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Hi guys,

Today has been a crappy day.  I got up all excited to go to see some old high school friends in Jackson Hole, WY.  I got to the airport to find out my flight was 4hrs delayed, causing me to miss my connection in Chicago.  There was no space on the other flight to Jackson later tonight, so instead of staying the night in Chicago, I decided to fly tomorrow.  To say that I am disappointed is an understatement.  Now, I will be able to see my old friends for about 24 hours, and that sucks.  We're scattered all over, and this will be the first time in about 5 years that all of us have gotten together.  They've all been there since Tuesday, and I am the last one to arrive. Ugh.  I am in 1st class from Chicago to JAckson tomorrow, so that's taking the edge off a bit.  Its going to be a quick out and back, though.  I hadn't planned to ski, and now it looks like I don't have to worry about making an excuse.  I kind of think I should unpack my snowshoes and poles, too.

Now- the silver lining.

I had excellent customer service and support from Roundhouse Engineering this morning.  As some of you know, I have a roundhouse liberty belle that has been out of service since about 5 years ago.  She's really been out of regular service since 1997.  In talking with Chris and Roger this morning,  we discussed what was wrong with the locomotive.  I was expecting that I needed to get new cylinders for the engine due to errors made by me in a repair attempt.  They are sold me replacement parts instead of new cylinders, saving me a big chunk of change ($50 vs $225).  I don't know when they'll show up, but I am now hoping to have this engine up and running for the ECLSTS.  Maybe the PA live steamers will let me boil water with them.  Maybe on of the PA live steamers will want to give her a new home... 

Anyway, I am at work, instead of on vacation.  Luckily, Fridays are short here.  

Hope that you all are having a better day than I am!

Mark

PS MB took the baby and the dog  to her parents for the weekend, so there's no one to hang out with at home, either! 
 

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Travelling in the wintertime . . . I have a few experiences in that regard trying to get back and forth from Anchorage to Portland through Seattle during the holiday season. Unitl this last  December when my mom's 80th birthday came around, I had given up travelling during that time of year entirely. It was simply way too much hassle with too many opporunities for delays, overcrowding (especially on the planes), and just having to deal with downright unpleasant weather conditions.  Might as well plan on extra travel time IF you MUST travel then.  It seems to be the nature of the beast. 
 
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