Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

motorhome winterizing tarp support

We are somewhat new to motorhome ownership, but have learned that in cold winter country it is best to not let moisture reside on the roof through thaw and freeze cycles. These wreck stuff. Not having a motorhome-sized barn means we need a Plan B. I engineered a teepee to hold the tarp up off the roof and overhang a foot on each side. I only took this project part-way as I am not sure yet if my wife is keeping this or selling our Leprechaun. So I designed, but have not purchased components nor built it out. I initially figured on using 1 1/4 inch PVC, but have decided that 1 inch will be plenty strong because of the […]

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 […]

Bitterroot Community Band

Thursday was our final Hamilton Band Shell performance of the 2018 season. We play together once more this year at the Ravalli County Fair Saturday September 1st at 3:00pm. We don’t know the composition of the band until the director strikes the downbeat. Last week was a record for the low brass section … not quite 76 trombones, but closer than I have ever seen us to it. Missy shot some videos of our tunes until the battery in my camera insisted she quit… part-way through the fourth song. My Canon point-n-shoot does not bill itself as a movie camera, and certainly has a low-end microphone, but you can get the gist of what we were up to last Thursday. […]

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 […]

last lift

Bosco was born Tuesday, February 6th. He came home at 8 weeks old … small. I took to weighing him every Tuesday. At 10 weeks he was 22.3 pounds. I climb on the scale with him in my arms, note our weight, then climb on without him and subtract the difference. It is not important, but a curiosity that somehow interests me. I log his weight on the calendar, then plug it in to http://www.puppychart.com/ for their projection of his likely adult weight. In April they were estimating just over 90 pounds when full grown. Today I picked him up for the last time. For one, he does not like it. He resists. That makes it harder. Then there’s the […]

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 […]

aye dee ten tee

I have been driving since I was about four years old. I am not talking about holding a steering wheel in order to get from one place to another, but actively, purposefully, concetrating on the art and science of really driving two, four and more wheeled vehicles. A real joy to me is getting 10 10ths of the capability out of the motor vehicle I am piloting. I have raced with many who think they are running the course at full chat, then give me a go in their car. Not occasionally, but every time, my first run in a car I have never driven before beats their best lap time. It is likely the only thing I am exceptional […]

happy birthday

I celebrated mostly by taking a break from my established PRIORITY ORDER for the infinite ToDo list. Today, if it wasn’t particularly fun or really bugging me, it was off for the day. Last autumn I had the evergreens shading our high-value, warming, southern exposure removed – or in three cases, turned into naked poles for future ham radio antennas. Several people have mentioned my “flag pole(s)” wondering what I am going to fly from it/them and when. That particular idea has been churning around in my subconscious for quite some time. What flag would I like to hoist at the entrance to our homestead? Ideally, it would be the flag I designed and produced representing the Thomas Jefferson […]