Running Bear's March 2022 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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Same Ol' Buzzard
Good Morning All. Clear and 44° in this part of the world. Mid-60's today and tomorrow but the stiff NW winds will continue and overnight temperatures will be in the mid-30's. Near 80° Friday and Saturday, upper 80's beginning Sunday.

Retirement was the best move that I ever made. I planned on doing it earlier but the retirement account took a massive hit during the early Obama years. I ended up waiting until I was 63. I spent years stocking up on model RR supplies and equipment prior to retiring. Lived three years on retirement savings before I started taking SS, and made up the previous living expenses (plus a lot more) when I started self-managing the retirement accounts. Haven't had a house payment since 1995 and I pay cash for everything. The only debt that I have is the monthly AMEX bill which I pay off immediately to avoid interest. I do seem to have less time to do stuff now, but medical visits have increased for both of us dramatically in recent years. Like many others, I never looked back.

Thanks to all who commented on or reacted to the General Store photos yesterday; Guy, Troy, James, Steve J, Hughie, Chad, Gary, Patrick, Tom O, Mikey, Dave B, Lee, Louis, Joe, IB Ken, George, Curt, Tom, Rick, OB Ken.

I eventually made it out to the train shed yesterday, after dealing with some housework. Pretty much the same stuff out there that I have been doing lately. I ran a couple of trains interspersed with some more minor ground cover work. I also populated the sidewalk in front of another structure. First here is the one that I didn't show yesterday because the pictures were blurry.
Before - the recently built Walther's structure.

After with a few patrons.



Then I picked out a Smalltown USA structure from the town of Charlottesville.


Troy - Yes indeed, tornadoes are serious business here. Monday evening's event is the second closest one to here , the closest was about 30 years ago when one touched down less than a mile NE and traveled away from us. We were just getting out of the pool watching it. It bounced up and down without damaging anything in it's path. Another one about six years ago traveled 25 miles over open land without hitting anything, It was three miles south. Despite our luck, they are still a force to be reckoned with.
The walls look good.
Guy - I like the looks of that gas station.
I am going to pick tornadoes over constant snow and cold. Each part of the continent has something; hurricanes along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, wildfires and earthquakes on the left coast, floods in Louisiana, avalanches in the Rockies, snow and tornadoes in the Midwest, etc.
Greg - I would be careful about using an exterminator for the field mice. They will set out poison bait traps and Riley might eat one of the poisoned ones. A barn cat is a better idea.
I agree about the ScaleTrains packaging. It is topnotch.

Still wondering where Karl is???
Everybody have a great day.


Living in Dreamland; not the Dream
Good Morning!
I'm headed to the city so the wife can throw hard earned money out the window. She wants a new couch/sofa set.
I've told her what she does is her own business. She gets the living room; I get the train room.

Here's some photos from a walk yesterday. This lone GP38-2 was just sitting there not doing much. Seems a-bit out of place, as SSR is a Saskatchewan short line.
SSR 2237_GP38-2W_03-22-2022 (1).jpg

SSR 2237_GP38-2W_03-22-2022 (2).jpg

SSR 2237_GP38-2W_03-22-2022 (3).jpg

Crappy photos in my opinion. I need to start packing my good camera, instead of the pocket one.

I also miss Karl's daily 'Good Mornings'. Hope he's ok.

Gotta go watch a few grand get thrown into the ditch. Have a good one!


Snarky Old Fart (in training)
Well, Howdy there internet people.

Please excuse my post this morning. I've got a Sad.

Just learned of a friend's passing. He went in for a pacemaker install yesterday and didn't come out.

We'll just go with Bob as his name. Bob and I got to know each other working for a chap named Rupert from the reality survival show. You know, the hairy-scary caveman from the pirate season (and others).

When Rupert ran for gov of Indiana, I was his media director. And Bob was the guy driving the RV (class A) all over the state for us. And working the booth. And whatever else needed to be done. Heck of guy, Bob was. We both carried over after the election (Rupert didn't win) into the Rupert's Kid's charity. I did pics and media stuff. Bob did whatever needed to be done. A lot of driving Rupert to events, running the booths, etc.

And, being a type 2 diabetic, Bob always had a Pepsi in the cup holder when he drove. Silly Bob. His wife would scold him before we left with the big RV, and at the first rest stop/gas station, etc, Bob would come out with his Pepsi.

I didn't do much with Bob the last several years, since we moved away (out to LA for four years). Now we're in the other end of the state from them. But I'll miss Bob, and his Pepsis.

In addition to making a donation to Rupert's kids in Bob's memory, I feel like I need to order a Pepsi car for my fledgling fleet. Anyone got a favorite I should look at for the transition era? (1950s-60s)?


Well-Known Member
Iron Horseman: I was an AIX administrator years ago. Wrote several c-shell scripts along the way, then the company decided to go with Novell, which I became a certified engineer through version 4 until Windows became popular. I think I originally got my position here due to at least know what Novell was even after 18 years since I last used it.

hey, I worked for Novell (but only in the WordPerfect department, after the merger)... The university I was at used Novell... Making me feel young.


Well-Known Member
Good morning.Troy so sorry to read the passing of your friend.

Texas and the tornados. Glad you are and the property are fine WILLIE. I was in 5th or 6th grade heading home in the school parking lot, yes we walked about 1/2 mile, when the nuns started screaming. Looked up and saw the ugliest, scariest thing in my life up to that time. A twister in the sky, it seemed massive but no idea if they did the EF ratings back then, 1964 or 65?

The son’s g/f he said was pretty shook watching the debris scatter from the Round Rock, Texas tornado. Its the one they were showing the guy recording it and screaming in the Walmart parking lot. She did’t see the funnel, she doesn’t think, just stuff flying in a whirling motion in the sky from her back deck. I asked why she was outside!

Have a lab, last minute decision, at 11 this morning. Non-fasting. The Endocrinologist wants to check how the med changes are working after a month. I have packed my pill cutter just in case for the trip. I am ready. The carry on is plenty big for me as I have clothes in Texas waiting for me.

No grocery trip for today or tomorrow. The son plans to be here around noon tomorrow but will call on the landing approach. By time he lands and checks in at the FBO I will be there to pick him up. it’s about a 15 minute drive now that I know how to avoid the highway driving.

Enjoy the day


Well-Known Member
Good afternoon all,

Flo - I will take a cup of coffee and some coconut cream pie.

It is a mild early spring day, there is a fresh coat of snow on the ground, may be gone by suppertime. Good to hear members got missed by all the tornado activity.

Steve - We have gray and red squirrels. The red ones are tiny but ferocious, if they are around the gray's run. We named the red squirrels "little reddy". I think we have several but we call them all the same name. Since we don't have a cat now our excess love goes out to little reddy.

Hughie - look forward to the completion of TJ Reilly

McLeod - Fancy Women? You mean like the ones that want a new sofa set? 😉😉

Willie - nice looking scenes, the color seems better or something different, did you get a new camera?

Lee - you have a very nice collection of trucks and trains

Retirement - more on this topic. I was self employed from 1982 to 2012 so did not even think of retirement. Had many vacations, multiple trips to the Boundary Waters Wilderness many years, trips out west, you name it. But the aftermath of the 2008 crash just about sunk us, had to go to work for wages. That was hard to swallow.

Also had house paid off, all machinery paid off, everything; but when demand stopped so did income. Must say that it turned out ok but we had some very stressful times. This job does provide some satisfaction, however, as I get to pay people for our road work. The project we are on now, I am paying out over $150,000 (of taxpayer money) to landowners inconvenienced by our road work. Not only do I meet and interact with lots of people, but I also get to see some satisfaction.

Here is another shot of my CNW locomotive pair. These are as they came out of the box, except a little soot by the vents: That is a super tree in the immediate background:

landscape1 005.JPG

more later, Dave LASM


Well-Known Member
I got a new laptop recently, completely wiped the hard drive and then did a fresh install of Windows 11 on it.
Last year I upgraded too Window 10 pro. It wasn't easy, it would not install. I went through 10 computer experts without any sucess. Then finally about the eleventh expert, the real expert told me what I needed to do, and I finally got it installed. Thank God for that guy.


Section Hand
Get yourself an outdoor barn cat.....problem solved. They do a heck of a job!

Two different neighbors have cats that they let roam at night and the spent a lot of time in our yard. One problem is our rear yard is left in a wooded and wild state so it's a home for mice. The other is Cathy's bird feeding and the amount of seed that is spilled on the ground by the birds and the deer.

A terminator is our next step.
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Section Hand
Try to figure out the insurance issues before you retire.

How so very true about health insurance after you retire. Plan ahead.

I started a health isnruance fund well before I retired to use to pay for our health insurance when I retired. I used COBRA ($1,800/month) for 18 months and then extended the coverage. I was 62 1/2 when I retired. But, Cathy is seven years younger then myself and once I went on Medicare, her individual insurance was in the range of $1,100/month, a big sum to carry for all those years until she when on Medicare.

We used an insurance broker for our health coverage and he saved us money and found us excellent plans.

I exhausted my insurance fund and had to use other retirement funds to cover the insurance expenses.

Even on Medicare, the supplement insurance, dental and RX coverage adds to the monthly Medicare premiums. More health insurance costs that will be there for your lifetime.

PRR Modeler

Well-Known Member
Afternoon All,

Started out at the book fair set up. After finishing that around 1230 I went to harbor freight and picked up batteries and a tarp. We're prepped now for Hurricane Season (or as much as we can be at this point). After lunch I put together a Laser Kit interlocking machine and painted it. I don't know if the boss will require me tomorrow or Friday to go back to the school because it's just class walkthrough with sales starting on Monday. I will say Scholastic says they're having problems receiving stock and what they dropped off was about 30% less than normal.

Guy- Nice photo.

Lee- Nice assortment of vehicles and I really like the milk cars.

Smudge- Nice looking kit.

Dave- Nice looking diesels.

I hope everyone has a good night.


Well-Known Member
I don't comment very often but read this forum at least twice a day. I'm 88 years of age, and not sure when I retired. I'm retired, disabled US Army, spent 22+ years in the Army which took care of my medical insurance for the rest of my life. There was a period when my medical insurance cost $240.00 per YEAR!! But when I turned 65 that cost went away. After retiring in 1974 from the Army, I worked for some companies and then in 1990 went in business for myself until 2009 when my wife of 50+ years had dementia and her care of course was more important to me than any $$ that my clients might pay me so I guess that is probably when I retired.


Grandson of ALCO Bldr
I don't comment very often but read this forum at least twice a day. I'm 88 years of age, and not sure when I retired. I'm retired, disabled US Army, spent 22+ years in the Army which took care of my medical insurance for the rest of my life. There was a period when my medical insurance cost $240.00 per YEAR!! But when I turned 65 that cost went away. After retiring in 1974 from the Army, I worked for some companies and then in 1990 went in business for myself until 2009 when my wife of 50+ years had dementia and her care of course was more important to me than any $$ that my clients might pay me so I guess that is probably when I retired.
Thank you for your service to our country. God Bless you!🇺🇸


Alien Attitude.

Another round of DHS meetings. 6 hours on a web call before they come out next week. On one hand I know as well as they do what we should be doing, on the other money is an object. They are surprised at what we're doing with what we have. The security updates the powers that be think we need are going to cost a mint.

We'll see tonight whether a backup can start again on a virtual server that decided it didn't want to work.

LesterL: Thank you for your service.


Well-Known Member
Once again, I failed to hit "Post Reply". This was written 4 hours ago!
Good Morning All. Welcome to the first day of Spring. Clear and 51°, probably reaching 80° later today. Yesterday was only 76°, tomorrow 100% chance of thundershowers and just 65°. Cooler Tuesday and then a return to normal springlike conditions. The garden would love to have rain tomorrow, as would all of the trees that are just waiting to bud out.

Made the trip to North Dallas yesterday, to return the other granddog and retrieve my wife. Saturday afternoon driving in Dallas was somewhat stressful as there sure seemed to be a whole lot of idiots out and about. On the way home, there was an accident northbound on IH 35 right at the exit we normally take. The backup was over 15 miles since it is preceded by a bridge where there are no service roads to route traffic onto. Knowing ahead of time that it was there, I was able to take an alternate route that is only a half mile longer but with lower speed limits. The upcoming rebuild of IH 35 will be adding those service roads, but it hasn't started and will take many years to complete. They are already removing buildings and relocating utilities along the right of way already. Going from four lanes to eight lanes with all service roads flying over cross streets. The whole project is 50 miles from Denton TX to the Oklahoma border.

Thanks for all of the likes and comments regarding yesterday's loco power pictures; Smudge, Lee, Patrick, OB Ken, George, Tom O, Gary, Steve J, Mikey, Hughie, Greg, Tom, IB Ken, Curt, Louis, Rick, Guy, Sherrel, Tom H, Chad, Joe.

Another busy day yesterday cut into train shed time. I broke a smoke jack on a caboose as I moved it to the other end of a train in the single-ended staging yard. It is a cheapo Bachmann caboose from 30 years ago that I have removed the truck mounted couplers,added Kadee coupler boxes and couplers, installed metal wheels and styrene glazing. Just went to the stash of smoke jacks for a new one, trimmed and installed it.
Let's see if I have any motive power pictures left to post.
I have a couple of high horsepower Athearn Genesis F45's.
View attachment 143251
View attachment 143252
View attachment 143253
The trailing one is actually an FP45 with passenger livery, but that actually carried over a bit into my era.
View attachment 143254

Todd - Mountain goats is what they looked like, but what are they doing on top of the CP loco???
Tom O - The change in travel plans is interesting. Hope that you have some time to spend in Nashville. Scenery will be quite different than driving. Does the g/f not like riding in the new truck that uncle gifted your son?
Tom -

Thanks. I run DC only so no advanced consisting is possible. However I only run like power from the same manufacturer with one another and they are all pretty well matched.
Louis - I wasn't insinuating that there was anything wrong with imitation crab meat. Since I never had anything other than a blend, I cannot really compare. I like to eat all forms of salt water creatures, but I don't really like fresh water fish like catfish or crappie.
Lee - Loved the car wreck pictures yesterday. Gives me an idea that I might incorporate on my layout.
Curt - You're correct in labeling the CF7's as ugly. They were always known as ugly ducklings to ATSF railfans around here.
Chad - I no longer start my own tomato plants. I did for many years when I was feeding three kids and I was planting 120-145 tomato plants every year. I started them in mid-January here for setting out in the last week of March. I have since dismantled my greenhouse as well. Since I now only plant ~60 plants a season, I purchase them from my local nursery/seed/feed store. They mainly carry the small six-packs of plants and carry the same heirloom varieties that I used to grow, Ritgers, Purple Cherokee and Black Krim. They also carry Early Girl, Celebrity and other early season varieties that do well in my soil.

Let's get this day started - It's now up to 59° and totally calm Everybody have a great day and stay safe. Time to use your sunscreen.
hmmm, waiting to go West? Can you imagine being the train crew -- should we stay, or should we go ... another hmmm... somebody's tune right?

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
hey, I worked for Novell (but only in the WordPerfect department, after the merger)... The university I was at used Novell... Making me feel young.
Been there too. Before the OS/2 and NT we used Novell. I took all the CNE classes & certificate stuff. We had special 1000 user licenses, that I think were unique to us. In my opinion it was a better server than NT, but when most of the IT people live in Bellevue Washington it was too hard to fight the Microsoft influence. Many spouses of our folks worked there.
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