Running Bear’s May 2021 Coffee Shop is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.

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GNRR Mechanic always fixing stuff
Morning all,

Happy Star Wars day! May the 4th be with you. :D

Was asleep shortly after 7:00p and wife woke me at 3:45a. Never heard a thing. Feel a bit strange, but it's been a while since I was up for 26 hours.

Jaz: no worries. I'm going to hang around a while at work, but the resume is getting brushed up.
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Jaz avalley

Well-Known Member
Good evening Shop Dwellers! On my central MD property it's 67*F under cloudy skies, with a T-storm lurking somewhere out there...

As always, the "likes" and supportive comments are much appreciated, even when I have no time for "naming names."

Willie/Tom - Thanks for the encouraging words! Perfectionism is a disease that runs in my family, been struggling with it all my life. But, like Ringo, I pull through "with a little help from my friends" LOL. BTW I did manage to make some more incremental progress this evening: Moved a stack of bottled water cases from an aisle in the train room to a spare bedroom!

Jaz - the photo of the girl hugging an owl is priceless! Did you shoot it yourself? That owl must have been treated for an early-life injury [possibly by that zookeeper who's standing by?].

Sherrell - glad to hear your wife is back to "trophy" status [LOL]!

Until tomorrow....cheers!
It is an owl rescue centre, they fly them for exercise and income comes from the feed time shows, some are more approachable than others, I did take the picture, when possible they have a release programme,and are always looking for large acreage to fly them on when they cannot be released, most are not injured but illegals in peoples home, often eggs stolen, hence breeding pairs, but release is difficult as their natural instincts have been seriously compromised,

worse some are alone, and very unlikely to have mates found for them,usually foreign birds from illegal eggs,poor things rely on human interaction,usually feeding
they have one very dangerous bird,it can break your leg,although it is exercised outside not when visitors are about as it needs special care and won’t accept people walking towards it,


they are in not large cages,but most can be exercise, some are too scared for their lifestyle to be improved, he Claims to try to marry them up to better circumstances when he can,they birds were certainly clean,treated nicely,I have more pictures but all the birds are on gloves on family the lass is my niece,she was nervous of the owls and he bought this one out and said she could ‘cuddle’ him as he was quite tame, he said the mostdifficult thing with releases is the birds are too trusting of humans and an be easily recaptured :(, often their best bet is a return to country of origin and a breeding programme, but the paperwork and costs have to be met by him as often the receiving countries have no funding.He uses a couple to remove vermin and is paid the bird gets to do something natural,he had only one fly off apparently and when he went back a few days later it came back,clearly the locals were not friendly. His story how true I can not say,


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning Everyone. Partly cloudy and 61°. Wind just shifted from the north as a cool front blows in. Yesterday was like living in Houston, temperature of 89° and relative humidity of 82%, and no wind. Quite uncomfortable! Struggled with mowing yesterday, as the dew never really dried and the area that I was mowing (technically my wildflower meadow) was over 11" tall. Mower bogged down a lot, even though I had set it relatively high. Then out of nowhere, a thunderstorm appeared that wasn't in the forecast. High winds and possible tornadoes came through about 75 miles away, south of Ft Worth. Here, the thunderstorm was over and done in about 15 minutes and dropped .25" of rain. This afternoon I will mow the front yard which isn't nearly as high since I mowed there just two weeks ago.

Chicken fried steak with southern cream gravy and hash-browns for me this morning Flo. I'm ready for something filling.

Thanks for the likes yesterday regarding my single photo of the trees; Guy, Karl, Phil, Justin, Sherrel, Tom O, Sherrel, Chad, Jaz, Patrick, Hughie, Garry, Tom, Jerry, Gary, Ken, James. And thanks too for the appreciation of the Kinks video. They were one of my earliest favorite British invasion bands along with The Animals, The Who and The Yardbirds. I wasn't really a Beatles fan at that time.

Out in the train shed yesterday, I planted trees.


I also mulched around the vines next to the house.

Next up is a woodpile that will go under the nook windows. I am looking for some porch furniture that I don't think exists, so I'll have to look online for some detail parts. From looking at these pictures, it is apparent that I need to align and glue the fence a bit more in two spots.

Tom O - Really outrageous prices at the stadium, but I'm sure they're like that all across the MLB parks. I miss the days of free tickets to sporting events from vendors. Hockey and NASCAR were always my favorites. My wife enjoyed the basketball and football, while my son always went to baseball with me.
George - While I have occasionally seen some stuff on AXS-TV, I really haven't watched TV since the mid-90's. Sorry that I never heard of your band, The Touch. The only New York bands that made it to Dallas or got airplay in the late 60's were The Blues Magoos, and The Velvet Underground. I saw them both while still in high school.

This cool wind blowing in through the open windows feels really good after the sweltering night. I may just have to go back and lie down a little more...only slept seven hours last night.
Everybody have a great day and stay safe.


Well-Known Member
Good morning all.

Discovered the downside of having a charcoal grill. Not only did I dump the bottom of the charcoal bag in with lots of dust. Back peddled quickly to get out that cloud. But, yesterday was one of those days where no matter where I stood, the smoke wanted to my very close and personal friend. I could still smell the smoke this morning in the shower.

The bad part was waking at 12:30 am with an asthma attack. Headed to the basement and hit the inhaler. Thunder rumbled upstairs, and the cat was my buddy until the storm blew over.

However, We did get a nice and smokey pork chop (bone in, thick and tasty) out of it.

Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 7.06.32 AM.png

Pic is AFTER I removed the Slo-Roller anabolic smoke deflector set up, and cranked the grill up to INFERNO (400+) degree F for the sear.


GNRR Mechanic always fixing stuff
Troy: That looks delicious! I was able to get some burgers done on the grill Sunday. Been nearly a year since I last had charcoal. I bought some Sunday morning when I did the grocery run. I used to grill all the time, but lately not so much.

<edit> Forgot to add, Google Star Wars Day...
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Living in Dreamland; not the Dream
Good Morning!
It's dribbling rain outside with the temperature sitting on 34°F.
The landscape is beginning to look like spring; the Tree Swallows have returned from migration and booted the House Sparrows out of the bird boxes as of yesterday. The sparrows are now evicted, so I'm hoping they didn't lay their eggs yet. I don't see egg shells on the ground, so I guess things are good.

I got the first dose yesterday; Moderna. I'm not suffering ill effects, and I didn't scream like a little girl when he stuck that needle into my arm. Plus, my wife's Covid test came back negative. So, things are good!

As I'm looking out the window onto the wet ground, I wonder if we are in for another damaging snow storm, like the one we had in May, 2016. That was a horrible, deadly snowstorm that churned everything over on that years May long-weekend.
Here are a couple of photos that I took from outside my house, the day the snow showed up.
The neighbor across the street lost a beautiful ornamental apple from their front yard. Pure weight of snow took it down:

I never lost any trees that day. When I saw what happened to the neighbors tree, I went outside and shook the snow off of my trees.
Here's my backyard on that day 5 years ago:

Around here, a storm like that can come any month of the year.
The worst part for me that day, was literally the thousands of songbirds that died. Migrating songbirds will not land in the snow; so many of them landed on the black asphalt highways where they were killed by traffic. I noticed the highway was littered with the corpses of tiny songbirds. It was very sad.

Since it's raining today, I'm hoping I can get some color onto my little boat. That's what I'm going to work at.
It sounds like the weather will be good tomorrow, so I suppose I'll be replacing the back door on our home. Best to do it now when there arn't any mosquito's yet, and it's not overly warm. - The wife is bothering me everyday about that door.

Jaz avalley - I'm surprised that Snowy Owls are found in the UK; that's cool! There are many around here, but, they only winter in my area. They'll nest on the northern tundra during the summer months, where there are lots of lemmings and moles.

Willie - I know you don't like making trees, but, the ones you made look very good to my eye. Well done!

Troy - Seems everything enjoyable that we do, has some kind of sad side-effect. I know how smoke seems to be attracted to the human face and eyes. It must be so much worse for you if you have asthma. - The chop looks good, though. Might make the suffering worth it.

Once again, thanks for all the likes on my past writings. If I don't take any photos today, I probably won't be coming in tomorrow. There's a door installation standing in the way.

Have a good one!


Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
Morning from out here in LA-LA Land! We are starting today at a reasonable 52 degrees and looking for 86 later under mostly sunny skies.
FLO, I have the hungries this morn - I would like a CFS with eggs up, hash browns, grits & gravy, and some sourdough toast - oh - lots of bacon ... I have furniture to shuffle around this morning. (that I did not complete yesterday afternoon.)
I did manage to drive over to the repair shop and look at the mess of wires that were chewed thru.
I have a photo that I will show later on - it I can remember to download it?

Star Wars Day - huh Patrick? Yesterday, a photo appeared on the APOD website that got my mind wandering a bit. I find it hard to believe that this was accomplished without many crashes, failures and deaths along the way. The Apollo 11 mission to the moon shows the moon lander ascending back up to the orbiting spacecraft. This was all accomplished with less computing power than most of us have in the palm of our hand - amazing! A fitting photo for Star Wars Day.



Well-Known Member
Good morning from a damp Wisconsin. We got a great and very needed rain yesterday and our grasses are growing again. We have been dry this Spring. Not a nice day on tap, high 50’s, clouds with no sun and winds in the teens.

May the 4th be with you. I have definitely enjoyed the Star War series of movies.

Other then the 6 days a week exercise program I am not sure what I will be doing today. I got up late but did sleep well. Let the day unfold, enjoy yours.



Next up is a woodpile that will go under the nook windows. I am looking for some porch furniture that I don't think exists, so I'll have to look online for some detail parts. From looking at these pictures, it is apparent that I need to align and glue the fence a bit more in two spots.

Willie- You are correct that the house is too neat. A wood pile will help and maybe a bike leaned up against the wall. Have you thought about a kite eating tree in the front yard with one or two kites caught in the branches?

Watching the TV weather man talking about the heavy thunderstorms moving through central Alabama. The first two lines of storms dropped 4" to 6
of rain causing flash flooding low lying areas. Had pictures of cars in the water up to the windows. We are in a lull right now, with another 2" of rain is predicted in a couple hours.
Flash flooding does not worry me living on a hill but 70 mph winds are going to blow over some wet soil large trees. Hope we do not lose electric power.
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Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Afternoon All. Wow! It's been 6 1/2 hours since the last visitor here in the Coffee Shop! For me, it's partly cloudy and 70°, warmer than the forecast. Rain yesterday put a damper on my mowing plans this morning, so we took a day trip to the Frank Buck Zoo in our county seat of Gainesville TX. Small town of 16,000 that has a rather nice although smallish zoo. We spent 90 pleasant minutes walking through the one-way path. That's always nice so you don't miss anything. I took some pictures and will review them later to see if there's anything interesting to post.
Later all.
EDIT - OK, Mikey found his way over at the same time.


Section Hand
Good afternoon Everyone.....cloudy and a cool day.

Finished filing my state and federal returns for 2020 and glad I'm finally done with them. A refund from the Feds and nothing from the state.

A Accurail box car kit from the Milwaukee, Racine and Troy has sat for months on my computer printer just begging to be assembled. I have most of the MR&T car and locomotive series and they have special meaning to me since we toured the Kalmbach Offices and the actual MR&T layout on a special tour hosted by Jim Hediger. A 2.5 hour visit and learned a lot during our visit about the layout and the special layout projects done by the staff. Jim was a great host!!!

Tomorrow, I meet with my Physical Therapist for my next session, but we need to talk about my goals and that I don't plan to be a long term health club member. After my last visit it was days before I could feel better being without being so sore and stiff. I just love the fitness beauty queens in their revealing work-out clothes, seeking out male companionship outside the club.

I like your photograph of that space craft in orbit. Several years ago (when I had dark hair) I had lunch one afternoon with James Lovell from the Apollo 13 Space Mission. He had some really interesting stories about their ill fated trip to the moon and how they had to get back to Earth after the problems they encountered.

Someone had said that the sound DCC decoders that we use today have more computing power than what was used on the Apollo series space crafts!!! And, a lot more inexpensive to boot.

Maybe it made National News, but at a shopping mall in Milwaukee on Sunday Night, over 300 shots were fired by persons in the parking lot. One person was hit by the gun fire. This parking lot is a popular evening gathering spot for local youths. At over 300 shots being fired and a Glock 42 and other concealable firearms have a clips with an average of 6 rounds means that it could be likely that somewhere around 50 individuals were carrying firearms and discharging them that night.

Troy: Great looking chop on your grill. Cathy makes them on our Weber grill and uses apple wood for smoke. I need to do some smoking of pork roasts this summer. I use my smoker and cook over low heat for hours. I was in a local butcher shop near the cabin and in the back of a cooler a real fatty, large pork roast and I asked the butcher for the roast. He said "Why that one, it's too fatty?" I told him iwas going to smoke it in my smoker with apple wood. I cooked it for at least eigth hours at low heat and it was a perfect and moist. Full of favor.

Miller Time......




Well-Known Member
Good afternoon from another guy living in Wisconsin.

Greg, I am surprised we had not heard or read about the discharging of guns in that mall parking lot.

Willie, we drive by tons of signs about the Frank Buck Zoo on I-35 going down to Austin to see the son. Is it worth the trip to get off and visit it? We usually change up drivers at the last exit in Oklahoma near the huge casino we do not go into. The return north to Wisconsin we go different ways then I-35.

Mikey, be safe in that weather.

Troy, that smells good from here. Hope you enjoyed it.

Sherrel, it is amazing we got to the moon and back in the 60’s. The computing power we have now a days in consumer devices would have frightened those Rocket Scientists. Amazing men and women then and now.

Does it matter that you don’t have a pre-nup when you are worth 127 billion? Split it in 1/2 and you are still rich.




Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
Jerry (2tracks) -- Forgive me! Thank you for posting that FRISCO/MKT coffee cup. If you don't mind - I am going to copy your photo and post it on the Frisco site? I'm pretty sure there are many there who have never seen one of those - I had not. That is a real collectors item!


Well-Known Member
Greg- what mall was this? We didn’t hear anything about this up here in North-Central WI.
Tom O- the zoo in Gainesville looks to be comparable size to Vilas Zoo in Mad City.

Midtown Capitol Mall on the 5700 block of West Capital Drive. I can’t picture it but... The local community activist says young people need an outlet to have fun and that parking lot is their gathering place. 2 in the hospital with gun shot wounds. Not my idea of fun.

The Vilas Zoo is free and great for grandparents bring the g/kids along. Sort of like what you have in Marshfield. At lunch sometimes I would go to Hardee’s and then park by one of the ponds. To get out you had to drive around the elk, the deer and the American Bison yards if I parked in the west pond area. Always neat to see a bison almost as big as the car and probably heavier Looking at you through the fences.

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