Ted’s essays

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 […]

Dr. Zee heading for height reduction surgery

I like the bike in many ways, but its extraordinarily tall 37″ seat height makes it too awkward for me to enjoy, or even ride safely. We will take parts from another model of the Suzuki DRZ400 that is lower, and some other changes competent motorcycle mechanics can make to drop it down a bit more. So that is where it is today, in The Motorcycle Garage for installation of the DRZ400SM parts and other height adjustment modifications. What we have here are the “before” pictures I took on my way to the surgeon. Old Darby Road was photogenic Friday, not to mention a pleasant ride. Doctor Zee is a nice bike once I have it rolling. Moving down […]

last ride of the season -?

The weather prognosticators are predicting significant drops in temperature and increases in that frozen water thing Montana likes to do to us. Meanwhile, my new-to-me 2009 BMW R1200RS-P (patrol or police model) bike has way-too-few me miles on it. Thursday I pushed all my ‘get the estate ready for winter’ chores aside to grab what may turn out to be my last highway munching ride of the season. The Iron Butt (long distance motorcyclist) guys may snicker, but 160 miles was way better than spending all winter wishing I had taken it out one more time. The roads were excellent, the patrol bike was a great pleasure to ride, the weather suited my clothes perfectly and the scenery was […]

Who am I?

sailing the San Francisco Bay on my Nacra 5.8 catamaranThis is an update to a post I published a few years ago. You can go see that one if you wish: https://www.teddunlap.net/who-am-i/, but I republished it below to save you the trip. A little bit older for sure, slower, wiser, and now with a few more experiences under my belt. Ohmygosh, I am probably 15 to 20 pounds lighter too, having discovered fasting as a healing and fitness tool. I have also worked on the estate, which now suits us a lot better than it did in January of 2019. I got to scratch my sports car track time itch for the first time in 35 years. This year I […]

mini autumn in The Bitterroot

While we do not have the gorgeous autumns as those who live in hardwood forests do, it is still worth noting the passing from summer to winter. In this part of Montana, autumn is very, very short. I quip that it is about two weeks from the start of the leaves changing colors to the leafless branches of winter. In the past I have noticed picturesque coloring, thought “I ought to take a picture of that”, and finally remembered to have my camera along after the show was over. I am promising myself I won’t count on weeks of this show. Grab the photos NOW. Here are my neighborhood shots from today. […]

creating and repairing low back pain

As it turns out, I am reasonably adept at both. The first came naturally and easily to me. Just be Ted. Actually, the repair was natural as well, though not as easy. Friday I spent hours with hedge shears cutting the noxious weeds in my potato patch. This involved A LOT of stooping and bending giving me a very sore back that evening. Saturday morning I was happily symptom free, so I promptly FIXED THAT by taking my Dutch hoe to noxious weeds in the chicken yard. About three-quarters of the way through I was feeling tenderness in my lower back, but I was ALMOST DONE! So, of course, I finished the job. My back was still sore Sunday […]

Pike’s Peak the wrong way

Nobody could tell me, but I’ll give a go at warning those capable of listening … I am a returning rider who is definitely not young, flexible or strong. I picked up a new 2009 BMW R1200RT motorcycle in Denver. It only had 14,000 miles on odometer when 80,000 is more typical of these on the used market. It took the dealership until 6:00 PM (well into Denver’s going home commute traffic) to send me down the road with new tires mounted and new fuel pump installed. My first hour on the new bike was slightly uncomfortable surrounded by commuters, trucks and vacationers with big city attitudes as I made my way to a family reunion in Monument, Colorado. Friday […]

settled in to my domain

A main driver of my life is gaining control of my homestead, estate, working spaces and equipment. After each move from one to another, the list of urgent/critical projects is immediately followed by the crucial, then important and so on until I reach the settled in phase. In each case there is some marker that gives me the feeling I have arrived. Seven years into our Bunkhouse occupancy, I finally hit what I think is that marker. I am comfortable that I know what spaces I want to irrigate, have them relatively easy to wet and no longer have to disconnect hoses, move pipes and reconnect to run my mower around the yard. This evolved irrigation system will be reasonably […]

FOR SALE: 1987 Honda CRX

The background on this car … I was an enthusiastic, radical, seriously competitive Sports Car Guy for most of my life… okay, still am. For 20 years THAT CAR was a 1956 Porsche Speedster barn find – a very rare car that was lightweight and lent itself for high performance driving … Just what the doctor ordered. It also became highly valued in the collector market and its sale in 1999 financed my escape from The People’s Republic of California. After about 16 years sports-car-less, I picked up a very-well-prepared autocross car that was vintage, collectable, lightweight and ticked all the boxes for this enthusiastic, radical, seriously competitive Sports Car Guy. I spent a lot of time and money […]

touring the neighborhood

I did not have much of a choice. I was left home alone. I had to practice more with my new-to-me motorcycle. The weather was gorgeous. My neighborhood is perfect. (People come here from all over the world to drink from the fountain of natural beauty in Montana’s Bitterroot) I know of several lightly-traveled, low-speed roads that are just right for a bike that likes to cruise in the 40-50 mile-per-hour range and a returning motorcycle pilot that is right there in his comfort zone. I have to reconnect those biker synapses muscle memories in my crusty old brain. The top right photo looks at the Bitterroot Mountain Range from its foothills. Next on the right is The Bitterroot […]