Wednesday, August 31, 2016

sedentary III...

Two months and 20.2 pounds gone.  I was stuck at 199 for over a week.  A bad tooth and loss of appetite definitely helped me get past that. (Note: the tooth did not weigh 3.4 lbs)  79,83,70,0,B

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

no frills, no fuss

It has been a couple of years since I have stayed at the Antelope Lodge.  Been hearing some not so good news about it from former employees and also from other locals down here.  It just so happened I found myself in the position this weekend (thanks to the rain) to be in need of lodging.  I thought it would be a good opportunity to see for myself if the Antelope Lodge has really gone downhill.  I didn't even get past the lobby.   I went to check in and asked if they still had the Terlingua Ranch rate for locals...the young girl working the front desk said yes but I would need to show proof that I live down here.  The cheap rate is $55.  Of course there is no such thing as an official Terlingua Ranch ID and my drivers license has an Alpine mailing address.  I tried to explain it to her but that wasn't good enough and she said I would have to pay the full rate...$80.  I told her that was too much and would be staying elsewhere. all she could come up with.  (Note:  From the looks of the parking lot - they may of had perhaps only 2 guests staying there.)  They are officially off the recommended list.  From the outside it still looks quite charming but for me - the charm has fizzled.

One of my neighbors (who used to also stay at the Antelope Lodge) told me she much prefers the Highland Inn now - located just across the highway from Sul Ross University.  Nothing fancy, just clean-recently renovated-comfortable rooms, a really nice manager, and a regular rate of $55.  Turns out they also have a Terlingua Ranch rate of $50 - no proof required.  Sam Acosta who runs the joint and lives on premises grew up in Alpine and his family got their start in the area when some of his relatives came over from Mexico to work the mines in Terlingua back in the 30's.  His grandparents are buried in the Terlingua Cemetery and the rest of his extended family moved to Alpine after the mines shut down.  Sam knows just about everything there is to know about the area so I would suggest visitors try it out.  And if you like baseball - Sam will definitely be your best friend.  The lobby is wall to wall baseball memorabilia.  76,80,68,0,B       

Monday, August 29, 2016

tooth be gone...

Flawless extraction enhanced with nitrous oxide.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Problem of Pain

We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. 
God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, 
but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world. 
C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

In praying for relief of pain, the Lord will certainly help but expects one 
to take some of the responsibility.  
He did not provide sudden/magic relief,  
but He cleared the paths I reckoned upon. 

Psalm 138:8 The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: 
thy mercy, O Lord, endureth forever:  
forsake not the works of thine own hands

Saturday, August 27, 2016

wanna be my neighbor?

There is a great land deal nearby.  Great that is if you have $15,263,300.  Agua Fria Ranch is for sale and has been for a couple of years now.  Heck...I bet you could talk them down to $14 million.  83,87,68,0,B

Friday, August 26, 2016

hell or high water...

 Another light pain day...but got hammered with almost an inch of rain this morning.  Forecast is hopeful for an easy out to the dentist by Monday.  Worst case scenario - I hike out Monday AM to meet a friend at the highway who will give me a loaner vehicle for the trip.  Sure would be nice if I had that fly out option available... 81,84,63, .86",B

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Maxillary Sinuses

I'm beginning to think I may just live through the weekend and make it to Monday for my extraction.  Woke up this morning with lighter than usual pain.  Took a pain pill for breakfast and went for my morning walk.  Had a cup of coffee and my antibiotic pill then laid back down for a spell.  Caution - this is gross: Suddenly I felt a pop in my sinus along with a god awful smell of death.  Got up an blew my nose really hard then hawked up some loogies from hell.  Suddenly all the pressure was gone there.  My maxillary sinuses are exceptionally large and that is the "root of the problem".  The dentist assured me to expect the once daily azithromycin to take at least 72 hours to kick in - and apparently that was right on the money.  Made it through the day without another pain med.  I might actually get a good night's sleep tonight...but it is still gonna be a very long weekend.  83,85,68,0,B

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

rain management...

78,88,71, .07",B

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Monday, August 22, 2016

bum tooth

It all started last Wednesday...a dull ache in my right cheek.  It got progressively worse with the pain coming and going and peaked last night.  Nothing like trying to sleep with a bad toothache.  Aspirin and Extra Strength Tylenol barely made a dent.  Called a new dentist in Alpine first thing this morning and luckily they had an opening at 10AM.  The folks that got stuck out here Saturday finally got out by noon on Sunday...leaving plenty of ruts in the road for me to follow while I shot out of here to make my appointment.

Just as I suspected, an old root canal and crown had finally gone bad.  Got a nice little abscess causing all the pain.  Have to wait a few days for the infection to calm down so I am on 6 days of antibiotics and some Tylenol 3 to make the wait bearable.  I am due to go back Monday for the extraction.  Funny thing is it has been 15 years since I have been to a dentist and that last trip was for the root canal and crown that finally failed...bought me 15 good years of biting with that tooth.  Also, I couldn't help but notice the x-ray technology improvements since my last trip.  No more biting down on a little clump of plastic and cardboard with real film inside and a target ring attached to aim the laser gun at.  This time I just put my chin on a shelf and got an instant digital panorama via a chopper cat scan of sorts.  77,88,69,0,B

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016

bad news / good news

Well...the bad news is an unsuspecting group of 5 people came out today and got really stuck in the mud just past TFL.  A van and a small pickup pulling a ramshackle camper trailer. One of them trudged through the mud to see if I had a tractor to pull them out...of course I don't.  I asked him how in the world they made it that far and he said they got stuck 3 times before getting swamped to a dead stop near me - I guess the muddy road right by the highway wasn't enough of a clue for them.  From what I could understand, I think they were headed to a camper junkyard about a mile NW of me - something about swapping out the trailer they were pulling for one on the property.  I'm not sure if any of them are property owners out here since I only talked to one of them and he said he was just along for the ride to help the others and had never been out here before.  Of course while we were having this conversation it started to pour down again.  I told him there is no way I can get them out and it might be at least a couple of days before anyone else can.  I also told him that after it stops raining I will walk over to assess the situation.  By the time I got over to check on them and take this picture, they had already headed off in the direction of the junkyard.  Had I caught them in time, I would have suggested they just use my phone to call someone in Alpine to come south for them - then start heading for the highway.  Trudging deeper into trouble is usually not a good idea.

The good news is all my tanks overflowed today. 72,81,68, .36",B  

Friday, August 19, 2016

itchin' to scratch...

Forgot to mention that Jim brought out Big Ben's late birthday present.  Now I just have to get it mounted for him so he can self scratch all his extra itchy spots.  78,83,69, .05",C

Thursday, August 18, 2016

running water II...

Another gusher and now my creek tanks are full @ 7,500 gallons.  A little more rain and my roof catchment tanks will catch up and top off @ 14,500 gallons.  Chupa was not amused.  69,76,72, .98",B

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

relentless threat...

Convinced Jim to skedaddle two days ahead of schedule.  He reluctantly bugged out this morning to avoid getting bogged in.  He has to get back on the road for Raider Express on Saturday morning and really can't afford to end up potentially getting stuck out here through the weekend.  Jim doesn't quite share my storm caution yet...but he will when he eventually moves out here.  So far he has been lucky and hasn't had to learn the hard way.  Had a good visit with him and he made some decent headway on his building plan now that he had a good feel for his property and where the water runs during a heavy rain.  85,89,70,0,B  

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

half spin

Did a little work on the go kart this afternoon.  Decided to take it for a test spin over to Jim's campsite for cocktails.  Started right up after about an hour of beer and bull then conked out before I got 100 yards.  Seems the vacuum line could use a replacement hose now - it wasn't sucking gas out of the petcock and by the time I figured that out, I had run the battery down trying to get it restarted.  The rule still holds until I get all the kinks worked out - never drive it farther that you are willing to walk home. (Grammar note: I wasn't sure about the difference between further and farther so I looked it up - in the US, farther is more often used to refer to physical distances and further more often refers to figurative and non physical distances.)  Good news is I was only a half mile from home and I can use the exercise.  Will head back on my morning walk with jumper cables so Jim can get me started.  Other than that, I had no further issues with the day.  84,90,67,0,B

Monday, August 15, 2016

Future Jimville...

My buddy Jim has been out for a couple of days to take a break from trucking and get a feel for his new property just SW of me.  Chupa was happy to see his Uncle Jim.  He got here just in time to experience a real rainstorm.  Just after the gusher we got, he discovered a nice waterfall near his building site.  That view certainly doesn't suck.  84,90,62,0,B

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Cognitive Dissonance

While debunking blatantly obvious false claims on Facebook, I am bewildered by people who are so totally unwilling to accept any conflicting ideas no matter how much logical evidence is provided.  Of course it often comes down to who's truth they are willing to accept disregarding any evidence that is contrary to their beliefs - because any opposing information must be fabrications.  The problem is only compounded when people's false beliefs are a result of hearing the same thing so many times over the years that they become embedded and accepted as fact.  One of my favorite new claims is that the urban legend debunking website Snopes has an obvious bias and will outright lie in some of their stories.  If you mindfully examine these claims you will always find that Snopes provides more than adequate evidence and references to support "their side of the story" having to do with the exact information provided on any given topic - far more in fact than the false stories claim themselves and at the very least, plausible deniability.  Most often they are ridiculed for bias not because their facts are wrong specific to any given story, but because they infringe on an illusion.

Cognitive dissonance theory is founded on the assumption that individuals seek consistency between their expectations and their reality.  Because of this, people engage in a process called dissonance reduction to bring their cognitions in line with their level of comfort - reducing discomfort and restoring balance caused by alterations in ones attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors.  This creation of uniformity allows for a lessening of psychological tension and distress.  The most powerful form of dissonance reduction is achieved by simply ignoring or denying any information that conflicts with existing beliefs.

Titus 2But speak thou the things which become sound doctrineThat the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

running water...

Finally got that gully washer I've been getting ready for.  Pumped 2,500 extra gallons out of the arroyo.  65,92,79, .71", W

Friday, August 12, 2016

Ipomoea batatas's still called the greenhouse because I continue to foster dreams of farming.  If I fail in that direction, I reckon I could start calling it "the hangar" - until I fail at fostered dreams of flight.  Then I will just call it the big shipping container building and everyone will be happy.  Noticed two weeks ago that a couple of sweet potatoes got lost on my counter until I saw they were sprouting out of the bag.  Decided to stick them in some dirt (in the greenhouse) to see what would happen.  That being said, they are growing like mad now.  After seeing this comment yesterday...When are you going to quit calling it a "greenhouse" ?...I found that sweet potato greens are actually good to eat so just for you DEL, I will cook some up with my dinner tonight.  84,98,77,0,B

Thursday, August 11, 2016

chippin' away...

Dormancy is a period in an organism's life cycle when growth, development, and physical activity are temporarily stopped.
Trying to trick myself out of dormancy.  First I convinced myself to walk a mile every morning right after I get up in order to start losing weight.  Now I am trying to work my way into productivity by starting with changing the scenery.  The new goal is to put in at least one hour a day actually doing something productive.  Not as easy as it sounds when you are in a rut - my injury really took its' toll.  For this phase that means shuffling my stuff around...again.  Made good headway today clearing the front of the greenhouse.  I think I moved a few things that have sat as long as I have for the past year and a half.  Of course that means it's all getting shoved into the greenhouse for now, but we'll save that project for down the line as the "productivity" evolves.  88,92,71, .02",B

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

rain watch...

Next 10 days are the best chances I have had in awhile to top off all my tanks.  78,94,73,0,B

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

willing and able...

A couple of good storms popped up again in the area so I got my "pumping station" ready.  Laid out the lines and the PVC inlet.  I made the PVC piping a couple of years ago when I discovered the soft outlet hose doesn't like to bend when it is under pressure.  It is all ready to go but I'll keep the pump back in the greenhouse to till I'm ready - it really doesn't like to start when it is soaked and I don't really need to make a housing for it out in the field since it is easy to move.  One of my neighbors west of me got almost 2" of rain today.  Me...just a sprinkle.  I have high hopes for later in the week  though...75,94,74, .09",C

Monday, August 8, 2016

almost stuck...

Major garbage/recycling/supply run to Alpine today.  Was supposed to be zero percent chance of rain today but some good chances coming up later in the week.  Dumped 4 bags of garbage and 6 bags of recyclables then stocked up on feed and food and headed home.  Lots of thunderstorms were brewing in the area when I left Alpine and about 30 miles from home I could see a big storm near Packsaddle Mountain - not a good sign.  I drove a little bit on the fast side to try and beat the storm home.  Once I finally got to my road I could see the downpour was just south of me and I figured I was home free.  At the highway and for the first 2 miles my dirt road was dry as a bone...then I hit rain.  I barely made it the last half mile - sliding all over the place.  Still drizzling when I pulled up to the house, I frantically unloaded 6 bales of alfalfa and 4 bags of range cubes to get them out of the rain.  By the time I packed in my groceries, the rain stopped and the storm headed SW of TFL.  If the storm had really hit me, I would have been home just in time.  I was really afraid I was gonna get swamped out with a truckload of feed and food.  Funny thing is, I timed it just right to almost get stuck.  As it turned out, 30 minutes sooner or later and that last half mile would have been just fine.  89,99,74, .05",B  

Sunday, August 7, 2016

when atheists get it wrong...

This is the first post I saw on Facebook this morning...from a local in Terlingua no less.  What a way to start the day.  Took all of 60 seconds to debunk this one.  This is what happens when atheists get it wrong.

This is what happens when Christians get it right...(and don't get confused by the few super wealthy churches with their leaders living in mansions that you always hear about).  I have been following Pastor John Wiley and the River Church in Kansas City for awhile now.  Through his ministry, the non-profit he founded, and the community - he has been able to raise about two million dollars to make what was once just a dream - a reality.  After 7 years of generous giving and hard work, the first 11 housing units are ready for families in desperate need of a jump start.  His program is unique in that the goal is to help "working homeless" families by getting them out of expensive pay-by-the-week motels and provide them with free housing and assistance for a select period of time so they can get ahead and become self sufficient - finally able to afford their own housing.  This is why they ask for money at church.

Saturday, August 6, 2016


 Lately I have been seeing this FarmBot a lot on Facebook.  The "gentleman farmer" taken to a whole new level.  I admit that for a very brief moment this really caught my attention - until I started to think about it. This start-up has already raised close to a million dollars playing on people's fears with the notions of pesticides, GMO's, and factory farms - offering their cute little gizmo as a magic solution to wholesome food.  They claim in the video they are here to change that..."a new paradigm in food production!  With Farmbot, your garden will flourish - your plants with thrive - and you will gain access to fresh food grown right in your backyard with the practices that you believe in!"  (Boy, that certainly sounds compelling!)  You can pre-order one from their website for only $3,100 (and control it from your smart phone - sounds like a win win to me!).  What you will get is a "robot" that will seemingly farm a 4' x 8' plot for you - seeding, watering, and weeding (no mention of pest control).  A harvesting attachment with a salad spinner would be a nice touch.  Correct me if I am wrong, but farming a garden that size is not exactly rocket science and wouldn't even take that much of your precious time or talents.  I can't help but wonder how many people who own Roomba vacuum cleaners have placed an order.  They claim the whole system is "open sourced" so you can build and program one yourself without paying their rather steep markup.  The question is...if you are smart enough to build one of these then aren't you smart enough to care for a 32 sq ft garden without the help of a robot?  Perhaps in the distant future when we evolve past the point of having arms and legs this will come in handy.  We will probably need a robotic juicer too at that point since we won't have teeth anymore either.  For me?...I will wait for the system that has a robotic laser that individually blasts spider mites and white flies and will send a daily death count to my tablet computer.  91,101,73,0,B    

Friday, August 5, 2016

real coffee

Got a nice gift this week from BULLSHIRTZ Rick.  A pound of Davis Mountain Blend from Big Bend Coffee Roasters...and a slick stainless steel strainer.  Now the best part of waking up... 91.100,72,0,B

Thursday, August 4, 2016

crazy bird

For about a week now, a roadrunner has been spending hours a day either battling...or trying to win the affections of...his reflection in the glass on my solar water heater.  Either way, I don't think he is ever gonna win.  86,100,75,0,B

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


Well that was a first.  Had a tiny little storm right overhead with a quick downpour, one clap of thunder, and a lightning strike somewhere close by.  It didn't trip off the inverter nor the "surge suppressor power strip" everything was plugged into but it did cause by computer to shut down.  The computer was able to be turned back on and it didn't effect my cordless phone but it did apparently fry my router and the FlightRadar24 receiver.  Neither of them function anymore.  That new standby router I recently bought from Big Bend Telephone just went into service.  85,101,75, .03",B    

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

killing me...

 Stories like this really inspire my pilot dreams...only 11 years old and almost 700 flights.  And this was over a year ago - the kid probably has 800 flights by now.  8,101,75,0,B

Monday, August 1, 2016

Chupa on top...

Ever since I started training Chupa to jump up on my arm, he goes for the high road whenever he gets a chance.  If he sees me bending over while working on something in the yard, he makes his move and I end up with a rooster on my back.  Today he worked his way up to my head.  83,94,69,0,B