Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

Octoberfest

The Bitterroot Brewing Company hosted an Octoberfest celebration that included US! The Bitterroot Community Band (a subset thereof, actually) filled the corner stage to overflowing with German music … and I DO MEAN GERMAN. It was my first experience reading, or attempting to read music in German. The words had no meaning to me, but the notes and MOST of the symbols where the same. Complicating things for me was that my eyes could not make the small, old sheet music come into focus. Before I go any further, let me state unequivocably, irrefuteably that . . . . . . We Had A Ball !!! Not completely irrelevant was the fact that our host provided [almost] all of us […]

night lights

It’s a silly little thing, but the night light in our bathroom was getting reluctant to turn off. Clicking the switch back and forth, this way, that way, willing it to turn off… eventually it refused. Heck, I have another. Replaced it. Throw it away … this is ‘Meruka, after all. But NO. I’m me. It has a Phillips screw that appears to hold two halves of it together. Set it aside until I get around to it. Tonight I opened it up. Figured out how it worked – and why it didn’t. Reached in with a small screwdriver, bent a tiny copper strap. Figured out how to Reassemble. It works like new. The printed circuit, two wires and LED […]

the Internet is bugged

Eric Snowden brought into widespread public knowledge what was available and well understood by many of us long before. Big Brother IS watching – the Internet, e-mail, phone calls, from the sky, traffic cameras and on and on. This is and is not news. But it certainly is more openly discussed and widely understood now. It makes many intelligent people retreat. But you don’t win with retreat. The Internet is the main source of honest news. If they scare us away, they have a virtual monopoly – their misinformation becomes society’s exclusive input. Many, perhaps most people even slightly aware of the threats that exist to life, liberty and property retreat. That’s smart – kind of. However, if everyone closes […]

1958 Conn 6H trombone

Highly esteemed among brass musicians are the horns Conn made in Elkhart, Indiana before the company walked away from the community and craftsmen assembled there. Among the hand made, professional grade trombones handcrafted in that period are the highly regarded 6Hs, which were a little bit larger in bore than was the norm at that time. They proved to be a great design with a sweet tone in all ranges and tremendous penetration for solo and jazz work. I have read much of these and wished time, place and finances would give me the opportunity to play a few of them and take the ultimate jazz/lead horn home if they grabbed me as they do others. That has not yet […]

trombone mouthpieces

I WON!!! I tripped over a long lusted after Conn 6H on e-bay that went for well-below-market value. It was a gamble on quality that turned out okay. It arrived yesterday with 3 mouthpieces … more on the horn later. This occasioned a gathering, mass cleaning and analysis of what I have in the way of mouthpieces. I arranged them by width of the backbore and there was a steady bore shrinkage even among what I would have assumed to be identical 6 1/2 ALs. back row, left to right: Yamaha 47, highly tarnished silver Conn 3, appears to be nickel plated Holton 7C, good silver plate front row, left to right: Conn 5G, gold plate, large shank, exclusive partner […]

first responders

I was making good time as was my wont on windy roads, perhaps making up for a late start too. I am a very focused driver regularly and at full-chat even more so, but as I braked for the sharp turn something off to the left through the bushes and trees didn’t look right. Powering out of the turn, I knew what it was, turned off and slid to a stop in the wide gravel driveway. I jumped out of The Speedster, bounded through the gate and up to the tinderbox porch attached to the old mobile home. Mom and 3 or 4 little kids were huddled, staring at the approaching grass fire like deer in the headlights. I got […]

Bitterroot Neighborhood Posse

The new patch is now under construction To save you some looking around for it, here’s the contract:   Bitterroot Neighborhood Posse purpose, principles, bylaws Responsible adults have the right and responsibility to participate in the defense of, and emergency response for their neighborhoods. To this end, we join together forming a mutual-aid organization as outlined in this document. There is nothing confrontational about it, nor is there any question of the legality of our right to freely associate and assemble. We take the responsibility to actively participate in the defense of our own life, liberty and property, as well as that of our families, neighbors and community. We renounce initiation or threat of force or fraud against persons or […]

snug cabin

Yesterday afternoon the artist adding The Mud Room onto our cabin learned something about Nashua manufactured homes – and so did we. He was carving a slot into the psuedo-log siding that the sheetrock would slip into for a nice, neat finish when suddenly *POOF* he had a a metallic sound from his saw blade and fire in the siding. Handy that he’s a volunteer fireman in our neighborhood and we have a hose on the hose-bib nearby. He stayed until he was positively, absolutely certain there was no heat in the wall. It turns out that Nashua puts little noches in the framing studs, then strings the wires on the outside of the studs with metal plates over them […]