Running Bear's January 2022 Coffee Shop

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TLOC

Well-Known Member
Good morning from Wisconsin. It’s cold but they are saying overnight will warm instead of overnight wind chills of -25 to 30f degrees the low maybe -10 wind chill. The minus 20s wind chill still will happen this afternoon.

Being retired generally is nice but being stuck because of the nasty wind chills and the super spread of this Covid variant is getting challenging. I need to get out and no matter how warm I would dress today, something will be cold anyway and uncomfortable.

Enjoy your day
TomO
 

OBTC 1909

Well-Known Member
Good morning all.

After running a fever most all day yesterday, am glad to report now feeling better. Never had the energy to tackle the wiring jobs - - hopefully today.

Cold, here in 'sota. Temp was 9 below 0 when I took the dogs out at 0500, now at 0830, a chill -15F! But this too, shall pass (Gandalf notwithstanding).
Glad to hear you're feeling a bit better. Hope you continue on the upward swing.
 

troyphoto

Snarky Old Fart (in training)
Well, howdy there internet MRR people, and those who ride busses on Jazz's layouts.

It's Troy again.

Heading to Costco after Lunch. Anyone need anything? Remember, I've only got a Camry. Nothing huge.

We've passed the first of the year, and I need to get my new hearing aids ordered. Had a test in Nov, after my wife asked me "are your hearing aids in?"

"Yes dear..."

"Well, go get those checked."

So I did, old ones are reprogrammed, and the tech made notes in my file so I don't have to see him again. Just order at the desk. Had to wait until after Jan 1 so the medical flex payment card could be refreshed to match our budget for this year.

Also, waiting to hear from spousal unit if I'm supposed to go get her for the weekend... She told me on Tues that MIL is doing much better with her insulin pump, and a good test will be to see how she does when my wife isn't there to lean on.

So, if she does come home for the weekend, lots of eating out in our future. I better spend some time on the treadmill today and tomorrow to work off those calories I'm about to consume.
 

Boris

Beach Bum
What I am not happy about is seeing so many people investing in healthcare, only to see some of the the money used to pay dividends for healthcare stock holders. Or seeing my tax dollars go to waste on people having no choice other than to show up in emergency rooms for care. Or worse yet seeing the elderly having to work part time jobs to pay for prescriptions.
Louis: Insurance, is a hidden tax. Tax because the insurance companies lobby very hard to mandate that consumers Buy their product. For example, Mandatory No Fault (which only applies to medical expense control, and taking away your right to recover damages in court). Original Obama Care, which mandated purchasing health insurance. Most mortgages have clauses requiring that the Mortgagee purchase Home owners insurance, to protect the lenders interests...frequently, the lender is an insurance company, or has a subsidiary agency. Insurance is rated on "risk", that is the likelihood that they will have to actually pay a claim...

My wife and I are fully covered by Medicare, and Plan F supplement, (which carries a rather hefty monthly premium, considering the coverage is generally limited to the 20% that Medicare does not pay, plus the annual deductibles. 2020, was the only year since I have been on Medicare, that that my claims exceeded my premium. (The wife's claims during the time she was receiving Infusion treatments for her RA, also exceeded her premiums for a couple of years). In general, I'm not getting back what I paid in, but having this coverage, reduces my financial risk sufficiently to justify paying the continued premiums. Prescription coverage is a rats nest though. Even with Insurance, I / we pay a hefty deductible and out of pocket for just three medicines, the remaining generics are so cheap that they cost less than the minimum cost at a preferred pharmacy. But in reality, I am paying 100% of the wholesale price for these cheap meds. The wife's next month cost for her RA drug will be $1500. + for #30 pills. After that, the monthly price will gradually drop to $100./mo. This assures that February will be a negative cash flow month, for us.

I might note here, that both my supplement and Prescription plan are union plans. Had I remained in a management position, the company retirement medical coverage would be one of the restrictive Part C managed care plans, with co pays and deductibles, in addition to a monthly cost sharing premium. I could also buy a plan on the open market, but that will cost even more in premiums....

This healthcare cost takes a considerable percentage of my monthly income, and FWIW, I'm thankful I can do this, but how is someone who is raising a family, but only making $16.00 / hour going to manage this cost? eh?
 

Boris

Beach Bum
All the construction jobs I worked on paid double time for holiday work. Only occasionally did we work on holidays. When I worked on the RR all the holiday passenger jobs were scheduled as round trips. If you had less then 15 years seniority you worked 4 of these round trips getting a day's pay for each. I worked every 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas etc. never having any of them off being one of the reasons I left the railroad.
Went back to the construction industry's seven-hour day except when we were changing out the turbines at Indian Point Nuclear Plant which was 12 hours a day 7 days a week. I only lasted 2 weeks on that job. I told them I want out of here.
George
I dare say that Railroad employment, either at the agreement or non agreement level, is a career occupation. Most positions are skilled or professional. Yet, there are responsible, professional occupations that do not receive "paid" holidays, even under today's agreements. When I left in 2008, Locomotive Engineers and Conductors did not have sick days...an arbitrator, determined we would abuse the privilege". We did get the right to single vacation days for personal business, doctors visits etc, but they had to have advanced approval, and were limited by terminal...one had to go through the Union Rep, to beg for the day on your behalf. Railroads also have an "Attendance Policy" which limits one to four mark offs each month, regardless of reason, no matter how many starts in a month... Note: six and seven day assignments are still common on some railroads, at all levels. NS, for instance still requires even high level managers to call in to their office daily, while on vacation, to insure, their services are not needed that day.
 

santafewillie

Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. Mostly cloudy and 22° out there this morning. It will only warm up to 36° today. 16° tonight before getting into the mid-40's tomorrow. I may just have to borrow a toque from Guy today.

Weekly grocery trek today, let's see how much higher the prices are this week!

OK, let me chime in on this health care and work benefits fiasco. Others may feel differently but I look at health care and time off from a job as benefits that persons should use to better their positions in life. There's plenty of jobs that offer at least partially paid insurance out there and at least in my experience there's also many that offer paid time off as well. Being in management, gave me better time off benefits than hourly factory workers, but our insurance coverage was always the same. We all paid about 25% of the cost with the company picking up the other 75%. That seemed to be pretty standard among my friends, none of whom worked "entry level jobs". You could choose to use it or not. Smart people used it rather than losing a day's pay sitting at the emergency room every time they or their spouses/kids got sick. I paid nothing for the birth of any of my kids for example, but fortunately never really needed it for any thing more serious than routine doctor visits.
Most companies that I was familiar with, mine included, gave all employees 8-10 paid holidays a year, provided that you worked the day before and the day after. We got 10. Even hourly employees at our company got a weeks paid vacation after 90 days, and two weeks after two years. However they only got unpaid medical leave. They could retroactively use vacation days. Management got varying paid vacation depending on your length of service. In my case after 15 years I received four weeks, the maximum, and I also got two weeks of paid medical leave a year. All of this leads back to what I wrote about bettering your position in life. That was an impetus in me moving up to management, that and the higher salary although that was without overtime. So the perception that Americans are being screwed does not "hold water" to me. I am not too sure of the information that you guys from across the pond have about our time off here. That web page that Chad has been posting tells a lot.

Thanks for all of the likes and comments regarding yesterday's progress report; Dave B, Joe, Gary, Karl, Steve J, Louis, Patrick, Hughie, OB Ken, Sherrel, Curt, Rick, Tom, Mikey, Tom O.

I did spend some time out in the train shed yesterday, but not as much as I wanted. The only thing I did on the Antiques Barn was another coat of dull coat. However elsewhere on the layout, I finished painting the spur tracks to the brewery and the other industries in the area. I also ballasted another 30" of track. I took no pictures as it's rather mundane right now. Chances are unlikely that I will even venture out there today for any real modeling, but I might run trains. I need to remember to order another heater for out there, as one of the two just isn't meant to heat anything larger than a small bathroom.
I did take a few pictures earlier in the week of my village of Jamestown. This is a town mainly of laser-cut wood structures that greets visitors as soon as you enter the train shed. Last week I showed a few pictures of Uncle Tony's Wholesale Meats. To put it in perspective, I took some overhead shots of the whole peninsula.
IMG_0201.JPG

IMG_0200.JPG

That is LaBosky's Motorcycle Repair to the left, and Jack's Back Yard across the road.
IMG_7414.JPG

10-07-20 003.JPG

IMG_0204.JPG

IMG_0202.JPG


Curt - Yes I do intend to weather the roof as well as some light weathering around the base of the structure.
Louis -
How many elderly people have you seen working in what you call starter jobs?
More than you might think. Some because of health insurance, although they tend to be in the 55-65 age range. I have a buddy who always did well over the years, but he mostly got paid "off the books". Rather than save back when the going was good, he mistakenly thought that SS would take care of many expenses. Wrong!!! Maybe ten years ago, he started looking at those statements regarding his expected income and had a rude awakening. That $300/month wasn't going to go far. He changed habits, saving and declaring income, but it was a little bit late and as a result he is still having to work at age 73 today, although it is not a minimum wage job.
Tom O - Many days, I would rather bag my own groceries myself. Because of the time/distance that I have to drive home, I want cold stuff bagged together to go into the cooler. Surprising how many baggers cannot follow that simple request. Canned goods do not go into a bag with sour cream and butter!

Everybody have a wonderful day.
 

logandsawman

Well-Known Member
Good morning all,
It is up to -18, started out at -21f.

Flo - I will take the wheat chex again. I hope that box is almost empty!
Don't forget the hot Italian roast.

At this point in my life, I am thankful for an office job with days off.

When I hear the girls complain, I think back to my 9 months in the oil field (Bakken). I will take the adverse effects of that to the grave with me.


I see Willie got in before, more nice pics, Willie!
Have a great day

Dave LASM
 

NYC_George

Well-Known Member
I dare say that Railroad employment, either at the agreement or non agreement level, is a career occupation. Most positions are skilled or professional. Yet, there are responsible, professional occupations that do not receive "paid" holidays, even under today's agreements. When I left in 2008, Locomotive Engineers and Conductors did not have sick days...an arbitrator, determined we would abuse the privilege". We did get the right to single vacation days for personal business, doctors visits etc, but they had to have advanced approval, and were limited by terminal...one had to go through the Union Rep, to beg for the day on your behalf. Railroads also have an "Attendance Policy" which limits one to four mark offs each month, regardless of reason, no matter how many starts in a month... Note: six and seven day assignments are still common on some railroads, at all levels. NS, for instance still requires even high level managers to call in to their office daily, while on vacation, to insure, their services are not needed that day.
I'm glad I left. That freight I worked back in 1969 was a 16 hour day. You had 8 hours to drive home, go shopping, eat, sleep and be back on the engine at 4 pm to do it all over again. I was new so I didn't have any say. I went to the union and said, you should try to cut down the hours at least safety reasons. They told me people need to make money they have bills to pay. Then I thought I'll see how long I last here? I lasted until 1981.
George
 

TLOC

Well-Known Member
Louis: Insurance, is a hidden tax. Tax because the insurance companies lobby very hard to mandate that consumers Buy their product. For example, Mandatory No Fault (which only applies to medical expense control, and taking away your right to recover damages in court). Original Obama Care, which mandated purchasing health insurance. Most mortgages have clauses requiring that the Mortgagee purchase Home owners insurance, to protect the lenders interests...frequently, the lender is an insurance company, or has a subsidiary agency. Insurance is rated on "risk", that is the likelihood that they will have to actually pay a claim...

My wife and I are fully covered by Medicare, and Plan F supplement, (which carries a rather hefty monthly premium, considering the coverage is generally limited to the 20% that Medicare does not pay, plus the annual deductibles. 2020, was the only year since I have been on Medicare, that that my claims exceeded my premium. (The wife's claims during the time she was receiving Infusion treatments for her RA, also exceeded her premiums for a couple of years). In general, I'm not getting back what I paid in, but having this coverage, reduces my financial risk sufficiently to justify paying the continued premiums. Prescription coverage is a rats nest though. Even with Insurance, I / we pay a hefty deductible and out of pocket for just three medicines, the remaining generics are so cheap that they cost less than the minimum cost at a preferred pharmacy. But in reality, I am paying 100% of the wholesale price for these cheap meds. The wife's next month cost for her RA drug will be $1500. + for #30 pills. After that, the monthly price will gradually drop to $100./mo. This assures that February will be a negative cash flow month, for us.

I might note here, that both my supplement and Prescription plan are union plans. Had I remained in a management position, the company retirement medical coverage would be one of the restrictive Part C managed care plans, with co pays and deductibles, in addition to a monthly cost sharing premium. I could also buy a plan on the open market, but that will cost even more in premiums....

This healthcare cost takes a considerable percentage of my monthly income, and FWIW, I'm thankful I can do this, but how is someone who is raising a family, but only making $16.00 / hour going to manage this cost? eh?
At $16.00 per hour wages you can’t have a family, pay housing, eat and have
medical insurance. That is what is wrong right now. something has to give and generally it’s getting an additional job but still skipping insurance. That is why Emergency Rooms are so popular for people to go into. In most USA states you cannot be refused service. Sad

TomO
 

NYC_George

Well-Known Member
Good Morning All. Mostly cloudy and 22° out there this morning. It will only warm up to 36° today. 16° tonight before getting into the mid-40's tomorrow. I may just have to borrow a toque from Guy today.

Weekly grocery trek today, let's see how much higher the prices are this week!

OK, let me chime in on this health care and work benefits fiasco. Others may feel differently but I look at health care and time off from a job as benefits that persons should use to better their positions in life. There's plenty of jobs that offer at least partially paid insurance out there and at least in my experience there's also many that offer paid time off as well. Being in management, gave me better time off benefits than hourly factory workers, but our insurance coverage was always the same. We all paid about 25% of the cost with the company picking up the other 75%. That seemed to be pretty standard among my friends, none of whom worked "entry level jobs". You could choose to use it or not. Smart people used it rather than losing a day's pay sitting at the emergency room every time they or their spouses/kids got sick. I paid nothing for the birth of any of my kids for example, but fortunately never really needed it for any thing more serious than routine doctor visits.
Most companies that I was familiar with, mine included, gave all employees 8-10 paid holidays a year, provided that you worked the day before and the day after. We got 10. Even hourly employees at our company got a weeks paid vacation after 90 days, and two weeks after two years. However they only got unpaid medical leave. They could retroactively use vacation days. Management got varying paid vacation depending on your length of service. In my case after 15 years I received four weeks, the maximum, and I also got two weeks of paid medical leave a year. All of this leads back to what I wrote about bettering your position in life. That was an impetus in me moving up to management, that and the higher salary although that was without overtime. So the perception that Americans are being screwed does not "hold water" to me. I am not too sure of the information that you guys from across the pond have about our time off here. That web page that Chad has been posting tells a lot.

Thanks for all of the likes and comments regarding yesterday's progress report; Dave B, Joe, Gary, Karl, Steve J, Louis, Patrick, Hughie, OB Ken, Sherrel, Curt, Rick, Tom, Mikey, Tom O.

I did spend some time out in the train shed yesterday, but not as much as I wanted. The only thing I did on the Antiques Barn was another coat of dull coat. However elsewhere on the layout, I finished painting the spur tracks to the brewery and the other industries in the area. I also ballasted another 30" of track. I took no pictures as it's rather mundane right now. Chances are unlikely that I will even venture out there today for any real modeling, but I might run trains. I need to remember to order another heater for out there, as one of the two just isn't meant to heat anything larger than a small bathroom.
I did take a few pictures earlier in the week of my village of Jamestown. This is a town mainly of laser-cut wood structures that greets visitors as soon as you enter the train shed. Last week I showed a few pictures of Uncle Tony's Wholesale Meats. To put it in perspective, I took some overhead shots of the whole peninsula.View attachment 139107
View attachment 139106
That is LaBosky's Motorcycle Repair to the left, and Jack's Back Yard across the road.
View attachment 139109
View attachment 139108
View attachment 139110
View attachment 139111

Curt - Yes I do intend to weather the roof as well as some light weathering around the base of the structure.
Louis -

More than you might think. Some because of health insurance, although they tend to be in the 55-65 age range. I have a buddy who always did well over the years, but he mostly got paid "off the books". Rather than save back when the going was good, he mistakenly thought that SS would take care of many expenses. Wrong!!! Maybe ten years ago, he started looking at those statements regarding his expected income and had a rude awakening. That $300/month wasn't going to go far. He changed habits, saving and declaring income, but it was a little bit late and as a result he is still having to work at age 73 today, although it is not a minimum wage job.
Tom O - Many days, I would rather bag my own groceries myself. Because of the time/distance that I have to drive home, I want cold stuff bagged together to go into the cooler. Surprising how many baggers cannot follow that simple request. Canned goods do not go into a bag with sour cream and butter!

Everybody have a wonderful day.
Where's that cop? I think the guy in the green truck should be getting ticked for crossing the solid road line.
George
 

TLOC

Well-Known Member
Good Morning All. Mostly cloudy and 22° out there this morning. It will only warm up to 36° today. 16° tonight before getting into the mid-40's tomorrow. I may just have to borrow a toque from Guy today.

Weekly grocery trek today, let's see how much higher the prices are this week!

OK, let me chime in on this health care and work benefits fiasco. Others may feel differently but I look at health care and time off from a job as benefits that persons should use to better their positions in life. There's plenty of jobs that offer at least partially paid insurance out there and at least in my experience there's also many that offer paid time off as well. Being in management, gave me better time off benefits than hourly factory workers, but our insurance coverage was always the same. We all paid about 25% of the cost with the company picking up the other 75%. That seemed to be pretty standard among my friends, none of whom worked "entry level jobs". You could choose to use it or not. Smart people used it rather than losing a day's pay sitting at the emergency room every time they or their spouses/kids got sick. I paid nothing for the birth of any of my kids for example, but fortunately never really needed it for any thing more serious than routine doctor visits.
Most companies that I was familiar with, mine included, gave all employees 8-10 paid holidays a year, provided that you worked the day before and the day after. We got 10. Even hourly employees at our company got a weeks paid vacation after 90 days, and two weeks after two years. However they only got unpaid medical leave. They could retroactively use vacation days. Management got varying paid vacation depending on your length of service. In my case after 15 years I received four weeks, the maximum, and I also got two weeks of paid medical leave a year. All of this leads back to what I wrote about bettering your position in life. That was an impetus in me moving up to management, that and the higher salary although that was without overtime. So the perception that Americans are being screwed does not "hold water" to me. I am not too sure of the information that you guys from across the pond have about our time off here. That web page that Chad has been posting tells a lot.

Thanks for all of the likes and comments regarding yesterday's progress report; Dave B, Joe, Gary, Karl, Steve J, Louis, Patrick, Hughie, OB Ken, Sherrel, Curt, Rick, Tom, Mikey, Tom O.

I did spend some time out in the train shed yesterday, but not as much as I wanted. The only thing I did on the Antiques Barn was another coat of dull coat. However elsewhere on the layout, I finished painting the spur tracks to the brewery and the other industries in the area. I also ballasted another 30" of track. I took no pictures as it's rather mundane right now. Chances are unlikely that I will even venture out there today for any real modeling, but I might run trains. I need to remember to order another heater for out there, as one of the two just isn't meant to heat anything larger than a small bathroom.
I did take a few pictures earlier in the week of my village of Jamestown. This is a town mainly of laser-cut wood structures that greets visitors as soon as you enter the train shed. Last week I showed a few pictures of Uncle Tony's Wholesale Meats. To put it in perspective, I took some overhead shots of the whole peninsula.View attachment 139107
View attachment 139106
That is LaBosky's Motorcycle Repair to the left, and Jack's Back Yard across the road.
View attachment 139109
View attachment 139108
View attachment 139110
View attachment 139111

Curt - Yes I do intend to weather the roof as well as some light weathering around the base of the structure.
Louis -

More than you might think. Some because of health insurance, although they tend to be in the 55-65 age range. I have a buddy who always did well over the years, but he mostly got paid "off the books". Rather than save back when the going was good, he mistakenly thought that SS would take care of many expenses. Wrong!!! Maybe ten years ago, he started looking at those statements regarding his expected income and had a rude awakening. That $300/month wasn't going to go far. He changed habits, saving and declaring income, but it was a little bit late and as a result he is still having to work at age 73 today, although it is not a minimum wage job.
Tom O - Many days, I would rather bag my own groceries myself. Because of the time/distance that I have to drive home, I want cold stuff bagged together to go into the cooler. Surprising how many baggers cannot follow that simple request. Canned goods do not go into a bag with sour cream and butter!

Everybody have a wonderful day.
Willie, I don’t mind bagging my own groceries but feel there should be a discount for doing part of the grocer’s job.

I have taken loaves of bread back to customer service after getting home and it was squished by the eggs. I remember when baggers felt great pride in the bags they packed. That seems to have disappeared for the most part.

Unless I have one or 2 items without coupons I avoid self checkout counters as much as possible. Except at our local Home Depot where every checkout count is self check. They do have a clerk watching over like 12 registers.

TomO
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
Good Morning Everyone.....nice and cold here in this part of Wisconsin. It's was a minus -2 degree earlier this morning and I could just feel the wind chill without even going outside. No trains today since I have to work on my Itemized Tax Deductions for my 2021 returns. Nice to see the DOW and S&P with some increases this morning.

I been watching Stephen Bennett's U-Tube videos on the construction of his large model railroad where he uses limited amounts of Woodland Scenics landscape materials, but uses many scenery items from Germany that he orders direct or some from Walther's.

I ordered some materials from Model Scenes from I believe from Germany and I haven't heard anything from them. I need to check my PayPal and see if the transaction was completed and if not call them direct. Too bad my German isn't that great (to say the least) and I don't remember much from my early days with my second generation Grandparents being from German and Prussian parents.

Has anyone on the Forum ordered from Model Scenes? If so, what was your experience?

I think one of the things that sets Bennett's layout out from others is his use of different landscape materials. Bennett has amazing computer interfaces and electrical work. I know you will enjoy watching this video of his layout.


My Scale Trains are due to be delivered in the next few days. I have two Scale Trains museum quality locomotives on order. They are MILW EMD SDL 39's and I wonder how their museum quality models actually look in person and how tehey stake up against my nice Rapido models I already have on the layout.

At my first real job I wasn't paid overtime after 40 hours, nor did I get paid for any Holidays, but used to work the Holidays from Memorial Day to Labor Day, without any premium time, not to mention my hourly rate was $0.95/hour. working 60 hours a week for $57.00, I must be dating myself.

Better get to my tax work.

See ya later!

Greg

#####################

Log Cars.JPG
My poor excuse for pulpwood cars! This is the small yard that I call Pine River.-Greg
 

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
After a morning of listening to investment vehicles, it's time to do some work on the trains. I'm looking for another broker to work with. Fidelty steered me to an account manager to meet the services requirements that I had. I listened to their speel then did some background checking on them. Turns out they had a recent SEC action against them for felony activity on investments. That's the second time Fidelty has steered me wrong at that level. I'm done with them.
I'll start out with replacing the sound unit in my Big Boy so it represents the articulated chuffs. Prolly do some weathering on the new pulp wood cars. It's raining outside today so I'll put off gathering twigs to build the carloads for them.
My friend went back home yesterday. Only got a couple of his locomotives finished. The others, he's just going to have to work on them himself.
Went up to the cigar lounge yesterday afternoon and had a Rocky Patel smoke. For some reason, that was one of the best smokes I've had in a while. Really enjoyed it.
 

Alcomotive

Grandson of ALCO Bldr
After a morning of listening to investment vehicles, it's time to do some work on the trains. I'm looking for another broker to work with. Fidelty steered me to an account manager to meet the services requirements that I had. I listened to their speel then did some background checking on them. Turns out they had a recent SEC action against them for felony activity on investments. That's the second time Fidelty has steered me wrong at that level. I'm done with them.
I'll start out with replacing the sound unit in my Big Boy so it represents the articulated chuffs. Prolly do some weathering on the new pulp wood cars. It's raining outside today so I'll put off gathering twigs to build the carloads for them.
My friend went back home yesterday. Only got a couple of his locomotives finished. The others, he's just going to have to work on them himself.
Went up to the cigar lounge yesterday afternoon and had a Rocky Patel smoke. For some reason, that was one of the best smokes I've had in a while. Really enjoyed it.
Ken,

Take a look at Ameriprise....or even Vanguard. I had Fidelity as well and left them 3 years ago.
 
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