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ing Tips & Tools Monthly, Issue #87-sawmills
April 14, 2014
April 14, 2014

Keep Your Eyes On The Night Sky

This issue went into the mail a couple days early this month so you could catch the first of a quartet full lunar eclipses (Four Blood Moons), also called a "Tetrads".

They will take place on two Jewish holidays, The Feast of Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles, in October this year and next.

The unique thing is all four will be visible across the United States. Tetrads like this have only happened four times in the past

This has happened only three times in the last 500 years. This is significant the 1492-3 series led to the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and the discovery of America.

The second series (1949-50) signified the rebirth of Israel State on land they had been drive from in AD 70.

The third occur occurrence was 1967-68. The Arabs declared total war against Israel. It was over in six days and Israel remained intact and established its capital in Jerusalem.

The common denominator in these three Tetrads has been the Jewish people. We can conclude the fourth will also be significant for Israel.

It begins in the early morning of April 15, 2014: a Total Eclipse of the Moon. This lunar eclipse is almost fully visible from North America. The Moon will enter the penumbra at 12:52 am EDT on April 15th (9:52 pm PDT on April 14th) and will leave the penumbra at 6:39 am EDT (3:39 am PDT) on April 15th.

Change of Tack? No Just Seeing Reality

Politics and religion are not topics you would normally expect to find in a newsletter on scale modeling but there is just too much happening these days.

I just might be the last voice you hear on these issues and I can't take that lightly.

Giving politics a share of your time will help you keep track of what is happening on earth. Your relationship to religion determines how we will live our future.

Both are more than hobbies to many, that is why a part of this newsletter, they need to be discussed.

Despite the fact I believe we are getting closer and closer to the end of this world I think there are things I need to consider about my writing.

Obviously everybody I reach is not a Christian and has no intent of becoming one. That does not mean I should doubt what God intends for me.

I have been a writer most of my life and there are a few things that I have learned.

Sure, I've got the right to free speech and that means I can put about anything I want into print.

1. But even scripture says just because we can do something doesn't mean we should do something. My intent is not winning everyone over to my point of view. 2. I try to remember to hold my beliefs with confidence, but also with humility. I can't say I have never held that I'm right and everyone else is wrong. I am trying to hold to my beliefs with confidence but also with a humility that says “but I could be wrong”.

3. I need to stop pretending that one political party has a monopoly on Jesus-ness.

When Jesus stood before Pilate, he declared that the Kingdom he came to inaugurate– the Kingdom you and I are tasked with building– was something that was “not of this world”. We must remember that the new culture Jesus came to establish is radically different from anything a worldly empire has to offer.

As such, neither dominant political party in America does a very good job at standing for the cultural principles of Jesus. When we marry Jesus off to a political party, we combine Kingdom with empire, and miss the fact that Jesus came to replace empire with something so very different.

Speaking of What Is In The Sky...

They used to be simple flying model helicopters (well maybe not that simple) but today they have four circular blades arrayed like a four leaf clover and can pack a payload.

They are called drones, quadcopters or UAVs well beyond what you'd fly around your living room.

These can handle a payload of 5 pounds and up, easily carrying a quite sophisticated camera.

Once you get out of the toy stage and into the hobby range these remote flying vehicles present some interesting challenges.

With a range of anywhere from a mile to 3 miles there soon out of sight.

The Stormdrone is fully developed with prices starting at $359 US
You can check details here
Right now you can fly a drone as a hobbyist and not get afoul of the law. But the FAA will soon have new rules about unmanned aircraft. Few, if any will affect the amateur.

Amazon recently announced it planned to use drones to fly packages to recipients. The problem is such an idea is a commercial venture and as such comes under the strict control of the FAA.

But don't think you can easily become a "flying paparazzi". Many celebrities are already buttonholing their favorite legislator to produce laws against aerial photography from a drone.

Granted it is an infant industry but drones are becoming more and more practical and easier and easier to obtain.

Many lawmakers fear the potential invasion of privacy that drones portend. Nine U.S. states have already passed laws restricting drone use, both in the hands of private citizens and law enforcement agencies.

There's Nothing Like "Dirt Cheap"

The coming of spring makes gathering one homegrown modeling material a simple process, even if you are handicapped.

It has never been my desire to pay $8-$10 a pound for dirt.

In reality the best way to duplicate dirt is to use dirt. Of coarse and it's real state dirt is no where near the correct scale for use on an HO or N scale diorama.

There is an abundance of sand leftover from the winter along the roadside outside my apartment. It is relatively easy to scoop up a pound or two even from my mobility scooter.

Once again it inside I spreadout out on a cookie sheet which has been lined with aluminum foil. I pop it into an oven which is been preset 350° and leave it for about an hour. The intent is to not only dry it out but also kill any unwanted creatures in the sand.

Then it's simply a matter of running it through your wife's strainer (preferably when she's not home) two separate the big ones from the small.

For my purposes I only need a couple sizes one for a dirt path in the second for boulders to line it.

You may be modeling a project that requires more sizes or at least a greater variety of colors.

Simply send it through more and more smaller meshes. A couple come to mind: one of your wife's nylons again be careful about your selection (preferably pair she has trashed). You can also find silk Tulle at a craft shop.

I am working on a cliffside path. It's base is made from plaster. If you are talking about a dirt road you may have other considerations.

Almost any material can be used for the subgrade. Depending on the roadway method, you can use styrene sheet, foamcore or Homasote. Corrugated cardboard or poster board is only recommended for non-water-based techniques. Or the roadway can be built up using your basic scenery material, like plaster or extruded foam. The idea is to elevate the roadway surface above the nearby scenery.

Once you get the subsurface finished you need to color. I prefer economical Folk Art colors you get at Michael's. For $10 you can have a good variety of colors. I cover all the plaster with a coffee latte color mixed with dark chocolate.

Onto this I apply Elmer's Glue straight from the bottle. Before the glue sets I carefully strain on a layer of strained sand. I let this dry for an hour or two.

Then I paint a line along the edge or edges of my pathway with Elmer's. I drop on random selection of the "strained rocks" which were caught in the strainer and mix in a few pieces of green scenic foam to represent bushes.

War On Our Own Warriors

Unless we forget our country's leadership has caused the death of some of our bravest through some really bad decisions.

One of these has been detailed in "Betrayed, the shocking true story of Extortion 17 by a Navy SEAL's father. This War on Warriors link got me to thinking about how often we are

betrayed. "Extortion 17, the call sign of a Chinook 47 which crashed Oct, 6, 2011 killing 38 persons including 15 members of SEAL Team 6.

As "Joe for America put it; The Obama regime and the military establishment would have you believe that this slow-moving, sitting duck Chinook was brought down by the skill or luck of a Taliban fighter under normal battlefield conditions. This is not the case.

There are many abnormalities and deviations from protocol which are suspicious and indicate possible dereliction or criminality on the part of senior leadership involved, both military and civilian.

If the thought we could sabotage our own troops is questionable to you, I recommend you read this book I got my copy at Amazon.

Until Next Month

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