Wednesday, August 31, 2011

trying to concentrate...

Just sealed the deal today for a 10' satellite dish from my buddy Jesse (the CHL instructor).  He has an old dish that he no longer wants that was used by the previous owner back when they had to be this big.  This might end up being a solar concentrator to heat water to be stored up for the greenhouse during the cold winter nights. 

Following on that theme, Just Me needed frames put together for some fresnel lenses she has.  We are going to try to do a solar weenie roast on Saturday at tffnguy's.  Whipped the first one together then played with it all afternoon.  Used my welding mask because that spot it makes is really bright not to mention HOT ( 1026.8 degrees F).  Actually melted some of the dirt it was pointing at.  97,101,69,0,B

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

low tech...

No big secret behind the payphone lighting....just 4 strings of 50 white LED Christmas lights.  They have internal sensors that shut them off for charging during the day and turn them on from dusk till dawn.  Had a couple of bum lights in the strings but it's good enough for me.  Will mount the little solar chargers and batteries on top now that I know they work within reason.

Just got word via Facebook today that my friend and neighbor Voni Glaves (wearing red, of course) and Ardys Kellerman became the first women in North America to document riding one million miles on BMW motorcycles.  Congratulations!...Next stop - 2 million miles.  96,104,84,0,B

Monday, August 29, 2011

lighting test...

Did a lighting test today for the payphone...96 solar powered LED's.  Not quite bright enough for me.  I have enough to double it so I think I can set up the permanent installation tomorrow.  Will make a nice lighted marker for when I come home after dark.  96,103,71,0,B

Sunday, August 28, 2011

surprise visit...

Nice to try and sleep in this morning especially after having to actually get up early and be somewhere yesterday.  A long day of classroom work followed by 8 people shooting 50 rounds kinda wore me out.  Looked for an easy morning chore and found it by shoveling cow fertilizer for an hour.  That was good enough to satisfy my Sunday work ethic so I headed south for some leisurely laundry.  After I got 2 loads started, I headed over to the Big Bend Motor Inn for some gas where I spotted a familiar vehicle.  Popped inside for lunch and found my buddy Dan Stricklin (in the Field Lab tshirt) and emmy award winning producer Jason Anderson.  Dan was out to TFL over 2 years ago when they shot my segment for Texas Country Reporter.  They were in town shooting a couple of stories this weekend.  They stopped by after lunch to meet Benita and check out the progress.

Mexican night at the GrubShack Sunday Supper.  Home in time to check the pond depth while there was still plenty of light.  That's Mr. Floppy waiting for me to leave so he can walk down the face of the dam to get a drink.  Pond level is down to just under 7' deep.  90,101,66,0,B

Saturday, August 27, 2011

home on the range...

At school all day thanks to my buddy Jesse Hall.  This guy is a top notch instructor. Special thanks to Deputy Brent Sugg for helping keep us all safe out on the shooting range.  Easily passed the Texas Concealed Handgun written and shooting proficiency tests.  Fingerprints and some mug shots and I'm ready to go.  93,101,66,0,B

Friday, August 26, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

phone surgery...

Got the pad poured this morning...spotted some drought blooms all over the place out here.  Started stripping down the payphone so I can clean it up and add new graphics and some solar powered lighting.  They put those things together with lots of vandal-proof  fasteners that ordinary tools don't like.  92,103,71,0,B

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


So last week I'm out front at the Big Bend Motor Inn having coffee with my buddy Chuck.  A guy comes up and introduces himself and asks about The Field Lab.  We chat for awhile and it turns out he services ATM's and payphones in the area.  Next time he comes south, he's gonna swing by and crack open my payphone so I can get it working (those things are locked up pretty good).  Decided today's project was to prep for a concrete pad so I can bolt it into place next to my incoming phone line.  94,104,70,0,B

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

time for a clean sweep...

Morning and afternoon sorting through the spread in the courtyard.

Midday in the pond with TFL Swamp Girl 2011.  95,104,72,0,B

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Planning Sunday

Made a supply run to Alpine today.  Found my friend Kristinna as soon as I hit town.  She picked up some big inner tubes at Oasis Tire for me a couple of days ago.  Made the usual rounds.  Ready for some lake time tomorrow.  95,106,73,0,B

Friday, August 19, 2011

NW parts...

Worked on top of the shade all morning closing off the west end. Once I seal the building, I may still need a no trespass order to keep GMOs out of my greenhouse.
Just learned today that the fight continues against the Obama administration, genetically modified organisms, and his food safety czar Michael Taylor.  He had been Monsanto’s attorney before becoming policy chief at the FDA. Soon after, he became Monsanto’s vice president and chief lobbyist.  Now he is in charge of our food supply.    Old news here - along with Mr. Taylors revolving door history with the FDA and Monsanto. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

waterboxx retrieval...

Applied to the FCC for a GMRS license ( General Mobil Radio Service).  Studying for my ham radio technician exam.   Afternoon in the field...extracted 29 waterboxxes from the experiment in Big Bend Valley for my buddy Bill Schneider.  Left 2 with planned plant life and one with a healthy weed that is flowering.  97,102,71,0,B

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

gone swimmin...

texas drought
watered 12 burros
 10 longhorns
innumerable bugs and birds
pond depth at 11.5 feet
went swimming
photo by Kristinna Blanchard

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

intermittent internet...

Web going on and off today...figured I'd better post early while I still can.  I think it's a line problem but just ordered a backup DSL modem from BestBuy in case the BBT one goes out on me again.  Actiontec - 1-Port Ethernet Broadband DSL Modem with Built-In Firewall.  Needed two more supports prepped'n'welded up this morning for the west face soon to be polycarbonate.  Perhaps I'll get them primed tonight if some cloud cover rolls in.  It's HOT working "on top" of the new shade.  Set up the gennie and charge controller to equalize my battery bank...they are due for a boost.

Monday, August 15, 2011

pump clog fix


Sunday, August 14, 2011

shady sunday...

Shade is finished
Sunday Supper at the GrubShack

Saturday, August 13, 2011

due diligence...

Hot/humid morning but got 4 more sheets of tin up on the north side of the west awning.  Too hot to continue on that work so I figured it was time to prep the gas powered water pump-just in case.  At 4PM I got dumped on hard for about a half hour...slow drizzled after that for 3 more hours.  
Pumped 2000 gallons out of the creek flow and the lake is 14' deep now.  73,106,73, .57",B

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Made an Alpine run to stock up once again just in case the next couple of forecasts are correct.  Was hopeful this afternoon once the vortex gave in a bit.  Drizzle for about an hour but no downpour.  Had the time lapse running just in case of a flash and set up a depth gauge for the dam.  Benita got a rinse but looked a little miffed that her cover isn't up yet.  

Got a strange bump in blog page visits yesterday that started about 9AM.  Almost 1000 extra visitors for the day but I'm not sure why.  If someone posted a link somewhere - please let me know. 
75,106,77, .17", C

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

ready for roofing

Finished welding final bits this morning then primed the new steel.  Penelope slept through most of the work.  95,108,78,0,B