Lionel Trains Mean Christmas

Lionel Polar ExpressFound this very cool Lionel train set on Amazon. When I was a kid I had a great Lionel set. In reality it wasn’t much more than an oval of track, a steam engine, and a few cars. But I loved it dearly and it was one of those that makes you think back and go “why on earth did I ever get rid of that.”  I went from Lionel, to HO, to N gauge, and now I have mostly British OO trains.  But I still miss those big Lionel.  The LEGO railroad that my son and I build under the Christmas tree is nice, but there is something about the sound of the Lionel cars over that three rail track that just can’t be beat.

My New Toy

I can never be without a toy for long. And by toy I really mean a car. Without something to tinker with, I am just not happy. And ever since the age of about 19 that toy has really had to be British. Once you get British cars in your blood, they never come out. Kind of like stains. Maybe it comes from inhaling a combination of Castrol oil and brake fluid along with rust. Don’t know, but I have the sickness bad. And, beyond just being British, I am addicted to MGs. Yes, I have MG hats, shirts, belts, key rings, posters, book, glasses, toys, and much more. Even an official MG dart board. (Me making my wife take time out from our English vacation to visit Abingdon, the birthplace of MGS, and the Heritage Motor Museum is an entirely different story.)

Anyway, back to the task at hand. MG Midget 1973Because of this addiction and because no one had the foresight to ban me from searching Craigslist, I am now the owner of a 1973 MG Midget that is in need of a wee bit of restoration. Although according to my friend Pat Stuckart, “saying this car needs a bit of work is like saying the Titanic needed a bit of buoyancy.” Some friend he is!

I have posted one picture of the car here, but if you click on that picture you can go to the full site I have about the car. Yes, another odd addiction of mine is making websites for anything that I get my hands on. If you would like to see it directly, just go to my MG Midget Page.

So, now you know what I will be doing in my rare “off moments” for the next few months. Or maybe years. I am still convinced that it is not as bad as it looks. Which in and of itself is a really good thing! But also, while my wife and her friends adopt stray dogs and protect them from pounds and being put down, I do the same thing for ailing British cars. I just can’t stand to see a car with any chance of life be parted out, sent to the junkyard, or worse yet set to the crusher. It just kills me a bit somewhere inside. Of course, again, that could be the chemicals and rust having their way with me.

Find Out If That Christmas Toy Is Safe

toysWhen we buy presents for our children and other kids we mainly concentrate on what they want, how much it costs, and how long it is going to last. My wife also thinks about how the toy is going to feel when she steps on it in the middle of the night, but that is about as close to safety thoughts as many of get.

But, many potential Christmas toys bear unwanted gifts — in the form of lead, cadmium, chlorine, arsenic, bromine and mercury. So how can you tell what’s safe? Start with the product rankings at You can search by toy name, brand, and type. Doing some shopping and need a quick answer? Send a SMS/text message to 41411 with the text, “healthytoys [search term],” where the search term is the name of a toy, type of toy, manufacturer, or retailer. You’ll get instant search results straight to your phone.

Note, this tip comes to you by way of LighterFootsteps. Please check them out!