Sunday, March 31, 2013

And you thought waterboarding was bad....

Been thinking about something this Easter.  Today we celebrate that He rose from the dead.  To truly appreciate His resurrection, it is important to understand the circumstances of His death.  Everyone has heard that Christ died on the cross - but what exactly is crucifixion?   It is also important to note that our Lord first endured severe beatings and torture before being subjected to this ultimate fate.
( from: )

Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Crucifixion was invented by the Persians between 300-400 b.c. It was "perfected" by the Romans in the first century b.c. It is arguably the most painful death ever invented by man and is where we get our term "excruciating." It was reserved primarily for the most vicious of criminals.  The most common device used for crucifixion was a wooden cross, which consisted of an upright pole permanently fixed in the ground with a removable crossbar, usually weighing between 75-100 lbs. Victims of crucifixion were typically stripped naked and their clothing divided by the Roman guards.

The victim was then placed on his back, arms stretched out and nailed to the cross bar. The nails, which were generally about 7-9 inches long, were placed between the bones of the forearm (the radius and ulna) and the small bones of the hands (the carpal bones). (Figure 1.)  The placement of the nail at this point had several effects. First it ensured that the victim would indeed hang there until dead. Secondly, a nail placed at this point would sever the largest nerve in the hand called the median nerve.  The severing of this nerve is a medical catastrophe. In addition to severe burning pain the destruction of this nerve causes permanent paralysis of the hand. Furthermore, by nailing the victim at this point in the wrist, there would be minimal bleeding and there would be no bones broken.

The positioning of the feet is probably the most critical part of the mechanics of crucifixion. First the knees were flexed about 45 degrees and the feet were flexed (bent downward) an additional 45 degrees until they were parallel the vertical pole. An iron nail about 7-9 inches long was driven through the feet between the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal bones. In this position the nail would sever the dorsal pedal artery of the foot, but the resultant bleeding would be insufficient to cause death.

The resulting position on the cross sets up a horrific sequence of events which results in a slow, painful death. Having been pinned to the cross, the victim now has an impossible position to maintain. (Figure 2)  With the knees flexed at about 45 degrees, the victim must bear his weight with the muscles of the thigh. However, this is an almost impossible task-try to stand with your knees flexed at 45 degrees for 5 minutes. As the strength of the legs gives out, the weight of the body must now be borne by the arms and shoulders. The result is that within a few minutes of being placed on the cross, the shoulders will become dislocated. Minutes later the elbows and wrists become dislocated. The result of these dislocations is that the arms are as much as 6-9 inches longer than normal.  With the arms dislocated, considerable body weight is transferred to the chest, causing the rib cage to be elevated in a state of perpetual inhalation. Consequently, in order to exhale the victim must push down on his feet to allow the rib muscles to relax. The problem is that the victim cannot push very long because the legs are extremely fatigued. As time goes on, the victim is less and less able to bear weight on the legs, causing further dislocation of the arms and further raising of the chest wall, making breathing more and more difficult.

The result of this process is a series of catastrophic physiological effects. Because the victim cannot maintain adequate ventilation of the lungs, the blood oxygen level begins to diminish and the blood carbon dioxide (CO2) level begins to rise. This rising CO2 level stimulates the heart to beat faster in order to increase the delivery of oxygen and the removal of CO2.  However, due to the pinning of the victim and the limitations of oxygen delivery, the victim cannot deliver more oxygen and the rising heart rate only increases oxygen demand. So this process sets up a vicious cycle of increasing oxygen demand-which cannot be met-followed by an ever increasing heart rate. After several hours the heart begins to fail, the lungs collapse and fill up with fluid, which further decreases oxygen delivery to the tissues. The blood loss and hyperventilation combines to cause severe dehydration.

Over a period of several hours the combination of collapsing lungs, a failing heart, dehydration, and the inability to get adequate oxygen supplies to the tissues cause the eventual death of the victim. The victim, in effect, cannot breath properly and slowly suffocates to death. In cases of severe cardiac stress, such as crucifixion, a victim's heart can even burst.  To slow the process of death the executioners put a small wooden seat on the cross, which would allow the victim the privilege of bearing his weight on his buttocks. The effect of this was that it could take up to nine days to die on a cross.  When the Romans wanted to expedite death they would simply break the legs of the victim, causing him to suffocate in a matter of minutes. At three o'clock in the afternoon Jesus said, "Tetelastai," meaning "it is finished."   He then died a human death and in that moment, all sin was washed away forever for all of mankind that choose to accept his sacrifice and follow His teachings.

Open your mind, be humbled, and seek with all your heart - He that suffered a horrible death that all mankind might be saved. It is very well worth the effort and the rewards are astounding...the promise of abundant life everlasting.  I reached out to Him and He answered me and I know He is real.  To ignore this great sacrifice only welcomes a death in eternal misery and torment. Without Him, all the pleasures and extravagance of earthly life will be but a painful memory...bound in never ending suffering and regret. If ever there was a time to think "out of the box" is right now.  Turn off your TV and open a Bible.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Open House

Visitor day at TFL.

In between guests - I fought the software to upload 2011 and 2012 for archival printing.  Worked in a hat band project - one of Ben's mother's teeth to go with my new monogrammed walking stick from Donnie (Santa) and Marjean.  75,92,46,0,C,0

Friday, March 29, 2013

open yer mail

Just opened a letter 3 days ago from Big Bend Telephone that I found in my truck.  Seems I have to sign and turn in a yearly contract to keep my internet service at its' present cost.  Had to hit Alpine today to turn it in before the March 31st deadline.  As long as I had to go...checked with a neighbor who needed some cedar boards and as long as I was there, stocked up on more wood chips and steer feed.  Got home to find that FedEx delivered the first two years of my printed blog posts.  Having already lived it, it's nice to see part of my life in print and not just on a screen.  70,83,45,0,B,0

Thursday, March 28, 2013

In and Out

Well that was a relatively painless 2 days of filming.  My new friends from Rivr Media out of Knoxville, Tennessee made it pretty easy on me.  They did a couple of sweet shots with a very simple rig I truly appreciated...a GoPro Hero3 mounted on an improvised trolley for some smooth linear panning shots.  The coolest thing about it is that the camera is wi-fi enabled so they could watch the view with an app for their iphones.  They packed up and hit the road by 1PM.  I think Ben really liked Lori, the producer.  71,90,37,0,C,0

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Film shoot day one

Great day with the film crew from Rivr Media from Knoxville, Tennessee.  After shooting all day, crew member Chaz cooked dinner for everyone.  Carl made his presence known.  Some crew members bore his wrath upon their ankles...blood was spilled.  63,80,36,0,C,0

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Old Friends

Paul and Brewster came out for a visit today.  Ben met Brewster last August back when they were about the same size.  Paul brought TFL a pair of pear trees.  57,70,38,0,B,0

Monday, March 25, 2013


So as of today, Bud has been at TFL for 3 months.  He spent the first 6 weeks in pain with his banding that was going bad - then I had him emasculated for good.  Be bounced back pretty quickly from the procedure and is completely healed now but it has been slow going getting him to warm up to me.  Day by day...he would get closer to me at feeding time and has taken feed by hand for awhile now....but no TOUCHING!  In the last 5 weeks, I've been spending at least an hour a day out in the pen with the boys.  I would actually crawl around near Bud when he was lying down.  If I stayed still on the ground when he got up, he would come over and lick my boot, and would sniff my hat and face.  This game was often called off on account of Ben coming over to get in on the action.  Two weeks of just touching his nose when he was close enough finally paid off yesterday afternoon.  It started by me holding my hand near his horn which he would answer by trying to horn my hand.  While he would go back and forth at my hand, I was able to get just a little head scratching in.  After doing this a couple of times, he suddenly figured out although the horning was his defense...the scratching was a very good thing.  We played this game for about 15 minutes and he figured it out and let me scratch his head and neck.  A halter is still out of the question as far as he's concerned but we are making great progress.  49,62,39,0,W,0

Sunday, March 24, 2013

We are the fruitful field

Church was cancelled today so I worshiped online with my friend Pastor John Wiley at   Nice to have an alternate available.  The thing I like about Pastor Wiley is that (like Bonnie Cain) the message isn't just an academic sermon - it is a message channeled directly from God.  All the churches I attended growing up, the sermons felt like lectures being read from a text book after the plate got passed to fill the coffers.  One can only truly appreciate a message that has substance.

Isaiah 32:15 Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest.16 Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;

Proverbs 8:17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. 18 Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:21 That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

capacitor capacity

Got another film crew coming out in a few days so I'm back on clean up duty.  Cleared some stuff in front of the greenhouse, mulched some planters with my wood chip score, and thinned the green bean plants.

Had some more trouble with the gennie a couple of days ago.  Had my air compressor plugged in and it popped while laboring to compress. Some magic smoke came out of the compressor motor.  Weird thing is, I checked the voltage on the gennie right after the pop and found it was fluctuating from 105 to 130.  Today I checked it and it was steady at 108VAC....made an adjustment on the one tiny trim pot on the new AVR to 112VAC.  Have yet to decide which tool to test it with (I had tested the gennie right after installing the new AVR with my compressor and everything worked perfectly) . Opened up the compressor and found what I expected - a starting capacitor had burst.  Ordered a replacement from these guys.

Friday, March 22, 2013

gutters and grub

Stocked up in Alpine today.  Chow for me and the cows and chickens, gutters for the west shade on the greenhouse, and another load of wood chips.  Picked up my copy of Maria the Plant Lady's thesis from Sul Ross.  68,89,46,0,W,0

Thursday, March 21, 2013

in case I forget...

Woke up at 5AM this morning...which was 4 before we recently strung ahead.  As long as I was wide awake, decided to get back to backing up my blog with Blurb Booksmart.  I started this last September but didn't get very far.  Took 3 hours to get the hang of the software nuances and after 6 more hours I managed to import the first 3 years of blog posts and ordered printed copies (by the year).  Nice thing once you get the hang of it is that it saves a formatted copy of all the posts and you can get printed copies, PDF's, or ebook formats.  A great way to back up the blog but not very cost effective to try to sell as a full year of blog posts costs me about $24 for a printed copy in black and white.  Color printing runs about $50 due to the fact that I have around 850 photos per year of blog posts.  The software is free and you don't have to order anything if you just want to use it to save the memories.  I must add though...that unless you really want to spend a lot of time editing - is just saves the text and lines up your photos along side - it does not follow the layout in the blog posts.

Did a little farmin'....painfully thinned my black beauty squash plants.

Nice to know that critters feel so welcome and at ease at TFL, they can just relax if so inclined.  Makes me miss the longhorn herd that used to chill here before I had neighbors who didn't share the love.  68,88,43,0,B,0

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Antelope Omelette

The Brooks portion of the Panther Mountain Clan came out last week for their spring break hunting trip.  They dropped off some frozen antelope sausage from a previous hunting trip which I had in an omelette this morning.  The boys bagged two aoudad on Saturday and carved off a chunk for me before they left that I will grill up for dinner tomorrow.

Unearthed some seasoned planting dirt from the compost pit.  Transplanted two date palms and my pomegranate tree. 61,74,50,0,B,0

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ugly Betty needs a boost...

Some of my readers have met and others might remember my friend Michael Heidebrecht aka Ugly Betty.  He took over at the Grubshack for a week while Betty was on vacation years ago. 

Michael is in a VA hospital in Kansas working through debilitating health issues he picked up while serving our country as a United States Marine. When I took my concealed handgun course, Michael was just to the left of me when we did the shooting portion of the test.  It was rather difficult to concentrate on the target with his spent shell casings bouncing off my head.   I would appreciate it if EVERYONE who reads this blog post take the time to say a prayer and send a postcard to thank him for his service to our country and tell him The Field Lab sent you.  Just a quick note and a stamp would mean the world to my good friend and neighbor.
Here is the address:

Robert J Dole VA
5500 E Kellogg
ATTN: Michael Heidebrecht, TLC Unit Room 145
Wichita, KS  67219

Monday, March 18, 2013

Meet the Medders

Fantastic visit with possible Terlingua transplants, the Medders family.  Rest of the day was all about calves, cowboys, and cat's-eyes.  69,84,40,0,B,0

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Blog by another John...

As of the end of 2011, according to   there were 181,000,000 blogs.  As of last year according to  6,001,500,000 Bibles have been printed.  The dates this weekend remind me of two prophetic posts from the first and best blog out there.  3:16 and 3:17 from the Gospel of John.  16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish , but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  68,90,50,0,W,0

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Still going strong

Had a very nice visit today from my friends Bill and Caren.  I officiated their wedding about 3 1/2 years ago at TFL.  Just gifted them an extended warranty for 10 more years.  66,88,40,0,C,0

Friday, March 15, 2013


It's that time of year...time to slide the shade screens into summer position.  When I installed these last year, I thought I would be moving them daily.  Didn't take long to figure out my plants appreciated them full time.  They will probably stay in this position for at least 6 months.  What I really like about this shade cloth is that it is reflective  - bouncing heat up as well as shading.  This is Aluminet I bought from  68,85,37,0,C,0

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Pulling the plants out of their winter corner now.  Everything including the grape vine is coming back to life.
Checked on Denise and her one day old calf.  71,82,37,0,C,0

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Born Today

Had a visitor for breakfast
Spent the day out at Whistler ranch.

Denise had a calf today around noon.