Tuesday, March 31, 2015

first coins

The knives added 236.6 grams for a final total of 2058.6 grams from the whole set of flatware.  Time to start turning them into half ounce coins.  73,80,65,0,C

Monday, March 30, 2015

knife silver

Decided to see how much more sterling I could pull out of the knife set I had left.  Turns out that each handle has about 18 grams.  Interesting thing I found is that 3 of the 12 dinner knives had hollow handles with just some lead around the shank.  The other 9 had no lead but plaster forms throughout the handle.  Both kinds had the same amount of sterling silver and they all weighed about the same before I butchered them.  Two more small butter knives to do tomorrow for a final tally on the extra booty.  81,86,50,0,C

Sunday, March 29, 2015

right and wrong

Americans live in a society which provides religious freedom to its citizens which allows us to worship God in any manner we please. We have developed tolerance toward each other's beliefs; we recognize that each individual has a civil right to his own beliefs and no one has any authority to coerce anyone to believe anything. Most people in American churches believe that there are Christians in all denominations. When discussing the peculiar denominational beliefs of these churches, the members emphasize that each should be allowed to worship God in the manner in which he pleases and believe that God will accept the, worship of those in each denomination.
The fact that our civil government provides for the practice of religious differences should not be understood, however, to mean that God will accept every religious practice and belief. Satan is the author of the concept that God will accept every belief and practice. God has never revealed that he will accept every man's worship, just so long as he is good, honest and sincere. Rather, he revealed, "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa. 8:20).
Does Everyone Have A Right To His Own Belief?
Mike Willis
Danville, Indiana

Saturday, March 28, 2015

intrinsic value

I just finished melting down a set of sterling flatware I bought on Ebay in late 2013.  It was a rather common pattern called French Provincial by Towle.  The set consisted of 12 salad forks, 12 dinner forks, 12 dinner spoons, 3 large serving spoons, 1 large serving fork, a pickle fork and a cocktail fork.  There were several knives included but they have very little value as there is only a foil-thin layer of sterling on the handles and the blades are all stainless steel.  My finished nuggets weigh in at just a hair over 4 lbs.  The melt value of the pile in regard to the spot price of silver at the close of business on Friday is $923.86.
There is something very satisfying about the weight of a precious metal in regard to its' value.  The paper money and coins in your pocket only have imaginary value printed or stamped on relatively worthless material.  The demand for precious metals is driven not only by their practical use but also by their role as investments and a store of value...this fact compounds its' intrinsic value once minted into custom limited edition Field Lab coins.  79,86,47,0,C 

Friday, March 27, 2015

re visit

Swedish filmakers Jesper and Kenneth stopped by for a visit today.  They filmed out here in November 2012...back in town to do a story about a friend of mine.  Ben was just 4 1/2 months old when they were first here and they were quite surprised how big he is now.  The documentary "Microtopia" can be viewed for a $3.99 rental on vimeo.  72,78,40,0,B

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Check up with my PCP and had blood drawn for a CBC.  To be honest, I kinda miss getting pricked with a needle - brings back fond memories of the TLC that I got in the hospital.  63,66,50,0,B

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

first melt

Melted down 12 salad forks today.  Yield was 465 grams of sterling silver nuggets...enough to make 32 half ounce coins.  I chop up the flatware and melt it like this to burn off any residual grime.  The nuggets soak in a warm acid "pickle" for a couple of hours to clean off the firescale.  Dry sodium hydrogen sulfate is mixed with water releasing a mild sulfuric acid.  Firescale is cupric oxide - stains left by the copper that is in sterling silver as it reacts with oxygen at high temperature.  79,85,51,0,W

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Got everything assembled for the minting process.  New TS8000 just arrived.  This torch head burns 200 degrees hotter than my old one which should speed up the process a bit.  78,87,48,0,C

Monday, March 23, 2015

shorter drive

So I was supposed to make the long trip to Odessa last week for a checkup.  They called me the day before to move my appointment earlier in the day and informed me my surgeon would not be there.  I rescheduled for April 9th when my surgeon would be available.  I'm not doing a 7 hour round trip just for an xray and 5 minutes with a doctor unfamiliar with my case.  Called my PCP in Fort Davis and he ordered an xray today for me in Alpine for a followup exam scheduled with him on Thursday.  72,83,45,0,C

Sunday, March 22, 2015

the danger of inaction

Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.  41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:  42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:  43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.  44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?  45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.  46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

near miss

On and off storms for the past 18 hours.  Near miss just west of me from a nasty thunderstorm this afternoon.  Plenty of road drying sunshine coming up.  62,65,56, .5",B

Friday, March 20, 2015

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

6 rabbits

63,70,52, .05",B

Monday, March 16, 2015

design slave

Part of my rehab has involved spending lots of extra time in bed.  I tend to pass the time watching various TV shows through Amazon Prime.  Science fiction is my genre of choice.  Lately I have been watching the series called Grimm.  One of the characters injured himself off-set while filming was going on and a couple of episodes had to be modified to work around it.  (The actor tore his Achilles tendon while watching the superbowl - go figure).  He appears in one episode using some new fangled crutches I have never seen before.  Since I hope to be out of my chair soon but will be doing my next phase of crutch aided weight bearing for a couple of months, I just ordered some from (of course) Amazon.  60,67,48,0,B

Sunday, March 15, 2015


Matthew 7:13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell[a] is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it..

2 Corinthians 5:21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

Romans 6:11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.

Saturday, March 14, 2015



Friday, March 13, 2015

the process...

Bob sent me some photos of the wood carving process which I can certainly appreciate since I am all about documenting projects.  He said the paint was acrylic then 3 coats of matte polyurethane on the front and sides and one coat to seal the back.  59,70,44,0,B

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

plank steers

Got a great gift today from my new friend Bob Stephenson...Ben'n'Bud immortalized on a basswood plank.  61,71,57,0,B

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Starting unearthing some of my minting supplies.  And I thought it was difficult finding stuff when I had 2 good legs...  60,72,53,0,W

Monday, March 9, 2015

new bunny

Fresh off the assembly line:
The all new Limited Edition 2015 Field Lab Rabbit.
54,67,52, .39",B

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Cowboys & Aliens

Meacham: Whether you end up in Heaven or Hell isn't God's plan, it's your own.

Meacham: Surely you don't expect the Lord to do everything for you, do you, Doc? You got to earn His presence. Then you got to recognize it and then you have to act on it.

2 Corinthians 5:17                                                                  Psalm 139

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Friday, March 6, 2015

blood brother

My new belt is still trapped in El Paso so I took up "Under The SC Sun's" offer.  David and Heidi Holloway came down a day early with a belt from AutoZone in Alpine and David popped it on for me in 15 minutes (and shed some blood doing it).  Really good friends and soon to be neighbors out here.  46,57,29,0,B

Thursday, March 5, 2015

sterling thoughts

My overnight replacement belt got hung up in El Paso via FedEx so no automotive maintenance today.  Pondered my day to day and decided I need a good sit down project to work on.  Since the Ben'n'Bud fund could use a boost...it might just be time to mint another edition of TFL sterling silver.  I have been sitting on a batch of flatware just waiting to be melted down.  Working up the design for some half ounce coins for the next offering.  This unfinished 1oz ingot is the last I poured in 2013.  My friend Neil in England wanted one intact straight from the mold.  Holding this for him till he comes to visit again.  36,45,30,0,B  

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

oh my darlin' serpentine

Was expecting an uneventful ride to the mailboxes today (just like another time in recent history).  Got about halfway out my road and I heard a thump and the battery light came on and the power steering went out.  First thought was how far I am able to walk on crutches.  Turned around immediately and drove back home.  Checked under the hood and my serpentine belt was shredded.  Ordered a replacement through Amazon Prime in just enough time for an overnight delivery.  Hopefully I won't need both legs to replace it.  48,74,53, .08",W

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sunday, March 1, 2015

it's simple, really

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.