Saturday, May 29, 2010

slow upload

Visited and explored half the day. Worked on some new video this afternoon but YouTube is bogged down tonight...will upload tomorrow. 77,101,65,0,C

Friday, May 28, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Met my new best friends Gary & Terri Mahanay this morning (photo by my buddy Fred Porter). They were in the area but couldn't make it in to the Field Lab due to road conditions...but I was able to make out on the quad to meet them at the GrubShack and hand deliver their tshirt orders - sorry they missed the tour.

Spent the rest of the day in the shipping department. Didn't want to swamp our beloved postmaster down in Terlingua so I packaged up half the orders and dropped them off this afternoon. Filled the rest of the day packaging up the second half of the orders to drop off tomorrow morning. They will all be on their way to their new homes tomorrow afternoon. Thanks again for following and supporting the Field Lab. 79,95,67,0,B

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Cranked out a few more tshits early this morning then went for a ride on the quad to check the road. Not too bad except for the famous "you'll get stuck here" spot....still a muddy swamp. I had a feeling that was the case because Benita showed up this morning with mud up to her ankles - a very good indicator of road conditions.

Spent all afternoon cleaning out the house and re wiring my set up for the office corner. Vacuumed up lots of dust, spider webs, and enough beard hair to weave a blanket. The space is clean and orderly again, if only for a short time. Getting cleaned up to shoot a video about my power systems here. HP is going to feature the Field Lab soon because of my unique situation and the fact that I own 3 HP computers. Got all the wiring done and easily fired them all up at once. The old desktop is 8 years old and still runs like a charm - it has data on it from a previous computer so it contains about 15 years of my life pre-Texas. The laptop I bought just before coming out here in '07 and it holds all my Field Lab data. The netbook is only 6 month old - used for live remote broadcasting. All HP...powered by the sun (I made that up today). I'm not getting paid to endorse their products - I just like 'em. 82,92,66,0,B

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

late storm

Received the final order of tshirts and the extra gift today. Lovingly printed 16 more shirts and had a quick tour for one of the buyers - Bruce Simpson and his wife (I met them at the Starlight last night and invited them out). Each order gets the tshirt, a Benita postcard and official Field Lab business card, and a sliver off my first set of Field Lab Buddhist prayer flags, flown 2 years ago. Cheers and thanks again for placing your order - all shirts to ship out by Friday.

Lots of cow action late this afternoon (including more quality time with Benito) then the storm hit. Brisk north wind and rain and just a speck of pea sized hail. Had a tour scheduled tomorrow for another shirt buyer but that might be a no-go due to the downpour. Too dark to pump water but it is just as well....those tanks are close to full anyway. 81,105,68, .21",W

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

new friend and a stamp

Downloaded a software upgrade for my Canon G9 and found the new option of ordering custom postage stamps from Benita's repose today inspired me to give it a try. 84,105,67,0,B

Discovered I have a new friend and kindred spirit on the web... Nancy Zastudil looking forward to seeing how her "necessary dislocation" program comes together.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

day away...

Had business in Ft. Stockton today. 5 hours in the truck and wide, open spaces. I must say that I have grown rather fond of long/strait roads with no traffic. Highlight of the day was finally retiring my trusty old ( and slightly worn ) Crocs. Benita watched the fort while I was away. 85,106,73,0,B

Friday, May 21, 2010


col·late (k-lt, klt, klt)
tr.v. col·lat·ed, col·lat·ing, col·lates
1. To examine and compare carefully in order to note points of disagreement.
2. To assemble t-shirt orders in proper numerical or logical sequence.
3. Printing
a. To examine (t-shirts and hand written addressed evelopes) in order to arrange them in proper sequence before mailing.
b. To verify the order and completeness of (the t-shirt order plus special gifts).
4. Ecclesiastical To admit (a cleric) to a benefice. 84,107,66,0,B

Thursday, May 20, 2010

good eats...

Two GrubShack visits, some quality cow time, and lots of tshirts - only 14 left in the limited edition. 96,108,55,0,C

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

the how to...

Photo of the day - creepy/crawly season is in full swing now - my first desert shrimp of the season. Early GrubShack breakfast then just tshirts all day capped off with drinks and dinner at the Starlight with the queen of Flowerland.

Benita watched while I worked on the shirts and was a bit entranced by the shade cloth. Just so everyone who ordered a tshirt knows - I received your order and will wait to ship them out once I receive something special to add to the free gift offer. I will announce here when they go out in the mail. Shoot me an email if you would like confirmation of your payment. Shot this video today - the method to the madness. 95,103,58,0,B

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

illusion of progress...

Very nice sunrise this morning. First stop - reposition the IP cam. Next, decided it was time to start moving the roofing materials since they have been sitting in the same spot for months now. Re-stacked about 2/3rds of it into the greenhouse courtyard before it started warming up. Made a run to the mailboxes then chilled down in Pepino Land and logged 14 more orders - just in time as the tshirts and mailing envelopes arrived via UPS this afternoon. Some burrows came by around 4PM for a snack.

My plans for 241 burger night were foiled early today due to an ominous forecast. Storms all around me late this afternoon then the winds and a quick dust storm hit at 7:15PM. 40+mph gusts. Heavy rain and pea sized hail from 8 to 8:45. Not much fell on me but enough west of me to get the creeks flowing - pumped 2200 gallons into storage. Thank you... 73,98,64, .24", G

Sunday, May 16, 2010

sunday, lite...

fed some cows, printed/delivered some documents for a neighbor, stripped some forms, cleaned the IP cam lens and housing, took a nap, put away the tools, fed some cows...and then there is Monday... 79,99,67,0,B

Saturday, May 15, 2010

new stencils...

Nice cloudy/breezy/cool morning. Hit the GrubShack for an early breakfast. As soon as I saw the clouds start to break - I shot home and punched in. Built the form and did the pour for the north side of the east end. Only 10 bags of concrete this time. Wrapped up just as it was starting to get hot.

Sponged off the sweat and grime and did a two-fer again....breakfast and lunch at the GrubShack. Stopped by the mailbox and found 10 mail orders for official handmade Field Lab tshirts. Came home after lunch and logged in the new orders to be numbered as I create them. Assembled 4 sets of stencils to do this printing, due to go into production on Monday with the shipping to start on Wednesday. Just so you know....30 more tshirts are available from this edition - all orders will receive a special thank you gift. 75,94,64,0,B

Friday, May 14, 2010



Thursday, May 13, 2010

what took them so long...?

Sampled my first bag of Coconut M&M's a couple of days ago. Maybe it is because I live on the edge of nowhere - but this is the first time I have ever seen these...and they are GOOD.

Tshirt sales were brisk over the past 24 hours so I am adding the free gift to all 100 of the limited edition printing. Based on the sales, I placed an order today and all my supplies will arrive on Monday so they will begin shipping on Thursday. Thanks for supporting the Field Lab! I had several requests for Benita tshirts as well. Not to worry - it is in the works.

We got about 5 days in the forecast of isolated thunderstorms for the area. In order to trick the weather into dumping some rain this weekend - I hauled another 125 gallons home from Study Butte Water Supply. Waited till the work zone was in the shade then set the block and rebar for the next pour on the north side of the east end.

Got treated to a visit by Beatrice and Benito late this afternoon. Good chance to bond with my little bull without the distraction of a bunch of other longhorns. He watched me hand feed his mother and followed her lead. 84,102,57,0,B

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

market research...

Hot and windy all day...good news is - my Buddhist Prayer Flags released their message to the world, if anyone was listening.

Another day cooped up inside (except for two trips to the GrubShack). Played around more with the notion of an online store. Want to make sure I can get quality merchandise from a third party vendor. Before I make that move....decided to try an experiment...offering some value added product for a short time.

Starting today....I am going to do a limited edition run of personally handmade Field Lab tshirts - exactly like the ones I have featured in photos (grey shirt with red lettering). 100 shirts individually stenciled and numbered, made with love by yours truly. (number 001 is already spoken for) This edition is available for purchase, first come - first served.

To order a genuine hand made Field Lab tshirt, including domestic shipping (international shipping extra): Write your name, email address (so I can acknowledge receipt of payment and delivery time - this information will not be sold) and shipping address and shirt size (child size S,M,or size S,M,L,XL,XXL) on a piece of paper. Fold up the paper with a 20 dollar bill inside (no checks) per tshirt - limit 2 tshirts per order. The first 50 orders get a special gift. Send your order to:

John Wells
2500 Mailbox Rd.
Alpine, TX 79830

For those leery of sending cash through the may send the payment through PayPal to Send me an email to specify size. I encourage purchasers to email a photograph of each shirt being worn by its' new owner for me to post on the blog. More information will be sent with your order.

Thanks in advance - let's see how this goes... 89,102,67,0,W

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

personal business...

First half of the day was all about secret stuff. Aside from that...decided to do an all day test of Pepino II. Fired it up at 10AM and inside temps went from 67 to a max of 82 - using 5 gallons of water....outside temp made it up to 105.

More cool chores on the computer - inside the house most of the afternoon. Groomed Benita with her new brush , collected flower seeds for my buddy Burr at the Sibley Nature Center, and cooked more food in the solar oven - another hen with broccoli this time.

Field Lab Cornish Game Hen and Vegetables:

One Cornish Game Hen rinsed and flavored thoroughly inside the body cavity and lightly on the outside with McCormick's Grill Mates Smokehouse Maple seasoning. Place in covered Pyrex cooking dish then into the solar oven. 250 - 300 degrees for 3 hours.

Remove cooked hen and wrap in foil - set aside. Add 1 cup fresh water to fat and 4 cups chopped broccoli with a sprinkle of seasoning. Place back in solar oven for 1 hour.

Place hen back in Pyrex dish with vegetables for 30 minutes....drain off liquid and enjoy. Serves two or just one if you are me - I'm hungry! 98,105,55,0,B

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Store

Windy and HOT today....stayed cool inside all day thanks to Pepino II. Spent way too much time at the computer today trying to set up my online store.....coming soon. Broke for a shower and a trip down south to the Starlight Theatre. Nice recent rock slide by Widow Hill on the way there. 91,104,62,0,W

Sunday, May 9, 2010

resurrection sunday...

1. Fed the cow, watered the cow, sprayed the cow for flies.
2. Spotted a baby Sun Spider (creepy but harmless when they grow up)
3. Maria came out to study my Terlingua Creek Cat's Eye plants, brought Mother's Day flowers for Benita to eat.
4. Cleaned up trash that had blown around the last couple of days.
5. Watered the batteries by the temporarily closed wind farm.
6. Tweaked Pepino
7. Added 3 spare solar panels to the array by the house due to a partly cloudy day.
8. Called my mother
9. Cooked dinner in the small solar oven - Cornish Game Hen and cauliflower.
10. Logged my weather data for the day. 86,103,58, .02", B

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Windy but cool. Spliced in the control box for the swamp cooler today. The top 2 switches are for the upper and lower fans and the bottom switch is for the pump timer circuit. Last task to dress the wires behind the window frame. Picked up another thermometer to monitor the cooler temp and the inside temp. Cleared off all the porch debris from the installation - I am always amazed at how much chaos is created when building something.

Had to catch up on my NWS info - haven't logged my weather data for over two months. Took over an hour to get my stats into the system. Should probably try to do this on a daily basis.

Received a resurrection plant in the mail the other day....and popped it in a bowl of water to see if it really will revive. Perhaps the perfect plant for my environment here. Updates to come as it comes to life. 70,79,62,0,W

Friday, May 7, 2010

hitch'o'my own...

30% chance of an isolated thunderstorm tomorrow afternoon so I did an Alpine supply run. Stocked up on parts and goodies. Ran into Dick and Bonnie Cain at the gas station - first time I've had a chance to thank him for his birthday gift.

Got home at 3:30 to unpack and plan out the final wiring with new switches for Pepino II. Inside temp got up to 82 while I was away with the cooler off. Fired it up and pulled the inside temp down to 80 while it was 107 outside. 91,109,52,0,B

Thursday, May 6, 2010

close cooling

Got everything hob knobbed together to try out the new swamp cooler....started testing late in the day around 3:30 - but pulled the inside temp down from 88 to 86 (103 outside). This is a good sign as normally the temp would start rising to above 90 inside by this time - without a constant fresh airflow coming through my house. Just a few more details to attend to and I will do the final wiring.
Had to clean (water and baking soda) the positive terminals on my 6 volt lead acid batteries and give them a drink of distilled water as they were a little low. The two 12 volt sealed AGM's were clean as a whistle and in no need of fluid.
The bottom cooler is the reservoir and includes a 12VDC pump that is timed via the kit I soldered together. Right now it is set to pump for 6 seconds and wait 3 minutes till the next cycle (this will be adjusted to provide optimum cooling). The water moves up to the small container mounted above the top cooler. It drips through 8 holes onto the evaporative medium. Excess water drains back down to the bottom cooler. Four 100cfm muffin fans blow the cool air inside my house through a NW window. Air exhausts through a SE window. 97,109,52,0,C