I joined Mt. Rainier N Scale in about 1994, just in time to gear up for the 1995 Washington Fair appearance. It's been gratifying to railroad with some truly talented modelers through the years and I've continued to learn from them about all aspects of the hobby. Most of all, it has been fun!
On Model Railroading:
1) It's my railroad
2) If it's not prototypical, refer to rule one.
On Electricity in Railroading:
First rule of wiring: only use one hand
Second rule: "Red on Red, Black on Black" (thanks to Mark C).
Serving as the "Sparktician" for Mt. Rainier has given me the opportunity to learn prototypical operations and apply them to N Scale. It's only 12 VDC, so when the smokin' dead short happens, it's not fatal (at least to the operators).
On Scenery: The material is cheap, if you don't like it, scrape it all off and do it again (which I've done several times). Also, when you've run out of "Younkinite", you're done for. (Ask Jim Younkin, Chief Landscape Officer).
I think I've always loved trains and "mechanical stuff". I started with a Marx set as a boy, then HO as a teen. When I returned to the hobby, I picked N Scale. My first N Scale layout was a 2 x 5 designed to fit in an apartment closet. The trains went round and round when (and if) the Roco engine actually ran. My first N-Trak module was built for the Pacific Science Center Show in Seattle.