Six Months in Review

It’s been a busy six months for me, full of projects that sometimes only tangentially related to my train hobby. When I look back over the the past six months to take stock of what’s been happening in my life, I’m pleased that I managed to tick so many boxes in such a short time.

Starting in early June, I presented at NERPM and had a great time with friends I don’t see very often. I took a trip to Alaska at the beginning of July, and when I got home, I started a two-summer renovation project to update the landscaping of my property. By August, I had finished a first draft a novel that has been underway for a long time, and in September I started working on the unfinished space in my basement in anticipation of a layout expansion. In October, I presented at the Chicagoland RPM and once again met up with long-distance friends for the weekend. Approaching the end of November, I now have the walls finished and painted in my new layout space, and I’ll be able to put the basement back into a useable state while I finish the last structures for International Paper plant and start planning and building the layout expansion.

Daylight Saving Time ended on November 4th, which approximately coincided with the salting of our roads due to sub-freezing temperatures. My hobby car has been put to bed for the season. The dog gets walked before dinner instead of in the evening. Some days, I feel like my exposure to the sun is about equivalent to what I got between 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. in Alaska, back in July. With the convergence of the dark Canadian winter driving me indoors, and the completion of my cozy new layout space, I anticipate there might be more to share on this blog in the coming months. In the meantime, here’s are some cell phone snapshots of the past six months.

I was honoured to be a part of the excellent lineup of presentations at NERPM in 2018.


Close to midnight in Alaska, July 2018.




By August, the brand new concrete patio was in place next to the posts for the new deck in my backyard. They looked like some kind of minimalist sculpture garden at this point.


As much as I hated to be inside, the framing for the basement reno needed to get done in September.


Davin Heinbuck invited me to join a group of his friends to operate his beautiful Santa Fe Slaton Subdivision layout in September.


I’ve made it abundantly clear on Facebook that I really hate drywalling. The basement renovation proceeded slowly through the fall.


Chicago is one of my favourite American cities, full of possibilities for cultural experiences. It’s too bad that when when I travel there for the Chicagoland RPM, I never have time to take in more than the train stuff.


Chicagoland RPM was great fun, as usual. I got to hang out with some good friends and got caught up in some Hallowe’en shenanigans with by buddy Aaron Gjermundson.


There were so many fantastic vendors, presentations, and models on display at Chicagoland. It was an honour to present at the event.


I got to tear around in my Mopar hobby car one last time in early November.


With November drawing to a close, Juno is finally able to do a thorough inspection of the basement renovation. Pro tip: Behr Arctic Blue is a great colour for backdrops, registering very close to a neutral grey and useful for getting a proper daylight reading with a digital camera.

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