Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

Celtic Woman

Good friends introduced us to Celtic Woman. The blending of traditional Celtic, classical music, quite possibly the finest performers of their art in the world, with great production and videography make truly awesome videos. The vocals are so clean, clear and pure as to defy description by simple words. Máiréad brings that same mastery to the violin with a physical energy and movement that absolutely defies the sound. I am sure the combination is impossible, but she consistently proves me wrong. Missy and I have seen three of their videos twice … completely awed by all three. The first, titled simply “Celtic Woman” is not available at their website. The second, Celtic Woman A Christmas Celebration while timely for this […]

storm door

We have been dragging this “brand new” storm door around and storing it ever since I didn’t get around to installing it in our Grangeville home… That’s three moves and seven years ago. I tried selling it a couple of times, but there is no market for unused storm doors … at least not one that I found. Our old new door found a real home this week. One we both like a lot. It ought to keep the storms out of our sally port. My experience framing and hanging doors is limited, to say the least. Nevertheless, it turned out right fine by our standards. Ah, then I turn around and face the sunset. Nature went and one-upped me […]

Starting over in Darby

Couple opens nano-brewery, finds joy in new simpler small town life Perry Backus – Ravalli Republic JC and Hilary McDowell hope their new Bandit Brewery in Darby will become a family-friendly meeting place for the community. DARBY – It’s no secret that the Great Recession turned many people’s lives upside down. Afterwards, some wallowed in grief over what they’d lost. Others simply gave up. And then there were those who decided there was no better time to stop, take a deep breath and reconsider what was really important in this life. After considering the lessons learned during that upheaval, some folks opted to move forward to reinvent themselves and create a new life from the ashes of the old. […]

project polishing

I finished a couple of little projects today. I had lamented the arrival of hard-frozen ground before I could get the grade I envisioned for my new riverside entry door. Nature gave me a reprieve and thawed back out long enough for me to get to it. I ran the neighbor’s tractor until it was so dark the only thing I could see was my breath in the frozen air… in-other-words, it was cold and dark when I quit. This morning I took a rake to it. It was surprisingly close, considering the crudeness of the tractor and quality of the working conditions. Now it can freeze to its heart’s content and I can add the walkway gravel and compost […]

cheatin’ dog beginning bass player

I have spent three Thursdays in a row plunking on my new bass in the neighborhood bluegrass jam. I am playing rather well by feel and everybody is politely welcoming, but it rather obviously is going to take me a long, long time to achieve the simplest, basic level of comfortable competence. Particularly the way I was headed. Missy picked up a loaner autoharp, and is researching, reading and studying it with a fervor. Her song charts, chord charts and key charts caught my attention. Hey, I think I could use those… but in a really simplified form… cut down to the very tiny bit of knowledge a entry-level bluegrass bass player MUST play. Nevermind the optional. I gotta make […]

adjectives, adverbs and other parts

In many circles, you could be forgiven for thinking the English language is very small with a certain four-letter f- word having deposed thousands of newly obsolete. There it is hugely versatile, replacing verbs, nouns, pronouns, and often being a complete declaratory sentence all by itself. Adding ‘n at the end turns it into adjectives and adverbs. Traditional dictionaries and thesauruses are outmoded. So many words with no practical value whatsoever. Costs and environmental impacts of printing modern dictionaries would be approximately equal to that of printing comic books. The trivial downside is its complete lack of meaning in normal usage. Nearly every time it is uttered by those most fond finds the common definition completely at odds with the […]

Easter Egg Chicken Ranch returns from the ashes

It has been a long time since we had chickens. I always liked having not just a variety of birds, but of egg colors in our daily harvests. Not in a position to have a chicken coop and yard, we found ourselves with a fortunate selection of friends that included one couple nearby with an under-utilized chicken coop. Best of all, they were open to us adding to their flock and sharing in the feed purchases. A match made in heaven. Except the chickens all got together and formed a union that determined our egg ration to be one a day. Not looking like such a good investment after all. Then Bud captured the long-ago escaped rooster and returned him […]