Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

what I’ve been up to

concrete apron for shop entrance I was not sure, but suspected I would enjoy having a cement mixer to complete little odds’n’ends concrete jobs around the homestead. Concrete work is notoriously physically demanding … that’s otherwise known as Hard Work. But I imagined doing little bits at a time at an old man pace. How hard could two or three batches in a high-quality small-batch mixer be? I know, I know, questions like that often bite you in the sitter-downer. However, the pleasure is all mine. I AM able to get little jobs done without abusing overly abusing my antiquated body. The satisfaction of accomplishment and gratification in having the completed product smoke any passing aches that may have come […]

shortage of posts

I built a list of projects I want completed before winter sets in. Most have my name attached to them. A few need to be hired out. Smart people in the area know that frozen ground, snow, and temperatures that are uncomfortable for outdoor work are coming soon. Hot days and high fire danger changes quickly in another month or so to WINTER. That means also that hired help is hard to come by… You gotta make hay when the sun shines. Thus, most of what I want completed before winter will be done by me … or not. My hands, wrists, knees, and back complain some. I’m running at their edge. But I’m having FUN. Really. I LOVE completing […]

aye dee ten tee

I have been driving since I was about four years old. I am not talking about holding a steering wheel in order to get from one place to another, but actively, purposefully, concetrating on the art and science of really driving two, four and more wheeled vehicles. A real joy to me is getting 10 10ths of the capability out of the motor vehicle I am piloting. I have raced with many who think they are running the course at full chat, then give me a go in their car. Not occasionally, but every time, my first run in a car I have never driven before beats their best lap time. It is likely the only thing I am exceptional […]

happy birthday

I celebrated mostly by taking a break from my established PRIORITY ORDER for the infinite ToDo list. Today, if it wasn’t particularly fun or really bugging me, it was off for the day. Last autumn I had the evergreens shading our high-value, warming, southern exposure removed – or in three cases, turned into naked poles for future ham radio antennas. Several people have mentioned my “flag pole(s)” wondering what I am going to fly from it/them and when. That particular idea has been churning around in my subconscious for quite some time. What flag would I like to hoist at the entrance to our homestead? Ideally, it would be the flag I designed and produced representing the Thomas Jefferson […]

I beat the zero-car-garage plague

There is a peculiar disease running rampant in the USofA. A huge percentage of the two-car garages in this country are so stuffed full of … uh, belongings … that the cars park outside. Hundreds of thousands of HoneyDo lists have “clean up the garage” on them. Of course one answer is the ubiquitous Storage Unit. There are probably one of those for every fifty people in every town from coast to coast. Exceptional people actually park two cars in their two car garage. A couple weeks prior to my first year anniversary of living in the new homestead, I achieved that level of exceptionalism. It feels GREAT! —————————————————————————- That actually came to fruition Sunday. Today I imagined, engineered, fabricated […]

creek maintenance

I took a break from metaspace and spent the week in meat space. Among other things, a major shelving project delivered a two car garage instead of a 400-square-foot waist-deep pile of crap that had no good home yet. Before that was an electrical wiring project to put our irrigation pump on an actual switch instead of plugging and unplugging a heavy-duty 50-foot extension cord. Side effects included a couple of useful outlets. About a week ago I came outside in the morning to immediately notice an abnormal quiet. Really quiet. Huh? Where is the sound of the creek? So I walked down to it and WHOA! It was a trickle. Oh crap. Some telephone calls later, I ended up […]

infected … again

I apologize for the absence. I tried visiting an interesting-sounding article at some new ‘prepper’ website only to get my computer hopelessly infected. I lost a few days to installing a new operating system … and, sigh, ugh, rebuilding one link after another. My e-mail is still not functioning. Dang. I would rather run power tools through lumber than play games with computers.

feeling lucky

Not in the way supercop Clint Eastwood used the phrase … No, I am truly appreciating the good fortune that put me here … and now. Not quite a year into The Great Cleanup And Rehabilitation of the farmstead and TODAY I got the Round Tuit designated to my workbench. Okay, it is a reloading bench with other potential uses. The trick was to lower my expectations. This one is “TEMPORARY”. That means it doesn’t have to be perfect, or even as close to that as my rudimentary woodworking skills usually gets. I do not compromise on the engineering. NOTHING I build breaks. Period. That would be gross failure. Nope, nope and more nope. But Pretty? Wuffo? Then I sit […]