Saturday, May 10, 2014

OTR: Trains, Planes, Fire Trucks and Computers

It's likely no surprise to my friends that I like all of the things that I mention in the headline of this post. If the mailman pays attention to what he puts in my mailbox, I imagine he must wonder about what I do. There's Airways Magazine, Air & Space, Aviation Week and Space Technology, Trains, the Rail & Wire, Fire Apparatus Journal, some security magazines, and a handful of business magazines.

I suppose that when it comes to these things, I've never quite grown up. I didn't get the "car guy" gene that my brother has, or the boat-owner gene that my father had.

I've been a member of the Illinois Railway Museum for a few years now. I go out there a few times every summer, ride the trains, take some pictures, and get my train geek on. I haven't volunteered out there up to now because, quite honestly, I'm not that handy and taking up welding at my advanced age might be a little beyond me. Besides, I'm pretty sure the family won't let me out of the house wearing striped bib overalls. Nonetheless, I'm heading out there in the morning to see if I can lend some of my knowledge, and perhaps some of my writing ability, to the Museum.

I've observed some challenges, and I think I could help, but I need to see where they want help and how that matches with my time and ability. I get the distinct impression that the long term members value sweat equity over intellectual contributions as the true measure of the volunteer.

I think this is my favorite locomotive out at the Museum. When I was a kid, I had a Tyco HO railroad layout and the train set's engine was in the same colors.