Friday, January 31, 2014

thanks, tractor

Moved some rocks today (that have been sitting in the same piles for years) then said goodbye to the tractor.  It was very useful and great fun while it lasted.  63,82,36,0,B

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Got a quad on permanent loan from the Panther Mountain Clan.  The deal is I get new tires and maintain it and I can use it all I want as long as it is available for them when they come out to hunt a couple of times a year.  First on the list was a new air filter.  As long as I was at it, I ordered a new one for my truck as well (the guys who do my oil changes have been after me for a year to get a new one).  41,56,16,0,B

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

go kart rake

Finished the tractor work on the airfield then gave it a once over with my makeshift rake'o'mobile.

Martin from DTS in Alpine came out this afternoon with my new satellite phone.  Ben approved.  We get a great deal out here on these.  $99 one time set up fee then only $15/month for 300 minutes/month.  The company owns the phone and it has to be returned to them when no longer needed.  37,52,48,0,W  

Sunday, January 26, 2014

the long walk

We celebrated Dick Cain's 72nd birthday today at church.  Over half of his life he lived in darkness,  living in and for a world he thought would provide all he wanted.  He gave his life to Christ just over 30 years ago and has been well rewarded.  Not many people his age have never been to a doctor nor taken a pill...even as much as an aspirin.  His daughter Sheila asked me about a week ago if I could do some photoshop magic to create a picture of Dick with his cowboy hero Tom Mix.  What I came up with was a rather simple but effective gesture that Dick thoroughly appreciated.  Dick Cain is living proof that trusting in God works really well.  May God continue to bless him.

Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014


3 cacti saved from the blade today.  39,51,27,0,C

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Painting of Carl by my friend Terri Vogl. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

four acres to land on

Clearing the training and flight field is going well.

Got a ham radio transceiver today as a communications backup...only 30 bucks from  Cell service is spotty in my flight area and I threw my phone away when I moved out here.  I have yet to get a license but maybe the FCC will let me slide in case I get stuck between a rock and a hard place.  Satellite phone coming Monday.  54,72,34,0,C

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

airports and mineral rights

Rented a tractor for the week to clear some area to train and fly from.  Not a lot to clear but what is there is very prickly and very bad for a paraglider wing.  Smoothing out about an acre on my property and 3 acres across the road from me.  I contacted the land owner about buying their 5 acre tract.  The family bought the land in 1979 and the last time they came out here was 1985.  They said they don't plan on ever doing anything with the property but they don't want to sell it because of the mineral rights.  I suggested to them that perhaps if there were any minerals worth extracting that someone would probably have found them in the last 30 years.  No deal on a sale yet but they gave me written permission to clear the few pesky mesquite on the property.

When I first moved out here I was told that all the land owners out here had 50% of their mineral rights.  I asked someone who knows how to get to the bottom of these kinds of matters and this is what she found.
"An April 2013 article on mineral rights west of the pecos.  It appears that based on case law, rather than on statutes and chain of title, the state of Texas owns 100% of the mineral rights under interpretations of "The Relinquishment Act".  However, the state seems to assign "executive rights" to the owner of the surface estate to be able to enter leases and for leases entered after Sept 1, 1987 the surface owner has a right to 20% of all bonuses, rents and royalties from a mineral lease on the property which they execute and must register with the state's General Land Office.  Based on this article, it appears that the chain of title and deeds that attempt to transfer mineral rights have no effect.  The article says that "Executive Rights" are not separable from the surface estate."   Bottom line:  20% of nothing doesn't add up to much.  44,62,46,0,C

Monday, January 20, 2014

RIP Jesse James

From the TMR Rescue Facebook page: "This is truly one of the most difficult posts I have ever written. I feel hope, expectations and joy of accomplishment pulled out from under me. My heart aches, and nothing makes sense to me right now.

A year ago, I was approached about helping a domestic donkey who was hit by a car in SW TX. After speaking with Uncle Johnny, we agreed that TMR Rescue Inc. was going to be the only chance this beautiful, terribly injured donkey would have a chance. When Sandra Parks saved Blue Boy from the side of the road after being hit by a car, she did not realize, at first how horrific his injuries were. The support from veterinarians was not there for her, and they gave her poor advice. So, he languished for several months before they realized he was not going to get better, and his needs were greater than vets in her area could or would provide. The Parks kindly paid to transport Blue Boy to TMR Rescue, Inc. and he has been here since.

There were several times over the year that we thought it was time to throw in the towel, but this donkey had the heart of a tiger, and a fire burning inside him like no other. Blue Boy wanted to live, and he was not giving up. So, we tried. As we progressed we met road blocks along the way. Medical personnel who did not believe. Then, they would spend just a short time with Blue Boy and they too walked away with an understanding of his desire to live. They committed to saving this remarkable brave donkey.

We had so many setbacks, and so many breakthroughs that we felt we were on a roller coaster ride. Meanwhile, Blue Boy remained cheerful, fun loving and determined. Yet, while we all recognized his powerful desire to live, the reality of what the body can endure was catching up with Blue Boy. Just as we could see the triumph of the healing truly begin, we watched in horror as his one stable leg gave out. We were told that if we did not get Blue Boy into a sling, his chances were nil. So, we did what we thought was best for Blue Boy. We wanted desperately for him to survive. Our hearts and souls were willing him to get well. We believed. We all believed we could beat the odds. So far, in many ways, we had.

Yesterday morning the unthinkable happened. Blue Boy was found non responsive in his sling by Amy when she came in to feed on Sunday morning. She was beside herself in pain and deeply affected by his loss. I arrived minutes after she called me, and the tears flowed. I cannot believe we have lost this giant hearted, good natured, brave soul. He cannot be gone... but he is. His spirit has left us. His great, beautiful, vibrant spirit has gone to comfort those who have gone before. Blue Boy is teaching Charlie and Chance how to play with boxes. He is discussing human kindness with Alpine, and he is flirting with Wendy. Blue Boy is another victim of a donkey being made to conform to the horse world. The Anderson sling is designed for horses. Although the results are not back from the necropsy we had performed yesterday, I truly believe he choked in the swing. We made many adjustments to the swing to make him comfortable. Yet, no matter what we tried the front of the sling for his chest was designed for the large chest of a horse. We could not pare it down to fit properly. We did think we had gotten it off of his neck far enough to allow him to breath. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Blue Boy died. We don't have the answers yet. Frankly, I am too devastated to dwell on why. I can only feel his loss. Blue Boy is gone. A bright light has been extinguished.

Still, Blue Boy contributed much to understanding donkeys. Dr. Brown's Proscope 360 clearly made a difference, and Blue Boy was the poster boy for trying something new. It worked. This is why this is so devastating. He made a breakthrough that all medical personnel believed was impossible. As he improved the excitement for his recovery was palpable. We believed, because Blue Boy believed. Even with him gone, I continue to believe there is much to be learned about donkeys that will save lives. Blue Boy's experience and breakthrough will save lives. The Charlie Project will certainly include this year of records on Blue Boy.

So, my dear funny man, go with the angels, and give Charlie a good tickle for me please. Pinch little Chance's cheek and give him a hug. Tell Alpine, he mattered. He knows, but it won't hurt for him to hear it again. Blue Boy enjoy those four perfect legs that are now yours. I love you. I admire you. I will never forget your spirit brave man."

Sunday, January 19, 2014

9 gifts of the spirit

1 Corinthians 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal . 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom ; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit ; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles ; to another prophecy ; to another discerning of spirits ; to another divers kinds of tongues ; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.   

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Ben got a visit today from his new friend...muleskinner Howdy Fowler.

Salad with my supper tonight.  52,68,27,0,C

Friday, January 17, 2014

living on a rock...

Found almost half of the hole today.  I forgot how much fun this is (NOT).  At least it wasn't 110° all day.  Really wasn't too awful - took my time to get this far - 4 1/2 hours.

My friend Ron Dame sent me this link today.  Brilliant site - shows the sun's angle for any location...for all seasons using google maps.

Kale with my supper tonight.  54,64,33,0,C

Thursday, January 16, 2014

looking for a hole

Using just a broom, I found where the hole is supposed to be.  I'm afraid I will have to use my hammer drill, pry bar, and shovel to find the hole for the solar panel mounting post.  54,66,36,0,B

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Ate the lone survivor grapefruit this morning.  From blossom to breakfast in 10 months. 
How did it taste?  Bittersweet, of course.

Added a little more steel to the solar panel rig today.

Chard with my supper tonight.  49,65,32,0,C

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Was getting worried that I was not going to be able to get a tracking circuit from  I sent two emails in the past week and no reply.  Decided I would just have to suck it up and employ some old fashioned human interaction...on the telephone.  Duane Johnson is the mastermind behind the site and he was really great to talk to.  Chatted with him for quite some time and he even had some good suggestions about my solar oven.  As long as I was doing things the old fashioned way - I am sending him a check by regular mail for my order of two of his single axis tracking circuits (throwing in a set of Field Lab postcards just for fun). 

I decided that the paramotor helmet I ordered was just a little bit too snug for comfort.  Packed it up and shipped it off in exchange for the next larger size.

Spent the afternoon checking my local junkyards for a chunk of pipe.  I need a 6' length of 4" OD steel pipe to rig my solar mount to.  No luck...yet.  Looks like I have another deep hole and some concrete mixing in my future.

Been nursing my lone grapefruit along since it was just a pup.  Took a deep breath today and cut if off the tree.  Will slice it open tomorrow to go with my breakfast.  53,67,25,0,W,.45

Monday, January 13, 2014

parts of the process

Patched the anemometer and luckily found out how to reprogram it.  Marked the mount holes for the solar panels and drilled pilot holes.  I'm not going to bolt them down till I decide on a proper pole mount for the rig.  Been watching a lot of PPG videos and a great portion of them are shot with a GoPro camera.  Thought it would be a good idea to charge up the battery in the one I bought a couple of years ago and make sure it still works. I'm thinking horn cam on Ben for a test...  48,67,37,0,C,0

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

oops...I did it again

Didn't realize till late last night that yesterday's chore resulted in a booboo.  Seemed an errant flake of metal made its' way into my right eye...regardless of the full face shield I was wearing.  By this morning I was sure of it.  I keep saline solution and eye wash on hand for just such occasions but all the squirting and sloshing in the world wouldn't dislodge the offending speck.  I knew just what to do next.  Called West Texas Eyecare in Ft. Stockton and hit the road.  Dr. Josh plucked the tiny chunk out in no instead of my eye feeling like something is embedded in it - it just feels like someone scraped it with a needle.   To be honest...with all the metal work I have done since the first time this happened, I'm rather amazed it has taken this long to happen again.  57,72,54,0,B,0

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Chopped up yesterdays junkyard find.

Got my PPG helmet today.  It has a standard com built in that will work with the two way radios I bought a couple of years ago.  56,70,32,0,C,0

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

big city girls...

Supply run to Alpine.  Was checking over my list this morning...I had added some steel tubing to buy for the solar tracking rig for my panels.  Took a walk through my personal junk yard before leaving and found just what I needed...the old framework for the crate my go kart got delivered in.  Scratched that off my list.

First stop was to drop in and visit my friends Julie and Brad.  No Brad, but Julie and her friend Lori were there.  One never knows what to expect when going to the big city.  I reckon this is what women do when their husbands are away.  47,67,30,0,B,0  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

back on track

Had the lowest temperature of the season this morning.  18°  Got down to 54° inside with my heater off overnight.  Fired up the Mr. Heater and was back up to a cozy 68° in 30 minutes.  Did a temporary rigging for the tracking mount.  Switched out the old actuator - the replacement I had was the exact same size.  Wired it up to the new battery bank and got good range of motion.  41,54,18,0,B,0

Monday, January 6, 2014

how cold is it?

It's SO cold...Manny is wearing his long shorts today.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Eyes on Jesus

From my friend Frank Autrey
(on the right...pictured here with Dick Cain)
Challenges come against you in your walk that are terrifying and horrific.  The enemy wants you to take your eyes off Jesus.  I am reminded of Peter when he saw Jesus walking on the water and said, Lord if it is you - bid me to come.  Jesus did and Peter stepped out on the sea and was walking on the sea.  But Peter saw the boisterous waves, took his eyes off Jesus, and began to sink.
Peter was pretty smart - well smart enough to call out to Jesus, Lord save me!
In life these things we think are horrifying and terrifying are just things to have us take our eyes off Jesus.  It is a military strategy - a diversion to keep you moving in an unproductive direction away from your mission directive.  Keep your eyes on Jesus.  Keep the faith. 
Psalm 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust . 3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. 4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust : his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. 5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; 6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. 7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. 8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. 9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;            

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Jimmy'n'Joe Show

My friends and frequent visitors Jimmy and Joe showed up today on their death trap dirt bikes and checked out my new statistically safer than a motorcycle flying machine.  55.70,32,0,C,0