Sunday, February 28, 2010

nice catch...

One last real day off hopefully - then back to work? I think I'm getting the spark. Shoveled cow poop all morning then just kicked back. High winds came in around 3:30 and took over the rest of the afternoon. Closed myself inside while 25 - 35 mph gusts blew across The Field Lab. Was keeping an eye on my new water tanks sitting at the end of my driveway when suddenly I looked up and there were only two where there were once three. One of my 3000 gallon water tanks took a stroll (roll)...about 1/8th mile from NW to SE. It got caught just at the edge of the big canyon on my property. I just wish I had it on video. I think it's time to level pads, place the tanks, and put some water in them to keep another wandering episode from happening. 50,86,34,0

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

found a diversion

Something new just popped up for The Field Lab... from the old list - made it to the top for this weekend. Spent a good amount of the day just hiking my property, instead of building anything. Low and behold...about 1/4 mile SE from where the wind turbines were mounted, I found a long lost hub. Nice to know it flew that far during what was probably the 70+mph winds we had once last summer. Guess it pays off to walk the property every now and then. Topped off the afternoon with a visit to my neighbor Bill, whose wedding I performed here last November. He and his buddy Jackie have been working on the homestead this week. 52,75,39,0

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lost Wednesday

Bed post...nothing happened anyway...perhaps something later. 45,66,20,0

Built up a little steam and managed to clear the debris that 5 people can make in 4 days. Next phase for the roof is to white prime all the metal I just welded into place before the roofing goes on. Need to give my lungs a break so wont fire up the sprayer for at least a week. Just gotta pick something from the list to keep me occupied. 62,84,26,0

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

...and then it snowed

34,49,31, .75" snow

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

five gallons of heaven...

Felt like crap all last night and most of the day. I reckon I've been inhaling too much in the way of welding fumes lately...happy to give my lungs a break for awhile. Laid low all day walking my property, puttering around and bonding with longhorns. Just taught this big cow how to hand feed this morning. She hung close by all day - wanting to perfect the trick, no doubt. Have yet to come up with a name for my new protege.

Did the GrubShack thing today for a late lunch which kinda perked me up....fried chicken livers. I reckon that has got to be good for me (except for the fried part). Finally started feeling up to snuff by the end of the day so I bumped the good vibe with a nice hot shower. Felt really good to peel off those welding clothes and scrub down. 57,76,29,0

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Another nice day here but not quite warm enough to make it perfect. Off'n'on welded all day and finished all but 6 flanges for the roof system. Last on the agenda was to break down the scaffold I borrowed months ago as it has to be returned tomorrow to my buddy Marbert.

Got a message today with some photo links from my new photog friend Xilia Faye. Suddenly it occurred to me that in fact I did have some human contact yesterday. She stopped by early to say hello and goodbye. Sent her an email apologizing that I said no humans in sight - to which she replied - "I am superhuman so it's all good". Xilia is just beginning a year long driving tour of the country. You can keep tabs on her progress and excellent photography here... Funny thing is ....she got sucked in to checking out the Big Bend at the very beginning of her trip and what does she do?.....buys 10 acres of land. Now she has a little patch of Texas Paradise to come back to when she is done cruising. She shot these photos last week when she came out for a Field Lab tour. 47,65,25,0

Monday, February 15, 2010

frosty points

Daytime temps continue to rise, but still dipping below freezing at night - which bodes well for my winter ice box. A rather cool day today but plenty of sunshine, longhorns, welding and best of all - not another human in sight. 43,61,31,0

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bad Cow

Had the normal group in this morning for breakfast. A new black cow with formidable horns decided to chew on my cable that leads to the IP cam. Luckily, she didn't short anything out but she certainly made a good dent in the wire. I have named her White Tail....hmmmm...wonder how I came up with that name.

Got 6 more flanges welded into place then broke for a long tanning session. Put my clothes back on and headed over to Ben and Vanessa's stilt house for dinner. They don't have a computer at home but Ben's mom Sallie keeps tabs on the blog for them. Happy Valentines Day, Sallie!! 44,84,28,0

Saturday, February 13, 2010

everythings better with bluebonnet on it...

Had one of those executive decision mornings - time for a supply run to Alpine. Before I hit the road, Benita was in for breakfast at 7AM. She just figured out this morning that it is OK for her to let me scratch her ears like last fall. Left the Field Lab in good hands and ran my errands in the big city. Just as I was coming home around 3PM...I passed a car on my dirt road. They pulled up just as I was unpacking my stuff. New friends Denise and Charlie Martin got here just in time for the full tour. Grabbed this shot late this afternoon about 10 miles south of me to show off the other sign of Spring in SW Texas. 56,79,29,0

Friday, February 12, 2010

new kid on the block...

Ahhhhhh....Spring time. According to the Field Lab, Spring has officially arrived in the SW Texas desert. Benita returned and the Bluebonnets are blooming all along the highways. On top of that - the first new calf of 2010 showed up today with her momma. I named the calf Shannon after my friend from the Ghost Town who is also know to locals as the Little Brown Girl.

Got all the flanges finished today and welded 4 of 43 into place. Had to put up a shield to protect Benita from the welding glare as she insisted on keeping tabs on the progress. Lured her away with a bale of hay which she scratched her head on for awhile then proceeded to munch on. Later in the afternoon, I did her portrait with mini Benita.

Just as I was finishing up the sky monkey routine - my latest visitors showed up for a tour. This is the first group to come out that read this months article about the Field Lab in the Big Bend Gazette. My new best friends are Mel, T.J. and Pam. 51,71,28,0

Thursday, February 11, 2010


46,58,34, .17" (above photo from 6 years ago back in upstate NY after an 18" snow storm)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

last bad weather...?

Well I guess we know who the real star of the Field Lab is. Nice to know so many folks appreciate Benita as much as I do. I think she is on her way to being the most famous longhorn in Texas.

Mostly overcast skies all day with yet one more day of rain in the forecast. Hopefully Scruffy's voodoo and Benita's early return truly signal the beginning of spring in the desert. Chopped and ground parts for the final 20 flanges. Just in case we get rain tomorrow - I prepped the pump intake. Also on the list was to fence in the last of my prize front yard Yuccas. The longhorns love using them as a scratching post and have knocked over 6 tall ones in the past two years - but they ain't gonna get this one. Not to worry....I will install an artificial scratching post far superior to a vulnerable Yucca. 28,48,36,0

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010


Got a good bit of metal chopping in well as 3 loaves of Field Lab Solar Oven Bread. Cut up enough steel for half of the flanges left to go - another perfect SW Texas winter day. Finished up at 3:30PM, sponged off the stinky parts and headed down to the Ghost Town for some porch time. Had a chance to catch up with the regulars as well as Redford Chicken George and his visiting Japanese friend. Saw my friend Cynta and got what I call "a whole earth hug" - this woman gives the best hugs in Terlingua. Gave loaves of bread to my mentors Dr. Doug and Brady the bartender at the Starlight. Chatted up the regulars for awhile then shot home - but must have missed the longhorn dinner crowd....they'll be back. 52,76,36,0

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Just another perfect weather day in paradise....after the fog burned off that is. My friend Maria from Sul Ross came out this morning to count more of the rare plants (Terlingua Creek Cat's Eye) growing at the Field Lab. She is up to 901 as of today. Maria was marking areas where she has already counted with little orange flags.

Finished off all the high welding by 6PM today. I can do the rest from the tops of the containers now. About 50 more flanges to go. I am also welding 3" x 5" plates over the 17 butt welds that don't line up over a truss. Such a nice day I took a 2 hour break to soak in the sun between shifts. 59,82,41,0

Late Update: I didn't watch the Superbowl but one of my facebook friends posted a link to this Budweiser commercial ...I like it!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

mini me...

Had an unusual start to my day out here....went out to pee before sunrise and heard some noise out behind the house. Clicked on my flashlight and caused a stampede of about 20 longhorns. Kind of a nice way to start the day. When the sun finally came up, part of the group was perched on the hill west of me - no doubt waiting for the breakfast signal.

Got half of the flanges welded in today on the high center part of the roof. I have to return the scaffold soon that I borrowed from my buddy Marbert. Another day or two and I will be done with those hard to reach spots.

Drove out my road this afternoon to get some lunch and only hit a couple of swampy spots. I'm still sore from the walk to the GrubShack 2 days ago. Picked up a package at the mailboxes - from Scruffy Jones. My Benita wine bottle stopper arrived! Is is adorable...I sure hope Benita likes it. 55,82,33,0

Friday, February 5, 2010

884 feet

Well what do you know about that?...I was really sore today after my little ambulatory episode yesterday. I woke up with all sorts of aches and pains this morning. Guess I need to do a little more walking... Was slow getting up to speed but finally got a good rhythm going by noon and finished off the purlins as well as about 10 more flanges by 5:30 (with only a couple of longhorn breaks). Really nice to have a full day of sun for a change and not another human in sight. During the four o'clock visitation, Beatrice decided to check out the courtyard. 52,73,33,0