Happy day after April Fool’s Day.   And yesterday was truly April Fool’s Day on me. Seemed like everything I touched became a problem. I sat down to prepare this message only to have my voice to text software fail. After hours of research, trial and error repairs, and other possible fixes, I gave up and deleted the program. When I inserted the CD to reload the program, my DVD drive failed. Another couple hours of research trying to figure out which drive would be an exact fit replacement, and as I started to remove the drive to find the actual part number because HP used 4 different drives in this machine, another CD came out that had been apparently lodged in the drive. Again, to make a long story shorter, I was able to reload the software this morning, the day after April Fool’s Day, so you be the judge! Plus, I did not want anybody to say “Look at this — the fool sent another message out.”.

Several things to update you on this month, so let’s get to it.

Number one:  As many of you might know we did a venture capital car to start to fund future SONC’s. This money will be used to help anyone who is willing to host a convention with upfront costs such as advertising deposits on convention cars, swag, hotel deposits, etc. etc. This will be done as a loan and will be expected to be repaid when the convention starts to turn a profit. Gang, we just cannot expect someone to volunteer to put all the work that’s necessary into a convention because of his or her love of the hobby and then have to dig into their own pockets to fund such a convention. So as a carrot, the board decided to buy 12 AtlasO – 2 rail refrigerator cars marked for ice service on the UP/SP double herald scheme. These cars have a fascinating history and could be on any railroad. Eleven (11) have been sold and paid for. There is only ONE (1) left.  Let me say that again, only ONE (1) left. These cars are $120.00 plus shipping or pick up at a show that I will be attending, such as the National in July. I’m in Mount Airy, Maryland so I often do Strasburg, the great scale show, and the ON30 meet in Harrisburg in May. Don’t miss out. These cars are new in the box and come with a certificate. This is all about helping the cause guys and gals. Let me repeat, only ONE (1) car left. If you’d like to buy that car, you can go on our website or you can mail a check to our treasurer. Remember, only ONE (1) left, so as soon as you make that decision and purchase the car, please let me know so I can put your name on. There will not be any more of these cars produced! It’s one of 12. (And the LAST ONE.)

Number two:  I hope that you all know that we are running a contest. I’ve stolen this from another site. It was a 14-day challenge. I have asked our webmaster to change our contest to a 30-day contest. Now you have until April 4th, midnight EST to get your entries photographed and to the webmaster. There is a place on the website to accomplish this. https://oscalekings.org/WP/14-day-build-contest/ This is just a photograph of the beginning of your project, whether it be a kit, a locomotive you going to super detail and paint, a building you’re going to finish, some scenery, some track work, or whatever you want to do, just send us a shot of the before. The contest will run until April 30th, midnight EST and then the Board of Directors will pick a winner. And yes, there is a prize. Hopefully, this will accomplish several things: it will give you something to do during the virus shutdown; it will get some unfinished projects finished; and you might even pick up a new skill. One thing for sure gang, O scale is a builder’s scale. And just to help you understand how these entries are going to be judged, I’m looking for things like accuracy, completeness, and if your project would promote O scale 2 rail.

#3: Check on your friends. I know many of us are in a state that has issued stay-at-home orders and the entire country is on a social distance order. I know we all think we are tough old birds, and  most of you are! But let’s not mess around with this virus and stay home! Enter the contest, finish a project. Many of us have access to things like face time or just a simple phone call. Was it the phone company that said reach out and touch someone? Of course, we don’t want to actually touch someone, but with the lack of train shows and get-togethers on Friday or Saturdays in a round robin club fashion, a personal phone call to your friends can do wonders for both of you. As part of this, I would also like to challenge those of you who are more tech savvy to produce a face time clinic. Maybe this could be done on a video zoom call? It doesn’t have to be long and elaborate, maybe just show us something that you’ve done and how to do it in a 15-20 minute segment.

Number 3: To update everyone on the 2020 SONC. As of April 2, 2020, the convention is ON! Now we all know that this is a very unusual circumstance and things change on a daily basis. The Hotel reservations are now open, the NMRA website has been updated and registration is now open.  Just a word on that, I’m hearing lots of gripes and complaints that the NMRA registration fee of $150 is just too much, and before even looking at what one receives for that $150, many of you have already said you’re not going. This may have been a better topic for April Fool’s Day, but I will be blunt enough to tell you that that is foolish thinking if you’re in that group. The $150 fee covers a week’s worth of activities including the 2020 SONC. It also includes entrance to the National Train Show, and includes entrance  into the SONC trading hall which will be on site, yes in the host hotel. The 2020 SONC Executive committee has been working extremely hard in these difficult circumstances to have our National something worth going to. The committee has also negotiated a deal with the NMRA so that being a member of the O Scale Kings means you do not have to pay the nonmember NMRA fee.  Another good reason, no, let me say a great reason to belong to the O Scale Kings. There is also a $50.00 a day option if you cannot attend the entire week. Go to the NMRA website and take a look at the long list of things to do.  The Executive Committee will be posting an updated reason to come on our website soon.

Make the most of this time!  Work on your trains.

Bruce

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