The Thunderbolt -- Webmaster Biography

The Thunderbolt -- Webmaster Biography

My Hobbies
Website and Personal
Picture Of The Webmaster and his late wife


To return to the previous page, press the BACK BUTTON on your web browser. This page was last updated on Feb. 28, 2017.

The above was a wedding day picture of The Thunderbolt webmaster, and his wife, Janice...who was a Co-Sysop in his BBS (computer bulletin board system), detailed below. Sadly, she died on April 27, 2007...both this website and The Thunderbolt BBS are continued in her memory.

I had worked at Oxford Screen Printing in Little Rock, Arkansas for over 18 years, but had to resign in 2004, due to health reasons (I have been FULLY DISABLED since that time, and am no longer able to work a regular job). They specialize in silkscreen printing and monogramming.

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My Hobbies

Here's a brief overview of my hobbies, that I do for relaxation, and to try to keep the loneliness at bay:

* Amateur Radio - After taking and passing both the Novice and Technician theory license exams for the No Code Technician license in late June, 1991...I was granted amateur radio callsign N5VLZ on August 7, 1991 by the Federal Communications Commission. I used HamTestOnline, in the summer of 2007, to upgrade from Technician to General in 14 days...then to Amateur Extra 13 days later. I applied for a vanity callsign on May 18, 2009...and AE5WX was granted on June 5, 2009. I then applied a new vanity callsign on Dec. 5, 2012...and WX1DER was granted on Dec. 27, 2012.

More details on my involvement in the amateur radio hobby, are available here.

* Square Dancing - I graduated from class in December, 1985... have danced through Advanced (A2), and attended various festivals when my schedule permitted. After a 5 year hiatus from square dancing after the 2002 National Square Dance Convention in Minneapolis...due to job and health concerns...I restarted square dancing in 2007, a few months after my wife's untimely death. I am Webmaster and Circulation Chairman for the Arkansas State Square Dance Federation. Most of my work is done OFF the square dance floor, behind the scenes, as it were. I even did some amateur square dance calling several years ago...but can no longer do it, due to health reasons. It's not as easy as it looks, and you now MUST have a license to be a caller...which is obtainable from either the American Callers Association, or Callerlab. These licenses, which require yearly payment for renewal, are due to license and royalty agreements with the American Society Of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), and Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI)...for the use of the music for dances. The fee paid is dependent on the amount of dances the square dance caller, round dance cuer, or line dance instructor, does over the course of a year.

* Gospel Songwriting - I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour on March 28, 1978, during a ''revival'' meeting with Evangelist Rick Ingle...who was at one time, a ghetto gang leader in the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The next day, I had all four wisdom teeth about a baptism by fire!! However, the decision to accept Christ was the SMARTEST one that I had ever made in my life...and it can be for you as well.

I've been writing Gospel Poetry...some put to music...for nearly 40 years; and did free mini concerts at area churches from time to time, when health and schedule permitted. My Gospel Poetry collection, with over 450 poems (mostly sacred, and some secular), is online; be sure to click on the Get A Free Gift'll be Eternally Grateful for what it has, if you accept it.

* BBS Sysop - I started running a BBS on a Radio Shack 32K Model 100 laptop computer in December, 1990. The BBS is continued in loving memory of my late wife and Co-Sysop, Janice E.H. Stout, who died on April 27, 2007. For more details on what a BBS is, click here.

Note that the BBS is OFFLINE DURING THUNDERSTORMS to protect from lightning damage. You can logon to the BBS from its website, or via an FTelnet logon. For central Arkansas weather information... including the latest forecasts, watches, warnings, and advisories, click here. If the BBS links don't respond, the system is OFFLINE for maintenence, thunderstorms, or other issues...please try again later.

* Weather - I'm a certified National Weather Service Skywarn Severe Weather Storm Spotter, providing severe weather reports to the Little Rock, Arkansas, National Weather Service Office. I also am co-moderator of the FIDONet Weather Message Area. Unfortunately, I can no longer watch weather videos, as they give me horrifying nightmares.

Note that I am NOT a Storm Chaser, because it is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS, and NOT FOR AMATEURS. For a comparison of Storm Spotting and Storm Chasing, as well as safety rules, click here. I also am one of the Net Control Stations for the Skywarn Hurricane Prep Net, which meets on the Echolink *WX_TALK* conference server. I also am one of the Net Control Stations for the Southeastern US D-Star Weather Net which meets on Reflector 4A on D-Star. You MUST be an amateur radio operator with a Technician or higher class license to participate in these nets. As noted above, for more information on ham radio is located here, with more information on what I do in ham radio located here.

* Trains - I've been a railfan all my life, and preferred Amtrak as my mode of travel. When traveling by train, I boarded The Texas Eagle at Little Rock, Arkansas. Being FULLY DISABLED, it was easier for me to travel by train...and by going Sleeping Car, my meals in the Dining Car were INCLUDED in the price of my ticket (passengers traveling in Coach may dine for a modest additional fare). Unfortunately, due to health and financial issues, I no longer travel outside the State Of Arkansas.

Note that Sleeping Car space SELLS OUT QUICKLY, but Amtrak allows you to book as much as ELEVEN MONTHS IN ADVANCE of a trip. If you have to CANCEL your trip at the last minute (as I've had to do several times), REFUND CONDITIONS APPLY...see the Amtrak Website for details.

And, I'm the ''Conductor'' for the weekly amateur radio D-Star Trains And Railroads Net on D-Star Reflector 26A on Friday evenings at 7pm U.S. Central Time. Thanks to the British Columbia Frequency Modulation Communications Association for the use of Reflector 26A for the net. You MUST be a licensed amateur radio operator to participate in the net. Once you have checked in, a commemorative certificate is sent in Adobe Acrobat PDFformat, to your email address...with your name, amateur radio callsign, and the date you first checked into the Net. The net is done IN HONOR of its predecessor, that ran on RF and Echolink for over 8 years...and is done IN LOVING MEMORY of my late uncle, K3VRM, who gave me my love of ham radio and trains. A YouTube Video, done by Gary Wilt, W2GJW, with pictures, accompanying the story on the D-Star Trains Net, from the Sept. 22, 2017 edition of the Amateur Radio Newsline, is located click here. For a YouTube Video from the Arkansas And Missouri Railroad Memorial Day Troop Train Passenger Excursion, operating 20 meters HF Railroad Mobile, click here. And for a look at yours truly in his authentic Conductors Outfit, purchased from Train Conductor Costumes, click here, and click on the photo in the upper right.

* Puns - An example of a pun is ''when I change the light bulbs in my apartment ceiliing fan, it is the high light of my day''. Basically, a pun is a ''play on words''. I've taken part in the World Championship Pun-Off at The O. Henry Museum in Austin, Texas. As one punster eloquently put it...''the beauty in the pun is in the ARGH! of the person you tell it to!!''.

* Quartet Singing - I've always been a fan of unaccompanied quartet harmony...but, it's not as easy as it looks...and it's HARDER than singing in a church or school choir!! They also do Singing Valentines to bring a smile to the love of your life around Valentine's Day each year. More details are located at the Society For The Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBQSA) website. Unfortunately, declining health no longer permits me to take part in these groups...but, I still enjoy listening to them perform.

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Website and Personal

My website was originally started with some shareware HTML programs...but when I couldn't register them, I went to the DIDA HTML Editor. I use a ''basic template'', as it's easier to update. I also preferred the KISS (Keep It Short and Simple) I got tired of pages that say ''your browser can't view this site'', or pages that ''take forever and a day'' to load. This is because those not able to have the luxury of DSL/broadband high speed internet access, have to settle for slower dial-up access. With the simplicity, virtually ANY Web Browser can view my site.

I am webmaster for the following sites, besides this one:

1) Arkansas State Square Dance Federation

2) Hammin' In The Park

3) Cabot Nightflyers Net

4) The Thunderbolt BBS.

As noted above, if the BBS link does not work, it's down for thunderstorms, maintenence, internet, or other issues.

On a personal note, aside from the hobbies noted above:

1) I had worn glasses since 1969...but in early 2010, I had successful cataract removal and intraocular lens implant surgery at McFarland Eye Center in Little Rock. I went from 20/2000 in both eyes to 20/20 visual acutiy. I don't need glasses anymore to drive, but still need reading glasses while at the computer...shades when I'm outside during the day, and yellow glasses when I drive at night.

2) I've had arches built into my feet in 1971, as I was born without them. Without them, I would likely have been in a wheelchair many years ago...and I may eventually have to be in one anyway, due to severe arthritis, along with other disabilities...I'm been FULLY DISABLED since July, 2004. While I don't have that many medications to take, I have a LONG LIST of medical conditions. These include...among others...daily migraine headaches, daily abdominal cramps, kidney stones, ''sympathy sickness'', inability to regulate my body temperature, hypersensitivity to anesthetics, increased arthritis (especially in my arms and legs...and it has been determined that I have degenerative disk disease in my spinal column), allergic to stinging insects, and sleep apnea. So I'm a ''basket case'', health wise.

3) I've worn dentures since 2000, after my teeth deteroriated over the years. While I don't have to worry about cavities anymore, I have to be careful NOT to drop the plates, as they're EXPENSIVE to replace!! However, I was able to get a new set of dentures at Affordable Dentures...for around $400 (prices may vary).

4) I was married to the former Janice Elaine Harvey on May 18, 2003...sadly, a heart attack claimed her life on April 27, 2007. For details on Janice's life, click here.

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