Posts posted by Frank Hagan
OK, I changed your TarDevil login to use the new email address. I sent you an email. If you don't get the reminder email for a new password let me know via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can set a new, temporary password on that TarDevil account.
Yes, let me change the email address to your current one you gave in this profile.
Thanks, Dave! I know you guys don't mind when things have to be done, but I always hate miscalculating how long it takes to complete it!
Yes, it took a lot longer than I expected! Sorry about that.
But it's good to be back on line!
When you upload an image, you can later insert it between text:
By positioning your cursor where you want to insert the image and then clicking the image. Here's a short video showing it:
Welcome! I've upgraded your membership to Supporting Member status. You shouldn't see any ads for the next year, and can create Galleries or Clubs from the tabs at the top of the page.
People love to follow a build thread so when you get started go ahead and start one for your boat. Thanks for joining!
This is a story I wrote for my old website, and found again.
By Frank Hagan
Copyright 2000, The Gaff Rig Magazine
Published by Back Yard Yacht Builder's Organization
Reprinted by permission
"The Question". It seems so witty to those who haven’t heard it dozens of times. Here’s a test: you are a veteran boat builder if you can reveal, Jeopardy style, "The Question" for these answers:
- Because I wanted to.
- I had all this extra marine plywood, and don’t know any marines.
- God told me there’s going to be a flood.
I was never really sure how to answer "The Question". But now I know.
I was dreading "The Question" when the family came up during Christmas. Wouldn’t you know it, the year its our turn to host Christmas, I’m involved in a boat building project.
There’s the usual mix of creativity in the family. Even a restored boat in one brother’s garage. A sister who is a true-to-life artist (which I define as sculpting things like sexy mermaids in bas relief, and getting paid for it.) Others in the family take art lessons, and produce stuff that looks to my untrained eye as actually approaching art, the critics be damned. Another brother who turns lumps of clay into useful art.
And there’s me. I’m a middle manager, on the lowest rung of the corporate ladder. I read self help books, for heaven’s sake. I was the brother who cried when a spider ran across his hand, rather than picking it up and playing with it just to scare the girls.
But it comes natural for the rest of the family. The creative ones. My mother is a writer, with two published books, and my father was a carpenter. Now if you want to impress people, you say that your father was "in construction." But I never had the urge to inflate what my father did. He built things. He built the house I lived in for the first 13 years of my life. He built John Wayne’s house, and did the finish work inside Raquel Welch’s apartment (his best line that year: "If she keeps snubbing me, I’ll never sleep with her.") I can drive around southern California, and see things my dad built. The matched grain hardwood ceiling in the church. The classroom where tomorrow’s leaders toss spitballs and tease the girls. Stores. Houses. Movie studios. Things, real things.
Dad was quiet, and always in control. There was a presence about him, an air of authority, that made him seem like a giant to me. But he was never mean. And even when I reached my teens and realized he was not perfect, I always admired the man he was. I never feared becoming "just like my old man" because, to be honest, I pray that I can be just a little bit like him. And worry that I cannot.
Dad’s old now, and not doing too well. Now he’s small, and frail, and at times I’m not sure he knows who we are. He spends three hours, three days a week with his blood circulating through a machine because his body can’t clean it. And the rest of the time is spent mostly sitting, watching TV, reading or looking out the window.
When Dad got a mix of drugs that confused his mind, we thought it had gone for good. Yesterday was mixed up with today, and one moment he was back on the beach at Normandy and the next, living in the one story house across the street. "You live here now, Granddad," my daughter would say. He would accept it, and go back to the TV, unsure why the old woman was saying she was his wife when he remembered her as young, and blond, and giggling, instead of looking so sad.
We were afraid that he would find his souvenirs from the war, and think he was back on the bridge at Ramagen, and harm himself or others. They were carried away when he wasn’t looking. In his shop, a thousand dangers leapt up at us, eager to injure someone who remembered where a switch was, but not where the spinning blade was. I went through it and disabled the machines that helped him build the things, the real things everywhere, that remind me of the man he was.
Removing the v-belt from the jointer, I remembered the v-belt story: my brother got his finger stuck between the pulley and the belt. With quiet determination, Dad tried to gently move the pulley back, then forward, to free his finger. Met with yelps at every effort, my father turned to one of us and said, "go get a knife." A gasp, then "are you going to cut off his finger?" prompted a greater yelp from the owner of the stuck finger. "No, I’m not going to cut off his finger." We all waited in horrible anticipation until our father cut the BELT, not the finger! Why did we think this quiet, gentle man would cut off a finger? We should have known he would never hurt us.
The machines had been silent for years, but there was a finality to disabling them. Like severing a vital link between man and machine, each v-belt removed, or plug cut off seemed to violate everything his life had meant. But it had to be done.
The mix of medicines changed, and he came back to us. Not all the way. But enough for us to count our blessings once again.
My father came up for Christmas. He couldn’t remember if he had been in our house before, but if he had, it faced the other way. He had built one facing that way before. He asked if the light hanging from the chain had always been there. But mostly, he was quiet and sat among us.
"Frank’s building a boat! You’re kidding!" I heard several in the family exclaim. My wife ratted me out. We filed out to the garage for me to take my punishment. And then "The Question". I froze with that scared little brother look, and then we were all laughing. "Can you get it out of here?" and we shared another story, the famous bet about a day sailer my uncle built in 1949. It was too wide for the 30" shed door. The neighborhood turned out when it was finished to share in his folly, but he turned the boat sideways, and it slid out the door easily. That’s how he got the money for the sails.
Still more good-natured ribbing, "Will it float?" and more laughter. I noticed my dad was quiet again, running his hand along the top rub rail. He stepped back and considered the majestic sweep of the sheer, and then moved forward to touch the cabin side. I had the sense that he saw more than wood and screws as the rest of us continued our chatter. The stories finally became quiet, and we started back into the house.
My father lingered a bit, touched the rub rail again, and looked me square in the eye. We were alone in the garage, my father, my boat and me. He said "Its good that you build a boat. I never built a boat."
I have an answer now. It almost sounds disrespectful, but its not. You can only build so many things in one life, even if you are a giant. Seeing someone build something you did not is not a bad thing. It is a good thing. For the true giants build even after the machines are quiet, and their hands are still. Its just that what they continue to build is people, not things.
That day, I realized my father never stopped building.
"The Question" doesn’t stump me anymore. I know my answer to "The Question" now. You see, my father never built a boat.
Supporting members can now add up to five galleries for their projects here on messing-about.com!
You can set your gallery to private, but most of the time, you'll want to share your images with the world! Access the Gallery section by clicking the tab above.
I added a new feature for Supporting Members: messing-about Clubs.
What are Clubs For?
Clubs are intended for your local racing friends, sailing club, one class association, or really any group of people you want to provide a place to share. Create a family genealogy club, or a club for your hunting buddies. Clubs can be for businesses too; while you can't place ads on the pages, you can create a community for supporting your side hustle or giving your customers a place to discuss your product or service.
Supporting Members can create and manage their own clubs, fully integrated with messing-about. Club owners can add new sections to their club, like forums, galleries, calendars and more. Members of the club will see content in their activity streams, search results, and will get any notifications they have configured, just like the rest of messing-about. Non-members will not see the content if the club is set to private.
Clubs can be for political or other controversial topics. We don't allow "adult content" (porn) as it affects the content filters that block sites by IP addresses, or any illegal activity like copyright violations through file sharing or conspiracies to kill Frank. Especially that last one.
Public, Private, Open, Closed
Club owners choose an appropriate club type to determine how much they share with the rest of us. While some clubs for boat-related topics may aim to be fully visible to the community, others dealing with non-boat or sensitive subjects may want to be more hidden, and messing-about provides the tools to do that.Types of Club Content
Club owners can add a variety of content areas to their club - forums, calendars, files and so on. These content areas are fully functional just like the rest of messing-about. For members of the club, and for public and open clubs, the content will appear in search results, activity streams, users can follow them, embed links to them, and so on. If a user has permission to see a forum (for example) within a club it will behave exactly like other forums they see - and the same for all other kinds of content. Each content area an owner adds can have a custom title, and will appear in the club navigation. This means, for example, that you can have multiple forums within a club, and give each a different name.
Clubs have built-in support for Google Maps, allowing users to specify a physical location for their club. Let's say you run a community for one class sailing enthusiasts; each club might be tied to a particular region's meetup. The Club Owner specifies the location when setting up the club, and clubs are then shown on map on the directory page:
Each Supporting Member can create two clubs per year in our Clubs section. Supporting Members donate $12 per year to help support messing-about, and the support has helped us stay online as our server costs have increased. If you are not sure if you donated, make sure you are logged in and go to the Clubs section. If you see the green "Start a Club" button you're a Supporting Member.
If not, and you'd like to become a Supporting Member, you can do so by visiting our Supporting Member order form that accepts credit cards or PayPal.
New benefit for Supporting Members: Clubs!
Supporting Members are entitled to create two clubs per year for family, local class association, community or any group of people they care to invite. In each club, you can create forums (topics), polls, calendars, and events. The Supporting Member controls whether the club is open to everyone, or completely private (and a couple of options in between).
Your club does not have to be boat related, but our normal rules apply. And we ask that everyone honors our primary rule on messing-about: Be nice.
The club remains in place and active (unless abandoned), even if you don't renew your support in future years.
It appears to be fixed.
On desktop or larger displays you may notice that several posts are displayed incorrectly. I have a support topic in for this and will keep you updated. I apologize for the inconvenience - it popped up after a recent security upgrade.
I changed it for you!
3 hours ago, Hirilonde said:
If you can't change your mind, how do you know you have one?
Hey, good point!
I have to kick myself for moving from a supplier I had been with, completely trouble free, for three years. The thing is, I went with another company for the server in Las Vegas that I respect and have had good luck with in the past. And the lure of saving $264 a year in server fees was pretty strong. But it wasn't worth the hassle. With the donations from the Supporting Members, hosting fees I charge for others and occasional ad revenue I'm at a break even point. So no tears, just a lesson learned.
I had to restore the forum software from a backup done on 1/4/2019 due to problems with a server that I describe here. It's unrelated to the issues this thread had, but we can pick up from where we are now. I apologize to everyone; you will see that anything you posted from about Jan 4th until earlier today, including private messages, are now gone.
In my efforts to reduce costs where I could I made what was, in retrospect, a bad decision and moved to a less expensive server back around Jan. 4th. After several days on the new server, I realized it just wasn't worth the downtime and problems getting things to run smoothly. I have reverted back to my prior data center in Dallas, on the more reliable server. While it costs me about $22 more per month, it is at least stable.
BUT, that means posts from about the 4th or 5th until today are lost to the ages, and I won't be able to recover them. You may have posted, replied, etc. and now they are gone. It's nothing personal, just my screw-up!
I can move it ... have to find it first, but I'm assuming it will show up as a new post!
Hmmm ... see what you can do now. I have Supporting Members with "unlimited" upload and storage now, and Members with unlimited total storage and 2 GB per post.
I think I may have killed this one ... let me know if you see them popping up like that again!
Thanks for the screen shots. There are some issues with both the ad placement and also the "Supporting Member" group I created. Will try to employ some fixes.
I have been forced to upgrade the server for messing-about.com due to increasing resource usage. After negotiations the new configuration still results in a 60% increase. I have added Google Ads to help defray the cost.
Several of you have asked about ways to support messing-about.com. There are two links in side column on the main index page:
- $12 a Year Supporting Member - Member status will be upgraded to Supporting Member and ads will not be shown to you.
- $60 a Year Premium Supporting Member - Includes the upgrade to Premium Supporting Member, and optionally provides a year of hosting your website at HOSTkabob (a 50% discount from our regular rates).
You can choose to pay by credit card or PayPal after clicking the link. The forms pop-up, so if you don't see them ... turn off your pop up blocker and try again. Or, if you prefer to keep it casual, you can send money via PayPal to email@example.com.
Finally, I want everyone to know that we completely understand if you don't decide to join in the monetary support effort; messing-about has always provided free access to those who qualify simply by virtue of their contributions and ability to "be nice" to everyone else. It is an honor for me to be associated with all of you.
The server has been upgraded, and luckily there hasn't been any disruption that I can see.
To pay for this I have added advertisements in two areas, at the top of the page and in between the first and second post. I'm using Google Ads, which at least monitor the ads and keep them virus free.
For those who want to contribute, there are two links at the top right of the main index page to support messing-about.com, a $12 a year option to remove the ads, and a $60 a year option that removes the ads and optionally includes a full year of HOSTkabob website hosting if desired.
Well, back to square one. It looks like I will be upgrading the server in the next two days. The data center assures me it won't affect the site overall, but there will be some down time either this afternoon or tomorrow.
deleting an account?
in Website Q & A
Have someone who is a family member email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can do any of these things:
1. Suspend / cancel his account so no one can hack in as him. His posts would remain on the site
2. Delete his account. His posts would no longer be attributed to him, but would remain in the forum.
3. Delete his account and all his posts. In some cases this would require the deletion of threads if he started them. This removes his account and deletes all traces of his activity here.