Indiana, United StatesCALLSIGN: Bratushka
Occupation: maintenance technician/electronics tech
Interests: motorcycles, music, books, film, model building, computers, anything off the beaten path, WWI and WWII history
It's not easy to describe me because I tend to be somewhat a mess of opposites. Primarily, I'm a mellowed, ungracefully aging biker type with grey hair, grey beard, tattoos, etc. I have a 94 Harley and a 49 Harley, the first a Heritage with a hot rodded motor and drive train. The second is an in-the-works vintage chopper build. I've been into motorcycles for over 35 years. I grew up on eastern Long Island, NY and got out of there as soon as I could via Uncle Sam when I did a stint with the !st Infantry Division at Ft Riley, Kansas as a Recovery / Evacuation Specialist for C Company, 701st Maintenance Battalion. I ran an M543A2 5 ton wrecker for about a year before crewing on an M88 medium recovery vehicle, one of the cool ones that had the gasoline powered double supercharged 1000 HP Continental V-12. After getting out I stayed in Kansas for a couple years before moving to Indiana with the intent of working and saving money to eventually move to Phoenix, Arizona. That was 1978 and I'm still here. I don't think I'm gonna make it to Phoenix. I went to tech school and studied electronics and after graduating worked in the industrial side of things my whole career. I went back to school to get a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and I ran a custom motorcycle shop on the side for about 10 years. My present job is Mexico and China bound in June 08 so I'm waiting to see what is next for me. On the personal side, I've been married for 30 plus years as of this writing. No kids, never wanted any because I don't like to share my toys! Actually, it's more from being the oldest of 7 with all the younger ones arriving a year or two apart. I live with my wife, 3 cats, all adopted strays, and a dog, a Rottweiler from Sacramento, California. I also like music and have a fairly huge CD and LP collection. And of course I need the gear to play them on. My system's heart is four 700 watt amplifiers, 2 per channel with each channel bi-amped, plus 2 dual 12" self powered sub woofers, one per channel. It is capable of moving furniture. My wide screen TV has a 1000 watt 7.1 sound system and my computer has a 700 watt 7.1 surround sound system. Loud can be good. I have a passion for computers as well and have quite a set up with 2 desk tops, almost two terabytes of disk storage space, plus 3 other computers doing different functions. My PC has a sound mixer board on it as well as various pieces of audio gear. I'm very into PC gaming when I have the time. I also read a great deal of history, science, philosophy, political thought, and all manner technical stuff. My library is pretty huge. I do a bit of writing to amuse myself and will one day write the Great American Novel. A more recent addiction came in the form of 1/18th and 1/43 scale diecast race cars and vehicles I think are just neat. I have built models on and off for my whole life sometimes taking decades off between stopping and picking it up again. I started with 1/24 - 1/25 scale cars as a kid and got away from it in my teens because motorcycles, girls, and recreational mind alteration became my main interests. I picked up modeling again about 10 years later in my mid twenties when I became obsessed with building a 1/48th scale model of every aircraft used in WWII including bombers. I still remember my awe at Monogram's B-29 Superfortress and my disappointment at the poor fitment of the fuselage halves. I quickly ran out of room to hang them and a move to a smaller house forced me to find a new home for them with a 12 year old son of a friend. A week after taking possession he had destroyed some 300 aircraft. I guess his awe was less in the carefully painted camoflage and detail work and more in imagining the creative ways he could destroy them. The only survivor was a 1/32 P-40 I kept that a stumbling drunkard broke during a party. Oh well. Twenty years later I built 3 German tanks, A King Tiger, A Tiger I, and a Panther on a lark having never attempted armor before. For the first time I added battle damage and weathering. And stopped there. A few years later my years of riding rigid framed choppers began to exact a toll on my spine. Two cervical fusions leaving only 2 unfused bones in my neck and the damage to my spinal cord from bone spurs messed me up pretty good. When I began to lose the dexterity in my fingers and started dropping things and was almost totally unable to handle small items I decided to try model building again as physical therapy. Thus began a foray into WWI German aircraft in 1/48 scale and an interest in WWI history. Next came a renewed interest in CAN-AM racing cars which I had watched as a kid when my Mom took me with her to her job at the Bridgehampton Race Track during the mid / late 60s. That, of course rekindled an interest in the street rods of my youth and the weird customs of the day coming from the likes of George Barris and Ed Roth. Eventually, my interest in WWII surged again and I returned to my new and true model building passion- WWI weaponry, especially the odd and unusual AFVs which the Germans seem to have a lock on. And along the way I became a Zen Bhuddist. If you made it this far, go back and read the first sentence.
My Workbench Photos
My Feature Articles