Bitterroot Bugle post categories

Global Skywatch

Carnivorous Plants

I was a fill-in presenter today at the local garden club meeting, doing a show and tell about the green carnivores I share my space with. One of the gardening ladies suggested there was a certain justice were they to take a chunk out of us after all the plant eating we have done. The one on the right is a Nepenthes ampullaria x hamata that somehow thrives in the imperfect conditions I provide. Mostly north east glass in a laundry room that had always attracted most flies who made it into our house. We really didn’t have many this year. Perhaps that is why this plant is thriving in sub-optimal conditions. The flies disappeared into the pitchers rather […]

time warp floor covering

Our bedroom has been mired in 70s shag carpet for two years of our residency. Obviously for over 40 years before as well. Who made this stuff thinking it would sell? What miracle of marketing moved it into people’s homes? What kind of people thought this looked good? Ever? Not me then, now or anywhere in between. Even more mind boggling is the nicely finished hardwood floor the red/orange/green shag hid. Yesterday we began the chore of moving OUT of our ‘master bedroom’, uncovering the hardwood, cleaning it up, hauling a couple hundred unwieldy pounds of stinky 50-year-old carpet outside, then moving back in. Today we finished moving back in and cutting the carpet into manageable, moderately-heavy, stinky chunks […]

smart toilets and backup plans

There is no apparent end of Big Brother’s interest in your affairs. The super-toxic 5G is coming regardless of scientific and public protests. Total connectivity to everything about us is coming as fast as they can set it up. And the great masses jump on each offering with blind unbridled enthusiasm. Smart toilets are rushing into modern homes where people don’t want the complexity of operating that little chrome handle all by themselves. Oh there are other features, fershur, but one might think twice about where that takes them. Toto’s newest smart john, the Intelligence Toilet II, is proving that it is more than an ordinary porcelain throne by recording and analyzing important data like weight, BMI, blood pressure, […]

Darby Volunteer Fire Department – thank you

By happenstance I met two of the local firefighters in my yard last winter. They informed me that were I to request it, Darby VFD would send trucks and crews to monitor my slash piles during their more dangerous phases of burning down. I have been working over the last two years at reducing the fire hazards to our homestead and had developed four piles of brush and wood that were far too fuel-rich to burn without crews exactly like theirs. I made the call. They scheduled a “TRAINING” for yesterday evening. All of their trucks and many of their firefighters were on hand to keep the fire contained and as safe as possible. I am incredibly grateful. They […]

20 gauge youth pump as #1 home defense weapon choice

8 gauge shotgun An intelligent man watching his wife at 60% of his muscle, meat and bone shoulder, hold and fire my lovely Mossberg 590A Special Purpose would find it disproportionate. In simpler terms, “This ain’t right”. Simply holding it up is far more effort for her than he. Then the 12 gauge recoil kicks in. Mister 200-pound tough guy is moved slightly by it. If he is fortunate enough to have a cute 110-pound mate, it rocks her world. Idiots and those of frail egos are amused. Intelligent men see lack of balance. For proportion Mr Weak Ego should track down an 8-gauge shotgun and fire off a dozen rounds. He might be getting the point somewhere along the […]

low down two flushers

A four flush is a poker hand that is one card short of being a full flush. Four flushing refers to empty boasting or unsuccessful bluffing, and a four flusher is a person who makes empty boasts or bluffs when holding a four flush. Also a lowly, disreputable cheat or fraudster, especially at cards, especially a dull or unimaginative one. Four-score years ago toilets in the USofA were designed by engineers and manufacturers who made them to work efficiently, thus creating a reputation for superior products and thriving in the free market of plumbing supplies. Along came congresscritters of ill repute who happily allowed mega-businessess to suck semi-arid regions dry in order to sell trainloads of water in plastic bottles, […]

letting go

Parents, grandparents, siblings and good friends often enable destructive bahavior. Letting go is quite difficult, but more often than not is the right answer. The Declaration of Independence jumped into my head: …a long train of abuses and usurpations… We forgive, cover-for, assist, fret, lose sleep and so-on while they flit in and out of acceptable behavior. It is a show I watched from ringside a generation ago, though then I missed darn near every clue while I struggled to make my business feed and house us all. I am one row back today, but able to play reruns in the face of similar behaviors. Most likely, there was nothing I could do then to change the trajectory. I’m pretty […]

sticker removal

We bought our first new vehicle in 13 years, a Polaris Sportsman 570 with plow. It teamed up with our snow blower to make dealing with a yard full of snow possible. See snow shoveling for old men for a more thorough coverage of that. Other benefits of this particular tool include a lot of brush clearing on my agenda that by itself did not justify this micro-tractor. Yesterday I was getting around to installing its license plate and the sticker proclaiming we paid the US Forest Service for the privelege of traveling in our own forests. But where the heck does that sticker go. The legal department at Polaris has covered every square inch of contiguous flat real estate […]

gear reviews

I have read of, seen photos and videos of five star rating factories in China. It used to be that eBay, Amazon and others gave shoppers great value in their reviews and ratings. Price being equal, purchasing equations favored online because the ratings and reviews led you from the poorly designed or constructed to the good stuff. No more. Large buildings stuffed with cheap computers, great Internet access and hundreds of full-time low-wage workers crank out reviews for products undeserving of one five star rating, let alone thousands of them. An average review rating of 4 1/2 stars may well mean ten honest one-star review being overwhelmed by the manufacturer’s ratings factory. Reviews now read like e-mail or Craigslist scams: […]

big picture planning

A good friend was rambling on about his latest knowledge seeking topic. He is a major fan of YouTube learning, often following a particular subject down whatever rabbit holes they lead to. He is very intelligent, retaining near-encyclopedic knowledge on an impressively wide range of topics. But he does lose focus on his own priorities from time to time. Yesterday evening was one of those. So I brought my white board into play. I scribed and organized while he gave me his list and quantified the items there. His list is not the subject I want to share with you. I encourage you, on the other hand, to go through the process occasionally. White boards, chalk boards, super-sized computer displays […]

snow shoveling for old men

Recognizing the area requiring snow removal FAR EXCEEDED my shoveling capabilities I bought the Ariens snow blower when I moved here August 2017. Age and way too much snow caught up with me. My wrists, right arm, knees and back were not up to the amount of supplemental shoveling required here. Enter our new Polaris Sportsman with plow. HOORAY!!! This combination of tools is exactly what I need to maintain our driveway and parking spaces without beating myself to incapacity. In a week and a half I have become convinced I own the right tools. The combination is perfect with each complimenting the other. I still use the snow shovel and snow pushers a little, but there is very little […]

punch in the kitchen

I don’t pretend to be a chef, but have not hurt myself or my daughters when required to produce regular meals. My wife displaced me out of my (our) kitchen when she moved in with me. I rarely make it back with our current division of labor, but she does appreciate my forays there when I do. Why? She doesn’t have to cook for one meal, which is rather minor compared to: I bring fresh perspective, ideas and flavors to our meals. Kitcheneers all do it. I haven’t met the person who can keep fresh and new coming day after day, week after week and year after year. It is that freshness that really makes it interesting to have a […]

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 […]