Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

dam cavalier attitude

In late February, Dallas Erickson presented to the Bitterroot Amateur Radio Club a view of the risk behind the Painted Rocks Dam. Nature has a way of returning these canyons to their original state. The transformation is usually spectacular… particularly to those humans who live in the path or know someone who did. On February 23rd I wrote about the risk potential: Dam Threatens Darby, Conner, Hamilton. I also posted Dallas’ write up here: Painted Rocks Dam. We need to act now. A dam failure would likely begin with a change in shape of the dam face that can be measured by simple technology. Next would be an extraordinarily rapid rise in water levels that also can be measured by […]

wi-fi freeloaders cut off

Out in the boonies, we have only two choices for Internet access. Neither is great, but surprising me, the cell-phone provider from a tower 4.5 miles away is unreliable while the satellite 25,000 miles away is pretty good by comparison. For about the same price, both limit us to 10 gigabytes per month anytime and an additional 10 gigabytes in the middle of the night. In my case that means I can get a couple hours of bonus bytes between 0600 and 0800 fairly often. I use that for our heavier consumption downloading video news programs like The Kaiser Report and SophieCo which take around 220 Kb for each half-hour show. Even with those shows shifted into “bonus byte” time […]

ammo load testing

I was looking for this article this morning. Since it was hard for me to find, I am posting it anew here. It is from The Fixer over a year ago. Swiss K31 I built test loads for a couple of rifles. Monday’s weather was as suitable for testing as I was going to see for a while. It wasn’t real cold and very light winds grew into pretty light winds by the time I’d finished. I probably did my testing upside-down as the notch-sight rifle results are questionable anyway, while the scoped rifle would likely perform noticeably better with no wind. The Swiss K31 will spend its entire life with challenging-to-shoot-well notch-and-post sights. Especially with older eyes, the rear […]

AR-15 rifle options

My best friend, a devout AR-15 builder, built me a ‘utility upper’ for my AR-15 “Service Rifle”. My rifle’s original purpose is to shoot CMP and NRA High-Power Rifle Matches at 200, 300 and 600 yards in very restricted, formatted matches. They have been going on for over 100 years in more or less the same format … though they used to be encouraged and supported by the government and military and are now unsupported and discouraged, but that is a whole nuther story. Today, my rifle doubled its utility. It is no longer a match-only tool, but a utility rifle as well. This was motivated by the upcoming June Vance Cusic Vietnam Rattle Battle Rifle Match. I am a […]

slowing Hoover down

Scooter’s cup of food now gets placed in the bowl with 4 hard rubber toys. She doesn’t achieve a lady-like or savoring her food level, but she no longer eats like a 3-horsepower shop-vac. We are getting along supremely. She is a sharp cookie, and a sweetheart.

enjoying without owning

Orison Swett Marden A French marquis, with whom Washington Irving has made us acquainted, consoled himself for the loss of his château by remarking that he had Versailles and St. Cloud for his country resorts, and the shady alleys of the Tuileries and the Luxembourg for his town recreation. “When I walk through these fine gardens,” he said, “I have only to fancy myself the owner of them, and they are mine. All these gay crowds are my visitors, and I have not the trouble of entertaining them. My estate is a perfect Sans Souci, where everyone does as he pleases, and no one troubles the owner. All Paris is my theater, and presents me with a continual spectacle. […]

growing without pests Day 1

We had a wonderful class. I didn’t know how it would work, if I had enough new information for those attending, and so on. It was the first time I’d used presentation software with a cable to a big screen monitor. I was nervous. It went great. There is a warm dozen-plus gardeners, knowledgeable and open to new information. They are embracing what I call The Bob Cannard method of growing – but what is in reality my evolution of it. Some of the 15 who signed up for the class have conflicts with one or more of the four weekly sessions. They are asking for written materials. That’s a bit tricky as I mostly improvise from my notes and […]

Growing A Healthy Environment

I wrote the following article for the August issue of the Sonoma County Environmental Impact Reporter a couple of decades ago. With a few tiny changes, I re-publish it here as it is still perfectly relevant and accurate. As you read, keep in mind the target market this was aimed at. Your priorities may vary, but the results are both personal and global anyway. – Ted Did Johnnie Appleseed leave a path of wormy apples behind in the frontier? Did the ancient Roman Empire make their wine from rotten grapes? Did roses flourish before we came to dust the aphids? Plant species did not evolve succumbing to insect attacks. What has changed? Obviously, a little time has passed since plants […]