Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

3 second attention span

Even a normal toddler can focus for a whole minute, or several minutes even on a single, natural occurrence. Something really fascinating like a butterfly, flower or dog can keep their attention on that single object for several minutes. This can be, and quite often is “FIXED” … at all ages. I was out tonight giving my puppy outdoor playtime before bed. I happened to see a television running in a well-lit room some 20-30 meters away. From that distance one can quickly see the big picture – the details and sound don’t cloud the view. BAM-BAM-BAM the scene changes every 2 to 3 seconds. FLASH-FLASH-FLASH this brightly colored screen keeps eyes on the movement and mind from considering ANYTHING. […]

A beautiful humanity

As a youngster, I observed that my Dad loved the Lil’ Abner comic strip. Dad was a smart man. Among the characters in this comic was Joe Btfsplk, with his unpronounceable name and doomed life where disaster surrounded his every moment. I am sometimes reminded of Joe when I find a black cloud inside a silver lining. All that came to mind when I watched this video clip. street orchestra from Ted Dunlap on Vimeo. Please take a couple minutes to watch the video. Any normal, well-balanced person would enjoy this unquestionably beautiful clip. It is warm and uplifting. They would simply stop there. Enjoy it. Appreciate it. Unfortunately, in the here-and-now, with the current situation in world affairs, […]

cultural advice

1. Never shake a man’s hand sitting down. 2. Don’t enter a pool by the stairs. 3. The man at the BBQ Grill is the closest thing to a king. 4. In a negotiation, never make the first offer. 5. Request the late check-out. 6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it. 7. Hold your heroes to a higher standard. 8. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas. 9. Play with passion or not at all… 10. When shaking hands, grip firmly and look them in the eye. 11. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be. 12. If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point. 13. Carry two handkerchiefs. The one […]

Bitterroot Blues Band

Saturday evenings from now to June will mean playing in the band for me … and a dozen +/- fellow musicians. Everyone I talk with about this is ENTHUSIASTIC. The support from the Darby Schools and Adult Ed staff is phenominal. I was hopefully optimistic when I launched the idea. Now I am EXCITED. My dream gig, what I really want to do musically is play 3rd trombone in a blues, jazz, swing or big band. All that has been available to me in Montana is playing upright bass in a weekly bluegrass jam. This idea to use the marketing, support and facilities of the Darby Schools Adult Ed program to share with potential fellow blues musicians has taken on […]

more on the snowflake culture

The blog Fred On Everything is almost always amusing, interesting and often very good. I ran across his posting on the snowflake culture the day after I published mine. He and I share a lot of perspectives. Believe it or not, he might be even a bit more of a crusty curmudgeon than I. I post a clip out of the middle, but you can go straight to the link to see the entirety of it. —————————   Firing the Pre-Pubertal Arquebus: A Sociological Treatise Posted on December 15, 2017 by Fred Reed “… I was there, in America: Athens, Alabama, at age twelve. Athens was small and Southern, drowsy in summer, kind of comfortable feeling, not much concerned with […]

Happy New Year

This is it. Serious observers tell us today is the shortest one of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The sun which has been hiding from us for more and more of the day since the Summer Solstice is finally going to start staying up longer. The world has been saved from cold, frigid darkness once again. Time to celebrate the birth of a new year. Cultures have been doing this forever, calling it various names, but the theme is always the same. While it may get colder for a while, sunlight, warmth and nature’s rebirth is on the way.

neighborhoods good and bad

The old man was working his garden by the road when a young couple drove up. They allowed as they were relocating and considering his area for their new home. But they wanted to know what the people in this area were like. How were they where you came from, he asked. Selfish, mean-spirited, unfriendly and unkind they replied. They are like that here too. Later that week the scenario was repeated with another couple. The people where they lived were wonderful, caring, sharing, helpful and friendly. To them he replied, They are just like that here. This evening once again the subject came up of the squatters who spent a year living off our generosity only to leave in […]

I hate XMas

I was a Christian. I understand the religious significance of Christmas. I also see quite clearly the crass mercantilism of today’s Christmas. ‘Tis the season to spend money, fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-laaa.’ The Christian holiday has been hollowed out… worse, hallowed out. That it is one of many winter solstice mythologies and religions is another aspect I am not dealing with at this moment. No, what is bugging me right now is the shorthand that predated the texting and Twitter prunings where nothing is spelled out; everything is abbreviated. X mas – pronounced EX MAS. What is that? A has-been mass. Is that like a used-up, Catholic religious service? Perhaps it refers to ex (outside of) the body, the whole, of the masses. […]