Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

your brain vs GPS

I grew up two doors down from The Woods. I was about 5 years older than “the family dog”, who really grew to be my dog because I spent time with her, shared mutual respect, and I often took her exploring The Woods. How does a little kid find his way into new spaces of the natural world, AND back again? I dunno, but I did it all the time. Into the woods, to the lake, across the valley, to my 2nd grade schoolhouse, to the toy & model store … and unerringly back home again. Heck, one day in my early teens I rode my Schwinn Varsity to visit my little sister at summer camp a half-day out and […]

use protection online

Stay Safe Online published the following good advice. Personal Information is Like Money. Value it. Protect It. Your devices make it easy to connect to the world around you, but they can also pack a lot of info about you and your friends and family, such as your contacts, photos, videos, location and health and financial data. Follow these tips to manage your privacy in an always-on world. Secure your devices: Use strong passwords, passcodes or touch ID features to lock your devices. These security measures can help protect your information if your devices are lost or stolen and keep prying eyes out. Think before you app: Information about you, such as the games you like to play, your contacts […]

Las Vegas

I have been reading, watching and thinking A LOT about the mass shooting event. I waited to post this until I had some good analysis, information and video clips I could link to for supporting evidence. I reached that point this morning. The poster to the right expresses many of the glaring holes the official story has had for me from the outset. The “guilty lone shooter” initially reminded me of the patsy from the Aurora theater shootings, and further back, Lee Harvey Oswald. The odds they actually did the deed are slim, that they acted alone nonexistent. That the official investigation reports will expose to us the actual shooters, or additional shooters … well, that simply won’t happen as […]

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 […]

trying to be like a duck

My hands so very tired … I must reduce my demands on them. I continue to be grateful for the most useful one semester class Sonoma State University sold to me: “Stress Management”. In times like these I often benefit greatly from laying flat on my back, telling tense body parts to “let go”, and getting my mind into the zone. “Why?”, you might ask. Our rental became our future home a couple months ago. Our stable lives got real busy. I canceled my ham licensing study group and the trombone lessons I was giving. Those commitments, I had to admit to myself, were just too much. The abandoned, unlicensed pair of non-functioning cars and dilapidated trailer are out of […]

exploding heads

Another one bites the dust… The Snowflake Generation The ME Generation The Don’t tell me NO generation The Everyone is a Winner generation The Trust the officials, don’t trust your parents generation However you slice it, the middle aged people today are not the same as they were a generation ago. A man is as good as his word. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Give more than you receive. It is this latter one that has come into question today after a third close, dear “millenial” blew up on me this year. In each case I have replayed the incident and all the preceding baggage I can conjure up only to find no […]

violence is golden

“Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Nations and peoples who forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.” — Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) “Freedom… refer[s] to a social relationship among people — namely, the absence of force as a prospective instrument of decision making. Freedom is reduced whenever a decision is made under threat of force, whether or not force actually materializes or is evident in retrospect.” — Thomas Sowell (1930- ) The above courtesy of http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/DailyQuotes “Strong communities are peaceful communities” — Ted Dunlap