Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

A beautiful humanity

As a youngster, I observed that my Dad loved the Lil’ Abner comic strip. Dad was a smart man. Among the characters in this comic was Joe Btfsplk, with his unpronounceable name and doomed life where disaster surrounded his every moment. I am sometimes reminded of Joe when I find a black cloud inside a silver lining. All that came to mind when I watched this video clip. street orchestra from Ted Dunlap on Vimeo. Please take a couple minutes to watch the video. Any normal, well-balanced person would enjoy this unquestionably beautiful clip. It is warm and uplifting. They would simply stop there. Enjoy it. Appreciate it. Unfortunately, in the here-and-now, with the current situation in world affairs, […]

Intermittent Fasting, a review

I began intermittent fasting January 2017 eating modest-sized regular late-morning breakfasts and evening dinners with no food intake between. It was very successful in the obvious weight loss that inspired my adoption of the regimen. I wrote about it here: fasting – by Ted Dunlap, on May 31st, 2017 losing it – by Ted Dunlap, on February 11th, 2017 I think I also enjoy the more subtle changes in mind and body that others have written about. It may well have me feeling stronger, happier, more optimistic and at peace. Those are hard to quantify or pin on any cause, but I simply feel younger now than I did over a year ago. While I achieved the number I wanted […]

Super Pup, part 1

Missy’s Beagle Lab cross is more the former than the latter. Scooter is fundamentally a pack dog. She’s been pack-less nearly all her life. That is not the best situation for a Beagle brain. It has her more nervous than she would be in her natural habitat. I am more attracted to dogs of substance. Size, muscle, but most of all, self confidence. I have surreptitiously been watching for a mastiff downline mixed with another medium sized breed. Mutt, but with some genetics that are known for peaceful self-confidence and strong intelligence. I also wanted a situation where the dog came to us without the baggage of a bad start in an ugly home. Most of all, I wanted […]

handheld radio recommendation

Tytera MD-390 Progress in two-way radios is similar to that in all other electronics. That is to say this recommendation will not be the optimum choice years from now. Nevertheless, this radio can serve you well for many years. The other caveat is there are many good choices. This is only one of them. I am making this suggestion to help the novice find a solid handheld transceiver that is well received within the amateur radio community. In a crowded field of feature-rich radios, the MD-390 has most of what you would want while being in the lower part of the $25 to $500 price range ($130). IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure you order this in the 400-480MHz UHF (ultra-high-frequency) model […]

Cause of death statistics – Hint, guns not in top 10

The statistics below and to the right are occasionally compiled. I carried one such list on a card in my wallet for a decade. The numbers ebb and flow year-to-year, but their position on the causes of death list rarely move much. There are 32,000 gun related deaths per year by firearms. The U.S. population is 324,000,000. Thus: 0.00987% of the population dies from gun related actions each year. -80% are through criminal activity, gang and drug-trade related This is one cost of “our” war on non-prescription drugs. -60% of those deaths are by suicide A similar per-capita rate to non-gun-owning countries. -8% are by police. -3% are accidental discharge deaths. Look at how those deaths distribute across the nation: […]

Studio wired

I feel like it has been a long time coming. But when I really think about it, we moved into a trashed homestead 7 months ago. We have made tremendous progress on numerous fronts. Nevertheless, today’s big success is the proper lighting and wiring of my studio. I have had a solar-recharged 12-volt grid-independent electrical system for about 5 years. The primary motivation was for my short and long range 2-way radios; my HAM gear. All of these radios run on 12-volts. You either run them on automotive-compatible systems, or you buy separate power inverters to turn you electrical grid power into juice they can use. That decision was the tipping point to have some independence from power deliveries, […]

poking Big Brother in the eyes

THEY can access every part of your computer, your cell phone and your smart appliances. THEY can turn them on even when you have turned those appliances off. THEY monitor, collect and store every bit of electronic traffic coming to or from you. Amendment IV The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Of course “the founding fathers” did not anticipate personal computers, e-mails and cell phones. Therefore invading our privacies on those was […]

Easter Egg Chicken Ranch improvements

The bad news: A predator took out our good rooster leaving us with two lonely hens putting out a fifth of our regular egg consumption (Missy loves to include lots of eggs in our diet … fresh are particularly welcome). Though I don’t remember ever enjoying the crowing of our rooster, we surprisingly missed it right away. I patched a hole in the fence that had a trail of now deceased rooster feathers, reviewed the heck out of our game camera, but still do not know who or what took him out. I was amazed to run across an advertisement listing 9-month-old chickens, at the very beginning of their egg productive phase for only six dollars each. The going rate […]