Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

12 Months of Prepping

from Backdoor Survival Sometimes we all need to go back to the beginning to regroup, redefine and start over with a new perspective Back in 2011, when I first wrote about 12 Months of Prepping, I was excited and highly motivated to share monthly checklists with the beginning prepper. At the time I was somewhat of a newbie prepper myself, and being studious and industrious by nature, I read a lot, planned a lot and spent a good deal of time stocking my supply pantry with goods and gear. It was right about this time that the term “prepper” started to enter the mainstream. Of course this was pre-2012 and the deadline for the apocalyptic prophecies of 2012 loomed ahead. […]

Conner radio repeater

view up the west fork from repeaterToday I completed my part of construction for the future Ham radio repeater on the knoll above Conner. The first step was to get permission and signed contracts from the landowner allowing it to happen. That wasn’t hard as the new neighbors are great people who are becoming our friends… and who, active in search & rescue, are very supportive of radio communications. Next I had Jeff Cherry of U. S. Communications check the site and design the repeater … that he is donating, including installation. This, by the way, will dramatically enhance the ability of amateur radio operators in the Conner area of getting information to and from Darby, Hamilton, Missoula and beyond. […]

manual mowing again

My 20-year-old little Honda mulching mower is still gimpy. The quality time we spent together in the shop did not make it young and spry – like I am. I recognize a fuel-flow problem, but am unable to find a fuel filter anywhere. If there is one, it most assuredly is clogged with 20 years of impurities because I have never seen it; never changed it. But it is not to be found, and definitely not anything like the picture I found online. If there isn’t one, this will be the first time in recent memory a manufacture of reputable power mowers did not put one in. We will return to the shop, Old Mr. Honda and I, to go […]

Scooter’s Cave

Missy cleaned up our third-hand dog kennel today – removing stickers along with some dirt and grime. It looks a bunch better, but she left the brand-name label above the door. That wouldn’t do, so I covered it. It is significantly less tacky now. Scooter has been getting treats for getting IN her cave at our mealtimes and plate or pot licking when she gets out. For her, food is gold. This has made time in the cave a lot more normal and comfortable. So much so that she has added cave dwelling to her list of places to lounge around on her own. Which is where I caught her today, though she was annoyed that I made her uncurl-up […]

nuther near miss

Funny thing on the way to town yesterday afternoon. One of those scattered squalls had ripped through, dumping deluges after flinging branches all around. But I figured the roads were probably dried off enough that I could take my hydroplaning-prone, fuel-efficient CRX without functioning seat-belts. But when I got to the car, I had the pickup keys. Oh well, it’s not that far, I’ll take the pickup. Besides, the reason for my trip is to retrain the maintainers of the Ravalli Offroad website. The Fixer pickup is actually appropriate. There turned out to be quite a bit of standing water on the roads with really dark skies just starting to move on. It’s all good. Enjoying my mellow drive home […]

more load testing

200-yard, 3-shot, scoped, benchrestWe were back at the 200 yard line again this morning. After some quality time communing with my reloading bench, I had some more ammo to test. For CMP and NRA High Power Rifle matches, we use a “service rifle” which is in appearance and function semi-auto versions of rifles that were or are used in military service. We shoot 200-yard offhand slow-fire, 200-yard sitting rapid-fire, 300-yard prone rapid-fire and 600 yard prone slow-fire. What it comes down to in the Expert and Master classes is an AR-15 with one load that fits in the magazines for 200 and 300 yard shooting with another specialized load for 600 that must be loaded one at a time as […]

200-yard range results

.308 load testing Berger 175gr at 200 yards propelled by 43.7 grains of Varget .223 load testing Berger 80.5 grain bullets propelled by 23.8 grains of Varget

redneck dishwasher

It is nice to be back in the world of dog