Eric, over at Trackside Trains, has a great habit of completing his blog posts with a quick checkin on the moment in which he’s writing that post. I really enjoy reading them. So, here I go starting a blog post the same way he ends his.
I’ve been working through a stack of favourite albums and music this morning and right now I’m listening to Diana Krall’s Live in Paris. I’ve listened to this album a hundred times if only once. This morning I had one of those moments where I’ve turned the volume up just a little louder and I discovered a few little nuances in the album I don’t think I’ve ever heard before. At this moment is a cover of Joni Mitchell’s A Case of You. A favourite recording of a favourite song and at the perfect time. The recording quality is so rich I can hear each piano key, not it’s note but the sound of the key as it returns. Next up will likely be a further indulgence from the Quebec pop scene, perhaps a little Couer de Pirates or maybe a little more like La Patiere Rose.
On coffee: I’ve been wallowing through my first cup for entirely too long. A few months ago a friend gave me some really nice coffee from Cuba and this cup is made from those beans. I’ve brewed it in my little espresso coffee pot over the stove and the brew is about as indulgent as the this morning’s sound track. Milky and with almost, just almost, too much sugar and a cup that’s just indulgent enough for right now.
I actually opened up my laptop this morning to look up a map of the Charlottetown waterfront I have and to try and place some photographs from railroading in this same area. All of this is fallout from the photographs I took on Friday and posted of this same area. I think you could make a really terrific switching layout of all of this and it might work quite well in the space in my dining room I’ve mentioned here earlier. Thanks Shawn for the map in the first place and Steve for the photos. I wish I had seen more of this railroading first hand and knew this Charlottetown more personally. I’m going to remove the blog post from Friday with the photos as a gallery and create a new post for each building, including a railroad-era picture if I have one as well as maps to do a much better job of telling those stories.
Back in the eighties Muchmusic VJ Michael Williams always used to talk about the albums he had next to his record player. He always introduced them in a way that left me think he must have a stack of albums towering over the CN Tower. Today I think I have a similar stack, allthough it’s a haphazard pile of railroad pictures, maps, CD’s and coffee. There are railroad magazines here too and I’m re-reading an Ian Futer’s article on his Victoria Road layout and more recently as Fisherow Yard. I’ve mentioned that plan here a dozen times if not more, it’s such an elegant design. The first micro layout I built last winter was based on that plan. Regrettfully that same layout had some problems and I quietly placed it in the garbage last week with very little ceremony. I just couldn’t fix some mistakes I’d make in it’s construction but I learned alot and had a great deal of fun building it.
While still on the layout update front, the second micro I built, based on Bush Terminal is headed to the heap next. I ballasted the whole thing with Woodland Scenics fine ballast and I really dislike how it looks. That gauge of stone is just too large for N and it bothers me to see it. I’ll strip the rail from the layout and the rest is off to the black cart too. I’m keeping the HO micro for now. It’s quite enjoyable to operate but it’s not something I plan on keeping forever. If you’d like it, I’d happily give it away. It looks terrific and is a fun layout to operate on. Drop me a line and it’s your’s. On the new layout front I have no plans. I have built one new turnout and started a second on Friday and I’m really ready to start another layout. Through both turnouts I’ve been forcing myself to work to slow down a lot and really make sure each part is correct before proceeding with the next. I am attempting to work closer to the FS160 finescale standards here. Both turnouts are #6’s which are much tighter than the FS160 recommended practice of #8’s but will do for now. I am still using the NMRA standard for turnouts so my flangeways are still a bit large but I’m trying to keep everything as tight as possible. Even just pushing a truck through the finished turnout already speaks in favour of this more patient approach. The finer turnout looks really terrific and I can’t make the truck derail. A tip I employed here, from Toni Ryan, was to start building the turnout from the frog out. It’s a great deal easier this way and this is something I’m going to keep doing.
So, the Diana Krall album is done now and Krista has picked it’s replacement for me. We’re did go with French pop but not from Quebec so things are a lot more Gainsbourg than Martin. Yes indeed, it’s a charmed life. Thanks for joining me for it.