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                                                                                                                                                  Oak Trees Down


In October of 2004 we had  a  large white oak tree taken down in advance of a large storm. I hated to waste the
when we had so much wood already from the year before. Anyway, I decided to slice it up with my 16" craftsman
chain saw. I dried the planks in the garage for two years and then had them milled into boards 1.75" thick. They still
have about 19 percent moisture so I am going to wait a bit longer to use them.

Ricky Melts Aluminium

Recently my middle son Ricky has been melting stuff in the backyard.  Earlier in the year he had learned
to make
charcoal on the internet. Next he bought a couple of yards of Naugahide and made bellows.  Then
he bought some
special refractory cement, pearlite and cement and made a kiln.  He is now using a small
chassis fan and bags of store
bought charcoal. Last week he was melting aluminum cans and casting crude
shapes in the sand. Earlier tonight melted
a Planters Peanut jar. He pulled it out of the fire making long thin
strands of glass. A little while ago he sent Doug
in to say that he had melted his steel poker. It was white
hot and looked sort of drippy, but it was not obviously
melted. I can only wonder what is next.

To find out about Douglas, our youngest you will have to visit his web site

In  May of 2005 our oldest son graduated from Christopher Newport University. Randy is now earning a
living as
a web comic with his  He is also looking at graduate programs in applied physics
or mathematics. In November, Red Hat Magazine did a profile on Randy and his web comic. Red Hat Profile

Randy Graduates in 2005

For a period of time around 1982 I worked for several friends who did painting and general contracting.  Like my
on David Doehlerts ferocement cutter, I liked these jobs best when they allowed me to indulge in a bit of reckless
climbing.  This may date back to my days of "tree tag" on the U of D knoll on South College Avenue. Dave's boat
had a 57 foot high mast. That is about the same height as this ladder on this painting job in Elkton, Maryland.

mike up on very high ladder

 Back in 1971, my motorcycle completely changed my world. It was a great escape. Did Beth know they were
 taking a picture?  Boy, did we all look that good back then?

Honda SL-350 at Elkton Sonoco and Beth Greenwell

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