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Author Topic: Member Interesting, Hair Raising, Humorous or Otherwise Unusual Experiences  (Read 2236 times)

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My Pine Grove home is 17 years old and still going strong!
Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.


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Not Your Grandfather's Trailer

Not Your Grandfather's Trailer

Ray Doughty

Published on Jan 22, 2016

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Agelbert NOTE: The video is a bit dated but the info is still valuable. Learn why manufactured homes are routinely a lot tighter than stick built homes. 8)

How It's Made Explores the Merits of a Factory-built home 

FleetwoodHomes Inc 

Published on Jan 2, 2013


Manufactured Homes
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The first video you posted would be what we call a manufactured home up here and they are more and more popular. They usually come as modules of any number necessary in all shapes and sizes. I've built frost walls for 2 of them. My part ended there. The second one is what I think of when I think trailer home or double wide. That one as shown was quite poor thermally but it was an old video and probably built for somewhere warm. One company I like is this one : http://www.canadabuilds.ca
They are pretty cutting edge but pricey. I'll stop this here since LD probably cares not at all about our various views of home construction since this thread was originally about trucking.
Cheers, David B

The only type of home I am are intested in discussing is a singlewide manufactured home. I agree that Canadabuilds makes a good home, but LD does not need that type of super insulation or high price per square foot. The whole idea of going for a manufactured home is to avoid the inflated, and totally unjustified, stick built price per square foot. The videos I posted both show advantages that stick built homes will never have.

My home is a Pine Grove. They make very good, but not pricy, manufactured homes. Here are the details on the construction standards and materials on a 3 bedroom 2 bath that they now make. These same standards are part of my 17 year old home. That said, they don't currently market to South Carolina (Pine Grove makes homes with strong roof load design for snow so LD probably would not want that home anyway). I present this home as an example of real world excellent quality equal to or greater than a stick built, but with a much lower price per square foot. I suggest you adjust your thinking and stop generalizing about manufactured home quality and price.

Pine Grove PA 17963
Phone: (570) 345-8600
Web: www.pinegrovehomes.com
3 Bedroom 2 bath singlewide made by Pine Grove: G16-612 - 16' X 76' - 1,165 SQ. FT.

Pine Grove Homes is located in Pine Grove, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Our homes are marketed throughout the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.

For info on Pine Grove dealers near you and availability and price of the Pine Grove G16-612, fill in this contact info:

Standard Features for Pine Grove Homes
⦁   Complete Fabric Drapery Package with 2” Blinds or Sheers
⦁   Vinyl On Gypsum Wall Coverings Throughout
⦁   Residential Ceiling Fixtures in All Bedrooms
⦁   Switched Ceiling Light in All Walk-In Closets
⦁   Chandelier in Each Designated Dining Area
⦁   ½” Finished Drywall Cathedral Ceilings with Stipple Finish
⦁   Residential Wood Molding Profiles
⦁   Solid Oak Window Sills
⦁   25 oz. Textured Carpet Installed with Tack Strip & 5.5# Pad
⦁   No Wax Vinyl Flooring by Congoleum®
⦁   Pre-Hung 6-Panel Interior Doors Installed with 3 Hinges
⦁   Vinyl Clad Shelving in Closets and Pantries
⦁   Foyer Entry with Vinyl Flooring at Front Door

⦁   KCMA Approved Cabinetry Built by Blue Mountain Cabinet Co.
⦁   Solid Oak Cabinets with ¾” Solid Oak Face Frames
⦁   Cabinet Crown on Overhead Cabinets
⦁   Concealed Cabinet Door Hinges
⦁   Drawer-Over-Door Base Cabinets
⦁   Metal Drawer Guide System
⦁   Designer Coordinated Door and Drawer Pulls
⦁   Adjustable Shelving in Overhead Cabinets
⦁   Shelving in All Base Cabinets

⦁   Miller Direct Spark Gas Furnace with Metal Access Door
⦁   In-Floor Perimeter Heat System with Perimeter Diffusers
⦁   Insulated Fiberglass Heat Duct w/ Sealed Crossover Connection
⦁   40 Gallon Electric Water Heater with Drip Pan & Exterior Drain
⦁   PEX Hot & Cold Water Lines and Schedule 40 Drain Lines
⦁   Enclosed Water and Drain Lines
⦁   Plumbing for Washer
⦁   Wire and Vent for Dryer
⦁   Water Shut-Offs at All Fixtures
⦁   100 Amp Electric Service
⦁   Hard-Wired Smoke Alarms with Battery Back-Up
⦁   Copper Wiring Throughout
⦁   Switched Receptacle in Living Room
⦁   GFCI Protected Exterior Receptacle
⦁   GFCI Protected Receptacle(s) in Wet Areas

⦁   33” x 19” x 7” Deep Double Bowl Stainless Steel Sink
⦁   Peerless by Delta® Single Lever Faucet with Sprayer
⦁   Soffit Light Over the Sink (in most models)
⦁   Refrigerator Overhead Cabinets
⦁   Wilson Art® or Formica® Laminate Counter Tops, 25” Deep
⦁   4” Laminate Backsplash on All Counters (Ceramic Optional)
⦁   White 18 Cubic Foot Refrigerator
⦁   White 30” Free Standing Gas Range
⦁   White 30” Vented Range Hood with Light by Broan®

⦁   HUD Code
⦁   Energy Star Compliance
⦁   Thermal Zone III
⦁   Wind Zone I (Wind Zone II Available as an Option)
⦁   Green Certified (Available as an Option)

⦁   One-Piece Fiberglass Tub and Shower Units
⦁   36” High Oak Vanity Cabinets with China Sinks
⦁   Peerless by Delta® Single Lever Faucets on all Fixtures
⦁   Wilson Art® or Formica® Laminate Counter Tops
⦁   4” Laminate Backsplash on All Counters (Ceramic Optional)
⦁   Oak Medicine Cabinets and/or Mirror with 24” Strip Light
⦁   Broan® Lighted Exhaust Fan in Each Bath
⦁   1.6 Gallon Round Front Water Saver Commode
⦁   All Bath Fixtures are White

⦁   Georgia Pacific® Dutch Lap Vinyl Siding
⦁   3/8” Wood Fiber Sheathing Installed Underneath Siding
⦁   Owens Corning® 3-Tab Fiberglass Roof Shingles
⦁   Eaveguard Ice and Water Shield
⦁   38x82 Residential Size Fiberglass 6-Panel Front Door, No Storm
⦁   38x82 Residential Size Fiberglass 2-Lite Rear Door, No Storm
⦁   Exterior Light at Each Entrance Door
⦁   Vinyl Thermopane “Low E” Single Hung Windows
⦁   12” Raised Panel Shutters on Front Door Side & Right Gable End
⦁   6” Fascia and Soffit
⦁   Ridge Vent

⦁   All Wall Studs, Trusses, & Floor Joists Installed 16” On-Center
⦁   40# Snow Load Roof Trusses
⦁   7/16” OSB Roof Sheathing
⦁   2x6 Graded Wall Studs
⦁   7’ 6”’ Sidewalls Standard (8’ Sidewalls are Available)
⦁   2x6 Floor Joists (28’ Wide) and 2x8 Floor Joists (32’ Wide)
⦁   2x6 Perimeter Joists
⦁   ¾” Tongue and Groove OSB Floor Decking
⦁   R-19 Fiberglass Wall Insulation
⦁   R-38 Blown-In Cellulose Ceiling Insulation
⦁   Combination of R-19 and R-27 Floor Insulation
⦁   Matewall Sealed with Double Center Seal Gasket
⦁   10” or 12” I-Beam Foundation Frame

Note: Any home receiving a site-built garage (or other structure) MUST meet all egress requirements for exterior doors. A third exit door may need to be installed in the home in order for it to be in full compliance. See below for more details.

All representations and descriptions of the Pine Grove product are believed to be accurate at the time of publication. Due to continual product improvement and changes in design, we cannot guarantee exact duplication of every product shown herein. Model availability and specifications may change without notice. Your Retailer, an independent contractor who is not an agent of Pleasant Valley Homes, is the party responsible for your purchase contract and any additions, deletions, alterations, or attachments made to or in your home.

Garage Notice:

Pine Grove manufactured homes are built to the standards as established by the manufactured housing HUD building code. Please note that any home that will have a site-built garage added to it will need to have three exterior doors in order to meet egress requirements as established by HUD (one which provides access to the garage and two which provide immediate access to the outside of the home). There are rules in place governing where these doors can be located within the homes and all designs will be subject to final approval from the engineering department to ensure that the home will be in full compliance following the addition of the site-built garage.


All representations and descriptions of the Pine Grove Product are believed to be accurate at the time of publication. Due to continual product improvement and changes in design, we cannot guarantee exact duplication of every product shown herein. Model availability and specifications may change without notice. Your Retailer, an independent contractor, who is not an agent of Pine Grove Homes, is the party responsible for your purchase contract and any additions, deletions, alterations or attachments made to or in your home.

David, what you think of in any house is what you should think of in a manufactured home. There is no valid assumption about the level of insulation or lack of that merits your generalizations about double wides and so on. The following infographics are what you should be referencing when you think of manufactured homes in the USA. Please stop generalizing.

Manufactured Homes Quick Facts 1 of 2

Manufactured Homes Quick Facts 2 of 2

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I certainly won't complain about any of the well thought out advice and information that I get here on the Diner.  I value all of the experience, insight, knowledge, and expertise that I get here, and that is why I always come here with big decisions.  I respect everyone's opinion even when I do not agree (contrary to RE's assertion). 

On matter of what I'm going to do about a home...well...I'm currently up in the air with it.  What I do know is that I'm going to be mortgaging something.  I'm going to do that because that will result in a lot more for less to the same amount of money that I'd pay to live in an apartment here.  A decent apartment in my area will run about $900 a month in rent, and that would be the cheapest option that we'd care to live in.  While I'm aware that there are benefits to apartment living, such as low utilities bills and no responsibility on upkeep for appliances, plumbing, electrical, etc etc..., typically only one year lease agreements, and no mortgage.  I'm also aware, having lived in apartments for most of my life, that it also comes with shitty neighbors who make lots of noise and complain about ****, no land for gardening, no storage buildings for tools and such, next to no privacy outside of the dwelling, and a lot of time maintenance staff and admin who give less then two shits about anything other then getting the rent on time.  Even still, I'd be willing to live in an apartment...my wife however is not.  That takes apartment living off of the table for me.  Besides, I'd rather not rent because you pay more to rent then you do to mortgage. 

The only question left for me is what am I going to mortgage?  Currently I'm entertaining all options.  My bank told me I need a 680 for my credit score.  It's currently 650 and slowly rising.  Very slowly.  Those fuckers are a bunch of bastards and the credit score game is a loosing one if you are a consumer.  The rules make no sense unless you are a coked up banker.  I really don't care to play, but I have little choice in the matter. 

I'm game for the manufactured home if I can get one that's not a piece of ****.  Apparently that can be difficult but it's possible as Agelbert has demonstrated.  Currently I'm looking into stick built houses for sale as well as manufactured home options.  The main benefit for me, with a manufactured home, is that I can have one plopped down on my mom's 11 acres.  That is the most appealing option for me as finding a house is going to result in less land in a place that will likely not be as ideal.  120k is the max I'm willing to finance because it's the max I can afford on my current salary.  It's also the max I could afford to hustle to pay given I return to the gig economy.  Which is likely at some point. 

Another important tidbit on this entire discussion ties the thread together.  I went trucking to get us our own home.  I needed the W-2 to mortgage something.  Once I acquire said mortgage I may well decide that working for the man is now a waste of my time and return back to Ancient Earth Landscaping, bamboo, permaculture, and herbal medication  ;D 

Truckin' is likely a temporary strategy for me...although I am paying 4% into a 401k so...I'm keeping all of my options open. 

Good thinking.    Let me rephrase the only question left for you: How can you get the most bang for your decent and durable home buck?  ???

As you have realized, the credit score thing is a perverse game that lenders play. It is a perverse game because they PRETEND that all they care about is your ability to pay. That is a half-truth at best and normally a total lie. All they REALLY care about is whether they can make money off your collateral if they are in a position to foreclose on said collateral.

As I mentioned in the latest PM, lenders are risk averse. If they see the risk is low, they then go to the next step of fun and games. That is the credit rating fun and games they use to do TWO things:
1) Tell you how much principal they will lend you.
2) Tell you what interest rate you must pay according to your "credit" score.

WHY do I say that the above are pervese, fact free fun and games? Because they have access to capital for lending that DOES NOT EXIST in the real world. It is invented out of whole cloth. Lenders are the parasites of the fractional reserve, ex nihilo money creation world. What they are "risking" is ALWAYS MUCH LESS than the assessed value of the property they are lending you money (less than 50% all the way to about 10%) for. But enough of my rant.  ;D

I learned there is a bit of a buyers market near you down in Lugoff for repossessed stick built homes. I don't know a thing about Lugoff, SC, but you probably do. There are probably some excellent deals down there, if you are inclined to live there.  8)

Back to the lenders: P.I.T.I. (Principal Interest Taxes Insurance) for your home monthly payment is the bottom line number that you want to limit to 25% of monthly income, as well as limiting the total home principal to 2.5 times your annual income.

Every day that you are alive on planet Earth is another day that, although some here argue otherwise  ;), you ARE paying P.I.T.I., whether you rent or "own". The idea, as you have realized, is to make do and be able to save a reasonable amount each month.

I'm working on the lender picture. I'll get back to you. You are doing fine. Rome was not built in a day. 
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Agelbert NOTE: This home is 17 years old. However, they added a new roof in 2014. That means that they did not have serious mold or other problems with the structure at that time, or they would have just tried to replace it or sell it then. Provided the roof was done properly (metal is better than asphalt shingle, but either one done properly should last at least 20 years), this home on a half acre is a great deal.  :icon_sunny:

If the roof was not done properly, this home is a problem home. I would have an inspector look over this home from top to bottom with a fine tooth comb. It's worth the money the inspector will charge. Also, the realtor states that this is a "motivated" seller. This can mean the owner wants to move soon due to job issues OR the home is rapidly deteriorating. There can be other reasons for a person being "motivated" (realtor parlance for "they'll consider a lower offer"), but I think the ones I mentioned are generally applicable to manufactured home owners. I looked at it in Google Earth and it does not appear to be manufactured home. Yet, the picture in the Trulia web site looks like that of a manufactured home (It appears to have skirting). You be the judge.  8)

All that said, if you don't mind the sound of a train going by routinely ;D, this looks like a nice family home.

2386 Green Hill Rd
 Lugoff, SC 29078   3 beds
 •2 baths
 •1,440 sqft
 •0.50 acres lot size
 •Single-Family Home

For Sale  $46,900  Est. Mortgage $280/mo 

Home Details

Single-Family Home
3 Beds
2 Baths
Built in 2000
23 days on Trulia

0.50 acres lot size
1,440 sqft


Investor alert! 3bd/2ba home in Lugoff. New roof 2014. Walk in closet in all bedrooms. Kitchen appliances to remain. Great Investment. Motivated Seller.  ;)

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Lugoff versus Spartanburg, SC living costs are about the same:

Agelbert NOTE: It appears that the Lugoff buyers market is a recent phenomenon because the stats. show Lugoff as slightly more costly for housing than Spartanburg (though they are both SUPER affordable : compared to the USA as a whole).

                 Spartanburg, SC            Lugoff, SC    United States
 Overall                                     86                          84                   100
 Grocery                                 105.2                       99.9                  100
 Health                                     99                          86                    100
 Housing                                     53                          60                   100
 Utilities                                     92                        103                   100
 Transportation                           97                        87                   100
 Miscellaneous                          104                       100                   100


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If you think it all ends here, you will consider risking your life to save a stranger an irrational act, period.

I was faced, one day at a beach family outing when I was 34 with 2 small children, with a life or death situation. My dentist brother in law, an expert swimmer and scuba diver, was drowning in a rip current and 14 ft high wave breakers.

It was afternoon and my sister had scolded her hubby because he was reading a book on dental practice instead of "playing with his children like my brothers do". John wasn't feeling too great that day but he responded to the henpecking by going in. I had noticed that the tide was going out and some rather large "lumps" on the water surface indicating rapid current (about 8 inches high in otherwise calm water in a tide pool) were visible and I said, "It looks kind of rough out there".

He said he could handle it and it would be okay. My sister just looked at me crossly. John went in and was playing with some kind of raft with his kids that would just reach the surf at the edge of the opening in the tide pool lagoon and swing back in.

I knew that dynamic was going to change and the outgoing tide would soon try to suck anyone near the reef opening at the edge of the tide pool lagoon (about 50 yards from shore) into the surf and rip tide. I told my wife to gather up the kids and keep them out of the water. I sat on the beach while John began to drown.

My 36 year old brother and Vietnam vet, Larry, who had supported John in this dangerous game when I appeared concerned, now froze on the shore with a worried look on his face. Somebody grabbed the small raft his 8 year old son was on and managed to get it to shore (it was some good samaritan with red hair in the water that we never did talk to later).

Larry, over his momentary paralysis and spurned to action, ran up to me and said we had to get John. He had a big of piece of driftwood for floatation. He rushed to the shore and waited for me as the seconds ticked by and John was floundering, unable to swim to shore.

I stood there a second and thought to myself, "You know, you are going to die out there." I answered my own thought , "If I stay here, I'll never be able to live with myself so God will have to decide if I make it through this or not". The fear was momentary and rational. I dispensed with it with a practice I had of sticking to my principles come hell or high water. It wasn't heroics, it was habit. And BABY, this was HIGH WATER!

My wife later said we looked like children in the waves because they were so big. So Larry and I hyperventilated for about 20 seconds to get some extra oxygen in our lungs and dove in. My bro lost the driftwood in the turbulent water (just as well - it could have bopped us on the head and killed us). We got to John lickity split. Getting to him was like being on a river in the right direction.

Of course when we got to him, we had to turn around and try to hold his head above water. The moment we reached him and I said, "We've got you, John", he gave up. His head went under and I was under too and watched bubbles coming out of his mouth and his body totally relaxed. We pulled him up only to be slammed by the most god-awful monstrous wave power I have ever experienced. My femur bones were being bent by the force of the turbulence! My fear returned with some terror thrown in. We had to fight to get back up to the surface only to be slammed back down by a new breaker. All the while we were trying to swim to shore and getting weaker. After one particularly powerful wave, I looked at my brother and yelled, "We're going to DIE out here!". Larry yelled, "A man has to think of himself!".

Our only chance to make it to shore was to let John go. We did. I glimpsed him floating away underwater. That was the most heart tearing, sad and anguished moment of my life all wrapped up into one desperate attempt to survive with my principles intact.

We began swimming to shore with the waves still sending us down a couple of seconds after surfacing. The salt water mixing with my breathing felt like fire burning my throat trachea. The people on shore didn't get closer. I lost sight of Larry. I was yelling "Praise the Lord" even as I ran out of energy in those brief moments on the surface.

Larry, much stronger than me and an agnostic, was concentrating on getting back to shore by cursing the ocean, the waves , the current and whatever else he could think of to keep himself "mad enough" to keep fighting for his life (I learned this from him later as I could not hear him in the tumult at the time).

About 15 minutes into this ordeal, I lost all my energy. I couldn't speak and I couldn't swim. I would send the commands to my arms and legs and they just WOULD NOT MOVE! I was in very good shape at that time of my life and had no muscle cramps or anything like that. I sank into the depths.

I made myself a promise that, even though I was sure to drown, I would absolutely refuse to breathe until my autonomic response kicked in after losing consciousness; I wasn't going to DO that burning throat thing any longer (later on my doctor said that saved my life but I'm not so sure). I began "breathing" by pushing the air in my mouth into my lungs and back. I thought of my wife and kids and asked God to take care of them.

I was totally convinced I was a goner. For some reason, I stopped feeling that urgency to breathe. Perhaps it was something like the nitrogen narcosis that divers get but that only happens at depth with scuba gear. I think the Guy upstairs gave me a break here (You know, that "sky God" so many people these days don't believe in).   

I became quite relaxed, still unable to move and my surroundings got darker. I figure I was about 20 feet down when I felt some rocky bottom passing under my right toe. The force of the waves was slight here but my movement with the current was plainly felt. This woke me from my torpor.

I concentrated on my foot and tried with all my might to flex my foot and anchor my toe on the reef surface below. It worked and I cut my toe. This woke me up more. I still, believe it or not, did not need to breathe. I waited for the current to shift direction and slid along the bottom with the top of my right foot. When the current flipped again, I would anchor my toe on the reef. I did this 5 or six times. The only part of me that I tried to move was my right foot and toe. I still did not have the strength or muscle coordination to swim. It was getting shallower (warmer water) and my surroundings lighter.

All of a sudden the water got murkier and the bottom hard to hold because it was sandy instead of rocky and, like a submarine surfacing, my head popped out of the water.

Now a normal person takes a deep breath here, right? Not me. I was in terror of losing my grip on the bottom (it was sandy with no toe holds) so I plunged back under to "hold position" until the current shifted. I had glimpsed my sister yards away and I realized I was on the shore so I weakly and carefully stood up, breathed in deep and vomited my guts out.

I raised my head and stared into my sister's eyes. She looked at me and said, "You tried". John died that day. I ended up fishing Larry out as he was cursing his way in (We lay him on the beach and he was okay after about 20 minutes) and keeping John's teenage kid (he had two of his kids there that day) from drowning by trying to fish his father's body out.

We got the body as it managed to float a ways away from the rip tide and bump up against the far end of the tidal pool reef. We did CPR to no avail; he had a pulse from my pushing on his sternum while my sister (a registered nurse) cleared the air passage and breathed into his lungs but we gave up when the ambulance got there about 20 minutes later; he was a solid blue color (John was very fair and redheaded). Not a good day.

The point of this experience I am relating is that we need to get our priorities straight in this country. WTF are we willing to die for? What are our principles? I know what mine are, who my boss is, and where I'm going when I leave this valley of tears. That guides me in my decision making.

As a pilot I learned that you HAVE TO think about trouble all the time, plan what you will do when or if it comes and PRACTICE it in your brain. Then relax and go on about your life. Otherwise you will learn by hard experience why a coward dies a thousand deaths.

Be true to your principles and you will sleep better at night and be an asset to humanity and God.

My rant is for anyone here that hasn't thought this through. I'm in the moral imperative faith based camp.

More Background:

I had events occur in my life that kept me alive miraculously when I should have gotten killed. I did not pray to avoid getting smacked by a car that ran a red light without lights on at night while my brother Larry was saying "It's not going to get any greener" to me from the back seat of the car while I sat there like a bump on a log for NO REASON WHATSOEVER!

I didn't spend 10 to 15 minutes underwater refusing to breathe and come out of it because I'm superman; it just happened and I wrote about it in detail here some time ago. Sure, I was praising the Lord and thanking Him for "rescuing" me while I was drowning trying to fish my brother in law dentist (who drowned) from the surf but it was my foot moving me along the bottom for those 10 to 15 minutes or so that got me to the beach because I could barely move my arms and had to concentrate just to dig one toe into the rocky bottom. God made me work for that one!

While totaling a car, the seat belt caused my rib cage to rotate approximately 10 degrees or so. I fully expected to die and had no desire whatsoever to stick around as I lay in a field gasping for air.

I did not pray or ask to be miraculously healed but nevertheless, AFTER the doctor at the ER had decided to do an exploratory on me to see how damaged I was inside, everything just POPPED into place X-ray room just before the body cavity/chest X-ray prior to the operation. The doctor cancelled the operation after seeing the x-ray. Apparently nothing was broken. You studied medicine (this comment was originally made to a doctor). How many times have you heard of rib cage rotation along the sternum that just pops back into position? How about the spleen? In violent car crashes it is almost always ruptured.

I lost consciousness gasping for air at the hospital with everything going round and round. When I woke up I was still gasping and being rolled into x-ray when all kinds of bubbling noises came from my chest.

I addressed God in my mind and said, WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!? Something or someone said, also in my mind, I"M FIXING YOU. My reaction was of chagrin. I was convinced I was DONE here and now I had to live in this HELL HOLE some more.

Now you can call that a faith based miraculous healing if you want but if you do I will say that you are fooling yourself. The "power" of your mind in Faith isn't going to have you or anybody else walking on water anytime soon. All this stuff and nonsense about each one of us being a little god and able to do miracles just by tuning in to some zen power or mind focus is simply magical thinking. As to JC's quote about moving mountains, mustard seed and Faith, He was talking about rocket fuel for evangelizing (fishing humans), not habitually violating the laws of physics.

My belief in Christ is EVIDENCE based. RE thinks I fancy myself "privileged" to have these experiences. I consider myself incredibly stubborn; so much so that God decided that I am so dense that He had to show me some evidence before I would believe. He doesn't do that to most people because most people aren't that dense, period.

And no, I'm not going to detail all the weird and wonderful stuff I have witnessed to you because some reader here might think I'm inventing it just to prove some metaphysical bullshit I believe in. Sorry, I'm about as hard nosed about cause and effect as any other scientist out there.

I once put a guy in jail because I refused to back down on my court testimony after witnessing a car he lost control of drive over and kill a street vendor. Despite receiving death threats, I said, fu ck it, it's the right thing to do so I'M GOING TO DO IT. 

Everything I witnessed about God doing His thing here and there was rigorously questioned and fact checked moment by moment by me. I was NOT looking for anything but an excuse to NOT believe there is a supreme being that intercedes in the lives of people on this planet in a personal manner.

But the observed events and facts said otherwise. Sure, I have Faith NOW, but I didn't do anything to earn it. It really IS, as the bible says, a gift.

P.S. Larry, my brother who's idea it was to go to that beach that day in the first place, AND who had the "bright" idea of running the current, which eventually caused the drowing death of John Adair, my brother-in-law, has methodically and self servingly lied about his role in the above tragedy. Larry is a serial liar, an adulterer and a crook. If you have been told a different version of any of the above events by him, where he coincidentally appears to be the big hero and I appear as the wimp, you are being lied to. Larry was the chief architect of the theft of my inheritance after our mother, then our father, died. He and all my siblings who joined with him in a conspiracy to steal my inheritance got away with it temporarily.


Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.


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Quote from: AG
My rant is for anyone here that hasn't thought this through. I'm in the moral imperative faith based camp.

Gee, ya think?

Great stories. 

It's a good day to recall the words of MLK, Jr.:

“We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values… when machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” -- Martin Luther King, Jr. April 4, 1967

Agelbert confession: My goal in life is to be as "maladjusted" as Martin Luther King Jr. was. I admit that I am still a work in VERY slow progress, but I am not confused by Mammon worshipping cults about what is really important in life and what is damning to life.

"Maladjusted" Martin Luther King Jr.

Luke 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

Luke 12:30-34

30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.

31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.


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Agelbert's  Mini-Catamarran Folly

Posted May 19, 2018

I promised to write about this a while ago. 😇 Today, I'll see if I can set my experience down in print.  ;) 

Way back in 1975 I was an air traffic controller who had FINALLY gotten through three years of grueling training to reach the journeyman radar controller level. I lived in a simple $26,000 home I had bought in 1972. Now that I didn't have to worry about being washed out by some bigots from Indiana on my ATC crew (they had moved back to the "world" after their two year tour of fun and games with Puerto Ricans) in the FAA, I had a bit of time on my hands on weekends...

Idleness is the devil's workshop, they say. I don't know about that. Sometimes doing stuff gets you into a whole lot more trouble...

You see, I didn't know beans about sailboats (that hasn't changed much  :D). I have related here about my mishap on a 34' sailboat my airline pilot brother bought.

I hated sailboats. I said I would not get in one again until they had gimbled cabins. :icon_mrgreen: Going sideways was not my idea of getting from point A to point B in a boat. BUT, I had observed that there is a sailboat type out there that did not go sideways. 🧐 This is called a catamarran. Yes, the smaller ones like the Hobie Cat can have a pontoon get airborne if you are not careful. But, generally speaking, they do not go sideways.

So, I decided to build one. I mean, how hard could it be? I had an airplane pilot's license with single, multi-engine and instrument commercial (plus flight and ground instructor tickets) ratings in addition to knowing how to add and subtract, so what's the big deal with sailboats? Why do they cost so much? I looked at all the sandwich fiberglass stuff and keel weight and hull speed design and all that.  BORING...

Also, I wasn't going to spend all kinds of money and rile up the neighborhood by building a big boat in my yard. Besides. I was on a budget and didn't want to spend more than a hundred bucks or so.

But all that said, I wish to be brutally honest with you. I had an excess pontoon problem.

Now, what in tarnation is an "excess pontoon" problem?

You see, my airline pilot brother (Gilbert - he is seven years older than I am so I had the mistaken idea that he knew what he was doing) had decided on a get rich quick scheme. This involved marketing Aquaskims.
Aquaskims are pontoons that you put your feet into like giant shoes and swish over the water with.

Gilbert thought they would make a great replacement for dingies that sailboat owners used while they are anchored to get to shore for suppllies. This was a really dumb idea for many reasons but Gilbert didn't think so.

Gilbert claimed Aquaskims were more portable than a dingy and lots of people would love them just to walk on water. So, he bought a BUNCH of them.

No, it wasn't for the "volume" discount. You see, they would not sell him one or two pairs. He had to buy a sufficient quantity to fill a 40' long standard shipping container.  :P

You can put a lot of them in a 40' shipping container.

Gilbert thought they would sell like hotcakes. They didn't. Despite our best efforts to sell them here and there, people had trouble maintaining their balance so they did not go for them.

Aquaskims were made of foam with some plastic flaps beneath to help you move over the water surface. I practiced a lot on a lake with them. You need strong legs and a keen ability to balance. You have to keep your center of gravity in exactly the right place or you flop into the water. Getting back on is impossible once you are in the water, even if the water is dead calm.

In ocean conditions with any wave action whatsoever, it is impossible even to walk on them.

I nearly made it all the way across the Condado Lagoon (coastal ocean lagoon about a quarter mile wide with fairly flat seas) as a publicity stunt but fell in the water a few feet short of the dock.  Below is a picture of the Condado Lagoon:

I started out from the dock next to the third building (left to right) towards the ocean side of the lagoon and walked to nearly where that obelisk thing is now on the near side.

My legs just kept opening (doing a split) and I no longer had the strength to keep them together. The muscles you use to do this are almost totally NOT used when walking or running on the ground because the friction of your feet with the ground keeps your legs from sliding apart. Slip-sliding on water to move forward on pontoons is very slippery business. We got a few sales that day but nothing to brag about.

People found it was dangerous to try to get into them in a swiming pool because if you fell sideways or backwards you could hit your head on the pool concrete side. Sailboat owners could not easily carry groceries in bags while balancing on the Aquaskims, even in dead calm waters. I could carry stuff but it was tricky. What I would do to try to sell somebody is that I push a 14' Boston Whaler I owned off a dock at the Levittown lake and let it go out 50' or so. I would then get on the aquaskims, walk to the boat, and tow it back in with a rope. People were not impressed.

I had already tried water skiing with them. THAT was nightmare! The pontoons want to go anyway but straight (those fat foam hulls zig and zag continuously  :() when the boat towing you tries to pick up to normal speed. Of course you can be towed along at 5 mph. :D That is something you certainly can't do with regular water skies, but I was pretty sure that wouldn't catch on as a fad. People like to go fast and all that.  8)

Gilbert's get rich quick sheme was dead.

Guess who was elected to store most of them?

So, as you can see, I had an excess Aquaskim pontoons problem.

This is when I got the strange idea that you could make a tiny catamarran with the Aquaskims.

Experienced sailors know something I was not too clear on (to put it mildly). Sailboats need TWO, not just one, connnection with the water beneath them in order to steer them AGAINST the wind.

Yeah, you need a sail. However, the sail just creates leverage on the mast to move the boat with the wind, period. If you stick a rudder in the water you will not get the boat to point in the direction you want to go unless you have something in the water for the rudder to exert leverage on. That thing is called a keel or a centerboard in a normal sailboat.

In a catamarran it's a bit more complicated. The pontoons can be a sort of a leverage point, but they have to be sticking well into the water and they need a certain design (as in the Hobie Cat). Aquaskims are rounded and stubby. They are designed for maximum floatation. This is no good for leverage traction in the water.

But I hadn't figured that out yet. Experience is really a very good teacher.  :laugh:

I had all these pontoons and I needed to make somehting with them. I figured a cheap mini-cat would sell and I could get rid of all those pontoons I was storing.

So, being a methodical fellow , I went to a hardware store and bought a bunch of PVC pipe, a grommet kit, some grommets, "sail" cloth (blue shower curtain plastic), some eye screws and some cord and began my project.

This is what those Aquaskims look like:

I made this PVC frame with some patio furniture straps for the deck: The four support points beneath would be just pushed into the pontoons through the top foam.

Next I added the rudder and began attaching the rigging eye screws.

I then grommeted the sail and attached it to the PVC mast with line and some rigging to be able to raise and lower it. The PVC large pipe ring at the top of the mast could be raised or lowered with the line through the eye screws. I know, VERY CRUDE. But that system actually worked. True, I only took the boat out once and none of this rigging (or any other part of this PVC mess contraption) was built to last, but it goes to show you how cheap you can really go in a pinch.  :D   

Finished with my Mini-Catamarran Agelbert Folly, I took it to the Levittown lake for a shakedown cruise.

I lowered into it from the concrete dock and sat in the middle, more or less. You've got to do that so the pontoons don't upend in the front. The pontoons sat a little lower than I expected in the water.  Well, I had a bathing suit on so having a wet ass was no problemo. 

Of course I considered that my ass dragging through the water would slow me down a bit, but I was not going to sweat the small stuff. Onward and forward!

I raised the sail, held the boom position with my right hand with an attached line and held the rudder with my left hand. The wind was behind me so I moved off the dock and enjoyed running with the wind.

I said to myself, IT WORKED!   

I was wrong. Eddie can tell you all the stuff I did wrong, but I will mention a few.  :-[

When I tried to tack, I could not tack. The boat just slid along sideways, no matter what I did with the rudder. I could run with the wind and slightly at an angle, but that was it. I needed a keel of some sort. I did not have it.

Also, had the wind been any stronger than the light breeze I had that day, the PVC thin mast would have bent too much or broken. I had some rigging to keep it steady (not shown in my 3D sketchup file screenshots - I had a line on either side to the frame), but it was not enough for the stiffness needed to propel the boat in a reasonable wind.

My sailboat would not tack.👎 The mast was wiggly.  :P The mini-cat was a failure. :-[ I was stuck with a lot of pontoons.  :(

But, it was quite educational. I hope you enjoyed this anecdote.

We live and we learn.
Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.


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