Z day was pretty much bound to suck anyway because I only had one real entry, Zisa, and she is a conjectural Germanic counterpart to Tyr. I suppose that makes her a Goddess of the Aesir, but my heart really isn't in Z day because I spent the day in the emergency room with my dad. They aren't sure what's happened to him, but he's been admitted for testing.
I am almost 43 years old, he is 69 years old, we haven't always had the best relationship. My teen years were none too easy on us, he came from a generation that didn't spare the rod, and I always had a problem with authority, it only got worse when I got a lot bigger and stronger than him. While I was driving into the hospital today I thought about some of the questions I never asked him before, like "Why do you like trains so much?"; that used to drive me nuts as a kid whenever my dad would deliberately stop the car to watch a train go by. I almost understand model railroading, it involves a great deal of skill putting together a decent layout, from the design stage, to the scenery stage; and operations CAN be fun sometimes.
Not that my dad's layout ever achieved any stage of completion, it is in a near constant stage of redesign and reconstruction, some parts haven't been touched in twenty plus years, others are as new as last month. My dad is a master of layout design. Like the Borg, my dad's train layout is slowly assimilating my parent's entire basement, which I think is the real reason we have spent since last July building a huge garage over there, everything that used to be stored in the basement of their house is slowly being moved to the attic of their new garage as we build it.
When I was a kid my dad and his best friend John Liccardi formed the "Oswego Valley Model Railroad Association", I think you can find them on Facebook now, but John died in December of 1985 and my dad's declining health over the years has made him a less active participant. I was a little saddened to see that a lot of the newer people there really had no idea the role my dad had played in the early years, getting that club up off the ground, and John no one mentions at all. Now, just a few of the more local guys come out to my parent's house once a week, on Thursday evenings, that's been "Train Night" for as long as I can remember; they run trains on his layout for a few hours, then they have some of my mom's baked goods.