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 ;-)
<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:
Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp.
One additional resolution might be suggested, "check your calendar with
some frequency, especially when writing checks, legal documents, Z
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!!! (:-))