Last Post Here -- Go to 
Sunday, October 12, 2008, 01:25 AM - Boats, Domes, News, Politics, Real Estate, Vehicles
I've moved the site over to WordPress, but wanted to leave this engine up, mostly for anyone linking directly to the Mac mod page.

Anyway, I won't be posting anything here moving forward -- so instead, please direct your attention to

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Galveston, oh Galveston 
Thursday, September 25, 2008, 11:36 AM - Real Estate
Most of the people who read this page already know about our family's love affair with Galveston Island. And since several have asked how our property came out after Hurricane Ike, I thought I'd share...

We have an empty building lot on the west end of the island. Here are before and after views of it.

Here is a street level picture from across the main road...

And a view of our little dock back in the boat basin. The boat belongs to a gentleman who uses the slip.

Now, if you ask me -- the most overlooked story of this whole storm is the damage on the Bolivar Peninsula. It's just terrible -- see here. These folks really deserve our thoughts and prayers.

For those of you who use Google Earth, you can download storm damage image overlays here.

And if you want more info, I've been capturing first hand images and video at GalvestonIsland.TV

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The Amigo's New Shoes 
Thursday, May 29, 2008, 08:47 AM
Few things could convince me to let Ron Paul drop down from the top post slot, but a set of new tires is one of them. The Yokohama Geolander's from our old Trooper had finally given up the ghost, so we sprung for a new set of the latest version as replacements.

Grandpa Pat would have definitely liked these! The funny thing is -- not long before he died, we had a discussion about how big my next set of tires should be. After the suspension lift he said it looked "just right" and that I anything bigger than the 245-75-R16's would be too mush. But being a stubborn guy myself, I asked the shop to try some 265's, just to see. The technician thought they would rub in the rear, so I guess Grandpa won this time!

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Please consider Ron Paul for President 
Wednesday, August 8, 2007, 09:27 PM - Politics

When we lived in Texas, I came across a congressman who impressed me like no "politician" ever had. His name was Dr. Ron Paul. He served in the district next to ours, and I was honestly a little jealous that he wasn't MY representative. Dr. Paul was clearly a man of honesty, integrity and conviction. Since moving back north, I've followed his writings and activities, and have become more impressed every year. Ron Paul stands for individual freedom, strong borders, a just-war philosophy, and the right-to-life. He is one of the rare people in public life who I really truly admire.

Just late last year, I mentioned to my wife how depressing the predicted presidential prospects were, and I actually said, "Boy, I wish Ron Paul were running." Earlier this spring I got my wish, so now I'm doing anything I can to help his campaign. So, the point of this post is to ask a favor: Please investigate Dr. Paul, and give him consideration for your vote in the Republican primaries. Here;s a link to a recent radio ad for some easy listening, and a few web links for you to explore:

Official Radio Spot
Ron Paul's Stance On the Issues
A Statement of Faith by Ron Paul
Official RonPaul2008 YouTube Channel
Ron Paul on Wikipedia

If you like Dr. Paul's message, please do what you can to support it and forward this information to others!. Ron Paul really is hope for America!

Warm Regards,

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Friday, March 16, 2007, 11:07 PM
We are very pleased to annouce our latest web site -!

Scrap the World is a scrapbooking news and information portal, and has already gotten a fair amount of traffic. Stay tuned as we release more of our daily articles and weekly how-to videos.

You can visit the site by clicking here.

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We Love You Grandpa Pat!  
Tuesday, January 30, 2007, 11:55 AM
As most of you know, Grandpa Pat passed away last month. He was very loved and he is very much missed by his wife, children, grandkids, and many others.

Since he enjoyed getting online so much in the last few years, I couldn't help but post a few of his favorite links for others to enjoy:

Diocese of Sioux Falls Online Rosary
San Antonio Newspaper
Sioux City Journal
Online Mass
Weather Channel

In addition, Grandpa's obituary from the Hansen Funeral Home can be found here.

Finally, as many people had requested copies of the eulogy from his funeral, I have posted a copy here .

We Love You Grandpa Pat!

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When Irish Eyes are Smiling... 
Tuesday, January 30, 2007, 11:09 AM
I had the chance to go to Limerick Ireland for work back in October. Recent events kept me from posting about it until now. And though I spent most of my time in meetings, it was a lovely trip.

Here are some photos...

The first is the view from my hotel room, which looked out over the River Shannon.

Next is St. Mary's Cathedral, just a stroll down the street from the hotel.

The only flight I could get home required a Saturday stay, and one of the gentlemen I work with kindly offered to take me to see the sights. This is King John's Castle in Limerick.

Discriminating eyes will notice the castle tower features a domed roof. Hmmm, food for thought...

The picture above shows the average thickness of the inner castle walls.

This is Bunratty Castle near Shannon Airport. It was amazingly tall. When you stood on top you could see for miles all around. But I didn't get close enough to the edge for photos...

Finally, we went to the Cliffs of Moher – which were quite beautiful, and dangerous looking! It's a beautiful country for sure. Next time, I'll have to go when the weather is a little nicer though...

Many thanks to Colin Cummins for the tour!

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My Tall Friend 
Saturday, September 2, 2006, 02:49 AM - Vehicles
We've had the Amigo for well over a year now. Yet we haven't really had the time to start making the improvements we wanted...

So, we had Bob's Service help us out by installing an Independent 4x lift kit while they did some brake work and changed the CV boots.

Above is the the Amigo before the installation...

And here she is afterwards with the full front and rear lift. The kit included new coils, a set of Rancho RS-9000 adjustable shocks, a manual hub conversion set, and some miscellaneous goodies.

It sure changed the look of the little blue truck. And it rides way better as well.

Next up, the in-cab shock controller.

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Bon Voyage! 
Saturday, September 2, 2006, 02:31 AM - News
We'll miss our good friend and neighbors, the Waldron family of Vermillion -- who left this last week for China. But we're glad to be able to track their progress on the new site we recently set up.

We wish them the best of luck during their year long journey!

You can check out their latest adventures as well, at

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Bookstore Websites 
Friday, July 21, 2006, 12:25 AM - News
In order to help offset the cost of running this web site and some of the other non-profit ones we host, I enrolled in an affiliate program with many moons ago. At the time I purchased a couple bookstore domains as well, but they were pretty much mothballed due to lack of time and energy.

Anyway, I finally found an automated tool to update the sites without any effort, so if you're in need of any related books -- please check out and

Or if you're looking for something else altogether from amazon, please use the link on the right side of this page -- as it will help the cause as well.

Many thanks to the folks at for their very cool and FREE tool!

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Our New Skid Steer 
Monday, October 24, 2005, 09:25 PM - Domes
It was going to cost a fortune to rent a skid steer loader long enough to complete Trinity Dome, let alone the other projects we have planned. So it seemed like a natural idea to go ahead and buy one.

After lot of shopping and consideration, we decided upon a Thomas 175 from Schuurmans Farm Supply instead of more mainstream brands (Deere, Bobcat, etc.). This was mostly due to the five year warranty and easier maintenance schedule.

It's a fairly basic machine without some of the fancy bells and whistles, but tough as nails -- and at least it has a heated cab for our South Dakota winters. So far it looks like it will be a great tool that will last many years building domes!

Here's a shot of Grandpa Pat in the cab. As you can tell from the grin on his face -- it's pretty fun to sit in the skid steer. And even more so to operate. For those of you with broadband, you can see a video of me running it here.

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Macgregor 19 Pedestal Steering 
Tuesday, September 6, 2005, 10:52 PM - Boats
After much ado, I decided I didn't like using two tillers and a shifter with less than three hands, so a wheel steering conversion seemed in order. Here's what I opted do do:

1) Upgrade my tiller outboard to a different one with remote

2) Install a factory pedestal setup from a Macgregor 26M.

3) Use a dual cable rack and pinion steering system -- with one cable to control the motor and the other for the rudders.

That's the basic plan. It turned out to be quite a job -- defintely not for the faint of heart. So please don't take this simple presentation to mean it was easy. I think I invested about 80 hours and $1,000 plus the motor upgrade.

Step 1 - Here's the first set of about a dozen or so holes I added to the boat -- this batch went into the cockpit floor -- which gave me quite an odd feeling as I drilled.

Step 2- Meanwhile I assembled the steering pedestal, complete with controls and cabling for the new outboard and the steering system.

Step 3 - Bolted on the pedestal and custom made support plate, then ran the cables through the floor, across the bilge, up the aft panels, and out the hull. This took some trial and error, and I actually went through the bilge area because my cables were too long. In the end, it looks quite clean and didn't take up any sleeping space.

Step 4 -- We fabricated new rudder control arms to adjust the "throw" distance so it better matched the steering setup. Otherwise the cables pushed the rudders too far.

That's it in a nutshell. I still need to fabricate a permanant link arm for the rudders and attach the motor well boots, but it's pretty much ready to go.

Here's the finished product from the port side. Incidentally, you might notice I used thumb screws to secure the side panel of the pedestal. This will make it easy to access for future upgrades.

Lastly, for those of you with high speed -- here's a video of the rudders and motor turning in perfect synch.

Next up, a helm seat..

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New Web Mail Client 
Tuesday, August 30, 2005, 11:47 PM
Well, nobody (including me) seemed to like the new webmail client I originally chose. So, I've updated it to a new one through the E-mail link on the right -- same passwords apply. I think you'll like it better as it has more features like address books, etc.

If you liked the old one, you still can use it here. Enjoy!

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Welcome Back, Meylor! 
Sunday, August 28, 2005, 01:41 AM
Say hello to the new look for After several years of same 'ol same 'ol, it seemed time to mix it up a litle. I've had good success with this blog software on other projects, and thought it would work out pretty well here too. Plus, it makes it easy for me to speak my mind now and again -- which I'm sure you'll enjoy.

Speaking of enjoyment -- for those of you wanting a e-mail address, please use the 'Contact Me' link above and I'll be glad to set you up. Incidentally, though you can no longer receive messages on the old setup, you can still acess old e-mails here.


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