Ted’s essays

Darby Dog Derby 2020

I led a team of ham radio operators who provided two-way radio communications throughout the two day event. It really was fun for all… the mushers, the comms guys and the visitors who came to watch the show. I mostly stay secluded in my comms truck shell, “The Beast” where my mobile radio has the speaker volume so I can hear radio traffic over the dog noise. I did step out to take a few photos and three short video clips that I share here. Darby Dog Derby Skijor 11 start from Ted Dunlap on Vimeo. Darby Dog Derby 8 Dog hookup part 1 from Ted Dunlap on Vimeo. Darby Dog Derby 8 Dog hookup part 2 from Ted Dunlap […]

help with my web hosting bill

Help defray the costs of hosting this website. My annual bill reminds me that I ought to offer you the opportunity to help me afford my publishing empire. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Without help it is around $700 a year out of my pockets. It went up a lot last year when I upgraded to a faster, stronger, better hosting plan. I have just enough traffic that I cannot go back. I set up a donation button below that accepts PayPal payments or credit card payments through them. As the panhandlers on the street say with their cardboard signs, ANYTHING HELPS. – Ted – […]

comms plans for Darby Dog Derby

The 2020 Bitterroot dogsled race weekend is coming up. I have the two-way-radio support plan mapped out, radios programmed, testing complete, batteries all charged up … I think we are as ready as we can get. For more details about the weekend, the participants and the races, go to The Bitterroot Mushers website. Each year we learn more, adding refinements to patch holes as we find them. Ideally we have 8 checkpoints with a checkpoint worker and a radio operator at each. That’s a bit dreamy as the last couple years we are lucky to have one person serving both roles at each. Bitterroot Emergency Amateur Radio Services (BEARS), the comms team, recently changed affiliation to Corvallis American Legion […]

final day of registration for ham class is Friday

This a repeat of my previous announcement. There is one more day of online registration for Darby Adult Ed classes. We stand ONE STUDENT SHORT of having enough to make it happen. I am bringing another amateur radio operator licensing class to Darby, Montana via the Darby Adult Education program in its Spring 2020 schedule. I have not keept track, but think I have personally assisted 40 or 50 people to earning their FCC licenses through my study groups in the Darby library. The snide saying goes, “Those who CAN, DO. Those who cannot, TEACH”. I’m okay wearing that. Good instructors are as rare as good anything else. I did not choose this calling, blessing or curse. It chose me. […]

.22 rifle practice

Far and away the most popular rifle caliber on Earth is the .22 Long Rifle (.22LR). Ammo.com has numerous listings for under 4-cents per round, and as they correctly describe, “Easily the most prolific and well known firearm cartridge in the world, the .22 Long Rifle (LR) is great for plinking and small-game hunting. The .22 LR is also considered the best choice for introducing new people to the sport of shooting, due to its lack of recoil and low noise.” I will add the intuitive: inexpensive, wonderful training tool from cost of gear through expense to operate. You can defend and take small game with these, but far more importantly, you can learn to shoot on the most modest […]

Ham license class begins February 1st

I am bringing another amateur radio operator licensing class to Darby, Montana via the Darby Adult Education program in its Spring 2020 schedule. I have not keept track, but think I have personally assisted 40 or 50 people to earning their FCC licenses through my study groups in the Darby library. The snide saying goes, “Those who CAN, DO. Those who cannot, TEACH”. I’m okay wearing that. Good instructors are as rare as good anything else. I did not choose this calling, blessing or curse. It chose me. Run with your talents. Every person who has come to all of the class sessions and studied two or more hours between sessions passed the FCC Technician License Exam at the end. […]

New Year’s Eve – country boy style

Early to bed. Early to rise. Get a good start on accomplishing useful things next year.

Merry Christmas

It is too easy to treat every day just like every other, but I do like to change it up once in a while with a special occasion. This is one I have been around all my life. No longer believing in the Little Town Of Bethlehem story has not diminished it much for me. I like everyone saying, “Merry Christmas”, sharing smiles and goodwill towards all of us. I enjoy sharing a widely understood non-work-day with friends and family. We KNOW nobody is working today. We are not supposed to be productive. Just relax and enjoy the companionship… unless you are the one who feeds the tribe. Hopefully we all do make sure she is having a wonderful day. […]

Darby Adult Ed calendar is up

I have contributed numerous classes to the community, most through the Darby Adult Education program in southwestern Montana. An interesting array of people share their skills and passions with others in this nice little community. This Spring Semester is no exception. We have many nice choices in front of us for new experiences, knowledge, training, friendships and fun. I am bringing my first-level Amateur Radio class back by popular demand. I must be nearing 50 people I have helped earn their FCC Technician or General Class licenses. My guarantee: If you attend every class and study a few hours a week, you will pass the FCC Technician Exam at the end regardless of your technical background or lack thereof. I […]

Tuba Christmas Friday in Missoula

and many, many other cities throughout the USofA. This Friday, Dec 13th, 2019 at 7:00 pm in Southgate Mall Lucky’s Court Brooks St Missoula a platoon of musicians gather to make joyous noise with their tubas. They are open-minded enough to embrace players of euphoniums, baritones and Sousaphones as well, which makes for a marvelous combination of voices. Speaking of voices, they highly encourage the audience to join them by singing the Christmas Carols that are so familiar to those of us who grew up in this country. They typically play the first time through to the appreciative audience, then a second verse joined by hundreds of happy voices. As proof of this event’s popularity, it has been going on […]

*NEW* 1958 Conn 6H trombone

Based on wonderful reviews, I connected up with the Slide Doctor in Dawsonville Georgia, received their custom slide shipping packaging, sent it back with my old slide, and a couple days ago received back a trombone slide that is as close to perfect as I have ever touched… and they advise it will get better after a brief break-in period. WOW! I had worked it over with brass cleaning chemicals, abrasives, tools, and hand-straightening … I was hot stuff and got it about as good as it gets … so I thought. Recently I started wondering if the comparative smoothness of my 13-year-old Conn 88 slide might be a significant reason I play it almost all the time and the […]

dog stress management techniques

I have been ‘a dog guy’ my entire life. They and I understand each other. Some call it “Being able to speak Dog”. As with human-to-human interaction that actually means more listening than speaking. Thus, when the article below arrived in my e-mail, I recognize its truths. Dogs fully live in the moment without fretting over past or future. Most excell at relaxation, but apply extreme vigor to their exercise periods. This applies far more to confident dogs, who are usually larger than average. Those are the ones I am attracted to. Among the top dogs in my history for that was Opie, my 125-pound Newfoundland runt who is responsible for my interest in Mastiff relatives. Beagle Brain, our […]