Ben rail gets space on FCFL railroad

Ben rail gets space on FCFL rail. Ben rail has a siding on FCFL railway

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Henry Rail gets space with FCFL

Henry Rail was planned a space on the new addition on the FCFL layout in the back room. The area is about 1 and a

half feet long. It holds a small locomotive and 4 small cars at the most. It has a nail at the end to keep the cars from

falling off the layout. It is at the end of the layout. Henry Rail also shares the rest of the layout with FCFL. Henry

Rail also has their own property and rolling stock it is very small but they only have one active locomotive the

rest need servicing .They use their own rolling stock on the FCFL layout accept they borrow the FCFL 1586

locomotive.

THE END.

Thankful for the Much and the Little

“Welcome to the FC & FL kid.” The veteran with the seniority to get four days off clocks out and slaps the youngster who just clocked in on the back. “Days like this I used call it the FU & F ME.”

It’s late on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the gap between the Haves and Have Nots is apparent in the yard office.

heap

“The kids roll up in sorry heaps…”

The old heads trickle out to the lot where they jump in shiny new pickups and head home to turkey and football and family. The kids roll up in sorry heaps or on foot and lean their shoulders into a long weekend working.

The old guys have earned it, the young guys will get there, and I’m not sure which side I’m on.

“Grant me neither poverty nor riches, but only my daily bread.” That’s Proverbs, which goes on to say that having too much makes us forget where good gifts come from. Too little makes us do desperate things and dishonor God.

Ain’t that the truth.

Some of these old guys get a little smug. Sure they’ve put in the time and worked hard, and the good pay and plum shifts are just desserts. But to talk to them you’d think they built the railroad single-handedly, never asked a dumb question, and did the work of ten men every day. They’ve forgotten the little bits of charity we all need to get along.

Some of the young guys get a little too hungry, though. They see the new truck and envy that and the nice house and the four-day weekend. They feel entitled to those things but haven’t earned them yet, and sometimes that leads to a toxic attitude or worse they shirk their duties, cheat and steal. They’ve yet to learn how to be content in their circumstances.

I’m always refreshed by people in the middle – people who have their daily bread without much more or much less. It keeps them connected and charitable to those who need a little, and keeps them willing to put in the time and effort to earn their way.

That’s a good place for all of us to shoot for.

At Thanksgiving we count our blessings and thank God for all we have. This year, I’m thankful for a little leanness, too.

Mouse Call

I’m being pushed around by a mouse, and he’s pushing my buttons. It’s supposed to work the other way, isn’t it?

It all started last week. While operating the layout, I heard the unmistakable sound of a visitor somewhere in the drywall over Herbst Junction.

Scritch scratch. Nibble nibble. Pitter patter.

Mus Musculus. The common house mouse.

Drat.

On Saturday I tore out several square feet of wallboard and pulled out even more insulation, and with it gallons of maple seeds and other souvenirs the little so-and-so had brought in.

mouse mess

“… I tore out several square feet of wallboard and pulled out even more insulation, and with it gallons of maple seeds …”

After several hours of awkward bending I had sealed up all the spaces I could reach without ripping out the top foot of the entire wall, though I know that will have to be done eventually.

The layout fared OK. One worker from Red Earth Co-Op got sucked into the Shop-Vac, but he always looked kind of surly to me so I don’t think he’ll be missed.

Once I had everything cleaned up I set out some traps to check my work, hoping they’d sit undisturbed. Overnight one of them was tripped, licked clean of peanut butter, and left empty.

The game of Me and Mouse was afoot.

It pays to know your enemy, so I was glad he called:

“I’m beginning to feel unwelcome,” said the mouse. “Last month you clean the garage and move the bird seed into a Rubbermaid bin, and now you try to kick me out of the house. What gives?”

He sounded manly for a mouse.

“What gives?” I said. “I can’t have mice in my house. It’s untidy. It makes my wife edgy. It’s got me re-evaluating my worth as a man and my ability to provide a suitable home for my family. I am now of the class of people who have mice. You’ve touched off a real existential crisis, not to mention making me waste the better part of a Saturday.”

I could hear him nibbling, his whiskers brushing against the receiver.

“If my presence makes you uncomfortable, that’s your problem,” he said. “I’m just looking for a warm place to lay my head. But I don’t think it’s my untidiness that bothers you.”

“Oh no? What bothers me?”

“You’re jealous,” he said. “I take care of myself doing logical, no-nonsense things all day. No boss, no status reports, no ‘re-evaluating my worth.’ Just the real work of finding food and shelter. My life makes perfect sense. You’re jealous.”

In the information war, this mouse had me beat. I barely knew how he got in the house, he understood what makes me tick.

“You might be on to something,” I admitted. “But at least I’m not a parasite. The boss and status reports allow me to provide that warmth you’re after. And I worked hard finishing that basement. I was pretty proud of how it turned out.”

He inhaled deeply, let it out slow.

“It’s a crumbling world,” he sighed. “The work of your hands is not immune.”

A philosophical mouse with an apocalyptic worldview. What other kind would I get?

“So you pride yourself on contributing to the decay?” I asked.

“I’m a mouse. It’s why we’re here.”

I pictured him shrugging, if mice shrug.

“And that’s why you’re not getting in my house,” I said.

It was an empty threat. I have hours of work to do to properly rodent-proof the basement. But I can’t get to it this week.

Status reports are due.

“We’ll see.” he chuckled. “Do me a favor – next time use chunky peanut butter. I prefer chunky.”

The Conductor’s Guide to NASCAR Stars

nascar is a sport I LIKE IT SO MUCH IT HAS SOME GREAT DOMINATIONS DOWN HERE

1 R PETTY DATONA
2 C EDWARDS TEXAS
3 D ERNHART SR TALLADAGA
4 R STENHOSE JR IOWA
5 T STUART THE GLEN
6 R PETTY MARTINSVILL
7 R PETTY RICHMOND
8 R NUMAN PONIX
9 C YARBOROUGH MICHIGAN

The Conductor is in first grade but studies NASCAR at a 12th grade level.