Howdy all, My name is Ed, and my wife Diane put me onto this website with it's variety of forums. We're getting started on our first joint model railroading venture (I used to model N scale in my younger days, and her father left a ton of N and HO equipment behind when he passed away a few years ago). I'm in my early 50s, an IT Systems Administrator, and a Freemason in northern California. My wife is younger than I am, a GIS specialist, and not a Freemason in northern California. As far as model railroading goes, I prefer equipment detailing and operations, and she prefers scenery and building. Nice combination huh? Our model railroading plans change every time the subject comes up, but basically we want to have an N scale layout in the play room, and an HO layout in the garage when the time comes. We're starting with an N layout based on a plan in Atlas' "NiNe Scale Model Railroads". We were originally going to build on a 4x8 piece of plywood using cookie-cutter construction for the rises and drops, but we've just decided today to forget about the plywood, and build on a solid-foam base instead. Ultimately, I'd like to run a HOn3 layout representing the Nevada County Narrow Gauge RR (Never Come, Never Go). Things sure have changed since I was modeling years ago. New techniques, new materials, new equipment, new technologies... We just came back from the train show at the Sacramento Convention Center on Saturday with a new 2-8-0 Consolidation that we thought we could run with an as-yet-unbought Digitrax DCC control system, and found out that "DCC-ready" does not mean "DCC-run-able". After feeling a little bummed, and just a little like I had been taken, I realized that there's a lot I don't know about model railroading these days. Live and learn... and I guess that's why I'm here. To learn, and hopefully to give back some day. I have already begun enjoying your posts and inputs, and I look forward to joining in with you... as soon as I have something of value to say. Thanks everyone.