26 November 2015

Ye Olde Thanksgiving Post

Back in the day when college did not break for Thanksgiving until the day before the holiday, I was instrumental in making Thanksgiving special to a bunch of college students in west central Minnesota. This silly radio drama was broadcast on KUMM  with the help of some people named Nancy, Kennedy, Lopez, Fluegel and I think Nathan. I have never received any feedback from anyone who heard it originally back in the 90s. Perhaps nobody was listening that night. I doubt another radio drama was ever mounted again on KUMM. Maybe I should re-make this show as a video for the YouTube.
Here is the audio below of the ~12 minute show.

25 November 2015

A Fall day at the Granite City Train Show

Granite City O Gaugers layout
Earlier this month- November 14th to be exact- I partook of a train show in St Cloud, MN.
The Granite City Train show is a twice yearly event at the St. Cloud Armory. One show is in fall and the other is in spring. This show brings in quite a number of both train enthusiasts and vendors. I would suggest that this is the biggest train show between the Twin Cities and Winnipeg and quite possibly Western Washington. Most scales were present along with much railroad collectibles and antiques. I think I even saw some standard gauge track for sale. But saw good amount of rusty or old track which I do not need. My friend and I tend to look for salvageable operating equipment in O scale. There was a modest amount at this show.
This was my third time attending the show.My sub-mission for this show was to acquire more items for scenicing my dormant layout. I came out with quite an assortment which I will post later. In this post I show some of the layouts that were on display at the show.

Kids train area
I like that this show has set aside an area for kids to play with wooden trains and an electric train layout as seen above. Kids these days hardly see this hobby so it is beneficial to let them see and touch. I think by doing that stimulates the imagination. And that is what keeps model railroading going- plenty of imagination.
N scale layout
I acquired a bunch of Kato N scale track for really cheap. I have a few N cars and an engine. An N scale layout is in the distant future. However and temporary layout for a show might be possible.
HO scale layout

My first electric train was an HO Campbell's Soup outfit made by Life-Like. I eventually made a larger layout on some boards. I had a some buildings but very little in the way of scenery. Although I did have a rudimentary block system to control multiple trains.

Let us give thanks (in tablet form)

So giving thanks is supposed to be healthy for you according to this article- http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/giving-thanks#2

Came across this Thanksgiving video a while back. Most assuredly the most non-traditional Thanksgiving meal concocted by a vitamin company.

 So if you don't want to bother with fixing the turkey this year, swing over to Swanson and bag some of those tablets.

12 November 2015

The month of model railroads

November is nearly half over!! And thus half the month of the celebration of model railroading has been missed here on the Royce Files. Well lots has been missing from the Royce Files as of late. I have been a pretty poor blogger. Nonetheless, let's celebrate a little model railroading today with a post about the local train (model and toy) show.
The Spud Valley show has been held yearly in Fargo since the late 1970s. Its existence was in part inspired by the Twin City Model Railroad Club's multiple shows in the Twin Cities (so I overheard while wandering around this year's show.) However the Spud show incorporates much more than model trains. You can see model cars, vintage toys, toy tractors, and even a decent amount of railroad ephemeral (ie. railroad time tables, buttons, paper, calendars, hats, lanterns etc.) Plus, to my knowledge, it is the only train show in North Dakota. There are quite a few up the road in Winnipeg.
I went to the show a few years ago and was a bit disappointed. Not much that interested me from the vendors. And there were only 1 or 2 layouts. But this year was different. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Then I was surprised that I took more pictures of farm toys and trucks than the trains. I think I have more videos of the train layouts somewhere but I know not where they are now.
N scale layout.
There were a considerable amount of N-scale layouts (although 1 might have been Z) at the show this year including the one above. I also saw a Lionel layout and talked with the guy about how he wired it. Of course the Spud Valley Club's modular HO layout was there too.

Lots of Tonka and Tonka-like toys

Toy tractors
There was this odd combine which I saw. Just to the left of the yellow bus there is a Campbell's Soup Combine. No clue where it originated. The Net is silent on simple searches. And yes, to the right of the bus, that Massey Ferguson combine contraption is odd too. Although my Ag Toy adviser states his father had the full size unit at one time.