Tuesday, July 27, 2021


My 14 year old Ryobi cordless drill finally bit the dust.  It served me well.  Just got this combo for $99 that includes two lithium batteries and a charger to replace it.  I've been wanting an impact driver for a few years ever since I discovered how efficient they are at driving screws.  The king is dead.  Long live the king.  95,101,81,0,B

Monday, July 26, 2021

Art Auction

The final Benita marker is finished.  If anyone is interested, I am auctioning off the test cast to go towards Ben's monthly feed bill.  The marker is 4 1/8" x 6" x 1/4" thick and weighs 1 pound 3 ounces.  Bidding starts at $75.00.  Make me an offer...  95,102 80,0,B

Sunday, July 25, 2021

tit for tat

Proverbs 29:27  An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked. 

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Pandemic Saturday

The pandemic grew to epic proportions thanks to Covid deniers and it very well could get worse or at the very least, drag on much longer than it should thanks to anti-vaxxers.  In the United States, this pandemic could've been over by now, and certainly would've been by Labor Day.  If the pace of vaccination through the summer had been anything like the pace in April and May, the country would be nearing herd immunity.  With most adults immunized, new and more infectious coronavirus variants would have nowhere to spread.  Life could return nearly to normal.  But unfortunately that is not the case.  Experts list many reasons for the vaccine slump, but one big reason stands out: vaccine resistance among conservative, evangelical, and rural Americans.  Pro-Trump America has decided that vaccine refusal is a statement of identity and a test of loyalty.  In the end, these unvaccinated idiots are inflicting a preventable and unjustifiable harm upon family, friends, neighbors, community, country, and planet. 

Friday, July 23, 2021

A week of casting...

From the video description:
Had a bit of trouble getting a cast I was happy with. Five pours over five days. It is difficult to see in the videos but I was losing detail in some of the letters in the first 4 castings. Mostly it was an issue of not enough pressure to give me the detail I was looking for in the letters. The final pour worked because I had a good runner and gates, just the right amount of metal, and I screwed the mold halves together so the pressure couldn't push them apart. Did a finishing, acid etch, and patina test on one of the duds - and it looks very promising.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Fifth time's a charm...

Finally got a cast I'm happy with.  Just as well that I had some duds.  I will be using the flawed ones to test final finishing methods.  Video of all 5 castings tomorrow.  89,95,76,0,B  

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Forth dud...

So...so...close.  The problem with this one was I didn't account for the extra metal I poured by adding extra weight on top and the additional pressure actually separated the two halves of the mold a little causing the flashing around the edges from metal seeping out, which in turn caused some loss of detail again (and some fire).  Pour number five tomorrow - with extra weight to keep the mold tightly pressed together.  (Note:  The casting looks silver because this is right after the pour before quenching it.  It magically turns gold once it is dipped in water to cool.)   88,97,74,0,B 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Third dud...

Very close.  Runner and gates are good - just need a little more molten metal for pressure to get to all the letters (lost some detail in the bottom right corner).  Cast number four tomorrow.  I may sell the test casts if anyone is interested.  How much would you pay for one of them...?  91.94,74.0.B 

Monday, July 19, 2021

2 duds...

I've cast the Benita marker twice now and both are close, but not quite enough detail in all the lettering to suit me.  So I am going to try a third casting tomorrow.  88,97,79,0,B

Sunday, July 18, 2021

the foolish and weak...

1 Corinthians 1:26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: 'Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.'

Paul shows that God was pleased to save those who believed the "weak and foolish" gospel of Christ crucified. In fact, God intentionally chose those who were weak and foolish in the world's eyes to believe the "weak and foolish" gospel of Jesus. In this way, God will shame the supposed wisdom and strength of all those high-status people who have rejected faith in Christ (1 Corinthians 1:26–31). 

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Friday, July 16, 2021

running water...

Doing a little plumbing job in a house on a hill.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Which one of these is not like the others...

Looks like someone's burro ran away or was turned out.  I posted a picture on Facebook and no one has stepped up to claim this critter.  This odd one out was very tame and allowed me to get close enough to hand feed it.  Some people out here are really bad about being responsible for their livestock.  Occasionally someone decides they want a burro only to discover how much trouble and expense they can be and simply turn them loose.  87,91,71,0,B

Monday, July 12, 2021

Sometimes a cactus is just a cactus...

12 years ago I potted this rainbow cactus after it got kicked out of the ground by a longhorn.  At the time, it was about 3" tall.  It is 22" tall now.  79,87,76, .04",B

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Escape the corruption...

2 Peter 1: 1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Pandemic Saturday


no...there is not a microchip in the vaccine

Friday, July 9, 2021

Thursday, July 8, 2021


Went to check Benita's final resting place yesterday.  Rocks I placed on her grave look to be undisturbed after all this time.  Hard to believe she died 9 years ago.  Working on a proper bronze marker for the spot.  96,88,72,0,B

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Making more bronze...


2440 grams of aluminum bronze - enough for 16 more skulls.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Cast another...


Sold a second Freemason paperweight.  

Monday, July 5, 2021

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Retail Outlet

For sale at the Big Bend Motor Inn gift shop.

Friday, July 2, 2021

Nap time...

I always have to check under my truck before driving off. Never know who might be napping under there in the shade. 92,98,72,0,B

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Last one?

Unless I get a fall crop - this could be the last tomato of the year.  Time to try to root some cuttings.  84,89,73,0,B

Tuesday, June 29, 2021



79,89,72, .04",B

Monday, June 28, 2021

claw casting

80,90,75, .20",B

Sunday, June 27, 2021

The Evil Out Here...Part IV

Six thousand years of human history exhibit that we very quickly absorb the course of the world around us and lose our innocence, becoming self-centered and deceived like everybody else - Revelation 12:9.  The vast majority in this world is utterly unaware that they are in bondage to Satan - so unaware that most would scoff if told so. Even if informed through the preaching of the gospel,  they do not fully grasp either the extent or the importance of these factors unless God draws them by opening their eyes spiritually - John 6:44-45.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Friday, June 25, 2021

net zero day

Supply run to Alpine.  Sold 5 skulls and 4 claws in town.  That paid for 2 weeks of groceries and a month supply of hay for Ben.  83,104,82,0,B

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

One hot house finch...

Got the webcam set up on the latest occupied nest.  Gonna be really hot for 3 more days.  Hope the eggs are OK and they hatch after it cools off a bit.  91,101,79,0,B 

Monday, June 21, 2021

out of the dross...


Remelted 1580 grams of dross collected from previous castings and reclaimed 709 grams of clean bronze for future castings.  80,107,89,0,B

Sunday, June 20, 2021

if we live in the spirit...

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. 

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Friday, June 18, 2021

8 claws...



Thursday, June 17, 2021

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

New item for the tourists...

Killing claw in bronze from the dinosaur Deinonychus antirrhopus.   This species which could grow up to 11 ft. long, lived during the early Cretaceous Period about 115 - 108 million years ago.  Fossils have been recovered in Montana, Utah, Wyoming, and Oklahoma.  89,96,76,0,B 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

3 good ones...

Getting too hot for my monster 3 year old tomato plant to produce much more this year - just plucked three of the best tomatoes for this season.  92,98,79,0,B  

Monday, June 14, 2021

Guest of Honor

Eva Langevin of Grub Shack fame stopped by for a visit today.  It's been 7 years since she moved away from the area.  92,101,77,0,B

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Friday, June 11, 2021


John Waters dropped off another newspaper vending box and removed the locks on both.  Doing some repairs on the coin mechanisms.  Not sure what I am going to do with these... 101,107,81,0,B

Thursday, June 10, 2021

low tech heat press...

I found that the secret to consistent results heat transferring an etching stencil to the back of the sugar skulls is pressure.  101,108, 84,0,C

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Monday, June 7, 2021

solar shower season

Drained the tank on the solar shower today to empty out the crud inside that was clogging it up.  100,104,79,0,B

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Pandemic Saturday


(except for those who are still dying)

Friday, June 4, 2021

that storm...


Thursday, June 3, 2021

a little pump action

It has been over 2 years since I have been able to pump out of the arroyo.  Had a feeling I would be getting a chance soon so two days ago I changed the oil and drained the old gas out of the trash pump and made sure it would fire right up when I needed it.  I needed it this afternoon.  Was able to tank 2,000 gallons while the creek was running.  66,88,66, .375",B

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

seems like...


...we are in afternoon thunderstorm season.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Monday, May 31, 2021

another casting video...

Casting an aluminum bronze calavera (sugar skull) for sale to the tourists. A calavera [plural: calaveras] is a representation of a human skull. The term is most often applied to edible or decorative skulls made (usually by hand) from either sugar (called Alfeñiques) or clay that are used in the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) and the Roman Catholic holiday All Souls' Day. Calavera can also refer to any artistic representations of skulls. This is a full video of the making of the mold. I've revised (and refined) my casting method since the previous video to speed up the process and render even better detail. I was getting too much shrinkage which was giving me a dimple on the back so I added a large feeder to the part. I'm using petrobond casting sand. The reddish sand is fresh petrobond that gets sifted over the pattern for good detail. The darker sand I use to pack the molding flask is refurbished petrobond that has been used several times. After casting, the really burnt sand gets put aside to be sifted, oiled (I use thread cutting oil), and mulled for reuse. I call the aluminum bronze alloy that I make "220"...which I mix by using 200 grams of copper and 20 grams of aluminum. That gives me a bronze that is 9% aluminum. I chose that mix because it is easy to use those numbers for different sized batches.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

for all have sinned...

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Friday, May 28, 2021

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Shipping Dept.

Aluminum bronze sugar skulls on there way to their new owners.  
93,100,66, .24",C

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Monday, May 24, 2021


It has been almost two years since there has been enough rain in one storm for this arroyo to run (and this is several hours after it stopped raining).  A nice downpour around 9PM last night and again at 4 AM.  I almost forgot what a good thunderstorm was like.  Altogether I got just over an inch of rain.  That gave a much needed boost to my catchment tanks.  85,97,65, 1.1", B