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· Senior Member
3,227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Through some private emails from a person who has been very helpful to me but admittedly is not happy with me it has been made clear that I have upset and annoyed some people in the DCC community who I have never intended to upset or annoy.

He may not like me much but I like him and more important I appreciate his assistance - a lot. He is the person who suggested my use of the Digitrax DH123D.

I also have a great deal of appreciation and respect for everyone who have read my posts and done their best to help me by answering my specific questions with specific answers to those questions. If I knew who each of them are/were I would be most happy to thank each and every one of them but I have a terrible memory and if someone helped me last week or last month I have unfortunately probably forgotten their names and most of what they said (that is why I may ask the same question more than once (it would do me no good to write it down because I would forget where to find what I wrote).

Some people seem to get mad at me because I ask a question, they answer, and I do nothing. This is because my decision to do anything often depends on the answers I receive. No disrespect or lack of appreciation is ever intended. Often my decision to do nothing is the result of the cost (to me) to follow their advice. I frequently have no idea of what the cost may be when I ask a question (that is part of why I ask questions - to find out what alternatives may cost me).

Some people may get mad at me because I ask a question, they answer, and I do something entirely different. This is usually because their help (no matter how sincere) convinces me that particular solution was too expensive or that I found an alternative solution that appeals to me more (this seems to really upset some people). I once again really appreciate their information but I always reserve the right to proceed the way that most appeals to me rather than the way that seems most logical to someone else.

Some people get mad at me because their time and knowledge is valuable (they may sell their advice in a professional capacity) and they feel frustrated and irritated when I elect not to follow their valuable advice. Of course I sincerely appreciate their time and effort but ultimately I still feel it is my right to follow MY preference for what I want to do rather than to follow their (even professional quality) advice to do what does not appeal to me or is more expensive than what I am willing to pay. I may ask how to do one specific step and they may recommend steps I did not ask about or that do not appeal to me or that do not fall within my budget for the project.

Some people seem to get upset because I ask for different advice on different forums. This is because I have many different projects and I may wake up today with a different thought process than I had yesterday. They may pick up part of one of my projects on one forum and part of another of my projects on another forum (which put together make no sense to them). Then too I owned the LGB Family Forum until recently and my policy for that forum was that it was a 100% LGB and LGB of America forum so naturally I followed my own rules and I only asked for information there that would result in 100% LGB solutions.

Some people are apparently upset because I have a personal conflict with a friend of theirs and they want me to become friends with that person. At the present time that seems impossible to me as long as I continue to be advised by that person to do things that would cost me far more than I am willing and able to spend and to do things that I keep saying I do not want to do. If and when he stops I'll be more than willing to "bury the hatchet."

Perhaps the above can be summed up by saying that apparently some people are upset with me (and even quite mad at me) because I appear to keep changing my mind about what I want to do (or not do) and how I end up doing it.

Unfortunately they are quite right. I DO keep changing my mind about what I want to do (or not do) and how I end up doing it. This is because I do not have and never have had any sort of master plan (or even a minor plan) for the future. I don't plan for the future (of my toy trains) other than how to focus on minimizing my net cost of ownership over my lifetime (or at least the time I own and enjoy my trains).

With my terrible memory combined with the fact that I am retired and that my toy trains are for entertainment purposes only (I make no pretense of running a "model railroad") I really only have two main objectives (plans if you like). They are:

1. Always keep in mind the affect anything I do will have on the resale value of everything on my layout. I am 64 years old, disabled, on a fixed income and my home is on the side of a steep hill. I will not live forever and if I am still able to run my trains or even to continue to live here 10 years from now I will be very surprised. This means I (or my family) will probably have to sell all my trains and equipment sometime in the next 10 years.

1a. (Bearing in mind rule #1 above) I always look for the very cheapest solution for every problem or challenge or new project.

2. I am far less mobile than I was when I built my layouts and I was only able to rebuild my outside layout with most of the physical work being done by a friend. The layouts are built and are working so I do not want to make any major changes (or add unnecessary expense) to what is already built and working and that I am very satisfied with.

Buying expensive LGB trains and other LGB equipment at closeout prices - that have a long life expectancy and anticipated minimum depreciation IS a cheap solution (to my mind anyway). Putting two $100 decoders into an expensive LGB locomotive - that will not increase the value of the locomotive by $200 is a luxury (for me) - and not a solution to anything (for me). Putting a $300 or even a $150 sound decoder into a LGB locomotive that will not increase the resale value of that LGB locomotive by $300 or $150 is once again a luxury I cannot justify and I am unwilling to pay for.

Most people do not understand that my interest in MTS/DCC expansion is now 100% interdependent on the use of my LGB 4135/4235/4367 type of analog sound systems. I did not start out with this "guideline" but after considering the cost of converting my analog trains to MTS/DCC it was not long before I came to the conclusion that I have enough LGB trains that came with LGB factory sound AND LGB factory installed decoders to keep me happy. I abandoned all consideration of converting ANY analog trains FOR MY USE with perhaps the exception of some LGB Forneys with DCC interfaces (and once again LGB 4135/4235/4367 sound units).

Once I discovered that I can probably add a decoder to my LGB 4135/4235/4367 sound units for less than $20 each it started me thinking about converting my LGB 2-4-0's and Lionel locos (with LGB 4135/4235/4367 sound units) for use by my granddaughters and occasional visitors with multiple LGB MTS remotes. Those same converted locos could also be used to demonstrate some of the features of MTS/DCC on my portable trailer layout at club meetings or at local train shows.

Now my first question on any MTS/DCC project is "Can I use it with my LGB 4135/4235/4367 sound units and can I do it very cheaply. If the answer is no (as it had been) I abandon that project unless and until the answer changes to yes.

Next the governing "guideline" becomes keeping the total project as cheap as possible (my time is free so time is not a consideration to me). Also, since the sound units are chuff only (no bells, whistles, lights, standing sounds etc.) and all I am looking for from the LGB MTS Central Stations and LGB Remote Controls are forward, stop and reverse, about all I need from the (cheap) decoders is enough voltage to handle the power from LGB 50111 transformers and LGB Central Stations 1, 2 or 3 plus enough amps to either handle the chuff only LGB sound units or to power the LGB 2-4-0's and/or Lionel 0-4-0's or 0-6-0 Thomas the Tank.

By the same token I would NEVER ask or suggest that someone else should donate their time, knowledge and experience to me unless they are willing to accept the chance that their time, knowledge and experience may not be used in the furtherance of my project. I ALWAYS appreciate and respect any assistance I receive in response to specific questions I may ask - whether I end up following the trail that information may have been intended to lead to or not.

I am seldom asking for information about the best way to do something. I am usually asking for information about how to so something the cheapest possible way (once again I apparently start to offend someone because of this).

Often a "yes, I tried this, this is how I did it and it worked (or did not work)" is every bit as valuable (and sometimes more valuable) than technical advice that may not be clear to me or that would involve significant effort on my part to even discover if the results would do what I am trying to do.

Ultimately I am ALWAYS asking for information to enable me to make a personal decision (MY decision) of which way I am personally inclined to want to do something. This may be in direct conflict with how the person offering the information thinks I should and expects me to proceed. Here again feelings apparently get hurt and offense is taken where none is intended.

Right or wrong it just happens to be my personal nature to react negatively to someone (anyone) TELLING me to do something (anything). This is not intentional (I usually don't even notice) but it has been my nature for 64 years and that behavior is unlikely to change. If someone suggests that I go north I will probably think it over and if I see no reason to do anything different I will probably go north but if that same person TELLS me to go north I will probably turn SOUTH and only later give any thought about whether going north would have been a better choice. Perhaps it is because I am retired and I no longer HAVE to follow instructions that I am much quicker to ignore instructions TELLING me to do something. It is also my nature to believe nothing without personal validation. I only believe something and do anything after I have been convinced in my own mind that it is something I personally want to do. A person may be much smarter and better trained than I am but I still have to be convinced that his solution is also MY BEST solution. MY BEST may be cheapest - not the truely best - but if saving money is MY PRIMARY objective, that makes it MY BEST solution - and the solution I will follow.

I freely admit that I think differently from most people. Most people tend to first decide what they want to do and then they go about planning and buying as they work toward those goals.

On the other hand I am "bargain driven." I don't care if it is a Mogul or Mikado or UP or PRR or D&RGW or mainline or narrow gauge. A bargain is often the motivation for me and the cause of the "plan" I appear to be pursuing. When the bargain starts looking less like a bargain I often abandon a project (at least until new information might make it a bargain once again).

If I run across a super bargain and I think that I may have some use for it and my current funds allow it I may buy it whether it is a LGB Central Station 1 or a Forney or a Corpet-Louvet or decoders. If it is cheap enough my logic is that if I fail to come up with a use for something I bought I can always sell it and pass on my bargain to another bargain hunter on eBay.

OK. I am verbose. I know that (and everyone who knows me knows that). I'm getting to be an old dog and that is unlikely to change.

The good news is that I am hopefully approaching a successful conclusion of my projects. When that happens I will be able to stop bugging everyone with my MTS/DCC questions.

I can very honestly say that I do not understand why some people do not like me (perhaps quite strongly). I have no similar feelings toward them (I don't even know who they are). I would never have the slightest negative reaction to anyone who disregarded any advice I might have offered to them regardless of how much work I might have put into it.

In the hopes that they might at least understand me better I am offering this explanation of why I do what I do. I should add that I am not suggesting that I like everyone and that I expect everyone to suddenly start liking me. There are of course some people I do not care for and who do not like me either. Those relationships are unlikely to ever change so they are beyond the scope of this.

The bottom line is that if I have somehow offended or upset anyone after they have made a genuine effort to help me I sincerely apologize to them for any offense they may have taken. Any offense, insult or other upset that may have been felt was entirely unintentional on my part.

Additionally, I wish to offer my sincere appreciation for everyone who has made a genuine effort to assist me with my various projects.

My best regards to all,


PS: in case anyone is wondering - No. No one suggested that I should write this. I just thought that it might help by answering some questions some people may have about why I do what I do - that may not make any sense to them. If someone is mad and wants to stay mad at me that is OK. On the other hand if someone has been offended by something I said that may have been misunderstood, taken out of my intended context or (worse yet) was taken as an intentional offense, then I offer my sincere apology to them.

· Registered
1,642 Posts
"OK. I am verbose. I know that (and everyone who knows me knows that). I'm getting to be an old dog and that is unlikely to change."


· Senior Member
3,227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Pete,

To quote Popeye "No matter what ya calls me -- I am what I am an' tha's ALL I yam!"

If I had a signature block that is probably what I would put in it.



Posted By Pete Thornton on 07/22/2008 1:03 PM
Nicely put. Maybe you need to put this (the short version) in your 'signature' block.
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