Some readers of this may have a few urgent questions on their mind: where the hell have I been? What happened to all of my websites? What am I doing now? In order to suppress a flurry of emails, Iíll summarize things for you here.

As a disclaimer, I relate my story not to elicit pity or sympathy; Iím simply explaining whatís transpired over the last few years.

When I was last regularly visible, I was in the process of growing a nascent business, NZT Products. Among many other things, Iíd secured a patent for a new coupler design.

Just as I was about to develop the prototype, the bottom fell out of my life. Iím not about to relate the detailsóitís simply too emotionally harrowing, it involves people and events I do not wish to mention, and it wouldn't mean anything to anyone else anyway. In short, I was forced to put everything I owned into storage, and mothball all of my projects.

Originally this was to be just for a year or so while I built a new home for myself, complete with a spanky-new workshop for NZT. Bad luck persisted in following me, though, and owing to a substantial commercial real estate deal that went south (the details are as bizarre as they are ugly), I was financially ruined and my home building was stalled halfway through construction.

Itís now going on three years since the onset of this misadventure, and the end is still nowhere in sight. Out of necessity, I now live off-grid in a 12-by-12-foot cabin that was originally intended to be guest quarters for the main house, and survive by taking small handyman jobs and selling off my stock of model railroad supplies on eBay. I sold my new car to buy a 15-year-old junker, my four cats live in a beat-up camping trailer, I have no health insurance, and I have Lyme Disease.

Thatís my life in a nutshell. It is what it is.

Lately Iíve made some changes in an effort to improve my emotional health, to combat deep, sometimes almost debilitating depression (reinforced by recent unimaginable political events I need not detail). Iíve pulled my desktop computer out of storage and scrounged up a generator so I can get online more and do other more ďnormalĒ day-to-day things. And Iíve returned to modeling, albeit in crazy fits and starts. For obvious reasons, Iím forced to stick with micro-layouts, and to use only what supplies I have on hand. This has shaped my modeling efforts in strange ways. But again, it is what it is.

I ask those who may be tempted to email me to please refrain; in my present state, Iím prone to either snap at people or simply ignore them altogether.

And before you ask, no, Iím not coming back to The Railwire, despite having received requests. I donít hate the forum or anyone on it; Iím simply not in a frame of mind to be social at all. Perhaps someday, if this nightmare somehow resolves itself positively, I may slowly resurface; otherwise, be content with this fleetingóif disappointingóglimpse of ďDKS.Ē

ďYou canít be brave if youíve only had wonderful things happen to you.Ē ó Mary Tyler Moore