Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

ragtime

In February I finally got around to checking out the monthly gathering of Bitterroot’s Ragtime Society. It looked good and they encouraged me to bring my horn next time. March 5th was next time. I brought my horn. Mom and Missy also came along … my fan club … hadda make sure somebody liked the noises I made. Ragtime is not familiar territory to me. Tunes I have experience with are Dixieland, Swing, Jazz, Big Band and the like. But, Hey, these people let me play trombone! 🙂 I HOPED to play along in a quarter of the music, enjoy it all and end up with some sheet music to play with between now and the next meeting. I was […]

instrumental

In public school 4th grade, kids who “got it” with the plastic flutes the year before were offered loans of real instruments and lessons in their use. Trombone was IT. I turned down all proffered alternatives until a trombone became available. It was the only sound I was interested in making; instrument I wished to play. Many decades later, acoustic bass snuck in as a possible interest. If ever I had to play something other than trombone, I decided the upright bass would be it. Fate delivered me to a place where I have been unable to find people to play my trombone with, but a bass would be enthusiastically welcomed. I still enjoy playing my horns with my ‘band […]

rhythm

There! You can read music.

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 […]

Ham Jam and String Fest

The Bitterroot Amateur Radio Club (BARC) and its members operate several radio repeaters in the Bitterroot. These enable people with walkie-talkies, mobile and home radios to accomplish two-way communication over a wide area from Darby to Missoula and beyond. While the club members have the ability and willingness to expand the repeater network, they are expensive to set up, costing significantly over $1,000 each for reliable off-grid mountain-top units that can do the job. This Ham Jam and String Fest is an attempt to attract donations that might extend the network of repeaters through Conner, up the West Fork and up to Lost Trail Pass. If successful enough, this network could reach Salmon and from there much of Idaho. […]

Martini arrives

Missy came home yesterday evening with her “Baby Martin”, 3/4 Martin or, as I offered up, Martini. Missy likes the name. It is likely to stick. She LOVES the guitar. It draws her to picking, strumming, studying and playing. It is a pretty little thing and sounds nice. Even Scooter seems to be happy to be nearby when Missy is picking away. Of course Scooter always likes being near Missy any time she isn’t bustling about and banging things around. If Martini is what it takes to get Missy to keep still, Scooter is going to really like Martini. […]

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 […]