Saturday, June 30, 2012


Had a visit today from my old pal Gunga....of course he is big enough to kill me now so our relationship dynamic has changed.  I gave him range feed, water, shade, and a wide berth. 

Finished up the oven door and mounted the glass.  Figured out the angle for one of the four reflectors (without the mylar).  93,101,72,0,B,0

Friday, June 29, 2012

sir bendalot

Bent and lined the oven started on the door.  Took a "brake" mid day because OBC was looking for some shade, so I closed down the work zone for a couple of hours. 

Got a UPS delivery today - some mylar to try out as reflectors for the oven. (I just know this won't hold up well out here - but I gotta try it)  Discovered some new life on my almost dead Pineapple Guava tree.  96,106,72,0,B, .10

Thursday, June 28, 2012

health care reform...

Milled and assembled the frame for my new solar oven glass.  FedEx dropped off my new favorite tool (Mr. Floppy approved) practice bend and I'm hooked.  Like most people think, "how did I ever live without a cell phone?"...I find a metal bending brake to be much more useful in the real world and something worthy of feeling not being able to do without. 

Lots of hubbub on the internet today about Obama Care. A healthy diet is the only chance for our survival as a species. We can't buy our way to health because there is no more money....only debt. The act has some plus sides, however there is no such thing as affordable health care...but soon the machine will be allowed by law to wipe out your digital bank account if you don't have health insurance.   93,105,74,0,B,0

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

my girl

OBC made her first all day appearance at TFL since her legal adoption....she brought friends.  From the cow photo - which one of these is not like the other?  ( JustMe is not allowed to play - she's too smart and fast)  First correct answer in the comments wins a free Benita Memorial Tshirt.  Caged the gangly beefsteak tomato plant today.

Got the first viable avacado sprout in the dirt today.  Salad for dinner.
97,106,71,0,B, .22

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Forks Over Knives

Alpine for stuff+an impulse buy. 
Almost a leaf from the first date palm sprout.

Monday, June 25, 2012


The canna showed appreciation for the new dirt.  Got a first fig.

Late afternoon visit with artist Janeil Englestad.  She is working on an installation for a Dallas gallery (for a show to coincide with the Texas State Fair) that will counter the corporate interests that sponsor the fair.  Finally had some dates so we all headed down to the Starlight (Pam,Me,Janeil).  Photo by Fred Porter.  Any time I go to the Starlight with women....Fred mysteriously shows up.  96,101,68,0,B,0

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Jumpin' Jehoshaphat

Big Ol' One Horn came in for breakfast today.

Got life from the first avacado pit.
Transplanted my agave americana marginata.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

An Older Texan Remembers...

Friend and fellow daily blogger Ben Woods died this morning around 1:30AM.  I met Ben on September 22, 2009 when he came out to visit TFL with Jim and Carol Boatman.  He'd been back to visit twice since then.  His last post on his blog was 2 days me a favor and post a nice comment to the self proclaimed old fart.  

Lord, when my time comes - take me quick like you did ol' Ben.

Friday, June 22, 2012

took a sick day...

Oh poor me!....Pepino was blowing too cool air on my neck all night and I woke up with a stiff crick.  Just kinda laid low after watering chores and tried not to move my head too much - should be OK by tomorrow.  Cut some sheet metal...pondered my situation then ordered a new tool I could have used years ago and finally decided it was a must for the new solar ovens.  92,99,67,0,B,0  Photos are some swamp critters I digitally imaged a couple of days ago.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

solar envy

Hopped over to Chuck and Aunt Kathy's this morning.  My services were required for the 30 second task of hanging Chuck's new high end solar controller/inverter/charger.  This is just the kind of job I love...short and sweet (like Aunt Kathy).  Today is their fourth anniversary!  Came back home and did greenhouse chores which included re potting the ever so rootbound Canna plant.

Wired up my new radiator fans in series to a free/cosmetically challenged 24V 240W solar panel I got from my buddy Bennett Jones in Alpine.  Seems the cracked glass hasn't affected the output.  Got the fans framed and into position in the greenhouse.  91,98,72,0,B, .20

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

drill bits, files, and a keen eye

Assembled the gimbal stand.  Decided late last night how to proceed with a firm mount.  Ended up having to slick out two nice round holes with a bit of effort for the pipe mount.  The rig went together like clockwork - swings and tilts like a charm.

Just got delivery of 2 radiator fans slated for greenhouse ventilation and some oven knobs.  If you are ever looking for a cheap 12VDC kick ass fan...look at automotive supply.  These were 16" diameter and  $27 each.  People always ask me how do you control the temperature with a solar oven.  A dial temperature knob on a solar oven has multiple implications.  96,109,72,0,B,0

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

new cows

New cows on the horizon - too shy to come in

Finished insulating the oven box and Carl inspected the work

Cut and ground parts for the 2 axis gimbal stand

Salad for dinner  102,110,68,0,B, .26

Monday, June 18, 2012

La Piccola Maria

One of 4 seeds that Maria the plant lady gave me from the 2011 bloom of the Cat's Eye plants is taking shape.  Pole beans planted last Sunday.

Administering low doses of iron and sulfur to the blueberry bush.  Keeping an eye on this view to monitor the situation.

Fed the pitcher plant today...some organic fertilizer.  Time for another salad tomorrow.  90,109,71,0,W,0

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Went to Bonnie Cain's Big Bend Tabernacle for church this morning.  Turns out she's a pretty good preacher.  Got a chance to meet a bunch of the Cain clan.  They put on a nice feed after the service.  Walked away with something to think about, a fine to-go package that will feed me for 2 more days, and a new official longhorn mascot.  Dick gave me Old Brown Cow today - she's 15 years old.  Drove a mile out to find her to give her a snack and tell her the news.  91,100,66,0,B,0

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Alpine run late morning....think I finally have enough parts to finish the  new solar oven and extra to get started on two more.  Swung by Bennett Jones' place to say hello and walked away with an ailing blueberry bush to try and nurse back to health. 

Got a message about a week ago that my friend Bill Vogl was heading back to the ranch from San Antonio...and did I need anything.  Asked him to grab me some plants for the greenhouse - something interesting.  He came through big time with a Tropicanna and a Pitcher Plant.  89,99,66,0,B,0

Friday, June 15, 2012


Chores and errands all morning.  Piddled the afternoon away.  Huge storm rolled in from the east around 5PM.  The vortex held firm - just a sprinkle but wind gusts up to 50mph.  Shifted an empty 3000 gallon water tank about 15 feet.  Plenty of stuff to go gather that blew around.  82,103,70,0,G