Monday, November 30, 2009


hmmmm......seems that being metafiltered has brought in quite a number of new blog readers. WELCOME ... and nice to see so many new folks. Work here is about to pick up soon so stay tuned and don't forget to check out the live webcams.

Cold/cloudy/dreary day all day here at the Field Lab. No outdoor work other than battening down the hatches for our funny little forecast. 2 to 4" of snow overnight? I can't imagine it really happening but I will be ready with the camera bright and early tomorrow, just in case. Kind of makes me homesick for my old place back in upstate NY.

For the new viewers....the string of numbers at the end of each post is: temperature at 8PM, high temp, low temp, rainfall amount. 39,42,36, .24"

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

a new day

First photo of the day is actually from yesterday....a very fine sunrise indeed. Today however, started off with a light drizzle and a cloudy morning that was not a very inspiring way to start the day. Chucked away at some chores and finally had to shut down my power systems to give the batteries a break. Just before logging off, I checked the weather radar an saw that the cloud cover would be leaving the area in about two hours so I took a nap.
Woke up just in time to see the sun finally break through around 2PM. Got back outside and put a primer coat on the bed frame for the woo room. Have to work up a new paint scheme as the old color clashes with the new bedding. Strait Guy With A Queer Eye. Just about finished the cover up when the soon to be happy couple (Bill and Caren) showed up to check in before the wedding tomorrow. Shot their last portrait as single virgins.
Tune in tomorrow afternoon for the live webcast of the nuptials at Pre game show starts at 4PM central time....the main event at 5PM.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


More later, but for now enjoy this bit of classic TV history...
Well it's later now and I just can't top this mornings post. Last year on this day I was on a trian to Houston to visit my old high school chum Peter and his wife Donna, and met their daughter for the first time - my BFF Rachel....spent the night on the train in San Antonio before arriving at my final destination at 6AM the next morning. 54,68,36,0

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

chapel prep

First on the list today was a much needed house cleaning. Prodded all the useful stuff out of sight and gave the little hut a thorough sweep down. Set the solar oven into preheat position and prepped the parts for yet another loaf of Field Lab bread. This loaf will make its way over to Jerry and Eva's Thanksgiving bash they are throwing tomorrow. Just as I was ready to mix it all up - an expected tour arrived. Judy and John arrived just in time to watch the bread magic happen in the kitchen...the first real humans to witness the wonder. Had a great time getting to know them a bit and showed them around the estate.

Second on the list was to finish the same house cleaning style on a grander scale with the greenhouse courtyard. Lots of prodding, some manure shoveling, but no sweeping. By the end of the day the courtyard was cleared for Saturdays chapel extravaganza......and no wedding planner involved. 55,78,30,0

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

42nd Street - Odessa I have to drive 3 1/2 hours to get to these places. But thank God I live 3 1/2 hours away from the desolate wasteland that is urban sprawl and strip malls. It was worth the trip though to remind me of how good I have it here. Highlight of the trip was meeting my new friends at Mueller Steel and placing the order that will complete the greenhouse roof. 50,68,39,0

Monday, November 23, 2009

power outage...

TGIM More paper work and planning today...ready to bite the bullet on the steel order for the greenhouse roof tomorrow. Just finishing up the final touches on the list for a major supply run to Odessa.
Only Field Lab manual labor today was repairing the CD/DVD drawer on my surround sound system for the Woo Room. Haven't quite found the glitch yet but at least I can get it to open and close on occasion now. Briefly lost power today while working on it. Seems a longhorn cow peeing on a power strip tends to short circuit things (see attached crime scene photo). Benita's good aim tripped the breaker on my inverter. No real damage other than a soaked/stinky power strip that will need to bake dry in the sun tomorrow.

Had another fine webcast from the Starlight Theatre tonight. Good burger + good people = good times. 58,88,33,0

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

sorta sorting

Dug through my worldly goods all day and found a couple of things I been lookin' for and lotsa thing to burn or trash. Baked another loaf of solar oven bread (with extra bacon and cheese). tended to Benita, and had a nice bonfire tonight. That is all... 55,75,29,0

Friday, November 20, 2009

answered a higher callin....

Hmmmm....a new twist to the Field Lab. Seems some friends of mine (Bill and Caren) who have been building a place north of me are in the mood to get hitched.....and they want to do the nuptials here. They just got their marriage licence and want me to perform the ceremony. Took all of 20 minutes online to be become an ordained minister in the Church of Spiritual Humanism. Now I am an official wedding officiate. The wedding will be broadcast live on my Stickam channel a week from tomorrow - will update everyone as to the exact time.

Not quite ready for my steel buying trip to Odessa so I spent the day digging into my storage containers. Managed to extract a really nice bed and some carpet and furniture to start getting a feel for the quest quarters. Tough shuffling through all the mayhem to get to the desired items....good news is I found a bunch of stuff I've been looking for - including my hula girl beaded curtains. Amazing how the mess gets worse before it gets better - I'll be reorganizing all weekend, I reckon. 50,80,47, .08

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

George Zupp

Benita pooped bird seed all day. Hope the birds don't mind the recycled seed. Shut down all the video feeds early because my battery monitor was reminding me it was time for a full charge again.

Made a morning supply run to Alpine due to a 30% chance of rain over the next two days. Got home quick to do more sorting of the good and the bad. Managed to bag up 5 more loads of stuff slated for the landfill as opposed to the atmosphere - sorry, but I just can't bring myself to burn plastic. 52,80,29,0

My new friend - artist George Zupp
( ) came out for a visit and dinner late today. Had a great time hanging out and bonding with another crazy Texan. Made sure he took the time to sit down and chat with some of the folks that are following the live video feed on Stickam. Check out his collection of videos at

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Benita bypassed security today and helped herself to 2 pounds of birdseed. Hope that all comes out OK...Long day of sorting STUFF and bagging trash - 2/3 of which are recyclables. Unlike most of the folks I've met out here, I don't burn plastics - that all goes to the landfill where it belongs(?)

Almost finished cleaning out container #2 (future home to the office/electronics workshop). Seems my life here is turning into a giant Rubik's Cube of items out of place. Better to sort it out sooner than later. Got another UPS delivery today that included the solar fan slated for mounting on the IP cam housing. 54,78,24,0

Monday, November 16, 2009

first live remote webcast

Decided to clear out the future home of the guest house today. Took quite some time to sort out the good from the bad (mostly bad). Doesn't seem to take much time at all to fill a space with crap. Benita seemed a bit confused by the fact that I was moving her feed room. She followed me all over the place today as I was moving things around...including her snacks. I discovered today that she even likes bird seed - found her munching away at the storage bin. Got a start on clearing out the other container (future office/electronics workshop) but gave up since I still haven't figured out what to do with the keepers from the first clean out. Called it quits and broke at 3:30 for a long overdue shower.

All cleaned up, I decided to head down to the Starlight Theatre for 241 night. Did a quick webcast test with the new netbook computer then headed south. My first live remote webcast came off like a charm. Dr. Doug was on hand to say hello, had dinner with Ronald (the nicest guy in Texas) and even had a chance to feature the live musicians performing tonight. Another day where everything seemed to I had a great burger. 45,73,37,0

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bacon Sunday

Met late yesterday afternoon with an engineer neighbor/friend to discuss the next phase of the greenhouse roof. With some good tips to follow, from someone I trust - I give myself the green light to proceed with the materials order - with advice from someone who has been there/done that, and has lived in this area for years....thanks, Marbert.

Cooked up a pound of bacon today for another loaf of Field Lab Solar Oven Bread. This one is called BOPCHEE. Bacon, onion, and parmesan cheese - and Budweiser Chelada Beer. 4 cups self rising flour, 4 tablespoons sugar, 1 cup chopped onion flakes, 1.5 cups parmesan cheese, 16 oz beer. No time to photograph the finished loaf - it's already been distributed to the lucky few and ingested by now.
Dropped two big chunks of the loaf off on the busy side of the highway (houses everywhere you look) to Ronald and one to Chuck'n'Aunt Kathy. I'm always amazed how the east side of HWY118 seems like downtown while my side is preciously rural.
The other night I had cocktail hour on top of one of my shipping containers while the sun set - all blissed out on the fact that I don't have to look at any neighbors from my view.....just a dirt road and a star filled sky. 60,84,46,0

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

Another IP cam day today. Met up with UPS Jerry at the HWY at noon. Got the new wide angle lens. Took about 2 hours (Benita helped) to get it all together - mounted the new lens and camera in the all weather housing, ran the cable, and rigged it to yet another temporary stand while I ponder the view some more. Found a use for one of the stands I built that aided my truss raising. Also got into the camera configuration menus to bump up the contrast - I'm a big fan of contrast. Took a bit of time to line up the shot - lighting/composition wise. I'm a HUGE fan of lighting and composition as those who have been on the video feed know.... As soon as all the cinematography is zeroed in, it will be time to get back to the production. 61,86,43,0

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Limited Edition

My morning consult with an engineer neighbor got postponed - putting of the roofing order till we meet to discuss the next phase of roof construction. Ended up mostly visiting with folks and plodding along. Bought 20 frozen pork chops from a couple that had purchased 1000 to serve up and the Chili Cookoff but only unloaded about 400. Good deal to be had on Terlingua Ranch till they are gone. I cooked up 6 tonight and ate 3 of 'em....three for dinner tomorrow I reckon.

Hope to receive the new lens for the IP cam tomorrow so I can get to final placement of the rig - set it and forget it. So the day wasn't a total wash, I spray painted 4 more t shirts this afternoon. Devised an efficient way to pump them out with consitant results. Building up a limited edition stockpile to have on hand for future Field Lab visitors. Not quite ready to sell merch through the web... 62,82,42,0

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Beam me up Scotty

Hmmmm.....rather slow day at the Field Lab today. Just more planning and duck row getting. Main task on the schedule was cleaning out the ice box. Gets pretty humid in there during the summer ice months and had to take care of some funk growing in the bottom of the box. 56 cans and one bottle of refrigerant are on their own on the porch to fend for themselves tonight. Set the box out in the sun to dry out for the day - definitely needs a metal insert and a drain. Also trucked in 125 gallons of fresh/juicy water to add to my house storage tank.

My bro Neil was on the live cam today with some more of his toys and got me back into a Beam Robotics frenzy. Ordered pager motors, solar panels, lasers, LED"S, 630 2ml bottles and corks (just because I could) .....and Christmas lights. Either I really need to get focused or I'm in serious need of a diversion. We'll see how it all plays out... 64, 80, 44, 0