barn full of boxes

Last time I was Packing. Now we’re unpacking.

This long July 4th weekend has been mainly devoted to getting the whole dang house out of boxes. Fortunately we’re moving from a 1300 square foot condo apartment into a significantly larger house with a workshop/studio outbuilding in the back. Moving from smaller to bigger is almost always the happier direction.

My wife and I have a lot of books and I have my over 40 years of Model Railroader back issues (and all the Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazettes, and a bunch of other modeling magazines…). Incredibly the previous owner had the garage turned into an office/library with a loft full of bookcases.

upper deck of library

If the place had a 2000 sq. foot full basement with no obstructions it might be more perfect but this is northern California and full basements are not typically found until you go several states over.

In the mean time, I must get these boxes unpacked so I can use that studio!

barn full of boxes

Wish me luck! My son got lost somewhere back there this morning.

barn full of boxes


It is so hard to keep making progress on a big “spare time” project like my model railroad in the face of life’s distractions. You know: work, family, chores, sleeping, new computer games, etc.

I generally hate posts of other people’s posts but a guy at work passed this link around recently and it has really helped me. Summary: just grab something, anything, and do it: Rands In Repose: Trickle Theory

The examples are geared towards software developers (my day job) but I feel this appraoch is applicable to anyone who feels overwhelmed by the tasks in front of them.

As an example, this morning I was kicking myself for not getting “more” done. There are two issues in that statement: I actually get a lot done, it’s just that I spend a lot of time doing things that are not really that important in the long run.

Just Grab Something and Do It

This morning I spent 30 minutes and processed images I shot in July and got them ready for posting to the blog as a layout building progress report. I feel better already.

In “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” there is a habit called “Sharpen the Saw” which means that sometimes the fastest way to proceed forward is to stop and organize, clean, plan, etc. as opposed to just DOING.

Looking at my model building workbench I think that time has come.

I’ve been having a hard time getting next steps done on the layout and it occurs to me that I’ve hit the point where I actually need to do some model building: turnouts, the turntable, all the bridges. You may have heard of the one-square-foot rule which says that no matter how large the workbench, most busy workbenches only have one square foot of clear space where the work happens but there’s clearly a bit of a problem here.

I wanted a top banner that was consistent with the look and theme of the model railroad I’m building. I scanned an image of Tiburon, California taken in 1922 found in the book The Northwestern Pacific.

I rotated the scan a bit to straighten the portion I wanted to clip out.

Then simply clipped and pasted it into the top banner that was supplied with the WordPress theme I’m using.