So, there are a few new things worth reporting.
Firstly, my performance review at work came in, and I scored a fairly solid 3/5. Not bad, considering I’ve been there just coming up 6 months (was 4 at the end of the 2010 calendar year). I have a few things to work on, but don’t we all?
Also work related, there is a full time position opening on day shift, which I think I will at least apply for. There are several others in the lab that are interested, all of whom have been there longer than I have and so I don’t doubt that they would get it over me. Still, if I don’t try I can’t ever hope to succeed.
I’ve been to Charlottesville a couple of times in the last month or two, and had a great time. I’m sure there must be more, but so far I’ve only found one hobby shop that was where the maps and information on the internet told me it would be (and even then, I’m not sure it’s one of the ones on the list!) It was near Kroger on 29, not marked very visibly but big “Thomas Trains Here” and “Lionel Trains Here” signs in the windows. I have also spent a fair amount of time sitting around near the Amtrak station near down town, as this is where two fairly busy railroads cross. The Norfolk Southern running North-South to Manassas and Lynchburg sees several trains a day. The CSX running North-East-West (the division, leased by the Buckingham Branch Railroad) connects with the NS at Orange to the North, CSX to the East and through Staunton on to Clifton Forge to the West). There is also daily Amtrak traffic (though I’m not usually there early or late enough to see the majority), in the form of the New York to New Orleans train, the New York to Chicago train (three days a week) and the Washington DC to Lynchburg train.
I’ve also found that US-250 is a great alternative to I-64. The interstate cannot be matched for speed at all, but it’s still a great drive over Afton Mountain. At some point I’d like to visit Afton and explore the area a bit more, but for now I’ll settle for having driven past it.
Last but not least, is the model situation. I’m still waiting for my ATX cables to arrive (hopefully they didn’t get lost, or not sent..) so the sections are still leaning up against the wall, same as they were last time I posted. I do have updates, however. A couple of months ago I found that Ollies, a discount store that lives on buyouts and the like, has a fair stock of IHC products. The range isn’t great, a couple of buildings and a few vehicles, a LOT of MoPac RPO cars ($5.99 each, if anyone is looking for some..), but they are CHEAP. I picked up a Factory/Office building kit (constructed over the weekend!), a set of Algoma Central passenger cars (I have plans to model a kind of historic railroad running on a Class I/II when I get around to modeling big), and a few trucks and such. I have a greenhouse which will need some modifications to be realistic enough, and a bunch of “village” accessories which will need some attention before they are considered suitable (by me!).
In the Factory/Office kit were some molded people who I finally got around to painting today. I’m not entirely happy with them overall, but considering I’ve never painted anything in HO before, I’m pretty happy with my first try.
I don’t have any photos to post today, but maybe next time. Trainspotting photos from C’ville will be up on Flickr soonish.