Just a couple of words today…


Hope you have a grand, warm day full of nice memories to be. Oh…Some very nice comments over at LIT re Ferris Bueller. Much appreciated, and a nice gift indeed.


Ah, a neat story behind the images. My neighbor, an architect/builder, puts up a whole series of little train sets in his barn, puts out cookies and cider and invites kids from all around to drop by for a visit with Santa.

So, as you can imagine, lot’s a kids (of all ages), lots of sparkly eyes and happy dreaming.


Well, that said, I’m working on TimeShadow these days, when not out shoveling snow, anyway. It’s a fun story, getting ‘funner’ by the page, very convoluted at this point with all kinds of possibilities opening up. Oh, speaking of SciFi, there’s a new trailer just out for the next Alien prequel, and man-o-man, does it look dark. I thought Prometheus was brooding, but Alien: Covenant’s gut-punches look visceral, and if you haven’t eaten recently you might check out the link.


So, that’s it from Chaos Mountain. Again, a Merry Christmas to you all, and thanks for reading along. Aa

9 thoughts on “Just a couple of words today…

  1. Good question. Maybe it’s a reflection of how people were bound together over large distances by railroads. How we traveled to visit relatives by train for well over a hundred years, yet that still doesn’t account for narratives like The Polar Express, and how such stories captivate us. I do know that trains still fascinate kids: I watched a little girl stare, almost mesmerized, at those trains for a half hour, and apparently she begins to look forward to Brian’s Christmas trains around Halloween. To me, the answer’s simple: there’s something magical about trains. I’ve felt that way since I could see and think, and I still goof around with model railroads myself, but the lighting in there…the mood? It’s kind of like being wrapped up in warm fuzzies. Maybe such railroads are the most direct route to memory, the best memories of childhood? And they still do that, too.


    • What your neighbor has done is get the combination right of just enough detail and lighting to let your imagination fill in the blanks. I’ve played around too with model railroads, but a HO scale DCC SD40-2 with sound and working ditch lights doesn’t leave much to the imagination.


  2. I’ve seen a few Walther’s passenger cars with DCC, trying to collect a few PRR Broadway Limiteds now. DCC is kind of fun, but you’re right. It’s visceral, not quite an exercise of the imagination. Brian’s trains are a dreamscape. DCC is an immersive hobby. I love ’em both, equally.


  3. The convergence of celebrations has been the stimulus for lots of reflection this year. Today is the 4th day of Christmas and also time to light the 4th candle. So many things are happening, but it feels like an out of body experience, with me sitting off to the side observing. I guess I need to find a friend/neighbour with a Lionel set.

    Any suggestions for what I should do with bins of shells gathered from tide pools during low tide walking the Kwajalein reef?


  4. The convergence of events this year has been grounds for boatloads of anxiety, for months, and for about 300 million Americans. Everywhere I go the mood still seems a little “off” – like people aren’t quite sure of their emotional footing. All I can say is I don’t think you’re alone – not that that is a comfort in and of itself.
    I keep thinking back to the concert last month, Jon Anderson talking about surrounding yourself with love. Recalling John Lennon’s lines about the love you take being equal to the love you make. I guess the biggest concern this time of year is simply ‘don’t be alone’: winter can be a vicious enemy up here in the mountains, and right now, with somewhat decreased mobility an issue, getting down to just shoot the moon with the locals at our nearby ‘roadhouse’ is an important part of my day. Having three Springers ready and willing to lick me to death at any one moment is a blessing, too.
    Here’s the email address I’m using now; I had to ditch the old yahoo.com due to security concerns; if you need to blow off some steam, fire away.
    Shells? Kwajalein? No clue. I used to keep all my old shells in clear glass lamps, with sand in the bottom for ballast – until one of the aforementioned Springers knocked it over. Never again.


    • When I was a little boy on Cape Cod, my grandmother did the same glass lamp base thing with the shells she would collect on her daily beach walks. She also used them to make Christmas wreaths.

      I wonder if some of this anxiety stems from the media, news, comedians, and talking heads telling us we should be anxious 24/7.


  5. My guess? You’re absolutely correct. Keeping people in a state of nervous frenzy seems beneficial to agendas on the left and the right, not to mention it helps sell soap.
    You know, with sea shells and a glue gun, there’s probably no end to the trouble you can get into. Not sure what RB was doing out on that atoll, or when, but coming up with a design referencing his activities might be interesting. And I ain’t gonna speculate, either. I think that area still glows in the dark…


  6. Kwajalein was a lifetime ago. Two weeks after graduating HS I started exploring the world. $10 an hour Midnight to Eight am Harbor Dispatcher for Transport Company of Texas (checks signed by L.B. Johnson, never knew which one it was, Lady Bird or Lyndon). $1 a night to stay in BOQ including breakfast in the mess hall. I always scheduled myself for 4 hours OT either teaching water skiing or as deckhand on the Captain’s Gig to follow the birds with four lines straight out the back and two wide outriggers running deep. We always came in with tuna, or Blue Marlin if we were lucky and the sharks didn’t get them before we could bring them aboard. As a critical employee on a crypto security base, I flew space required anywhere MATS flew. My off time took me to Guam, the Philippines, Okinawa, Hong Kong, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos, Japan, The outer Territories, Hawaii, NZ, Australia, and, and, and, Volunteered with the Explorer Scouts who were associated with the Navy and had use of amphibian float planes for “camping trips” to Majuro, Eniwetok, or Bikini when leaving our own little atoll. Diving wrecks or exploring underground bunkers by following the railroad tracks left behind by the Japanese were local activities. Our fireworks consisted of frequent launches of Nike Zeus, later Nike X, to intercept an incoming Atlas from Vandenberg, or local low level interceptors. It was on Kwaj that I learned to love Saimin soup, and how to filet the tuna fresh from the boat, dip it in shoyu, or roll it in gohan and wasabi, and sip a Sapporo ichiban.
    The shells were collected walking between islands at low tide. I have storage totes filled with many, many shells. Conch, periwinkle, cowry (a few golden), and lots more. They have been sitting in a storage unit for the last ten years and some of my recent introspection triggered questions about what they cost to sit there and how could they be put to better purposes?
    Train sets? I remember finding a Lionel train set under the tree for my eighth Christmas morning, long before it was light, I had the track set up, power connected, a tunnel and trellis constructed and a smoke pellet in the stack of the engine when the parental units stumbled out into the living room. They didn’t know whether to be angry or proud when they saw me sitting there quietly working on a plastic tree. They didn’t yell but I figured out later dad was a little miffed he didn’t get to help me put it together for the first time.

    in case you missed it, Mr Rooney and Ferris were on MTV tonight.

    yup, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,
    life moves pretty fast,
    if you don’t stop and look around once in a while,
    you could miss it.”

    Oh Yeah

    “You’re still there? It’s over, go home,

    my direct e-mail is: tdjudd@gmail.com. I also use tdjudd@hotmail.com. My yahoo is also going away, that address was the primary access for my winery, but all things considered

    RightBank aka ted


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