Ted’s essays

Mr. Lucky Part III

While this should have been part of Mr. Lucky Part II, a friend who knew of the incident pointed out that I forgot to include it, and now I prefer to make it part III. In between rehabilitation rather than excommunicaton of my CRX was a transition time for me. I, being A Car Guy, bought it as an opportunity to savor a cool car. However, being of modest resources, I also had to justify its presence in my personal budget on a purely analytical, practical basis. It took help from that same good friend to get that latter part to support the former. Unquestionably, a 50-mpg car is a good thing to have. However, a windshield, brakes, suspension and […]

Mr. Lucky, part II

Our incredible lightening-flash journey from there, to here was splattered with tremendous good luck. As I mentioned here: teddunlap.net/kicked-into-hyperdrive I was extremely grateful for copious quantities of good fortune in making it all happen. As I also suggested in bitterrootbugle.com/rare-birds I DO understand that “good luck” is only part luck. Nevertheless, I have considered myself to be on an incredible lucky streak with darn-near everything going my way. Then I lost it. The Midas Touch left my hands. Some things just didn’t go my way. I was sanguine about it. I had a heckuva run. I got more than any one man deserves. I was grateful for the long-enough run of luck that delivered Missy and me to Nervana. Love […]


Missy and I are investigating satellite Internet from 25 miles up as our Verizon from a tower 4.5 miles away is intermittently acceptable – the rest of the time NOT. So I asked Craigslist to tell me the real-world cost of a (data) router as the ability to use wireless anywhere in the house won’t be included in the new satellite package. Ryobi router with table and bits $75. While I was supposed to say, “Not THAT kind of router.” What I said instead was “I guess we need to make a trip to Missoula today.” Heckuva deal a $400-plus great router with less than 20 hours on it … to replace the junk Craftsman one with ONE bit that […]

fire hazard alert

From my mother, I have a sense of smell that is particularly well-suited as a smoke or pre-smoke detector. It alerted me to something amiss in the kitchen. I tracked it to my wife’s plastic tool box and the battery-operated soldering iron within. The tools and hardware in her well-stuffed box had shifted into a position that depressed the trigger on the soldering iron. The tip was hot enough to melt solder and was busily trying to melt or ignite some plastic that it was touching or nearly touching. I put the little devil on the counter to cool. She removed the battery, vowing to put it away without the battery in it forevermore. If you have one of these, […]

tripping to the big city

Sunday we made the 75-mile trek to Missoula for our dose of big box bargains. Over the decade + we’ve shared, Missy and I have toured Costco three or four times, failing to see what they offered over what we had available much closer to home. I allowed One More Look in light of the changes in our environment. It took me less than five minutes to say, “We need to be putting this stuff in a cart rather than talking about it.” The trick, of course, is knowing value when you see it. A well-spent $250 made significant improvements to the pantry … canned fruit, canned meat, motor oil, old-folks-joint-supplements, etcetera. Next month will see us arrive with the […]

back off

I way overdid it almost two weeks ago. Saturday I pulled up 200-feet of wooden fence posts, being careful to keep my back straight so I wouldn’t injure it. Sunday I pulled out a bunch of little willow trees that were trying to turn our grassy river beach into a willow thicket. Again, I was careful to keep my back straight, but it got REALLY TIRED before I ran out of willows to pull. I quit when I couldn’t get it to take any more. In retrospect, I should have quit much, much sooner… some suggest that before I started would have been about right. I have been mostly lame ever since. Though I almost NEVER use any drugs, I […]

heat wave

As the heat wave landed on us with both feet, I took a trip back to Idaho to really savor it! Actually, this shooting vacation was planned long before the heat wave arrived. Returning home with the uncomfortable weather still dominating the entire region highlights for me the differences in that aspect between my old home and the new… and, of course, further affirms the wisdom of making the change. In Idaho, heat pumps and air conditioners are requisite. It is highly unusual to find any building without. Popping out of our air-conditioned motel room at sunrise finds the temperature outside to be a warm-feeling 70-plus. In Montana, air conditioners are in large commercial buildings. Most homes are well insulated […]