Thursday, 31 May 2018

Club Meeting 27 May 2018

Peter Foden warthog@waterfront.net.au

28 May (3 days ago)
to TonySimonRodPaulMartinJudyJackHelenGregGrantGeorgeGeoffmeDerekDavidDavidDaleChristineBarrieAllanAlan
Hi All

The walking wounded are starting to return.  Geoff the Pres was there again, still with piratical patch over one eye but much happier in spirit than a week ago.  Alan, too, now allowed out on his own and looking much better than he has done for quite some time.

I had taken steps to enact plan B for the three-way point, mounting the recalcitrant motor on its own base which had oversize mounting holes to make for easy adjustment.  I mounted it and, naturally, it worked straight away with no further adjustment.  Having totally failed to understand Derek's wiring diagram, I abandoned the point and switched from the digital side of modelling to the analogue.  That is, from things that either work, or they don't, to things that are a matter of opinion - scenery.  In my case, the Stanley Creek yard.  In Dale's case it was anything but the paddock around the shearing shed.  Later there were, as George described them, six cooks gathered around that particular broth trying to find excuses for a creek to disappear.



                                     'Twas a Working Day, Obviously

George and Rod, and Alan too, spent the day at Trossingen, busy with polystyrene, bread knife, PVA glue, and (ultimately) the vacuum cleaner.  Martin was probably responsible for a tree that I had not noticed before, growing on the river flat at the bottom of his gorge/canyon/chasm that has been carved by the un-named river near Mousehole.  There are plenty of such features in Devon - often originally spanned by a Brunel wooden fan viaduct - so we need a suitably west country name for that waterway.  Martin, about to join the overseas members group, has also left us with an over-bridge that is wide enough for a tank engine to pass through, provided that no one gives it an extra coat of paint.  

Geoff the Sec has given us remarkably little trouble recently and continued quietly in the same vein, turning white plaster brown(ish), then green(ish), then vegetated(ish) around the Steward region.

We enjoyed Nancy's cake that I shall describe as chocolate sponge, and Geoff the Pres has offered Diane as next week's benefactor.

Next week, being first Sunday of the month, will be a running day, after we get errant scenery scraped off the rails.

See you
Peter

Club Meeting 20 May 2018

Hi All,

Every time that I go out to try to do something in the garden, it starts to rain.  I know when I am beaten, so here I am at the keyboard.

Sunday was one of those days when we at sixes and sevens.  It just depended when you took the roll call.  Geoff the Pres was there, looking very piratical with a big patch over one eye.  Not feeling very jolly, though.  He was trying to decide which was worse - the pain, or the side effects of the pain killers.  We sent him home with Diane and our best wishes.  Best wishes also to Alan who is reported to be making good progress from his operation.  And to Grant, who continues to find excuses for not finishing the church.

Then we were six.  There was a suggestion that we might rename ourselves as the Phillip Island and Overseas Members Club.  Five out of the country at the moment, and another three due to go in the next couple of months.

Of those still marooned on this Island, even George and Rod were away in spirit, working at Trossingen, way back in 1919.  Closer to home, Dale was making life hard for himself, trying to create a creek near the shearing shed.  The hard bit is that creeks have to come from somewhere and go to somewhere.  And water flows downhill.  Above the shed is a double track main line.  Below the shed is a double track main line.  Neither was laid with provision for a creek to pass under them.  My own thought is that the creek could have dried up, and the sheep would be very happy to drink from your typical farm dam.


                                                                   Finally, the Logs Arrive

Martin squeezed a cattle dock onto the short line between Mousehole and the quarry, and Geoff the Sec continued to quietly progress the scenery around Steward.  I checked the 3-way point at Sayer and found that one set of blades works just fine, the other switched in one direction but would not return.  Not admitting defeat, (yet) I had about six attempts at realigning the motor.  By now the baseboard looks to have a severe case of woodworm, borer, or other noxious pest, and the point still does not operate.  Plan B next week.

At smoko I did indeed bring Tim Tams.  Dale has promised us something better for next week.  Thank you, Nancy.  Rod enquired, and Martin gave an update on planning for next year's show.  I quote verbatim: "Visiting layouts that have advised, either verbally or in writing, they will be attending are Grossard Court (HO), Ray Eldridge (Vintage O), Ted Allan (O Narrow Gauge), Shannon Tapia (N American). There are two other layouts that have been invited. One is N Australian and the other HO Narrow Gauge. They are yet to advise if they will be coming. At this stage there are four people requiring accommodation - Ray Eldridge, Ted Allan and Shannon & Krystal Tapia." Just for a change, Bald Mountain will be the biggest layout. In truth, it is quite big.

Hopefully, I will see some of you next week,
Peter

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Club Meeting 13 May 2018

Hi All,

Some days at the Club remind me of Garrison Keillor and "A Prairie Home Companion".  He always used to open his monologue with "It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon...".  On Mothers' Day, it was a quiet day at the Club, with only six diehards in attendance.  Acoustically quiet, too.  Alan still not travelling after his operation, and Judy in Japan, so no one doing the rounds making conversation.  And no Jack.

Rod and George were busy in SW Germany again, with the aim of having all the scenery stuck in place before Derek gets back.  That's so that the layout can be stood on end to make wiring easier.  I did ask George the name of the station.  Foolishly, I thought that I could remember it.  Should have remembered that I have trouble remembering my own name these days.  Forgot that, too.

Dale had brought the finished brick wall to close the glaring white gap at the foot of the backscene behind Stanley Creek yard, and that has much improved the appearance.  He was then joined by Geoff the Pres and they continued to tart up Mousehole.  Geoff the Sec busied himself with planting trees, weeds and undergrowth along the main lines behind Steward and the overall appearance continues to improve.

I had another of those "where is he?" days, hiding beneath Sayer yard fitting Hatton's motors to replace the above board Peco point motors that were not up to driving the 3 way point.  Next week I will power them up, and find out whether I was wasting my time.  If all is well, then I can have another happy upside down afternoon fitting microswitches to them and, perhaps, trying to fathom Derek's wiring diagram of cunning wiring that drives each of two motors the correct way to select the desired track with but a single touch.

No mention of goodies at smoko, 'cos no one brought any.  We also forgot to plan for next week, so I will bring the Tim Tams.

'Til the 20th
Pete

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Club Meeting 6 May 2018

Hi All,

As is commonly the case, numbers were down on our running day. (Do people think that physical exercise is involved?).  Next week we lose another one as Judy heads for Japan, and yet others are planning for warmer climes in the months ahead.  Rod held out until after smoko, finally succumbing to running Percy in SE Germany.  Up to a point, that is.  He finally gave up trying to figure where the gaps had been built in to the track, and declared that it was Derek's job anyway.  Martin, I think, held out all afternoon, planting weeds in his river.  Geoff the Sec, George, Dale and I did clean track, then drive trains.  Geoff the Pres was a couple of bays to the West helping a grandson get older, but was with us in spirit.  

At smoko we skipped any suggestion of a committee meeting, and belatedly celebrated a year's occupation of the Pool Room with the aid of choccie things surmounted by a four candle power train, and delicious (word of the week) little shortbread and cream devices, all organised by Heather.

I do confidently predict that next Sunday is a work day.  I do not predict what form that work will take.   I doubt that it will raise a sweat.

Until the 13th
Peter.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Club Meeting 29 April 2018

Hi all,

Eleven of us gathered around the tea table for a well earned and well catered break.

The well earned bit came from an industrious couple of hours of mostly scenic activity.  Except that Derek ( who, it turns out, had not been near Japan since last year - I must eavesdrop more carefully) spent his time under the bench fighting with the 3-way point at Sayer yard.  I had trouble persuading it to function properly when I installed it.  Even the assistance of Geoff the Pres was not enough, and they gave up the battle at around 4pm.  During Derek's forthcoming absence in Sicily (I think I have it right this time) I will exchange the above board Peco motors for a couple of under board Hatton's units.  Then we shall see how the immovable object deals with the irresistible force.  

The divider between Mousehole and the Stanley Creek yard received some attention.  Dale had brought a tapering brick wall to obscure a startlingly white area and , having proved that it would fit, took it away to finish off.  Geoff the Pres, in between talking with Judy and helping Derek, improved the appearance and security of the edge capping on the divider.   The end no longer reaches out to ensnare the casual passer by.  In the yard itself I continued the broad acre work of laying hard standing, ballast and weeds.

Our shearing shed has been trimmed a little (shorn, I suppose) and lifted a couple of inches to settle into place amidst the snowy white plastic paddocks that have appeared.  A mere wave of Paul's magic static gadget will turn these into swards of green sheep pasture I am sure.    

As usual, to find George or Rod one had to time travel to Baden-W├╝rttemberg.  Martin made the trip when he was engaged as cassette consultant.  David appeared to be out of work at some point, but only briefly.  Geoff the Sec did things around Steward.  

One reason that tea was well catered was the unheralded appearance of Helen with muffins and little square things to add to the cream sponge.  I am not sure who brought the sponge, but it was certainly Rod who took the remains home.  Next week will be catered by Geoff the Sec (really, by Heather).

Next week, first Sunday of the month, will be a running day.  First job, I suspect, will be to scrape all the wayward scenery and glue off the tracks before anything will move.   No suggestions of timetables or schedules that I am aware of, but I think that I will set the Flying Scotsman off on a non-stop run and let all lower forms of life practise hiding in sidings as it comes through.  There is a remote possibility that Geoff the Sec may decide that it is time for a committee meeting.  In case you forgot - every one is on the committee.

Peter

Monday, 23 April 2018

Club Meeting 22 April 2018

Hi All,

The question of "When did we start in here?" came up yesterday.  For some time I had been meaning to look at my old "Notes" to see when we were due for a birthday party, but never quite got around to it.  Geoff the Sec hauled out his trusty smart phone and found a photo of an empty room dated April 9th.  I have just looked up the notes, and they indicate that the room was "ours" on April 2nd, 2017.  So we missed our first birthday.



This was the start, April 2017


Yesterday was totally given over to scenery, not that I am too clear what every one was up to.   David had brought Joyce along, so the backscene around the John Falls area was repaired, and blended into the photo scenes on either side.  Nice work.  At one time I saw Joyce judiciously applying sky blue to the back scene, then I glimpsed sky blue floating along on the other side of the layout.  A closer look revealed that Judy had chosen to wear a sky blue top to club.  It must have rained in the hills behind Mousehole, because water has appeared in the nameless river, supervised by Martin.  Paul paid us one of his flying visits, continuing to develop Port Gary.  Geoff the Sec did things around Steward,  George and Rod time travelled back 100 years to SE Germany and reshaped the terrain.   I reluctantly started to apply ground cover to the Stanley Creek freight yard.  That's a lot of area, and I like my scenery in small doses.   Dale is working up a brick wall to cover the gap between the ground and the back scene in this area.

George told us that he held the recipe book open for Jane while she created ?  He forgot to look at the heading, so I can only identify it as not exactly a sponge cake, filled with, and topped off with, things that had been bought at local markets.  I can confidently say that it was very good.  As usual, we forgot to organise for next week.

If it seems to be a long time since we had a running day, that is in part because this year April has five Sundays.  So next week is still a work day.  Word on Grant is that he is making better progress than the church .

See you on the 29th
Peter

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Club Meeting 15 April 2018

Hi all,

A slight shuffle of the members pack changed some of the faces this week.  No Derek - he is in Japan - but Rod rejoined us, with 4 feet of platform under his arm.  That kept Geoff the Sec quiet all afternoon, working around Steward.  Paul arrived with a container crane/lifter/traverser thing for Port Gary.  Also a visiting tugboat and sailing dinghy that looked quite at home.  George turned up for an unscheduled session.  He had to be around the island this weekend to take delivery of a new fridge.  Which he does not expect to equal the 37 years service that the old fridge gave.  And it turns out that I was in the wrong corner of Germany last week.  Should have been Baden-W├╝rttemberg, not Bavaria.  (Did you like the umlaut?).  Geoff the Pres fixed a point motor that wasn't throwing properly - some operation that involved being under the bench with screwdriver, spare screws, superglue and dedication.  He then went off to join Dale at Mousehole.

This is what we left behind

Dale had news of one of our invisible members, having met Tony on a shopping expedition during the week.  Tony still has other commitments on Sundays, but one of these days.... .  So yes, footpaths and railings going in at Mousehole.  And a road that comes from nowhere, and goes back there.  A solution will be found.  I think that I have finished servicing all the KaDee couplers currently in residence.   Judy decided that the sensible thing to do was to stay home and turn up the heater.  Not silly, that girl.  It must also be said that at the club we are well looked after by the big unit in the corner that kept us at a comfortable 22 degrees.  Unlike the big hall, where the Greek Association were having lunch.  It seems that some one had turned all the aircons to the cooling cycle, which Alan D did not pick as he tried to get the place to warm up.  After they finished their lunch, we had lots of visitors - all very complimentary.  Martin was also particularly welcome this week, as he brought some of Carol's choc chip biscuits.  Also my thanks to anon, who brought buttered slices of fruit cake.  Next week George has promised us something from Jane's repertoire.  
During the week, David Hall and I took the original Grossard Court layout to Wonthaggi, to show to the residents at Rose Lodge.  Those who know about these things (e.g. David and the lady in charge of such things at Rose Lodge) deemed the visit a success.  Not at all welcome was the news that Grant had suffered a minor stroke.  The prognosis is that it will be a few weeks before he is allowed to drive again.  The silver lining is that he will eventually arrive with the church that he has been going to build for a while.  This has been taken on as therapy to improve co-ordination.  Best wishes from us all.

'Til the 22nd,
Peter.