Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

April 28 yard art

happy feet – flying Scooter happy Honey white-capped Trapper Peakwhitecap ridgeline geese dropping by turkey hen passing through

this Saturday: Darby Ham Jam & String Fest

The Bitterroot Amateur Radio Club (BARC) members built, support and operate several radio repeaters in Ravalli County. These greatly improve two-way radio communication and expand the distance operators can reach to share information … communications that could be vital in case of emergency. The event this Saturday is an attempt to afford repeaters in the South Bitterroot – that is, to reach up the East and West forks. These areas often do not have emergency phone service OR radio communications. BARC can solve that. The Darby Community Hall will have tables rented out at $10 each. Plenty of tables are still available. Bring your stuff after 10:30 Saturday morning. For Sale items could be typical Ham Fest fare, crafts or […]

trombone hangers

The best advice serious professional trombone players give regarding storing your horns goes something like this: I have never seen a trombone damaged by falling from inside its case. In other words, the finest trombone stands on the market today are less safe than putting your horn away whenever you are not holding it. But, I play them a lot less if I have to open the case, put them together, then reverse the process when I’m done tootin’ around. Here is my compromise. They are there for ready access and reasonably secure. Yeah, a 9.2 earthquake would likely wreck them, but they would be the least of my worries and probably wrecked in their cases anyway. Besides, even […]

our new car

We just completed a round trip to Helena to fetch an attractive model of the car at the top of my list. I really didn’t expect to find one in good condition, but there it was. These have spectacular efficiency and longevity. With mechanical fuel injection, almost nothing can stop them if you take care of basic maintenance. 1982 Mercedes Benz 240D 4 Speed manual mid-size type : sedan drive : rwd fuel : diesel transmission : manual cylinders : 4 cylinders condition: excellent White, tan MBTex interior, sheep skin seat covers in front. Straight, and rust free. Crank windows, original AM/FM, cold A/C. Less than 15K on perfect running rebuilt engine…. starts instantly, runs great, consistently honest 30mpg town […]

another car guy blogger

This morning I discovered Eric Peters’ website. Perhaps a half-generation younger, he is strikingly similar to me in many ways. He clearly understands and has plenty of experience with high-performance driving for the sheer delight in the act itself. He also fully comprehends The Nanny State efforts to remove joy, individuality and thinking from our lives. Best of all, he can express that and more with written words. His car- and motorcycle-guy stories are like reading my own with names and places changed to protect the innocent guilty. We both understand that speed limits good for cement trucks and motor homes are not real-world relevant to high-performance bikes and cars guided by skilled drivers. Con Brio driving focuses an alert […]

more re-purposed hardwood floor fun

I continue to enjoy working with the pickup truck full of oak flooring I salvaged out of Missoula for a hundred bucks or so (as I vaguely remember). I was lucky as all-get-out that I tripped over a great deal on a plastic imitation-snap-together hardwood flooring closeout before I put two months of tedious, dirty labor into making my studio floor out of the real stuff. I fabricated a metal bar into a fixture to scrape the tongues and grooves back and forth cleaning them up so they would mate together again. I glue, then clamp them together into panels for various uses. Then I polyurethane a few coats on for a finish that pleases me. Strips of oak hardwood […]

mashed potatoes n gravy

I can’t cook for one. Okay, a bit strong, but I am rarely inspired enough to cook for one. Two. Now that’s okay. Cooking to share a meal is good. However, I’m a lot better cooking for 4, 5 or 6. A whole onion. A whole red pepper. A pound of meat. Maybe a pound of another meat. A jar of tomatoes. … Well, you get the idea. By the time I have put in JUST ONE of everything I am inspired to add I might as well call the neighbors over to share the results. A little-known tidbit from my distant past: I went to Cook School in Fort Lee, Virginia for 8 weeks, where we learned to cook […]

big spender on public schools

I wrote, published and used the article below as part of my election campaign for Idaho Governor in 2006. Nine years later I’m looking smarter and smarter. But the electorate put their Xs next to the R … hmmm does “R” stand for “Rather not think about it”? Butch the R just signed a bill for $125,000,000 worth of public schooling. If I did that the first reaction would by hilarity. Most of us sign a bill expecting to pay it. But even Mr. Moneysponge, who actually could pay it, has absolutely no intention of contributing even a penny of it. Nope. He signed it FOR YOU. You, your friends and neighbors now owe that money. Lemmesee, Idaho housing starts […]