Monday, July 25, 2011

Sardine Can

My workshop now feels like a sardine can.  I can barely move...and it is a mess again.  But for the sake of getting my MMR and having some model train fun, I press on.

 The main computer system is now working, but not connect to the network.  Marie (IT Wiz) is working with me to move the routers and the cable modem into the workshop so that they aren't in the way of the layout.  In the mean time I'm putting things away in the desk.

 Well, there is no where else to put the shelf unit, so we keep it in the very cramped workshop.  I put it in an "L" shape to the steel shelf.  It takes up some floor space, but no one is ever in here but Taylor and me, so it will do for now.  Taylor helped move all the tubs back into the shelf unit.  I have too much Q#$!#$.

 There!  Computer is done.  We took the scanner though and moved it upstairs because our printer needs to be attached directly to the router.  I put up my Georgia Northeastern lighted sign and the rest of the crap and now have a nice desk.

 My shop (again!) is a disaster.  I have DVD's and tools laying everywhere.  Will have to clean up soon.

 The router found a new home as did the color laser printer.  So much for desk space.

 Even my models under construction lost space to the cable modem, now high up on the shelf.  I also lost TV connection temporarily because the modem has to connect directly to the cable line, so we'll fix that later.

 Marie has moved all her computer stuff to the tables so I'll start taking this desk apart as well.  We'll move it to the back corner of the playroom upstairs where Marie can work and be closer to the children.

 I hate !@#$!@#$ pressboard!  But you can't beat the price.  Just never move it.

 There!  All the desks are gone.  I'll keep the file cabinet for a while so that Marie can empty it later.

 Lots of open space now, but still some things to move.  The cabinets need to be cleaned as well.

We'll steam clean the carpet and clean up the cabinets and shelves, then we'll call the electrician to come put in the special work lighting so that I can see.

Making progress!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I'd Like a Little More Room, Please

So the project is to clean out the main basement room which is just around the corner from the workshop. The room is 13 x 14 and has a lot of obstructions such as book cases, cabinets and a fireplace.  Marie and I got to work on it Saturday (while I was working on by Blackberry for my job.)

 The first chore for today is to clear out the back corner of the shop in order to make room for the computer desk.  I have a storage shelf there where I keep paint and weathering materials along with other consumables and modeling material.  Everything is in plastic tubs with lids (see earlier MRN posts) so my little helper here made quick work of running back and forth with the tubs.  Wish I had her energy.

 I put up a 6 foot table in the basement room and piled all of the stuff on it.  Right now I'm not exactly sure where the shelf unit is going, so we'll move the stuff to the table and decide later.

 There!  An empty corner.  Ready for a new desk to appear!

 One thing I've learned from doing this kind of move over and over is to take 5 minutes and remove the door from the hinges.  This little step saves a lot of grief and time while you are moving.

 So the desk on the left is mine.  Normally it is not this clean.  We'll have to removed everything including the computer system and put it on another 4x4 pop up table.  Marie has already begun taking her computer gear down.

 A bit blurry, but I shot this without my glasses on.  The desk is dismantled completely and the parts are now in the workshop.  All you can see now are Marie's cables and the floor lamp.

So over in my office I begin putting the desk back together.  This probably would have been a quick job but we had to do it while taking care of the baby and the six year old so it took all day.  More work on Sunday!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ready for the Move!

I'm getting ready to empty the basement area.  We continue to make plans and it may be harder that previously thought, but still do-able.

I put the dry erase board up so that I can use it for notes and projects.  These are very handy for the shop and I always have one.

I started putting things up on the new shelf.  It is very high, so it keeps delicate models out of the way.

So here is the main basement room we are taking over for the layout.  It is completely finished and well lit.  My wife's desk is adjacent to mine and we are moving all of it.  The problem will be the computers.  Marie will need a wireless card and I'll have to lose my TV connection in the shop for a while until I rewire it.

The bookshelves are still a mess from when the @$#!@ movers threw all the books on them.  I'm going to sort them out eventually as train books are mixed with business books.

This cabinet section, while it looks nice, is a big space eater.  Unfortunately it is staying.  I need to re-sort the books here as well, but we can use the cabinets for train storage.

The fireplace and windows dominate the other wall.  The fireplace is gas and very nice during the cold winters.  The windows are subter...subtearan...under ground.  Keeps the room cool in the summer. 

Tomorrow we'll move my desk to the model shop.  I've got one tall shelf section that has to go and still don't know where to put it.  We'll think about it tonight.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The NMRA Convention X2011 Sacramento

What an awesome convention!  The best I've been to.  If you have never gone to an NMRA Convention and the spectacular National Train Show...start saving for the Peachtree Express 2013 in Atlanta.  I'll do a clinic for you.  Free!

The main reasons I go are to see old friends, make new friends and learn new things.  There is a lot to learn and it comes at you so fast that by the end of the day you are worn out.  At this convention the main things I learned that really got my attention:

1.  You need to use eyedrops when modeling to help your eyes focus and to replace your natural moisturizing tears.  This allows your eyes to focus without wearing them out.  If your eyes start watering then you waited too long for drops and the tears that come from watery eyes don't help your eyes....they are designed to flush out foreign objects, so your eyes get itchy and tired.  Wow!  I even bought a new type of magnification (for me) that I'll share with you when it comes in from Micro-Mark.

2.  Z scale has GREATLY improved over the past few years.  I was absolutely stunned to see a Z-scale lumber mill, with a DETAILED interior, inside lighting and sound.  It would fit in the palm of my hand.  Every detail was carefully painted and it was amazing.  Simply amazing.

3.  Diners, Dives and Drive Ins is critical for finding good food.  Go to there website and put in the towns where you are going to be and find great food.  I ate at Jim Denny's in Sacramento.  When I got there at 6:30 am I discovered that they didn't open until seven.  I meet Nate Oxhandler there (son of the famous "Ask Me" guy) and we formed a fast friendship over pancakes that are the size of a car tire.

4.  3D Sterolithography is the wave of the future and if you aren't learning about it now, you will be late to the dance.  Check out the posts on my Yahoo Egroup TRAINTOOLS for more info.

5.  The great clinics at the convention often have their Powerpoints and handouts on the convention site under CLINICS.  These are VERY informative and available to you even if you didn't attend the convention.

6.  Paul Rankin can fall asleep damn near anywhere...even on an excursion train!

7.  When the Conductor says there is no clearance room between the train and Tunnel #5 on the Virginia & Truckee Railroad, he means it.  My camera has probably been eaten by the wild horses by now.

Have a nice evening....and plan to go to the Peachtree Express so I can meet you!


Monday, July 18, 2011

Let There Be Light! Ok...Move it Over a Little...No...Back Back...

Well, you make think it funny that I'm working in the laundry room tonight.  Seems like regular chores.  But really, it is very important.  You see, I need to move the light fixture.  It is a VERY nice fixture, much too nice for the laundry.   So I moved it to the dining room.  Yes, I have to move the chandelier, so I took it down.  Why did I do that?  Because our dining room is now an office.  An office?  Yes, because our basement office is now the train room.  Lost yet?  LOL...

I'm moving my wife's desk and cabinets to the dining room, which is now a playroom for the kids.  She will soon be able to do email, Facebook, and what not while keeping an eye on the kids.  This allows me to open up the basement for the layout.  Saturday we'll move both Marie's and my desk and the room will be clear.  I'll just need to put in lights....

...which is where we came in.

Good night!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ok, Ok, I Get the Hint!

Ok...I get it!  I get it!   I just got back from the NMRA Convention and couldn't believe how many people read my blog and how many get mad when I'm not regularly posting.  I'll get going again, I promise!

An NMRA Convention will really get you motivated.  I no more got back than I told my wife that I had to get on a layout to finish my MMR.  Working in the garage won't last because in a few months it will be bitterly cold again and I'll need that space for my car.


She gave me our small basement main room.  Marie agreed to move her desk to the playroom which she thinks will be better because it is where the kids like to play.  I drew it out on cad and the desk has plenty of room.

Meanwhile, I'm moving my computer desk to the model train workshop.  There is plenty of room there and it won't be much of a move.  I will have to do some cabeling but it is all minor...and my computer will be near my workbench!  Bye, laptop!

Click to enlarge

I thought about starting all over, but I have a great layout going, it covers all my MMR needs and I have all the supplies.  So, since it fits the room, I'll finish it.  Honestly I'd rather work in On30, but this layout can be finished in a year.  I'd love to have my MMR presented with friends at the 2013 convention, so that is my target.

My goal is to post 5 times a week from now on and to get this MMR layout finished!