Ted’s essays

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 […]

Idaho Liberty .com is moving

It has taken me a long time to reach this decision, but I will be retiring that website. I started blogging in 2007, establishing IdahoLiberty.com as my first website. TedDunlap.net came along several years later as did a couple that came and went. I have been posting almost exactly the same content as IdahoLiberty at Bitterroot Bugle .com since I moved from Idaho in 2013, and reinvigorated that old-time newspaper name from this territory last used in the late 1800s. Ted Dunlap playing with the Grand Canyon in a trombone choir of echoes on one otherwise quiet February 1st morning … utilizing a pitch-adjustable bugle Montana elk bull bugling its territorial claimsI was amazed and thrilled when the first name […]

painting with pastels

It is official I am an artist You can plainly see I now have my Artistic License I came by it honestly Made it myself ———— I have long been wanting to do more drawing and painting than will fit in the little squares of my wall calendar with Sharpie pens. I never quite get around to it. Years ago I inherited some water color tools from my Step Dad. Even that did not get me started. So I signed up for the Pastel Painting class the Bitterroot College offered this January/February. THAT WORKED. I did a lot of gearing up for a type of painting I had not considered, but it turns out I really like the medium. […]

snow shoveling for old men

Recognizing the area requiring snow removal FAR EXCEEDED my shoveling capabilities I bought the Ariens snow blower when I moved here August 2017. Age and way too much snow caught up with me. My wrists, right arm, knees and back were not up to the amount of supplemental shoveling required here. Enter our new Polaris Sportsman with plow. HOORAY!!! This combination of tools is exactly what I need to maintain our driveway and parking spaces without beating myself to incapacity. In a week and a half I have become convinced I own the right tools. The combination is perfect with each complimenting the other. I still use the snow shovel and snow pushers a little, but there is very little […]

personal nostalgic moment

Reconnecting with an old friend brought my ‘5 minutes of fame’ back to mind. The old video had gone away – again. Having personally backed it up, I was able and inspired to watch it last night for the first time in many years. Ted The Younger got so much right, and now with a more dispassionate view realize I did even better than I remembered. If you removed party labels and were left with one of those two choices to be Idaho governor, I won. Pretty dang good for my first television appearance. Of course that guy with the green tie in 2006 is quite different from this guy who is 12 years older. I would not want to […]

Who Am I?

sailing the San Francisco Bay on my Nacra 5.8 catamaran Claire Wolf called me a Renaissance Man. I had to look it up, but found she is correct. I have yet to meet anyone who dabbles with as much as I do. Writer, reader, publisher, webmaster Activist, organizer, politician, Libertarian Philosopher, economist, sociologist, psychologist Mid-level rifleman, handgunner, careful ammo reloader Husband, Dad, grandpa, son, friend, neighbor, stalwart teammate 1%-er high-performance-driver from 2 to 18 wheels, street and track Organic gardener, small-farmer, teacher, chicken-rancher, landscaper Amateur radio teacher, proponent, planner, organizer, provider, student Nutritionist, herbalist, naturalpath, organic shopper, ingredient reader Trombone and upright bass musician, band manager, teacher, student Woodworker, metalworker, mechanic, fabricator, inventor, handyman, fixer Prepper, self-defense advocate, militia proponent […]

what I’ve been up to

concrete apron for shop entrance I was not sure, but suspected I would enjoy having a cement mixer to complete little odds’n’ends concrete jobs around the homestead. Concrete work is notoriously physically demanding … that’s otherwise known as Hard Work. But I imagined doing little bits at a time at an old man pace. How hard could two or three batches in a high-quality small-batch mixer be? I know, I know, questions like that often bite you in the sitter-downer. However, the pleasure is all mine. I AM able to get little jobs done without abusing overly abusing my antiquated body. The satisfaction of accomplishment and gratification in having the completed product smoke any passing aches that may have come […]

shortage of posts

I built a list of projects I want completed before winter sets in. Most have my name attached to them. A few need to be hired out. Smart people in the area know that frozen ground, snow, and temperatures that are uncomfortable for outdoor work are coming soon. Hot days and high fire danger changes quickly in another month or so to WINTER. That means also that hired help is hard to come by… You gotta make hay when the sun shines. Thus, most of what I want completed before winter will be done by me … or not. My hands, wrists, knees, and back complain some. I’m running at their edge. But I’m having FUN. Really. I LOVE completing […]

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 […]