What's Charlie Bader up to now?

I was born and live in Anchorage, Alaska. My parents Ron James Bader and Mary Jane Bader named me Charles after my great grandfather Charlie Bader who purchased a John Deere dealership Bader Brothers in Reese, Michigan. I went to Dimond High School and graduated in the best class ever, 1984.

Found this on Digg 5/28/2007 52 habits for happiness. This year I got the best present ever, times two! photo
I'm a fire horse married to a Taurus, with 2 doggie daughters. That makes us the perfect family!

Growing up on the Kenai

I spent the summers growing up on the Kenai Peninsula, fishing, hiking and camping with my family. My father was the wild man, he knew all the places to go. He was an Alaskan history buff and read Jack London as a boy. I helped him research and discover gold rush cabins and even 200 year old Russian settlements, including Coal Cove, Nuchek, and a top-secret Russian gold mine near Quartz Creek. Carl Romig knows where it is at, we never found it. We were in the wrong valley. We found Wible's cabin near Canyon Creek, we "saved" what was left of a cabin near Summit Lake before they widened the road over it. We spent many hours at the mouth of Ptarmigan Creek. We searched for a cabin along Ingram Creek. We went up California Creek to an old mine and a dam made out of wood stacked like lincoln logs. We hiked to Upper Russian Lake where I swam in the clear water. Read more about Ron Bader- he's quite a character. Every year we would make a major hiking/camping trip over Johnson Pass or Resurrection Pass. I was about 8 or so- always bringin' up the rear.

Johnson Pass?

My sister Tracy Anna Bader and I hiking some trail on the Kenai. I think this is the time that my parents wore wool underwear and dressed me in cotton corduroy. The grim reaper looking dude with the pale blank stare is yours truly about to go into hypothermic shock.

Quartz Creek Campground

No training wheels for me. Quartz Creek campground. First time riding the bike. I later crashed and got the wind knocked out of me. My dad was too busy messing with the camera to catch me. The pain soon went away, but this photo was well worth it.

On the beach.

Down rules. Here's how I looked when properly dressed.

Another Bader Family Adventure.

No RV for the Baders! Here we were hiking (read: no ATV's) from Anchor Point to Homer. It took us 4 days.

Charlie Bader, Bookworm

As a child, I enjoyed reading. I would go to the nearest library and head to the science section and sift through the stacks of books. My favorites were the Life series, "Water", "The Elements", "Life"... you know, the ones with all the spectacular pictures. I also like the Hardy Boys. I read one where the boys had gained access to a computer and used it to do their homework. I wanted to be like them. Here I was in 4th grade trying to comprehend storage, input, output and processing functions. I knew computers would define the future back in 1972! I also tried to read this book on the Theory of Relativity. I got stuck on this one page because I had a hard time following the book. Turns out that when the publisher printed the book, they mixed up the order of the pages! Sometimes those little numbers at the bottom of the page are important.


I discovered electronics in 5th grade or so. A friend of mine, David Burnett had a workbench in his room, with all sorts of components and a TRS-80. I asked him a lot of questions and finally he got sick of me. Nevertheless, his influence got me started on a quest for information that continues today. Like this guy, I fell in love with video games when I first saw pong at the Marina in San Diego in 1976.

When I was in 6th grade I heard an ARP Odyssey Synthesizer. I remember working the console in the front of the class with a friend. We would play it during silent reading. I was so excited, I started saying to my friend (we both were wearing headphones) stuff like "do that again," or "wow, this is cool," etc. It wasn't until the teacher told me to calm down that I realized the whole class was cracking up! I really wanted one, but didn't have any money. I managed to scrape up $50 and purchased a Gnome from PAIA. I built the kit and with the help of my father, was able to get it working. I became interested in computers and purchased a Sinclair clone called the MicroAce. I dreamed of writing a 3D flight simulator using Basic and this computer. I would ride my bike about 12 miles round trip to the UAA Consortium library to read all their books on computers. My favorite magazine was Byte and Steve Ciarcia was my hero. I always wanted a workshop like he had with the computers circled like wagons.

Chinook Elementary, Mears Junior High School & Dimond High School

David Hall's DHS Class of '84 website.

Can you spot Rex? 1966 Bug:
$200 Transportation/Education
Best Bug Ever 1974 Super Beetle:
I learned how to fix them

I spent my teenage years doing 2 things- skiing and working on Volkwagen Beetles. Eventually, with the help of my shop-teacher father, I gained proficiency in both rebuilding engines and body work. Here is a photo of the pinnacle of this phase of my life. It's a 1974 Super Beetle painted Cadiz Orange using Dupont products. This thing ran like a champ, although the heater had trouble keeping up in -50 degree Fairbanks winters. I continued my electronics education- my father's Industrial Arts (transportation and metal shop) were right next to the Electronics Lab. He and Mr. Kephardt shared an office. It had even more components in all these bins. I was fascinated! Eventually, I enrolled in his class and my project was an 8080 computer. I got to the point where I needed an EPROM programmer. I found it difficult to fabricate the PC boards required, so I started investigating wire wrap. Money for parts and tools was always an issue.

Colorado School of Mines

I went college in Golden Colorado at the Colorado School of Mines. It was a little too conservative for my taste, plus it was more than I could afford, even with an Alaska State Student Loan. The reason I chose CSM was that a search in the college computer at the late DHS for schools with Engineering and Cross Country Skiing turned up CSM and MSU. CSM sounded more interesting, so off I went. I made some friends while I was there and we did a lot of crazy things with the TRS Color Computer or COCO. We got a printout of the entire operating system in assembler! As I remember, the basic interepreter was made by Microsoft. I built a bus extension and various peripherals, including an a/d converter card, which I was able to sample music. I found out real quick that you couldn't store much music on 48K computer with cassette as your mass storage! I was ahead of my time, but back then, I though I had missed the boom.

China Poot Creek

Peterson Bay

About this time, my father and his wife had purchased a boathouse outside of Homer, in Peterson Bay. Here is a picture of my father and I with red salmon caught in China Poot Creek. My dog Rex loved salmon.


I then left to go to the University of Alaska Fairbanks and chose Electrical Engineering, since they didn't offer mettallurgy! I eventually became a lab assistant for physical electronics for Joseph Hawkins. My projects were a audio digital delay with control logic implemented using an Altera EP310 EPLD. It had a switch which could reverse direction and a 555 timer based clock, of which you could vary the playback speed. It only had 1K of memory using 2114 chips which allowed for about a 1 second of speech. We searched for someone with a short name and determined that Ed Vey had the shortest. His name backwards sounds like "Yevda". My senior project was a pendant controller for a 6-axis robot arm. I used a Fairchild Channel F Joystick and the Motorola 68HC11 evaluation board. I was very good at programming 6800 series assembly, that is what the COCO used (Microsoft's EDTASM). I created a linked list of stepper motor coordinates and had an algorithm to step through a series of "waypoints". It was a real hit when the local elementary school came on a tour.

I made a lot of friends in college. Most of them left the state to find meaningful employment. John Riedman went on to the International Space University and then on to Sea Launch. Clifford Travis worked for Golden Valley for a while, then moved on to Purdue to get a masters and became heavily involved in the Association of Manufacturing Engineers (AME). Ed Vey and later myself came to work for the FAA here in Anchorage. We now work in the same section!

Another fan of the COCO at UAF was Ken Cheney. We both lived on the 3rd floor of Lathrop hall and did more crazy stuff. At one time, Ken printed out a banner that said "I Love Kelda" with a huge photo of Kelda Denton. He hung the banner from the windows out of the 3rd floor.

Gorilla Fireworks

Gorilla Fireworks

As a summer job, I worked at Gorilla Fireworks with David Hall. David's brother Robert Hall and his wife Amy own Gorilla Fireworks. It was the greatest summer job in the world! My first year I helped open a stand in front of Nye Frontier Ford. It was an insane year! We sold sooooo many fireworks! Then a bunch of yahoos misbehaved themselves and we were banished to Houston. Here is a photo collage of me with Houston (AK) resident Frank Peterson and his daughter and also with David Hall and Mary Ketchum. Frank was a regular customer and very supportive. I helped David Hall build the 48 foot stand. We worked with Mary to keep the stand running at optimal efficiency- we were a great team!

UAF Graduation, 1991

Finally, I graduated. A couple years behind the 4 year schedule as published in the course catalog. 19 credits a semester didn't allow me to fully absorb all the material. Education should be a journey, not a destination. My mother was proud.

Get a Real Job


No secret, I work for the FAA. I love my job! I had an offer to come work in Anchorage from the U.S. Govt. DOT-FAA Regional Office here. The only problem that they had a "hiring freeze" and couldn't hire me when I graduated December 1990. I had given up waiting and was packing my car to go find work in "Silicon Valley" when Robin Masek called and asked me if I still wanted a job. I hired on and after a week of reading the Autocad manual, I approached Robin. I told him that I excelled in interfacing real-world devices to computers, and that I was fluent in programming. For my first assignment, I took 2 PC's, 2 Modems and interfaced the one computer to the old FA-5530 tube type VHF direction finder. I used a LABPC from National Instruments to trigger a series of analog acquisitions off of the North Trigger Pulse. I performed a DFT at 200 hz to resolve the amplitude and phase of the strobe. I encoded that along with some status bits into a very short CRC corrected packet and sent it to the remote computer. The BIOS communication routines were waaay too slow, so I used custom interrupt-driven ones. I utilized Borland's BGI library to draw a replica of the old vector style CRT and all the controls. Microsoft's compiler didn't have any way to draw graphics, plus it was slow and cryptic. Hurray Borland! The FAA had strict requirements that all software be written in ADA (no kidding!), which I had to obtain a waiver for. The Flight Service Station Specialists loved it and it went into 9 locations. As of 2004, 12 years later, 2 sites are still in operation with nary a reboot. I was very careful to make sure there were no memory leaks due to buffer allocations. I wrote a special debug version of the program that tracked free memory, when it was stable, I knew there were no leaks. It has been coined the "Bader Indicator". Fun project, would love to do more like it.

I worked on various RMM projects. We came up with a system called Compact Airport Remote Monitoring System (CARMS), which was a very compact and ruggedized version of the previous Intel Multibus I based monitoring systems. We implemented a point-multipoint spread spectrum comm network based on SDLC. It was set up in a master/slave polling configuration. I wanted to expand upon this protocol, but the program was eventually cancelled. I moved on to explore DDE/OPC type monitoring systems and implemented monitoring at several prime diesel generation sites. I am now involved with legacy navigation systems such as ILS, VOR, DME, TACAN, NDB.

I get to work with all sorts of sophisticated systems, applying my professional engineering background. I'm not a pilot, but I play one on TV. Some people think I look like Joe Hackett, the pilot on wings, but I digress. I work on what they call legacy radio-based navigation systems. There is a lot of change occuring in this field right now due to GPS and budgetary constraints. The FAA is maintaining this huge network of ground based Navaids. We are busy looking for the best way to safely reduce this infrastructure. In the meantime, we will continue to support these loyal workhorses.

Cover Photo:
Bio Photo:
My good bud, Rex, 1991.

Alaska Men Magazine

I guess this was my 15 minutes of fame. My dog Rex was getting old.

My Wife


Sorry girls, I finally located the woman of my dreams and married her. She doesn't want any part of this documentary thing, so I'm keeping her out it. She let me post this photo of her skiing. She skis well and likes smoked salmon- very important. She also has a very cool cat!

My Family

Kennicott Mine
Watercolor of The House

My Mother- Mary Jane Bader

Moss Island Oyster Farm

My father, Ron Bader, operates an oyster farm with his wife Marie Bader. The name of their farm is "Moss Island Oyster Farm" and is located in Peterson Bay, near Homer, Alaska. You can purchase his oysters from various locations, or place a custom order. They had to deal with 17 different government agencies to get authorization to operate their farm.


Tracy Anna Bader's Denali Wear

My sister, Tracy Anna Bader, operates a boutique/factory where she makes beautiful fleece jackets, headbands, blankets. The name of her store is Denali Wear and is located at 413 G Street between 4th and 5th Avenue. She is next to Suzi's Woolies and across from Cynthia England's Glass Gallery.

Charlie Reynold's Peregrine Marine or Seastate One

My Hobbies

photoLucas Mill sawmill at a llama farm

My Band, The Scope Creeps/ Mudzend

How to Build Your Own House

I've been working on this house forever. I've had a lot of help from all of my friends, especially Corny Eastman KL0FK, who helped me with the metal roof. Of course, before we could put the roof on, we had to raise the trusses, and frame the dormers, and sheath the whole thing. Carlos Martinez is famous for the vision: Tabula Rasa, or "Clean Slate". He encouraged me to tear it down to the foundation and start over. My coworker Craig Applin said I should have started w/a match. Other friends who have helped are: my wife, mother Mary, father, stepmother Marie Bader, Charlie Reynolds, Chub DuRussel, Big Sister In-Law (name witheld to protect identity of my wife), Corny's Wife Vicky Eastman , Carlos' wife Jane Banaszak, Truss Raisers Nohealani Hirahara, Ed Vey, Robert Yerkes, Robert Reinhardt, my neighbor Forrest, Leslie Reed, Ernst Horn, Matt Nedom, Pam Thrasher, Aaron Thrasher, Ryan Thrasher, Kimberly Blom, Barry Bruno, Vinson Nyugen, Danette Schlapfer, Bill Johnson and his date, Haley and Emma, helpful insight from Steve Landers, and my neighbor Dave, who took some great photos. The biggest thanks of all goes to my mother-in-law, who would feed us when we were too tired to order a pizza. I'm sure I've left a few out...

Make Your Own Cabinets

How to build your own cabinets

The best way to side a house in the Arctic

Rain-wall construction using furring strips and beveled cedar siding. Protects the tyvek and lets vapor out.

PHCCNA and the PPL

The preferred products list and how it affects you the homeowner. Having trouble purchasing plumbing materials?

Next Saga- Sottini Faucet fittings

I purchased a Sottini Alchemy Faucet from Lowe's, and the threads don't fit.

Six Dormers:
Lots of Work!
Tabula Rasa:
Carlos Martinez
Concrete Counters:
Quartzite Concrete
Frameless Cabinets:
Euro-style cabinets
U-Shaped Stairwell:
Tough to frame

My Friends

David Hall's Family website

Carlos Martinez... Way to go! You got a Myspace page for your band Nervis Rex! You make me PROUD! Paul Zieske's Blog. What's Paul doing now? Running! My Buddy Barry Bruno's website. Mike Melum's website. This guy is truly a big wild Alaskan! He put up a 9 meter dish in his backyard. He does moonbounce otherwise known as EME. He also did EME with a yagi array, which he sold to David Hall's DHS Class of '84 website.
Richard Pellessier's web site
Jeff Medkeff, Richard's friend.
Larry Ihlen's FishWish Site
Jon Orr's Airliners Alaska Page
David Epstein's cool site!



My Travels

Headwaters of Middle Creek

Eventually, I had climbed all the easy mountains. Without crossing glaciers, large rivers or steep cliffs, I searched for the highest mountain in Southcentral Alaska. I chose a 7200 foot high peak on the north side of the Chugach Mountains, located at the headwaters of Middle Creek, draining into the Matanuska River. Accessed from the Tahneta Dome road. It was a 3 day trip and was a nice one. This photo is looking to the south, towards Mount Marcus Baker. It is the highest elevation I've ever been to in Alaska.

photoRehydrate or DIE! Temp around freezing wearing shorts, I'm not stupid, I was just hot.

Bashful Peak, 8005 ft. Highest Chugach west of Lake George.

photoOn the wrong approach to Bashful Peak
photoMe at the turnaround point of Bashful

Arrowhead Mountain, Sitka

Arrowhead Mountain

I "soloed" (oooh-he soloed it!) climbed Arrowhead Mountain, beyond Mt. Verstovia, just outside of Sitka.

Jabba the Hut attacks Antiparos via Motorscooter

I honeymooned in Greece (with my wife!) and went to the islands of Crete, Naxos, Paros and Thira (Santorini).

Software Stuff

Website tutorial
Setting up IIS on an XP Pro workstation/server>
Internet Traffic Report
Tracert from various servers
Text editors. Some of the
best pages in the universe were created with nothing more than a text editor and a graphics editor.
Google Ranking Tips
SATA Drives and Windows XP
Update 2/26/2005 http://www.kwbrowse.com looks like it is a valid site.
Open source web tools

big bucksDo-it-yourself information

Norwegian Style Siding Making Snowboards NASA Picture of the Day Auto Tech Bulletins The Motley Fool

Update 2/26/2005 http://www.kwbrowse.com looks like it is a valid site.

My Mother

My rant on Antioxidants. Info you won't find anywhere else.

February 15th

Well someone finally took one of my ideas and ran with it. There are no less than 3 robot arm rides around the world. Check out these videos. Another and yet another I thought of this about 10 years ago, except instead of being strapped in, you actually control the robot. I had come up with elaborate mechanisms to achieve the motion required, but it turned out that an industrial automation robot did everything you could ever need.

Another idea finally realized

About 2 years ago I wrote about a "virtual world" where photos could be posted on a map of the world. Well guess what? Google now has Panoramio links that do just that.

When life gets hard, get hard back. I'm not a control freak, I just have an aversion to chaos.
I notice the strangest things, like the cap on the Crest mouthwash commercial is screwed on with reverse threads. Which means only one thing: they shot the commercial and flipped it in post-pro to make it look "better". 5 Alaskan fish test high in mercury (mostly bottomfeeders), but SALMON isn't one of them. Salmon RULES!
Some say that once something is on the Internet, it is there forever. I don't think this is true. I did a search a couple of years back and got all kinds of relevant hits, today nothing. All data appears to have a lifespan and memory.

Feb 1st Girls 8 mo old, more cool stuff

Here is some cool stuff I've run across: Open Source Computer Numeric Control. This looks like it's going to stick.
Art Students build a microprocessor from 74LS Series TTL.
Airbus pilot makes a strap-on jet wing for his off-time.
Crazy Finn Visa Parvianen straps jets onto his legs and maintains level flight. You gotta see this!
Human Powered Hyrdrofoil Awesome!
CNC Lathe cranks out a chess pawn Turn your volume up!
Speaking of volume, does your amp go to eleven?
Bungie cords and an ATV. Don't try this at home. Poor girl!
This reminds me of how Natalie acts when she sees a bottle of formula. Her new nickname is Scrat. She's got the outstretched arms, the whimper, the hug and the affectionate "ahh" when she finally gets her acorn.
rifle barrelForged rifle barrels vs. drilled, the real story. Check out the snakeskin pattern in this photo.
In the process of looking up heat recovery ventilators, I found something called a "Passivhaus", or "Passive House". Much like what Bob Crosby's Bioshelter is, except it doesn't extract waste heat from wastewater. Tropical hardwoods- Teak, Wenge and Cocobolo are in high demand/rare/expensive. Better choices are bloodwood, jatoba and padauk. My friends on Saipan along with Tom Gillette and Rob Reinhardt sent me 2 logs. They called it Agiki "ahh-geek-ee". It was from the island of Rota and is very dense and hard. I think it is from the Ipil (Ifil) tree and the wood is known as Merbau. It is used for flooring. I need to make my pals something special from it. Twinupdate gets only 1 vistor a month, so I'll probably cancel the site.
Time/Space/Money- are all things that are limited. Careful how you spend them.
Marble Machines, homemade air-guns, Canadian Inventor Matthias Wandel, check it out!
marble machine Charlie Bader's 2006 Blog Archive Charlie Bader's 2005 Blog Archive
Veronica's Secret Page

This Site is Working!

4/5/2005-Holy Schmoley! All kinds of people are finding me on the strangest search terms- Harrison Griffin found me by typing in "Matanuska Maid Webpage" in MSN.... See for yourself- I'm #4!
One of my sister's ex-boyfriends Dan Van Auker found me by typing "Oyster Bader" into Google (#3). Update 4/7/05 oops! make that #1!
comedyI still can't believe I was able to get the domain name www.thebestpageonearth.com!

This is my site, my very own place to express my opinions , ask questions, share my ideas and bestow random knowledge of wide variety of subjects with anyone who has an Internet connection. Charlie Bader's e-mail address.

By now you're probably thinking "Holy smokes, does this guy have a lot of extra time on his hands or what? There is a lot *&^#$ here." The answer to this question is somewhat complex.

Hey folks, I'm back for the clickity clack attack. Today someone said "so now you're in the entertainment business?" regarding this website. If this site makes you laugh, then I'm an entertainer, but it's not a business.

Tech Stuff

HTML Validator
Copper Plating tips. Answers the commonly asked question: "why is my copper plating so rough?"

Interesting People

Bunny Huang is back!
Worst Sites
China & USA
3/15/2005- My 5 New Domain Names
Juneau Capitol!
How to do anything with software!
WoWDavid Copperfield's Secrets Revealed
Porsche 959- 200 built. $250,000 each. Half of what it cost Porsche to make them.
More 959/962
FAA/NAV Stuff     About Me     My Family
Friends    My Hobbies    My Travels
Software Stuff    Are you sure you want to Do It Yourself?   Ideas someone needs to do
Random Thoughts    Stay at home moms rule!
Denali Wear:
Fleece Outerwear
Rainbow Trout:
Stroup, Zieske, Johnson, Alfono
Swimming in K-bay:
Real Men Don't Float Without a Life Preserver!
Me now:
Spot the drywall chunk on my forehead
I love my job!
Moss Island Oysters:
I love these oysters!

New Electronic Design Reference 

Wool vs. Synthetic Fibers

Although I've been shown graphs of how warm Capilene, Polypro and other synthetics can be when wet, my own experience has shown that wool is the superior fabric. Mother nature wins again. My father gave me a pair of Ibex wool pants for Christmas 2004 and I love them. 2008 update- an article in ADN talked about this more, but wool has something that synthetics do not. It's called "heat of sorption". It actually creates heat by absorbing water vapor from the air layer between your skin and the fabric.

What is Stealth?

Guitarist Kaki King

We saw her on the late show, was it Letterman or was it Leno or was it Conan?

Engineering Victories

Bixby Creek bridge California, highway 1. uses spandrels Excellent photos of Bixby Creek Bridge

Natchez trace bridge- no spandrels Designed by Figg engineering group.

St. Louis Gateway Arch

- skin weighs 900 tons and is made of stainless steel The foundation is 60 feet deep, with 30 feet in bedrock The structure is primarily supported by skin Cross setion is thin on top, wide on bottom Update 5/26/2007 In Solaris Class, check out my notes and MP3's.
PHP and MySQL notes David Hall's New Website David is doing some cool things with photography, fake dioramas, fast shutter, macro photos of peoples irises.
AP Calculus short movie. A little humor for all us nerdy math types. I love my HP15C! Don LaFontaine provided voiceover free of charge.
Engineers work to solve problems using technology. There has been much talk about a suitable source of power for personal automobiles. All have problems. Batteries are heavy, hydrogen is difficult to handle, E85 is expensive, solar distilled ethanol is 1/3rd the price, but requires a lot of corn which will starve Mexico. energy density of compresssed air. There are some engineers in Europe and Africa pursuing a car that runs on pure compressed air. The tanks are carbon fiber and the peak pressure is 4500PSI! Watch this video on Youtube and you will thank me! Of course, it requires energy to compress the air. This will eventually need to come from a pelamis farm, offshore wind farm or nuclear. More errors on TV- History channel, this "expert" said that steel wheels on steel rails lowers the "coefficient of friction". This is wrong- it lowers the rolling resistance. You actually want high friction so the wheels don't slide on the track- especially the locomotive wheels. The new EMD locomotives independently drive each side, so in a turn, traction is maintained. Also, the torque of the ac vector drive is more constant, so the wheel is less likely to slip in a moment of peak torque. That's one thing about hi-torque engines in a car with rear wheel drive on ice... whiiizzzzz!

bouncy ball David Copperfield's Magic Secrets Revealed

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Page last updated 4/21/2007

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Just remember: self-deprecation is OK as long as you don't believe it.