Ted’s essays

The Amateur’s Code

An anonymous gift through the Darby Library for me was a binder containing PREPAREDNESS COMMUNICATIONS written by David Pruett / KF7ETX. It covers Ham radios, non-Ham optons, communications plans, study and other resources. Some new, some refresher, all well organized. I was particularly taken with this cultural bit written by a licensed amateur radio operator ninety years ago. Modern hams would do well to pay attention. While much has changed, the desirable personal attributes have not. I typed it in as written. – Ted – P.S. The photo is from my archives. I have no idea who it is, but doubt it is Paul Segal. It simply represents what amateur radio stations used to look like. The Amateur’s Code by […]

Who has my back?

A friend who rarely goes out unarmed was relating the attitude expressed by some in a hiking group of hers. Me, carry a defensive weapon??? Why should I, Jane has my back? (not her name) The question then becomes who has Jane’s back? Many of us are defensively armed for more than personal preservation. It is a civic duty, and obligation we feel for our community – both large and small. Could I watch a handful of thugs beat somebody to death? … and live with myself??? I know the answer is a lifetime of nightmares and recriminations about what I should have done. Yet I have no hopes of ever becoming a martial arts master … other than […]

Veterans’ Day

The April Fools’ Day counterpart. I mis-spent four of my younger years being what Henry Kissinger proclaimed to be “dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy”. I am thus qualified to titles variously offered us as veteran, veteran of foreign wars, Vietnam era veteran, hero and others equally meaningless to me. I gave almost no thought to who was profiting from my grossly sub-minimum-wage $100 a month labor. I served my time without question as if it were an inescapable prison sentence… not too far off the mark, in retrospect. For 3 years, 8 months and 11 days I did what I was told to do. My awakening puts me in good company many of whom […]

The most fun you can have

with your clothes on. Okay, that phrase refused to stay where it belongs regardless of its limited applicability here. What I am talking about looks like a TON OF FUN, though. I have been hankering for and looking at various ways of having a carbine I could shoot inexpensively AND quietly. Quiet is nice for several reasons. #1 – It is neighborly. I live in a rural area where my neighbors are mostly shooters, accustomed to sight-in, target and hunting shots taking place, BUT they are also very appreciative of the peace and quiet we have most of the time. There is no GOOD reason for modern firearms to be so dang LOUD. #2 – Good hearing protection is […]

Halloween

The magical day where at the stroke of midnight chocolate is 50% off.

GOES 17 – understanding the satellite’s viewpoint

This view of the Earth is so informative that I keep it programmed in Firefox as my Home Page. Unless I’m rushing off somewhere specific, I get this image of our area from a cosmic perch every time I fire up my Internet browser. In my video below I go over some of the finer points of what can be learned by looking down at our segment of Earth from The Heavens. Obviously we can see moisture and major storm activity, but thoughtful study reveals so much more. For decades they denied this activity. Recently the geoengineers discontinued their denials and began bragging about it. What they admit to or brag about has little impact on those who choose to […]

dam + ladder

Beagle Brain, aka: Scooter, our Beagle/Lab cross, the BLAB, inherited the beagle willingness to follow her nose wherever it leads, whenever she can. Our containment fence was not up to the task. She would challenge it. I would fix it. Rinse and Repeat. FINALLY I shut her exit down while the rented backhoe was available with a dam and its backwater flooding where the fence crossed the creek. Yay! Success! BUT The tiny dam I rebuild every spring to enable my irrigation to draw from what little bit the upstream irrigators leave in Bunkhouse Creek posed no barrier to the little trout living in the year-round stream. My Scooter dam and culvert, however, did make a barrier… One I was […]

building pad adjustments

My equipment operator skills returned quickly, but my foundation layout talent never existed, and did not magically appear. Said another way, my first shot was off a bit. I had to rework it before the concrete partners did their job. Part of my weakness is not having the cool tools that the real guys use, like a laser-transit and two-man tape measure. Watching them work had me forgiving myself for incompetence where I was outside my skillset and toolset. Thanks in part to a great community, the recovery was quick and not overly expensive. The track hoe I rented was just as cool as I remembered from past experiences. The first phase needed the loader bucket of the back hoe, […]

busy

I have been rushing a bit setting up for winter which solidly arrived last weekend. I was almost ready. I threw a wrench into the works by starting construction of a quonset hut storage building I decided to ‘need’ before this winter. My tractor operator skills came back quickly on the rented backhoe, as did my ability to visualize re-sculpted earth in useful ways and get grades right from the seat of a tractor. I filled in as a presenter to the local garden club playing show and tell with my carnivorous plants. I finalized the lot line adjustment project enabling us to sell two adjacent parcels just over and under 3 acres each. In my younger days, ten […]

doers vs critics

Said many times in most cultures, this quotation from Teddy Roosevelt phrases the sentiment as good as any I know of: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows […]

working in groups

“My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.” – Indira Gandhi While the quotation is clever there is a third, much larger portion of any human gathering: the passive watchers. I cannot claim certain knowledge of what’s going on inside of them, but am guessing it might be like a comfortable perch near a construction site or in the stadium at a sporting event. They are close enough to genuine action to keep their interest, and earn “I was there” / “I saw it happen” credits. It is buying […]

letter to radio friends

Yeah, I’m kind-of busy like a one-armed-paper-hanger, but not THAT busy that I don’t intermittently attempt to get the code plug built into my (our) TYT VHF/UHFradios.  My latest attempt at using technology to pull an existing one out of another brand, make, model radio has not yet born fruit.  My repeated requests for a current list of repeaters, frequencies and PLs have also produced nothing… other than a curt “All Wrong” response to the old list I do have and submitted ‘for corrections’. The pair of Bitterroot repeater gods is in the middle of taking several repeaters down and installing new or reconfigured hardware. THAT changes the programming and their list. SO they don’t want to bother with a […]