Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Real Deal

The internet is totally screwed around here! More later.

Here's the deal on the internet. Ever since Christmas the internet here has been up and down and now its almost non existent. I'm likely at the American Legion now trying to take care of all of my internet business. I don't know what caused the problem at the Motor Inn and no one else seems to know either. Maybe a lot of people got new computers for Christmas and Big Bend Telephone doesn't have the resources to deal with it? What ever the reason it is a real posterior chapper!

As far as the stuff I have in storage in Odessa... It will be making its way down here around the 14th with my sister and brother in law. That will be one more bill out of the way. Then on about the 14th I hope to have living accommodations on the land where I can be out of this RV and that will be the biggie as far as dropping the bills that have been holding me back.

I do have another snag now that could bite me though and that is the registration on the Falcon and trailer. Both expire tomorrow and although I sent in the renewal over two weeks ago I've still not received the new stickers. Matter of fact they haven't even cashed my check yet so I don't know what's going on? If I get stopped driving with the outdated stickers that could be more $ out of my pocket that I could use to build with. Fortunately I THINK??? I have about 10 days of grace before a ticket would stick, but I'm sure there would still be the hassle of getting it taken care of. Looks like the old Got Ya's haven't given up on me yet.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Friends, Guitars & Cooking

Nothing to do with the move to the land, but I decided to post some pictures of a Cigar Box Guitar my x-neighbor and still good friend made. Matter a fact three friend that I miss are him, his wife and their son... code named Tigger, Al and Waldo (in that order). Tigger is very good at woodworking even though he doesn't have a wood shop and not just a lot of woodworking tools. He is also good with leather and an equally good welder. I got him caught up in choppers again when I started building my trike and he had to go out and buy a wreck and build his own chopper out of it. Waldo, is going to culinary school and vows to come down here and win the Chili cook off. I'd very much like to see that happen. Now Al? She's the Boss of that operation.

Tigger? What do you think? I've got this box and nothing to do with it. Maybe I'll try my hand at one of those CBGs. In this case it would be a Pie Box Guitar.

Na... Guess I better not or then I'd have to learn how to play it.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mr. RoadRunner

Mr. Roadrunner pays a visit.

It seems to like leftover cornbread dressing crumbs real well.

Friday, December 25, 2009

X-Mas at the RV Park

A few pictures of the trees and RVs around here this morning. I think this is a family here in several RVs with fairly small children (who seemed to be having a blast yesterday)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Now What?


The new measurements are in and it looks like the coordinates I got for the land may be closer than either Just Me or myself thought they were? These measurements were taken from the edge/corner of the road running in front of the property and the road coming off of 118. Now... there was the split 10 acres between my property and that road to contend with, but assuming the half between my property and the road is actually 330 feet then adding another 660 feet to it would give the new marking point (Southeast corner) on the aerials and where the other pictures show the rocks I piled up with the added graphics stake & flag. It still doesn't change anything because I'll still be staying in the safe zone to live and build. The rest of the land will more or less stay unchanged. I like the place I chose real well and no coordinates I / We have come up with yet says it wouldn't be safe to use that area. In either case the closest anyone else could build near me would be well down the hill at the bottom of the road or build on short and long stilts one. Also I'd be far enough away from the other end (northeast) that it probably wouldn't bother me anyway. Only thing that even half way concerns me now it that the military is training with the B-1 Bombers in that area. Sure hope they don't do night training there. That might be the pits because they are pretty loud.

And on a side note.... This RV feels like it could take off any minute. Worst I've experianced yet by far! The sand storm reminds me of the ones we used to go through in the Odessa/Midland Texas area! Its also out of the northwest which means its broadsiding the RV. Looks like we could get some rain also and I think that may have been predicted. If it does then I'll get to see if the access to and from the land is effected by it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

All in Good Time!

I've made a deal for more than enough batteries to put me over the 800 AH requirements to get DSL and a phone to the property. My wind generator should take care of the rest of that requirements. My main problem now will be digging deep enough for the swivel for the wind generator pole to go on. Out of five holes I've dug about a foot deep was the deepest and I'd like to go down at least 14 inches. The others were only around 4 to 5 inches before hitting solid rock. Looks like I'll be investing in a hammer drill and a long masonry bit before I go any deeper than that and it will take one for the wind genny pole and three more for the guy wires to support the pole. Of course I will have to have a generator backup for when the wind doesn't blow enough to keep the batteries up. All in good time I guess?


I made a a very poorly planned trip to the land yesterday to try digging more holes in different places to see about putting up the wind generator. I didn't take any drinking water or anything else to drink so I was getting thirsty by the time I left there. Especially after pounding on the rock for a while with a pick. I also forgot the GPS and camera to document my findings on measurements. I did have my 25 foot tape with me (which would only come out to 24' 6" including the 3" of the case.) I also forgot to take a pen, paper and calculator so didn't have anything to figure on and I'm lousy at doing math in my head now days. I didn't know my cell phone had a built in calculator until I was messing with it last night so now at least I'll have one when I go back today. I'll also make sure to take the GPS, camera, pen and paper.

While there I walked down to the road north of the land to measure from there back to the end of the property. I looked further down the road toward the American Legion and noticed where someone had piled up rocks around a piece of PVC so assumed someone was trying to figure out the boundaries for their land. I walked down to it and measured from it to the edge of the road north, but evidently it is in the wrong place because after figuring it up that came out to 464 feet which should only be 330 feet from it to the road's edge. My other measurements were from the other side of the road south and to a point south of  the driveway on my land. I marked that so with my figures there should be another 181.5 feet to the south corner (IF the boundaries are actually from the road's edge). When I go back out there later today I plan to finish the measurement to find where the actual corner would be if the measurements are from the road's edges. I'll mark that with the GPS and see where it comes out in comparison with the safe corner Just Me gave me and the original coordinates I got from CCL when I bought it. I'll update this again later with what I find.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Muscle Cars & Shipping Containers

Since John Wells called my old gal a muscle car I figured I'd give him a muscle car. She is actually old and sick though but a few years ago she would hold her own against most newer Mustang GTs, Cameros, Trans AMs  and the likes. She has been driven hard and put up wet a few too many times though. Maybe one of these days I can restore her again.

Thanks one more time to a tip from Just Me I should have a container on the land by the 15th of next month which should mean I can MOVE there. Not sure exactly when they can have it there, but he said some time between the 3rd and 15th. Hopefully closer to the 3rd than the 15th to give me time to build the insert. Yeah... the picture of the container on the land is a spoof to.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cleared For Landing


I cleared off a place for the container (Using an Ax and a rake that the head kept coming off of it), BUT I've called 4 times now to see about getting one of the containers and no answer. Last time I let the phone ring long enough that I got a message saying "Answer off", then I heard a guy say something and the phone went dead. Either all of their rentals are taken up or they just don't want to do business? Must be nice to have a business where you only answer the phone when you want to!

Anyway if that situation don't change then it looks like I may have to back off and punt. Pounding steel fence post in the ground and using them as a frame is out because of the shallow soil so the next step may be going back to stick building.

The first picture is the spot I chose to put the container (In the safe zone until I get a survey) and is not the site I want to build on. That would be about two feet higher and to the north on the plateau. As is if I can get a container the front would be about 100 feet off of the road. The area where I want to put the container will be an extended driveway sooner or later. The second picture is looking in from the road with the cross hair about where the container should be. The third one shows the drop off to the south where the land slopes down probably about 30 feet until it levels off again.

One of my new neighbors to be and his wife stopped buy and we chatted for a while. Seem like great people. They had a small pup they had just gotten (half Snouser and half Chiwawa) and was a cute little dickens. Since my X hated dogs with a passion I owe it to myself to get one since I do like them. Just not sure what kind yet?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Odessa Texas Visitor's Bureau

While at the land yesterday as I walked down in to a ravine that runs along the back of the property I was startled as a very large jackrabbit bolted out of some brush. Now I thought I was born and raised in Jackrabbit country, but evidently not. This jackrabbit was HUGE! In all my life I've never seen one even close to that size and I've seen thousands of them. I haven't done much on here for a few days so with that in mind I thought of the World's Largest Jackrabbit I'd seen in my home town (several times removed) of Odessa Texas. You see it here and you can visit the site I snatched the picture from in the first link. While searching for pictures of it I ran across a startling image of a man holding an 11 foot rattle snake he had killed. See the other photo and you can visit the site I snatched it from in the second link (as well as some interesting reading besides). Now true Odessa may have the world's largest statue of a jackrabbit, but I'm going to say it doesn't have the largest Real Jackrabbits! It may well be that it can hold claim to having had the world's largest rattlesnake though. Also HUGE! I hope I never run across something like that! I came close to being taken by an 18 to 20 foot python while in Viet Nam but luck intervened in my favor. When I first saw the picture of the snake it reminded me of a small brother of the python I came close to be snatched by. Then when I investigated I couldn't believe it was a rattlesnake!

I'd heard that the nice weather was going to change for the worse here, but this morning was absolutely beautiful so I decided to go back out to the land and piddle around more. Just before I got ready to leave though the wind started getting up and it felt as it was starting to get cooler. That was all it took for me to change my mind. Now its back to this RV rockin & rollin. The wind is really howling and out of the northeast which is broadsiding the trailer. I think we are supposed to have several days of not so great weather.

As far as a storage container on the land (which seems to be my best bet for getting out there) I've called the place that rents them twice today and no answer either time. Maybe tomorrow???

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Oh well... What else is new?

The three picture are the best of the best of the new land out of about 38 pictures + three videos of 360s on and around the land. The videos are too much for this internet connection to handle. Not sure why I call it new land though because we all know its VERY OLD. Its new to me though and I like it a lot more than the other plat! I stopped by the American legion for the first time and will join it as soon as I can round up a copy of my discharge papers. That could be a problem though because it appears that the storage building 220 miles away from here was breached and I received notification today about that. The door was open, but since the people that own the storage didn't know what was in it they couldn't tell whether anything was missing or not. At least they assured me that they have video surveillance so we will see... Maybe? $109 a month for a high tech storage?  In it would have been my original discharge papers and a few copies + my welder, a lot of shop tools, hardware, computer with sensitive info and no telling what else was in there. I wonder what I did in a past or present life to deserve all the BS? I do get to keep the rock driveway even in the safe zone though and it shows up even in the satellite view. (Picture 4)


The picture above shows about how the grid map should be and the red line at the bottom is what the grid map shows. The black squares are more like the property boundaries should be.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

FedEx / Grub Shack / Green Slime Update

Contrary to what FedEx said on the date of deliver of the radiator it didn't show. The girl in the office said it probably won't today because they are usually here by 1:30 PM. I guess they could have made it if they hadn't send it an extra 550 miles further east and then had to bring it back another 550 miles back this way! Especially considering it had to pass the FedEx terminal it was sent back to this morning when that's still 250 miles from here. Oh well... If it gets here by 1:30 tomorrow maybe I'll still have time to get it changed out and be able to get back to the land Saturday. Just Me showed me how to change the Google Earth coordinates to the hand held GPS coordinates so now I should be able to locate the corners (within 16 feet) with it now. Will probably be a far cry from pacing it off or using a tape (Which could still be 16 feet off.)

And on another note there is an article about the Grub Shack here Grub Shack article and I'll let the author fess up if she will since her handle on the article is different than her blog handle.

And now for the Green Slime update. It appears that any time your vehicle sets for a few days or maybe less then the out of balance problem reoccurs, but within about a mile it goes away. Its still unsettling though, but I guess its a necessary evil to keep from having flats on the Terlingua Ranch roads.
The Fan arrived, but not the radiator! Not good... Not good at all!

Now that FedEx figured out how to get the fan here they forgot how they did it I guess. The shipment of the radiator is now on hold about 75 miles away from here saying on the tracking that they couldn't find the address. I guess that means one of two things. Either the box was addressed wrong by the sender or the driver doesn't know what he/she is doing? In either case I guess I can forget about it getting here before Monday (If it doesn't go back where it came from) Ah.... CRAP!

I finally got a hold of FedEx after punching a bunch of buttons on the phone and giving voice commands which it kept saying it didn't understand. Didn't know my speech was that bad? Anyway I finally got to talk to a real person and the shipment is SUPPOSED to be back on track. She didn't have a clue why the driver dropped off the one package and didn't the other one??? At any rate now I won't get it until Monday and that means a beautiful weekend for being at the land is lost. More than likely the nice weather won't hold up long. 

WOO HOO! The people that sent the radiator got on FedEx like a big dog and they made a special delivery the 70 miles to get it here! I'm a HAPPY CAMPER! Now if all will go smooth with the change out I should be at the land tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sun Rise

Nice Sun Rise this morning.
Looks like things are starting to move in a posative way! The radiator is supposed to arrive Thursday so with any luck with the weather I should be able to get that taken care of and maybe spend Friday and Saturday out at the land doing what I can. okeefe1955 was able to get me in touch with someone who could give me the phone number of where to rent a storage container so I'll check in to getting one of those on the land hopefully around the first part of next month. If so I may be able to get out of this place by the 15th of January!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Finding Corners

I got lucky when I was at the land the other day and one of the GPS coordinates was fairly close to the southeast corner. I didn't know how close so I marked the distance between that cross hair and the GPS marker according to Google earth and then copied those two markers and kept pasting them in to see how many of those distances would fit between the two corners. (See picture) I guess I got lucky again because it just so happens that the total came out almost exactly to the northeast corner. Then I divided that number (7) in to 660 feet to get the distance between the cross hair and the southeast corner so that should be real close to 94 feet. I'd already multiplied 660 feet X 12 inches to come out with the inches in 660 feet (7920) and the reason for that is that after measuring my steps quiet a few time they always come out to right at 32 inches. (toe to toe) I divided the 32 inches in to the total inches of 660 feet to come up with 247.5 steps I would take from one marker to the other. It came out to 35 steps from the cross hair to the southeast corner so I plan to step that off and mark it with a stack of rocks. Then take the 248 steps back north to get the distance to the other corner and backup 16 inches and mark that corner with a stack of rocks. I know this isn't a very scientific way to do this, but it should come out close enough to keep me out of trouble.

Front to back will be a different story though because I can't just walk straight down a road and there will be brush hindering me when trying to walk so... I have a compass, tripod and laser and figure if I set it up directly over the southeast corner and point the laser at a 45 degree angle then when I walked as close to straight as I could from the northeast corner when the laser hits me I should be real near the northwest corner. Do the same from the northeast corner to get the spot for the southwest corner. How many holes can you punch in this theory?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

More Filler

Nothing much to report here other than I've managed to talk to a few family members since I got the phone and that makes things a lot better. I went to bed last night feeling like warmed over death, but have felt better today. Nothing worth watching on the box since they don't broadcast the cowboy game around here so I did talk to a construction crew down here from Ft. Worth. Nice bunch of guys and they come from close to my last stomping ground. After that it was a shower and then I fired up the old Zoon (IPOD clone) and listening to a bunch if stuff that I like and tried to dodge the stuff I'd put on it for the X. I do listen to some of the stuff I put on it for the granddaughters though. I hate to admit that I'm starting to like Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift and the likes, but HAY... Its something to listen to besides the single radio station around here. Can't wait until I get the new radiator where I can get out to the new land and start working on it.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I'm Connected!


Finally got a cellphone so now I have some contact with the outside world other than the internet. I'd planned to go out to the new land and take more pictures today, but now that I have the cellphone I find that I'm sort of tied here for now since I'm expecting a couple of calls. I guess maybe I'll try to make it out there tomorrow and hope for a clear sky so I can get some decent photos. I also want to try and pinpoint the corners as best I can with the GPS and scope out where I want to live on it. I'm hoping to be able to get something out  there by mid month next month so I can move on the land, but that's yet to be seen.

And an Update
I finally found and ordered a new radiator for the falcon which is good because the old one is getting worse all the time. (Fill it up before going to the land and fill it up before I come back.) It sure will be nice to quit spending $ on antifreeze! I may hold off on going back out there until I get the new radiator and get it installed, because its getting a little scarier each time I go out there wondering if I'll have a total failure or not.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Land Barron

Lousy weather today, but I made it out to the prospective new land. More to be added as this develops. Yep... Not the land, but here at Study Butte its SNOWING! I hate that white stuff!!

Ok... Here's the deal. This new land is about a quarter mile from the American Legion and about 600 feet off or highway 118 as the crow flies. The access road to it runs directly to the American Legion, but there is a road within 300 feet that goes directly out to 118. The entry /exit point at 118 is concrete and I think has a covert under it. Both roads are in very good shape and appear to be used a good bit. As a matter of fact I had to skirt the edge twice on the road going in front of the land to allow other vehicles to get past me. The roads are well drained  rock and what appears to be caliche so there shouldn't be any problem getting to and from the property even after heavy rains. I was able to drive the falcon directly to it with no problem at all and the trike should even be able to handle it without any modifications.

There is power real close and hopefully I can get it to the property fairly cheaply.  The actual land has a high plateau which is flat with sand mixed with small fragments of slate type rock so it should also be good for a driveway in and out. There is already one mostly cleared that won't take much work at all to reclaim. The rest of the property on the south and west slopes off steeply and is rolling quiet a bit, but the view from there is great. I will be able to get phone and DSL there because it is within such a short distance to the American Legion and a straight road directly from it to in front of the property. If for some reason I can't get power I'll have to have the wind generator working and have at least 800 amp hours of battery to do that though.

Would be nice if the American Legion was a cellphone zone, but I'm told by Just Me that she doesn't think it is. Too bad if that's the case because it would likely mean the land would be to. The best part is that I can get a lot more in to trying to get a livable place there than the land I couldn't get in and out of for days after rain. Since I will be keeping the other land I may work on it as I have time and resources to try my hand at the Greening the earth project on it since the new land won't be suited to that. Did I say the view from the new land is fantastic?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Just Filler

This is basically just filler for now. I may have some new news tomorrow and if so I'll Do another subject. The two pictures are projects I was thinking about long before I left Plano and one of them I'd still be interested in doing. Not the storage of hydrogen though. On that one I'd thought I could use automotive HO sensors as relays, but unfortunately they have to be very hot to work so I'd have to come up with something else. At the time I did that drawing I did have a hydrogen booster hooked up to my wind generator just for the heck of it. About all that did was turn a 2 liter coke bottle in to a rocket and nearly fried my hand. Hydrogen doesn't require much pressure to be liquefied, but it takes a VERY cold temperature. Just so happens that liquid nitrogen is plenty cold enough and cheap to so this could happen pretty easy.

The other idea that I do want to try can be read below.

The gasoline engine is not very efficient for several reasons, but the main two are because 1/3 of the energy produced by them is given off as heat and lost through the radiator. The second is 1/3 rd is heat lost through the exhaust. Both of those account for a 2/3rd loss of efficiency. The power that is actually made by a gasoline engine only accounts for 1/3 from the gasoline burned. Note the picture where I've shown where the other power could be reclaimed for useful purposes to raise the efficiency of the engine. My idea is to wring as much efficiency as possible out of a small car engine by capturing the lost heat and using it for other things. In this way a small wrecked car could be bought for beans and only the engine and transmission used to provide electrical power (both directly and for charging banks of batteries when it wasn't running.) Large quantities of hot water could also be saved while it was running and then used for home heating or other things when it isn't running. The heat from the exhaust could also be used to power a steam turbine to provide more electricity instead of making hot water when that wasn't needed. I do have a common law patent/copyright on it.

The trick would be to get as efficient an engine as you could find and possibly even turbo charge it to raise that efficiency as much as possible. A few more benefits would be gained as apposed to using the engine to push a car down the highway and those are this. The engine would be using its full potential for making electricity instead of having to force a car through wind (Drag) and overcome the friction of tires against the road. It would also not be having to carry the weight of the vehicle and passengers. It would just be doing one thing. Creating useful power. Some day I hope to have such a system set up on my land and might even have it setup to run on propane instead of gasoline which would cut down on maintenance by about 2/3 because of the propane burning much cleaner. Oil changes could be cut by 2/3rd.