Ted’s essays

banashing bad dreams

Occasionally I will have dreams several nights in a row where my life is in extreme danger but the firearm I have does not match the ammunition available, I am unable to deploy not-quite available guns, am grossly out-gunned or some other failing. These dreams stop coming as soon as I take some time during the day, go to a range, and do some shooting … handgun, shotgun, rifle … what I shoot doesn’t seem to matter. Defenseless dreams disappear. Recently my wife and I seeemed to be on a streak of unpleasant dreams that did not involve shooting. They just weren’t good interpersonally or physically, and left us lying awake for longer than sweet dreams would have. Even the […]

time warp floor covering

Our bedroom has been mired in 70s shag carpet for two years of our residency. Obviously for over 40 years before as well. Who made this stuff thinking it would sell? What miracle of marketing moved it into people’s homes? What kind of people thought this looked good? Ever? Not me then, now or anywhere in between. Even more mind boggling is the nicely finished hardwood floor the red/orange/green shag hid. Yesterday we began the chore of moving OUT of our ‘master bedroom’, uncovering the hardwood, cleaning it up, hauling a couple hundred unwieldy pounds of stinky 50-year-old carpet outside, then moving back in. Today we finished moving back in and cutting the carpet into manageable, moderately-heavy, stinky chunks […]

emergency communication

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, once again I address the subject of what do you do when your phones and Internet stop working? Wonder and Nothing useful Are the two answers most people will default to. I know I am unusual in planning and preparing for such a scenario. I not only think of ME and mine, but want others to have value in their radios as well. So I produce an attractive, sturdy laminated card that they just might keep with their two-way radio enabling them to find value in it when no other means of mid-range communication is available. I hereby introduce GEN III of my cards. I will distribute as widely as […]

Darby Volunteer Fire Department – thank you

By happenstance I met two of the local firefighters in my yard last winter. They informed me that were I to request it, Darby VFD would send trucks and crews to monitor my slash piles during their more dangerous phases of burning down. I have been working over the last two years at reducing the fire hazards to our homestead and had developed four piles of brush and wood that were far too fuel-rich to burn without crews exactly like theirs. I made the call. They scheduled a “TRAINING” for yesterday evening. All of their trucks and many of their firefighters were on hand to keep the fire contained and as safe as possible. I am incredibly grateful. They […]

somebody moved Darby to Grangeville when I wasn’t looking

I haven’t dealt with snow at this level since I lived on the wet side of the Bitterroot Mountain Range. As wet air moves east into mountain ranges that make it go up the moisture is wrung out of it. That is meteoroligical fact from a century of experience. The west sides of the Sierras, Wasach and Bitterroots have all shown me this in real life, real time. Thus no real surprise a dozen years ago when I had to shovel 8 to 12 inches of snow off my sidewalk and driveway in Grangeville, Idaho, at the foot of the mountians dividing north Idaho from Montana. At a youthful 58 years old, removing 12 inches of snow on my sidewalks […]

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 […]

bells – bronze age relics are still valuable

In researching for this article I ran across a site diffen.com. I was looking to to clarify the difference between brass and bronze. What a cool tool they provide… there vs their … flu vs cold … ethnicity vs race … mold vs mildew … and so much more. Check them out. I bookmarked the site in my search/research tab. Among their differences are that bronze came from around 3500 BC, the beginning of “The Bronze Age”, or when this batch of humans figured out how to make things from metal. That was a pretty big deal. Around 3,000 years later came brass. I have dabbled with brass trombones for 60 years. I love the sound of ringing brass […]

misbehaving … again

My wife and I keep reminding me to act my age. That is easier said than done. On the other hand, FEELING MY AGE is a piece of cake. The theory is “I will do little bits per day” – therefore not abusing my 69-year-old body. Unfortunately, my ability to correctly estimate, or properly plan just what A Little Bit IS appears to be a weakness of mine. Somewhat understandable when I am doing things I have almost no experience doing. Take tiny concrete jobs for example. I was in my mid-20s the last time I fed an electric cement mixer with a shovel. It is not much harder today, but numerous body parts of mine complain afterwards. They didn’t […]

my idea of fun

I combined my projects requiring polyeurethane finishes to minimize use of paint brushes or brush cleaning. It was hard waiting for all of them, but this batch size was just about right for the sanding and painting phases. A new shelf over Missy’s kitchen window is sturdy, expansive and takes up virtually no space physically or visually. The mug rack fit neatly in, freeing up a little bit of shelf space, displaying some of our mug collection with a look I like. An interesting touch I put in was tipping the pegs up so gravity would help keep the mugs on them. The print on Missy’s monthly calendar has been too small for me to read unaided. I bought a […]

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 […]

feeling lucky

Not in the way supercop Clint Eastwood used the phrase … No, I am truly appreciating the good fortune that put me here … and now. Not quite a year into The Great Cleanup And Rehabilitation of the farmstead and TODAY I got the Round Tuit designated to my workbench. Okay, it is a reloading bench with other potential uses. The trick was to lower my expectations. This one is “TEMPORARY”. That means it doesn’t have to be perfect, or even as close to that as my rudimentary woodworking skills usually gets. I do not compromise on the engineering. NOTHING I build breaks. Period. That would be gross failure. Nope, nope and more nope. But Pretty? Wuffo? Then I sit […]

dog psychologist

Advice to a friend whose aging Akita has been supplemented with a Rotweiller cross pup. Pro bono, community service, I’m working my specialty for free ๐Ÿ˜‰ You have what could turn into an awesome wing-man dog. The Rotwieller side is ready to manifest in the right hands, the right home. HOWEVER, you and your Akita have turned you into a BARN-CAT type of dog lover. Yeah. Hi. Where’s the food. THX. TTFN. What you have is a dog who will fit great with an affectionate, but courageous leader. If his Man is fearless, this dog as an adult will go willingly, eagerly into any battle that comes their way… that is, as a team … for his man. But this […]