Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Serenity now!... and other summer highlights."

Boy, did I need a break from this blog. Totally bonked. Hit the wall and the wall hit back. Blogger Eric Hansmann warned me about this. So please allow me to ease back into this slowly as I am suffering from post-Tour de France withdrawal. Nevertheless, my July has been filled with some of life's precious little moments. And some actually have railroad tie-ins. Herewith a sampling:

The morning of July 4th  began with Stormy and Duffy denied their independence by an intruder in our yard who would not leave until all select foliage was consumed. My attempts to frighten the vandal were comical including the throwing of scraps of wood left over from my bench work. Apparently I've lost a lot off of my fastball. I pray the neighbors weren't watching. Storm and Duff were less than impressed. Their incessant barking sounded something like, "Give us liberty or give us treats."
My daughter and I visited hulu's  Seinfeld exhibit in New York celebrating their purchase of all rights to the series. Larry Thomas who played the Soup Nazi, is interviewed amidst such props as David Puddy's Devil jersey and Jerry's puffy shirt. Nothing beats waiting 90 minutes in the blazing sun to get in. But isn't it every dad's dream to end up standing directly behind two scantily clad 'performers' from one of Manhattan's fine gentlemen's clubs who felt compelled to talk shop? Tough to say who was more uncomfortable... my 21 year old or me. Good times.

Near the Seinfeld exhibit was the NYC High Line, an elevated park along the old New York Central right-of-way running from just below 14th street to 34th street on the west side.

The high line has become an amazing oasis worth visiting for anyone visiting Manhattan.

If you wait long enough here, you will inevitably see someone try to throw the turnout. The 2015 issue of Model Railroad Planning has an article on  modeling the high line.

A college kid backed into my wife's car causing considerable damage. After weeks of inconvenience and frustration with the local police, insurance companies, rent-a-car dealer, leasing company and auto dealer, we were assured that the car was ready to be picked up, "good as new." ... OH COME ON, GUYS! REALLY?

What's more American than waiting at the local DMV for a new digital driver's license? Nothing says, "U-S-A, U-S-A,"  more, than a three hour wait with several hundred of  your closest friends. Hey Mr. absent-tee gov-en-ah, we were packed into a room clearly marked for a maximum occupancy of 64. Good job! Just telling it like it is, right, gov-en-ah?

But just down the street from the service-challenged New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission is the former Rahway Valley station in Springfield. Although the right-of-way is long gone, the structure has been preserved and now serves as home to a chiropractor. Nice.

That's the highlight reel for now. Sorry about the lack of railroad motif, but we'll get back on track shortly, so to speak. No worries, I won't be going all Facebook. Thanks for the emails of concern, but all is well, big picture-wise. See you soon.

Is there an update available on the layout?

A) "Oh, it's actually finished, but I lost the photos."
B) "There have been a few minor glitches that experts are studying." 
C) "Asking for an update seems rather forward, doesn't it?"
D) "What layout?"


  1. I think the license plate was installed by an Australian. Everything is upside down there isn't it? LOL

    1. Well, after giving it an awful lot of thought as to how this could possibly have happened, we concluded that perhaps the car was still on the lift when the plate was installed... although that still shouldn't matter, in effect, yes, perhaps the installer was working from 'down under.'

  2. Glad to see an update, Jim! I really like the High Line. Although, the last time we were on it, it was a little too crowded. My wife and I have a hard time walking at a leisurely pace, so we ended up bailing and went to Chelsea Market to get some good food and spirits.

    1. Chelsea Market is great, but it's real value to High Line patrons is its readily available men's room... has bailed me out several times!