Year in Review – 2018


In the spirit of my tagline, here are some random musings on this New Year’s Eve.

I didn’t find 2018 especially memorable.  This is a good thing.  We tend to remember the tragedies.

We leave the year one cat poorer.  Clarabel wasn’t old but wasn’t young either, and she was taken quickly by cancer.  Extended family lost a cat to old age and a dog to tragedy.  It’s no fun but it’s the price we pay for the joy they bring in their short lives.

All the horses are OK, and one is a national champion now.  This is a vast improvement over past years.

The fleet has changed a bit.  Much like with the cats our GMC left us suddenly in January being neither young nor old. It was taken too soon by rust and engine problems.  Its replacement is the first Ford I have ever owned.  Eleven and a half months in, we still love it.


My year old Civic left us in the spring, traded for a plug-in hybrid Honda Clarity.  With my short commute I can go all week without ever starting the gas engine.  I originally wanted a Tesla 3, but they proved more costly than advertised.  The Honda allows me to drive on electricity most of the time with the ‘infinite’ range of gasoline when I need it.

Other things. . .

We got the VW bus back in the spring, but we did not get to camp in it this year.  Somehow the calendar ran away from us.  I planned a motorcycle adventure in the mountains and didn’t find the time for that either.  I did get to ride in the DGR.

DGR Portsmouth at Nubble Light, York Beach ME.

Kiddo and I hiked to Carter Notch Hut and stayed over.  We have now been to both ends of the AMC hut system.  Maybe 2019 will bring something in the middle.

19 Mile Brook Trail was our alternative to Seek the Peak this year.

The garden railway was destroyed by a falling tree in the spring.  I’ve broken ground on a new line in another part of the yard and hope to finish it in the coming spring.  I plan to immolate the corpse of that damned pine piece by piece in my firepit while I build the new line.


Kiddo and I have been regularly running trains at a friend’s HO model train layout.  We’ve begun construction on our own empire and hope to drive the Golden Spike in the coming days.

In short, everyone is basically healthy and happy.


I never do well with resolutions, but here goes:

Mrs. Mack505 has challenged me to get back to photography in 2019.  Specifically she has challenged me to make more prints in the darkroom  I’ve ordered fresh chemicals, and I hope to average a print a week next year.

On the personal improvement front, my resolution is simple to make but difficult to keep:  No more Dunkin Donuts croissants.  They’re bad for me but yummy.  I had my last one this morning.

And a final note:

At this writing, Hometown VFD is 5 calls short of setting an all-time record.  There are 3 hours to go in this year.  We did 10 calls in 32 hours over Christmas, so it’s not impossible. . .