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Is modeling becoming too diverse?

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Old 09-06-2007, 08:51 PM
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Default Is modeling becoming too diverse?

Seems like we are becoming so diverse in our interests we are losing our sense of community within the AMA.

It's seems impossible for the AMA to fairly represent the wide variety of interests in any way that is fair to all. There are just too many different interests.

From 40% airplanes costing thousands of dollars, to small rubber powered planes that cost less than $10.00. How can the AMA provide value to all without shortchanging the few?

Anyone remember any Free Flight, Rubber Power or Control Line AMA presidents? Are there any of these types currently nominated? Any in important positions in Muncie now?

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Old 09-06-2007, 09:30 PM
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Default RE: Is modeling becoming too diverse?

Would a better question be "Has the AMA failed to maintain or develop as much diversity as our hobby?"

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Old 09-06-2007, 10:25 PM
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Default RE: Is modeling becoming too diverse?

Can a question be answered by another question?

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Old 09-06-2007, 10:39 PM
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Default RE: Is modeling becoming too diverse?


ORIGINAL: 2fast

Seems like we are becoming so diverse in our interests we are losing our sense of community within the AMA.
A sign of the times, not just modeling. Far too much grease given the squeaky wheels. Far too many simply grow up thinking the world revolves only around themself.

It's seems impossible for the AMA to fairly represent the wide variety of interests in any way that is fair to all. There are just too many different interests.
No need for AMA to represent each discipline and/or interest. AMA should represent aeromodeling. The RC fraternity makes problems where the problems do not exist. The average RCer wants everything with no cost or labor on his individual station in the scheme of things.

From 40% airplanes costing thousands of dollars, to small rubber powered planes that cost less than $10.00. How can the AMA provide value to all without shortchanging the few?
Protecting and publicizing aeromodeling, assisting in facility acquisition and retention, plus be the central unit for competition should allow each group to determine for themselves what their value need is.
What is "shortchanging"? The federal government provides all kinds of freebies for the non-productive be such by choice or true need. I have had to earn everything I have ever received. I don't expect any difference from the government or AMA, except when I support such either by $$ or labor.

Anyone remember any Free Flight, Rubber Power or Control Line AMA presidents? Are there any of these types currently nominated? Any in important positions in Muncie now?
Earl Witt was a FF President and RC soaring. John Grigg did everything at some time, mainly RC soaring in the last years. Dave Brown was a hard core CL Combat flier until hired by World Engines and had to perform a minimum of two RC Pattern flights per day -- 6 days a week -- regardless of weather, 52 weeks per year. When WE was folding, John Maloney helped Dave acquire assets from Southern RC and the D. Brown products became in being.

D-VI VP, Charlie Bauer flies everything including big time CL Scale, even a turbine CL model at the NATS. Bauers are always there in force.
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Old 09-07-2007, 12:55 AM
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Default RE: Is modeling becoming too diverse?

ORIGINAL: 2fast

Seems like we are becoming so diverse in our interests we are losing our sense of community within the AMA.

It's seems impossible for the AMA to fairly represent the wide variety of interests in any way that is fair to all. There are just too many different interests.
Although true, and not to say that you do, I personally have never looked for AMA to provide a sense of community. For me the sense of community comes naturally from those that gather to share interests in a more personal way. I have only one desire of AMA and that is to promote the hobby in such a way that the modeling community can flourish. AMA is Sort of like fertilizer for the growth of the modeling community…I don’t care to have a bigger bag of crap than needed. You are right, these current diversities (branches) are making AMA's challenge greater but I think that isn't necessarily a bad thing. We just need to find the right mix.

It seems to me the AMA is now more interested in promoting itself and even mining the modeling community to garner support of and insure its own existence. For me if AMA became extinct and was no more but models were being flown and welcomed just about everywhere, then AMA had to have done a good job and discharged its directive and achieved all of it goals...all would be fine...the community would be great.

I think you know, despite what others believe, the AMA represents only a small part of the modeling community.

ORIGINAL: 2fast
From 40% airplanes costing thousands of dollars, to small rubber powered planes that cost less than $10.00. How can the AMA provide value to all without shortchanging the few?
Very insightful and I have always felt there is an inequity also. One of the biggest reasons most people join AMA is for the liability insurance reasons…but I know you know that. It is not fair that a 200 mph jet pilot should pay no more than a .15 sized Lazy Bee pilot but for AMA to do otherwise in house would be an absolute admission of AMA as an insurance provider. We will have to accept the natural evolution as it occurs unless AMA takes the initiative and requires the greater risk takers to acquire their own additional primary coverage. But alas that will not happen due to interests of those in control.


One of the unintended consequences is that as one interest fills the AMA roles they will displace others... not necessarily a bad thing. Now and into the future we might see more models flying at sites other than AMA club fields. I see that as a good thing. Every home should have at least a two model garage.

We are at a point in time where we must be careful if we are to preserve the future of aero modeling, even if it is different than what it was years ago. We must refrain from portraying the hobby/sport/activity as anything other than the safe, worthwhile pursuit that it is. We can’t afford to be so overwhelmed with change that we inadvertently counter it with a rational that will hurt us all in the long run.

Unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you look at it, whether we like it or not, the future of model aviation will depend on constant change and endless choice to occupy the easily jaded and hard to impress culture we are growing now. We can either embrace the changes or we can resent the inevitable future or even short circuit it.




ORIGINAL: 2fast


Anyone remember any Free Flight, Rubber Power or Control Line AMA presidents? Are there any of these types currently nominated? Any in important positions in Muncie now?

That is self righting representation for the most part. If a majority of Rubber powered modelers vote themselves in, more power to them and that is just fine.
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Old 09-07-2007, 05:32 AM
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What?[]
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:37 AM
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Default RE: Is modeling becoming too diverse?

Without diversity you eventually would have extinction. Diversity is what has replaced the modelers tha are gone for one reason or the other. I do not believe that the AMA provides the sense of community or the encouragement to pursue different branches of the same modeling tree. This comes from the local level, not the national level. yes, it is nice to be able to have a national organization that links people from around the country and attempts to have a structure of representation, but in this modern day, I believe the internet links us better and faster. Is modeling to diverse? No. Diversity is a good thing here. Can the AMA handle it or can they be expected to handle it? Absolutely not.
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Old 09-07-2007, 10:30 AM
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Default RE: Is modeling becoming too diverse?

We are much less diverse than we were 25 years ago. The core of the hobby now is sport planes, (what I call advanced trainers) and giant aerobats. The eccentric interest surrounding the core such as exotic configurations, extreme speed, scale, etc are no longer supported by the magazines or the clubs. I believe the phrase I used in another thread about this was, we are becoming a homogeneous monolithic herd.
Anyone that was in the hobby 25 or 30 years ago can tell you that the people then were much more diverse. I flew with people from all walks of life. And the various interests they had varied greatly. Everyone pursued their interest. We exchanged information, and collectively we learned a great deal together. It was great fun and very interesting. I don't see that happening now. I'm not certain that the change is because it is a different era, or because it is the location where I live now, or if it is the leadership of the AMA or my local clubs. But the subject does seem somewhat ethereal and difficult for me to convey and the topic seems to offend some people. Essentially I am saying "we are boring, now". Lets not surround ourself with ourself. A person doesn't learn and grow by socializing with people that think the exact same things. And we don't grow if we only fly models with people that fly the exact same models as us.
What do I need from my clubs to promote diversity ? Just a facility that can be utilized by everyone. Thats all.

What do I want from the AMA ? The return of technical articles that support the eccentric interest. ( ex: How to ballance a forward swept canard) . We are grown men and students for the most part in this hobby. We should be dealing with more advanced theory. We should be leading edge. This hobby was leading edge at one time.
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Old 09-07-2007, 03:16 PM
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Default RE: Is modeling becoming too diverse?

One of the things which was generally true of modelers say 50 or 60 years ago was that we were generalists. Modelers who competed often competed all across the spectum. Go to a regional contest, fly power free flight, several categories, hand launch glider, CL A speed, and stunt, and maybe rudder-only RC. As time has gone by, I think modelers have become more specialized. And thus more isolated from each other. On the other hand, the specialties have developed into SIGs and there is a tighter group within the specialty. There are not many general model airplane clubs like there were in the 50's.
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:10 PM
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Default RE: Is modeling becoming too diverse?

The AMA insurance many is for the no insurance people, mainly those under 25. After that you normally are buying some type of home and the AMA uses that insurance money first.
I flew RC in the early 50 and had an good time, people were nicer and airplanes were better.
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Old 09-13-2007, 12:54 PM
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Default RE: Is modeling becoming too diverse?

Model aviation is supposed to be just like real aviation..
you start at the bottom
....rubber band....
graduate to CL......
graduate.. to an RC trainer glow /electric...
graduate.. to a sport low wing...
graduate to..... doing aerobatics...
graduate to.....warbirds
graduate to...... jets

its when somebody comes along and wants to invert the "aviation pecking" order things get messy

The cessna pilots don't rule over the... warbird and jets pilots.....they are to follow them and ......learn.
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Old 09-13-2007, 02:08 PM
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Default RE: Is modeling becoming too diverse?


ORIGINAL: John Casey

Model aviation is supposed to be just like real aviation..
you start at the bottom
....rubber band....
graduate to CL......
graduate.. to an RC trainer glow /electric...
graduate.. to a sport low wing...
graduate to..... doing aerobatics...
graduate to.....warbirds
graduate to...... jets

its when somebody comes along and wants to invert the "aviation pecking" order things get messy

The cessna pilots don't rule over the... warbird and jets pilots.....they are to follow them and ......learn.
Wait there Johnny...yoiu missed a few


paper airplanes
....rubber band....
graduate to CL......
graduate.. to an RC trainer glow /electric...
graduate.. to a sport low wing...
graduate to..... doing aerobatics...
graduate to.....warbirds
graduate to...... jets
3d aerobatics...
3d turbine aerobatics... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMFlkFmkCco



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Old 09-13-2007, 02:50 PM
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ORIGINAL: PilotFighter

We are much less diverse than we were 25 years ago.
SNIP
What do I want from the AMA ? The return of technical articles that support the eccentric interest. ( ex: How to ballance a forward swept canard) . We are grown men and students for the most part in this hobby. We should be dealing with more advanced theory. We should be leading edge. This hobby was leading edge at one time.
PF ,

I'm afraid you and I are part of a dying breed, a breed that grew up in modeling when it required more than money to participate. While money was a significant deterrent for most in the hobby we somehow managed to fly in a number of different disciplines even when it meant changing motors and radios from plane to plane at a meet. Maybe that was good as it forced us to do a lot of studying, reading, observing and experimenting before committing what was a sizable chunk of disposable income on a modeling project. We were too busy doing this to even think about questioning the way our clubs were run much less the AMA for that matter. And when we had enough experience to jump in to leadership roles and contribute something meaningful to the hobby we pretty well knew the territory. The diversity every modeler shared then was key to how the clubs and the AMA survived.
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Old 09-13-2007, 07:12 PM
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Well, I've never built a successful rubber powered model. Rubber power is just too technical and difficult for me. I used to fly with the Thermaleers Free Flight Club and got to watch experts fly . No way I could learn to do that. I've not flown paper airplanes, but I've read some about them in Aeromodeller. Getting a 30 second flight under a 30 ft ceiling throwing a paper airplane is darn good, I think.

I'm pleased I can still fly a fair CL stunt pattern. I am getting older (which beats the alternative). When my reflexes slow down a little more, and I can't concentrate enough to fly the pattern well, I won't quit modeling. I'll learn to fly RC and have a lot of fun with it.

If one wishes to master any aspect of modeling, all offer considerable challenge. It is fine to prefer one or the other, but to denigrate any other form of modelling is unjustified.
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Old 09-19-2007, 02:13 PM
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Default RE: Is modeling becoming too diverse?

As somebody earlier noted, diversity is growth. When you specialize and concentrate on one single aspect, that is stagnation. Stagnation is non-growth. Isn't non-growth a kind of death?

My current fleet includes a number of model rockets, including a couple FF and RC boost gliders, three Jetex FF models, several indoor FF rubber powered models, including one ornithopter and two helicopters, Outdoor rubber duration, sport, and scale FF, several hand launched and tow line gliders, over 20 various CL models, and over 20 RC models, including electric and fuel powered, with three electric helicopters. Most are kit or scratch built, with a small mix of ARF. No time to stagnate, no time to become bored.

In fact, this summer I became very happy to find out I can still fly a full tank on a .35 powered profile Shoestring without falling over. I was worried about this after having a stroke in 2005. Hopefully by the last FF contest this year I will be back in competitive form for throwing a hand-launched glider.

Funny, I was able to fly RC immediately after getting out of the hospital. All the other forms required regaining motor skills. Does that say something about which form is more challenging?

Vive la diversity!!!
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Old 09-19-2007, 02:56 PM
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ORIGINAL: 2fast

Seems like we are becoming so diverse in our interests we are losing our sense of community within the AMA.

It's seems impossible for the AMA to fairly represent the wide variety of interests in any way that is fair to all. There are just too many different interests.


Are you suggesting the abolishment of "SIGs" within the AMA?
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Old 09-19-2007, 04:50 PM
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ORIGINAL: P-51B


ORIGINAL: 2fast

Seems like we are becoming so diverse in our interests we are losing our sense of community within the AMA.

It's seems impossible for the AMA to fairly represent the wide variety of interests in any way that is fair to all. There are just too many different interests.


Are you suggesting the abolishment of "SIGs" within the AMA?
It seems maybe the other way around is more likely.
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Old 09-19-2007, 05:41 PM
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Default RE: Is modeling becoming too diverse?

R/C, which I believe makes up 90% of the membership in the AMA at present and likely makes up a similar ratio amongst all who fly model airplanes, could maybe be looked at lacking diversity today. Go to the flying field and count how many airplanes aren't ARFs and don't look like cookie cutter copies of each other! So, while some aspects are diverse, other aspects of the sport are increasing in their lack of diversity.

When I first joined the AMA, CL and FF were still major contenders of the membership making it more diverse then it is today and I think model aviation was stronger for it. Since I've dabbled in most aspects of this hobby, my interests are diverse and that makes me happy!
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Old 09-19-2007, 06:14 PM
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ORIGINAL: Mode One

R/C, which I believe makes up 90% of the membership in the AMA at present and likely makes up a similar ratio amongst all who fly model airplanes, could maybe be looked at lacking diversity today. Go to the flying field and count how many airplanes aren't ARFs and don't look like cookie cutter copies of each other! So, while some aspects are diverse, other aspects of the sport are increasing in their lack of diversity.

When I first joined the AMA, CL and FF were still major contenders of the membership making it more diverse then it is today and I think model aviation was stronger for it. Since I've dabbled in most aspects of this hobby, my interests are diverse and that makes me happy!

I don't think you are taking into account the differences in the people entering the hobby today as opposed to those that were in it when you joined the AMA. Different generations breed different expectations. Talk to those in other adult hobbies and you will find the same issues.
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Old 09-19-2007, 07:19 PM
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Default RE: Is modeling becoming too diverse?


ORIGINAL: Red Scholefield


ORIGINAL: Mode One

R/C, which I believe makes up 90% of the membership in the AMA at present and likely makes up a similar ratio amongst all who fly model airplanes, could maybe be looked at lacking diversity today. Go to the flying field and count how many airplanes aren't ARFs and don't look like cookie cutter copies of each other! So, while some aspects are diverse, other aspects of the sport are increasing in their lack of diversity.

When I first joined the AMA, CL and FF were still major contenders of the membership making it more diverse then it is today and I think model aviation was stronger for it. Since I've dabbled in most aspects of this hobby, my interests are diverse and that makes me happy!

I don't think you are taking into account the differences in the people entering the hobby today as opposed to those that were in it when you joined the AMA. Different generations breed different expectations. Talk to those in other adult hobbies and you will find the same issues.
Red,

I think that you are right on the money. Today's entry level model airplane enthusiasts are expecting instant gratification, whereas you and I expected to build whatever we flew, from rubber power, right on through spark ignition, and then to glow. From free flight, to control line, and finally the big step to Radio Control. But we dop remember how to build, and more importantly, how to trim a model.

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Old 09-19-2007, 08:05 PM
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ORIGINAL: Stickbuilder


Red,

I think that you are right on the money. Today's entry level model airplane enthusiasts are expecting instant gratification, whereas you and I expected to build whatever we flew, from rubber power, right on through spark ignition, and then to glow. From free flight, to control line, and finally the big step to Radio Control. But we dop remember how to build, and more importantly, how to trim a model.

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WACO Brotherhood #1
Bill,

Yep, and our first couple of dozen models didn't fly worth a crap, but we kept on learning.


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Old 09-20-2007, 01:33 AM
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ORIGINAL: Stickbuilder




Red,

I think that you are right on the money. Today's entry level model airplane enthusiasts are expecting instant gratification, whereas you and I expected to build whatever we flew, from rubber power, right on through spark ignition, and then to glow. From free flight, to control line, and finally the big step to Radio Control. But we dop remember how to build, and more importantly, how to trim a model.

Bill, AMA 4720
WACO Brotherhood #1

I hope you are not trying to disdainfully blame this generation of modelers because of our inability to instill in them the characteristics you seem to desire.
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Old 09-20-2007, 04:43 AM
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LCS,

You can't fill a closed container.

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Old 09-20-2007, 11:08 AM
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ORIGINAL: Red Scholefield


ORIGINAL: Stickbuilder


Red,

I think that you are right on the money. Today's entry level model airplane enthusiasts are expecting instant gratification, whereas you and I expected to build whatever we flew, from rubber power, right on through spark ignition, and then to glow. From free flight, to control line, and finally the big step to Radio Control. But we dop remember how to build, and more importantly, how to trim a model.

Bill, AMA 4720
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Bill,

Yep, and our first couple of dozen models didn't fly worth a crap, but we kept on learning.

Can you really fault the newbie today for these changes? Go to the local high school and find a modeler flying there. if you do, my money says it will NOT be a Cl flier or someone with a tissue covered framwork with rubber strands inside.
Drive through the countryside and if you find fliers, my money says it will be RC fliers mostly with ARFs, and NOT a FF modeler flying an old timer style model, but a screaming short engine run for almost straight up power flight, if you should be so lucky as to even find a FF modeler.
Go to the LHS and try to find build-up FLYING models of any kind. Darn few if there are any of any kind. Almost no builder's supplies in the LHS, just ARFs, a few radios and engines, small parts, all which are what sells which the LHS has to do to stay in business -- that is stock and sell what customers want.

Now go to the auto showroom. How many are there that have no moving seats, no air-conditioning, no cruise control, no fancy radios, no computer operated ignition/fuel system (i.e. an engine system that YOU can still work on, like changing the plugs, setting the valves, etc) and actually no creature comforts in the seating arrangements?
Only on my 4th NEW car did I obtain the luxury of air-conditioning.

The points here is that modeling changes with the times. People change with the times. Everything runs its life-span and shot happens. What we old razor blade balsa cutters and cellouse cement sticker-together folks remember is like remembering the $2000 NEW V-8, the $2 steak with all the trimmings and the 25 cent glass of beer. Folks, it is all just MEMORIES.

Like back when I was preparing to go to a contest featuring all the disciplines and I was NOT a RC flier. I might love to do this again, however the motivation is'nt there.


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Old 09-20-2007, 11:20 AM
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Default RE: Is modeling becoming too diverse?

Horrace,

Wherein does the fault lie? I have tried (without much success) to get some newbies interested in learning to build. As soon as they find out that there will be several weeks or even several days involved in the process, they are out. The usual response that I get is that I want it, RIGHT THE HECK NOW!!!. I don't have time to learn this useless crap. Even those who already have some kind of model (either one that they have bought from a half fast builder or a factory built ARF) and it flies poorly, have no interest in how to trim or balance the model to make it into a good flyer. I do get the guy who wants me to adjust it for him, and he is happy to pay me to do it for him. Again, wherein lies the fault? As I replied in an earlier post, It's hard to fill a closed container.

Bill, AMA 4720
WACO Brotherhood #1
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