So, I was updating my website the other day. It’s a basic, self-maintained, technologically-obsolete place that I use to display my train photos. You know, railfan stuff? (For the Brits: trainspotting pictures…) There’s a section there all about my model railroad. And in that section there’s an index page. And on the index page is… well, a collection of short ramblings.
Kinda like a blog section, but… shorter. Like I said.
Well, as Gru would say: “Light bulb.” If it’s a-gonna act like a blog, then by gums it oughta BE a blog.
Which brings us to this. This, being the screen you’re reading at the moment, dear readers. (See how I pluralized that? I have great faith that at least two people will eventually read this!) This is the inaugural entry for my blog. A blog about model trains and possibly the big ones too. I guess it depends on how I’m feeling on whatever future day I sit down to write about this stuff.
As with any good project, it’s good to have a think at the get-go about scope. After all, if the Hubble guys had had a better approach up front, maybe their scope would not have required corrective lenses. I want to see everything 20:20 before I launch this sucker! Focus, end-user! So, here’s a shot at describing scope.
See? That was easy!
Now, on to the Mission Statement.
“A model railroad in every basement or garage”
(Dang, I’m knocking ’em out of the park like the Cubbies today.)
Well, if it worked for Bill Gates with computers, why not for miniature railroad enthusiasts?
… but then, speaking of Brits and trainspotting, I have a thought about that movie, The Railway Man. You know, the one with Colin Firth? Excellent show, but there’s a cautionary tale if I ever saw one. If you haven’t seen it, the basic idea is this: You have this nice young feller / bloke in His Majesty’s Army, who is a self-described railway enthusiast. (It’s a true story, more or less). He has the bad luck to be captured at Singapore by the Imperial Japanese. He’s herded off to captivity, but he ends up with a relatively-unbrutalized job as a POW. All until his railway enthusiasm gets the best of him. Here’s a suggestion: if you’re ever a POW, don’t ask too many questions about the local rail lines and then draw a MAP about it! They might misunderstand your intent. When they do, and the Japanese did, that whole unbrutalized situation can turn around fast. Yep, the Railway Man became brutalized, extensively. Bad luck, indeed.
And why am I bringing that up? Because it’s like this. We model railroaders / train enthusiasts / railfans / foamers are not a well-understood species by the populace at large. You may have noticed this yourself. A few people might be mildly interested in your obsession, but most will stand at a distance and roll their eyes and mock. Your mission is to recognize the glazed look in their eyes and move on. Trying too hard to infect them with your flanged-wheel zeal could get you waterboarded. Just saying. It happened to Colin Firth, and you’re no better than he is.