Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

my multi-lingual woodshop

I measure, speak, write and calculate in inch-foot as well as metric. Of course when I am purchasing materials at the hardware and building supply stores I have to use feet, inches and fractions thereof. But when it comes to working on my own, metric is typically easier to use. Finding the middle of a piece three feet eight and a quarter inches long is not as easy as dividing 112 centimeters in half. Millimeters handsomely split centimeters into tenths. 52.5 is easy to remember, repeat and work with compared to 1 foot 8 and 3/16 inches. I am much more likely to get the right number working with metrics than “a bit over 18 3/4”. Changing scales is also […]

aye dee ten tee

I have been driving since I was about four years old. I am not talking about holding a steering wheel in order to get from one place to another, but actively, purposefully, concetrating on the art and science of really driving two, four and more wheeled vehicles. A real joy to me is getting 10 10ths of the capability out of the motor vehicle I am piloting. I have raced with many who think they are running the course at full chat, then give me a go in their car. Not occasionally, but every time, my first run in a car I have never driven before beats their best lap time. It is likely the only thing I am exceptional […]

happy birthday

I celebrated mostly by taking a break from my established PRIORITY ORDER for the infinite ToDo list. Today, if it wasn’t particularly fun or really bugging me, it was off for the day. Last autumn I had the evergreens shading our high-value, warming, southern exposure removed – or in three cases, turned into naked poles for future ham radio antennas. Several people have mentioned my “flag pole(s)” wondering what I am going to fly from it/them and when. That particular idea has been churning around in my subconscious for quite some time. What flag would I like to hoist at the entrance to our homestead? Ideally, it would be the flag I designed and produced representing the Thomas Jefferson […]

I beat the zero-car-garage plague

There is a peculiar disease running rampant in the USofA. A huge percentage of the two-car garages in this country are so stuffed full of … uh, belongings … that the cars park outside. Hundreds of thousands of HoneyDo lists have “clean up the garage” on them. Of course one answer is the ubiquitous Storage Unit. There are probably one of those for every fifty people in every town from coast to coast. Exceptional people actually park two cars in their two car garage. A couple weeks prior to my first year anniversary of living in the new homestead, I achieved that level of exceptionalism. It feels GREAT! —————————————————————————- That actually came to fruition Sunday. Today I imagined, engineered, fabricated […]

creek maintenance

I took a break from metaspace and spent the week in meat space. Among other things, a major shelving project delivered a two car garage instead of a 400-square-foot waist-deep pile of crap that had no good home yet. Before that was an electrical wiring project to put our irrigation pump on an actual switch instead of plugging and unplugging a heavy-duty 50-foot extension cord. Side effects included a couple of useful outlets. About a week ago I came outside in the morning to immediately notice an abnormal quiet. Really quiet. Huh? Where is the sound of the creek? So I walked down to it and WHOA! It was a trickle. Oh crap. Some telephone calls later, I ended up […]

practical, tactical communications training

We have a unique opportunity coming to the Bitterroot. It is a big deal to have this particular North Carolina based trainer offering these classes here. For me, traveling there will never happen no matter how high-value the training is. The timing of next month’s classes does not suit my personal needs, but I am adjusting to fit the offering. Opportunity doesn’t always knock at the moment you are prepared to open the door. Take it on its terms and schedule … or miss it. The local sponsoring organization looks credible, possibly excellent. You can do your own research on The Order of the White Rose. The Hamilton, Montana classes may well include a number of people I will prize […]

When you need work done, ask the old guys

An even dozen mailboxes are clustered where the gravel road meets the paved one. A large, very old, rotten timber holds up 8 of them while the other four perch atop various posts that are as individual as the homeowners who added their mailbox to the row. In all, a very random collection with only one at the US Postal Service mandated 40″ height. Last Monday we all received notices from the post office that our mailboxes needed to meet the 40″ minimum. I responded with printed notes in each mailbox inviting all to a work party at 0900 Saturday to raise them all together. One man telephoned me to say he couldn’t make next Saturday, but wanted to help. […]

Bosco at 5.7 months

He is shaping up to be an excellent dog. Yeah, the German Shepherd Dog (GSD) side needs employment … OR ELSE … they self-employ … and the owners are guaranteed to not like their ideas. But, dang, they make great family dogs. I suspect Bosco’s ears are a month from standing up like proper GSD ears, but his head seems otherwise dominated by his American Pit Bull (APB) half. Both are described as athletic and strong; both traits desirable in a country dog. Puppy Chart .com estimates my 68.6-pound 5.6-month-old will be a 100-pound adult. *WARNING* Stay on top of training. You won’t want an out-of-control Big, Strong, Athletic, Inventive dog. Dogtime.com is an EXCELLENT reference tool. The peculiarities of […]