Showing posts from January, 2016

The red University of North Dakota slippers

I know that the University of North Dakota recently approved their new mascot- although much talk surrounds that and I do not intend to enter the fray. However, I do not think that they approved of new school colors. A few weeks ago I was visiting the former coat purveyor now a bizzaro TJ Max clone Burlington and discovered these UND branded slippers in red. Red is not a official school color to my knowledge. But pink is.
So how did these get past the NCAA trademark legal eagles (or fighting hawks)?

Menards and O Scale prices

In the Upper Midwest and a few other outlying places the mention of Menards summons up a banjo ditty with lyric: "Save big money, you save big money, when you shop Menards." The big box home improvement retailer and its spokesperson Ray are responsible for etching those words into my mind and others. Their common sales approach is giving out rebates in the form of merchandise credit checks usable only at their stores. Clever way to induce cyclic patterns of shopping at Menards. And for the last decade or so, most of their outlets have added food stuffs, clothes, books, and a few electronics. Every Christmas they would also have a some Lionel train sets including a Menard's only set.
Then, back just a few years ago (perhaps 2011 or 2012) they began to release their own exclusive line of O scale train freight cars.
First it started with a trickle of flat cars with Menard loads: a Menards trailer, a Menards truck, a Menards racecar. They followed it up with flat cars with …

GearCamp: Coleman 502 Stove

These posts are dedicated to the hard working gear that I have utilized on my camping expeditions. Might be something simple or vintage or cool.
Our first post for GearCamp features the Coleman 502 Single Burner Camp Stove from the 1970s.
Coleman has been around for over 100 years. They have made some pretty durable camping gear especially stoves and lanterns. I acquired the 502 at thrift shop for 2 bucks and it included a square aluminum pot that doubled as a case. Unfortunately the stove did not work, so it sat around for a while before I was able to tinker around and fire it up. The pump gasket just needed to be lubricated and away it worked. Despite its bulk, this is my go to stove for trips even though I do own a few lighter weight stoves. And the good thing about these stoves is that there are still parts around to keep these guys humming for another 30 years. I think it only burns white gas (aka coleman fuel). I have never tried the gas from the pump.
You have a little control…

Around the Sioux Hustler Trail: Into the unknown

The following is a continuation of the log from the Sioux Hustler Loop hiking trip I took in October 2012. In this entry  3 Names and I leave the Devil's Cascade campsite and head into the mostly unkept portions of the trail in the north and east of the loop. This post is long over due.

 We awoke to a much brighter day after the damp hike mostly in the dark up to the campsite above Devil's Cascade. It had quite a splendid view into the valley below. The weather appeared to be in our favor. We took breakfast and packed up and continued up the trail until the beaver ponds. That is where we lost the trail in the mishmash of tall marsh grasses. We stopped for lunch at the end of small trail that lead to another pond.
Nothing really amazing about that section. The trail was still plenty worn and looked like your typical BWCA marsh clearings with steep pine tree hills. Pleasant but nothing remarkable. A lot of the BWCA scenery just blurs together for me.
Not much later we cross …

A Star Wars Christmas, again

Post Yuletide Greetings or if you are reading this months after it was posted- Hi.
So this year Star Wars made a major move into Christmastide vernacular- or to put it another way there was a whole lot more Merry Star Wars Christmasy stuff going on.
Big movie releases at Christmas and merch centered around kids can do that. The Star Wars space opera permeates the US culture and you do not need me to tell you that. I can count on a single hand the people who have not seen any Star Wars movie. Star Wars and Christmas- sort of an odd couple. Both have big story lines that combine family, friendship and redemption. Star Wars has lasers and light sabers but Christmas has an actual star.  Star Wars did get a late jump on Christmas merchandising from the start. Although the movie arrived in theaters in May of 1977 a campy 98 minute Christmas special landed on the small screen in November the following year. It is filled with 1970s variety show cliches with a few Star Wars related stories mi…

Get on board

The Royce Files has been around since December 2003. I posted a lot that first month.
Reviewed last years posts. Smallest output ever. A miserly 23 posts! Only one less than 2014.
My aim this year is to exceed that output.
Most visitors come across the posts on The Royce Files because the Fargo Marathon or my occasional posts on model trains and Lionel. That is the bulk of the blog these days although I have blogged soccer, online advertisements, beer, holidays, my travels and a little spiritual content.

As far as I know, I am the only blogger covering the Fargo Marathon in a non-conventional way since its beginning. No media pass for me. I rarely if ever cover the winners. I kind of think I cover those who come after them. Like the guy who runs without a shirt in 40 degree temperatures,

Alas, the top post last year was from the marathon.
Truth, Justice, and the American Way
Nothing came close to beating the reads of that post except another marathon post about the weather.
Fargo Mara…

A new symbol of Christmas

It not being Christmas at the writing of this entry-- let's write about Christmas!
It seems every few years or so a new thing gets flung into the pantheon of Christmas.  A few years ago it was penguins. Nothing to do with the festive period except that for some that period happens during the beginning of the cold blustery period. Cute but hardly relate-able to the larger Christmas themes of peace, goodwill toward man, and Jesus. Penguins just happened to drop on the popular culture scene in a few movies and decided to settle in at the Christmas Inn next door to the reindeer, elves, Santa, gingerbread men, wise men, stars, poinsettias, and pickles. And yes, the pickle has official status as a Christmas symbol. Not sure why pickled herring is not.
But lest you think I will gripe about this proverbial overcrowded Inn of Christmas, I will not.
Instead I will introduce another symbol of Christmas that made its entrance this season.

 While strolling through the neighborhood I came acro…