Monday, October 28, 2013



Ruth and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary with the help of our daughter, granddaughters and one of Jill's friends.  People stopped by, sent flowers and cards, emails, facebooks and a huge cake was enjoyed by all.  50 YEARS - AWESOME WIFE - GOOD TIMES!


We took a trip to Monetville/Noelville, Ontario, Canada, where a bunch of cousins still live and a few came in from further away to join us in celebrating our 50th and my cousin Leila's 75th birthday.  My cousin Linda Timony hosted us at her house and quite a gathering at a local restaurant/ lodge brought together a number of cousins and friends for a very nice dinner and cake, party favors and all.  It was so nice to see everyone.  We took a boat tour on the French River and from the skipper, learned a lot about the history of that waterway and its part in the history of the settlement of the area, the great lakes and northeastern US and Canada.  We hiked around an island to view the Five Finger Falls, which are quite impressive.  Although not terribly high falls, the quantity of water and the power of it are awesome to experience.  The trees were near their pinnacle of fall colors.  I'd like to thank Linda, Llewella and Leila, as well as Leila's daughter, Sandra for helping to make this happen and for bringing Leila the distance to come see me.  I love you all.  Thank you for making this a memorable trip.  We then went through Michigan, via the Sault, across the Straits bridge and down the west side of the state.  The colors were wonderful..not quite at peak, but close.


Progress continues on the Corvair.  Turns out the engine needed a re-build and I've commissioned Paul Fox to do it.  He says it will be good for another 100K miles.


Still doing some consulting with two projects going right now


Had to put this in here because I haven't done any work on guitars for quite a while and I want to get started on several instruments, including a Uke, a Steel String and at least one classical from the 100+ year old EI Rosewood I acquired from Dick Wisner, whom I wish well after his terrible fall.  Wishing you a full recovery, Dick.

I'll throw in some Photos when I have more time.

Friday, July 19, 2013

More Corvair stuff

Here are some more shots of the Corvair undergoing mechanical restoration:  Some before and after shots included.
Mad dash to get in before timer went off

Monday, June 17, 2013

For my Nephew, Brent

Brent, Please read, and let's discuss the following:


I’d like to comment on the “factual” information below, its sources and your interpretation of what is said.  I’ll only comment on the items that I know first-hand about or can research in a short time.  Trust me, there is a lot of food items that have, somewhere in the process, a GMO-derived ingredient or processing aid.  Without these, particularly the enzymes, various sweeteners, etc. much of our food would be unavailable or too expensive to produce.  Numerous foods have been genetically manipulated using recombinant DNA (rDNA) technology.

Let me start by saying that nearly all of our crop foods and animal-derived food have been genetically manipulated, not by rDNA, but by breeding, hybridization, cross pollination, etc.  Now, let me address the difference.  Cross-breeding, in-breeding and various ways of developing species into what we see at the grocery store is nothing like the “wild type” from which it was developed.  Take the example of corn:  the native americans cultivated a variety of corn that looked more like a tiny version of sorghum or such.  The big ears we see in the cornfield, prior to rDNA, went through a long development process with many blind alleys, failures, perhaps even toxic varieties being developed along the way.  I know of a “traditionally” developed variety of celery that was develop as “the next best thing” and it produced a toxic substance that attacked the skin of the workers to the point that they couldn’t handle it.  Obviously a failure.

Enter rDNA technology:  The placement of known sequences of DNA into various organisms/plants, etc. carry characteristics, which are or can be fully described and express proteins or amino acids which impart the wanted effect.   The former is Shotgun Genetics, the latter sniper accurate, to make a comparison.  Mobile genetic elements are, in a sense common to both methods, it’s just the accuracy with which change gets accomplished that makes the difference.

Let’s look at the statements below:

(NaturalNews) In the aftermath of the defeat of Proposition 37 in California, many more Americans are now aware of the existence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their unlabeled presence throughout the food supply. But with this awareness has come a lot of confusion, as the processed food and biotechnology industries have spent a lot of money and effort spreading propaganda and lies about GMOs.  This is a very general statement, which could be said about any marketing effort.  I’d like to see a specific example of a LIE being spread by Biotech Industry.   So to help set the record straight, we have outlined seven specific ways in which GMOs damage animals, plants, soil, and ultimately humanity.

1) GMOs disrupt digestion. 
Again, a very general and poorly substantiated statement.   Purveyors of GMOs claim that the human body is unable to tell the difference between GMOs and natural food. But a 2004 study published in the journal Nature Biotechnology  Actually, this magazine is entitled “Natural Health and is a publication of the “Natural Health Alliance” an anti- biotechnology lobbying organization.  It is NOT a peer-reviewed scientific journal,  tells a different story, having found that transgenic plant DNA actually persists in the human gastrointestinal tract upon consumption. According to this important I could not find where this “Important Study” was published except in this magazine.  I seriously doubt its validity.  study, which is the closest thing to a human clinical trial that has ever been conducted with GMOs, genetic material from GMOs actually transfers into the DNA of living bacteria in the gut, where it reproduces indefinitely. (  This statement is a complete fabrication:  DNA can pass from organism to organism under very specific conditions, but not on a wholesale basis as intimated here.

2) GMOs cause cancer. The most recent study to identify a link between GMO consumption and the formation of cancer, the so-called Seralini Study
could not find where this was published and I doubt the conclusions are completely unbiased  provides solid evidence showing that GMOs are processed by mammals far differently than natural foods.  According to this study's findings, rats fed a lifetime of GMOs sprayed with the toxic Roundup (glyphosate) herbicide developed serious tumors that took over their entire bodies. An earlier study published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences arrived at similar results, with the addition of organ failure as a symptom of GMO consumption. (  Brent, here is the history of the “so-called Seralini Study: 

The Séralini affair began in September 2012, and involved the publication and publicization of the results of experiments conducted by Gilles-Eric Séralini, which were then confuted by the scientific community.[1] The experiments involved feeding Monsanto's Roundup-resistant NK103 maize (called corn in North America) and the herbicide Roundup to rats, over the rats' two-year lifespan.[2] In the paper and in the press conference, Séralini claimed that the results showed that Roundup-resistant maize and Roundup are toxic.

The press conference was widely covered in the media, the paper was used in the debate over Proposition 37 in California (a referendum over labeling of GM (genetically modified) food that was voted on in November 2012), and it led to bans on importation of certain GMOs in Russia and Kenya. Séralini had required that journalists sign a confidentiality agreement in order to receive a copy of the paper prior to the press conference - an extremely rare requirement in scientific publishing. During the press conference Séralini also announced that he was releasing a book and a documentary film on the research. The release of the book and movie in conjunction with the scientific paper, and the requirement that journalists sign a confidentiality agreement, were also widely criticized and critically peer reviewed.[3]

After the paper was published, the conclusions that Séralini drew from the experiments were widely criticized, as was the design of the experiments.[3] The paper was also refuted by many food standards agencies.[4] Other long term studies, which were publicly funded, have uncovered no health issues.


3) GMOs increase herbicide use. Contrary to industry claims, GMOs have not reduced the need for chemical inputs, but rather greatly expanded it. According to a comprehensive, 16-year review of chemical use in conjunction with the advent of GMOs in 1996, researchers from Washington State University's Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources found that herbicide use has increased by an astounding 527 millions pounds since GMOs were first introduced. To make matters worse, Roundup, the chemical of choice for many GMOs, has been found to persist in soils, waterways, and other environmental nooks and crannies, and sometimes it even ends up contaminating water supplies. (

4) GMOs damage native species. A major point of contention with GMOs is that they can very easily pass their traits onto non-GMO, organic, and native crops and other plants, effectively destroying their very integrity permanently. Hundreds of farmers have actually been sued by Monsanto and other
GMO giants over the years after their crops were inadvertently contaminated by GMOs. GMOs are also responsible for killing off bees, bats, butterflies, and other pollinators, whose bodies are unable to handle the onslaught of altered DNA and chemicals that are characteristic of GMO technologies. (

5) GMOs pollute the environment. Mainstream scientists and industry spokespersons often gloat about the supposed environmental benefits of GMOs. But the truth of the matter is that GMOs and the chemicals used to grow them are a major source of environmental pollution. A 2011 study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science found that the Bacillus thuriengensis (Bt) bacteria engineered into Monsanto's GM corn can now be found in hundreds of streams and waterways throughout the U.S. Midwest. Another study published in the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry revealed that Roundup herbicide is also present in many waterways and groundwater sources throughout America as well. (

6) GMOs deplete soil minerals, destroy beneficial bacteria. The presence of Roundup, Bt bacteria, and other GMO byproducts in our water and soil would only be half as bad if these toxins merely persisted as innocuous pollutants. But studies have shown that these chemicals actually degrade and deplete soils of vital minerals and beneficial bacteria, both of which protect crops from pests, viruses, and other threatening elements. Glyphosate, the active component in Roundup, also does not biodegrade, which means it is continually accumulating in the environment without restraint, perpetually altering soil composition and contaminating natural resources. (

7) GMOs spawn crop-destroying 'superweeds,' 'superbugs.' The basic premise behind how GMOs work portends that artificially engineering crops with resistance to certain chemicals and exposures that would otherwise harm or kill them can improve yields and protect the environment. And this built-in resistance has allowed farmers to indiscriminately spray chemicals like Roundup on their crops without worrying about killing them. But this system is now failing, as the weeds and pests targeted by GMO technologies have mutated and developed resistance to crop chemicals and Bt toxin. As a result, pestilence and disease is on the rise due to GMOs, which spells eventual disaster for the food supply. (

To learn more about the dangers of GMOs, visit the Institute for Responsible Technology:

Sources for this article include:

Learn more:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

For Jari - Measuring Top Resonance

OK as I mentioned I've tried various ways, but what I really want to do is to feed a frequency signal, through a small amp to a coil to a small rare earth magnet stuck to the guitar top during the various phases of production.  Here's a picture of Brian's setup, except now I know that he's using a magnet and coil, not a speaker.  That way, the speaker is not part of the equation, you are exciting the top directly and it acts like a speaker

What I need help with is what kind of coil I can use to excite the top.  Everything I've tried so far gives a very messy tone, not a nice clean tone at the desired frequencies.  I know that with the right coil it will work.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Re: Chester N. Mercer 1906 - 1990

Today, June 6, 2013 is the 107th anniversary of my dad's birth.  Dad was a hard-working, staunch Democrat and Union member and 32nd Degree Mason.  He loved to tell stories and pull your leg if he found you gullible enough to fall for one of his tall tales.  He did just about anything he needed to in order to keep his family fed clothed and sheltered, if in ever so humble abodes.  Most of the places we lived during my lifetime, until I was in High School anyway, had outhouses, where my older brother would go to sneak a smoke and thought no one would notice, ha, ha.

We lived in big houses, a farmhouse, a basement house, a two room house, and when I was 18, Mom and Dad moved into an AirStream trailer and I was on my own.  I had a job, so I got an apartment and off I went on the path that led me where I am today.

Dad set a good example for us, although my older brother thought he was a tyrant, because he made him do a few chores now and then.  I was true that, when Dad asked you to do something, he did expect it to be done NOW and WELL.  I received my share of swats with a switch, hand or whatever was handy, but never, I thought, unfairly.  My older brother swore 'til his dying day (unfortunately at age 61) that Dad beat him unmercifully and that he was horribly abused.  Funny, the rest of us just didn't see the same thing, though we were right there witnessing the same things. 

Actually, Dad was a soft hearted, gentle man for the most part.  He was hard as nails when it came to work and he believed in a day's work for a day's pay regardless of the task.  During his life, he worked as a lumberjack, a farm hand, a deputy sheriff, a farmer, an Ironworker, and finally retired as a Millwright from Bendix Corp. in South Bend, IN.  He could make anything he set his mind to, could throw a white-hot rivet two stories up and knock your eye out with it if you weren't careful what you asked for.  I know about two guys who wouldn't have been alive if it weren't for Dad.  He could climb a column and walk a 4-inch I beam, three stories up, like it was a sidewalk.  He could figure things out using a carpenter's square and taught himself geometry, He could fell a tree and always bragged that he could drive a stake with it if he wanted to.  At age 65 or so, he could hold a broom stick in his hands and jump over it.  Try that once, I guarantee you'll fall on your kiester.

When I was Kindergarten age through, I think, about 3rd grade, we lived on a farm in Michigan.  Dad worked the fields with a team of Belgian horses and milked 16 cows twice a day, by hand.  Dad sold the farm and went into a venture with some guy opening a flower flopped and we moved to Elkhart, IN and Dad went to work at Bendix.

All of this by way of saying "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD" and I'll have to say, I'm kind of glad that you lived when you did, because you would hate the political climate of today's USA.  Democrats aren't what they used to be and Republicans are worse than anything you ever saw during your lifetime.  You spanned the years from Horse and Buggy through men on the Moon.  You robbed the cradle when you married Mom at age 16 and made over 50 years together and still managed a pat on the bottom once in a while (and Mom would say "FRESH" or "Dirty old Man") and a kiss good night every night.  You'd sit and watch "Lassie" with your granddaughter (my baby) on your lap with tears running down both your cheeks.  I loved you for what you were and who you were and I love your memory today.


Other things:  My good friend, mentor and first guitar teacher took a terrible fall, hitting his head on concrete, while helping his wife, who has Alzheimer's, down some stairs. He's in the hospital, but out of Critical Care, and I wish him well.  We were planning on going fly-fishing together, so hopefully, with a quick and full recovery, we'll be doing that soon.  Get Well, Dick.


I moved the Corvair to Vern's shop, where he's going to get the mechanicals in shape. tune up the engine, cure some oil leaks and make her drive like a dream (I hope) and stop on a dime ( I hope).  A paint job, new tires, a new convertible top and some upholstery work, will put her in shape for some fun while we still have some nice weather (should we ever get any) this summer.  I joined the Circle City Corvairs Club and hope to meet some fellow enthusiasts soon, and learn more about my '64 Monza convertible.  See photos on previous blog.

Th' - th' - that's all folks.  For now, anyway.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The latest Folly

OK, I admit it.  It's pure folly for me to take on an old car for restoration, given that I know absolutely nothing about mechanical gadgets like automobiles.  So that's why I'm doing the consultant finance my folly.  Here is a shot:

This is what it will look like restored.