Bitterroot Bugle post categories

Global Skywatch

a fresh, startling view of today’s politics

This one blind-sided me. I had not recognized the possiblities outlined here by The Z-Man, but upon reading his essay I have to admit this could well be the correct view of where we are in Poly-Sci 2020.   The Trip Down The Stairs   In the year prior to a presidential election, Thanksgiving is usually when primary races for party nominations begin to come into focus. Donors have had most of the year to assess the candidates and the voters are starting to pay attention. The first test is a little over two months away, so all of the candidates have their people in the field. The boots on the ground test is one of those unofficial measures that […]

dam + ladder

Beagle Brain, aka: Scooter, our Beagle/Lab cross, the BLAB, inherited the beagle willingness to follow her nose wherever it leads, whenever she can. Our containment fence was not up to the task. She would challenge it. I would fix it. Rinse and Repeat. FINALLY I shut her exit down while the rented backhoe was available with a dam and its backwater flooding where the fence crossed the creek. Yay! Success! BUT The tiny dam I rebuild every spring to enable my irrigation to draw from what little bit the upstream irrigators leave in Bunkhouse Creek posed no barrier to the little trout living in the year-round stream. My Scooter dam and culvert, however, did make a barrier… One I was […]

busy

I have been rushing a bit setting up for winter which solidly arrived last weekend. I was almost ready. I threw a wrench into the works by starting construction of a quonset hut storage building I decided to ‘need’ before this winter. My tractor operator skills came back quickly on the rented backhoe, as did my ability to visualize re-sculpted earth in useful ways and get grades right from the seat of a tractor. I filled in as a presenter to the local garden club playing show and tell with my carnivorous plants. I finalized the lot line adjustment project enabling us to sell two adjacent parcels just over and under 3 acres each. In my younger days, ten […]

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 […]

personal Victory!

I determined to UP MY GAME in amateur radio knowledge this year. My primary methodology was to work towards passing the final hurdle in amateur radio to earn my Amateur Extra ticket. It demands a wide range of knowledge covering the spectrum of radio construction, operation and transmission. Two unanticipated things I learned from this effort were: 1) I really don’t want to know how radios are constructed… though much of that is required to pass the exam. 2) Simultaneously teaching a class of newcomers to pass their Technician level exams while studying to pass the third and final level was not helpful. Other lessons along the way. The ARRL study manuals are worth every penny and every hour […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

wall memes

Who Am I?

sailing the San Francisco Bay on my Nacra 5.8 catamaran Claire Wolf called me a Renaissance Man. I had to look it up, but found she is correct. I have yet to meet anyone who dabbles with as much as I do. Writer, reader, publisher, webmaster Activist, organizer, politician, Libertarian Philosopher, economist, sociologist, psychologist Mid-level rifleman, handgunner, careful ammo reloader Husband, Dad, grandpa, son, friend, neighbor, stalwart teammate 1%-er high-performance-driver from 2 to 18 wheels, street and track Organic gardener, small-farmer, teacher, chicken-rancher, landscaper Amateur radio teacher, proponent, planner, organizer, provider, student Nutritionist, herbalist, naturalpath, organic shopper, ingredient reader Trombone and upright bass musician, band manager, teacher, student Woodworker, metalworker, mechanic, fabricator, inventor, handyman, fixer Prepper, self-defense advocate, militia proponent […]

Happy Couch Potato Day

The temperature outside is supposed to get up to 20 or so. I am planning to fire up the shop woodstove, change tires on the pickup I parked therein yesterday, change bedding in the chicken coop nesting boxes and tinker on a couple things in my so-far poorly insulated shop with the chill mostly gone. But I do remember decades ago hanging out with people who ran televisions all day long every January 1st. Maybe I should do something extra-ordinary, more memorable than another day puttering around the house.

Pearl Harbor Day

Many of us know FDR wanted WWII, executed a program to provoke the Japanese attack and staged the aged battleship fleet to receive maximum damage. The story goes much deeper. There is a major, scholarly book on the subject that passes the most intense scrutiny. Does it still matter? These power brokers have not changed their program in 100 years. Understand Pearl Harbor and you understand the USofA entry into every war since 1812. Pearl Harbor: The Seeds and Fruits of Infamy by Greaves, Percy L. Jr. Pearl Harbor: The Seeds and Fruits of Infamy by Percy Greaves, Jr. (1906-1984), published for the first time in 2010, blows the top off a 70-year cover-up, reporting for the first time on long-suppressed […]

what I’ve been up to

concrete apron for shop entrance I was not sure, but suspected I would enjoy having a cement mixer to complete little odds’n’ends concrete jobs around the homestead. Concrete work is notoriously physically demanding … that’s otherwise known as Hard Work. But I imagined doing little bits at a time at an old man pace. How hard could two or three batches in a high-quality small-batch mixer be? I know, I know, questions like that often bite you in the sitter-downer. However, the pleasure is all mine. I AM able to get little jobs done without abusing overly abusing my antiquated body. The satisfaction of accomplishment and gratification in having the completed product smoke any passing aches that may have come […]