Ted’s essays

20 gauge tactical youth-stock pump shotgun

I continue to extoll the virtues of this platform as your basic home defense firearm. You will never regret having one of these, find many people who it fits perfectly and know it could serve anybody well as an only home defense weapon if you have limited choices. It has not been long since I published 20 gauge youth pump as #1 home defense weapon choice (Bitterroot Bugle .com, April 26th), but I did not include a link to the one I would be purchasing were I in the market today: Mossberg 500 Tactical 8 Shot Pump Shotgun I would simply go to a local dealer, even if it cost a few bucks more, shopping local is always a […]

Darby Volunteer Fire Department – thank you

By happenstance I met two of the local firefighters in my yard last winter. They informed me that were I to request it, Darby VFD would send trucks and crews to monitor my slash piles during their more dangerous phases of burning down. I have been working over the last two years at reducing the fire hazards to our homestead and had developed four piles of brush and wood that were far too fuel-rich to burn without crews exactly like theirs. I made the call. They scheduled a “TRAINING” for yesterday evening. All of their trucks and many of their firefighters were on hand to keep the fire contained and as safe as possible. I am incredibly grateful. They […]

art

I passed my art final. That’s tongue-in-cheek. Nobody fails Bruce’s Introduction to Pastels class, gets graded or judged in any way. He encourages all of us to find ourselves AND lose ourselves in our art. As I mentioned in my March 3rd post painting with pastels, he conferred an Artistic License on each of us. I am not particularly good at colors, shades, contrasts, non-obective art, and, well, any of it. I do, however, enjoy spending time right-brain-ing it; moving out of the puritanical world I often immerse myself in. Moreover, I recognize that only by exercising the medium and my left brain will I improve any of those areas where I am weak. Following my final class, I vow […]

ruts

—– “Spiritual movements are revolts of thought against inertia, of the few against the many; of those who because they are strong in spirit are strongest alone against those who can express themselves only in the mass and the mob, and who are significant only because they are numerous.” — Ludwig von Mises — (1881-1973) Economist and social philosopher Source: Socialism. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund. 1981. p53http://libertytree.ca/quote /Ludwig.von.Mises.Quote.A84E —– I ran across an essay I posted about lessons learned from a 2013 community-building seminar in Grangeville, Idaho: schools of thought VS the other kind. Here is an excerpt from that essay: One lesson I’ve carried since that seminar has been: 40% of American 12-year-olds expected to create their own businesses; to […]

computer back-oops

I had a couple careers in computer operations and office automation. I know more than a little about preserving electronic data. Therefore I have multiple back-ups of my important files. I don’t do it as often as I should, but intend to at least monthly. I save files from my most active computer onto two USB backup drives and onto my backup computer. If you are counting, that is four copies of every file I deem worth preserving. With my mind working on a couple other things I copied my most treasured files onto one of the backup drives. Well, actually that is what I meant to do. Since this is a process I have been doing FOREVER I really […]

I didn’t have time

Many variations of that phrase are popular in our culture, but they are all incorrect. “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr. (1940-) American author I did not get to that, or did not get around to that yet, or I have been concentrating on _ _ _ _ There are many ways to soften the word we are avoiding: “NO”, but they are just politely dodging the truth. More than what it represents in conversation, when we use the incorrect non-excuses, we are being dishonest with […]

emergency comms plan

BEARS, that is the Bitterroot Emergency Amateur Radio Services, works towards having viable communication resources in place when our neighborhood most needs it. A radio and operator are useless without another radio and operator at the other end. Two-way radio is by definition a sending and receiving operation. The more operators on the network, the better our information is and the wider we can spread it. Likely more than 99% USofA adults ASSUME their phones and wi-fi devices will never fail them. In real-life emergencies, they are nearly always shocked and hopeless because those systems do fail. I print, laminate and distribute 4″ x 5″ cards with information enabling unused radios in the hands of unpracticed operators to receive and […]

Don’t try this at home

I spent over 20 years operating a business based on my 40-100 horsepower tractors and every implement I could operate from them. I had many people in positions to know tell me I was particularly good at it. I was. I am a driver. Tractors are tools to be driven. Of course I was good at it. But that was another life. I am several times removed from that. Or am I? The apron to my new shop annex was awaiting the season to hire a truck and tractor operator for the finish grade that couldn’t be completed before last winter set in. Today I was sauntering to and fro from my shop for a woodworking project and realized the […]

reloading bench back in business

My reloading bench ran its first set of test loads in the new homestead. Getting it operational tends to be well below the CRITICAL and Urgent level activities. However it sure is nice to get there. My reloading skills exceed my shooting abilities, but I work to achieve the best mechanical accuracy to minimize the inaccuracies that arrive when my finger starts dancing on the trigger. My first two batches of load test firings were not as careful as the third one, but all suffer from eyes that cannot focus very well on both the near sights and far targets simultaneously. Lately my eyes have also been watering quite a bit which compounded the problem. The final caveat is my […]

crusty old brains

With few exceptions, muffler bearing wrenches and lumber stretchers come to mind, tools have both suitable and unsuitable applications. As one saying goes, “If your only tool is a hammer, every job looks like a nail”. The converse of that is even more common where the wrench or whatever else is at hand becomes the hammer you need at the moment. The typical seventy-year-old brain is like that, another tool with good and poor uses. While there are significant variations, the old guys have seen a lot of successes and failures, learning from most of them what works in the long run contrasted with what definitely does not. On the other hand, our minds and bodies are more brittle. […]

Ted’s auto shop open for business

I haven’t had this since moving from Idaho to Montana. No big deal, but sometimes the little things are bigger than they look. The “shop annex” extension we put in last summer gave me the ability to do auto work in my shop. That little space made a big difference. Today Missy bought me a mechanics rolling stool in exchange for me swapping her Mercedes from winter to summer shoes. Good deal for both of us. I pulled off the tire swap without blowing out my knees. That has not happened for years. Nice to know a simple, inexpensive tool can extend my mechanical capabilities.

social media in transition

Internet addictionThe mega-platforms grew from nothing to huge as if they were sponsored by incredibly powerful big money guys… or were cosmically fortunate. Your choice. Faceplant, Googoo, Twiddle-dee, Tubular and others offered human interaction without messy humans involved for FREE! Either you pay for the product or you ARE the product Their blatant censorship and phalanxes of hired shills is finally costing them market share. There are hints of awareness rising up that heretofore had been frighteningly absent. In case you are fed up but have not found alternatives, I will share three with you. I walked away from well over a thousand “friends” and haven’t missed the content edited by Palo Alto new-agers one little bit. I now get […]