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  • Birthday 12/25/1949

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    Madison, WI
  • Interests
    Previously an avid golfer, swimmer, woodworker, and modeler. Since 2011 restricted to modeling/woodworking in wheelchair.

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  1. The "What have you done today?" thread.

    I seem to recall that the power companies used to say that gas was safer than fuel oil or electricity. Several years ago there were two apartment complexes that went up in a ball of fire, thankfully it happened while most of the residents were away from home at the time. But it could just as easily have happened at night when they would have been full of people. When was the last time you heard of such disasters caused by fuel oil or electric heat?
  2. Maritime sketches

    While I was not really as prolific as Jim with his water color paintings or of much historic subject matter, in high school I had a lot of interest in marine illustration. Most of my work was more in the way of pencil sketches, both copies of parts of advertising paintings and concept drawings. After seeing Jim's paintings, I was able to dig up an old sketch book which I was able to scan and a photo of one surviving oil painting of a three masted schooner coming out of a fog bank. Also, while not nautical in nature and probably dating myself, some sketches of the members of a popular TV musical group that others may recognize from the 60’s. Any guesses? Careful, you may be dating yourself.
  3. Dust control in my model shop is limited to a small shop vac that hooks directly to my bench tools as I use them. Unfortunately, my tool dust ports are not sized consistently, so I am currently making some custom fittings for each of them. I just picked up an I-socket 110m Tool and Vacuum Switch for about $35. You insert the switch into any standard outlet, plug your vacuum into the vacuum outlet and your tool into the other one. When you turn on your tool, the vacuum also will start and stay on for 7 seconds after your tool turns off to clear the dust out of the hose. It saves you from having to remind yourself "dust bad, vacuum good".
  4. Schooners are one of my favorite ships for modeling as they are a simple rig and not overly large, making them well suited to make in larger scales. I have built mostly in 1/8" scale and details are very hard to reproduce to my satisfaction. Having recently picked up a copy of this book, I am very happy to find so many of the finely drawn details shown in it that allow me a better shot at making them look more complete. While it is true that trying to find a particular detail is sometimes difficult, when you do find it it is usually worth the extra effort.
  5. Hawaiian Wood

    My wife and I have made ten trips to Hawaii prior to my life in a wheelchair and we really would like to return, but air travel would really be tough now. One of the things that I always admired was some of the woodworking projects that I saw when we were there made of Hawaiian Koa and some of the other native woods. I would love to incorporate some of them into my modeling projects but, unfortunately have not seen any offered thru any of our wood suppliers. Is there any source that you are aware of that can supply them? I like that you have been able to come up with the some of the woodworking properties of the various woods also.
  6. $10 Electric Pen Sander

    That's what I like to see, re-purposing a tool to do something that it was never originally intended to do! I have also tried it with one of my new Sonic Pop Dental units that my wife picked up from QVC as one of their special picks. I didn't like it for my teeth but after reshaping the head with a bend added to it, it makes a good vibrating sander. I don't know about you but, I can't sand by hand at 30,000 vibrations per minute! As it has a very compact stroke it can really get in some tight spaces. The only drawback is your hand seems to keep vibrating after you finish.
  7. Seen any strange signs lately?

    I have come across a few appropriate signs lately. The aircraft and rock signs should reinforce the truth of their message if one should have any doubts! The street sign reminds me of someones personal licence plate.
  8. Jerry Lewis

    From Jerrys’ first nationally televised Labor Day MDA telethon in 1966 to his last in 2010, Jerry helped to raise a total of 2.45 billion dollars. Some detractors have made claims that Jerry pocketed an enormous amount of the money raised and that very little of that money actually went to MDA. The truth was that he and his cohosts and entertainers did not get any money for their time at all. As a matter of fact, Jerry personally contributed 7 million of his own money! In 1953 Madison, WI became one of the first cities in the country to join in televising the telethon where Jerry made spot appearances. That was when I first started collecting donations for them and found out someone just down the block was in a wheelchair with MD. Until the telethon I was not even aware that he was there, as he seldom came out of his house. “The telethons have heightened public awareness, not only for MDA victims, but other disabilities as well,” MDA spokesman Bob Mackle once said, according to the AP. “Before the telethons, people with disabilities weren’t seen on television. Children were not allowed in schools, disabled people were shunned. The telethons changed that by humanizing the victims.” Before the telethon there was very little in the way of handicap accessibility. That was one reason that they couldn’t go to public schools and were thus somewhat invisible to the general public. Jerry's efforts and the telethons contributions to the cause changed all of that to the point that people like me can have more of a normal life than ever before. I, myself have a very mild case of Beckers MD, (My doctor told me that most people with Beckers are in a wheelchair before 40, while I was still walking at 60) so I count myself luckier than most. As a matter of fact, I have an 18 year younger brother who is confined to a power chair already with the same affliction. It is a gene that is passed on from your maternal parent that is very hit and miss as to which son or even which generation gets it. So once again Jerry, I thank you for your help. RIP my friend.
  9. Hello from Spain

    Welcome to MSW Angel! You do very fine work, something to be proud of. Ever thought of selling your models? I have sold almost all of the ships that I have made. I seldom made much more than the price of the kits but display space is limited and it was usually enough for me to afford the next model, so it was like getting it for free. To me the object was just to have the fun of building them, not to keep them on a shelf. (Our watch bird doesn't seem much interested in them anyway.)
  10. This is my current stash of model kits including Constructo’s Emma, AI’s Bluenose II, MS’s Pride of Baltimore II, and MS’s Glad Tidings (which at ½” scale is way beyond my usual 1/8” scale). .. Then I have Revell’s 1/96 version of the Cutty Sark. Also in plastic kits is a very old Aurora’s Wanderer whaler, and the remaining parts for my modified Constitution. And finally a Blue Jacket plank on frame kit of the Jefferson Davis. By the way, the Constitution parts box is the plastic parts remaining that I had converted to wood including the deck and all the masts and spars. The ship still remains in dry dock after its unfortunate encounter with our garage floor when we moved. While the hull survived relatively undamaged, all of the masts and spars including the bowsprit were pretty much destroyed. Of course, to say the least, the rigging was a total mess. I look at it once in a while and think that it could be repaired, but then I still have so many new projects to do it always becomes a last choice. I suppose that some of the parts could be salvaged and used on another ship at that same scale but that also sounds like a lot of work.
  11. Pets

    Prior to 02, my wife was never really attached to our birds, but then we picked up Beethoven, a yellow and green parakeet. She quickly became very attached to him, always referring to him as a bird with lots of personality. Alas, it was to be very short lived as he died after only 1 year of fatty liver disease, a very common ailment of parakeets. Beethoven, in his short time with us, also made quite an impression on our friends, prompting one of them to create a headstone for him of cement and cut glass shown below! A few months later we acquired somewhat of a rescue bird. We were temporarily caring for a parakeet owned by one of my brothers’ neighbors who had a stroke, but she soon became ours as he was unable to recover. Her name was Cutie Bird and she lived with us until we had a very hard beginning to March 08. On the 2nd our basement was flooded by a very heavy rain, on the 3rd we had to take her to the vet as she became very ill, and on the 4th she died. It was a date easily remembered by us as it was also the day that Brett Farve announced his retirement from the Green Bay Packers. Cutie Bird was laid to rest alongside Beethoven under our tree out front. It was hard losing these members of our family, and having it happen so often made it harder yet. Both of them had died from fatty liver disease, a prominent reason that their life expectancy is so short. We took both of these deaths hard and led us to get Sebastian, our parotlet, that same year from a breeder that has a life expectancy of 15-20 years. He is currently 9 years old and is doing quite well and hopefully will be with us for quite some time yet.
  12. Pets

    As a kid we had just about every kind of pet from dogs and cats to painted turtles and fish. However the favorite was always parakeets. The only problem was their short life expectancy. Back in 2008 we picked up something better called a parrotlet. Their life expectancy is around 15-25 years. He is the smallest member of the amazon parrot family (sometimes referred to as the pit bull of the parrot family), weighing in at about 35 grams and 5 inches long. Sometimes he lives up to his rep, but mostly he is very affectionate, loves to be rubbed, and very inquisitive. Here are some pics:
  13. Jerry Lewis

    Just a personal note here to acknowledge the passing of a great man, namely Jerry Lewis. As a child growing up in the 50’s, I was one of those kids that raised money for our local MDA telethon. Little did I know at that time that I actually was one of Jerry's kids. I wasn’t really aware that I had inherited Beckers MD until I was in the Army in the 70’s, but I was moved by him and his cause to volunteer to help them. Jerry was a shining light for anyone affected by this disease while he was the main spokesman for MDA. I was personally offended when he was taken off of the telethon as were many others. The telethon soon became a shadow of itself without him. Despite being taken off the show and in poor health himself during this period of his life he never forgot his dedication to "his kids" and their struggles against MD. MDA wrote today: We are reminded of a quote Jerry often used to explain his philanthropy and dedication to "his kids": "I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." He was, as I said a great man, that I and all of "his kids" will miss. My sincere condolences to his family and many friends. Rest in peace my friend.
  14. Where do you come from

    Well I’ve never been to Heaven, but I’ve been to Wisconsin. Oh they tell me I was born there, but I really don’t remember. (With apologies to Three Dog Night) Although I would have to say, I’ve never been to Spain, but I’ve been to Oklahoma while in the Army. Actually, I was born and raised in Madison, and went to the University in Platteville, Wisconsin. With the exception of some fun time at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri and Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, I have lived here my entire life. While my father was a full Swede, first born of 5 to mother and father both from a small valley about 5 km NE of Skee, Sweden very close to Norway's border, my mother was of very mixed European descent. Both my dad and grandfather were into woodworking, with my grandfather having been a carpenter by trade. While growing up, I learned a lot from them about furniture making and carpentry and inherited many of my skills and tools from them. I also tried to follow in dads’ footsteps in the Army Artillery Corps as he served in France and Germany in WW2, but that’s when I found out about my MD and had my service cut short. I earned my BA in Light Building Construction with an Art minor which I used as a construction estimator and designed about 200 homes, including our own, for several local building contractors. I designed and helped build our two homes. The first was a raised ranch, which became a bit hard to handle with too many stairs, the second and current residence is a one story with many features built in for wheelchair access which I seemed to be more and more destined to be in. As it turned out, some additional revisions were still required, including an elevator to the basement for access to my shop. Funny thing about stairs, in a wheelchair they are kind of hard to negotiate.
  15. I agree with you Bob. I ordered mine by mail from National Geographic in 1963, which was the second printing. It was my first reference book on ships, and still one of my favorites. From the front inside cover illustration of the clipper Young America, to the rear inside cover illustration of the cargo passenger liner Mormacpride, it covers just about everything. I was into plastic cars, military vehicles, and sailing ship models up to then, but after seeing the photo of the author Captain Alan Villiers with a waterline wood model of the Mayflower in the picture, I became more interested in wooden ship models. It's probably still the most inspirational book on ships that I own. When my interest starts to fade when having difficulty with a build, I just take a little time out and review this book and my interest is renewed.