Quotes

To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.
-Confucius [Kung Fu-tse] (551-479 B.C.)

solar power upgrade

When I set up my ham radio shack six years ago, I chose to go solar-powered 12-volt because amateur radio needs to work regardless of the grid up or grid down situation.

Last year I upgraded to second and third deep-cycle lead-acid batteries. I added other uses to the system and last winter was frequently running low on stored energy. So I upgraded the panel and controller to modern, more powerful ones. The new panel overwhelmed the new controller.

It should not have according to the specs on both, but there it was. Controller said, “Too much juice”. […]

planting moon

The moon over Montana will be full on Thursday, March 7th.

Bob Cannard, my organic gardening mentor encouraged us to plant on every full moon. He did not touch on whether or not he believed it cosmically favored the plants themselves. His expressed reasoning was that it organized us to do regular plantings whether that was seeds, starts, bare-root, or transplants. Get something started every full moon and you will always have a good garden. From long before there were computers, televisions and electric lights, people on nature-driven cycles have called the first full moon of May, […]

Ted Dunlap, STEE

You have-to have initials after your name to lend credibility to your projects and pronouncements. My latest creation inspired me to append “STEE” to my name. Further explanation will wreck the aura, but I’ll go ahead anyway. It stands for Shade Tree Electrical Engineer… similar to the Shade Tree Mechanic title I earned repeatedly with my auto/truck/motorcycle/tractor repair toolset.

Running a ham radio shack requires steady, clean 12-volt electricity. Handheld transceivers, HTs, or walkie-talkies if you prefer, have their own batteries. Cheaper ones use AA or AAA, but most use rechargeables whose chargers plug into standard 120-volt […]

honeydew

I enjoy my carnivorous plants a heckuva lot more than flypaper, to understate more than a little. The wonderful folks at California Carnivores provide insect control for me year after year.

My honeydew from a couple years ago is still among the living – and presumably happy campers in my home.

Officially known as drosera capensis, my honeydew is highly photogenic and wonderful for keeping little flying insects in check.

Peter D’Amato, founder and principle at California Carnivores told me the little dewdrops at the end of the leaf hairs are ounce-for-ounce the stickiest substance known to […]

table saw, router table upgrade

My OLD, second-hand Ryobi table saw was the weak link in my workshop. Since I use the heck out of it, and the safety, ergonomics and power were all marginal, I finally brought that tool up to my shop standard. That, of course, necessitated construction of a new stand. This time I wanted to integrate my router so I could quit having to bring it out to set up every time I wanted to use it – a diversionary task that often had me selecting a plane, files and lots of sanding rather than going through the router […]

filthy lucre

Money, in the sense of being a product or source of greed. The phrase is Biblical in origin, and the word “lucre” comes from the Latin word lucrum, meaning “profit.”

In an amazing twist the normal prepper did not predict, paper currencies have become less desirable than electronic transactions. Hoo-Duh-Thunk??? We were always encouraging each other to keep some ready cash in the cookie jar for the initial phases of TEOTWAWKI where people still trusted their central bank paper, but couldn’t make their regular electronic money transfers function.

In today’s Topsy-Turvy world, EVERYBODY KNOWS that THE VIRUS can live […]

The Health Ranger yanks me off the Coronovirus fence

I have refused to get sucked in to either side of the virus reality debate. Partisans for both sides have long, well-established, thoroughly-warranted reputations for exaggerating, understating and flat-out lying more often than truthing.

My guarantee has been that the second- and third-order effects will be dramatic and life-changing for all of us. That is still true, but having read the article and watched two ten-minute videos from Mike Adams has convinced me the very real effects of COVID will itself kill, sicken and weaken huge swaths of the world population.

I highly recommend you review his […]

Spring full moon

My organic gardening mentor encouraged us to plant on every full moon. Not so much that it favored the plants themselves, but because it organized us to do regular plantings whether that was seeds, bare-root, or transplants. Get something started every full moon and you will always have a good garden.

In Montana that assumes you have a greenhouse. We simply have too much winter cold to allow year-round outdoor plantings. What a blessed place I grew up in where we could. Lovely Nature was unfortunately taken over by lazy minds.

Today, March 9th is a full moon. That […]

non-handshake greetings

My wife sent me a video link on fist-bumping as a major improvement in social hygiene. You can see in the clip to the right that handshaking is a significant disease spreading vector.

I confess to having hand-shaking deeply embedded into my cultural norms. My circle of acquaintances are probably similarly programmed. I’m not sure this can work.

Of course the lamestream media onslaught of virus fear-mongering should make this an opportune moment in our history for a cultural shift in greeting and deal-making rituals. I suppose that is assuming we don’t want to regularly challenge our […]

two-way radios

can be indispensable in emergencies and other times normal communications tools are not working.

For my current amateur radio Technician Class students, I just bought 7 of the make/model I feel gives the best cost/benefit for ham radio operators. The TYT MD-UV390 operates on both the ultra-high-frequencies (UHF) of the FCC’s family radio service (FRS) and general mobile radio service (GMRS), it also transmits and receives on the very high frequencies (VHF) commonly used by hams, public and private agencies for regional communications.

Their MD-UV380 is the lower cost version of the same radio without the water-proofing. TYT, […]

outsmarting an egg sucking chicken

An occasional problem on The Easter Egg Chicken Ranch is the egg eating hen.

When one breaks open an egg in the nest and discovers interesting goo inside, she may never lose that interest. It is a high-order problem as there is no way I know of to figure out who the culprit is and remove the problem from the flock.

This ugliness cropped up recently with a new batch of hens coming on line.

My flock now stands at 2 great, peaceful, compatible roosters and 18 hens who know which rooster is the leader of her personal […]

lubricating sensitive joints

My ultimate test is what works for me. Without prior experience I rely on recommendations, reviews and research. In the case of my dietary supplements I experiment, personally perceive results, then stick with what works on my body.

I continually question my selection, wondering if each one of them continue to be best for me, most economical, necessary or warranted. The products in the marketplace are constantly changing as is my body and use thereof. Through a number of additions, deletions and brand changes, I am somewhat confident in my choices.

Fourteen years ago the surgeon who cleaned […]