Global Skywatch

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. […]

practical, tactical communications training

We have a unique opportunity coming to the Bitterroot. It is a big deal to have this particular North Carolina based trainer offering these classes here. For me, traveling there will never happen no matter how high-value the training is. The timing of next month’s classes does not suit my personal needs, but I am adjusting to fit the offering. Opportunity doesn’t always knock at the moment you are prepared to open the door. Take it on its terms and schedule … or miss it. The local sponsoring organization looks credible, possibly excellent. You can do your own research on The Order of the White Rose. The Hamilton, Montana classes may well include a number of people I will prize […]

When you need work done, ask the old guys

An even dozen mailboxes are clustered where the gravel road meets the paved one. A large, very old, rotten timber holds up 8 of them while the other four perch atop various posts that are as individual as the homeowners who added their mailbox to the row. In all, a very random collection with only one at the US Postal Service mandated 40″ height. Last Monday we all received notices from the post office that our mailboxes needed to meet the 40″ minimum. I responded with printed notes in each mailbox inviting all to a work party at 0900 Saturday to raise them all together. One man telephoned me to say he couldn’t make next Saturday, but wanted to help. […]

Radio Field Day at Hamilton Airport

Amateur radio’s biggest event of the year is this weekend all across the USofA. The main event is to encourage individuals, groups, clubs and teams to deploy their radios into “field locations” – that is, to set up and practice the use of mobile, temporary radio communication centers. Part of the game is to contest and see how many contacts each unit can make across the nation. That particular aspect of the program runs from noon Saturday to noon Sunday. The Bitterroot Amateur Radio Club (BARC) typically will share contact information with other temporary field stations in 20 or more states during the 24-hour contest period. This also happens to be the weekend of Hamilton’s annual Fly In, which this […]

Freedomista gathering in Spokane this week

The Red Pill Expo starts this Thursday. Awesome speakers Great topics Wonderful people I promised myself when I found this one would be nearby in Spokane, Washington that I would FERSHUR not miss it this year. I have heard good stuff about these events, the line up is stellar, and the opportunity to spend a couple days with my peers would be a highlight of the year. Unfortunately, it coincides with national amateur radio Field Day where I promised to play certain roles in support of local alternative and emergency communications. Now I remember how I miss it every year. Rats! BUT, you probably do not have the same conflict. Check it out. Give serious consideration to participating. The Red […]

BEARS in the air

BEARS Bitterroot Emergency Amateur Radio Services —————————– When normal communications systems – phone lines, cell phones, internet, 911-call-centers, broadcast TV & radio – are unavailable or overtaxed, amateur radio can provide flexible communications resources. MISSION Provide our neighborhoods and communities with a pool of trained radio operators, technicians and resources to deliver essential communications during emergencies. ———————————————————- BEARS is an organization dedicated to preparing, practicing for, and being able to provide radio communications via amateur radio whenever requested , whether for emergencies or planned events throughout and beyond the Bitterroot whenever radio is superior, or other means of communication are compromised We are eager, able and willing to work with related organizations and other emergency service providers, but retain […]

Small Town Automotive

by Jeffrey Nichols A friend wrote this essay as a college assignment. I liked it on many levels and, with permission, republish it here. By the way, the dilapidated pickup he mentions is mine. The high-G ‘rat-rod’ CRX Nick custom-built an exhaust system for is also mine. Planning to show my high-G rat-rod next to Jeff’s similar one was the reason I went to the Memorial Day car show. But on to the pleasant guest essay… I took the drive down from Missoula and walked in the back door the other day. Under a dilapidated blue S10 pickup Ben Roland, my father’s current grease-monkey-in-training, gave me the most sincere ear to ear grin a guy could ask for. His arms […]

Memorial Day Car Show

The Hamilton Montana Bitterrodders car club helped put on a fund raising car show for the Valley Veterans Service Center on a beautiful Memorial day. It was cleverly designed where people showing their cars donated ten bucks to the cause and admirers voted for their favorite cars by putting dollar bills in the cups in front of each. I put my “rat rod CRX” in as a minor contribution. Someone (not me, I swear) put a buck in the cup in front of my car … a sympathy vote, fershur. […]

Bitterroot Blues Band primary charts

Every Saturday evening from late January into June we are meeting in the Darby High School music room for music making. I arrive, open up and warm up around 4:30pm. Downbeat (we start) at 5:00pm and quit officially at 6, but rarely quit on time. This page is a direct copy of the one I posted this morning at Teddunlap.net. The references that make sense there may not quite here. I wrote this for the musicians who are part of our Saturday band, but share it for anyone who might consider joining us, or are just curious. Do not count on me to bring your music printouts. There are just too many variables. I cannot anticipate how many of which […]

Bitterroot Blues Band charts

The Bitterroot Blues Band is a Spring 2018 Darby Adult Education class. This one is open to 16-18-year-old musicians at no cost, as long as they fit in with the rest of the musicians. I encourage young, old and in-between to join us, or at least come by to see if you might want to. We meet in the Darby High School music room on Saturday evenings. I open the doors at 4:30. Downbeat is at 5:00. Class ends officially at 6:00. We usually stay a bit late. We are scheduled every Saturday to June 30th. Class fees are $48 regular, $24 for 60-and-above, free for students under 18. Download the tunes I have digitized below. down_by_the_riverside_G_bass clef down_by_the_riverside_G_ guitar […]

Bitterroot chiropractor

There may be others like him, but I have not met one close. My family and I have taken advantage of chiropractors for 35 years … with great success, always with provable results, well worth their fees. Dr. Daniel Wolf, D.C. 217 North Third Street #A Hamilton, Montana 363-1790 Stands head and shoulders above all of them. He is refreshingly practical, pragmatic, honorable and extremely affordable. All that while delivering great results time after time. Most noticeable differences: He is the office staff. He has ONE equipped treatment room rather than a collection of gadgets He has never recommended or scheduled return visits. You will know when to come back. Give me a call. He charges a quarter of the […]

Bitterroot Blues Band

Saturday evenings from now to June will mean playing in the band for me … and a dozen +/- fellow musicians. Everyone I talk with about this is ENTHUSIASTIC. The support from the Darby Schools and Adult Ed staff is phenominal. I was hopefully optimistic when I launched the idea. Now I am EXCITED. My dream gig, what I really want to do musically is play 3rd trombone in a blues, jazz, swing or big band. All that has been available to me in Montana is playing upright bass in a weekly bluegrass jam. This idea to use the marketing, support and facilities of the Darby Schools Adult Ed program to share with potential fellow blues musicians has taken on […]

Bitterroot Blues Band

Blues begat country. Rock came from blues. Swing, Dixieland and jazz also evolved from the blues. Blues is a familiar form of music to most of us, even if we don’t know it. The best part of music is making it; playing your own instrument. That is what we will be doing Saturday evenings this semester thanks to the Darby Adult Education program. Our foundation will be the blues, but we will drift into one or more of its offspring depending on desires of the participating musicians. Community‎ > ‎Adult Ed‎ > Course Calendar We are excited to announce our Course Calendar! Please read below for course descriptions. You can register online TODAY. Course Registration Deadline is Friday, January 26th. […]

Darby Dog Derby

The Bitterroot Mushers are running their 11th annual sled dog races January 13th & 14th, 2018 at Lost Trail Pass at Gibbons Pass Road. That is mile marker ZERO. It is as close to you as whatever your nearest Highway 93 mile marker indicates. That is to say, sled dog racing has practically come to you so you don’t have to go to it. This is the fourth time I will be spearheading radio communications throughout the course for this event. We all learn from experience, and we have had several teaching moments for the comms team in gear, setup, deployment and use. We have also become a highly prized part of their race organization. Other partners include the Bitterroot […]