Running Bear's April 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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Living in Dreamland; not the Dream
Good Morning! A bright, sunny, very cool blue sky Friday morning, it is! - It's 22°F in the corner of the coffee shop that I'm sitting in. I'm starting to wonder if Mel forgot to pay the heating oil bill. Thank the lord I'm used to it anyway; otherwise, I'd move to a warmer place.

Willie - I was in a hurry yesterday, and forgot to answer you! - I used the words 'two crop', because I assumed you could get two sets of harvest out of you're garden, considering the lengthy, warm growing season you get. Perhaps I'm wrong; that's just what I thought.

James - Thank you for the explanation concerning AOL box cars.

Sherrel - I liked your post today; you have a good sense of humor. My kinda person!

The wife and I went to the city yesterday, where we spent nearly $1000.00 on home renovation materials and flowers. The flowers are for the wife, and the reno materials are for me. We were unable to go to any hobby shops, as those all seem to be way over on the south-side of the city. Further away than I wanted to go. - Frankly, I hate the city, and spend as little time there as is possible.

As it's going to be cold out for the next week, I've decided to work on a modeling project along side the reno I'm working on.
I'm going to start building a boat for the layout.
Boat_04-23-2021 (1).jpg

Boat_04-23-2021 (2).jpg

I know that it isn't HO scale, but, I figure I can get rid of the sail and the oars, and scratch build a new upper deck that appears to look more 1/87th.
Basically, all I want is the hull of this kit. My intention is to turn it into a more lobster boat style that will look more HO.
Something along these lines:

Lobster style boats come in many different sizes, so I believe I can scratch up one that looks 1/87th scale, and place some HO figures around her that don't give the true scale away.

It's just a neat project that I've been wanting to work on.

Anyway, I'm taking up a-lot of space here, so I'd better be on my way.
I am truly sorry that some of you are suffering health issues. God's speed in recovery.

Have a good one!


Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning Again. It's now up to 61°. Weather geeks are predicting thunderstorms this afternoon, but they will have to come out of nowhere since there is nothing major on the radar closer than NW Arkansas, 500 miles away and they always move east. I'm actually ready for about an inch or so, so I don't have to water the garden or the newly planted trees.
Grocery trek yesterday was uneventful, sadly there was a lack of young ladies to ogle in the store. Despite the dropping of the mask mandate a few weeks ago in our state, I didn't see anyone without one. I did notice that prices are creeping up on many items, especially meat. Later on, I was back on the tractor mowing the north and northwest parts of the yard around the train shed and pond. Somewhat unusual for this time of year, is that my pond is only about 2/3 full. I believe that the black vulture couple that nest in my barn loft had a new arrival earlier this week. Last year's junior seems to have been chased away and has been spending his/her nights on the utility pole out front! Somewhat typical early spring ritual that I have observed over the years. The yearling will eventually move to the woods down the road and start it's own family.

What's the special this morning Francine? Southwestern omelet with a load of bacon? OK, I'll take a double with a tall glass of cool OJ. I'll buy Troy a doughnut this morning when he comes in.

Thanks for the many likes and comments regarding yesterday's post; Tom O, George, Patrick, Joe, Sherrel, Karl, Gary, Ken, Guy, Garry.

I had to divert a bit out in the train shed yesterday. In order to continue with the project along the front of the layout in Rycon Township, I had to make some trees. Of the first twelve that I made, only three went there and a few went to the adjoining scene. I saved six to go elsewhere. I am also having to paint some figures that will fit into the scene. Some are ready to go, while a few need finishing touches. Somewhat embarrassingly, I realized that I have over 50 partially painted figures that I am working on, so I need to spend a few hours finishing them up as well. I have a 9" x 12" piece of cardboard that I use to store them on and transfer them back and forth to the workbench. Many just lack small details like hair, hats, shoes and purses in order to be usable.
I really don't have any new pictures to post today, but I have a couple of those backyard shots backing up to the main line in Vernon that I missed earlier in the week.



The plan today is to resume dusting off structures and adding details that I might have laying around.

Mountain Man - Hope that it is a routine MRI and not anything serious.
Tom - Those are some nice looking locos.
Ken - Best wishes and prayers for you regarding the ulcer. Hope that you can contain it very soon.
Guy - I understand now. Yes I can get two crops a year in, but there is a gap from late June until the beginning of September where it just isn't worth fighting Mother Nature and the heat. Some years the plagues of grasshoppers also make it difficult. I need a flooding rain of over 3"-4" in May to drown the newly hatched grasshoppers. Doesn't always happen.

Today is St. George’s Day for many countries in the Commonwealth. I believe that it is a national holiday over across the pond, but not in Canada.
Everybody have a great day, and an awesome upcoming weekend. Stay safe.


Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
Morning from out here where it is 54 degrees, cloudy, and looking for a high of only 65 today!
It seems that summer is still asleep this year - it has been unseasonably cool so far, but do not fret - it will be scorching soon enough. I did not want to build mess with another fire last evening as the Spousal Unit is still in hiding at her sister's house until her black eyes go away (I have a photo, but am not allowed to show it under a death threat) - some women are so vane - LOL. NAH - She is not really, but she does want to present a pleasing appearance - even if just to me. The two of them are supposed to have all dressings and sutures removed on Monday - then they will return home to make their "grand" appearance ... I'm waiting to see if the pups recognize them?

OK - I've used enough pixels/bites/whatever for this which has nothing to do with trains ...
How about a photo?



Well-Known Member
Howdy .....

Terry .... Sad to hear about your wife having a fall.

Guy .... That's an interesting boat kt. Looks like it is Russian. I have not seen a model kit from Russia before. Have fun putting it together.

Willie ....... I like your trackside scenes. BBQ grill is a nice touch.

Sherrell ..... Nice photo ! I did not know there was such a thing as a clean Southern Pacific locomotive.


Today is Shelley's birthday. Later, we are going to Nashville to celebrate with dinner at a very nice restaurant and then a night at a good quality hotel.


GNRR Mechanic always fixing stuff
Almost going home time.

I have to meet with tree guy at the boy's house to get his trees dealt with. They need trimmed up and a couple of stumps removed. Daughter asked to have him clean up the tree we didn't have done a year or so back. She has 2 silver maples and both had dead branches, but we only had one done. She didn't think what the tree guy did to the one looked good at first, but it really is looking good this year. He cleaned all the dead and undergrowth out of it. She gets the same shade, but not all the dead under branches out of it. Also got to get ahold of the neighbor in the house behind the boy as we need to basically cut out a tree that overhangs the fence. Base is in their yard, but all the growth above 3 feet overhangs the falling apart fence that is his fence. I'd rather get permission to take it down to the base and have the stump ground out for them than leave them a 3 ft stump. Legally we could leave the stump, but esthetically, I'd like to be nice about it. It is a decorative type tree and not really a shade or fruit tree (Redbud). Heck, I'd even be willing to plant them a new one if necessary. I'm thinking the people in the house are tenants rather than the owner, but we'll see.


Well-Known Member
Would that be a Brandy or Whiskey Olde Fashioned?

The only reason we had Brandy in the house was for my father in law who always had a brandy old fashion before dinner, even if hot dogs on the grill. I think old fashions are are priority for native Wisconsites.

Mike, if you get to Madison, across from the Capital the bar/restaurant is called the Old Fashion. Excellent place, reasonable prices and brick walls and the only place I have had an OF before lunch.



Well-Known Member
Good morning at 7:16am as I type this. 12:16 in Wisconsin. Another nice day in the Islands as it should hit 82f degrees with a nice breeze. No garden duties this morning scheduled. Terry, my sister and the brother’s g/f are headed out on a walk. We have permission to walk the cart paths on the golf course, there are no sidewalks in this community. I will be using a stairclimber that is now in the house.

No modeling but I did order a 3D pen. I am getting antsy just like I did in November. Terry is in heaven but misses the grandkids. Zoom is good but nothing like being able to hug the g/kids. When we started this adventure I told her I could handle 3 months of the year here, not all at once. She wants to bring a couple of her horses here and I said no. This getting nuts. The daughter and grandkids will be here in May and finish the school year online. The SIL will stay a week. He still thinks the ladies are going to gang up on us, I told him to try to be patient. Be good, be happy, stay healthy.



Well-Known Member
Well, howdy there coffee shop dwellers.

Got my light installed. Fortunately, I already had a run of puck lights in the drop ceiling, so I just needed to add one to the end.

AND, since I still had three of the 4000K pucks left from the 12 pack I installed over the train table, I swapped one other of the older yellower pucks I used in the other half of the basement. So, I won't get much light pollution from odd colors over the work table.

Screen Shot 2021-04-23 at 2.05.17 PM.png

And here's the old fashioned from last night. A shot of simple syrup, three shakes of bitters, and three fingers of whiskey on the rocks.

Screen Shot 2021-04-23 at 2.04.48 PM.png

Texas Hobo

Well Known Hobo
Good Afternoon all! Just bidding some time as I have a curbside to pick up soon. A dreary day, threat of rain increasing as the day wears on.
It is nice to know that everyone here made the right choice and bought cars and trucks that are now in "great demand". The great soffer I got for my Tacoma was about $7000 less than what they are selling for. Profit margin?
A couple three fingers of Scotch for me. Though lately I've been trying some Irish Whiskey. I actually found one from the town my father was born in.



Texas Hobo

Well Known Hobo
McLoed - A man with two buckets of fish was leaving Galveston beach well known for its fishing and was stopped by a game warden. The warden asked the man, "Do you have a license to catch those fish?" (NOTE - Texas requires a license for salt water fishing)
The man replied to the game warden, "No, sir. These are my pet fish."
"Pet fish?!" the warden replied.
"Yes, sir. Every night I take these fish down to this beach and let them swim around for about a half-hour, When I whistle, they all come back, jump back into my buckets, and I take 'em home. We do this every night."
"That's a bunch of hooey," said the warden. "Fish can't do that!"
"No, really! says the man. "Here, I'll show you." And he releases the fish in the ocean.
"Well, I've GOT to see this!" the game warden replied.
The man and the warden stood and waited. After several minutes, the game warden turned to the man and said, "Well?"
"Well, what?" the man asked.
"When are you going to call them back?" the game warden huffs.
"Call who back?" the man asked.
"The FISH."
"What fish?”


Well-Known Member
I'm not the least bit surprised; that spyware and nanny-ware adds a lot to the price!
Because of EPA average mileage requirements , the more V8 pickups Toyota builds here in San Antonio , the more I4 Camrys they have to sell to offset. Basicly every 4 cyl they sell is $40000 pickup they can sell . So they'll raise the price on the V6 to make you buy the I4 if they can.

The other issue is the number of V6 engines available , most of production is allocated for pickups and RAV s.

There could be a second hand market in those things , but I have gotten the same letters for my 2000 Honda Civic, and 06 Reg Cab I4 Tacoma. Personally , I think its just a ploy to get me in the showroom but , it does , seem like those letters come whenever gas gets above $3.

I4 Reg cab 4x2 Tacoma are pretty rare and when gas gets above $3 , a pickup that gets 27 mpg is hard to find . Especially one that hasn't been wrecked. The last time I looked for one , I gave up and bought a new one. Austin / SA no one had one , I would have to wait 1-2 months and pay full retail. A dealer in Houston had 4 on special in Fleet Sales -$1700, same thing with Camrys , you had to take white. You have to be especially careful buying Toyotas , The distibutor can mark those things up $4000 - $5000 just for the hot air inside. I have yet to run into that with Honda (I don't think Honda uses distubutors) .


Well-Known Member
Evening, I got the engines programed and had an older one that didn't run with the other two (same sound system and chip) so good thing I have the Lok programer and found some differences in the motor settings. Made a few changes and now they all run together. Next is to look at photos to see how they weathered.
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