Doug Harding asked
How was CCB? I have seen any reports.
Doug, and all of the others unfortunates who did not or could not make the meet, here are my perceptions (and hopefully other will chime in as well)!
I drove down Wednesaday afternoon and saw snow along I75 in southern Ga and plenty of ice in the trees in north Florida, but had clear roads, since the storm had left town shortly before. I arrived that evening after a brief detour to pick up another attendee at the Orlando airport. That was my 1st experience with Orlando, which struck me as pretty nice looking with horrible traffic patterns! I'm used to Hotlanta and this was much worse! The weather the entire weekend was chilly, but still way warmer than most of the USA! It was clear that some folks could not make it, so the crowd was a bit smaller and some presenters had to cancel. Jeff and his crew were able to find a number of replacement talks, sometimes (like thursday evening) on litterally a couple of hours notice!
On Thursday afternoon, I joined the ops session on Mike Brock's Union Pacific layout, and while electrical gremlins arose with the very first train that ran, we chased the gremlins away and ran 9 more trains for a very successful ops session.
The number of models was down a little from porevious years, meaning that there was plenty of space for the ones that were there. As always, I find this one of the best parts of the meet, with lots of great models, models in progress and modelers willing to discuss their work.
The number of vendors was also down, with F&C being one of the noted absentees. Rapido was unable to attend but sent a display. Others were there though with lots of good stuff. One new vendor, Mike Brusky of Dimensional Modeling Concepts, had some really interesting 3D printed models and also gave an excellent clinic on the technology he uses and his approach to making models. As usual, I spent a bunch of money with Bob's Photos. I did not hear any direct news of new releases being announced, but others may have. The Intermountain folks had several test shots, but nothing that excited me.
I have to say that I think that this may have been one of the best years for clinics, or at least clinics that I found informative and very well done. I attended one nearly every slot and didn't have any that did not live up to my expectations.
Two dinners at Roberto's Cuban restaurant and one a new place to me, Cafe Europa, meant that I came home a few pounds heavier than when I left for CCB! The chef at Cafe Europa was the executive chef on the BNSF businbess car and so we heard some interesting tales of his life on the rails over dinner.
Next year's meet will be moved to the next weekend (or we would have started on the 3rd!) so mark your calendars for the 10th through the 12th of January 2019.