Sunday, March 28, 2010

Desert Blooms / Lunch / Entertainment /First Shower!

For lack of anything else here is a couple of the plants that are now blooming on this place. Don't have a clue what the names of the plants are?

Its windy as heck again today which is good for the power situation, but not for modivation to get out and do something. For now I'm staying inside.

As for lunch? Well I decided to use up a package of Butter Flavored Noodles I had and didn't have a measuring cup so decided to use one of the 16 ounce Styrofoam coffee cups to measure the water. Now the packet said to use 2 cups of water and all the time knowing that 16 ounces makes 2 cups I literally added two of the 16 OZ cups of water. Duah! Now needless to say what should have been some good noodles to eat turned in to a rather bland pot of soup. I says to myself "Self you need to add something else to thicken it up!" I added a single serving packet of cheese macaroni to it and cooked it another 5 minutes. Sampled it and it wasn't too good at all. Well I says to myself "Self add a can of Tuna!" So I did, that and 4 pinches of sea salt, 4 or 5 dashes of seasoning salt, a few dashes of garlic salt, 4 pinches of course ground black pepper and a hand full of minute rice to absorb some of the extra liquid. Hay! It turned out not too bad! Was out of Coke which I usually have with meals so it was V8 juice to the rescue. Now I've pigged out so much on it I can see a nap in my near future!

Entertainment? Well yes... I need something around here to help keep me from going completely NUTS so this is my entertainment system. I use my Zune (Microsoft's answer to the Ipod) and connect it to my old computer speaker system. It works quiet well and has great sound for such a cheap setup. I got tired of the ear bud thingies a long time ago and when I ran across the speaker system in the storage I decided to use them. I have enough music on the Zune to last a good 8 hours without ever hearing the same song twice. It sure makes things a lot easier to take at night when I'm hold up in the dungeon. There is only one radio station in the area and I'd call it LOUSY so that more or less leaves this setup. Works well for me anyway! I can't get the radio station in the dungeon anyway.

Note the battery with the cigarette lighter port added to it. I also found my car setup for the Zune which allows me to charge the Zune without running the laptop while its charging. Saves some on the juice needed to keep the laptop running and when the wind genny isn't running saves gas to by not having to recharge the batteries as often. The speaker system only takes 18 watts to run where the laptop takes over 100 watts.
 Yep! Took my first shower at the ranch! The wind laid down and the water was 103 degrees and I hurriedly put up the shower tarp, used another one for a floor with rocks around it to keep it there and went for it. Hadn't no more than got through when the wind decided to change directions and start making more power again.  I had to really hustle to get the shower tarp down. Now I only used about  3 1/2 gallons of water because I didn't know just how long it would last. First burst I soaked down good, Then soaped up and scrubbed down all over. Then rinse and soaped down some more. Then I use the rest of the 3 1/2 gallons to rinse completely again.  Boy did that 103 degrees water feel good! Now that I know I could have showered twice as long I'll enjoy it longer next time.


  1. Remember way back in the "good ole days", when you mentioned coke everybody knew it was something to drink. On second thought you might not be that old.

  2. BfA, I'm way old enough to remember those days and tried some of that other Coke to, but didn't get the same effect from it that most people did so I gave up on it. The canned stuff works much better for me, but I don't pour it up my nose. ;)

    I just added to the Blog while you were posting so you may have messed the added Entertainment addition. The brown stuff on the floor by the battery is dust and not something you put up your nose either. Although being outside you get plenty of it there anyway. I've tried to keep the floor clean, but with the sand storms that ain't happening. I just rent a grader once a month and and use that to push it out the door.

  3. nice post! Hey I still am looking forward to knowing how often you need to run the gas powered genni.

    With a normal schedule in a weeks time , could you let us know how often and for how long you run your gas genni using your windgenni as your main battery charging system?

  4. OGT, there is no set schedule. At first before I got my digital volt meter fixed I ran the batteries until the inverter started squawking or completely shut down before I started the charger. Back then though I only had the first 4 batteries online and it was usually every afternoon for about 10 to 15 minutes. Then I added the other four batteries and started going by volts instead of the inverter.

    Now... here is why there is no schedule. Some times I keep the laptop on about 24 hours, use the overhead light until the wee hours of the morning, keep the music going until I wake up sometime early in the morning or all night. (which ever comes first) I also have a multitude of stuff charging at the same time (beard trimmer, cell phone, rechargeable battery charger (for multiple batteries), another cordless phone that isn't hooked up yet and a couple of other transformers for lights and so on so all depending on how heavily I assault the batteries is how long I go between charges. That had been as often as every day or as long as 3 days between charges. With the 8 batteries it takes from 15 to 30 minutes to bring them up to full charge. 30 minutes would be from the time the inverter starts squawking to full charge and the lesser times going by voltage and when the charger revs up telling me the batteries are fully charged by it.

    Since I've had the wind genny up its usually every 2 to 4 days now to run the charger (all depending on how much wind we've had. This morning I ran it for about 20 minutes because the voltage was getting lower than I'd like for it to. It was dead calm at the time and very shortly after I finished the charge the wind came back up so I probably charged them for noting that time to. BTW it had been 4 days since I'd cranked it up this time and I hadn't been shy about really socking it to the batteries.

    Maybe that answered your question in a round about way?

  5. Added one more section. My first shower at the ranch! ;)

  6. yeah thanks, with high usage for one person with 8 batts , provided u have average wind on your 400 watt genni, you had to run the gas generator for about 30 minutes in 8 days?

    And that gave you everything you needed for power for 8 days?

    Im guessing that if you needed to run plug in power tools , you would have ran them dirrectly from your gas genni?

    love the shower! hey would u have put up the shower first thing when you started living there if you could have?

  7. Hi, I've been following your blog and John's for a while. I really like what your doing and was hoping to do the same in the near future. You all been doing great. Question for you along the lines of the other comments. Have you all seen any of the drug gang violence in Mexico cross the border? I know its a desert but the distances aren't much. Just curious since I haven't seen any posts about it.

  8. No OGT, its a 500 watt wind genny and IF there was enough wind it would probably be about 30 minutes every 4 days for running the gas powered charger. An hour every 8 days, but the world isn't perfect so the wind doesn't blow fast enough to make power all the time. I'm sure glad of that so that's why you need both wind and solar down here. Or maybe a lot more batteries and a lot bigger wind generator. Maybe a lot of solar and a lot more batteries with no wind generator. Yes I do run the regular gas generator when I need to run the bigger power tools, but a 3/8th drill, moto tool and stuff like that does fine off of the batteries. I only use them for short periods of time like that though. I think John mentioned on his blog that he had to run his generator 4 hours to top off his batteries by using a charger. I also think right now he's only using solar so he could have saved at least 3 1/2 hours of run time by using a charger like I built. (which would have probably used about 3 1/2 times less gas.)

  9. Richard, that isn't a concern here. For one the border patrol has a BIG foot print here and another the stuff like you're talking about seems to be around bigger cities. Of course I'm talking about now and have no way to know what the future will bring, but I'd bet against that. Most people are heavily armed down here and watch out for their neighbors to boot so it would probably never happen.

  10. Sounds great! Good to know, Thanks. Exactly what I thought would be the case with Texans. :)

  11. Hey Unc,

    Yep, things sure are looking better everyday. I'm sure the folks over at the Legion are happy your able to take a shower now, :-) I know what you mean about wanting the wind for the gennie, and wanting it to lighten up as well, we've been getting blown to heck here in D/FW too.
    Take care

  12. I bet that shower felt real good ... I'm happy for you :)

  13. Dale, with enough Ice melt two people could take a shower a day. Yeah... I'm sure the Legion will like it. I didn't see any one walk out when I walked in today.;)

    On at this time: The Supremes "Some day we'll be together.

  14. MC, yes it did.

    On at this time: Led Zeppelin "Rock And Roll" (far from my favorite) Well sucks! now its the Everly Brothers "Let it be me."

    Hit the recycle button and now its Kansas and "Dust in the Wind" Ok by me. but that dust in the wind gets hard to take!

  15. Yes sir, that dust in the wind is rough to take. Wanting the wind is one thing, being sand blasted is something totally different. Hope for a nice productive day for ya.

  16. Dale, I guess when I get where I can start restoring the falcon again I won't have to do any sanding before painting it. The sand storms will do it for me. ;)

    Daily temps this morning were 43 degrees inside and 28 degrees outside at 8:20 AM. According to the online weather its supposed to get to 81 degrees this afternoon. 53 degrees differential in one day.