Ted’s essays

dogsled race support

I helped provide comms for the Darby Dog Derby sled dog races and skijourning this weekend. A club engineer set up 7 old-school GMRS radios with a suitcase repeater to handle a set of races with 8-dog teams doing 24-mile route and the 6, 4, 2 and 1-dog teams doing less. Only 1 other HAM was willing to join me. Fortunately my GMRS license covered the entire team for legality sake. We all learned a lot. The snowmobile club providing primary logistical support now appreciates some of the value 2-way radios bring. The sled dog club LOVES us and are now thinking about how useful radio is for what they do every weekend, not to mention the huge value we […]

advice to myself

Many people ponder what they would advise their younger selves. That assumes some extremely unlikely things beginning with time travel and including young people taking advice from elders. But these flights of fancy push those aside for purposes of exploring how life’s turns work… or coulda. Make friends with Colonel Sears (the neighborhood ham radio operator). Hams in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s are ahead of what will become an explosion in electronic technology. Learning about the world of amateur radio will provide a foundation for a massive world of electronics to come. Take Karate lessons… assuming you can find them. Self-defense will always be a handy thing to have. Karate teaches much more including self discipline, control and respect […]

fell off the wagon

I strayed. I behaved so well for so long. I suppose it was inevitable. Nobody could keep it up forever. I spent May 29th as a 97%-er. I worked like the dickens for political solutions. I pulled The Libertarian Party of Idaho out of the dark corner in a Boise pub and into a world with a growing number of enthusiastic activists… only to find myself dragging the rowboat across the desert while people jumped on board to cheer me on. I ran for governor of Idaho twice, comported myself very well on state-wide televised debate… to get about 6,000 votes or roughly the same as Marvin Pro Life who ranted at the audience that they were all going to […]

signal flags

Bob’s boat name in signal flags Bob’s boating pictures

project polishing

I finished a couple of little projects today. I had lamented the arrival of hard-frozen ground before I could get the grade I envisioned for my new riverside entry door. Nature gave me a reprieve and thawed back out long enough for me to get to it. I ran the neighbor’s tractor until it was so dark the only thing I could see was my breath in the frozen air… in-other-words, it was cold and dark when I quit. This morning I took a rake to it. It was surprisingly close, considering the crudeness of the tractor and quality of the working conditions. Now it can freeze to its heart’s content and I can add the walkway gravel and compost […]

chimney stabalizer

Our new woodstove was not drawing well enough. It was hard to start and the flow inadequate to keep the chimney clean. I had to extend it. That created its own problem as the chimney was now just a stiff wind from being blown down. The ideal stabilizer setup was not available, so I had to improvise. Setting the two struts at 90-degrees from each other would be perfect. But punching holes in roofs always adds risk and maintenance issues. So I really wanted side-mounting to the dormer to work, but the spread between the widest mounting points is woefully narrow. Triangles are a builder’s friend I picked up a couple of two-by-twos, my handsaw, screws, washers and set my […]

spinning plates

You may be familiar with keeping the plates spinning metaphor. Competent managers can keep numerous tasks, projects and/or people going the right direction much like a juggler keeps multiple plates spinning on sticks or a housewife operates a home. At some point, however, one might realize there are just too dang many plates on sticks. I finally started grabbing plates and setting them down gently on the floor. What do I really want to get DONE in the near future? WINTER IS COMING SOON! I am IT. I am the limiting factor. I am not managing some great team or crew. I darn well better focus on one task at a time starting with the more important ones and working […]

logger back

It has been weeks since I had any back pain or sciatica symptoms. After just over a year of those two severely limiting my mobility and abilities, this is very good news indeed. Chief among the good parts is feeling healthy, strong and able to do whatever I want to get done. Way down the list, but still there is the validation of my choices in treatments. The links that follow here are some of the milestones I blogged about in the 13 months I spent from initial overdoing-it injury to the point I felt healthy and ready to report to work. I am compiling and posting this as a reminder to self – for reasons that will become clear […]

river hangout

The river has come down a foot or so and we are a month older than pictured here, but it’s the photo I have available for this thought. I just opened the windows to let the evening cool take the temperature down in the house. Mid-morning tomorrow it will be rising to 70 degrees outside while indoors has cooled to that temperature. That’s when we close the windows. At this moment we are just under 80 inside and 68 outside. That is Bitterroot Montana air conditioning. Off grid. No electricity needed. The real beautiful part is the sound as I open the windows. A river running by. Oh yeah, a vehicle on the highway every few minutes at this time […]

saying “NO” to myself

  Claire Wolfe Getting to No You Thursday, June 26th, 2014 You’ve decided you need to say no. To new volunteer obligations. Impositions on your privacy. Visits from relatives. Extra projects at work. Co-workers who crowd you. Whatever. (Maybe even to government, but more about that another time.) But somehow no never quite ends up meaning no. Because this request for your time is so vital. And that request is just one small thing. And because it’s easier to just do it than to put all that energy into refusing again … Real change has to begin with an ultimatum to yourself: No means no. No exceptions. No special cases. Above all no “Just this one time, please?” No. […]

May Day treat

Andrea and jamie brought themselves to our humble home, and neighborhood for a visit. It was WONDERFUL. The original plan had her two sisters along, but in spite of the disappointment their begging off this trip brought, it turned out to be a great time for us all. I don’t know how we could have squeezed any more into it. You can go over to Free Missy.com for another view of the event… along with some other photos. One of my favorites that she didn’t post is this one, catching Andrea doing her professional, avocational and much enjoyed thing. She really does combine knowledge, education, talent and artistic sense with cameras and composition. And, to credit the unsung talent […]


This was a great day with my then new AR-10 shooting Remington Gold Medal Match ammo. I have been trying like the dickens to replicate or improve on the accuracy with tailored hand-loads, but having no luck. Of course hitting these targets at 200 yards is a challenging act to follow. Heck, I hope I can do it again real soon.