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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. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Antonio C. Mendez (a scratch builder extraordinaire in Mexico) was a man after my own heart in that he was very adept at making his own tools and jigs out of whatever was at hand. He often took one tool and converted it into another; like making an old rotary shaver into a ropewalk, or an old pencil sharpener into a miniature precision planer. That was the mindset I used to come up with my plan holder. I had an old no longer used adjustable clothes drying rack that I took apart and remounted onto the side of my assembly table with a few spring clamps used for hanging brooms and mops. As you can see, it can be very easily adjusted or removed without tools. If I have a larger plan sheet to mount, I can raise the cross bar, attach an extension to the bar, or both. Being in a wheelchair, my reach is very limited, so having it within easy reach was very important to me. By the way, Antonio wrote a book titled William Frederick’s (1874) Scale Journey: A Scratchbuilder’s Evolutionary Development, in which he provides detailed info with many photos and drawings describing his techniques. I would highly recommend getting his book, as it’s full of ideas for model ship scratch builders.
  10. Is there a true POF kit in the market?

    Mark is correct. One of the sponsors, Bluejacket Ship Crafters , has a 1/4" and a 1/8" scale kit of the 2 masted schooner yacht America. They also offer a 5/32" scale kit of the 2 masted Baltimore clipper type revenue cutter Jefferson Davis.
  11. I am allergic to spider venom , so if I SEE a spider it"s a DEAD spider!!! I believe in a preemptive strike!
  12. I am also a long time subscriber to "Ships in Scale" and this news is a little unsettling. Hopefully they are merely updating their website. I just reread the last issue and was unable to find any reference to any upcoming major changes.
  13. Your favorite saying

    I worked for years trying to accurately estimate construction projects but all I would hear from everyone in a big hurry to get their estimate was JUST GET ER DONE! To which I would reply. "Why is there never enough time to do it right the first time, but always plenty of time to do it over?" I just used my saying most recently on someone hired to stain our house as he would hurriedly apply some stain and then pull a wet stained rag out of his pocket and try to wipe off half of that stain that was slopped onto something he was not supposed to stain. He would spend 4 or 5 times as much time cleaning (quite poorly I might add) as he spent staining! How does one consider this working fast??
  14. "Submarine" in a bottle

    And just how did you squeeze that submarine in such a shallow puddle?