Ted’s essays

Appreciating California Highway 1 in the good old days

I grew up in idyllic Sonoma County that nature graced with beauty and interest in every direction from border to border. Lightly traveled mountain roads, river roads and Highway 1 skirting the rugged coastline were perfect for 20-something sports car and bike aficionados. Running solo more often than not, I gloried in the capabilities of my series of old-school Porsches and a sweet-handling BSA 650. Rarely did the destination have any significance; the journey was everything. I was leading a sports car tour to the Big Sur campground for a weekend of watching premium sports car racing at Laguna Seca. This group of young couples had shoehorned our gear into 50s and 60s topless cars with similar luggage capacity to […]

taking a time out

I am cutting back on my webpost side to regain more of my other Renaissance Man aspects. I am master of four websites. I am still wrestling with cutting back on the out-of-pocket financial costs without resolution, but certainly can pare down the time I have been donating to this slice of my life without a solution to the expense question. Woodwork, metalwork, strengthening my 2-way comms, building physical things, making music, reading, two-wheel-riding, wrenching, drawing, artistic painting and more have been calling to me – and I have answered their calls less than I want. Most of the posting, writing, research and creating I do will be at Bitterroot Bugle .com This site will drop down my priority […]

Communications Basics

Two-way radio communications is a tremendous subject that can and does carry people in many directions. Certainly among the most important are field communications to and from tactical and reconnaissance teams, particularly with some semblance of security or privacy to the information thereby exchanged. Particularly well suited to teaching this fine art is NC Scout. He recently published a book on the subject: The Guerrilla’s Guide To The Baofeng Radio, which I recommend and am buying myself. He also has a web page covering a whole lot more range. I share the outline below, but encourage you to go to the source. Simply click the linked heading. – Ted – The Foundation: Squaring Away Communications Basics Improvised Field Antennas The […]

my new trombone bathtub

I began playing trombone at ten years old. I have taken significant breaks between then and now, but cumulatively I have probably a couple dozen years of playing – and cleaning – trombones. Now, proving that old dogs CAN indeed learn new tricks, I have come up with a way to clean my trombone slides without kneeling, hunched over my bathtub. I suppose this is as much a “necessity being the mother of invention” as proof my creative mind is still functioning… knees and backs being things old guys do not love to overwork. I recently found myself playing less and realized that having slides not all that slippery may have been a contributing factor. Yet I was not […]

Guerrilla’s Guide To 2-Way Radio

For my heading, I purposefully modified NC Scout’s bestselling book title that I am discussing in this post. The Guerrilla’s Guide To The Baofeng Radio goes far beyond the make/model amateur radio he recommends in it. I and a fellow active licensed radio operator (HAM) took a local class from him a few years ago. It was extremely informative and valuable. I expect this book to have much of what we learned in that class, and quite a bit more packed into it. I have ordered my own copy, so this is a recommendation in advance of being able to review it, based on what I know of the author and of the subject matter. He created and operates Brushbeater […]

Gab founder nails it

Disgusted with social media, Andrew Torba quit helping them, quit lucrative employment on their behalf and built GAB.COM, a great competitor that has grown exponentially since its founding in 2016. According to their website, “Founded in 2016, Gab is a social media network that upholds freedom of speech and information.” It is MUCH MORE THAN THAT. Andrew has built a team, is continuing to grow that team, and is providing great tools to Internet users who have been wounded and suppressed by the media giants. “Jack The Giant Killer” jumped into my head. They aren’t dead yet, but at least we GAB.COM users are not feeding them and being fed by them. Today I found the post below from […]

cold snap

Now THAT’s COLD. At Sunrise (8:17), I threw on a wool coat, insulated gloves and boots for a one-minute outdoor job of opening the chicken door so my flock could get out to their heated water reservoir and food supply. Whoops. My young back-saving helper yesterday did not close the double gate into / out of the chicken yard after blowing a foot of snow off their scratching yard. So I did that while I was out there – to keep them in and predators out. By the time I was back inside, my legs were cold through their double layers, my back was cold through its triple layers and my cheeks were genuinely frosty in the non-bearded areas. (Interesting […]

simple pleasures in the workshop

Once in a while I simply get lucky as a photographer. I suppose as a modestly inspired amateur, that will be the only way I get a photo that really tickles me. Below is one of them. At my skill level, getting the lighting just right to comfortably light the background while focusing attention, and projecting a welcoming feeling has to be totally a lucky shot, but this one speaks volumes for the shop guy, and the car guy in me. I briefly opened the bay doors to admit the Honda for its overdue wheel swap from summer to winter. The woodburner in the far corner got the shop heat back up to a workspace comfortable 45-60 in no time. […]

white stuff getting in the way

Through the spring, summer, fall, I was prioritizing having our homestead prepared for the snow management season. Strangely, I was simultaneously putting off all those interesting, rewarding projects “that could be done indoors during winter”. We are there. I am there. Meanwhile, that quality time in my wood-heated, well-outfitted cozy shop keeps getting kicked to the curb by mandatory snow management around the castle. The university of hard knocks taught me that snow sheets and drifts allowed to set into glaciers and sheet ice are quite unpleasant around the farm. Some things absolutely MUST be done on their schedule, not mine. Count me in on Montanans For Global Warming… Though I keep missing the meetings because I am either […]

being thankful

Among the things I am thankful for is that the manipulators have not messed up the language and culture of Thanksgiving Day. It remains on Thursday and is still widely celebrated as a day with families coast-to-coast gathering and giving thanks for what they do have. My wife and I have now crested 20 years together and the team is holding up well, giving both of us comfort, joy, peace, support and happiness. Though many have extolled the virtues of unpalatable yams, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie, there is nobody forcing me to gag them down… and so many wonderful things I do enjoy are all readily available. Weather is not unpleasant, our homestead is strong and we are […]

shop heat

One of the real treats in my life is a heated shop. I have a lovely collection of tools and workspaces enabling me to putter with woodwork, metalwork and a bit of mechanical maintenance. I am not great at any of it, but pretty darn good at solving the little challenges and opportunities life sends my way. I have spent some time turning my Jack-of-all-Trades persona into a way to make an honest living, but only at the wrong place at the wrong time. The Fixer business did not blossom, but my website The Fixer.biz is still kicking around as a place where I document some of my creations and share ideas I have come up with. I wish I […]

snatched another ride to the border

As the season for comfortable motorcycle riding comes to a close, I managed to grab another quick trip on Leo. I am guessing that makes about 500 total for me on he … stuff got in the way. Just before I reached Lost Trail Pass, I saw wet pavement in a corner warning me to slow way down. One or two curves later it was slushy snow. Okay. Game Over. Besides that, while I started off from Darby in comfortable 50-degree air, by the time I reached 7,000 feet it was in the mid 30s … not so comfortable … inspired me to turn on the heated grips … then the heated seat. Nice, but my knees were still a […]