Jul 2011

July 2011 Status - Expressway and Website

The month of July largely went to work on the expressway as part of the JNSForum’s 2011 contest, described on my page for the contest. The results so far can be seen in the photo above: one 6-inch segment of what will ultimately be a four-foot section of elevated expressway. Still missing is the guardrail down the median.

Truth is Stranger than Model Railroading

It’s often said that there’s a prototype for everything, and there probably is. But that’s usually meant as “do what you think is right, somebody, somewhere probably did it that way”. Now I’d be the last person to say that there’s a “wrong” way of making a model railroad layout. You can do highly prototype-specific layouts, or completely fictional ones, or anything in between. And scenery can vary from entirely imaginary to near photo-perfect. And if you want to run nineteenth-century steam locomotives alongside twenty-first century electric trains, or whatever, that’s cool too. It’s your railroad.

But I think that if you want to have a railroad that is interesting to someone else, whether than someone else is a family member, friend, or an audience at a show, “anything goes” is perhaps a bit too open-ended. Because ultimately a model railroad is a representation of something. If that something lives entirely in your own head, than it just needs to meet your requirements. But for someone else to participate, they need to understand what it’s representing, and be able to see that themselves. And if, like me, that’s what you want, then you have to make it happen with planning and deliberate action.

Expressway Deck I

I’ve begun work on building the deck of the elevated expressway. As mentioned last time, the expressway is a four foot long structure with a roadway assembly (road, guardrails, signs and streetlights) made of styrene, which rests atop a narrow winding strip of plywood held up by 1/4-inch threaded rod sheathed in one inch PVC tubing. So far, all I have is the plywood, and the beginnings of the roadway assembly, which I’m calling the “deck” for short.

Wiring Without Solder

Well, I’m not moving the site just yet. Conversion of pages is going more slowly than expected, and there are more pages that I consider necessary than I first thought there would be. So I’ll probably have a few more posts over the next couple of weeks before switching over to the new software and hosting provider. However, for the curious I’ve included some jpegs of the new main page and one of the subordinate pages showing the new layout and navigation links in the Diagrams album (these are reduced somewhat by iWeb; the type used for text on the page is about the same or slightly larger than the type used today).

June 2011 Status: Winds of Change from the Orchard

The big news is that Sumida Crossing is going to be moving. Not the physical layout, but the website. With Apple declaring iWeb dead and an end to their hosting service in a year, it’s time to find a new home. I could procrastinate, but iWeb’s limitations have been an irritant for some time, and an excuse to find a tool I like a little better, while still using a template-driven WYSIWYG editor, was all I needed. I’ve been on iWeb nearly two years now, and while it’s served me well and let me focus on “just writing” the site, it’s time for a change. And like pulling a tooth, this kind of change is best done quickly, to reduce the pain, so I’m working to a faster-than-usual timeline for me.