Ted’s essays

I didn’t have time

Many variations of that phrase are popular in our culture, but they are all incorrect. “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr. (1940-) American author I did not get to that, or did not get around to that yet, or I have been concentrating on _ _ _ _ There are many ways to soften the word we are avoiding: “NO”, but they are just politely dodging the truth. More than what it represents in conversation, when we use the incorrect non-excuses, we are being dishonest with […]

emergency comms plan

BEARS, that is the Bitterroot Emergency Amateur Radio Services, works towards having viable communication resources in place when our neighborhood most needs it. A radio and operator are useless without another radio and operator at the other end. Two-way radio is by definition a sending and receiving operation. The more operators on the network, the better our information is and the wider we can spread it. Likely more than 99% USofA adults ASSUME their phones and wi-fi devices will never fail them. In real-life emergencies, they are nearly always shocked and hopeless because those systems do fail. I print, laminate and distribute 4″ x 5″ cards with information enabling unused radios in the hands of unpracticed operators to receive and […]

Don’t try this at home

I spent over 20 years operating a business based on my 40-100 horsepower tractors and every implement I could operate from them. I had many people in positions to know tell me I was particularly good at it. I was. I am a driver. Tractors are tools to be driven. Of course I was good at it. But that was another life. I am several times removed from that. Or am I? The apron to my new shop annex was awaiting the season to hire a truck and tractor operator for the finish grade that couldn’t be completed before last winter set in. Today I was sauntering to and fro from my shop for a woodworking project and realized the […]

reloading bench back in business

My reloading bench ran its first set of test loads in the new homestead. Getting it operational tends to be well below the CRITICAL and Urgent level activities. However it sure is nice to get there. My reloading skills exceed my shooting abilities, but I work to achieve the best mechanical accuracy to minimize the inaccuracies that arrive when my finger starts dancing on the trigger. My first two batches of load test firings were not as careful as the third one, but all suffer from eyes that cannot focus very well on both the near sights and far targets simultaneously. Lately my eyes have also been watering quite a bit which compounded the problem. The final caveat is my […]

crusty old brains

With few exceptions, muffler bearing wrenches and lumber stretchers come to mind, tools have both suitable and unsuitable applications. As one saying goes, “If your only tool is a hammer, every job looks like a nail”. The converse of that is even more common where the wrench or whatever else is at hand becomes the hammer you need at the moment. The typical seventy-year-old brain is like that, another tool with good and poor uses. While there are significant variations, the old guys have seen a lot of successes and failures, learning from most of them what works in the long run contrasted with what definitely does not. On the other hand, our minds and bodies are more brittle. […]

Ted’s auto shop open for business

I haven’t had this since moving from Idaho to Montana. No big deal, but sometimes the little things are bigger than they look. The “shop annex” extension we put in last summer gave me the ability to do auto work in my shop. That little space made a big difference. Today Missy bought me a mechanics rolling stool in exchange for me swapping her Mercedes from winter to summer shoes. Good deal for both of us. I pulled off the tire swap without blowing out my knees. That has not happened for years. Nice to know a simple, inexpensive tool can extend my mechanical capabilities.

social media in transition

Internet addictionThe mega-platforms grew from nothing to huge as if they were sponsored by incredibly powerful big money guys… or were cosmically fortunate. Your choice. Faceplant, Googoo, Twiddle-dee, Tubular and others offered human interaction without messy humans involved for FREE! Either you pay for the product or you ARE the product Their blatant censorship and phalanxes of hired shills is finally costing them market share. There are hints of awareness rising up that heretofore had been frighteningly absent. In case you are fed up but have not found alternatives, I will share three with you. I walked away from well over a thousand “friends” and haven’t missed the content edited by Palo Alto new-agers one little bit. I now get […]

Bitterroot Emergency Radio Plan

BEARS, that is the Bitterroot Emergency Amateur Radio Services, works towards having viable communication resources in place when our neighborhood most needs it. A radio and operator are useless without another radio and operator at the other end. Two-way radio is by definition a sending and receiving operation. The more operators on the network, the better our information is and the wider we can spread it. Likely more than 99% USofA adults ASSUME their phones and wi-fi devices will never fail them. In real-life emergencies, they are nearly always shocked and hopeless because those systems do fail. I print, laminate and distribute 4″ x 5″ cards with information enabling unused radios in the hands of unpracticed operators to receive and […]

letting go

Parents, grandparents, siblings and good friends often enable destructive bahavior. Letting go is quite difficult, but more often than not is the right answer. The Declaration of Independence jumped into my head: …a long train of abuses and usurpations… We forgive, cover-for, assist, fret, lose sleep and so-on while they flit in and out of acceptable behavior. It is a show I watched from ringside a generation ago, though then I missed darn near every clue while I struggled to make my business feed and house us all. I am one row back today, but able to play reruns in the face of similar behaviors. Most likely, there was nothing I could do then to change the trajectory. I’m pretty […]

take a step back

A touch of the philosophical is good for the brain. I share this here so I may come back and ponder it from time to time. So far I keep up with the thoughts until the last few lines. I think I need to work it over until I either understand or reject that last bit. The link, by the way, takes you to one of the next-generation social media platforms that have evolved in response to the dark-forces takeover and evil application of the more popular ones. We were hoping the geeks would recognize the problem and use their specialties in creation of alternatives. They have. Now we just have to migrate to them. – Ted Live in Truth, […]

constitutional sheriff

Elizabeth Hodge interviewed me when I was running for Ada County sheriff. I just tripped over it today. The interview explains the concept as well as I have seen it done. It is still valid, and incredibly valuable to those USofA counties who have elected constitutional sheriffs. Coming out of nowhere with no significant support, I shocked the 20-year incumbent by garnering 40,943 votes. The incumbent was startled. He had not been in any contest that close, and sure as heck didn’t expect it from my campaign. Unfortunately, it was only 26% of the votes. I suspect $10,000 in campaign finances could have won it for us. I’m happy nobody did that to me. I like where I am. […]

comfortable solitude

I gave it no thought while living it, but realize today just how unique I was growing up. I spent A LOT of time alone without being “a loner”. I graduated high school standing 5’2, weighing 98 pounds without ever feeling small. I spent countless days wandering the adjacent woods. Occasionally my neighborhood friends would wander with me. Most often it was just me and the dog. I played individual sports, team sports, yet could spend hours alone shooting hoops or pounding tennis balls against the wall. I decided I wanted to pitch for our little league team. I built a wooden strike zone target and spent hours, days, weeks by myself throwing baseballs through each corner of it. Of […]