Friday saw me adding another N gauge loco to my stable in the form of a Dapol Class 122 'Bubblecar'.
Now, I love this model, because it's a great design and as it is a single car unit, it can be run realistically on any of my layouts, be they large or small. As you would expect for the era I am depicting, the paint scheme is BR Green with contrasting details, so it just looks damned fine.
I purchased this from 'Rails' of Sheffield, my local bricks and mortar store, who are in my opinion, one of the best places to shop. They have great stocks, very reasonable prices and the shop is bright and clean. Perfect!
I got it home (grinning all the way and chattering away to my brother like a 6 year-old high on 'Haribo') and fitted a standard Bachmann 2 function, 6-pin decoder, before programming it and setting it going on my layout.
Well, I was grinning all over again, because this is a really wonderful little loco unit and is quiet and very, very pleasing to the eye when run at a low speed along a decent distance. The directional lights are the icing on the cake!
As you can tell, I am a very happy little bunny, indeed!
On Friday, I took the decision to sell one of my John Blanche paintings to a fellow collector, because I simply don't have the wall space with the other items that I have, sitting around awaiting framing, and the idea of simply stacking artwork away, seems a bit heretical.
It was a bitter/sweet decision, but on reflection, the right one, and I know it's gone to a really good home where it will be cherished.
And here, the weekend took a strange turn...
Like many people I am a devotee of Facebook and belong to a number of groups related to my interests, including one or two dedicated to the older editions of Warhammer.
On Friday afternoon a guy posted to one of them, asking for a valuation of a model for a friend who wanted to sell a rare model. He was given a 3-figure valuation by a respected member, and I posted a comment that at that price, I would be interested in purchasing it, without a quibble, as did another member, shortly after.
The next thing I knew, my post had without warning, been deleted.
So, I posted a 'wanted' advert for a figure of the type, which was clearly within the rules and it was deleted.
And then I was kicked from the group without an explanation. I asked a moderator what gave, and was reinstated. So far so good...
Then, a little later I was once again kicked and blocked from the group - again without comment or explanation.
Yesterday, I contacted a moderator:
Me: "I am trying to find out why I was kicked and now it seems blocked from the trading group yesterday. Thanks."
Mod: "Morning Mark. We keep records of actions taken as an admin for all groups. They indicate you were banned for trying to buy an item in a price query post on more than one occasion. If you think the rules have gotten a bit convoluted and byzantine then I can only agree, as a team we are bound to keep the core members happy though."
Me: "No, I and another guy both said that we were interested. XXXXX gave a valuation and I said that I would pay that . Ithen posted a 'wanted' advert like many others do.
Byzantine is one thing but a fascistic approach is another. kicking and then blocking afterwards is another admin adds me back is unfair when no reason or sanction is first issued."
"Me: Did the other guy also get kicked? Because if not then it is bang out of order.
Offering to meet the price that a respected member states is a fair price is not sharp practice, particularly when you are talking £***.
Let me know if things change please."
Anyway, the other guy did indeed get kicked, and thus, later in the day I followed this conversation up...
Apparently a couple of moderators dug their heels in and both I and my brother (because hey, we share the same surname) got the same treatment.
Mod: "Not good news, two members have dug their heels in on a permanent ban. I'm not sure what the deal is to be honest, I haven't had a full answer to my question. I can only suggest you wait a 30 day period (that's the length of our temp ban and tempers may have cooled by then) before getting in touch with YYYYY personally. Sorry I haven't been able to bear better news.
It's a bit unusual, not sure of the full story I'm sure, we don't normally hand out such strict punishments for minor rules breaches. I always vote to give people another chance but I don't have it all my way where decisions are concerned.
So as you can see, it's all a bit silly and sordid, leading an observer to point out: "Well for fucks sake what a pile of cockwombles"
And another: "Well, if that sort of underhanded BS is going on, then all involved can eat an, as yet unspecified number of dicks."
Strong stuff, and personally, I will not comment, as I have a habit of frank speaking, but it seems to me that a group of six year olds have been given access to the interweb. Frankly, in the long term, it is of very little consequence, because all they have done is stopped a flow of cash and indeed old models to their membership base. Rest assured, I will be vary careful myself, not to deal with fellows of that stripe.
Anyway, I will bid you a very fond farewell as Sunday night is '80s movie night' here at the Tower and I have t be up bright and early in the morning because 500+ Skaven are being delivered and I want to get them all sorted out before I return to my desk and start on my March work flow on Tuesday.
PS: What is a 'cockwomble'?