What a way to start the morning.

I got out of bed this morning to the sound of the weather radio…. a signs of things to come.

At about 8:00 this morning, a rather nasty storm cell passed this morning with a major wind gust.  The wind knocked down part of our fence… I called the wind damage in to the Weather Service

There were reports of funnels with this storm, and although the weather service issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, the storm sirens sounded.

The local media:  KLWN, Lazer, Channel 6, and even the J-W website are currently doing post-storm reports.

Downtown Lawrence got hit with several windows broken in, and my family will likely be fixing some of those windows.
The problem may be that… we may not be done.  The Storm Prediction Center has us in “Moderate Risk” for Severe Weather, and the weather service is indicating that the storms may refire this afternoon.

Drawing attention from the law

Especailly since 9/11, railfanning has ocassionally come under scrutiny from the police. There have been stories of Police bring the FBI in on railfans, confiscating film, cards and camera.

For me, it wasn’t that much; however, today as I was railfanning the BNSF Emporia Sub near Ottawa, I did draw attention from a Franklin County Sheriff’s officer. I did get the standard licence and registration check, however.

Although I had been railfanning at this particular location, and on the nearby Eisenhower Terrace Bridge nearby, for 10 years, this is the first time that I had had a office run the registration check, and, apparantly, the first time the sheriff’s office had noticed anyone out there.

He did not ask me to leave; however, he stuck around to fill out some paperwork, so I decided it to call it a day.

I also apparantly drew attention because I was also spending some time writing webpages on my laptop.

DCC, Part 2

I blogged a couple weeks ago about my new Digital Command Control system for my model railroad.  I now have 3 more units wired up for DCC.

The first unit is a Norfolk Southern C44-9W.  I had tinkered with it for some time to get it running for DCC, but the first decoder got messed up by a dead short.  I rewired and re-isolated the motor.  Steve also offered me one of his older decoders and re-tested the unit.

He also had another “used” decoder, which fit in my 2nd GP60M, 156.

The final unit is a very special unit, since he is the one the little ones enjoy the most:  Thomas the Tank Engine.  During my wiring of Thomas, I acceidentally yanked one of the cables off the decoder.  I managed to solder it back in on the first attempt, which was a bit of a challange considering the small size of the decoder.  Everything else was real easy, since 3 of the 4 wires were colour-coded the same way as the decoder.  Testing went good, I got it assembled without messing up the moving eyes, and he is now running on my DCC layout.

Cyrus will be happy.