Ted Dunlap

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post card from Conner

It has been a while since I put one of these up.

One might guess I’d stopped appreciating the beauty of where we live.

That would be a bad guess.

It is lovely here and I know it.

I took my camera out to capture a photo of the broken ice. When I zoomed in to frame it the way I wanted, one of the American Dippers who lives in OUR RIVER was in the frame!

That precipitated numerous shots, a few of which came out well.


my website back under control

I finally took the time to update this website’s theme (the form or skin the information I put up here takes).

It is a whole lot easier than writing the actual computer language code, but there are still plenty of things that have to be figured out and put up exactly as the designers of the various pieces require.

Happily, I got most of what I want DONE (80/20).

I could polish the apple for hours or days on end, but have other things I wanna get on to.

Ta Ta For Now.

getting less ugly

Lucky us. I found what I needed to de-ugly the website.

This new skin is a good step in the right direction, but I do not love it thoroughly.

I will keep looking for The Right One.

Meanwhile, this is a lot easier on the eyes.

This Is An Ugly Website

The theme, skin, or framework I have been using for this website has been out of date for a long time.

But I liked it a lot better than any current ones I had been able to find, so I kept it.

Something changed and I am now cornered into slogging through hundreds of choices, trying various ones out until I find The One to get this website look back the way I want it.

I wasn’t short of things to do, but I expect I never will run out of interesting, rewarding or necessary projects.

Anyway, I apologize for the ugly looking website. Even if you agree with me that this form is hard on the eyes, C’mon […]

dogsled race support

I helped provide comms for the Darby Dog Derby sled dog races and skijourning this weekend.

A club engineer set up 7 old-school GMRS radios with a suitcase repeater to handle a set of races with 8-dog teams doing 24-mile route and the 6, 4, 2 and 1-dog teams doing less.

Only 1 other HAM was willing to join me. Fortunately my GMRS license covered the entire team for legality sake.

We all learned a lot. The snowmobile club providing primary logistical support now appreciates some of the value 2-way radios bring. The sled dog club LOVES us and are now thinking about how useful radio is for what they do every weekend, not to mention the huge value we […]

Bounding Beagle

I LOVE my Canon Power Shot SX710 HS camera!

It has been a decade or so since my backpack full of Canon camera gear served any useful purpose. Fresh 35mm film that delivered true colors simply became unavailable.

End of a favored hobby.

A friend gave me a show-n-tell on his Canon Power Shot and I was convinced I could come reasonably close to having the best parts of my old hobby back.

There are some things it doesn’t do quite as well, but almost everything is far better with the technology they packed into this little pocket powerhouse. A lit box in the screen on the back of the camera outlines where the camera is focusing. It automatically […]

advice to myself

Many people ponder what they would advise their younger selves. That assumes some extremely unlikely things beginning with time travel and including young people taking advice from elders. But these flights of fancy push those aside for purposes of exploring how life’s turns work… or coulda.

Make friends with Colonel Sears (the neighborhood ham radio operator). Hams in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s are ahead of what will become an explosion in electronic technology. Learning about the world of amateur radio will provide a foundation for a massive world of electronics to come.

Take Karate lessons… assuming you can find them. Self-defense will always be a handy thing to have. Karate teaches much more including self discipline, control and respect […]


Merry Christmas

Bitterroot beaver

In a rare treat today, a beaver strolled and swam upstream past our front window.

Incredible on many fronts, this was an exciting event for us.

None of us three had ever seen one in the wild, ever.

Here was this one 30-feet away.

And, by all appearances, impervious to the ice and icy water.

No wonder their coats are prized.

P. S. Did I mention how much I LOVE my new Canon SX710 HS?

It zoomed in and out on command and just flat TOOK these pictures through the front window. Dang clever … and easy to use.


splitting station

I am working over the now enclosed breezeway. It is nearly completely sealed from the weather and has significant insulation. I expect it to make a pleasant work environment when I get done working on it. Akin to spending 100 hours setting up a computer to save yourself 5 hours of bookkeeping.

Since our cabin is rather small, our woodstove is necessarily small as well. Firewood requires another split or two before it can come in to heat the house. Thus every day we heat with wood, that is to say every day this winter, I spend 15 minutes or so splitting logs and kindling. That process had to be designed into my workshop / storage space. The windows also […]


In public school 4th grade, kids who “got it” with the plastic flutes the year before were offered loans of real instruments and lessons in their use.

Trombone was IT.

I turned down all proffered alternatives until a trombone became available. It was the only sound I was interested in making; instrument I wished to play.

Many decades later, acoustic bass snuck in as a possible interest. If ever I had to play something other than trombone, I decided the upright bass would be it.

Fate delivered me to a place where I have been unable to find people to play my trombone with, but a bass would be enthusiastically welcomed.

I still enjoy playing my horns with […]

box fan box

We have been living with a really ugly shroud for our box fan.

It started life as a temporary housing for my box fan to vent the smoke from my home coffee roasting out the shop window. I hinged it to the ceiling, then swung it out of the way for the 99% of the time it was not in use.

In that application, being ugly just did not inspire change.

It made its way here from that house, serving the same need in a similar fashion at my studio window.

Forest fire smoke motivated me to drag out the single-room air filter to do a tolerable job of clearing the air we breathe while indoors. It helps our bodies […]

shooting range grand opening

The Bitterroot’s premier indoor 10-meter international shooting range had its grand opening today.

That is to say that I finally figured out how to hang my spotting scope in the sally port.

I had previously conquered hanging the pellet trap and a cover for the window in the East Door.

I have yet to install an electric target light, but the plastic lets the afternoon sun in marvelously.

The spotting scope is just a lean back from my shooting position when I’m at the prescribed 10-meter distance from the target.

Thus I can take my shot, call my shot (where I think it went), then lean back and confirm my shot, before loading the next round.

That is one […]

firewood factory

My tool set for processing firewood.

Missing from the photo are my chainsaw and its manual counterpart, the crosscut saw.

I’ll have to update the photo later.

From right to left … (isn’t that how we all process?)

hatchet (old friend) probably a pound and a quarter head, for kindling splintering and light-duty splitting.

hand splitting maul, 3 1/2 pound head, for light-to-medium splitting taking standard split wood to small stove size.

small axe for light-to-medium trimming, limbing and splitting.

axe, another old friend, to trim, limb, cut, chop and split.

double-bit axe, a good, old one, new to me for extended cutting.

splitting maul, a real one for turning Montana evergreen rounds into standard split firewood.

wedge pair and […]