Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

status report – comms and relatives

Coming soon … My main desk and radio table are set up. My 12-volt panel, batteries and terminal junction are set up. My 2-meter and GMRS (short range county-wide) radios are on the air. Yesterday I got a 3/4″ copper pipe RF ground from the shack wall behind my radios via 3 soldered elbows to the surface of the ground outside. I want to extend the pipe much further across the yard, and bury it as soon as the earth thaws. I previously installed a multi-strand heavy (I think #6, maybe #2) cable from a common post near the radios, out and onto a grounding stake. I anticipate setting up multiple grounds and trying each individually and in combinations, […]

You went to the doctor, didn’t you?

I broke a rib a week ago. This morning I answered my son’s question something like this: In the 50s doctors would diagnose a broken rib, then wrap the chest supposedly to stabilize the break for healing. The broken rib(s) would then heal in an unnaturally compressed position out of alignment with the other ribs. Today they do not do anything … well, they send you for a photograph of the break, then advise you, “If it hurts, don’t do it”, while prescribing pain killing drugs so you can abuse your broken bone and delay the healing. Two hundred dollars worth of help I do not need. Which reminds me of people going to THE DOCTOR for flu, cold, sniffles […]

billions of snowflakes

Teased with traces of snow until now. This morning we have real snow on the ground. That is real darn purty all right, but somebody has to deal with it. These machines are wonderful, but not magical. They are work. Experience will help, but even at 10-degrees outside, I ended up overdressed for the exertion. Knowing for quite some time that this day was coming, I had made significant effort to have the area I intended to maintain as smooth as possible. In spite of my repeated best efforts, the concrete is WAY EASIER to work with the snow blower. Uneven surfaces, bits of rock, undefined edges are all enemies of my Ariens or any other, for that matter. Montana […]

more on the snowflake culture

The blog Fred On Everything is almost always amusing, interesting and often very good. I ran across his posting on the snowflake culture the day after I published mine. He and I share a lot of perspectives. Believe it or not, he might be even a bit more of a crusty curmudgeon than I. I post a clip out of the middle, but you can go straight to the link to see the entirety of it. —————————   Firing the Pre-Pubertal Arquebus: A Sociological Treatise Posted on December 15, 2017 by Fred Reed “… I was there, in America: Athens, Alabama, at age twelve. Athens was small and Southern, drowsy in summer, kind of comfortable feeling, not much concerned with […]

Happy New Year

This is it. Serious observers tell us today is the shortest one of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The sun which has been hiding from us for more and more of the day since the Summer Solstice is finally going to start staying up longer. The world has been saved from cold, frigid darkness once again. Time to celebrate the birth of a new year. Cultures have been doing this forever, calling it various names, but the theme is always the same. While it may get colder for a while, sunlight, warmth and nature’s rebirth is on the way.

neighborhoods good and bad

The old man was working his garden by the road when a young couple drove up. They allowed as they were relocating and considering his area for their new home. But they wanted to know what the people in this area were like. How were they where you came from, he asked. Selfish, mean-spirited, unfriendly and unkind they replied. They are like that here too. Later that week the scenario was repeated with another couple. The people where they lived were wonderful, caring, sharing, helpful and friendly. To them he replied, They are just like that here. This evening once again the subject came up of the squatters who spent a year living off our generosity only to leave in […]

I hate XMas

I was a Christian. I understand the religious significance of Christmas. I also see quite clearly the crass mercantilism of today’s Christmas. ‘Tis the season to spend money, fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-laaa.’ The Christian holiday has been hollowed out… worse, hallowed out. That it is one of many winter solstice mythologies and religions is another aspect I am not dealing with at this moment. No, what is bugging me right now is the shorthand that predated the texting and Twitter prunings where nothing is spelled out; everything is abbreviated. X mas – pronounced EX MAS. What is that? A has-been mass. Is that like a used-up, Catholic religious service? Perhaps it refers to ex (outside of) the body, the whole, of the masses. […]

water, water, drink, drink

Many years ago, “Doctors recommend 8 glasses of water a day”. Today they prescribe 8 pharmaceutical drugs a day. If you think that is an improvement, you are visiting the wrong website. The human body is an impressive machine. It tolerates, compensates for, recovers from incredible abuse. But you really ought to work with it a little; meet it half-way. The cool weather set in, but I was working in a frenzy to get important stuff done “before winter”. I made it, by the way. The important stuff did get done. However, my hands, wrists, knees and back have been complaining for two months solid. “It sucks getting old” was the standard answer. I was trying a lot of […]