Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

grousing

Years ago my wife went pheasant hunting with her Mercedes 300D sedan. She left the dead pheasant on the side of the road. I had to replace the grill. A few years later she went duck hunting with my GMC pickup. A co-worker removed the duck from the grill. It popped back into place. They discarded the dead duck. Yesterday my wife went grouse hunting with our manufactured home. A neighbor took the dead grouse to a taxidermy shop. At least we are beginning to make some use of her bird hunting kills. I think we need to get her some lessons in using her shotgun. A much better tool in so many ways. … An alternate version of the […]

woodshed

I just finished expanding last year’s winter heat storage unit and improving on it a bit. With 20-bucks-worth of new lumber, I was able to scrounge the rest of the needed materials. Good thing, because that left me cash to pay someone else to cut and split a cord of wood for us. A neighbor charges $120 for a fat cord of dry lodgepole pine delivered. It is hard to beat a deal like that. Lets me focus on my mountain of projects that I cannot easily subcontract… like building the woodshed. Stacked inside is one-third of a cord left over from last year. Piled on the lawn is the first of two cords I’m hiring done. He would have […]

what a bubble looks like

The graph below is a great picture of a bubble that should have burst a long time ago… but it keeps holding together and making the eventual crash much, much worse. King World News published it in a very good article: DANGER: The Global Collapse Is Now Accelerating To appreciate the chart, first understand the red bars. Other than the little blips of green, this is showing investors OWING money on stocks they have “purchased”. The stock prices and all indices of them are inflated by credit, debt. Once upon a time, people INVESTED money in stock. Storing your SAVED money in stocks was riskier than storing your savings in a bank, but it potentially earned more. In either case, […]

community comms

In any surviving, thriving community there is a wide range of specialists who make The Whole strong. An important gap I am striving to fill locally is communications. Both within our neighborhood and beyond. Step one was to learn a little bit and pass the FCC tests to earn a license. The first level, “Technician”, covers local communication well and with modest equipment investment. But it is the second, “General” level that shares information with adjacent regions, all states and the world. The gear costs go up significantly at this level. This is where I am licensed, but with a champagne appetite on a beer budget. Meanwhile, what I do have is moderately functional. It starts with twin 40-watt […]