Friday, July 5, 2019

Three Years of Blogging and Counting (Review)

Well, it's hard to believe that this blog's been here now three years!

No.52 blasts through Caliente at LMRC with real cloudy sky photo placed behind the mountains!

My experience blogging has had it's ups and downs.  A couple of times for a month or two I didn't post anything new as life's taken me in other directions, but I do enjoy sitting down and writing about the research, history, and the modeling.  I keep coming back as I return to modeling, I think this is fun to be able to sit down and say, 'This is what I've been working on this week or month."

NightOwlModeler blog stats history page - It took me a couple years to actually do anything with the page!

Just clicking on the stats tab of the blog it's hard to imagine that the pages and posts have been viewed 129,235 times!  I'm pretty sure there's some search engine robots in that number too, but visiting RPM meets and chatting with fellow modelers, I've been surprised how many of you walk up, say hello, and comment about the blog.

Looking Back at Some Posts

This week I found myself looking back at a couple of my "Page" posts, where I have information which might be useful for a whole topic or general information.  In this case, I needed to find the cab-side data for the ex-AE Mk-4a class 2-8-2s which I was decalling.

Southern Pacific's own company PR spotter's guide to their engines!

I found it on my Locomotives of the Southern Pacific Spotters Guide page.

Several other pages that I've posted in the last year include two on freight cars:

Flatcars that SP owned from 1900-1960.

Southern Pacific Flat Cars and Southern Pacific Gondolas

This last year I've also started an Operations blog on my journey to "Learning Freight Car Forwarding"... Many years ago a fellow member at LMRC wondered if "Freight Car Forwarding can be taught?"  I feel that getting this information out there will help those interested in pursuing prototype operations on the Southern Pacific or Santa Fe.

Kern Junction Operator S.M.Miller reports the Arvin Turn departing Bakersfield.

Freight Symbols Over Tehachapi Pass (Index Page)

Goals of the 'Night Owl Modeler' Blog

This brings me to my next point.  I feel this blog should be about empowering my fellow modelers and research inclined ferro-equestrian trainers not to be afraid to dive a bit deeper into the skillset of building models or the adventure which is researching more about the prototype.  

So many folks seem to say, "The age of actual modeling is gone...", "There aren't any modelers out there anymore.", or "People only buy R-T-R now."  This is only going to become true if those of us doing it do not spread the interest and the skills we've learned over years of trying things, failing, and trying again.

My old West Side Models GS-4 partly stripped and waiting for some soldering repair work. - June 2019

I think it's important to remember that there is no end to the road of learning.  All of us are still picking up new techniques or skills that we've not had before.  Some old skills that we had, we're probably dusting off again so that this project can get done, etc.

My 'new' (only one year sitting in the box) iwata TRN-1 airbrush finally out and getting some use!

This week I finally was able to set up my 'new' airbrush and accompanying 1/4" line air compressor and actually start painting with it!  I also pulled out my resistance soldering iron and did a string of repairs on various brass engines that have been stacking up, waiting for me to get to it.

Where the Blog is Going?

BAPM 2019 Model Room

The 2019 year has been hard so far, but taking a couple days and running over to Richmond for the Bay Area Prototype Modelers Meet (BAPM 2019) was a much needed breath of fresh air.  I met several new friends, visited with some old friends, and I was encouraged to enjoy the hobby that we have.

PSC SP 259 C-30-1 rebuilt model, which I finally got around to painting and decalling!

During these last couple weeks since the BAPM meet, I've been getting back into projects and tinkering with things... If any of you know me, that's a dangerous thing!  Many of the projects will make their way to the blog, hopefully pretty soon.  So keep an eye out for new posts and hopefully more useful materials will be forthcoming.

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