Saturday, June 19, 2010

Panic! Finding a Way Out of Gridlock.

I spent a lovely, relaxing day on the Choptank River today, enjoying the company (and the boat) of a couple in our neighborhood who invited us out for a pre-Father's Day junket. The weather was perfect, the river calm, and the beer was cold. The best part was laying on the bench up in the boat's flying bridge and reading "Beautiful Swimmers" and drifting in an out of a breezy nap while the kids played in the water.

When I got home this evening, my thoughts turned once again to the action up in the train room. I opened the door, and was suddenly overcome with a sense of dread. The room is a disaster area. The bones of the old layout sections are everywhere, furniture is at all angles, and the floor looks like a hobby store walked into a hardware store, then blew itself up.

The re-construction project itself is moving along at a decent clip, and I even took the time to add the guard rails to the staging yard. Then I stepped back (not very far for fear of tripping on an extension cord or a pile of shipping peanuts), and pondered what the next move should be.

There's the helix on the Thomas Sub that needs to be A) connected to the rest of the layout, B) outfitted with some fiberglass screening to prevent cars from falling to the floor should something bad happen, or C) be enclosed in a masonite back drop, which would by necessity include a curved hatch that would allow easy access to reach the cars that are safely cradled in the screen safety net, again, should something bad happen in the twist.

Too complex a project to take on in my present state of mind. So that won't do. How about building the skyboard that will divide the peninsula? Well, I should finish building the peninsula first. So strike that.

There's a couple of wiring projects I could tackle. The big one will be to rewire the back half of the staging yard, which is now part of a big reverse loop, and therefore creates a dead short. This won't be too hard to do, but it will require crawling around under the layout, and I'm not wired for that just now...

As I stepped over a stack of old magazines that appeared out of nowhere, it dawned on me. Before I turn another screw, or cut another board, I have to clean the room up. I at least have to get it into some semblance of order. The chaos all around me is causing my whole thinking about the layout to be chaotic. So, there it is. That's my plan.

Tomorrow when I get home from church, I'm going to head up there and put the shoulder to the wheel. Last weekend Andy and I were able to wrestle his room from the grip of the junk monster, so now I have to do the same thing for myself. Otherwise I'll keep looking at the mountain in front of me, instead of building it!


  1. "the floor looks like a hobby store walked into a hardware store, then blew itself up"

    I almost died laughing about that comment...maybe because my layout gets to those states all too often.

    Cleaning the layout really helps to focus for your tasks ahead and each piece that is cleaned makes it seem less of a daunting task.

  2. Periodic cleaning up is good for the layout soul.

  3. It's also good for the marriage . . . as is pickin gup cabinets for free from craigslist to help corral the stuff. Or so my wife informed me this morning.

  4. You can get cheap cabinets at your friendly local Habitat ReStore, too, I'm keen to remind you!