Ted’s essays

wonderful cookies

I shared this recipe on my website over six years ago. I still have not tasted a cookie that approached these really delicious, relative nutritious ones. I remember a road trip where I lived on these for the entire drive from sunrise to sunset. I am hankering to make a batch … well mostly to consume a batch, but the one normally has to precede the other. I notice I do not have any photographs of these jewels. I will return to this post and add the photo after I get a chance to see one. Here is the recipe as I published it in January 2014. Some time back when my metabolism allowed me to make and savor cookies […]

Stone Soup Kitchen

TEOTWAWKI, The End Of The World As We Know It is upon us. We are in the early stages, but the normal we had a year ago will not return in our lifetimes. We had a warning in Spring and have been granted a short reprieve, but it would be foolhardy to squander the next month. Every analysis I read and see indicates The Change will get worse, soon… much, much worse, and frightfully soon. I share much of that at this website and will continue to do so. Meanwhile, most of us agree that we have at least one good month to build our pantries. Few expect supplies to be as plentiful and easily accessed past October. Hardly any […]

snow season snapshot

I start here with the pretty stuff. This twelve-second video clip is the view out my studio window when the fat, fluffy flakes fly. Regardless of the work it brings to keep the walkways and driveways clear for safe travel, this classic snow falling look is calm and peaceful to watch from a nicely heated home. Next up is a movie of the work portion this recent storm brought me. On prior occasions I was under-dressed for blowing snow. I geared up with mask, goggles, super mittens and, well, I was quickly overheated and had to shed some of what you see in this video. snow blowing from Ted Dunlap on Vimeo. When we took on this new homestead […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Bitterroot Ham class starts Saturday

I am reposting this to catch any stragglers. Response has been good enough to assure the class will take place. I will know in a few days how many new FCC license holders will be testing mid-May. One thing that holds many potential licensed hams back is their lack of electronics, radio, electrical or related background. I absolutely promise that electro-mechanical incompetents can and do pass this test. Another question I get is the expense. Paperback Technician Manuals are $30. Spiral-bound are $33. The testing session costs $17. Passing your first test earns you the FCC Technician license with no further costs between now and renewal ten years from now. Radios can be purchased for $25. It goes up…up…up from […]

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 […]

my multi-lingual woodshop

I measure, speak, write and calculate in inch-foot as well as metric. Of course when I am purchasing materials at the hardware and building supply stores I have to use feet, inches and fractions thereof. But when it comes to working on my own, metric is typically easier to use. Finding the middle of a piece three feet eight and a quarter inches long is not as easy as dividing 112 centimeters in half. Millimeters handsomely split centimeters into tenths. 52.5 is easy to remember, repeat and work with compared to 1 foot 8 and 3/16 inches. I am much more likely to get the right number working with metrics than “a bit over 18 3/4”. Changing scales is also […]

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 […]

semi-auto mousetrap, Gen III

In response to what I have experienced as a chicken rancher, I just built my third semi-auto mousetrap. The first one had to be inside a chicken coop that had baby chicks along with adult chickens and roosters. I had to study up to figure out a way to eliminate a major community of mice who were eating chicken feed, drinking their water and, most importantly depositing mouse poop all over everything. The odds on their creating an unhealthy environment were very high. While the essence of this device came from other people, I adapted, adjust and re-invented it my own way. . . . . . . . One of the features I did not like from my […]

12-volt lighting

Last month in Studio wired I showed you my breakthrough getting my studio 12-volt emergency lighting operating. I accomplished a couple of refinements recently. Besides the obvious advantages of having lights regardless of power grid failures, my 12-volt LEDs provide lighting options in addition to, instead of, or in combination with the various 110-volt lights I have installed. Prior to connecting up my antique meters, I was running on a gut-feeling that I had to be real conservative in my use of the 12-volt to avoid excessive depletion of the batteries, thus shortening their lives. The meters tell me I was wrong by A LOT. While modern digital meters consume almost no energy, my antique analog meters have a […]