Month: March 2008

More Freighters stuck in ice by the Soo Locks as Galapagus Penguins watch .

MORE ICE PROBLEMS NEAR THE SOO LOCKS- Here is a picture showing another ship in the thick ice . This past weekend several more freighters spent several hours stuck in the ice in the St.Mary’s river . Mud island and Neebish Island were two spots that seemed to be the worst.
Having Cabin Fever , Deb and I decided to drive up and see the Freighters in person . As we approached the frozen shorline, we thought we saw several locals dressed in tuxedos holding some sort of ceremony. As we got closer , we realized they were real live Galapagus Penguins in Northern Michigan.
Several people were trying to take pictures of them along with two men that said they were scientists . We asked them how the Penguins got here? They said because of the Global warming effects around the world this last winter , they believe this goup of Penguins were totally confused and headed the wrong direction . Instead of flying north , they flew south and landed near the open , very cold water at the locks. The locals seemed very excited and plan to put them in cages and charge money for tourists to see them.
Deb and I felt very privileged to see them for free. We tried to pet them or get a close up picture with them, but they were very flighty. Shortly after this picture was taken , somone startled them and off they ran and jumped into the open water at the locks. So not only did we get to see some Freighters in the ice, we got to see some King Penguins in person for the first time and that was very cool !! If you look real close , you can see two of them are really Gentoo Penguins and that gives this all away . Now you know for sure this is just a April fools joke !!!!!!! Have a nice Pre-April Fools day !! LOL

Don Campbell’s Silver Spade model with Crawlers attached

BUCYRUS-EIRE 1950B STRIPPING SHOVEL PROGRESS- Here is the first picture of the Silver Spade model with the crawlers built and attached. This is the first time the model has sat on the workshop floor on the crawlers. You can see me looking over the stick that will later this week be tapered down wider to meet up with the dipper /bucket. That is the last big welding job left on the model. If all goes well, next weekend the 1/24th scale model of the mighty Silver Spade should be all roughed in. It has been a excellent project to build. By far, my all time favorite model so far. (:>).
Next weekend I will be able to tell much more as to the final selling price of the massive model. At this time I do have four people that are very interested in buying it. But as I said previously, I have never spent this long or spent this much on materials on a model before . So I doubt anyone will be able to justify the cost of purchasing it. So it very well may end up being a jelly bean holder in our living room, ha,ha.
14 DEGREES IN GAYLORD- Another very cold morning , but the first signs of spring might arrive this week as we are supposed to get temps in the high 30’s and low 40’s, OH YEA !!! Corvette Driving Weather, ha,ha., It got up to 36 yesterday and people were walking down the streets as our sidewalks are still filled with ice and snow. And I did see one guy drive by on his motorcycle , (:>), even though he was wearing a snowmobile suit, LOL !! This was really true!
BIG MUSKIE – I have two smaller truck orders to build after i finish the Silver Spade, but by early summer I should be cutting out the first parts for the 1/24th scale Big Muskie. That will be completed by late fall . So I should have built the largest stripping shovel and the largest dragline models in the same year.
There is only one machine larger in Germany and it is the largest self-propelled machine that ever moved on the face of the earth . I guess I almost have to build a 1/24th scale model of it next year. Then I would have three cool models in my living room, LOL The Spade bucket would hold my jelly beans, the Muskie Bucket would be a place for the cat to sleep and the bucket wheel of the German machine could hold Deb’s chocolates, ha,ha.
SUNDAY MESSAGE- Taking things for granted-
After seeing the Cerak family talk about burying their daughter Whitney this week and then hearing Whitney talk about watching the video of her own funeral, it sure made me think about a lot of things. It’s obvious they had their act together and had no regrets had they not seen Whitney again until they were all joined in Heaven someday.
But many people today can’t say that as they have so many issues with each other that really don’t add up to anything at all.
I am happy to say if something happened to Deb or I or Nicole today, we would have no regrets as we are very good to each other everyday .
I E-mail Nicole everyday and I tell Deb everyday several times how she is so nice and how it has been so fun being with her all these years and her being my best friend.
Life is really short , and I’m not sure if today is my last day , but I have a good feeling inside just in case it is.
Have a nice Sunday with the ones you love

Four Freighters Damaged in Ice This week. One rudder broke off, one 30 foot gash in hull, and two freighters collide near the Mackinaw Bridge.

GREAT LAKES ICE TOO THICK !!!- It has been a rough week already for the first of the 08 Great Lakes Shipping season.
1. American Mariner lost it’s rudder from ice damage and was towed in for repairs..
2. Paul R. Tregurtha got a 30 foot gash in hull pushing thick sheet ice and in for repairs.
3. Two Freighters Collide- When the Freighters, Callaway and the American Mariner tried passing in the narrow ice track, they were pushed into each other and collided near the Mackinaw Bridge causing a whole in the no. 1 ballast tank.
And with eight degree temps again this morning the ice is not melting. Looks like it is going to be a rough start along with the higher fuel prices.
MISTAKEN IDENTITY- Deb and I watched Dateline NBC last night and for the first time realized how this could have happened . Many people thought these people all must have been a bunch of idiots not to even know their own daughters.
But as Whitney layed with hair tied back, eyes closed, neck brace pushing up her face and a swollen face and a closed mouth and tubes in her , it all added up. But when she finally started coming out of a coma , it did not take long for things to unfold . Next week the families will be on Oprah.
The special showed a short clip of them outside with Matt Lauder and you could see the snow banks in Gaylord on their street in front of their house. . It also showed the cemetary that is a half a mile from our house where I drive by each day to my shed and remember seeing them dig the hole, and later after the funeral remember seeing the fresh grave of Whitney’s near the road.
And then I remember driving by to my shed and seeing Whitney’s mom by the grave and last of all , I remember another day seeing the grave dug up after they removed Laura from the Cemetary.
I think it was obvious they all had a very close personal relationship with God .
When Nicole and Bill were dating , Whitneys dad Newell was their youth pastor at the E Free Church. Nicole said he was a very nice person . And Whitney’s mom , Deb said she remembers Whitney’s mom , Coleen coming to Nicole’s wedding shower at the church.
It’s plain to see even after two years, this was still very emotional for these familes.
EIGHT DEGREES IN GAYLORD- Another cold morning and very little snow has melted this last week.
Silver Spade Update- I’m working away on the last crawler frame now.
Have a nice Saturday

The Campbells look into buying a smart car

SMART CAR- Last summer when we were in Canada we posted a couple pics of me next to one of these Smart Cars. But that one had smaller tires and didn’t look like it would get around Gaylord very well in the snow. I ran across this picture showing a larger tire option , ha,ha.
Now this looks like something I would be interested in (:>).
You all know I just love any machine with big tires. I wonder if it still gets 40mpg with these options, LOL !! I would probably order a front snoblade for it too , ha,ha.
Whitney Cerak on The Today Show this morning-
Deb and I saw the today show this morning and listened to the story of the mixup of the daughters. Although we do not know them, they live less than a mile from us and we have see them around town many times over the years. As I mentioned the other day, we have walked by their house for the last 20 years and they have always smiled or waved to us as we passed by. Nicole’s husband Bill said they are a nice strong Christian family.
Now as they tell the story, it is their opportunity to give all the glory to God, and it is obvious how strong and close they all are as Christians. .
I have always believed something good comes from something bad. The good from this is they all get to talk about the God they love so much with millions of people all over the world. And that is a very Good thing that has come from this very bad thing.
Even though my personal struggles as a Christian cause me to get strong , then get weak , I am proud to say ,even at my weakest , I still don’t doubt God decides when our time is up. God is what keeps me happy everyday in such a troubled world.
Tonight the Ceraks will be on Dateline on a 2 hour show talking about this more .
NEXT SNOWSTORM HEADING TOWARDS GAYLORD- Well, even though we are now 30 inches below last years snowfall, we got another storm heading our way for Sunday .
SPRING BREAK – Deb has next week off from the daycare kids as she watches all teachers kids and they all have the week off too.
I asked Deb if I could have the week off too, but she said I was about a week behind on the Silver Spade progress. She did get my hopes up though as she did say if I work the next 6 days, 12 hours a day, I may get next Friday off, Oh Yea !!! LOL !! just kidding.
ICE IN THE GREAT LAKES- More very cold nights continue to refreeze the ice track the ice breakers have made . With four feet thick ice sheets in parts of the Great Lakes,the Captains have been contacted to take this in conderation and probably should wait for a ice breaker to resume in certain areas or get stranded in a ice field.
SILVER SPADE- By tonight I will have the third set of crawlers done. It is starting to take shape on the bottom end of the massive model. With the limited tools I have and the fact I am working with steel, I am very pleased how it is looking. I still think I am capturing 95% of the look of the real Silver Spade. There are many areas I am unsure of , but managed to still get it to look good.
Have a nice Friday and THINK SPRING !!