Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Switch is on

Before I'm through I'll hve you shaking your head and wonderijng about my sanity. I promise.

I think I fell in love with another woman last night. OK don't going flying off like a flock of turkey buzzards spooked by an eighteen wheeler.

I was minding my owen business looking at a picture of Marlene Dietrich on the set of one of her movies. So now that you have the setting of a live man staring at the picture of a long dead woman things have the appearances of a little propriety. WEll, not quite. There was something about that picture that got lust bubbling in my heart and lower extremities.

But wait a darn second. My old analytical brain goes into overdrive and is trying to get a glimmer of why and why not. I mean the picture is of a movie star. It is taken by a movie company photographer. The purpose was to stir up lusts. They wanted folks to go spend money checking out the movie. So who is the artist?

See? I can take lust and twist it around so it is looking me in the craw.

The photographer? Marlene? Or is it me the viewer? After all, the first two are long gone. Who has the bad case of wandering lust. Damn right. Me.

The qulity of the old photographs in black and white and masterful use of light? Or is it the way that Marlene looks just so? Is it a full image saying I want to give myself just to you or is it an empty look saying "enter at your own risk, I want to suck the soul out of you."

Disturbing. Really disturbing. What could a real woman do to me with the same look?

And on that I'll make a quantum jump to New Orleans and Katrina looters. What caused them to look the other way? Is it that hard to make the wrong mis-step? Darn right.

I've been bothered for too long by a track problem. REmember? I have a one track mind. Clever boy that I am, I took that one track and decided that I needed a challenge in my life. I put a turn-out up inside a mountain.

Now a turnout up inside a mountain is almost as smart as giving a terrorist a missle launch code and saying "I trust you."

A turnout is a place where the track can go left or right. Some folks call them "switches."

My turnout has been a night mare since installed. First off, I could never be sure which way it was aligned, Next, sometimes it wasn't fully aligned. Consequences are trains jumping the track inside a mountain tunnel which means I have to take the top of the mountain off and fix things.

So I finally decided to rectify things. I needed a mechanism that "locks" the rail one way or the other and lets me know.

I ended up "inventing" this oddity that uses an electrical Double Pole Double throw switch that connects using "piano" wire to the turnout. THen I had to figure a way to securely mount it. I devised a base of cabinet grade plywood that is fastened ising heavy wood screws.

The electrical lines from the switch meant I could add signals. I devised a way to get the right voltage and then needed a couple of LEDs. Green would be best. I scrouged. I looked high and low. I finally reached for an ancient PC. Darn thing was once expensive. Now it was taking up space. I CUT two green LEDs from the guts even having to go into a disk drive for one.

So now behind the trees on the mountainside glows one or the other LED over the track that will hold the train. A turnout control that cost me most of nothing of course the computer was once worth considerably more. Odd how the value of things changes.

Maybe I need to go have a discussion with Marlene's picture. Of course if I spend too much time she might set me straight. That will be a switch.