Author Topic: Fall track weekend  (Read 2050 times)

Ed Lecuyer

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Fall track weekend
« on: January 25, 2009, 07:19:15 PM »
MODERATORS NOTE:
Fall track weekend has been converted from the pre-July 2008 WW&F Discussion Forum.
Some formatting may have been removed or modified from the original postings that appear quoted in this topic.
Information contained within this post may be superseded by more recent postings and conversations.

Shawn Cavaretta wrote:
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i was thinking about comming up for one day to do track work. what do i need to know and bring. also do i need to be a member before i and work?

thanks
shawn

Allan Fisher replied:
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Be sure to wear work clothes and work shoes (NO SNEAKERS!) and be there between 7am & 8 am on either Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday.
Bring rain gear just in case. All lunches and dinners are provided free.

We are an equal opportunity work force - no membership is necessary. Just come and enjoy.

John McNamara replied:
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If you have them, I would suggest adding hearing protectors and safety glasses to your list. There are many tasks that don't require these, but if you have them, you'll have a wider choice of projects that you might be interested in joining. In particular, we now use power tampers, which are essentially air hammers, and they are LOUD. On the other hand, my favorite task is extending the telephone line and I try to stay well ahead of the ballast tamping crew

-John

p.s. You don't really have to be there at 7 or 8 am, but it helps. Also, Allan is talking about the Fall Work Weekend (Oct 5, 6, 7, 8 ), which is also probably what you're talking about.

Dave Olszewski replied:
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p.s. You don't really have to be there at 7 or 8 am, but it helps. Also, Allan is talking about the Fall Work Weekend (Oct 5, 6, 7, 8 ), which is also probably what you're talking about.

They  may have  meeting on Saturday before start to work on track so be there at 7 or 8AM if you want to attend meeting there. Last year they had it. It is about what to do and safetly.

Dave

Wayne Laepple replied:
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From the extended forecast on weather.com, it looks like rain gear will be the garb of necessity for next weekend. Maybe things will change -- we can only hope!

gordon cook replied:
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From the extended forecast on weather.com, it looks like rain gear will be the garb of necessity for next weekend. Maybe things will change -- we can only hope!

Intellicast is a little more optimistic about next weekend, as is the National Weather Service: ".THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY...MOSTLY CLEAR. LOWS IN THE LOWER 50S. HIGHS IN THE UPPER 60S. "
but today is Fabu-u-lous!!   Woo Hoo! 
_________________
Gawdon

Wayne Laepple replied:
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Yes, it's fabulous here in central Pennsylvania, too. We've spent the day making salsa! But next weekend I'll be working track!

Shawn Cavaretta replied:
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dosent look like i will be able to make it this year.

sunday on my way to a train show my transmission in my truck blew up so i am with out a car.

see you all in the spring

Stewart Rhine replied:
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This Fall Track Weekend is considered by some to be the 10th anniversary of the Track Weekend as we have come to know it.  Ten years ago - Columbus Day weekend 1997, was the first track weekend with a specific goal.  The task was to complete the first mainline curve and build the first grade crossing, Davis crossing.  The crew included Zack, Dana, Marcel, James, Fred, Jason, Harry, John B., Wally and myself.   There were others but I don't remember as I don't have them in my photos.  Back then our entire railroad was Engines 51 and 52, box 309 and flat 118.  The crossing was completed Monday afternoon and we brought the train consisting of 52, 309, 118 up to see how the journal box bolts cleared the crossing planks.  Engine 52 came up near the end of track, one rail past the crossing.  It was the first time the train was on the main line and couldn't be seen from the station.  That was an important mile post for the museum.

After that event it was decided to have a track weekend each Spring and Fall. The practice has paid off.  We have come a long way in the last 10 years, from a small crew installing a curve and crossing to many times the volunteers laying hundreds of feet of track with crossings and switches.  I have seen the mainline extended, locomotives restored, structures built and the membership grow.

I can't be there this weekend due to family issues (first one I've missed in 10 years) but I'm sure the crew will do another great job extending the mainline.  It makes me proud to be part of such a decicated group of railroad historians.

Stewart

Joe Fox replied:
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John M sent me photos of only ten guys during a track laying weekend, and at the time the pictures were taken, the track was just before Davis turn, and then the next batch, that I am talking about, were just after the turn, near the rail piles. Over the past three years, I have noticed that we usually have between 80-90 people on Saturday.

Joe

Stewart Rhine replied:
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Joe,  The line was extended North from the crossing in December of 1997 and January of 1998.  The work was possible due to unusually warm weather.  There is a photo in the Jan/Feb or March/April 1998 newsletter showing the crew.

John McNamara replied:
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Don't forget the picture that used to be in the WW&F brochure. It's the one where I am doing one of my best jobs - providing dead weight by hanging onto the side of the tip car to control the ballast outflow

I think that the picture was taken at Davis curve during the aforementioned construction some ten years ago! As Stewart mentions, there is also a shot taken just north of Davis Crossing on Jan 3 1998 and appearing in the Jan/Feb 1998 newsletter.

eriemike replied:
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Myself and a bunch of my fellow Walker Transportation Collection comrades will be there tomorrow to help out.  We look forward to it every Spring and Fall. See you then!

James Patten replied:
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Friday was ballasting and rail prep.  A couple hundred feet of track was ballasted but not tamped.

Saturday (today), the crew laid all 30 rails (28 foot) Dana was able to make up.  The head of steel is now beyond MP 7 (the sign for which was placed today).

jockellis replied:
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Hi, I'm new to the web site but hope to make the spring track weekend and have a few questions.
I cannot find anything about accomodations on the website. Where does one stay?
Also, I do non destructive testing at GE. Is there any need of magnetic particle, penetrant or eddy current testing of equipment parts?
And finally, I have a son who is a Boy Scout. Does the museum have any program for a scout to get his railroading merit badge there on track weekends?
Jock Ellis
Cumming, GA
Georgia Association of Railroad Passengers

James Patten replied:
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Visit the Maine Tourism Association's website, you'll get a better list than the website could provide.  http://www.visitmaine.com.  The motel everybody likes is the Wiscasset Motor Lodge, but you're probably already too late to get that one (those that stay there regularly will have say something about that).

Regarding non-destructive testing - I'll have Jason (our Master Mechanic) get on the forum and talk to you direct.

And regarding Scouts - no, we do have a program for railroad merit badges, but we'd like to have one.

James Patten replied:
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The entire 1000+ feet of track at the end has been ballasted.  End of track is about 60 or so feet beyond MP 7 sign.

There's still some ballast left in yard and a flatcar full of stone which has to be emptied next weekend.

Stewart Rhine replied:
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James, How much track got tamped north of Albee's crossing and how much is in service?  Just wondering how far the red flag was moved.

Bill Reidy replied:
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Stewart,

We didn't tamp this weekend.  About 420' of new track was put down, and stone was put down along the entire length -- from about 100' feet north of Albee's crossing to the head of steel a bit shy of 1200' from Albee's.  Some jacking was done in the low spots.

I believe the end of track is now closer to Head Tide station (2.1 miles) than Sheepscot (2.2 miles).

My understanding is we will be tamping during the spring work weekend.

Bill

Stewart Rhine replied:
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Bill, Thanks for the additional news.  The distances from EOT to Sheepscot and Head Tide are interesting.   It's great that there are now three mile posts on the rebuilt WW&F.  I remember what a big thing it was to get to M.P. 6 and now we have track past M.P. 7.  It sounds like you guys got alot of stone put down too!   I'm looking forward to seeing the progress in a couple of weeks.

Stewart

Steam replied:
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The trackwork weekends would not be what they are without the tireless work of all the folks in the kitchen who prepare the lunch and supper for all the workers.  This past Saturday, they outdid themselves!  Not only was the lunch prepared and taken to end of track just after noontime, but the soup and chowder were piping hot when they got there!  There were 3 kinds of sandwiches, chips, pickles, cookies, and soda (including that Maine favorite, "Moxie").   Then after an afternoon of hard work, we all were treated to the best supper we've ever had on the property!  Not just the usual buffet, but a genuine spaghetti dinner served on a great long table in one of the enginehouse bays. The table was covered with a red and white checked tablecloth, and bottles of sparkling grape juice were positioned about every 3 feet down the center of the table. What a festive atmosphere. There was salad and loaves of Italian bread to go with the meal, and all kinds of cake, cookies and brownies for dessert! WOW!  I hope everyone thanked all the folks who worked so hard to pull off a meal like that!  It's things like this that keep us all coming back.  I can hardly wait for spring.

Richard W. Symmes
Curator, The Walker Transportation Collection
Beverly Historical Society & Museum

Bill Sample replied:
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I'd like to second Steam's praise of the Bay One-Two-Three Cafe staff, and also to all those starting with Dana who planned the whole event.  The weather was a bit warm  for Ocotber in Maine but the rain stayed away for the most part.
IIRC the dates and final plans for the Spring '08 meet will be announced within the next several weeks once the final review of this session is done.

Joe Fox replied:
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What a great event it was to have the train stop at W 7 for a photo. When the train took off, up the slight grade, you can really imagine what it must have sounded like to hear a steam engine roar up the mountain. I heard somebody say that track laying should go much faster now that we are starting down grade for the mountain. It's funny, walking into the woods, it seems like it was level, however, the steam engine thinks differently. It is a slight uphill grade from mile post 7 to Albees crossing.

Joe

Tom Hunter replied:
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I want to take a second to thank all of you for your hospitality this last weekend; I have not had such a good time at a work project in years at a museum.  The food was fantastic, and what a dinner!

It was great to meet all the new people I did, and reacquaint with a few from a while ago - I plan to be back again!  I know that you have a new crop of spikers in the works - and I hope that you keep them busy, keep up the good work!

Tom Hunter (From Chicago)

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Yes, another phenomenal weekend! Thanks to all who made it possible! Tried (in vain) to get a shot of the long Bay 3 "tabella Italiana" but no tripod and low light did me in 

Here's the first steam-powered train to reach MP 7 in over 70 years, and some of the fine folks who helped make it possible!

PS - good to meet you too, Tom!


Joe Fox replied:
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Wow, what a great photo Steve. It was neat listening to the engine work as we departed MP 7 for the first time, however, the engine seemed a little reluctant to the departure, of course, I am sure the slight 1% grade had something to do with it as well.

Tom, it was great to meet you as well.

Joe

Stewart Rhine replied:
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Richard,  Sue and her crew did their usual great job thanks in part to some donations from the Sanger family.  Some of the dinner items were left from our (Cindy and I) wedding reception in May, especially the sparkling grape juice.  As I understand, Sue planned the meal around what would go well with a case of it.  I wish I could have been there to enjoy the meal with everyone but it's good to hear that the volunteers benefited from the donations.

Steve, Nice shot of the gang at MP 7.  More history is made.  What a great way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the track weekend!

dwight winkley replied:
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Another motel is Schooner Inn.

Campgrounds not open during Spring track weekend. There are two if you plan to visit during warmer weather.

Chewonki and Westside

All the above located in Wiscasset

dwight

Joe Fox replied:
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Is Sheepscot mile post 4.7, or 4.8? In one book, I remember it said something about Sheepscot being mile post 4.7. I only ask, because I am trying to figure out if we have 2.2 miles of track, or if we have 2.3 miles of track.

Joe

James Patten replied:
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As of right now Sheepscot is 4.7something which rounds up to 4.8.  We probably have slightly less than 2.2 miles of track.  I will know better when I take the measuring wheel out and walk the track from Albee's Crossing.

fjknight replied:
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Since I had my GPS (Garmin Forerunner 305) with me on Monday I used it to measure the length of the mainline. According to the GPS it is 2.18 miles. Most of the time it will measure within +/- 25' but it does have off days and I only measured it once. Another bit of trivia is that it gives maximum speed. We were being pushed by #52 and briefly topped out at almost 15 mph.

Frank

Dave Buczkowski replied:
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Indeed, Sue, Barb, Francis and the others involved outdid themselves! I especially liked the teryaki chicken at dinner Saturday. It was nice to see new volunteers like Tom and Josh from the Windy City join us and learn how things are done the WW&F way. They left us a very neatly spiked and lined end of track even though they had to replace joint bars bent and cracked by #10 going to end of track (or so they claimed...). I believe Dana ("Shack") accepted their explanation of why the bars cracked and returned their damage deposits... ;^) I look forward to seeing everyone soon. Don't forget Albion Day on November 3!
Dave

Mike Fox replied:
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Dave O. has posted some great photos omn NERail again. http://photos.nerail.org/show/?order=byrail&page=1&key=WW%26F
Thanks Dave and Steve H. for the photos.
Mike

Joe Fox replied:
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Were the joint bars found before or after ballasting? Because a car of ballast ways more than the steam egnine, that's why I was wondering. Glad they found them though. Did anybody from MNG show up like they said they were going to?

Joe

Dave Buczkowski replied:
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Joe;
I believe Tm and josh discovered the problem Sunday morning when they went to finish spiking at the end of track.
Dave

ETSRRCo replied:
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"And miles more to go!" Photo by Dave Olszewski
_________________
Eric Bolton
East Tigard & Southern Railroad Co 1889-1958

Bill Reidy replied:
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I've just posted some more Fall 2007 trackwork weekend photos on NERail, starting with:

http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo=2007101217524831814.jpg&order=byrail&page=5&key=WW%26F

Just three more photos and we hit 1,000 on NERail!

Bill

Bill Reidy replied:
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Make that two more photos needed for NERail.  I forgot to post my photo of #10 at MP 7 for the first time.

Bill

Tom Hunter replied:
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Hey all -

The bars had cracks in them from a long time ago - we just did a QC after we were done spiking... broken bars are someting to always look for no matter how small the gage!

I have a bunch of photos from the weekend, including oa shot of that wonderful dinner table... when do I send them?

We will be back!  Count on it!

Tom (of Tom and Josh fame)

James Patten replied:
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Tom,

You can post them on NERAIL (http://photos.nerail.org) if you like; if you want the Museum to have them, send them to our mailing address:

WW&F Railway Museum
PO Box 242
Alna, ME 04535

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Tom,

If you"d like some of your images to appear here on the forum, feel free to email a few to me and I will gladly "host" and post them here for you.
stephenhussar_AT_restorationstories.com
Posting here requires that each picture have its own unique web address ending in ".jpg" -- so it's a little bit tricky unless you have time to experiment and learn the system... the process can be very frustrating!!


Dana Deering replied:
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Hi everyone!  I've been offline for about two weeks so this is my first chance to chime in about the work weekend.  It's getting hard to come up with fresh superlatives to describe the hard work and accomplishments of all of the WW&F volunteers.  Fantastic, amazing, humbling, incredible, unsurpassed, all come to mind but don't seem adequate.  We have a unique railroad and a spirit that I haven't encountered anywhere else.  It sure makes the effort of planning and preparing for these work weekends so very gratifying!  Since I was just a kid walking the empty grade of the old B&SR I've dreamed about rebuilding the two footers, and thanks to all of you my dream, which, pleasantly, is a shared dream, is coming true.  We accomplished everything I had hoped to get done, except get the new track ahead of the phone crew  !  Get ready, John, cause if we can get the rail next fall we'll be breathing down your neck!  Anyway, Thank you to the Commissary Department for the great food and the nice set up in Bay 3.  Thanks also to the doughnut makers for keeping Duncan B. satisfied, and to the Turkey Man for the deep fried gobbler!  You should all be very proud of what you did this fall and what we'll continue to do next year!  Well, I had a lot of fun, hope you all did, too.  Time to start planning for '08!  Top of the Mountain, here we come!

fjknight replied:
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Here is a link to a video that I took on Saturday when we were leaving the work site and climbing the 2.5% grade to Alna Center. Joe Fox, our fireman, is the star of this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZK0ISPXf4s

Frank

Bill Sample replied:
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Yee-haw!! Hang on, Joe!
Thanks for sharing that show, Frank.  It was fun hearing the little 10's mighty roar up the hill.  Can't wait for #9 to do the same.
With all that spirited running, #10 still runs like a Swiss watch.  Truly a tribute  to those who rebuilt, maintain and operate her.

Mike Fox replied:
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I met a reporter last night on one of the Halloween trains that told me she wrote a short article on the work weekend. Here is a link.
http://www.mainelincolncountynews.com/index.cfm?ID=28031

Mike

Stewart Rhine replied:
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An open letter to Dana and the track crew.

I just got back from Maine and saw some great new things around the railroad.  The water tank looks wonderful and really blends in with the rest of the yard.  Last monday I was working at Alna Center and decided to walk up to see the new track.  What fine work - it gets better each year.  It's amazing to see track passing M.P. 7 WOW!  The new track and  stone look great.  I had my photo album with me, showing the area as a mud hole a few years ago, what an improvement.  My hat is off to everyone who worked that weekend - whatever the job.

Joe Fox replied:
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As Dana, and others would say, "It's all down hill from here, to 218 that is" or "Next stop, Top of the Mountain." I wonder how far it is from the current end of track, to the mountain.

Joe

Mike Fox replied:
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A strong Quarter mile. Maybe a shade further.
Mike

Mike Fox replied:
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Stewart,
The rail prep was a fun job too. Dana is in hopes of using rail next time that come with joint bars. More time could be spent on preping other things than the rails. Very time consuming. But in the end, it all worked out and we wound up with 420' or so of new track.
Mike

James Patten replied:
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It is supposed to be a mile between Alna Center and the Top of the Mountain (or very close to it).  So I'd guess it's closer to 4/10ths of a mile (as MP 7 is about 6/10ths away from AC).

From there to 218 it's supposed to be about 8/10ths a mile.  This was done by Jason and I one afternoon with a 30 foot tape measure, so the accuracy may be a little suspect.

Joe Fox replied:
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Thanks James, and Dad. It will be interesting to hear a steam engine "chug" up the grade. And look, a newspaper could actually use the term chug properly, however, they would probably say something more like, wind it's way up the 3% grade, or something like that.

Joe

Stewart Rhine replied:
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Mike,  You're right,  the rail prep crew did a great job.  I know it took a good part of the Summer to crop and drill the ends but there would not have been any rail to lay if you, Dana and everyone else hadn't put so many hours on the job.  I saw you guys go out during the second weekend of the National Narrow Gauge Convention.  Some of the visitors  commented on the work that was going on at the rail pile.

I didn't have time to take the handcar up there last month but I'm looking forward to riding over the new track in the Spring.

Joe Fox replied:
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Stewart, let me know when you plan on doing that, I will be more than glad to go with you. An extra set of hands always comes in handy when riding on the hand car, especially when coming up the ladder. I have been as far as the rail piles. I wonder who will be the first to take the hand car down the mountain? If I did that, I would have somebody meet me at the other end with a trailer, so we could load the hand car up, and head back to Sheepscot, or at least to Alna Center. 

Joe

Stewart Rhine replied:
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Sounds good Joe.  Not sure when the next trip is but I'll let you know.  BTW - It was great riding in the cab with you and Dana during one of the Saturday Halloween trips.  You have become an excellent ashcat.  I haven't ridden in the cab for a couple of years so it was a good experience.  You guys make a good crew.  Dana is quite a throttle artist and you did a good job keeping the fire hot, running the injectors,and calling signals.

See ya,  Stewart

Joe Fox replied:
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Thanks Stewart. Glad you enjoyed your first cab ride in a long time. It was great to have you ride with us. It sure was different firing that night. Dana always makes things funner by all of his Emperor of the North quotes. With that being said, I look foward to the Spring Track weekend, and I am starting to wonder what my schedule for the museum will be like in another year after I get a job. Talk to you later.

Joe

Dave Buczkowski replied:
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Joe;
The solution is to find a job that allows you maximum time at the Museum, like no weekends. My employer knows that my WW&F days and weekends are sancrosanct.
Dave
Ed Lecuyer
Moderator, WW&F Forum