Fall Musings: An On30 scale conversion, cat antics and a Vegas-like bedroom
Mike decided that it is time to redo his model railroad. He had filled up every square inch of available space and there was nothing left to keep him occupied. Designing landscape and detailing the models is his real passion, but not so much the actual running of the trains. Besides, his impaired vision makes it too difficult to continue working in HO-scale.
The new scale is called On30. If I understand it correctly, and there’s no guarantee that I do, it is O-scale except that the ‘n’ means narrow-gauge (the equivalent of 30” track on a real narrow-gauge railroad). So, the models are O-scale, but can run on HO-scale track. Something like that … or not. I don’t know. All I do know is that Mike and his buddies are tearing up the inside of the train room.
The ‘deconstruction’ phase is messy. Dust from plaster scenery, sawdust, and everything else is getting tracked into the house. I need to vacuum hourly to keep up, but it isn’t worth the effort. Besides, I’ve discovered a new excuse for having dirty floors.
It’s a fact that most cats don’t appreciate vacuum cleaners to varying degrees. Kiisu doesn’t actually panic until I enter the room she happens to be occupying, waiting until I (and the dreaded mechanical monster) safely clear the doorway so she can make a hasty retreat. She generally dashes for the garage, since she has never seen me vacuum that environment.
Phoebe, on the other hand, prefers to keep the vacuum cleaner in sight. Apparently she believes if she can view it from a respectable distance it can’t possibly sneak up behind her and attack. She follows me from room to room, observing my progress warily, but staying well out of range. It just dawned on me that perhaps she can read and has noticed that the brand name of the vacuum is “Shark” and that she isn’t taking any chances about whether it possesses a set of jaws and sharp teeth!
While preparing to do chores last week I removed the vacuum from the hall closet and rolled it down to the bedroom. I unwound the cord and plugged it into the outlet in the hallway, which is roughly the midpoint of the house and within the full stretch of the electrical cord. My typical routine is to start at one end of the house, work down the hall, and finish up in the living room.
I completed half the bedroom and then turned off the appliance to stop and gather up all the cat toys strewn about. The place tends to look like all eight grandchildren came for a visit at the same, when in reality we live with only two cats. Quite honestly, it’s probably the other way around; the cats run the house and we are their humble servants.
In addition to every conceivable cat-toy on the market, there is also a dish of dry cat food in the room (besides all the available food near the kitchen). It’s a long explanation; for the sake of the story, just accept that it is there … that’s what we have learned to do. I started picking up the dry food that had spilled on the carpet before vacuuming over the area. The Shark has a safety feature that causes it to shut off automatically if it overheats or gets clogged up, and I was making a conscious effort to take the time to remove any potential hazards.
Photograph: A Shay locomotive in On30 scale, based on the Bachmann Industries model, Wikipedia.
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