Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

shell people

A granddaughter moved in with us after failing to thrive in The Big City. We were close to her Mom’s last hope. It was going well, we thought, but were recently smacked upside the head that our great little community and wonderful resources were not enough. We involved adults were of the same mind, landing like a ton of bricks on this ungrateful truant. The girl’s world was shrinking and tightening incrementally as previous sanctions failed to deliver desired results. In retrospect: If what you are doing is not working, “do more of it” is not really the greatest plan. But that is where we were headed. Until a couple of wonderful Darby resources turned a light bulb on in […]

personal nostalgic moment

Reconnecting with an old friend brought my ‘5 minutes of fame’ back to mind. The old video had gone away – again. Having personally backed it up, I was able and inspired to watch it last night for the first time in many years. Ted The Younger got so much right, and now with a more dispassionate view realize I did even better than I remembered. If you removed party labels and were left with one of those two choices to be Idaho governor, I won. Pretty dang good for my first television appearance. Of course that guy with the green tie in 2006 is quite different from this guy who is 12 years older. I would not want to […]

ham class begins in March

I am bringing another amateur radio operator licensing class to Darby, Montana. I have not keept track, but think I have personally assisted 15 or 20 people to earning their FCC licenses through my study groups in the Darby, Montana library. My track record garnered me the assignment as the local ham club (BARC) education coordinator. The club has many people who know radio A LOT better than I do, but none who can teach as well. The snide saying goes, “Those who CAN, DO. Those who cannot, TEACH”. I’m okay wearing that. Good instructors are as rare as good anything else. I did not choose this calling, blessing or curse. It chose me. Run with your talents. If you […]

dark green Pious

While GOING GREEN is popular and feels good for thoughtful inhabitants of this planet, it is often not as simple as many would like to think. While taxpayer subsidies often obfuscate proper accounting, those costs remain very real. Most people purchase their Prius for $30,000 feeling by paying double for an “economy car” is a small price to pay for lower fuel consumption and reduced negative environmental impact. That assumes going 45 miles on a gallon of gasoline instead of 30 is the end of the argument. 45 mpg x $3/gallon x 100,000 miles = $6,667 First let me blow the doors off their personal accounting. I averaged 45 mpg from a ’91 Honda CRX HF that you can buy […]

area-wide comms

There are a lot of factors here, but the most exciting part for me is that I got a community comms network up. The BEARS (Bitterroot Emergency Amateur Radio Services) is a small local working group of mostly radio guys. Technologically I hang on by my fingernails in this company, but am an organizer, a real one. So I run the monthly meetings without title… this is a rather organic group. I am a good cat herder. I like driving the bus from the middle row. I have worked with the radio geeks on my white-board at meetings in order to determine best ways to provide EMCOM when the phones and Internet fail us. We were betting everything on VHF […]

pulled over

During the formative years of my driving career the guys piloting the cars with flashing lights on top were called “Peace Officers”. You could have rational conversations with them. I, in fact, had a large number of those conversations, resulting in very little paperwork. I got out of my car carrying registration and DRAWING my license out of my hip pocket to met them between our cars to calmly, politely discuss “why they pulled me over”. Their line of work did not seem to attract or tolerate fearful people hiding behind badges, guns and mobs of similar dangerous people. That is not to say all cops are dangerous, but calling themselves “Law Enforcement” is a really bad start when […]

Who Am I?

sailing the San Francisco Bay on my Nacra 5.8 catamaran Claire Wolf called me a Renaissance Man. I had to look it up, but found she is correct. I have yet to meet anyone who dabbles with as much as I do. Writer, reader, publisher, webmaster Activist, organizer, politician, Libertarian Philosopher, economist, sociologist, psychologist Mid-level rifleman, handgunner, careful ammo reloader Husband, Dad, grandpa, son, friend, neighbor, stalwart teammate 1%-er high-performance-driver from 2 to 18 wheels, street and track Organic gardener, small-farmer, teacher, chicken-rancher, landscaper Amateur radio teacher, proponent, planner, organizer, provider, student Nutritionist, herbalist, naturalpath, organic shopper, ingredient reader Trombone and upright bass musician, band manager, teacher, student Woodworker, metalworker, mechanic, fabricator, inventor, handyman, fixer Prepper, self-defense advocate, militia proponent […]

Darby Dog Derby 2019 review

The 12th annual Darby Dog Derby sled dog and skijour races at Lost Trail and Chief Joseph Pass ski areas is now history. You can go see the official race results at the BITTERROOT MUSHERS website. My part in these events is to arrange and manage communications across the course over the weekend. This was my fifth year in that role. We learn from our mistakes and failures each year and improve the next. Along with getting better and better at comms comes being more appreciated every year. We received this nice letter of gratitude from the mushers for our help this year (jpg to the right; pdf here: 2019 Bitterroot Mushers thank you letter) call sign JOE This […]

Darby Dog Derby – January 19, 20

Sled dog racing is on the agenda this weekend at the Lost Trail Pass cross-country ski area at the Montana/Idaho border right off Highway 93. The Bitterroot Mushers are running their 12th annual sled dog races with the first skijor race starting 9:00 Saturday morning and wrapping up with the 4-dog teams finishing around 3:00. Sunday will be a repeat of that schedule with the addition of the Awards Ceremony after racing is complete. This all takes place adjacent to Montana mile marker ZERO. It is as close to you as whatever your nearest Highway 93 mile marker indicates. That is to say, in my neighborhood sled dog racing has practically come to you so you don’t have to go […]

travel kits

How many examples have you heard or read about where people slid off the road in the winter and had so survive (or not) days before being rescued? … or walking out to rescue? How many of these tales before you actually prepare to land on the side of “survived” rather than “perished”? I finally had enough. Today I began reviewing what I had set up and was using, or not using. Completely inadequate was the early conclusion. I had lots of pieces kinda-sorta geared up, but I wasn’t even using the bits I had. My get home bag was always home, even when I was not. My winter slide-off, survive a below freezing winter night bag also stayed home […]

January tomato and pepper

I have never watch my tomato or pepper plants with such interest. My window-sill garden is growing well… much to my amusement. With this macro-watching perspective we can observe the flowers I pollinate with a paintbrush as they grow into pepper and tomato shapes. Next year I will start a month or two earlier. I am ready for those fresh fruits NOW.

Think your weight loss program is behind?

The failure to achieve our desired weight/fitness goals can be debilitating. I have known some who simply gave up. Mobility, vigor, physical competence were all beyond their reach … ever. They just gave up. Well few of you have as far to go as Kasey King. Look at your situation and imagine that you started losing weight at 700 pounds and are already half-way to healthy. Or give up and head towards matching him. I turned a corner when faced with switching my entire wardrobe to XL. NO! Where does that stop? I revolted prior to becoming revolting… dropped from 220 to 180. Still 10 or more over ideal, but close enough to remain active at my advanced age. I […]