Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tree Monorail

I like garden railways. I even have a G-scale 3 car train that goes under the christmas tree. The problem is that they are EXPENSIVE. Disregarding the cars and locomotives, the track itself is quite pricey. And yet I envision a mass transit system for all the gnomes and elves that live in the backyard. What to do?


First, go check out this guy's backyard monorail:

A model monorail would be great. It could be suspended from the trees where available, and require only a few supporting posts where trees are not available. Plus, with only one track, you eliminate the problem of trying to build double-track that maintains a set distance between the rails.

The plan is to use flexible copper tubing for trackage, which should be fairly aesthetically OK, especially after it oxidizes. The monorail itself will be a suspended type (under the rail), unlike the Disney top-of-the rail type. Track costs should be minimal. Control will be radio control and onboard batteries, so nothing will have to be electrified. I can see a station on the deck, a station in the woods.... I can see all kinds of things.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I see it's been a week since my last post. Must be time for the "writing about writing" post. I have written in the following formats:
  • Songs. I'm not particularly good at songwriting. Something pretty much has to happen to me in order for me to write about it, so there's a limiting factor right there. Not a whole lot really songworthy happens to me. (Especially as you get older - man, no one wants to hear songs about the middle of life). And, I stink at metaphor. Thus, my songs are more or less a direct recital of some event.
  • Marketing pieces. Well, these are just sort of painful.
I've been reading Analog, which is one of the last remaining pulp-science-fiction magazines, and while the writing is somewhat wince-inducing, it perfectly matches my remaining attention span. I might have to give that a try, although my ear for dialog is awful. But the format and content seem like something that would be amenable to giving it a try.