Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fear and Loathing in NJ..

As I write this I'm waiting for the inevitable.. Hurricane Sandy is on her way and this storm promises to make history in NJ, in a very bad way.  We live 1 mile from the water and I don't have good feelings about this. The forecasters say they have never seen a storm like this in history hit NJ like it will.  Hurricanes have always come up the coast parallel to it and never has there been one that has veered sharply left to make a direct hit to our coast.  Add to this that they are predicting the atmospheric pressure to drop to 947 millibars and we could be in for a very bad time over the next 48 hours.  To put this into perspective, the lowest atmospheric pressures ever recorded here has been around 960 millibars.  What this translates to is we're screwed in a big way as far as damaging winds go.  On top of that, they are predicting 6-12 inches of rain.  We lucked out last year with Hurricane Irene.. our half of the development didn't loose power.  The half that did all had flooding in the basements.  This storm will be much worse so I don't think we'll be able to dodge that bullet twice.

I bought the only generator I could get, a small 900 watt one from Harbor Freight.  I bought this Thursday and it was one of the last ones there.  Tonight I find out that a sump pump draws 1200 watts and upwards on start up so basically the generator won't be able to cut it.  So not if, but when we loose power, there's a good chance my basement will get water.

I spent most of yesterday and today getting things off the floor and as high as I can.  I also cut the gaps into the bridge section tracks finally so that I can remove the bridge sections to get to the sump pump.  

The many different computer models of the storm track.  The only common theme is that if you live in NJ, you are F***KED.

I got as many things off the floor as possible and the more valuable items were moved up to the living room.  Also, there was a mandatory evacuation of all beer and scotch from the mini fridge up to the upstairs refrigerator. 

I cut the rails at the bridge section joints so they can be lifted out out.  I had planned to do this at some point.  Sandy forced my hand to do it sooner than later.

Bridge sections removed for easy access to the sump room.  I hope it won't be necessary to get in there.

I hope the forecasters are ultimately wrong and Sandy turns out to sea.  I would like the next pictures I share with you to be more layout progress shots and not disaster cleanup photos.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

This, That, and Some Other Stuff...

I suspect a lot of you are like me when it comes to keeping up with your favorite blogs.. You love it when you sign on and see a new update from your favorite authors.  I know I'm always happy when I see updates from my favorite blogs (see my blog roll located on the right hand side of this blog) and some are updated quite frequently, while others are not. One of the blogs that hasn't been updated in awhile has it's most recent post titled "I Haven't Died".  That was posted 7 months ago.  I'm tempted to leave a comment on his blog and ask "Are you dead now?"  

I feel some obligation to keep my blog updated on a semi regular basis for my readers. But sometimes, like in the past few weeks, I fall behind because of things beyond my control: A few health issues, one serious enough to land me in the hospital overnight, work commitments, and family issues.  I love writing this blog though, and I try hard to keep it updated.  Writing it keeps me motivated to work on the layout, which obviously is a good thing.  So instead of letting it go for another week, I thought I'd update the blog, even if there have only been little things accomplished lately.

There has been some activity modeling wise on my part, but it's been varied.  I've done some work on rebuilding RPO number 34, (Thanks to Dick Bradley on correcting me that this RPO was number 34, not 35) I now have the side walls built with doors and windows installed.  

The new sides for number 34 take shape.

I temporarily put up the last section of bench work for the upper level to see where I have to move the two portable studs needed to hold it up. I'll hopefully get this section up permanently this week so I can lay the last of the roadbed and track on the upper level. 

New section attached temporarily.  With the exception of the fiddle yard that will go on the end of this section, this is the end of the line on the layout.

I laid a little more roadbed (not much), and just in the past two days I've cut all the pieces needed to start building the last 5 turnouts (hopefully) needed for the layout. My friend Dave Ramos had lent me his #6 Fast Tracks jig and he needs it back to rebuild two turnouts in one of his yards.  Needless to say this has lit the proverbial fire under my ass to get the turnouts I need done.

All the parts needed are cut and ready to be built into the last 5 (hopefully) turnouts needed for the layout.

So, I guess you could say sometimes progress can be measured in bits and pieces, and if that's truly the case, I guess I have been making some progress.  But then again, when all else fails, I can always fall back on posting pictures of El Sombrero to fill up some blog space. 

Amy and El Sombrero.. Isn't she cute! ;)

She's gonna kill me. LOL :p