Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

tool tango

We are a couple months shy of five years since we started our move from our big subdivision home in Kuna, Idaho with my self-insulated, 5-car-garage shop to the Conner, Montana cabin. I spent the majority of that time estranged from my major tools. I had visitation rights, but the tools were not where I lived. I will never forget the gratitude I owe the great friend who housed them in a fully functional shop for me eight miles away. But, they were not where I lived. Today I am doing the happy dance around my tools. First things first, I fired up the mongo wood burner. Spotty insulation keeps my shop from getting real warm on cold days, but […]

alley dominated

In the grand war to make our homestead suitable, the alley between our house and garage has received little attention. The jetsam left behind by our squatters comprised much of what was heaped there, including the cat they abandoned. I am known to be anti-cat, but really am just against indoor cats; house-cats. Marmalade is a cool cat. A poorly kept secret is that I like having her around. She is a good rodent hunter, likes being scooped up, rumbles pleasantly when held, petted and fed, goes on walks with Mom, Missy and Scooter, handles herself with style, follows us around the yard, and is reasonably in control of her life. She and I seem to have worked out a […]

interim shop tour

I am definitely not yet moved in to my shop. BUT I am able to get stuff done in it. I got far enough along to move to getting my studio, radio shack, music room and entertainment center setting up as a bigger priority. The state of the shop is: tour of interim shop from Ted Dunlap on Vimeo.

metric Montana draftsman

Earlier this year I decided to give go at using metric measurements. That system has many advantages facilitating gauging and related calculations. For target ranging through optical scopes using mil-dots, plus calculating hold-offs and hold-overs, it is far more fluid than the MOA, foot, inch, yard system. Thus I have lived in a mixed-system world for the last six months. Setting up my new studio, radio shack, reloading, hobby area requires quite a bit of design, millwork and cabinetry … all needing to be done before I could have a nice mechanical drawing station set up. I am incredibly happy with the cheesy little 30-dollar “interim” drawing board I bought to draw plans for my drawing table and more. I […]

emergency medical inventory

I retired nurse friend of mine shared her list with a group of us. I, in turn, am sharing it with you. Field Hospital Inventory (* denotes essentials) Trauma bag Personal protection gear – each in separate zip lock bags vinyl and nitril gloves – your size and some large size if different (*) surgical masks (*) plastic (food service type) apron eye protection Cleaning supplies sm. bottle of surgical (green) soap or plain dish soap fingernail brush hand towels Normal saline – burn and wound cleanser (*) baking soda – acid burns sm bottle vinegar – alkaline burns plain salt – to make more normal saline gauze sponges 60 cc syringe – or cheap condiment squeeze bottle small pack […]

winter heat

In 1980 I built my dream house on a south-facing hill with winter solar gain thoroughly designed in, and an efficient woodstove as the only other heat source. Both Good News and Bad News: it was in Northern California. That meant ample supply of oak, madrone, eucalyptus, live oak and other hardwoods that put out A LOT of heat (30 – 36 million BTUs per cord), little creosote, smoke, ash, and burned long per fireplace loading. The bad news was cultural, political and governmental. I did not fit there, moving from my childhood homeland in March of 2000. I had not heated with firewood again until 2013. Hardwoods are essentially unobtainable while the fir and pine (13-20 million BTUs […]

greenhouse design

I enjoy old-school mechanical drawing, drafting and design … with paper, pencil, T-square, triangles and such. Having a simple drawing board, perhaps even a genuine drafting desk has been on my short list every time I end up with a home that has space for it. My new studio may well be the place this happens, but not until we are fully moved in and settled. Meanwhile, I have a lot of projects that really require some planning and drawing to insure they fit together well, have the right materials, and in some cases, communicate to the builder when I am subcontracting the work out. In other words, I have a lot of drawings to do before I can get […]

become an amateur radio operator

Thursdays 4:30-6:30pm Darby Library meeting room July 13th – September 7th Handy in many situations, radio communications can be life saving when phones and Internet are down or out of reach Ham radios start where walkie-talkies leave off, with licensed radio operators communicating around the corner and around the world. ARRL License Manual costs $29.95 includes chapters on every aspect of the licensing exam and numerous practice tests Darby Thursday study sessions are FREE YOU can be an amateur radio operator No electronics background required Click this link for a .pdf poster advertising the class:Ham-radio-class-poster-7-2017 Below is a .jpg image of the class advertisement. TESTING SESSION JULY 17th For those ready to test for Technician, General or Amateur Extra […]