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May 16, 2005

"No. I don't wear an Engineers hat."

When you're involved in a hobby you find yourself wondering if you really want to share your participation with the rest of the world. Often times it's the people you also participate with in the hobby that drive you to think this way.

When I was an infant I would stand in the crib and watch trains passing in back of my parents apartment before they woke up. As a tot I loved toy trains and the Christmas I was 6 I got my first HO set. I have a lot of fond memories of trains but I can't say I'm consumed by some sort of feverish sickness that makes me want to decorate my house, wife, cats and son in Railroading garb. I would say that I'm only a moderate enthusiast. (Especially compared to some.)

Now I find myself participating in a hobby where the inmates have overtaken the asylum. From rivalries that make the old Ford vs. Chevy arguments seem pale by comparison to pontificating nitwits it's all quite frightening.

In some ways it's a hobby infested with ghosts. From the spectre of the hobby's glorious postwar past to the neer do wells that post frequently on the various internet forums about how "this was better then" or "that will fail with time" it's all you can do not to go poking around the phonebook for Ghostbusters. To say it's infested with trap door spiders of loneliness is an understatement.

I collect/run/have a pile of O-gauge (think Lionel) and it's given me an excellent distraction from other things. My simple motto is that I like to drink beer and run trains but not necessarily in that order. Unfortunately few of the hobbyists are my age and fewer still seem to be interested in following my motto. More's the pity. I have a lot of free beer. (lol)

Posted by Jim at May 16, 2005 09:56 PM


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