Monday, March 31, 2014

for guests

Got the guest bathroom in order today for the upcoming visit from my flight coach and his wife.    80,87,48,0,B

Sunday, March 30, 2014

natural law

As a consequence of being the Creator, God is the supreme authority for the entire universe. Everything in creation exists by His good pleasure, so He answers to none other. The lesser authorities found in the government and family derive their right to govern from the Lord, but their rule over us is not absolute. Only His moral law binds our consciences, and we must obey Him even when doing so means we disobey lesser rulers in certain situations.
No one likes to be told what to do yet they expect the government to enact and enforce laws that restrict some behaviors while enforcing others depending on the whim of the electorate as dictated by popular culture government controlled media.  Taking the entire Bible as a playbook teaches us natural law - the universal sense of right and wrong.  It is a master cookbook with one recipe for righteousness that must be followed exactly and fully taking every word into consideration.  Individual instructions for the pie (twisted scriptures) will not yield a good pie.  

Revelation 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014

weather days

PPG training is a week away and the weather is looking good.  72,81,46,0,B

Thursday, March 27, 2014

no wind forward

I have been itchin' to practice my kiting skills but aware of the danger of even doing this seemingly benign activity without my instructor here.  Being hooked into the wing and caught by a gust can spell disaster.  I have only had the wing out a couple of times in very light wind and not been hooked in - just holding it by the risers.  Decided on braving a hook in late today for some attempts at a no wind forward launch.  This was my very first try.  Boy was I surprised when the wing came up almost perfectly.  Hope it will be this easy when I have to abort or commit to flight with 80 pounds of throbbing 2 stoke hanging on my back.  78,87,39,0.B    

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Although I have one of the original GoPro cameras, I decided to upgrade to the HERO3+.  Now I will be ready for 2 camera views while in flight.  (perhaps I will build a chase cam similar to one of these overpriced rigs )   After all the PPG videos I have watched...a helmet just doesn't look right without a camera on it.  75,84,44,0,B 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

3 weeks

Been a little dizzy the past two days - a side effect of my body trying to adjust to higher oxygen levels and no nicotine or carbon monoxide in my system.  67,76,55,0,B

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Trial vs. Chastisement

Trials are something everyone faces - afflictions induced by Satan, but allowed by God.  Depending on how we get through these trials (tests of faith...and patience) determines whether or not we will be chastised (punished) by God for disobedience.  Chastisement comes directly from God for correction while trial comes from Satan with God's permission for character buildingRead the book of Job for the ultimate trial.  Job speaks to the struggling faith of the sufferer. In effect he says to the  Godly sufferer, "Forget the logical arguments spun out by those who sit together at their ease and discuss the ways of God, and forget those voices in your own heart that are little more than echoes of their pronouncements. Let me tell you a story."

Trial is our controlled exposure to the enemy which trains us to be mature believers and counselors.

1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able ; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. 6 And whether we be afflicted , it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer : or whether we be comforted , it is for your consolation and salvation.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Had a visit and interview today with Billy Ulmer who is traveling the country talking to folks that live in tiny houses.  He is working on a project for   Pad = Portland Alternative Dwellings.  The most interesting part of our conversation today was when he told me he would be doing an interview in Chatham, NY (just down the road from where I used to live in upstate NY).  His tiny house subject there is Aldo Lavaggi.   Aldo has his mini homestead on the grounds of Solaqua.  It was the work I did there with the founder Jody Rael (a couple of years before my move to the desert) that got me interested in off grid living in the first place.  Tiny house...small world.  73,88,56,0,W 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Mr. and Mrs. Barnum

Feb 27
Hello John,
  My name is Josh Barnum from Chicago IL.  I first started following your blog (big fan) last April, after purchasing 5 acres in the North Corazones area of the ranch.  What you are doing is very inspiring to my group of friends and I.
  Mid-March I will headed to the Big Bend with my girlfriend Viktoriia and St. Bernard (Hans=best man) to elope.  We are getting married by Justice of the Peace Jim Burr, in a five minute ceremony on my land, March 21st around 11am.
  Knowing that you are a photographer and that the Field Lab is 10 minutes from my place, I was wondering if you had time and would be willing to snap a few photos of us during the short ceremony?  I am more than willing to compensate you with $$ or supplies you may need from Alpine (heading up on the 20th) for your time.
  If you are too busy and unable to, could you please suggest anyone else in the area?  We are just looking to have a few photos taken of our memorable day.
  Thank you for your time

Howdy Josh
interesting...Jim and I are good friends - I'd be happy to come out to shoot a few pics.  The fee will be a bottle of Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey and permission to use some of the pics on my blog.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

real time wind map

My friend Voni Glaves posted a link to this today on Facebook.  This is a website created by artists that turns real time weather data into a compelling visualization of the directions and speeds of wind blowing across the US.  This will come in handy for my future flights.  70,76,37,0,C 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

the cost

hmmm...14 packs of cigarettes cost the same (and lasted as long) as 4 three string bales of alfalfa.  59,72,48,0,B

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

cold turkey

Haven't had a smoke in 2 weeks.  70,85,45,0,B

Monday, March 17, 2014

new batch

Pulled the plug on the eggs.  Not sure what to think.  Broke them all open this afternoon - 2 eggs looked infertile, 2 looked like early death, and 2 looked like late death.  I'm beginning to think that hatching eggs IS rocket science.  Got fresh (just laid/hopefully fertile) eggs from Ronald Nelson's chickens to try for round three.  64,72,29,0,B

Sunday, March 16, 2014

bovine guildance

Napping with a huge trusting beast seems to be a great time to contemplate how I am living my life in accordance to who God says I am.  The gift of the spirit is there for the taking.  It takes discipline to be spirit led, but there is much to be gained by living up to the potential. 

Romans 8: 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


Three weeks and counting till my first flight.  Been checking the surrounding area for alternative training sites in case TFL gets swamped in.  Lajitas airport may allow it if I provide a certificate of liability insurance (which I don't have).  Alpine's airport will not allow it unless I get permission from the city council.  Took a drive to Marfa today to check out their airport - and I couldn't even find anyone to talk to about it.  Been so long since I have had to deal with any kind of bureaucracy - I forgot what a pain it can be.  65,80,59,0,W   

Friday, March 14, 2014

one day overdue

Starting to get a bad feeling about my second try at hatching eggs.  Yesterday was 21 days in the incubator and no action as of tonight.  69,81,49,0,B

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

dusty desert

Wind storm hit out here overnight.  Dusty skies all morning.  Max gust I recorded was 35mph.  Top photo is from some TV station with the front coming through Abilene (I think).  Hope to get the new quad tires mounted in the morning.  Gotta take them down south to Archie's - I can't get the old tires off the rims.  55,63,48,0,W

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

plant science


Dr. Jim from Texas A&M came out for a couple of days to study the blooming cat's eye plants...assisted by grad students Diana and JungMi.  This is how scientists spend their spring break.  70,80,51,0,B

Monday, March 10, 2014

fruit trees


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Saturday, March 8, 2014

quad parts


Friday, March 7, 2014

field help

Had a late afternoon visit from strangers on Wednesday.  Deb and Jonathan came back today as new friends for a repeat visit and helped me clean up the last 70+ piles from the airfield.  Normally, I don't allow anyone to help with the labor out here - but to be honest...I welcomed some assistance because I really just wanted this task to be over with.  I had forgotten how fast a chore moves along when there are more than 2 hands doing the work. Photo on the right is the LAST PILE!  65,84,55,0,C  

Thursday, March 6, 2014

litter box

Mr. Floppy has found a new favorite spot for this daily dumping...just when I am almost finished clearing the airfield.  It will be interesting to see what plants will pop up after it rains a few times.  Some of the mesquite roots were quite large and went on forever.  62,77,38,0,C

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

spring sprouts


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

up in the air

I start my powered paragliding training one month from today.  I haven't even been up in an airplane for 10 years.  Thanks to my buddy Chris Johnson, not only did I get a chance to get up in the air again - he also let me take the controls for awhile in his Cessna 172 on Sunday afternoon.  Appropriately, his plane was built the same year I was born...1959.  It was probably a good idea to get a feel for altitude before my first solo PPG flight.  Nice to be able to see what my airfield looks like from above.  42,57,30,0,W

Sunday, March 2, 2014

freedom from religion?

Freedom of religion is an inalienable right that our founders thought important to include in the bill of rights.   A right given to us by our Creator.  They saw fit to include it because God does not force it on us as well.  The progressive agenda seeks to do away with numerous individual rights for the benefit of the collective.  They feel the founding principles are a hindrance to our government as society and culture progress.  In my opinion, society and culture are not progressing at all - rather they are sinking lower and lower (walking after the flesh).  Our nation is happy to accept government intervention in all aspects of life and more than happy that religion is not forced upon the masses (remember - that was God's idea - not government's).  It's time to think carefully about what government wants you to accept, and what they would rather you not.

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.    

2 Corinthians 5:For we walk by faith, not by sight 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

backup before it's too late...

The trusty old PC is starting to have some issues.  Before I sort out why the brain behind this operation is bogging down so much, I took the opportunity to backup files to 2 redundant external hard drives.  68,80,47,0,B