Wednesday, February 27, 2013

February 26 - Visually Blocked

Model trains hide the baseboard and the function of scenery is to hide the trains.

Today several of us went to Martin Cobb's Karpfenbahn to work. I carried out a project I have been thinking about for some time.  In the afternoon jet-lagged John Lobsinger joined me after an excellent lunch at the Swan.  Trains running between Andergosch and Ertzberg leave the yard and traverse a sharp curve.  Narrow gauge trains climb up past a waterfall to run into Upper Ertzberg.  I wanted to make a visual block between Andergosch and the curve and between the curve and Ertzberg.  This would give three distinct scenes and a person standing at the end would see a train emerging from Andergosch and disappearing for Ertzberg (and vice versa).

Many thanks to Larry Lanctot for some of the pictures

The final visual block looking from Andergosch
A number of trees had been "planted" on the curve but they had been placed roughly equidistant from each other.  The first task was to re-plant these so as to create a more open area in the middle of the curve but with trees more closely grouped at either side.

An Andergosch-bound narrow gauge train emerges from the trees.

It was important not to block the view of the waterfall.
A train emerges from the Andergosch direction with a gaily decorated "Sport Wagen".
A standard gauge train from Andergosch is almost hidden in the foliage.
This is the story so far and there is still some work to be done next time on the Ertzberg section. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Saturday 23 February - Garden Railway Meeting

Fred Mills invited everybody to a morning of coffee, snacks and chili.  It was well attended and there was a great demonstration of the new sound systems installed in both steam and diesel locomotives.  Barry Birkett was a welcome out of town guest and he gave us an idea of the plans for his garden railway. Henk recounted the tale of the first breakfast he catered in Canada - without ketchup.

Pat jumped the gun on the chili

The business part of the meeting was mercifully short - people look as if they are dropping off.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sunday 17 February - At the Supermarket Checkout

I went to Metro to get a hot barbequed chicken and a baguette today.  I put the chicken in a bag separate from the rest of the purchases but the sweet young thing at the cash put the baguette in with the chicken where it would be warm.

"I always like my buns warm."

I was at a loss for a reply as she obviously knew what she was saying:

"I'm very happy for you," "Need any help?" or "Sounds like a plan."

Saturday 16 February - Stuck in an Elevator

We went to Veronica's 21st birthday party this evening but Mary thought she had time in the afternoon to walk over to the Library before setting out on the 95 bus to Orleans.  A few minutes after she left the apartment I had a phone call from Gilles, Security downstairs telling me that Mary had phoned to tell him she was stuck in the centre elevator.

I went down to the lobby and Gilles said the elevator was now on B3.  I went down to B3 and banged on the door but could get no response.  Fearing the worst, I raced back to the lobby where the fire truck had just arrived.  Gilles said that the elevator was probably on B2 or it might have gone down to B4.  Three firemen and I went to B2 and banged on the door.  Mary answered back and we explained the situation.

The firemen asked if she had any health issues or whether she is likely to have an anxiety attack.  I responded that she would be alright and would be quite calm.  They took the decision not to force their way in but to wait for the elevator repairman as he could do this without causing any damage.

I explained this through the door. Mary replied "I am reading an ebook but I really wanted to go to the Library today".

The firemen pressed me further:
"What condition will she be in when she gets out, she'll still be calm and collected?"
"Yes, she will walk out quite calmly but she will be really p---ed off because there will not be enough time to go to the Library."

One fireman went back up to the lobby but the other two waited with me on B2.  They were consummate professionals.  Both were good at reading people and ensuring that neither I nor Mary panicked. They talked in measured tones and gave me the impression that they were on top of everything and the situation was under control.

It was quite a long wait for the repairman to arrive.  Every so often I would call in to ensure Mary was still OK and I would get the reply "I'm reading a book." (translation - don't bug me). We talked about the AEDs we have in the building and they were very appreciative - it is very important to start CPR at the earliest possible moment.

Finally the cheery faced repairman arrived.  He went first to the top of the building and it was several minutes before he poked his smiling face round the door at B2 and told us what he was going to do..  A little later some elevator movement could be heard and banging on the door produced no response.  The car had either gone down to B4 or up to the 24th floor.  We rushed down to B4 to find the elevator car with the door open but no Mary who had made her way back to the Lobby.  Climbing the stairs back up to the Lobby there was a reunion of all the players.  We thanked the firemen profusely, who had handled things very well, and shook their hands, before heading back to the apartment to prepare for the party.

Catching the 95 bus at Mackenzie King bridge we ran into CK who was going home from work so we lucked into a ride to Sunview Crescent. Quite an exciting afternoon.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Wednesday 13 February 2013 - Flaneur

I had an appointment at the Riverside Hospital this morning.  Today, being Wednesday, is free on OC Transpo and I knew enough not to tap in with my Presto card because it will take off money from my account.  The girl at the Rideau Centre said that the Presto card is not smart enough to recognize a seniors card and Wednesdays.  I was talking to a couple of OC Transpo Fare Inspectors and mentioned this to which they expressed amazement as nobody had bothered to tell them.  One of them made a note in his notebook and said he would raise it at their next briefing.

The general opinion seemed to be that the Presto card was good - when it worked.

I returned on the OTrain where the windows were almost opaque with the graffiti that has been scratched in.

At Bayview a pleasant student asked me where she could find a bus to Barrhaven - the signs only showed buses towards Orleans and Kanata.  My smart phone app came in handy and I was able to tell her that the 95 would be arriving in 1 minute.  The thanked me politely and ran for her bus.

Buying a Valentine card at Hallmark Cards was an annoying experience.  The loudmouthed assistant, all smiles and insincerity, asked me if I had found everything I needed and hoped that I was having a great day. I cringed as I paid and left in a hurry.

At the French Baker I had a long discussion with the sweet young thing about the Tarte au Citron.  I prefer these which are not sweet like most lemon tarts, obviously not made with lemon curd.  She said that some customers had complained that their "tartes were too tart".  I think they are just right.

As I was carefully carrying my box of tart tartes over York Street a man was coming towards me wearing motor cycle goggles with a helmet strung over his arm.  He was carrying an old style horn with a bulb.  I wonder where the motor bike was?