There is an insidiously powerful obsession I get caught up in every few years, and that is model trains. I’m wise enough nowadays to be able to resist buying a bunch of supplies to finally build a layout — I think I’ll save that hobby for when I’m old and crochety. ;) However, the obsession comes through like a tidal wave every so often, wiping all other concerns from the landscape until it recedes. Thanks to the Internet, I can indulge myself by checking out really awesome layouts done by others, which allows me to obsess without actually buying anything. This is a good thing.
With this background in mind, and given the recent resurgence of this obsession, I was poking around the MetroLink website earlier tonight when I noticed they have a store. Oddly enough, it is only an ‘online’ store in the sense that pictures of their products are on a website — you can only order stuff by downloading an order form, printing it out, then either faxing or mailing it. Not email, mind you. Snail mail. Anyhow, before I got too pissy about that in the Year of Our Internets 2005, I spotted HO Model Trains. Whoo hoo! Man, they sure look cool. Oh wait: $65 for a freaking locomotive? This isn’t a full-size one, is it? Nope, it’s HO scale.
And thus my dreams of a ginormous Union Station/Chinatown/Chavez Ravine layout with Metrolink trains and old-school trolleys came crashing to a halt. At $65, it would actually be about the same to buy a roundtrip pass between Union Station and Rancho Cucamonga for Single-A Quakes games — on a real train, mind you — ten times. I guess they have to pay for their huge Flash website development bills somehow, but jeez-us.