2019 Update

I have recently spent many hours, days, reviewing Jules Verne’s Nautilus deck plans created by many other individuals.  I find that after all these years, I still believe my space planing background has create the most practical and efficient use of the space Verne described in the novel’s narrative.  True, there are infinite ways to arrange the compartments and uses of space on-board the vessel.

I find that after over 18 years of reviewing my design and so many others, I’m still amazed at how well I managed to arrange the interior spaces.  Everything fits and everything works according to Verne’s descriptions.

Yes, I didn’t include details on hull separation, define paths of all the piping and wiring or engineering principals of operation.  But I dd include unspecified aspects of construction and operation left by Verne to the observer.  Like the handling 1,000 lbs of fish.

My extensive notes on the Nautilus describe in detail how I resolved every issue encountered in trying to realize a practical, historically accurate plan for this amazing creation.


The Nautilus Detailed Notes and Illustrations

Please Note :

      The Nautilus page of this web site was originally intended for displaying my drawings and reference notes on Jules Verne’s Nautilus as derived from the novel and historical information.

      The intent was to be as accurate to Vern’s words, the life style and equipment of  the period in which Verne lived and the story was written.

      All other pages and entries on the site were added later and will soon be relocated to another site.  This will leave this one occupied solely by the Nautilus.


Pole Climbing Linemen

My Pole Climbing Experience


        I find myself reading “Slim” by William Wister Haines again after watching the movie.  The movie is poorly done, even if the screenplay is written by Haines.  Too many differences from the excellent book.

        But it brings back such vivid memories of climbing poles while I was with the C&P telephone company and my climbing buddy Ron Layman.  So I added a new Inspiration/Observation entry just for this adventure.

My Military Service

A Family Request

        I just received a request from my most excellent cousins for info on my dad’s Marine Corps service and some background on my own U.S. Air Force tour of duty.   I’m working on finding anything I can on my dad, who died on Iwo Jima in 1945.  Too many years gone by for such info to still be around.  Neither my mother or me were ever pack-rats so little is now available.  At least for my dad.

        I, on the other hand, remember my illustrious four years in the Air Force very well.  To say the least, there were high points and not so high.  Very low in fact.  My most excellent daughter thinks my time in the service would make a great TV series.  I must admit, there are many stories and adventures in just those four, short years.  But far too much verbage for this blog.  So I’m working on a brief history that, when completed, I’ll post on his web site under “Inspiration / Observations”.  That will be a more more appropriate location for these… military manifestations.   Once read, illumination should follow.

More forthcoming.


SketchUp Pro Progress

Training Work Results

        After only a brief start at learning to use SketchUp Pro 2016, I managed to create my first Exterior and Interior.

As much fun as this learning curve may be, it will be quite a while before I’ll feel brave enough to start the Nautilus project.  But I like the progress I’m making after only a few lessons.  I really like this tool and expect I’ll do some interesting things with it.  After a little more practice, that is.


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(Click for Full Size)

SketchUp Pro Adventure

New 3-D Design Software

        I broke down and purchased SketchUp Pro 2016 today.   I spent the last week running tutorials on this design tool and fell in love with it.  Then I went to Amazon and bought two books on the program, a beginners and an advanced.  After starting the beginners book and perusing the advanced publication, I was sold.

         This was the tool I’ve been dreaming of to realize the 3-D design ideas I have.  Most specifically, my true to Jules Verne plan for The Nautilus.  Not being a trained CAD user and having no PhD in physics or math, I was needing something more simplistic like the Visio I was so familiar with.   A piece of software with an easy and short learning curve.  It also need to include hard-copy documentation for both training and reference.  I don’t work well trying to switch screens between the active application and the digital help or used documents supplied online of on CD’s.  I like my user manuals to be off the computer.

        One of the great things about SketchUp is all the hard-copy help that’s available as well as so many excellent YouTube video tutorials.  With so much help for a program that started out designed easy to learn to begin with, this was just what I wanted.

        I’ve only been working with the new 2016 release for a couple of days, but I’m already extremely impressed.  In my “Home” page, I mention that “Dreams really do come true”.  Now here’s yet another bit of proof that the expression is absolutely true.



Drums Through Time

Thoughts on my Drumming and its History

I got to thinking today about my being a drummer.  I guess a tune I heard on the radio wound me up.

Actually I’m not really a drummer, more like a ‘log pounder’.  Never took the time to learn my rudiments or read music.  Just had a beat inside that has driven me almost 70 years.  I was, after all, banging on things since I was five or six.  But I had some really fine teachers along the way.

My mother was hooked on big band jazz.  She had danced to Cab Calloway, The Dorsey Brothers, Glen Miller and many others at the Glen Island Casino in New Rochelle, NY.  Mother lived in nearby Yonkers.  Her sister, my aunt, was into classical and opera.  She came to live with us after my father died on Iwo Jima, and I grew up with concerts and opera on Sunday’s and the Big Bands the rest of the week as far back as I can remember.  But I developed a love for it all.

But both these women had an issue with me.  My aunt couldn’t understand how I could listen to all that rowdy music and later, rock and roll.  My mother refused to let me have drums after influencing me for years with one of her favorites, Gene Krupa. After all, musicians were disreputable.  Well, some were.  Fortunately, I never went that way.

In fifth grade at military school, I would skip gym to hide in the music room and practice the drum corps riffs. Got pretty good too.  Wanted to be in the drum and bugle corps more than anything.  But my mother only connected drums with Krupa and drugs, of which I knew nothing.  Military school also gave me very in depth Music Appreciation Classes.  I almost learned to read music, but did acquire a love of music structure, the masters like Brahms, Beethoven , Schubert and many other.

Then while living in London, I finally drove my mother crazy enough to let me buy a simple, cheap, snare drum at Harrods, only a few blocks from our flat.  So started my practice to records and not pots and pans.  At the time, I was really into Joe “Finger” Carr, actually recommended to me by my ‘classical’ aunt.

But this, along with the soundtrack from “The Gene Krupa Story” got me really working on ‘timing’.  Having only the snare and its rim to work with, it really helped my sticking.

Once back in the US and in the Air Force, I got some of the best music instruction I ever had.  For a while I roomed with a guitar player from Montpelier, VT and he liked the licks I laid down on the arm of a chair and decided he wanted me to be his drummer in an off-site band he wanted to put together.  The lessons he taught me were impactive to say the least and live with me to this day.

First, the drummer is there to hold the beat for the rest of the band, never incorporates variations over the vocalist, he uses fills only between vocal lines.

Second, the groups should never leave any ‘holes’.  Empty space was not acceptable.  The listener can loose interest if there is a hole in the music.

Third, listen to a philharmonic orchestra and selectively listen to each instrument separately.  Sounds easy, is not.  This helps train your ear.  And it worked.

Forth, the drummer’s purpose is to supply the beat to the band, not be a front lead.  Fills, variations and solos are fine, but not to overwhelm the other instruments.

So I had some great support along the years.  One of the best influences was my most excellent second wife who introduced me to so much music I would have otherwise ignored.  Bad Company and Fleetwood Mac to name only two of so many.

Yes, I’m just a ‘log pounder’, but after all the training, support and encouragement I’ve had from so many friends, I can still love banging on my drum set.  Even if only for my own entertainment.


3D Design Software Dilemma

Finding the best design tool for my 3D Jules Verne Nautilus design.

            Visio?  /  3D Visioner?  /  SketchUp Pro?
Easy learning curve,  Small parts design / Drawing tools,
3D people figures, User documentation / Tutorials

         My passion to create a 3D model based on my 2D Visio drawings has led me to attempt finding a program as easy to use as Visio, but comprehensive enough for all the details I need to impart.

Vis 1        The design tool needs a few certain abilities specific to the Nautilus.
Must be able to:

Create the “cigar shaped” hull and also make it transparent.
Allow for curved walls containing curved windows (Wheelhouse).
Provide the ability to create fine details:
Such as the ships wheel in the wheelhouse, a variety of gauges.

Allow for transparency on any item:

Specifically light beams, walls and doors, any glass panel, surface or device.
Ability to insert photo or other picture items, such as:
Art in picture frames, maps on walls, carpets on floors.
If possible, human figures to people environments, work spaces.
Standing and sitting would be a tremendous help.

        I know this may be costly software, but this is the one design project I want to complete most.  There are others, but this I’ve envisioned since I saw the Disney film in 1954.  Now, having done so much research for my 2D Visio version, I want even more for people to see a submarine as close to Jules Vern’s descriptions as possible.  I think that done right, this design can be as exciting and dramatic, if not more, than any other concept so far removed from the original.

Surface 3        I also feel I need a design tool that can satisfy my driving interest in historical accuracy.  I tried with Visio, but doing three drawings of each tiny device helped my want to do the project in 3D where I could create a 1900’s water pump only once.

        So, one way or the other, I intend on completing my 3D model of Verne’s most excellent boat.

        The program that seems to satisfy nearly all my needs is SketchUp.  I’m most interested in the 2015 release.  There are many tutorial available on their web site and hardcopy books at Amazon.  I’m really hoping this will be the one and I can get started very soon.


My Beloved Toulouse Highlights

Toulouse 2

The Beautiful Boulevard de Strasbourg

        I have so many fond memories of Toulouse in the south of France, I couldn’t list them all here.  Perhaps I’ll add a separate page just for this.

        I’ve heard that the city has changed a lot since I was there in 1997.  It’s not the same friendly, open, safe place for walking around at any hour.   But since I’ll most likely never get back, I can be happy in my memories of such a terrific ‘walking city’, at least as it was when I was there.

One of my favorite places in Toulouse is L’Entrecote Restaurant.

Toulouse 1

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         Back when I was a teen and on one of many visits to Paris while living in London, I was fortunate to have the experience, now lost, French Fries stands along many of the main thoroughfares.   Until my first trip to Toulouse, I had never had any Pomme Frites like those in the Paris of my youth.   But when I tasted the fries at L’Entrecote, I was thrilled.  This is how French Fries were supposed to taste.  The outstanding entrecote  beef dish which is their hallmark, was equally sensational.

        It seems to me that it’s very rare to re-experience something after 40 years and have it be just as you remember it.  And we do remember.   So getting to have this delightful occurrence, sitting at a sidewalk table on a beautiful Toulouse evening, is now a new memory I intend on retaining forever.

to be continued…  maybe. 



War of the Worlds

My “War of the World” Project

Feb 18, 2016

        I’ve decided to return to my obsession with the historical details of the H. G. Wells classic.

        For many years I’ve wanted to track the protagonist’s movements around the Surrey area of England.  Not sure why this fascinates me so much, but I’d love to see how our hero’s travels would look on maps from the period; 1897.  Wells goes to so much trouble to mention every road, village and point of interest along his path while running from the Martians.  I want to try placing all his actions on maps to show where he went and what occurred along his travels.

        Like so much of Wells stories and those of Jules Verne, I’m dedicated to staying with the historical period to see theses events as the writer may have.  Updating to modern times may be all very artistic, but for me, there seems to be a great loss of perception when moving out of the time the story actually took place.

So, as time permits, I’ll be tracking down maps and pictures of Woking, Horsell Common, Otterahaw, Chertsey and all the other locations Wells mentions in the story.   Should prove an interesting adventure.  Maybe not as challenging as creating Verne’s Nautilus accurately, but still a challenge.