Sunday, May 31, 2015

knock knock

Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

The Door is Open from River Church Family on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

off grid fluff on Facebook

What's wrong with this idea?

Friday, May 29, 2015

shipping tools

Had an environmental systems emergency this morning...the pump on the swamp cooler was not cycling.  Ran a quick diagnostic and discovered there was a loose junction in the timer circuit.  A little solder and it was back in business.

Once cool air was back in service, had a meeting with the shipping department.  We decided to take advantage of the shipping tools that PayPal has to offer.  Mailing out the next offering will be much more streamlined and no more trips to the post office.  85,98,65,0,B

Thursday, May 28, 2015

far sighted

I reckon optics is the subject this week.  Finally dropped my old pair of binoculars one too many times last week.  Just got some new ones today.  There is lots of far away stuff to look at out here when there are so many far away views.  84,94,69,0,B

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I see...

Worked in an optometrist appointment last trip to Odessa.  Been almost 5 years and it was past time for some new specs.  The lenses were pretty scratched up and the right temple was hanging on by a thread since my accident.  My vision hasn't changed much other than a little worse in one eye and a little better in the other.  Both eyes still correctable to 20/20.  83,97,61,0,B

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bigger is Better

In 2011, I bought a large fresnel lens from my friend Dan Rojas.  I tried some experiments and it worked well turning sand into glass, but it wasn't quite hot enough to do much with more than a few grams of sterling.  Contemplating buying his biggest lens for some real solar metal work.  The top photo shows the specs of the lens I bought and the bottom one shows the specs for the jumbo lens.  82,93,56,0,C

Monday, May 25, 2015

a better buffer

When I did the first round of sterling in 2013, I used my cordless drill with a buffing wheel for the final polishing.  Rather than let my drill take a further beating - I decided to invest in a proper bench buffer.  Harbor Freight comes through once again.  Forty bucks later and I am ready for the next round.  FYI...whenever you buy something from them, go online to look for coupon codes.  I got 20% off for the effort.  78,90,69,0,B

Sunday, May 24, 2015

what if...?

What if how you were raised, your education, media and popular culture, your friends, your chosen lifestyle, your wants and desires, all your preconceived notions...were all part of Satan's grand plan to steer you away from Christ?  No one likes to be lied to and no one enjoys being deceived...but most importantly - no one likes rules that conflict with one's chosen beliefs.  If you won't even consider the possibility, then perhaps consider that Satan has won.

Romans 16:20  The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.  May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

finally some rain...

There have been a bunch of storms moving through the area for the last couple of days.  All of them missed me till this afternoon.  TFL caught the last bit of a string of thunderstorms that moved through the area.  I saw it coming on the doppler radar and headed out to the mailboxes and grabbed a few items at the corner store.  The rain hit hard about an hour later.

Had a nice surprise in the mailbox.  My friend Paul Roccaforte sent me a custom graphite mold he made just for me - including a sterling silver cast he had done with it.  He recently had a death in the family and had shut down his Ebay store where I had been buying my molds (he had quite a following and lots of customers).  Once I started casting 2 years ago, we corresponded quite a bit and he started following my blog.  A little over a month ago I sent him an email offering my condolences and I mentioned he must have had a lot of questions sent to him once he ended his store.  I told him that I didn't want to add to the deluge of email questions especially due to the circumstances and that I had just pressed ahead and made my own molds thanks to all the information he has put out on the web.  He is a really good guy and I pray he gets past the loss and gets back into his workshop.  66,86,70, .62,W

Friday, May 22, 2015

tiny bubbles

1 lb 11.42857 oz sterling silver casting grain...enough for 44 coins.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

just so so

My surgeon still won't commit to allowing me some weight bearing - more healing going on but my hardware is blocking a little too much of the view in the xrays.  Scheduled me for a cat scan next week.  Then it will be OK to walk...or wait some more...or a bone graft.  My doctor reminded me that my break was about as bad as it could be - without loosing my foot.  Got no choice but to roll with the punches.
Checked the weather down south before I headed out and it didn't look good.  Drizzle all the way from Odessa to about 20 miles south of Alpine.  Started thinking I might get swamped out.  There was a big thunderstorm south of TFL but it slid by.  My road home was dry as a bone.  68,73,61,0,B

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Leave It To Neil

My friend Neil in the UK passed this on to me on Facebook today.  The stamp act of 1906 which governs the sale of precious metals in the US.  I researched this two years ago when I did the first round of minting.  To the best of my knowledge, every piece I have sold so far (and intend to sell in the future) "has been within the actual fineness of the silver or alloy thereof of which such article is wholly or partly composed shall not be less by more than four one-thousandth parts than the actual fineness indicated by any mark".  Regardless of the silver content...each piece contains 100% love.
No one knows how many laws there are in the United States.  Apparently, no one can count that high.
They’ve been accumulating, of course, for more than 200 years.  When federal laws were first codified in 1927, they fit into a single volume.  By the 1980s, there were 50 volumes of more than 23,000 pages.
And today?  Online sources say that no one knows.  The Internal Revenue Code alone, first codified in 1874, contains more than 3.4 million words and, if printed 60 lines to the page, is more than 7,500 pages long.  There are about 20,000 laws just governing the use and ownership of guns.
New laws mean new crimes.  From the start of 2000 through 2007, Congress had created at least 452 new crimes, so that at that time the total number of Federal crimes exceeded 4,450.
Of course, times change and laws need to be updated.  But many laws detract from, rather than contribute to, our quality of life and overall well-being.  It is impossible for anyone to know all of the laws that affect them and it is, therefore, impossible to not break any laws.  How many of the 4,450 laws have you broken?
- See more at:  

Monday, May 18, 2015

sterling futures

Back in 2013 when I started the minting project, silver was about $22/oz.  So far this year the low was $15.39/oz.  The price has been creeping up the last 2 weeks ($17.69 today) so I just ordered 25 troy oz of sterling silver casting grain from my favorite jewelers supply.  Decided to add some more to the stockpile since I will also be minting a limited number of the 2013 Benita coin in case anyone still wants one.  Once the price of silver hits $19, it will be cheaper (but not easier) to find flatware deals on Ebay.  The nice thing about casting grain is that it can go straight into the mold eliminating the steps of chopping and nugget making.  81,91,63,0,B

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Matthew 13

For a reason I don't remember, I signed up for a calculus class my sophomore year in college.  About 3 weeks in, I skipped a class (I really didn't like calculus) and ended up missing a vital lesson.  From then on nothing made sense and I never understood anything else from then on.  I ended up failing the course.

Matthew 13:12 To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.

Mark 4:13 Then Jesus said to them, “If you can’t understand the meaning of this parable, how will you understand all the other parables?

Matthew 13:19 The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts.

Romans 13:Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.

1 Corinthians 13:13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

Matthew 13:23 The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”

Saturday, May 16, 2015

free range roosters

Woke up this morning to the sound of my roosters in front of the hut.  Seems the boys broke out of their coop and decided to try out free ranging for the first time in their lives.  Since they were so well behaved (they didn't attack me when I led them back to their coop), I will start letting them out to experience the world on a daily basis.  81,93,63,0,B

Friday, May 15, 2015

coin clamp

for fine sanding

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Here are the 3 stages of finish before the stamping:
1. Fresh from the mold 
2. Random orbit sanded with 220 grit 
3. Hand sanded with 320, then 400, then buffed with 000 steel wool.
Note:  Only about .3 grams per coin is lost in this finishing process 
76,83,62, .35",B

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

bench block

Just got a little bench block today.  Need a nice smooth chunk of steel to set the coins on for stamping.  This is 3/4" thick and 2 1/2" square for $12.  Hard to believe it is cost effective to get something like this delivered to the middle of nowhere with free 2 day shipping.  64,75,63,0,W

Monday, May 11, 2015

graphite from back home

Found a good source on Ebay for graphite blanks to make my molds.  Chopped up a few pieces with the table saw today.  Funny thing is it comes from Hudson, NY.  That was just down the road from where I used to live.  78,87,57,0,W

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Satan's Top 10

Lie #10: GOD doesn't exist.

Lie #9: There is no such place as hell.

Lie #8: This life is all there is. When you die, you cease to exist.

Lie #7: Sin really isn't serious...just be a good person.

Lie #6: GOD would want you to be happy, so do what makes you happy.

Lie #5: Acquiring possessions will make me happy.

Lie #4: GOD doesn't love you.

Lie #3: Salvation is unattainable for me.

Lie #2: Once you're saved, regardless of how you live, there's nothing you can do to lose your salvation.

Lie #1: You're saved the moment you believe in Jesus.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Friday, May 8, 2015

Thursday, May 7, 2015


Finished casting the blanks today.  118 rounds from 2058.6 grams of sterling silver flatware.  Each piece is 1" in diameter and an eighth inch thick and weigh an average of 17.4 grams.  Lots of sanding, stamping, tumbling, and polishing before they go to market next month.  86,96,58,0,B

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


While nursing my bum leg...I have had a lot of down time.  I have been spending about 4 hours per day in bed with my leg up and at least as much in the evening before I go to sleep.  I found it easiest to pass the time watching various science fiction TV shows available through Amazon Prime.  To date I have watched every episode of Stargate SG1, Stargate Atlantis, Stargate Universe, Firefly, Under The Dome, Defiance, Falling Skies, Extant, Fringe, Alphas, Grimm, Eureka, and currently watching Warehouse 13.  My perception of reality has been shifted and now I am starting to wonder how much of this entertainment will become fact eventually.  85,92,58,0,B

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Pepino II season

Getting a little warm inside these days so it was time to fire up my swamp cooler for its' fifth season.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Sunday, May 3, 2015

it's personal

If you have a problem with religion...perhaps you should try having a personal relationship with Christ.  It is well worth the effort.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

visitor day

Nick, Vic, Jon & Joe

Friday, May 1, 2015

heating up the leftovers

Had to re-melt the chunks leftover from my first pours with the old molds.  My new molds have a smaller holding chamber that require smaller nuggets.  79,90,46,0,B