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Going Dark

The Facebook (FB) forum has come to be the dominate watering hole for the social media. I “went dark” for three months because of the high volume of senseless pandering of political views and the incessant targeted marketing of unwanted products aimed to my viewing habits. No one missed me… Ha! I found some peace.

FB is as annoying as cable TV in its dominating data mining of it’s viewers habits. Both now determine and “profile” the reader/viewer into target categories. Yep, cable is two way and records your viewing habits. Both systems have become over dominated by direct market commercialism and “tailoring” advertising content to fit the viewer. Cable now publicly brags they are doing this.

I am not going to debate what is obvious. I am getting very tired and annoyed at seeing nothing but “over 65” marketing. It may be efficient, but it is not winning any product points from me. I use the “off” button and go dark much more often.

Not All Bad

I write my own blogs on topics and views that are strictly my own. They are almost totally unseen as few people know how or care to subscribe to minor blogs for regular reading. What is happening is blog writers are posting in their own blog space, then providing a link from FB to their postings. I have done that on numerous occasions. It works quite well to bring in readers.

Love it or hate it, Facebook has become the center of the communication hangout universe for a lot of people.

Linking to Facebook works so well, that I plan on doing that much more often. It will help my blog postings get more initial “air time” and people who are not interested in what I post can still ignore the link if they choose. The link will soon go away when ignored.

Posting from one of my blogs keeps everything I write in one place. Ever try to find a FB post you read even a few minutes after you once view it? Unless it is very “popular” with lots of hits or you know whose private wall it may have come from, it quickly disappears from any further access. But what I write stays in my own blog. Not saying that what I write should last forever, or not, but it has that chance if I fully control the source.

Some Privacy

I am NOT a fan of storing a lot of personal postings and pictures in Facebook. Zuckerdude and his hench-people do far too much data mining of every detail within their control. They can visit one of my blogs if they choose, but I don’t think a remote source is easy for them to manipulate. Deleting out of Facebook is no guarantee that anything has actually been deleted. I have NO TRUST when it comes to Facebook keeping privacy morals.

It is what it is. Facebook is a necessary communication resource. I will make my own rules whenever I can.

Staying On Track

I posted a few articles in a row about model trains. It is only a subject I am writing about and tinkering a bit around the edges. It’s because it is an old and long standing interest. It is not a current passion or must do. I like to pick up the lid and shuffle through the items in the virtual box of old toys. You know the old adage about men and their toys. Ha!

My box contains a lot of play things. Not bragging. It may even be a curse in other peoples views. I am OK with having broad interests and skills. Most of them are related in some way. Most are in the area of making things.

The trains for example are all about making them, not collecting or even operating them. “Making” is the common glue.

My current passion in lost wax silver work is not to make or keep the items I make for myself. I have a few I consider “mine” but the vast majority is sold or given away as gifts. My wife has her own stash but often sells or gifts it away too.

The 3D printing I am doing is the same. I give away or sell almost every thing. It is the making that I enjoy. I also enjoy that some one else likes what I can make.

The model trains are a bit different. Those I make for myself and have never entered into a way to share. I think because I never found or looked for other local people with the same interest as mine. Making things for one self is fine, but sharing is so much more rewarding for me. That’s where clubs and associations of like interest help. Sharing an interest keeps that interest “on track”, the point I want to make.

I have been in many clubs and interest groups. I don’t always live as a hobby hermit. I usually gravitate to news letter editor and eventually find a job as president. I get very proactive. It just seems to happen. Now I have drifted into web blogging which is much like giving a speech in a dark and probably empty room. It’s a lazy excuse.

Web groups are OK when they happen. But I think they work best as part of a local club. There needs to be some real friendship and face to face bonding. No hiding behind an on-line pseudonym. Guilty as “Ramblin’ Dan” but the Dan is my real name. I don’t hide the Kautz, if you follow my blogs long enough.

So the right track is to come out of hiding and find or start a local group. It can be as small as one other person with whom to share. More people add diversity and large groups settle into doers and riders. All that is OK. It is how I have always seen it work.

Have a comment on track? Post it here.

The Truth About Playing With Trains

I am enjoying my return voyage through the land of model railroad whimsy. Those people who do not take exact model duplication with any concern are a fascinating and refreshing group of artists. That’s what it is… an artistic interpretation of an alternate reality. To me it screams, “Why not?”

It’s not about kicking sand in the gears of the scale model fanatic, a.k.a. the rivet counters. The folks (me) who enjoy exactness in scale modeling. It’s a natural backhanded comparison. But I think it is made more as a “in fun” taunt, than a serious put down.

I enjoy both, actually […] Continue reading » The Truth About Playing With Trains

More Aw Nuts

I have done more investigating am it appears the the AWNUTS folks are alive and quite well, simply living independently. That’s the nature of doing things your own way. It’s fun to see what others of the same ilk are up to, but it doesn’t need a formal organization to lets say… set standards. The point of whimsical is there are no standards except those of the creator.

A place like Pinterest is a sensible home base. I followed links to some very well done web sites created by the artists. I think that is a great way to organize. Everyone can do […] Continue reading » More Aw Nuts


There used to be a social group that promoted model train building that was more whimsical than realistic. It used the acronym AWNUTS as an identity. Its meaning is Always Whimsical, Not Usually To Scale. It was model trains on a non-scale whimsical theme. It was all about having fun with imaginative model trains, with nothing sacred or necessarily realistic.

Google “awnuts model trains” and the remnants of the group can be discovered. A bunch of old pictures are published on Pinterest.

On Christmas day 2016, in conversation with my son’s father-in-law, I discovered he is a builder of such model train equipment. He had […] Continue reading » A.W.N.U.T.S.