It has been quite a while! Yesterday was my birthday and a number of people came to help me celebrate my first quarter-century of life. Thanks to Ben and Bethany for the awesome looking game, to Katie for the book (the title of which is unrepeatable in a forum such as this) and to Kelly for the deep fryer! Also thanks to Kelly’s grandparents for the money. A weird thanks also goes to our neighbors for letting us borrow the gas for the grill!
It was a very good weekend overall. We spent Saturday in Clifton Forge (a railroad town about two hours away) where the C&O Historical Society had a large event. The C&O 614 locomotive was on display along with old passenger cars available to walk through. The volunteers were very proud of their work, and so they should be! We walked through a combined coach/baggage car as well as going through a dining car. The interior of the dining car has been restored to it’s 1930s appearance, the exterior to it’s 1950s appearance and the kitchen has been modernized to use gas (rather than charcoal) and other modern appliances so that it can actually function when they want to use it.
I walked through the cab of an old diesel unit (I want to say a GP-9, but not certain) where a retired engineer was happy to talk to anyone who asked about different functions it had – or didn’t have. Certainly a cool experience that I don’t recall having had since moving to the US.
There was also a miniature railway providing rides for people around a large loop as well as various vendors selling their items. I picked up an N-scale locomotive for $30 which is planned to go into service on my coffee table layout which has been revitalized recently.
An interesting idea I saw was a pair of statically active steam whistles. Basically I suspect there is a small steam boiler in a brick building, on top of which is mounted two different steam whistles of different pitches. Each of these are linked to a stereotypical rope and wooden handle which can be pulled to make the whistle sound.
On Sunday we spent most of the day being lazy before people started to arrive. We cooked out as planned (the weather held up long enough to cook and eat) before having to rush everything inside due to rain. I hope everyone enjoyed the food even though it took a little longer than planned. The one thing I didn’t think to check was how much gas there was in the bottle for the grill and we ran out after a few minutes. Fortunately our neighbors have a gas grill and we were able to borrow their bottle!
Later in the evening we played Funglish, a word game which is rather entertaining. It works kinda like pictionary where teams take turns playing. One team will have a card with 6 words on it, and a board which has the options “Definitely,” “Kind of,” and “Not.” Spread out in front of them are different adjectives which are placed on the board in order to describe the word on the card. Bart Simpson, for example, was Definitely yellow, American and man-made, kind of human, etc. With the number of teams we elected not to score the rounds but we had a whole lot of fun anyway.
I didn’t get too many photos of the Sunday events but those from Saturday will likely be on flickr at some point soon.
Thanks again to everyone that came and/or wished me a happy day, I only hope your time was as good as mine!