Friday, October 31, 2014

thermal pain

Next logical phase in attaining the illusive 400° mark with the solar oven project is to eliminate heat loss.  Prepped for the addition of a second sheet of 1/4" thick tempered glass to the mix - creating a thermal pane effect.  Dug through my storage but couldn't find my router so resorted to plunge cutting the channel with my circular saw.  Got a late start and too late in the day to test by the time I got finished.  67,75,63,0,B

Thursday, October 30, 2014



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

on the back burner

I realized once I had mentioned pasteurizing my rain water - it must be time to finish up the solar oven project I started over 2 1/2 years ago.  Lots of things got put on hold when Ben came along.  Got some new reflectors mounted and did a quick test: 200° in late afternoon low sun without the glass cover.  Gonna finish it off tomorrow and try my hand at solar oven cooking again after a long hiatus.  74,82,52,0,B

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Supply run to Alpine today.  All stocked up now as to avoid the chili cook off madness down south.  The grocery store had a really good sale on bottle water so I took the bait.  Would feel guilty about all those plastic bottles if I wasn't fairly certain that the recycling center in Alpine actually recycles them - but it still seems silly and a huge waste of resources.  Got me to thinking about something that TFL visitors always ask me:  How do you filter your rainwater?  My answer almost 7 years into this project has always been...I don't - yet.  My Georgia hillbilly friend Ronald Nelson has often suggested that I try some ceramic dome filters so I ordered some today to "field test".  Most of these type filters are good for about 3000 gallons of water.  My intake is is less than a gallon a day so one filter could last over 8 years especially since I will be filtering relatively clear rainwater as opposed to dirty swamp water.  Adding a simple heat pasteurization step before filtering would guarantee no bugaboos in my belly.  72,79,57,0,B  

Monday, October 27, 2014


My west hill neighbors came out over the weekend and got a good start on their getaway hut.  Nice job on the steel and concrete in just two days.

First round of chili-head visitors dropped by today.  The crowds are starting to pour into the area for the cook off.  79,89,54,0,B

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Show us the father...

1 John 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time.  If we love one another, Got dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

1 John 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment:  because as He is, so are we in this world.

John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?  He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?

Saturday, October 25, 2014



Friday, October 24, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

damp day

62,72,63, .31",B

Monday, October 20, 2014

Rattlesnake Season

Went out to feed the roosters yesterday morning and found a rattlesnake...the first of the year at TFL.  He appeared to have gotten stuck trying to slither out of the pen through the chicken wire.  Unfortunately for him the relocation program for varmints has ended - and rattlers don't get a pass anyway.  I have found that my .22 rifle is the euthanizer of choice.  Very easy to give one safe distance shot to the head, then a shovel to remove the biting part.  I ended up having to cut some of the chicken wire to get the body out.  I bagged it and stuck it in the fridge for a couple of hours to wait for it to stop moving.  Skinned it later on that afternoon and found that the reason he got stuck was because he was trying to digest a big mouse.  The "lump" kept him from going forward and his scales kept him from backing up.  The rodent in his gut kinda put me off from chopping him up to cook for a meal.  I just happened to have the skin curing ingredients on hand for just such an occasion.  Soaking it in 3 equal parts of distilled water, isopropyl alcohol, and glycerin for 3 days then will tack it down to dry in the shade for a week.  A final rub down with a bit of leather conditioner and it will be finished.  67,79,59,0,W

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Reading List

1 Peter 3:15  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 

2 Peter 1: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were move by the Holy Ghost. 

Romans 1:19 Because that which many be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 

Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein:

Saturday, October 18, 2014

renovation finished

Adding the file cabinets inside the hut worked really well.  Now it almost seems like I have a bedroom instead of feeling like I am sleeping in my living space.  No doubt in a year or two, I will be doing a blog post about cleaning out the drawers once they have been filled with useless stuff.  70,84,52,0,W

Friday, October 17, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Raccoon's Revenge

Just when I thought it was all over.  Yesterday morning I noticed that the bird netting on top of my chicken pen had been "tampered with".  I also noticed that one of my roosters was gone.  Last night I locked up the boys in their coop and set up the game cam.  Sure enough - a raccoon was on the prowl.  I am fairly certain (based on the photos I have) that this is the first one I caught and released.  Apparently, 5 miles away from TFL was not far enough.  With no way back into the greenhouse, I reckon he figured a chicken dinner was on the menu.  Covered the top of the pen with fencing and modified the trap (just in case he remembers it).  If I catch him tonight, he will go for a very long ride before being released.   If this one or any others show up again - it will be time for some lethal justice.  79,90,45,0,B

Wednesday, October 15, 2014



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

fast asleep

Been really enjoying the new mattress and sleeping north/south instead of east/west.  Taking the comfort zone up a notch starting tonight.  What usually happens is that I end up falling asleep while watching a video on the internet.  Then I wake up and have to get up to turn off the computer, wait for it to log off then shut down, turn off the AC power strip then turn off my lights and fans.  Just enough activity to wake me up enough that it takes awhile to fall asleep again.  So now I have a wireless mouse and a one channel remote to shut down the AC power to the computer,speakers, and modem and another two channel remote to turn off the DC lights and fans.  Point-click-click-click-sleep.  71,80,43,0,C

Monday, October 13, 2014

a really big camera...

A couple of weeks ago, an Austin photographer contacted me about a project he is working on that he wanted to test at The Field Lab.   Ian Kasnoff (pictured on the right) has turned a small trailer into a camera/darkroom.  He and his buddy Justin Sternberg came out to TFL to test his prototype "VLF" (very large format) camera.  Ultimately, he hopes to shoot and process images at least as big as 4' x 5'.  The technique is based on the camera obscura.  67,75,58,0,W

Sunday, October 12, 2014

So are we...

James Lewis and 3 of his burro buddies came in this morning to join me in listening to today's teaching.
1 John 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in Him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love Him, because He first loved us.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

visitor's day

Had 3 visits today.  First was my friend Carla from Fort Davis along with her friends Connie and Ginny.  I met Carla when I first moved to the area and almost 7 years later, she finally made it out to see TFL in person.  Next up was my friend Rik and his son Aaron.  Rik first stopped by back on May 29, 2011 - so a few things have changed since then.  Was also surprised this morning to find that the second raccoon finally came back to visit and be captured.  Glad I left the trap set.  Although I had blocked where they had been entering the greenhouse in back - I made it even easier by leaving a ladder by the front.  70,81,59,0,B

Friday, October 10, 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014

where stuff goes...

While contemplating the house renovation I had to consider where stuff goes.  Half of what was hidden in my cabinets got thrown away.  There will be plenty of room under the bigger bed for the other half.  Going to loose 55" of counter space which is OK because that it where junk piles up.  Also going to incorporate 2 file cabinets (which I will have to wrestle out of one of my shipping containers) into the plan for easy access organized storage.  The new mattress was a dream to sleep on and wake up from.  87,94,62,0,B

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

too plush has been just over a year since I replaced my first mattress.  The new "plush" one I got is turning out to be just a little too squishy for my old back.  Set up a temporary platform for my trusty old "firm" mattress I brought out here from NY.  It is a full size instead of a twin.  If it turns out to be as comfy as I remember it to be, it will be time for a minor renovation inside the hut to make proper room for it.  Just as well...I am ready for a little change after almost 7 years.  Someday I will get back to the container project.  88,92,59,0,C

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

no raccoons were harmed

No more action inside the greenhouse for a couple of days now.  Sealed up the coon entry today.  Removed the wood that served as their ladder to the doorway.  They had been on top of all four shipping containers, the west end roof, and the high roof as well.  Must of had quite a time traversing all the steel work up there to make their way around.  85,91,58,0,B

Monday, October 6, 2014

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Saturday, October 4, 2014

one size fits all

Back to cleaning in the greenhouse.  Came across a box of 50 Benita Memorial T shirts I had forgotten about...size 2XL.  Put the order info back on the blog main page.  Get 'em while they last. 81,91,55,0,B

Friday, October 3, 2014

When will it be time to panic?

I have to say that I have very little confidence in the motives and abilities of our government.
Not to worry, they say...
Leaders of the country’s health, defense and military branches stressed that they are taking the right steps to contain the spread of the deadly virus, which was first diagnosed in the U.S. on Tuesday.  “We know how to do this, and we will do it again,” Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, said at a press briefing.  “It’s very important to remind the American people that U.S. has the most capable healthcare system and the most capable doctors in the world, bar none,”  78,89,62,0,B

Thursday, October 2, 2014

good news/bad news

I finally caught "a" raccoon early this morning.  Upon examining the game cam footage - it appears that the one I just caught is not the same one that I missed the day before.  (Note the end of the tails.) Now that I know that I can do it, I will give it another couple of tries before I just go ahead and seal up the spot where they enter.  Of course I could have done that in the first place but that would have taken all the fun out of the hunt.  83,93,61,0,B

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Strike 2

Missed again.  Three things I have learned so far:  1. The raccoon seems to really like marshmallows.  2. He is not afraid to go into the trap.
3. I need to refine the trigger mechanism.
Rigging the trap for the next attempt so that some bait is attached to the trigger instead of just hoping he bumps into it.  Am I smarter than a raccoon?  Will try again tonight.