Saturday, October 30, 2010



Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Just a lot of watching hundreds of cubic yards of earth being moved.  Almost up to the top now.  Another day or two perhaps till there is a road across the canyon.  This is one job I could never do by myself.  Can't even imagine how many wheel barrow loads this would be.  66,80,55,0,W

Shot down to Archies for a new set of tires.  My last set made it days away from 2 years and just under 40,000 miles.  Not so much the dirt roads out here, but the crappy highways that wear them down.  Not a single flat tire nor did I ever add air to these guys - and they even found a nail in one during the switch.  Worth the price to avoid complications during all my travels.  On top of that, this set cost me $50 dollars less than the last set I bought in Phoenix on November 8, 2008.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Big Dam

Had a brief consultation with my buddies Fred and Jack ( from Porter Construction) yesterday about my big dam project.  Caught them at just the right time and they brought the dozer out today to start work.  I tell all the folks that come out for the tour that someday I would like to dam the deep canyon on my property.  Well that day has apparently come.  Fred is a wizard with the dozer and is about halfway done with the earth moving.  This sucker is gonna hold back a lakes worth of water.  Look for the Field Lab Bass Fishing Tournament next year.  72,85,46,0,C

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

great weight...

Another day too nice to spend mixing concrete - but I just couldn't put it off any longer.  Jumped into the pour this afternoon.  Walter gets a raise today.  He selflessly churned without even a burp for the duration of the mixathon.  2.5 hours, 25 bags of concrete, 25 gallons of water, 2208.5 lbs moved by hand.  That's only 14.74lbs per minute but I'm sure I will feel it tomorrow. 

Big boost in the mail today.  Although I am months away from actually planting anything in the greenhouse - I have been thinking about what to grow.  Taking advice from some good friends.  Got my superfood seeds from Blackbird Naturals. Wild and organic seeds to start the food flow.  A great selection and outstanding packaging (I love little wooden boxes and tiny tins).  (give the page some time to load so you can read all about the goodies)  80,87,45,0,W 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Infernal Combustion

Sunday was just too nice a day to slave over concrete.  Chose another grounds keeping task instead - get the go kart running.  It has been sitting in the same spot for over 6 months.  Removed the gas tank and cleared all the lines and had to re-do the wiring for the radiator fan.  After 4 hours of tinkering, it finally came to life...which is a miracle because the internal combustion engine is a complete mystery to me (but I'm learning).  Put 4 miles on the odometer giving it a shake down run.    Last effort was to JB Weld a cap over the hole in the gas tank where the gas gauge rotted away.  69,83,53,0,B 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

dump run...

Decided since the truck was already loaded - today would be a good day to truck my refuse out of here.  Ten bags into my friend Bennett's dumpster and four bags to the reclycling center.  Picked up a load of lumber for GrubShack Jerry to test out the new rack - I give it a thumbs up.  My friends Dennis and Jen dropped me off a big bottle of safe detergent for the Bike'o'Worsher.  Just received a bottle of Almond Oil to experiment with extracting some Field Lab plant essence.   A well rounded day.  71,84,54,0,B

Friday, October 22, 2010

Rotator Cuff

Both shoulders were really sore last night from all the pulling to get Walter going yesterday.  I had a rotator cuff injury about 8 years ago that painfully laid me up for 3 weeks and required 4 months of physical therapy - so I decided to put off the next pour another day or two.  I know that ache well and I know now to let it rest and heal.  Heading to Alpine again soon so I decided to do some grounds keeping by sorting and bagging up a years worth of trash and recyclables to take with me next trip.  69,85,54,0,C

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Got all my ducks in a row this morning and fired up Walter.  Midway into the first batch of concrete - Walter insisted on taking a break.  My big fear is that he would break down in the middle of a long pour - at least he decided to quit at the beginning this time.  Found the problem but was too beat yanking his chain all morning.  Had to dump 3.5 bags of concrete then ran away to the GS for a long lunch.

A good meal and some time away certainly helps solve problems.  There was a little screw valve that feeds the engine from the gas tank.  When loosened a bit it fed the gas but leaked quite a bit and seemed to vibrate itself closed after running awhile - thus shutting down Walter.  I unscrewed it as far as it would go and added some teflon tape to the it stays in place and doesn't leak.  Will give it a shot again tomorrow morning.
Took advantage of the extra free hours to scrub the house down.  Visitors give me a good excuse to clean up the place.  I have 2 groups coming through this weekend.  One scattered cloud parked this evening for a nice sunset shot.  76,85,55,0,B

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Made another 1/2 day visit to view the progress at the Starlight Theatre.  Looks like we will all be back in margarita and burger land very soon.  An extended lunch hour at the GrubShack then home again where I whipped together some parts and built a camera stand for my friend Rachel.  77,86,61,0,B

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Was able to find a good excuse to put off pouring concrete another day.  My friend Brad's painting company is working at the Starlight Theatre.  They are currently repainting the ceiling a nice deep blue to cover the dingy/dusty black.  As soon as that is done and the floors are repaired they will be coating them next.  All the character that we have grown to know and love will remain intact.  With Jason and Diego at the helm - they will be back better than ever.  Spent a couple of hours shooting video and webcasting from there this morning.  Going back tomorrow for some interviews to post on YouTube.  November first is the tentative re-opening date.  76,87,60,0,B

Monday, October 18, 2010


A couple of days ago, either a 4 legged creature (no names) or nature felled my east rock pile on the new wall out front.  Decided fixing that would be the only physical labor today as I am resting up for 3 big concrete pours.  Filled in the day by gathering the photo files for a set of Field Lab postcards to be printed up and offered for sale next month.  My friend JD helped me cull the blog archives for a choice selection of images.  78,90,49,0,C 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nice Rack!

Almost went to get help mounting the truck rack this morning.  Suddenly it occurred to me that I was able to lift and position 300lb, 42 ft wide steel trusses by myself - so the rack should be a breeze.  Cinched some nuts to hold the width position then built rails using 10ft 2x4's.  Jacked then up and slid the rig into place.  Most of the effort went into tightening all the nuts and bolts after it was mounted.  79,91,49.0,C

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Did some more prep work on the next pour to come.  Heaved Walter around the greenhouse next to my pallet of concrete - greased his gears - added some oil - gassed him up and with 12 pulls he came to life.
Met up with Julianne at the GrubShack this afternoon to pick up the roof rack from her.  Took 2 hours to assemble it - now I just have to figure out how to get it into place on the bed of my truck.  Jose obviously remembered our new bond and followed me around all day as I worked.  Almost like having my faithful dog Goldie back.  76,88,47,0,C

Friday, October 15, 2010

new hand feeder..

Had some nice sky color this morning as the sun came up.  Early breakfast at the GrubShack then worked on a shopping list for Alpine.  On the road by 11 and back by 5.  Along with stocking up I was able to work the truck inspection into the day.  Good to go for another year including the registration.

Benita and the burro formerly know as Mr. Floppy where waiting for me when I got home.  Gave them both some dinner and water, then Benita wandered off to graze.  When I was in Marfa for Clothesline Appreciation Day, I ran into Dick Cain.  We talked about Benita (of course) and I described Mr. Floppy to him.  He informed me that the wild burro's name is actually Jose - no wonder he wasn't really responding to the name I gave him.  Spent about an hour making nice with him and finally got him to hand feed.  Just like the longhorns - once they get it, they expect it.  He even tentatively let me brush him - making sure to stay far away from his kick zone.  75,86,48,0,C

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Gearing up for 3 more concrete pours in the coming days.  Built the form that will be used for the next three foundation sections to be filled in.  Set the form in place on the NE edge of the greenhouse.  Each pour will take about 20 bags of concrete so I will be bringing Walter (the cement mixer loaned to me by stilt house builder Ben) back to life this weekend to lend a hand.  74,87,53,0,C 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Almost headed up to Odessa this morning....almost.  Talked myself out of the trip at the last minute.  I prefer to deal with vendors face to face or over the internet - but not by phone.  Have had absolutely no luck until today sussing out my transparent polycarbonate roofing order by phone with Home Depot.  Finally found a "sales associate" that knew exactly what I was looking for and was able to seal the deal.    The final section of roofing is ordered and should be ready for pick-up in 7 to 10 days.  This is the product I am going with.

Found a good deal on a roof rack for my truck to ease transport of the roofing once it arrives - I hate pulling long trailers.  Made arrangements for my friend Julianne (bee keeper/piano tuner/chemistry professor) to pick it up and bring it down to the ranch this Friday. 
Just finished the final rendering of the Field Lab greenhouse complex - long term plan.  73,88,52,0,W

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cow Day


Monday, October 11, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

packed and ready to go...

Did a test worsh today and all was well - the swooshing and spin were grid-like.  Baked 8 mini loaves of Field Lab Solar Bread to hand out to onlookers tomorrow.  Also armed with plenty of Benita postcards and some FL tshirts.  Packed the truck this afternoon.  All is ready so I'm looking forward to a relaxed Sunday outing of meet and greet. Will be live webcasting starting around 1PM central time at  77,91,49,0,B

Friday, October 8, 2010

canned organic pancakes?

Just heard about this product today from my IT guy in the UK... wish I had thought of that...


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

it all hinges on this...

Searched the Field Lab surplus for extra bits'n'pieces to make the new pulley happen for the B'o'W.  Got it welded up, then an afternoon tea at the GrubShack.  Another couple of hours of fine tuning and the rig is running smoothly now.  It's noisy but the worsh cycle is speedy and the spin cycle is supersonic.  All thanks to Saint Veronica.   Will try a test with dirty clothes in the morning.  76,85,52,0,B

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


So much for an early run to Alpine - didn't get on the road till 11:30.  Could not find the exact part I was looking for so searched for stuff that could be used to fabricate the tension pulley for the Bike'o'Worsher.  After cruising the aisles at my first stop (McCoys) for about 5 minutes, I found just what I needed.  Good to get that search out of the way early. 

Leisurely made the rounds about town including a stop at the courthouse to renew my truck registration.  Tried to work an inspection in also but Bam Automotive was out of stickers.  Home in enough time to assemble the "kit" and give it a quick check on the bike pulley - it's all good. Saving the final mount for tomorrow morning then a test drive to see what needs attention next.  72,87,55,0,B

Monday, October 4, 2010

back to the bike...

Got the new pulley mounted this morning for the Bike'o'Worsher.  The new long belt didn't arrive till this afternoon.  Crawled around for about an hour playing with the new configuration to see what will work.  Used the grinder to remove the intermediate pulley assembly and found the sweet spot for the next part of the rig to be fabricated.  Will need more parts so an early morning Alpine run is scheduled for tomorrow.  Good news is - it looks like the big pulley gives me really good swooshing action on the agitation mode without pedaling myself silly.  Flopping the drive train so forward pedaling will propel the worsh and backward will fire up the super spin cycle.  77,88,54,0,B

Tune in tomorrow at around 10:40AM central time for an interview with Alyce Santoro about the Clothesline Appreciation Day event in Marfa next Sunday.  You can hear it streamed live from KRTS Marfa Public Radio at  Just click the LISTEN NOW button.