Monthly Archives: February 2012

Marklin 3 rail HO/OO turnout…

…a junk box freebie, a pair were given to me because they were missing parts. Eager to get them working again, I’d give them an occasional stern look or two for the next 5 years.

Overcome with a mechanical epiphany two nights ago, I immediately assaulted a variety of wires and springs in my parts bins. After flaying the entrails of several paperclips closing in on a working cure, I came up with this…


Once installed, it looked like this…


Don’t ask for measurements…if you want one, I’ll bend it out for you and you can play from there.

“It’s a boy…”

She was sixteen when she found out she was pregnant by a man 5 years older than her.

Now, barely 17, she lay in a maternity ward, as labor–a breach birth trying to come out shoulder first–went into its sixty fifth hour.

The doctor, an old family friend and a devout man, was at a loss for what to do. The strain of labor was killing the mother and the techniques and technology of the day left few options. He spent the remainder of the night in the hospital chapel, on his knees in prayer, begging God for an answer his own skills could not provide.

At 8:00 a.m. the next morning, he arose from that altar, at peace with God but resolved to having to kill the baby to save the young mother’s life. He simply believed there was no other recourse as he walked down the hall and stepped into the room. By then though, the baby, a boy, had straightened out and was quickly delivered at around 8:30 a.m., one month premature and with obvious signs of a brain hemorrhage showing up in his left eye.

In critical condition for some time, he spent his first month in an incubator, a fairly new medical instrument then. The learning curve included the possibility of the baby being blinded by too much oxygen in the machine. After leaving the hospital and for the next few months, the boy was nursed back to health by a doting grandmother while her daughter-in-law recovered from the trauma of labor.

The young mother went on to have 4 more children, one boy, three girls–including the boy’s Irish twin sister born 11 months after that first traumatic labor–, before the mother was called home by the Lord 2 years ago.

That boy was me, 52 years ago, on February 20, 1960…

Matthew 10:24-31

The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Oh, that we may have grace every one of us to flee to Christ! There is our only safety. Simple faith in Jesus is the basis for the character which will evidence at last that you are chosen of God. A simple belief in the merit of the Lord Jesus, wrought in us by the Holy Ghost, is the rocky foundation upon which shall be built up, by the same divine hands, the character which shall evidence that the kingdom was prepared for us from before the foundations of the world. God work in us such a character, for Christ’s sake. Amen.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled “The Great Assize,” delivered August 25, 1872.

Alco Models HO scale Union Pacific ALCO C-855…

…well…the drive train anyway, part of a recent box load of ancient HO history…


Included were these two Lindsay “Teaspoon of Power” drives, the L-140 HO gauge 4 wheel power unit with flywheel and the L-142 single end motor. The little boogers are rated for 1.5 amps, enough to fry three of anything offered today. The L-140 has an ingenious design that allows it to extend its wheelbase .170″ to fit a variety of models. The gear box simply slides along the long end where the flywheel is, then locks in place with a set screw. The flywheel can also be flipped to make for more room as needed.