Bitterroot Bugle post categories

Global Skywatch

being 17 again for an hour

Years before I entered high school, my dad began teaching me the game he LOVED and excelled at. I entered a high school of 3,000 baby boomers (and graduated) as a distinctly small boy of 5’2″, 98 pounds, but was the 3rd best tennis player on the team all three of my high school years. I was the only one who could beat the coach because the better players followed the muscle-bound pin-head’s instructions while I was not so predictable. Tennis is a fast-paced, thinking, strategy game with an athletic skill set thrown in. I enjoyed the game then, but only found tennis partners once or twice after that. The last five years has found me teaching quite a few […]

kicking the hornet’s nest

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined. — Patrick Henry A good friend and fellow practical philosopher has been regularly telling me over the last few years that It has to break in order to fix the myriad messes that have evolved in our current world human societies. Over the years others who I share mutual respect with have tried to get me into that frame of reference. But that has always been too much for me to accept. I have spent a great deal of myself over the last two decades working to avert exactly […]

art

I passed my art final. That’s tongue-in-cheek. Nobody fails Bruce’s Introduction to Pastels class, gets graded or judged in any way. He encourages all of us to find ourselves AND lose ourselves in our art. As I mentioned in my March 3rd post painting with pastels, he conferred an Artistic License on each of us. I am not particularly good at colors, shades, contrasts, non-obective art, and, well, any of it. I do, however, enjoy spending time right-brain-ing it; moving out of the puritanical world I often immerse myself in. Moreover, I recognize that only by exercising the medium and my left brain will I improve any of those areas where I am weak. Following my final class, I vow […]

constitutional sheriff

Elizabeth Hodge interviewed me when I was running for Ada County sheriff. I just tripped over it today. The interview explains the concept as well as I have seen it done. It is still valid, and incredibly valuable to those USofA counties who have elected constitutional sheriffs. Coming out of nowhere with no significant support, I shocked the 20-year incumbent by garnering 40,943 votes. The incumbent was startled. He had not been in any contest that close, and sure as heck didn’t expect it from my campaign. Unfortunately, it was only 26% of the votes. I suspect $10,000 in campaign finances could have won it for us. I’m happy nobody did that to me. I like where I am. […]

comfortable solitude

I gave it no thought while living it, but realize today just how unique I was growing up. I spent A LOT of time alone without being “a loner”. I graduated high school standing 5’2, weighing 98 pounds without ever feeling small. I spent countless days wandering the adjacent woods. Occasionally my neighborhood friends would wander with me. Most often it was just me and the dog. I played individual sports, team sports, yet could spend hours alone shooting hoops or pounding tennis balls against the wall. I decided I wanted to pitch for our little league team. I built a wooden strike zone target and spent hours, days, weeks by myself throwing baseballs through each corner of it. Of […]

painting with pastels

It is official I am an artist You can plainly see I now have my Artistic License I came by it honestly Made it myself ———— I have long been wanting to do more drawing and painting than will fit in the little squares of my wall calendar with Sharpie pens. I never quite get around to it. Years ago I inherited some water color tools from my Step Dad. Even that did not get me started. So I signed up for the Pastel Painting class the Bitterroot College offered this January/February. THAT WORKED. I did a lot of gearing up for a type of painting I had not considered, but it turns out I really like the medium. […]

The Blizzard of ’19 saga continues

As western Montana digs its way out of epic snow. No strangers to significant winter snowfall, schools, businesses and government agencies in Darby, Hamilton and Missoula cried, “DISASTER!” with closures and shutdowns all up and down the Bitterroot. This last week was more than they were able to handle. In my neighborhood I have seen just about every type of tractor, truck, tracked and all-wheel-drive vehicle with snow moving capability running up and down our road as people scramble to hire snow management beyond what they were set up to do on their own. Two different communities in the upper Bitterroot each had two out of four of their snowplows break down. Of course this stuff happens at the worst […]

personal nostalgic moment

Reconnecting with an old friend brought my ‘5 minutes of fame’ back to mind. The old video had gone away – again. Having personally backed it up, I was able and inspired to watch it last night for the first time in many years. Ted The Younger got so much right, and now with a more dispassionate view realize I did even better than I remembered. If you removed party labels and were left with one of those two choices to be Idaho governor, I won. Pretty dang good for my first television appearance. Of course that guy with the green tie in 2006 is quite different from this guy who is 12 years older. I would not want to […]

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 […]

reaching down deep

I was a tiny guy in high school; had more or less stopped growing in 5th grade. But Dad taught me to play tennis … well enough to be third on the tennis team out of 3,000 kids in my high school. Amusingly, the big, muscle-bound, power-lifter coach who drew the short straw and had to “coach” the tennis team took turns playing against all of us. I was the only one who beat him … because he expected his opponents to follow his coaching instructions while I was rebellious enough to put the ball where he didn’t expect it… over and over … he never could catch on. It wasn’t important to me, but tennis came easy enough and […]