Friday, August 28, 2009

long day

Woke up at 3AM to the smell of wet creosote - which means rain. Took a peak outside and sure enough it was drizzlyn. Got out and put away my welder and a couple of tools. Came back in and checked the doppler radar and saw it was just a passing cloud. Ended up with only .o3" from the event. Got back to sleep by 4 and stayed that way till 8.

Decided that it was time for another supply run to Alpine with more threats of isolated thunderstorms on the horizon. First stop was a visit to my brilliant friend Emily. She took me out to see the land she has on the NW side of town where her donkeys live now. She has a newly refurbished Aermotor windmill for water pumping that keeps the grass growing and her donkeys fat'n'happy. Missed stopping by Bennett's and just got the usual supplies. Clear and sunny in Alpine but looked ominous down south so I headed home to unpack. There is real food in the ice box now - it's buried under the refrigerant.

Settled in with my stash by 4PM. Not a drop of rain at the Field Lab today but cloudy and cool - just barely made a high of 90 today. Took advantage of the chilly (82 degrees) weather and got the second truss scooted and welded into place. Wrapped it up at 8:30.


Allen Hare said...

I've always liked those old Aeromotor windmills. You can see them all over the landscape in rural Texas. They are one of the early technological developments that made settled life in this area possible. All the ones I've seen before say "Aeromotor, Chicago, Ill.", I believe. Your friends says "San Angelo". Mabey the company was bought out by a firm in San Angelo. Very nice one, however.
You had a real productive day, plus a run to Alpine. Very good!
Some very nice pictures, as usual. Looks like you'll have four trusses total, judging from today's final picture.
It's really shaping up very nicely. Have you figured out what the cover material will be yet?

Allen Hare said...

On closer examination of the photo, I see that your friend's windmill says "Aermotor" instead of "Aeromotor". My mistake. Probably a different company. Or, more likely, I'm just wrong about the name altoghther! In any case, it's a very nice looking windmill.

John Wells said...

Allen...there will be 6 trusses total - 3 on each container. Cover material over the center of the greenhouse will be transluscent hail proof/UV resistant poly carbonate - the containers will be shaded with standard metal roofing. Rainwater catchment capability of the roof system will be about 1300 gallons per inch of rain. Annual rainfall average out here is about 10". I will have 12,000 gallons of storage tanks in place when all is said and done.

John Wells said...

2L84Me said...

Thanks for input on your plans for the project. Makes it easy to understand what you are really doing. It's really amazing, considering you have done it all by your lonesome. (except Benita's Supervision)
Keep up the great work!

ps The Aermotor windmill is stout, could it be used for Generations? Is it a cost, or mechanical issue?

2L84Me said...

Cancel the question on the windmill,
It was answered by the companies data on the web site you gave to Allen.
Still like the stoutness of the blades!
Thanks for the site.

Mark Richards said...

A growing affection for you and Benita, from afar, has turned to a daily check to "see what the hell John's up to now". This prompts me to respectfully suggest that you consider a change of diet and beverage.

Perhaps I should leave it there, but can't. :)

Although I am certain the warmth, the clear air, the work, the deep rest, your many friends, and all the rest offer some compensation, the array of dietary choices illustrated in some of your interior photos could be seen as a subconscious cry for mercy.

I've seen what I can only describe as a hideous array of artificially-coloured/flavoured processed stuff; huge amounts of caffeine and salt; and based upon your frequent descriptions of the local eatery, wads of saturated fats and who knows what hormones, antibiotics, and other stuff that raised all that meat. It has to be tricky - keeping food in that environment - but there is no dried fruit anywhere. Few grains, except that wonderful bread you make. The food pyramid seems more a curved line, with salt at one end, chemicals bonding the middle, and saturated fats at the other.

Thoughts: replace the beer with a better brand (Sapporo highly recommended); include Segura Vieutas champagne for special (weekly) occasions; the PowerAde with a Soy-Banana-Egg smoothie; the Coffee Mate with a better coffee creamer having less artificial stuff, such as this one (, the instant coffee with something you can put through a french press (that ought to go over real well in Texas), etc.

As for Ugly Betty and the "Grub Shack" (the name violates my two survival rules applying to restaurants) who knows?!

As an earthy-crunchy type and a proponent of sun, air, and earth, I envy you, but wouldn't last a week on the diet.

Yet, you appear quite healthy, and certainly happy, so this may come down to a head-scratcher and my concerns proven mute. Like when my dear Great Grandmother, whose diet consisted of salt pork, tripe, and an array of fried stuff that would make Cardiologists cringe, lived to 99. And she was on a bowling team. And her doctor said, "I don't know exactly what did her in. I think her heart just said - enough".

There may be justice. At 55, earthing and crunching, I am more likely to keel far sooner, under the stress of work and a pace that raises my aching head at ridiculous hours in order that the worry be dissipated.

One of my worries is about you.

Baytown Bert said...

John, I can't recall you ever mentioning snakes. Do you see them and are they something you keep an eye out for there in the desert? What is your philosophy on dealing with venemous snakes close to your Lab?

Anonymous said...

From Texas Country Reporter on youtube:

Bob from Athens said...

John I'm pretty sure I understand most of what I need to know about solar systems. Having a couple of decades of experience installing residential and commercial electrical. However I would like to find a good, affordable book on solar generating systems and so far I have not been able to find one for less than a couple of hundred dollars. I was hoping you could suggest one or two? I don't want a college level advanced theory text book nor do I want solar for dummies paperback.

Allen Hare said...

Thanks for your reply, John.

The Aermotor link is very helpful, and informative.

As always, good luck with everything.

Andy V said...

Mark - the nearest Whole Foods is over 300 miles away. Perhaps when his greenhouse bears fruits and vegetables he can eat "less artificial stuff". Until then he does what he can from stuff from a can with the power of the sun. As far as a "subconscious cry for mercy"...well, I wouldn't know anything about that!

Anonymous said...

Mark R, No offense but all sorts or eco freeks in santa monica dropping dead at 55 from jogging and eating sprouts. I dont know why either.

Winterchill said...

eco freaks, that is a little harsh for a group of people who actually care about their health and frankly I dont believe you about them all dropping dead.

Mark Richards said...


The intention of my comment to John was to (a) be funny and (b) be helpful. To achieve both, I tried to buffer any sting by giving an anecdote about my great grandmother, who lived on despite what I'd still consider an abysmal diet. Maybe that wasn't enough.

I really appreciate Andy V's note about John's garden. As I don't know what the plan of his work entails, I was not aware of this feature.

We all have our issues and I now get to look at my own straight on.

So sorry if offense taken. Absolutely none meant.

Now, returning to my regularly-scheduled carrot crunching.

Andy V said...

Mark - thanks, friend.

I am not sure what exactly Mr. Wells is doing out yonder (except what his daily "transparent" blog shows us) but it sure is interesting to many of us, isn't it? I deduced somewhere that he was doing a greenhouse and I am only assuming that he will be growing his own veggies. I do not know his plans other than this blog.

We should all be concerned about our nutrition and I believe John is also, however , living in the harsh confines of the west Texas desert without electric refrigeration and the convenience of local supermarkets, I think he's doing pretty darn good. It's more of an act of survival for him, Benita and whomever else wanders across his acreage. So...Keystone over Sapparo and Spam and cans over fresh least for now.


jandean said...

Oh...I tried to stay out of this food topic, really, I did, but now that it has turned out kinda charming.. I'd just like to say a couple of things. I love when JW posts pictures of his pantry. I get to snoop in his kitchen from hundreds of miles away and of course there's some degree of horror and wonderment at the seeming lifestyle contradictions. I mean, impeccable sense of visual aesthetics combined with canned mushrooms. It's hilarious. But lest anyone think fresh food and decent coffee is only available 300 miles away at Whole Foods, that is not true. Even the lowly FoodCasket offers produce. And best of all BigBendCoffee is available at several nearby places. I'm just sayin...