I should make up for the preceding blather with some meaningful news, so here's the current status of... Code Name Rottweiler! (Okay, I'll stop now, I promise.)
I have a first cut at the map nearly complete. I just need to add starting cube counts to the towns and cities, and make sure it will print okay in black and white. (Why? See below.)
I have a first cut at the Railroad Ops cards designed. I still need to make the deck, either by laying out some mocked-up cards on the computer and printing them out, or by just scribbling on paper. Either way, I'll stick the EUS deck into card sleeves, then slip in the paper cards over the real ones. I've also finished the first cut at the Rail Baron cards. I have a good selection of Barons and (I hope) a good set of bonuses.
I'll need to tune a VP/income track for the game, but I can start with the one from the main game. I can use the modular scoring track boards that Helen made for our copy of the original Railroad Tycoon until I decide what tweaks I want to make. (If you play RRT on the big board and hate that scoring track, you can download Helen's modular scoring track from BoardGameGeek. Be sure to give her a thumb if you like it!)
Acting on a tip from an experienced developer, I discovered that I can print out a full-size board on a single sheet of paper at Kinko's, for just $0.75 per square foot! That comes to all of $6 for one copy, which is dirt cheap. I'd always looked at the color prices which are significantly higher, and I had never realized that black and white is so inexpensive. A RotW board doesn't need much color; what little it needs can be added in five minutes with a set of felt pens.
The bottom line: I plan to print my first board tomorrow and be doing my first solo playtests this weekend! That's an exciting thought.