Sunday, May 22, 2022

word of the day...mammon

Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.  

Saturday, May 21, 2022

watch this...


Just got this pocket watch sent to me for repair (probable broken mainspring). I was contacted by an old high school buddy whose son inherited the watch. It was given to him this past Easter by his Great Uncle, who said it belonged to his Great Grandfather, a man named Henry Goode Claiborne. The Illinois Watch Company "Bunn Special" is a highly collectable railroad pocket watch. This one is a stem wind / lever set movement - which is set by opening the front crystal and bezel and pulling out the setting-lever. Once the lever is pulled out, the crown can be turned to set the time. The lever is then pushed back in and the crystal and bezel are closed over the dial again. This method of time setting on pocket watches was preferred by American and Canadian railroads, as lever setting watches make accidental time changes impossible. After 1908, lever setting was generally required for new watches entering service on American railroads. The serial number indicates that this watch was manufactured in 1902. 93,100,58,0,B

Friday, May 20, 2022

All carriers delivery day...


Bi-fold closet door via Fed Ex / shelves, solar panel, battery, charge controller via UPS / pocket watch via USPS.  The door and shelves came from Home Depot for a small closet job I am doing locally and cost $120 including free shipping to my door.  I priced them at McCoys and not including my travel time and gas for the 130 mile round trip, they would have cost me $175.  The pocket watch is a repair job I am going to attempt (broken mainspring) for the son of an old high school buddy of mine.  90,96,63,0,B

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Smaller is better?

Another Wyze Cam V3 remote power test coming up - parts arriving tomorrow.  Going to install this system for the neighbor up the hill that I did work for.  Fairly confident now that I can get away with half the amp hour battery capacity and a slightly smaller solar panel to keep his Wyze Cam chugging along 24-7 without having to be plugged into a long extension cord.  98,104,58,0,B

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Dust Storm


Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Broadening my horizons...

Field Lab internet making a 1,100-kilometer round trip from space. 
and getting bumped out 500 meters from the router.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Monday moonlight...

Two views of the lunar eclipse last night using 2 Wyze Cameras - one looking north and one looking south. Time lapse on each camera programmed to shoot 4 frames per minute over 8 hours. 97,103,67,0,B

Sunday, May 15, 2022

moral dilemma


"God helps those who help themselves".  This passage is often represented as scripture - but in fact is not found anywhere in the Bible.  However, God will help those who take the first step of accepting Christ.  But asking for God's help is tricky business and how the help arrives is not always evident nor what may appear to be in a timely manner.

Recently a 66-year-old woman bought property right across the road from me.  I had notice someone "camping" on the 5 acre tract for 2 days so I contacted a local realtor to ask if someone had purchased the property.  I was told that "a very nice lady who used to live in Alpine bought it".  With that information, I went over to meet her and introduce myself.  There were numerous "red flags" popping up within minutes of talking to her.  She shared a lot of conflicting information about where she came from and told me she was planning on living there full time in a tent with no electricity.  I told her that was virtually impossible and at the very least she will need some kind of structure, some solar, and phone service in case of emergencies.  I also told her the vehicle she was driving was not at all appropriate for this area - a small black Hyundai sedan with highway tires and very low clearance.  It appeared to me that she has been living out of her car for some time.  She insisted she knew what she was doing and would be perfectly fine.

Over the course of a week, she spent the days just sitting in her black car with the doors open in 100+ degree daytime temperatures.  I don't think she even ran the engine to run the air conditioner (if it even worked).  She finally assembled a small tent on the third day but from what I could tell from that far away, I think she only used it to sleep in at night.  She didn't even have the ability to construct some shade over her vehicle with a dark grey tarp that she had.  A Brewster County Sheriff's Office deputy checked on her 3 times to try to convince her this was not a good idea.  He couldn't do anything else because she was on her own property.

So how can I help someone when they show absolutely no common sense for such a dire situation?   I'm talking none-zero-zilch.  I thought about this a lot.  Really the only thing I could have done for her was show her how to erect some shade over her car - but all she had was the dark grey tarp which would have been useless in providing any cooling.  Really - anything I could have done for this poor woman would have only enabled a hopeless situation.  That being said: after watching her spend her days just sitting in the black car with the doors open and wondering each morning if she was even still alive, I took her two gallons of chilled water late in the afternoon on her 5th day.  When I gave it to her, I bluntly said, "You have no business being out here.  You need to leave.  You are going to f*cking die out here because if you think it's hot now - just wait till it's over 110°!"   She just brushed it off and still insisted she was fine and asked me if I was going to town anytime soon.  I just walked away without answering her.  The next day she suffered through yet another day just sitting in her car (it got up to 103°).  

The following morning just as I was about to call Adult Protective Services, I saw her drive away.  APS investigates abuse, neglect, and exploitation of adults who are elderly or have disabilities and who live in the community.  Any adult who has a disability or is age 65 or older that is in a state of abuse, neglect or exploitation may be eligible to receive services - such as short-term shelter, home repairs, food, transportation, managing money, medical care, home healthcare services, and mental health services.  (I'm not sure if this woman is just naive, incredibly stupid, or has some mental health issues.)  Two days later, she was still gone but her tent had completely collapsed and there was a huge thunderstorm heading this way.  I was just going let it be as it was but decided to send a message to the realtor she bought the property from.  Not knowing if this women was ever coming back for the stuff she left on the property, I told the realtor if she was in contact with the women to tell her that I am going to go collect her tent and her belongings and bring them back to my place for safe keeping in case the storm hits and that she can stop by and collect the items when she comes back.  

So the storm ended up petering out and we just got a sprinkle.  Early that evening, two deputies showed up at my place and the woman was back at her property.  She had gotten the message I sent to the realtor and asked the deputy to come get her stuff from me.  The deputies both agreed with my assessment of her situation but at this point there was still nothing they could do about it.  He also told me that the women said she wanted nothing more to do with me (not a thank you for saving her stuff from the storm).  It should be noted that had the storm hit, most likely neither the woman nor the deputies would have even been able to make it out my road that evening.

The deputies left and a little while later the woman drove off and didn't return until sometime later that night.  So now we are up to yesterday.  She spent the entire day just sitting in her black car yet again (got up to 102°) - without bothering to put her tent back up.  This morning she drove off after putting up a no trespassing sign next to her pile of a tent and whatever else she left there.  I have no idea what her plans are at this point.  Perhaps she got the message?   I guess I will try calling APS if she returns.  How her help arrives certainly may not be immediately evident to her, but hopefully it will be timely enough to save her life.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Thanks, Elon

(Skip ahead to the 13 minute mark for the launch.)
SpaceX's 13th launch of Starlink satellites this year...bringing the total number of satellites so far for 2022 to 656.  Due to a geomagnetic storm that occurred on February 4 (a day after the 3rd launch of the year), 38 of the 49 satellites from that mission failed and ultimately burned up in the earth's atmosphere.  As of May 2022, the Starlink internet satellite constellation consists of over 2,200 mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), which communicate with designated ground transceivers.  Today was a new record for SpaceX in that they successfully launched 2 Starlink missions within 24 hours.  Yesterday's launch happened from their west coast facility and was the 5th mission for that particular Falcon 9 booster.  Today's group of satellites rode into space from Florida on a brand-new Falcon 9 and marked the 111th successful recovery of a first stage booster by SpaceX.  Note: It takes about 6 weeks after launch for Starlink satellites to reach operational orbit.  93,102,62,0,B

Friday, May 13, 2022

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

the long view


Test with the new gear to remotely power the Wyze Cam V3 was a success.  Now that I know it works for sure, I'm going to permanently install it out at the end of the driveway.  Next up, I am going to replace my wanky indoor wifi extender with a better model that is rated for outdoor use.  88,101,71,0,B

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Monday, May 9, 2022

Pigs in love...


I would say the javelinas are getting a little too comfortable being around me...99,104,59,0,B

Sunday, May 8, 2022


Psalms 111 & 112 is an acrostic poem, 
the lines of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.


Saturday, May 7, 2022

Identified Flying Object


The neighbor that I did some work for on his vacation getaway out here lives full time in Houston.  He got this alert on his cell phone this morning from the Wyze Cam V3 that I installed.  98,103,56,0,B

Friday, May 6, 2022



Plant growing time lapse coming Monday...

Thursday, May 5, 2022

I spoke too soon...

Every now and then, someone actually comes through with a helpful suggestion in the comments.  Thanks to MountainManMike's assistance in the comments yesterday, my weather station if alive again on Weather Underground.   88,94,63,0,B 

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

no weather sharing online...


Couldn't find the wifi console that came with my weather station so I can't connect it with Weather Underground - but at least I found the parts I needed to view the data through my local area network.  85,92,68,0,B

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

long overdue project...


Trying to get my old weather station functioning 
and back online with Weather Underground.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Mango Monday



Sunday, May 1, 2022

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Power bank test - fail


So I'm returning the little solar charged power bank for a full refund.  I started the test yesterday morning after fully charging the power bank for 8 hours with a 5V adapter plugged into AC power.  It barely got any charge off its little panel during the day while the camera was running and only just managed to continue powering the camera overnight.  All in all, it lasted 27 hours.  For the next test, I ordered a 30 watt panel and a 12 V / 10 Ah SLA battery.  If my math is right, this "should" work with some power to spare.  I already have one of these cheap PWM charge controllers to hook the system together.  It is perfect for this application since it already has a 5V USB outlet to power the camera off a 12 volt system.   87,91,56,0,B

Friday, April 29, 2022

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

make the switch

one down - four to go

Monday, April 25, 2022

Sunday, April 24, 2022


Proverbs 12:17 He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit. 18 There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health. 19 The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment. 20 Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy. 21 There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief. 22 Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight. 

Saturday, April 23, 2022

One year free cell phone service for everyone! (almost)

Are you paying more than 15 bucks a month for cell phone service (unlimited talk and text + 4GB data) - or 30 bucks a month for unlimited talk, text, and unlimited data?  Then you are paying too much.  Use my personal referral LINK to switch to Mint Mobile and if 5 people do it - then I will get free service for a year.  If each of those 5 people get 5 people to switch - they will get free service for a year too.  And it keeps going (almost) until everyone in the world has switched to Mint Mobile...  91,97,65,0,B

Friday, April 22, 2022

name that seed...

Hint: It's 2" x 1" x 1/4" thick.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Solar job VII


another happy Starlink customer in the desert

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

dirty donkey


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Solar job VI

Power all hooked up and systems are nominal.  Scavanged junk yard parts for the client's Starlink dish coming by the end of the week.  88,93,61,0,B

Monday, April 18, 2022

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Easter Sunday - giving up the ghost

John 19:16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. 17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: 18 Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. 19 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was Jesus Of Nazareth The King Of The Jews. 20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. 21 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. 22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written. 23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. 24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did. 25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. 28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost

Saturday, April 16, 2022

wyze cam test - no wifi

Camera running off a power brick and programmed for a time lapse while connected to the internet - then relocated away from the internet to shoot the sequence. If the camera is set to continuous recording, it will also do that while recording the time lapse at the same time. 87,93,52,0,B

Friday, April 15, 2022

First Anniversary


One year sober and tobacco free...

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Solar job V


Eight 12 volt / 100 watt panels connected to the combiner box.  Four strings of 2 panels each - wired in series.  Each input string is fused for 12 amps.  Output goes through a 63 amp circuit breaker.  
Approximately 40 volts / 20 amps will go out to the MPPT charge controller.  80,87,57,0,B

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Dining out...


Met a friend this morning for breakfast at the Big Bend Motor Inn Cafe.  It has been 8 years since I ate in a restaurant.  Back in the days before my land line got installed (the first 3 months of 2008), I would come here on Sundays for breakfast and my once-a-week internet fix.  90,93,70,0,W

Monday, April 11, 2022

Sunday, April 10, 2022

a little heavy on the salt sometimes...

Colossians 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. 

Saturday, April 9, 2022

camera test

A quick test to make sure I can record motion triggered events and easily transfer them from the Wyze Cam V3 to my computer for editing. To do this go to settings/event recording and turn on "Detect Motion". Then go to Advanced Settings and make sure Continuous is chosen instead of Events Only. Then from the home screen, click on events and choose the event - then choose playback and from that screen you can scroll to the section you want and hit record then stop when finished. Next choose album and you can see the recording you just made. Click on your recording and choose "share" at the bottom of the screen and upload it to Google Drive (you can rename the file before the upload). Then you can download the file from Google Drive to your computer for editing. There seems to be a glitch in the app (at least for me) - when you try to go back to the Album page, it gets stuck on "Loading". From that point you have to restart your phone to get back to the home screen in the app. Doh De Oh by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Source: Artist:

Friday, April 8, 2022

Thursday, April 7, 2022

phone finder


Since my new smart phone doesn't stay home hanging on the wall, I am a bit paranoid about losing it so I ordered one of these.  It can make my smart phone even smarter in case I've been stupid and misplaced it.  Sure you can always just call your phone and hope to hear it ringing - but what if it's turned off or the battery is dead?  With the "tile" attached to the case, I can locate my phone with the app on my tablet.  Not only will it play a loud tone on the device, but it will also show me a map of where it was last located.  I'm screwed though if I lose both my phone and my tablet... 70,76,51,0,B

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

desert tech...


Connected by satellite.
Powered by the sun.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Monday, April 4, 2022

Sunday, April 3, 2022

ye do err...

Matthew 22:29

Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, 

not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. 

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Friday, April 1, 2022

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Wednesday, March 30, 2022




Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Solar job ll


More parts arrived.  60 amp MPPT charge controller and a 200Ah lithium iron phosphate battery.  These batteries are much more efficient than agm or lead acid and have a long service life (10+ years)...and are incredibly lightweight.  The surplus agm batteries I am using in my systems (10 of them) are 135 Ah and weigh 100 lbs. each.  This 200 Ah battery weighs just 48 lbs.  Moley approves... 89,94,60,0,G

Monday, March 28, 2022

Solar job


Doing a little solar install for a part timer who has property near me.  At my suggestion, he ordered Starlink so he and his family (4 kids) will have internet when they come out to visit and so he can work remotely and spend a little more time out here.  Just got some of the panels today and Moley was on hand to check them out. 88,91,48,0,C

Sunday, March 27, 2022

often a struggle...

Ephesians 4:29

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, 

but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, 

that it may give grace to those who hear. 

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Friday, March 25, 2022

Impulse buy...


Been a loyal customer for over 30 years.
You can get these planters here.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

another batch of bronze...


...and a lot of slag.