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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. Just before my little internal misfortune, I had decided to do a few things before continuing to work on the pintles and gudgeons. Since the hull coppering needs to be painted before installing the rudder fittings, I would be doing that, but I also needed to construct the model stand to keep from damaging the paint job once that is done. I have decided to support the ship on launching ways, so I did a lot of searching for ideas on that. Having finally come up with a combination of various systems that I came across to accent the model display, I started construction with my excess stock of basswood. A long tapered ramp was the first phase to work on. The design used was a pair of timber retaining walls filled with earth or gravel fill capped with timber planks and heavily braced. (Of course my ramp would not be filled, but rather hollowed out for installing the light switch and battery.) Keel blocks were set on timber beams spanning the timber planks. Two long cross timbers were run on grade through the lowest retaining wall timbers and projected well beyond the faces of the wall. A pair of heavy diagonal braces was anchored on top of it to brace the hull of the ship. The first step was to make the side retaining walls by taking two 24” lengths of ¼” x 1” basswood and marking the taper from ½” at the lower end to 1” at the upper. The taper was then cut just short of the drawn line with my band saw and then trimmed to the line with a small block plane. Now taking a 24” long sheet of 1/16” x 3” basswood that was prescribed with ¼” wide planks, I ripped it down to 1 3/4” for the timber planking on the top of the ramp. A homemade sliding cutoff table was put on my Micro Mark table saw with a stop clamped to it for cutting 3/8” x 3/8” basswood strips into 26-1 ¾” lengths for the timber beams that would span the timber planks on the top of the ramp and provide support for the keel blocks. This photo below shows the setup for cutting all of the various timbers to length, with the stop clamped to the fence. My SOP for short cutoffs is shown with my right hand holding a block to hold down the cut off end (to spare the fingers) and the left hand (well away from the blade) is shown holding the other end of the timber to be cut. The table is pushed well beyond the blade before the saw is turned off and the two pieces are removed. Pulling the table back, the timber is advanced to the stop to repeat the process. Once those beams were cut, they went over to my small belt sander to round off the tops of their ends. Looks like I need to adjust my dust pick up fitting, as even with my dust mask on and the room fan running, there was quite a bit of dust on the loose during this operation. Even though the ends were now rounded over, some hand sanding was still required to ease the corners and sand the surfaces. Now the cutoff table was employed once again to cut 26- 1” long pieces of 3/16” x 3/8” basswood for the keel blocks, which of course also needed some finish hand sanding. While the cutoff table was still in place I cut some scrap basswood into several 1/3/4” long pieces for blocking for the interior of the ramp. With the majority of the parts cut, I moved onto the actual construction of the ramp. The 1/16” basswood sheet was placed with the scribed side face down on the building board. The two tapered retaining wall sides were butted up to both edges of the sheet and several of the pieces of blocking were set onto the backside of the sheet. Two small bar clamps were put into place to hold the assembly in position for alignment. Once satisfied, I tightened the clamps and placed the remaining blocking in place. Two more clamps were placed and the ends were filled with some 1/16” planking sheets. Once more, the alignment was checked and adjusted. The assembly now appeared as shown below. Wood glue was spread along all inside edges and the assembly was set aside to dry overnight.
  2. It's Bad You Know - R.L. Burnside (Sopranos soundtrack)
  3. One suggestion from me would be to make sure she gets some kind of therapy for the rest of her, as unused body parts will quickly atrophy making it harder to readjust when she is allowed to use her foot again. Don't ask me how I found this out!
  4. Thanks for the suggestion Richard, I'll look into that.
  5. The admiral already had her own car when we met so that has never been the case with me. As a mater of fact, since I became wheelchair bound she pumps gas for my car. Since gas stations have pretty much all gone to self service pumps, the pumps had to have a handicap assist button installed on all their pumps. (shown below) While this may sound like a good idea, in practice not so much. If you read the second line of the fine print you will see the main reason that it is seldom actually put into practice. Refueling service CANNOT be provided when there is only one employee on duty or if it is not safe to do so. Supposedly one merely has to honk the car horn three times or press the button and someone will come out to fill you up. There are three things that are problems here. Apparently you must first know which stations have only one employee employed or on duty when you pull in. Secondly, you must be within reach of the button from your car, which of course puts you too close to the pump for them to fill you up. And lastly, it must be safe (or maybe just convenient) to do so. Perhaps you should call ahead? I once pulled up to the pump above when I was alone to see just how well the system actually works. I had a walking stick along that allowed me to reach and press the button, so I tried it. No response. After a few minutes, I tried again. No response. This was repeated twice more with several minutes between with the same reaction. (At the time my car was the only one at the pumps.) Now I was becoming somewhat peeved, I tried honking three times. Again, no response. This was repeated four more times before I finally drove off in disgust! Thus, the admiral always fills me up. That is fine with me when she is along, but if you are alone where does that leave the disabled drivers?
  6. When Fire Rescue ambulance from our city shows up to the 911 calls, they also send the firetruck and crew along with them. Apparently it's SOP, since they don't know how difficult it will be to remove the victim from the scene until they get there. There may be stairs or other obstacles to work around that would be beyond the capabilities of the just the two EMTs. I guess that it's better to have too many hands available right away, rather than having to wait for more hands to call later.
  7. I took my last pain pill last night, so in 24 hours it will be legal to drive again. Whether I can actually stand the extra strain on my incisions or not will really be the determining factor as to when I can even get in the car. Our yearly physicals were set up way back in February for today, but as I can't drive yet, I had to cancel and reschedule mine for next month with a different doctor. Due to some insurance restrictions, to get another one with our family doctor I would have had to wait until August! One thing for sure, it looks like I need to figure out some way to allow me to get in and out of other vehicles without my lift for those occasions when I can't drive myself. (Since I'm sure that short ten minute ride the Ambulance is going to run me over a grand!)
  8. How about the word ask? It seems that a lot of people pronounce it as ax. It doesn't seem to be a regional thing as people from all areas of the country pronounce it that way. Confusion may reign when they say "can I ax you a question", or I chopped the tree down with my ask. Pronunciation aside, how do they spell the word when they write it down?
  9. Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing - Buffalo Springfield (Retrospective album)
  10. People Are Strange - The Doors (Strange Days album)
  11. I had the neighbor kid mow mine yesterday as it really needed it. If I waited any longer it would turn into a good crop of hay! Lately we have had one dry day followed by a week of rain which is repeated again and again all through the last two months. It's really hard to keep up.
  12. Thanks for all the encouragement everyone. The day after surgery was not too bad as pain meds really did their job and I was able to return home. Thursday and Friday were a different mater however, as I was extremely sore and the new pain meds had a hard time keeping it under control while I did some light therapy. Recovery seems to be greatly improved this morning, as I am moving around easier and the pain level has become tolerable to the point were I think that I can cut back on my meds to maybe one or two today (as opposed to one every 4 hours). With the pain meds being an opioid product, the sooner I stop using them the better! I would rather deal with a little pain than risk dependence. Besides that, I believe that if you're having pain doing something you will know it's probably a good idea to just ease off a bit, rather than not feeling the pain and doing something that you're body's not really ready for yet. It's kind of like an early warning system in your body, trying to prevent further damage.
  13. Good Morning Little School Girl - I have two versions: one by Jonny Lang, the other by Muddy Waters.
  14. Come On Let's Go - Los Lobos (Labamba soundtrack)
  15. Well, it wasn’t exactly today, but the effects still continue from a little internal trouble earlier this week. It was something that took me totally by surprise Tuesday night after hitting the sack for the night. I woke up around 1:00 AM to what I thought was a little food poisoning. However, I spent the remainder of the night between the bed and bath, with some violent vomiting and an 8-9 on the pain scale of 1-10. By 6:00 AM, I had taken about all I could stand and knew it must be something more serious. I was way beyond trying to drive the only vehicle that I can get into so ended up with another ambulance ride to the ER. After a short exam by the Drs. including a CAT scan and Echo-cardiogram they determined it to be my Gall Bladder, even though I hadn’t had any previous trouble with it. Finally getting some relief from the pain (Down to 2-3 range) with a dose of Tramadol, we were informed surgery was needed immediately. So, from 1:00 PM to 3:00 I was on the table with a team of two surgeons and several nurses. I came awake about an hour later, still quite groggy and was informed that they had to remove the whole organ, as it was literally falling apart. By the following day I was discharged, so it was kind of a whirlwind bout of trouble. Modeling may be slowed down for a while as I go through the remaining recovery time, trying to readjust my body to the loss of one of my organs and the healing of several incisions that were closed up with special surgical super glue. I think that I may have had a little too much experience with super glue lately. But, with a small temporary change in my diet, some antibiotics and pain pills they feel I should have an uneventful recovery. The biggest problem for me will be having to further adjust the way that I do just about everything from getting on and off my chair, the bed, the john, the shower and just wheeling around to get anywhere, as all the cutting done in my core muscles really leaves me having to deal with the pain and slows me down. (As if I wasn’t slow enough already!) So, needless to say, I will not be visiting Manitowoc this weekend for the Midwest Modeling show. I’m not allowed to drive until at least 24 hours after taking the last pain pill, so maybe next year. At least this should all be cleared up by July to still allow me to go to the upcoming Tall Ships Festival in Green Bay however.

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