Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Holy Road


Well...that rain yesterday finally chipped a little too much of my road away.  The only way to get by now is to shave about a foot off the bank across from the trench to make the road wide enough for my truck.  That is a lot easier than trying to fill in where the road has disappeared - the trench is now 5' wide and 4' deep.  If the rains miss me tonight, that is on my list for tomorrow morning.

I kind of expected a few more tries at the trivia contest.  Funny thing is, the numbers Billy Bob came up with were the same ones I had - at first.  I was about to concede the victory to him, then Barbara Brostowicz chimed in.  After triple checking the numbers (I missed the "no post" on November 30, 2008), Barbara is the winner.  Send me an email with your mailing address and I will send the mug out to you.  73,92,73, .06",B

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

9 years of blogging...

Time sure has gone by quickly out here since I started the blog on August 15, 2008.  Including today, I have done 3265 posts.

CONTEST:
  A.  How many days had I been here before I started the blog?  
B.  How many days have I missed doing a post since I started the blog?  
C.  What day in 2015 did I not post?  

First person to get all three questions correct 
wins a BE LIKE CHUPA mug!
86,92,72, .50",B

Monday, August 14, 2017

Sunday, August 13, 2017

I don't think so....

I think she needs to find a new pastor...

Saturday, August 12, 2017

40 years...

My family moved to Tell City, Indiana when I was 8 years old.  We lived there for 7 years.  I had a lot of great friends I grew up with from 3rd grade on and it was tough to leave that experience behind when we moved to North Carolina right after my freshman year of high school.  I have since caught up with a lot of them on Facebook.  Since they graduated, a core group has been getting together every August - called the Last Man's Club.  This year they are celebrating their annual LMC gathering as well as their 40th high school reunion.  A few of them tried to convince me to attend but I decided not to go because it would be too much of a time warp for me.  Keep in mind - the last time I saw these guys we were all 16 years old and I knew most of them since 3rd grade...and they are all so old now!  Moving away when we did really sucked because I missed out on all the shared experience of growing old together with a group of childhood friends.  Since I blew off the reunion, I figured the least I could do is send them all a BE LIKE CHUPA mug.  Cheers!  89,97,75,0,B        

Friday, August 11, 2017

Thursday, August 10, 2017

NO BORDER WALL?

Been seeing a lot of very uninformed folks adding this graphic to their Facebook profile picture lately.  Seems the latest cry from the bleeding hearts against Trump's tough stance on illegal immigration is how a border wall may effect wildlife refuges.  Unfortunately, a few of these refuges just happen to be along a stretch in east Texas that just happens to be where the absolute most amount of illegal traffic occurs along the entire Mexican/America border (almost 200,000 apprehended in 2016 and DHS estimates that at least that many actually got through without being captured).  Something the bleeding hearts fail to realize is that this isn't just about stopping innocent families crossing the border, looking for a better life.  Aside from the threat of terrorists getting though, it just so happens that Mexico is where we get most of our coke, heroin, meth, and fentanyl.  The cartels have stepped up their game with these commodities to make up for the lack of demand for their low grade marijuana.  And now there is also a huge black market by the drug cartels to smuggle our high potency "legal" marijuana back into Mexico.  As for the construction of a physical barrier that may harm some wildlife...don't blame the government.  Blame the drug dealers and our junkie society.  91,95,76,0,B

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

14 CFR § 107.61

As long as I am at it...might as well get a commercial drone license so I can legally earn some money with my Mavic Pro.  Studying to pass the knowledge test to earn a Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small UAS Rating from the FAA.  This will also involve a road trip as the nearest testing center is in Big Spring about 60 miles east of Odessa.  (Maybe I will stop by and visit Medical Center Hospital where they patched up my leg.)  88,92,73,0,B

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

end of an era...














Looks like my 9.5 year old AGM's have finally lost their will to live...or take a charge.  These (the two batteries on the right) were part of my original Frankenstein set up that powered lighting and ventilation (including the swamp cooler) in my hut.  I did this with a split system to compare a couple of lead acid batteries to a couple of AGM's.  The 2 batteries on the left are second generation - the originals died almost 4 years ago.  This mess is still charged with my original Harbor Freight solar panels.  Good news is Ron Mohr of Green Desert Living is about to get in another load of surplus AGM's so it will soon be time to clear the cobwebs and reboot (and rewire) this system.  86,99,73,0,B

Monday, August 7, 2017

Sunday, August 6, 2017

communication

Ephesians 4:29Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

reset...

Finally resolved my computer issues...after fighting with them for 2 days.  Programs kept locking up and I couldn't get online.  I was barely able to edit my Friday and Monday YouTube videos and save them to an SD card so I could upload them from my other computer.  Got pretty close to giving up and taking my computer in to Nectar Computers in Alpine and pay them deal with it.  The only thing I know for sure is that it wasn't a virus problem and had something to do with the recent updates I tried to install.  After numerous attempts, I was finally able to do a "refresh" of Windows 10 - wiping and reinstalling the OS.  The problem with doing that was my anti virus software (McAfee) kept popping up and stopping the process.  Once I figured out how to disable it (McAfee kept locking up too) - everything went fine and now the computer is back to normal.  Another thing a refresh does is wipe all programs added to the computer that weren't originally there, but fortunately it does not affect saved files like documents, pictures, and videos.  The only wiped program I really needed back was my video editing software so I purchased a new download from Amazon.  It took a painfully tense 4 hours to download...then it wouldn't install!  After banging my head on the table a few times I remembered that when I first bought and installed the program back in January, I had ordered a disk instead of a download and was able to find the disk and the installation went fine. Ordinarily,  Amazon does not refund software downloads but I politely asked anyway.  The next morning they responded and said they would issue the refund ($75) as "a one time courtesy".  89,95,77,0,B 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Thursday, August 3, 2017

STOP














Well...about once a year someone takes out our silly stop sign at Terlingua Ranch Rd. and DOT comes out the next day and puts it right back...in the middle of the road.  89,92,71,0,B

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

the dreaded update

Did a Dell update and the pending Windows 10 update on my super laptop this morning and now it is all wonky - problems with internet access and programs locking up.  Uninstalled the updates but it's still temperamental.  Looks like I will be taking it to the computer doctor in Alpine next trip north unless find a fix on the internet or it magically goes back to normal.  Although this is the first time I have ended up with a problem, I always dread "updating" my computer when everything is already working fine as is.  84,88,71, .06",B

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

accessories...

Now that the solar oven is back in business...looks like uncooperative solar cooking weather for at least the next week.  Just got a new oven thermometer and great deal on a new pre-seasoned cast iron dutch oven ... for the next time there is enough sun to use them.  79,93,77,0,B

Monday, July 31, 2017

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Saturday, July 29, 2017

a sprinkle














Big storms in the area today...caught just enough to settle the dust and take the heat off.  74,100,76, .07",B

Friday, July 28, 2017

Thursday, July 27, 2017

trash day...

94,97,72,0,B

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

back in business...











Part of the production yesterday was Ben helping me reassemble my solar oven.  As it turns out, I wasn't called upon to prepare anything with it so I am enjoying my first solar oven cooked meal in over a year tonight.  94,97,76,0,B

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Ben Fogle returns...
















Had a return visit today from Ben Fogle.  My Ben was named after him when his show New Lives in the Wild filmed here 5 years ago.  Nice when a celebrity insists on getting selfies with my famous animals and includes my favorite UPS driver.  They were here for 8 hours today to do a follow up on my episode from the first season of the program.  95,97,74,0,B

Monday, July 24, 2017

Sunday, July 23, 2017

all things

Philippians 4: 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

say hello to my little friend...

I really need to do some welding tomorrow on the solar oven...but a spider has made a home in my welding jacket.  I hate to disrupt all the hard work he has put into it so I think I will make do without the jacket for this little project.  92,98,71,0,B

Friday, July 21, 2017

Thursday, July 20, 2017

another bump...

Nearly 3 months in and just when I think "the bucket" has had its last dying breath - someone new finds it.  This morning it was the Ukraine.  This is the second time it has made the rounds there.  88,92,73,0,B

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

solar project...

Looks like I have something to keep me busy through the weekend.  I have committed to cooking a pizza when the film crew is here next Tuesday.  My big solar oven has been laying in the same spot since the stand broke last year.  A little welding and a lot of cleaning and it should be good to go.  Let's just hope we have a sunny day.  77,88,74,0,B

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

plenty of room...

Looks like it will take at least one more big storm before I won't be able to squeak by.  The rest of the road is all dry now and clear sailing for at least the next week.  87,94,71,0,B

Monday, July 17, 2017

Sunday, July 16, 2017

how much more...

Matthew 7:
11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!  

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017

Thursday, July 13, 2017

the goggles have landed...

A bit of touch and go this morning with the weather.  Was afraid I wouldn't get my deliveries due to rain.  Luckily the nearby storms passed this morning with only a brief sprinkle and it was clear sailing.  Headed out at 2 PM and caught a new FedEx driver headed my way with the goggles.  I told her I was sorry she didn't get a chance to meet Chupa.  She was more than happy to avoid the encounter since she had already heard all about him.  Ventured south and caught a substitute UPS driver on the road with another delivery.  I figured Manny must be on vacation because normally I am his first stop and he gets here by 1 PM.  Brought the new gear home and charged everything up.  Easily got through linking the goggles with the Mavic and luckily my poor eyesight is just right to be able to see an incredible image without any glasses (the view is truly amazing).  The fit of the goggles on my noggin was a little iffy and they tended to slip (as I have seen in some of the reviews).  Figured out that wearing a backwards baseball cap under the rig was just what I needed to keep them in place.  Lots of little things to still figure out.  Will do a full review of all the new gear eventually on YouTube.  82,88,75,0,B    

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

7 years ago...











Had a return visit today from Larry D. Hayden.  Good to get caught up after 7 years and Chupa was on his best behavior (sort of).  Ben really enjoyed seeing a Hasselblad for the first time.
Larry shot this iconic image of Benita when he was last here. 
93,97,78,0,B

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

glad that is finally done...














Tackled the worst of it yesterday.  First major clean up since my accident 2 1/2 years ago.  Last on the list is to find out what is going on under the bed - where the monsters live... 95,96,76,0,W

Monday, July 10, 2017

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Saturday, July 8, 2017

another tail light














Just over a year ago I replaced this tail light.  2 months ago the new one jiggled loose and lost a vital part and I have been nursing it along by applying a little duct tape to hold it in place.  Last week I forgot to check the tape and took a trip south for some errands.  That evening I noticed the tail light was gone.  Found it the next day along the highway about half way to Study Butte.  Just installed a new replacement today (and put some thread lock on the 2 screws that hold it in place).  90,95,75,0,B

Friday, July 7, 2017

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Name that critter.

First time I have noticed one of these at TFL.  Do you know what it is? Note: proper identification includes being age specific... 79,90,73,0,W

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

FPV

Made an executive decision today (I love making those) and ordered the DJI Goggles for my Mavic Pro.  Rather than get another dedicated tablet (I already have 3 tablets and none of them work very well in this application) I decided on the FPV (first person view) goggles.  Came to that conclusion after a good amount of research.  When I first started hearing about the goggles, I sort of wrote them off as a silly racing drone accessory.  What I have come to discover after seeing a lot of reviews is that they are the perfect solution for being able to precisely control the drone while filming (which is the whole point of why I decided to buy the drone in the first place). They are 20 bucks cheaper than the new bright DJI CrystalSky 5.5" monitor and there is absolutely no issue with glare from the sun when you wear them.  From what I have seen it is a truly immersive experience and just like being in the cockpit when flying the drone.  They work wirelessly with the Mavic Pro with DJI's new OcuSync technology and provide a flawless HD video feed from the drone throughout its full distance range and a touch pad on the side of the goggles gives access to all the configuration and flight mode menus.  80,102,75, .04",W

Monday, July 3, 2017

Sunday, July 2, 2017

let not the sun go down upon your wrath

Ephesians 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.  26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:  27 Neither give place to the devil.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Big Ben is 5 years old!

95,98,75,0,B, 68.25" tip to tip

Friday, June 30, 2017

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Ben's shot at the limelight...

Finally found a good reason to get cleaned up around here.  Just confirmed today that I was willing to participate in a re-visit for Ben Fogle's New Lives In The Wild.  They filmed out here 5 years ago and my episode was the first one they shot.  The series has been a hit for Channel 5 and they are on their 5th season of episodes now.  They contacted me last year about the possibility of another visit and we just confirmed the dirty details today.  They will be here along with Ben Fogle for a one day shoot the last week of July.  For those who saw the episode, you probably noticed that baby Ben was totally left out of the story although they featured the beheading of his dead mother - unfortunate since I named my Ben after Ben Fogle.  At my insistence, they are going to include old footage of baby Ben along with new footage of Big Ben when they come back for this episode.  They also want to talk about my YouTube channel.  If I can coax Ben into appearing in a video for my channel, then I will really score.  Win-Win-Win.  103,105,75,0,B

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

just as I suspected...

He has been caught on camera two nights now...also making his way into the greenhouse.  I have a plan for his demise.  Manny shall be avenged.  94,102,70,0,B

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Payday

Finally got everything squared away with Google Adsense and my first payment was deposited into my checking account...$1,147.17.  Up until May, I had only accumulated $44.34 in ad revenue and was still months away from seeing any benefit since monetizing my YouTube channel at the beginning of the year.  I wasn't expecting any money til about October.   They don't pay out until you reach the $100 threshold, but "the bucket" put me over in style with 6,892,562 views for my channel from Jan 1 to June 1.  Unfortunately, 2,043,633 of those views came from shares that did not count toward monetization, resulting in $511 in lost revenue.  In order to be counted, the video must be viewed from a YouTube link where the ads will play and a good number of those shares came from sites that do not present the video correctly (there really isn't anything I can do about that and even un-monetized views help spread the word).  Also, ad revenue is much smaller outside of developed countries.   Another interesting tidbit I have learned is that one can only expect about 10% of subscribers to actually keep coming back for more.  At $0.25 per 1,000 views (this is a general estimate and a number of factors influence this including watch time, ad impressions and click-throughs), I won't see any more payments that big unless I score another viral hit, but at least my channel got a nice jump-start on growth.  And as my channel grows, so will the amount of revenue sharing per views because advertisers pay more if you consistently reach a large audience.  Next payment for who has been watching in June won't be until the 18th of July and is only projected to be about $50.  89,94,72,0,B

Monday, June 26, 2017

Sunday, June 25, 2017

no yoke...

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

oh the irony...

Kind of ironic that I just posted a video of the state of my water supply while Study Butte / Terlingua is under a water emergency due to problems with the municipal water system.  Did a supply run to Alpine yesterday which included picking up over 28 gallons of bottled water for a neighbor who has no catchment in place.  Also looks like my kitchen has relapsed into its' natural state of chaos.  Stay tuned for an upcoming time lapse video on my channel of the transformation back to order.  89,91,73, .01",W

Friday, June 23, 2017

Thursday, June 22, 2017

first suspect...

The game cam caught a suspect last night.  He was brought in for questioning and released.  Chupa failed to identify him in a lineup.  97,104,77,0,B