Global Skywatch

bells – bronze age relics are still valuable

In researching for this article I ran across a site diffen.com. I was looking to to clarify the difference between brass and bronze. What a cool tool they provide… there vs their … flu vs cold … ethnicity vs race … mold vs mildew … and so much more. Check them out. I bookmarked the site in my search/research tab. Among their differences are that bronze came from around 3500 BC, the beginning of “The Bronze Age”, or when this batch of humans figured out how to make things from metal. That was a pretty big deal. Around 3,000 years later came brass. I have dabbled with brass trombones for 60 years. I love the sound of ringing brass from […]

storage unit on wheels

The Missus bought a fixer-upper 80s Ford F350 van nose attached to a humongous (for it) 24-foot Leprechaun motor home a year ago. This project is NOT on my list. She finally found a shop to make it functional (plumbing works, but no water heater), but I had not been able to get excited about it. “Just think, Honey, the forest fires come ripping down our canyon, we throw what we can into the Leprechaun and can park in safety somewhere.” …. or whatever Bugout motivator you come up with. Crumb! I am neck-deep in getting this homestead where I want it after a year of working steadily at it. Bugout plans are NOT on my agenda. Besides, where would […]

I beat the zero-car-garage plague

There is a peculiar disease running rampant in the USofA. A huge percentage of the two-car garages in this country are so stuffed full of … uh, belongings … that the cars park outside. Hundreds of thousands of HoneyDo lists have “clean up the garage” on them. Of course one answer is the ubiquitous Storage Unit. There are probably one of those for every fifty people in every town from coast to coast. Exceptional people actually park two cars in their two car garage. A couple weeks prior to my first year anniversary of living in the new homestead, I achieved that level of exceptionalism. It feels GREAT! —————————————————————————- That actually came to fruition Sunday. Today I imagined, engineered, fabricated […]

food and health

Welcome to “Clean out my saved stories week”. Too many “Wow, that is really interesting” links have waited too long to be shared. In every clip I share a bit of the article while the headline is a click-able link to the whole thing at its source. Follow those links, then come on back for more. Waking Times has a very good article about FLAVOR. It starts off asking and answering the question of “Why is there flavor?” It then moves into the Dorito story, which is more about the creation and subsequent explosion in use of ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS. Which, of course, gets to the heart of the problem with all that. “I got deep into the science of flavor […]

12-volt lighting

Last month in Studio wired I showed you my breakthrough getting my studio 12-volt emergency lighting operating. I accomplished a couple of refinements recently. Besides the obvious advantages of having lights regardless of power grid failures, my 12-volt LEDs provide lighting options in addition to, instead of, or in combination with the various 110-volt lights I have installed. Prior to connecting up my antique meters, I was running on a gut-feeling that I had to be real conservative in my use of the 12-volt to avoid excessive depletion of the batteries, thus shortening their lives. The meters tell me I was wrong by A LOT. While modern digital meters consume almost no energy, my antique analog meters have a […]

my first Instructable

I have seen a few that captured my interest, but what really caught my eye was their contest for first-time Instructable authors. They didn’t mind at all that I had published most of it here in one way or another and at my own instructable website The Fixer .biz. So I re-crafted my coffee making posts into one targeted to their audience. I do think that exercise improved the product. https://www.instructables.com/id/Roast-Your-Own-Super-fresh-Gourmet-COFFEE/

minus 18

It is probably my fault. Yesterday some great friends helped me blow insulation into our attic. I still have not personally visited the attic, but it doesn’t take a certified HVAC engineer to ascertain the need. I observe the snow melting off our roof, the prodigious icicles hanging from the eves and the 90%-efficient gas central heater’s inability to heat this house without the woodstove’s help and know our ceiling insulation is way below adequate. While a licensed HVAC contractor could double the price, they could not significantly improve the result. Tiny-town supplier Darby Distribution includes free rental of the chopper-blower with purchase of insulation – two pallets worth in this case. Their price beats Home Depot while delivering […]

“How To” collection

Here is another batch of links I have been saving up for … uh, I dunno why I save such things, but here they are. Make your own glues This really clever article, thinking and practical recipes is a great find. I know I want to save them all, and gather up these ingredients. Good Things To Keep On Hand For Adhesive Making Flour Alum Corn Syrup Salt Glycerin Gum Arabic Clove Oil Gelatin Containers With The Ability To Remain Airtight Squeeze Bottles For Dispensing Easily and Precisely The Best Glue Alternatives and Substitutes ———————————————– Can You Make Soap Without Using Lye? (Here’s a Secret, Easy Way!) Natural Body & Home When I first became interested in making soap for […]

tool tango

We are a couple months shy of five years since we started our move from our big subdivision home in Kuna, Idaho with my self-insulated, 5-car-garage shop to the Conner, Montana cabin. I spent the majority of that time estranged from my major tools. I had visitation rights, but the tools were not where I lived. I will never forget the gratitude I owe the great friend who housed them in a fully functional shop for me eight miles away. But, they were not where I lived. Today I am doing the happy dance around my tools. First things first, I fired up the mongo wood burner. Spotty insulation keeps my shop from getting real warm on cold days, but […]

For Sale

I have some clearing out to do. I am posting the information and photos here so I can reference them from other sites. Of course if you are interested in any of it, send mail to Ted at BitterrootBugle dot com Flock of Chickens – $100 This is a nicely balanced flock with 15 hens in their prime, three of them had yet to start laying when winter set in. Quite a few breeds in this flock produce multi-colored eggs, brown, tan, blue and green. I thinned out 2 middle aged roosters a few months ago, keeping grandpa who the girls liked to hang out with and one who was too young to bother the hens. Two of the hens […]

I did math today

I have been off the air for A LONG TIME. As most of you know, I try to remain connected to the amateur radio bands – those folks who will still be able to share information over significant distances when the phones stop working. Since we began the move from our riverside cabin to The Homestead, I have been off the air. My FCC-licensed radio stations have been silent, and worse, unlistening. I have worked at remaining sanguine about it. As I continue to progress on EVERYTHING THAT HAS TO BE DONE, the radios I packed away several months ago will reappear … when they are supposed to … in the right order, in the grand scheme of things. […]

fresh roasted coffee

This morning is the one where I savor the coffee I roasted yesterday. High-end roasters consider their coffee ready 14 hours after it was roasted and too old after 48 hours. I compromise by roasting about once a week. I don’t notice any degradation in flavor as the week progresses, but the day after roasting is deliciously exciting. Today is that day. My how to instructions: Text and photos of my roasting with links to suppliers.

barn boiler

My barn shop has a huge boiler-heater-woodstove that strikes me as well suited for powering a freight train across the continent a century ago. I’m thinking it might be just a bit much for my barn, though with the hopscotch ceiling insulation, my little fires in the middle of this only get the workspace up to 50 degrees or so. The limiting factor in this installation is overheating the nearby sawdust-board wall. It has scars from prior excursions into the way-too-hot zone, and I did feel it too hot to handle when I had a cranking-good fire going one time. Thus I must settle for less heat and scheme on better sealing of the ceiling. Besides, when I’m working, 50 […]

metric Montana draftsman

Earlier this year I decided to give go at using metric measurements. That system has many advantages facilitating gauging and related calculations. For target ranging through optical scopes using mil-dots, plus calculating hold-offs and hold-overs, it is far more fluid than the MOA, foot, inch, yard system. Thus I have lived in a mixed-system world for the last six months. Setting up my new studio, radio shack, reloading, hobby area requires quite a bit of design, millwork and cabinetry … all needing to be done before I could have a nice mechanical drawing station set up. I am incredibly happy with the cheesy little 30-dollar “interim” drawing board I bought to draw plans for my drawing table and more. I […]