Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

Weekend of a Champion

Last night we enjoyed a 2013 movie, most of which was made by Roman Polanski during three days he spent with Jackie Stewart in 1971, leading up to and including Jackie’s drive in the Monaco Grand Prix. Ya’all ought to know I am A CAR GUY. I have been a dedicated car guy, and in particular, road-racing car guy since I was five years old, or so. Anything that involves high-performance driving turning right as well as left has my interest. I subscribed to Road & Track and Car & Driver in the 70’s, watching Jackie via those pages during his peak. I also found autocross and began legitimate sports car performance competition about that time. I differentiate that from […]


Those kids of mine, and Missy’s have been reproducing. We have now been re-named to help the grandkids. My Mom has also been renamed. Great Grandma is now “GG”. One of the grandkids goes by “KK”. That was, I think, how this started. Now Missy is using “GM”, for Grandma Missy, but she’s claiming it also puts her in charge as General Manager. I have decided I can live with that as “GT”, can serve Grandpa Ted, as well as establish my next appropriate acquisition. I could probably settle for slightly less than a GT40. Do you suppose they would accept my first-born as payment? Surely his wife and 6 kids would support my NEED for speed. […]

chicken strips

Motorcycle tire technology has come a long ways from those state-of-the-art Dunlop K81 tires I put on my cafe’ racer BSA 40 years ago. This is a good thing. The K81s had a distinctly wedge shape to the sides forming a very wide traction patch at what the engineers felt was the optimum cornering angle. Kind-of like this: \_/ I became pretty good at hard-charging corners along the hills, rivers and rugged Pacific coasline in my neighborhood. Until the day my lean angle exceeded that designed into the tire. Going off the broad part in a full-G turn had the bike disappear out from under me and my blue jeans disappear from my knee area before my body stopped sliding […]

home-made motorcycle cover

At the beginning of the month I got an offer I couldn’t refuse on a BMW motorcycle. It was a brand and style I’ve been dreaming about for lots of years, but at a price I’ve never seen the likes of. I thought I could widen the entrance and reorganize our ‘sally port’ to park it under a cover. That didn’t work out. Plan B was an all weather motorcycle cover. I didn’t really want to spend the bucks … well, at least not right away. So I bought the better quality tarp offered by our local hardware and building-supply store. I tied it on with bailing twine, figuring that would get me by for months. That became tedious getting […]

oops, missed the turn ;)

quick trip to the bank … via the lake

Bitterroot Beemer Biker

I can hardly believe I did it. My resistance to powerful motorcycle lust weakened sufficiently to put me back on two wheels after a 39-year hiatus. Precious few activities even come close to the physical poetry, artistry, ballet of driving a nice bike. I do have a weakness for sweeping the curves with excessive libertarian joy in darn-near anything I drive, but way-moreso on bikes. I haven’t been able to justify ownership, nor allow myself the temptation to enjoy a sport-bike or sport-touring-bike in the way they were designed to be loved. This gem to the right broke all that down yesterday. A 2002 BMW R1150RS for $2,500 was in the price range of bikes I’d been daydreaming of for […]

The Beast

Yesterday – all day – We went to Helena and fetched back The Beast Yes – I gave up my lovely, lithe, cherished, agile 2007 GMC Sierra 4×4 with its sweet V-6 and silky 5-speed gearbox FOR THIS… well, and the darling little, rock-solid ’82 Mercedes 240D. My pickup was spending 95% of its time doing a fair job of transporting Me or Us, and once in a while wishing it could transport two more passengers. Only once in a while did it do TRUCK STUFF.

our new car

We just completed a round trip to Helena to fetch an attractive model of the car at the top of my list. I really didn’t expect to find one in good condition, but there it was. These have spectacular efficiency and longevity. With mechanical fuel injection, almost nothing can stop them if you take care of basic maintenance. 1982 Mercedes Benz 240D 4 Speed manual mid-size type : sedan drive : rwd fuel : diesel transmission : manual cylinders : 4 cylinders condition: excellent White, tan MBTex interior, sheep skin seat covers in front. Straight, and rust free. Crank windows, original AM/FM, cold A/C. Less than 15K on perfect running rebuilt engine…. starts instantly, runs great, consistently honest 30mpg town […]