Ted’s essays

Ham license class begins February 1st

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. Run with your talents. Every person who has come to all of the class sessions and studied two or more hours between sessions passed the FCC Technician License Exam at the end. […]

New Year’s Eve – country boy style

Early to bed. Early to rise. Get a good start on accomplishing useful things next year.

Merry Christmas

It is too easy to treat every day just like every other, but I do like to change it up once in a while with a special occasion. This is one I have been around all my life. No longer believing in the Little Town Of Bethlehem story has not diminished it much for me. I like everyone saying, “Merry Christmas”, sharing smiles and goodwill towards all of us. I enjoy sharing a widely understood non-work-day with friends and family. We KNOW nobody is working today. We are not supposed to be productive. Just relax and enjoy the companionship… unless you are the one who feeds the tribe. Hopefully we all do make sure she is having a wonderful day. […]

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 […]

Tuba Christmas Friday in Missoula

and many, many other cities throughout the USofA. This Friday, Dec 13th, 2019 at 7:00 pm in Southgate Mall Lucky’s Court Brooks St Missoula a platoon of musicians gather to make joyous noise with their tubas. They are open-minded enough to embrace players of euphoniums, baritones and Sousaphones as well, which makes for a marvelous combination of voices. Speaking of voices, they highly encourage the audience to join them by singing the Christmas Carols that are so familiar to those of us who grew up in this country. They typically play the first time through to the appreciative audience, then a second verse joined by hundreds of happy voices. As proof of this event’s popularity, it has been going on […]

*NEW* 1958 Conn 6H trombone

Based on wonderful reviews, I connected up with the Slide Doctor in Dawsonville Georgia, received their custom slide shipping packaging, sent it back with my old slide, and a couple days ago received back a trombone slide that is as close to perfect as I have ever touched… and they advise it will get better after a brief break-in period. WOW! I had worked it over with brass cleaning chemicals, abrasives, tools, and hand-straightening … I was hot stuff and got it about as good as it gets … so I thought. Recently I started wondering if the comparative smoothness of my 13-year-old Conn 88 slide might be a significant reason I play it almost all the time and the […]

dog stress management techniques

I have been ‘a dog guy’ my entire life. They and I understand each other. Some call it “Being able to speak Dog”. As with human-to-human interaction that actually means more listening than speaking. Thus, when the article below arrived in my e-mail, I recognize its truths. Dogs fully live in the moment without fretting over past or future. Most excell at relaxation, but apply extreme vigor to their exercise periods. This applies far more to confident dogs, who are usually larger than average. Those are the ones I am attracted to. Among the top dogs in my history for that was Opie, my 125-pound Newfoundland runt who is responsible for my interest in Mastiff relatives. Beagle Brain, our […]

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 […]

enemy of the state

I am in good company.  Perhaps the greatest ever is Murray Rothbard (March 2, 1926 – January 7, 1995). I use the present tense because he not only was an economic, cultural and political genius, he also was a prolific author of books that clearly explained the real world in contrast to the ones the supreme charlatans would have us believe in. His lessons live on through his writings and his students. I am a relatively inconsequential disciple of his, with America’s Great Depression and What Has Government Done to Our Money? among the more significant books in my reference library. Those two, by the way, along with Albert Jay Nock’s Our Enemy, The State and F. A. Hayek’s The […]

Bitterroot threat analysis

With a little help from my friends, we developed a current list of threats we could imagine to the world as we know it – specifically, our little corner of the world. The process, and threats are applicable to much of our country. Developing a useful list is a four step process. It is best to have several minds involved. I doubt the results change significantly from four participants to fourteen or more, but there is a minimum number to have the synergy of ideas from one triggering thoughts from another. 1) Brainstorm a list Hewlett Packard taught this for working in groups. It had to be fast, fun and friendly. Ideas came out and were scribed onto the board […]

The Amateur’s Code

An anonymous gift through the Darby Library for me was a binder containing PREPAREDNESS COMMUNICATIONS written by David Pruett / KF7ETX. It covers Ham radios, non-Ham optons, communications plans, study and other resources. Some new, some refresher, all well organized. I was particularly taken with this cultural bit written by a licensed amateur radio operator ninety years ago. Modern hams would do well to pay attention. While much has changed, the desirable personal attributes have not. I typed it in as written. – Ted – P.S. The photo is from my archives. I have no idea who it is, but doubt it is Paul Segal. It simply represents what amateur radio stations used to look like. The Amateur’s Code by […]

Who has my back?

A friend who rarely goes out unarmed was relating the attitude expressed by some in a hiking group of hers. Me, carry a defensive weapon??? Why should I, Jane has my back? (not her name) The question then becomes who has Jane’s back? Many of us are defensively armed for more than personal preservation. It is a civic duty, and obligation we feel for our community – both large and small. Could I watch a handful of thugs beat somebody to death? … and live with myself??? I know the answer is a lifetime of nightmares and recriminations about what I should have done. Yet I have no hopes of ever becoming a martial arts master … other than […]