Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

cultural advice

1. Never shake a man’s hand sitting down. 2. Don’t enter a pool by the stairs. 3. The man at the BBQ Grill is the closest thing to a king. 4. In a negotiation, never make the first offer. 5. Request the late check-out. 6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it. 7. Hold your heroes to a higher standard. 8. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas. 9. Play with passion or not at all… 10. When shaking hands, grip firmly and look them in the eye. 11. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be. 12. If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point. 13. Carry two handkerchiefs. The one […]

Stand aside, groundhog.

I just realized a much more reliable predictor that spring is here; winter is gone. Both the woodbox by the fireplace, the kindling supply, and firewood storage outside the utility door are stuffed with fireplace-ready logs. The woodpile is in healthy shape as well. Being this prepared for cold surely must preclude its arrival. Well, that, and it is really nice outside. Blue sky, lovely sunshine, upper 40-degree temperatures, mud replacing much of the snow covering, insects on the move, kingfishers and geese arriving. Nature is telling me the pruning season is ending real soon. Get to work!

my first Instructable

I have seen a few that captured my interest, but what really caught my eye was their contest for first-time Instructable authors. They didn’t mind at all that I had published most of it here in one way or another and at my own instructable website The Fixer .biz. So I re-crafted my coffee making posts into one targeted to their audience. I do think that exercise improved the product.

growing garden with snow covered ground

It is a joy to putter in the garden, looking out its windows at snow covered ground. Thanks to significant time, effort and expenditure, year-round gardening is now possible in my corner of Montana. While our picnic table looks a bit shy of inviting, my spinach crop is stellar. In honor of the March 2nd full moon, and thanking those seeds that germinated in the last two plantings this year, I planted some carrots and cabbage seeds today. I also added a couple more lights to extend and brighten the days for my babies. You can, by the way, blow up these little thumbnail photos to see what I am sharing here. The aluminized thin insulation panel was an economical […]

putting the FUN into making music

The two girls came to their first Bitterroot Blues Band jam finding me unprepared for them. Here they are playing an unfamiliar tune, sight reading AND transposing from treble cleff into B-flat and E-flat respectively. It was about this time that I realized we needed a bass. So I began faking it with my trombone. I intend to gear up better for that option later. Meanwhile, we all had fun. I assembled a fresh batch of charts for next Saturday’s meeting. We will continue to grow together. Summertime 1st time from Ted Dunlap on Vimeo.

Bitterroot Blues Band primary charts

Every Saturday evening from late January into June we are meeting in the Darby High School music room for music making. I arrive, open up and warm up around 4:30pm. Downbeat (we start) at 5:00pm and quit officially at 6, but rarely quit on time. Do not count on me to bring your music printouts. There are just too many variables. I cannot anticipate how many of which flavor might be needed. Bring your instrument, your music and your happy face. This page is actually called a “POST” at this website. Posts move on down as new ones come along. The headings on the left column are this sites “PAGES”. They stay there as primary or subordinate reference material. At […]

minus 18

It is probably my fault. Yesterday some great friends helped me blow insulation into our attic. I still have not personally visited the attic, but it doesn’t take a certified HVAC engineer to ascertain the need. I observe the snow melting off our roof, the prodigious icicles hanging from the eves and the 90%-efficient gas central heater’s inability to heat this house without the woodstove’s help and know our ceiling insulation is way below adequate. While a licensed HVAC contractor could double the price, they could not significantly improve the result. Tiny-town supplier Darby Distribution includes free rental of the chopper-blower with purchase of insulation – two pallets worth in this case. Their price beats Home Depot while delivering […]

earned my keep

We had some snow to deal with this morning. Less than what I faced numerous times in Grangeville, Idaho, and certainly less than many parts of the country, but an unusually large amount for this part of the world. A) The Darby Library has an unbroken record of opening as scheduled regardless of weather. B) Missy and Mom were signed up to set the library up and open by 11:00 AM. A + B means we had to have the driveway cleared before 10:30 AM. JUST made it. The three of us worked the deck, rails, sidewalk, and driveway. My part was to run the snowblower for two hours. I left the details to the girls. I did another hour […]