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 […]

Ted’s auto shop open for business

I haven’t had this since moving from Idaho to Montana. No big deal, but sometimes the little things are bigger than they look. The “shop annex” extension we put in last summer gave me the ability to do auto work in my shop. That little space made a big difference. Today Missy bought me a mechanics rolling stool in exchange for me swapping her Mercedes from winter to summer shoes. Good deal for both of us. I pulled off the tire swap without blowing out my knees. That has not happened for years. Nice to know a simple, inexpensive tool can extend my mechanical capabilities.

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 […]

machete

I would guess I have had a favorite machete for over 30 years. Since our move that began in August I do not think I have seen it – Not lost, but not found yet either. However, I needed my machete sooner rather than whenever. Searching the Internet uncovers many choices, a large number of which do not understand the tool … more charitably, their customers have something else in mind. A machete is a brush hacking instrument. It may serve other roles, but first, foremost, primarily, by design, and by function it must be a good brush hacking instrument. Weight, balance, blade length, handle, edge and all factors must hold up to whacking branches, canes, saplings and such for […]