Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Yep... Its here.

Above left to right... Ashley who is Dwight's spouse. (Dwight being my grand Nephew) Dwight, Johny Bollinger (my newly adopted Nephew) Rarely done other than to good people!, then there is Dale which most know is my nephew, Rhonda (Dale's wife) and Norma Jean my grand niece. Of course Pepper is seen walking away from one of her newly found boyfriends. (Probably to go visit the other one) What a fickle girl she is!

Johny who is the guy that brought the RV down here from AZ. Great guy and a real card!

Here you see Pepper posing with her new home. She seemed to like it real well at first and explored every cranny. However, now that the wind is really high and the trailer has been Rock'in &; Roll'in she seems to not like it too well. Matter of fact I think she would just as soon go back to the dungeon. Oh well... the poor girl had better get used to it. I hear we have some really bad weather and a lot of rain on the way. BTW I'd almost forgot about how the wind was in RN and RV's trailer at the BBMI. Guess I'll have to get used to that again to because it is much cooler in here!

I did spend a good bit of the day redoing some really screwed up stuff some previous owner had done. Got the over head AC working as if I could afford to run it, but at least that and a few other things are back like they came from the factory. Lots more to do, but it will get done as I can get to it.

Big fight at the Legion
Went to the Legion for  a couple of happy beers this afternoon at the legion this afternoon and we got treated to a fight. Not what you think though! It was out front on the patio where a Vinegaroon and a Sun spider.
Photo by Dave Secor

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Strawberry Cactus


Yesterday Just Me came by to get me for us to go stake out some land for a friend. On the way back we went to Study Butte where I bought a block of ice and put it in the back of her pickup. When she dropped me off I forgot to get it out so had to make tracks down to the legion where she was headed to get it.  Turns out that Bill and Caren had made an unexpected trip down here and they were at the legion, but since they were in Caren's car this time I didn't know it and came back to the dungeon after getting the ice. They stopped by later and again invited me for brunch this morning so I accepted. Now remember the coffee/hot chocolate thread a ways back? Well Caren got me a couple of boxes with the marshmallows in them and gave them to me while I was there. Thanks Caren!. Also turns out that RN brought me a box when he came to so I'm in good shape now. :)

On the way over this morning I passed James The surveyor (Can't remember his last name) anyway he was on his way over there to so once he got there he told us about the Strawberry Cactus fruit and went out and found some around the cabin. Each of us tried it and it was very good. Sweet with just a little tart. Sort of reminds me of Kiwi fruit. Those cactus are all over this place and loaded with the fruit, but I haven't found any ripe ones yet. You can bet I'll be watching for them though.

So much for the Solar panels. :( Looks like I won't be retiring the gas charger any time soon. Of course if there is enough wind the wind genny will take up some slack though. At least the temps aren't supposed to be too bad.

New Discovery

Went out to the tffnguy power station this morning to show one of my neighbors the panels and right off the bat discovered an alarming sight. A fresh snake skin and looks like the snake went in the hole and hadn't come out. I may pour some gas in the hole and see if anything domes out. Can't tell what type snake it came from. As you can see this is right by the battery bank and maybe 2 feet from where I usually squat down to connect the gas charger to the batteries. Makes me a little uneasy about that now because the platform under the batteries is where a snake could hide and maybe even strike out from under it. Guess I better fix that problem!

The Fruit

More to Come
Tomorrow Maybe? Got a lot of work to do to make the transition.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Well Slithering Slinkers Batman!

RN made it down yesterday with the solar panels and a few other care packages. I didn't have a chance to do much with them until after he left this morning though. Still haven't done much with them other than rewiring three of them so far and directing them at charging the battery that runs the swamp cooler. Both fans were operating all afternoon off of the battery and one of the panels was actually running both and charging the battery at the same time. That leads me to believe that each of the panels are over 20 watts each because the fans pull 10 watts each, but it was also charging the battery at the same time. I don't have a way of knowing how much over 20 watts they are.

We went to the Grub Shack for breakfast and while there met a couple of new people about to take up residence down here. (Leddie & Rebecca Robertson) Rebecca recognized me from my blog and said David Smith. I said yes and she said they follow the blog. :) More good folks soon to join us here. Also saw John Wells there and she recognized him also. Doc Savage was also there wo there was a pretty good crowd to chat with.

The picture below shows three of them that I actually got rewired and was testing out late this evening. The same picture shows one of 4 chairs Just Me turned me on to today. Cool chairs so I guess I'll have seating for guest when they show up.
While sitting outside later it was starting to get fairly dark, but I could still make out anything around me on the ground.  I spied something slithering towards me, but couldn't tell what type snake it was. It was very small (Maybe 14 inches total), so I jumped up and almost stomped it. I thought better than that for safety sake and let it slink on by and go under the dungeon. I guess I have a new pet now. Oh Joy!

The photo of the evening. Just before seeing the snake.


Got three of the panels up and charging the main battery bank and one charging the swamp cooler battery. Unfortunately though one of the panels is bad. According to what Just Me told me yesterday it may be repairable, but probably not by me because I wouldn't have a clue how to do it. Never the less the three are doing a good job of charging the bank and so is the other one keeping the evap fans running for ventilation and charging the battery at the same time.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Supercharging Solar Panels

Did you know you could? Yep... here are two instances. The first picture shows the reflection from the window with the shiny tape on it reflecting down on the solar panel as well as the sun. This can give pretty near full boost early in the morning and late in the evening when the panels would barely be doing anything. It can also double the output of panels during the day. No guarantee how much it might shorten the life on the panel though.

 The second picture is getting a triple whammy. The sun reflecting from the window and the sun reflecting from the sort of mirror I made. + the sun.

This morning's sunrise.
Maybe more to come?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Morning Coffee

Made myself a pot of coffee this morning and I can't remember the last time I did that. Just got out of the habit when the weather started getting hot. Anyway... The morning was fairly cool after a hot night so coffee sounded good. Of course I have my on method of making coffee. (see below)
Picture 1 (Not counting the number) I heat the water in the pan. Then I pour the hot water in the glass Mr. Coffee type pot. and set two hacksaw blades across the top of the pan and set the coffee/filter holder on them over the pan. I then pour the hot water through the filter. (coffee made)

Now Picture 2... Before I left Plano I was in a supermarket one time and on the coffee isle to get coffee. A woman reached over and got a canister of Nestle's quick with mini marshmallows like in the third picture and showed it to me. She said she put a couple of table spoons of it in her coffee each morning and it was great. I decided to try it and each morning I'd save my last cup of coffee just for that. Some time I'd even shoot some whip cream on top. Down here I can't get the canisters either with or with out marshmallows or for that matter even packets with the marshmallows in them so have to settle for the stuff without it. I've tried a lot of different brands, but NOTHING measures up to that type Hot Coco Mix. Some of my guest like to also add the powdered creamer with it, but I usually don't. BTW the bottom of a canister in picture three was from the same type canister as the one next to it. Pepper got a hold of it and scattered all of the parts I had in it from where she got it to her lair. That is all the remains of the canister.

And on a side note the Dragon Slayer made her first kill.  She also made another kill on one of my heavy duty extension cords. :(  I went to take a shower and found the wire I usually plug the charger in to when I take a shower mangled in three different places. Unfortunately since one of them was next to the head it is useless now! (Can't be fixed.) Needless to say she got her butt beat with it!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Solstice

Since frann brought up Summer Solstice in the last thread and said I should do something Pagan  Here you go. Now I knew The It'll Du had to be built for some special reason and it dawned on me this evening as I was out back. Notice the shadow being cast from it to the back of the dungeon. Well that was about an hour before sundown so I'm confident that at the final moments of sundown the shadow would have perfectly aligned with the back of the dungeon. Just think of it! In the billions of years the earth has been here this phenomena has never happened. Unfortunately it still hasn't because the western sky began to cloud up so it didn't have a chance to happen. Imagine the frustration of all the Pagans that walked for miles to watch something similar at Stonehenge. Boy! Am I ever frustrated and I didn't even have to walk far. 

Well... Everyone show up next year and we'll try once again to have a Pagan ritual. ;) This will be the Terlingua Stonehenge. Or maybe that will be Wood, Styrofoam, Tarp & Steel henge.
Oh and look what it did to this crazy millipede. Its attacking the mallet I keep the camera and a few other things operating around here with.
Until next year hang in there...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dragon Slayer

Well... maybe that's Would be Dragon Slayer. (Pepper) First picture is of the bad girl following me out to take a picture of the planned heading of Dale's RV. Second picture is of the planned heading and cleared area for it.
Notice the Pass that the arrow is pointing to. Supposedly from what I've been told is that the directions of the most fierce winds are from North or South or South to North. (Although I've seen some pretty fierce winds coming from all directions). However, its said that some times wind coming from north to south will be going through that Pass and some times it will reverse and be even higher coming back. At any rate most people down here say it is best for RVs to be facing North or South, but not all are parked that way. I guess its sort of a crap shoot...  BTW the arrow is actually facing South south west. The sharp pointed peak almost hidden by the top left corner of the It'll Du is south. Bigfoot, Littlefoot and Underfoot's cabin can be seen more or less where the arrow is pointing.

Got tired of sitting in the coolest? place in the dungeon (see below bucket in the door) When I went to the legion for ice someone had dropped off a bunch of JUNK like they do at various places in this area (supposedly to help people out) in this case it was all junk. Anyway one piece of junk was the pot in the second picture. It was too screwed up to use for cooking, but I figured it might make a water bowl for Pepper so got it. I don't think she will dump it and take off with it like she did the plastic ones before I sacrificed one of my parts buckets for her a water bowl. Now I was able to reclaim my parts bucket for my parts. I started loading the bucket back up with parts, but it was getting hot out in the sun so I'll finish that in the morning.
Also got some WD40 after the rat trap because something was either eating the bate without setting it off or setting it off and not getting caught.

Friday, June 18, 2010

More Fool'in Around

While sitting out in front of the dungeon this evening it looked like we were going to have more storms. We did... A Sand storm. Looked like to the south they were getting hammered with rain. Perhaps JW got more rain for his storage. Looked like it was in his area. Once the rain storm got past us headed to the west it then turned north and missed us.

I finally figured out how to catch some lightning with my ragged old camera as seen in the last photo. That was when it was behind us.
Now! if I could just catch it burning out on a mountain (twice) like I saw it do night before last I'd be happy. Pretty cool!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fool'in around

Still nothing to write about other than I'm still grubbing up a few weeds and bushes in the cool of the mornings to make way for Dale's trailer when it gets here on the 28th. Took some pictures after the storm the other night and the only one worth posting is 9 points mountain again. Has double rainbows on this one, but the one further to the left is hard to make out. Also snapped a picture of the local lizard. Nice colors on them and there are many. That is Peppers favorite past time trying to catch them. She hasn't had any luck yet. They are way to fast for her and always find a bush or something else to hid in or under during the chases.
That's all for now folks.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Local Eateries

For lack of anything else to post I decided to show off the local eateries. (Local to the dungeon that is) First most everyone has seen which is the Legion. The second one everyone has probably seen to either here or on JW's blog. That would be the Grub Shack. Third probably not seen so much and that is Susie's Snack Shack. Fourth is Tivo's Place and the Longhorn Motel. Note the monster Yucca in front of Tivo's! That sucker is HUGE!
And another sunset shot. This was after the storm last night. Had some heavy rain and sounded like small hail, but it was blowing from the east so I had to keep the door shut and couldn't see. Just Me dropped by for a visit earlier before the storm and was going to go out and tend to her bees. Hope she wasn't still out in the boonies when the storm hit. Enjoyed the visit Just Me.
The other toe curlers are of an accident Pepper had after eating last night. :( and then a tarantula crossing the road in front of the dungeon when I was headed out for the other pictures. Hay... With the good must come some bad. (Usually does for me anyway.)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Another Swamp Cooler!

At the legion to get ice and cool off now. Forgot my reading glasses so no telling how many mistakes I'll make on this. Anyway the generator uses way too much gas to be used to cool the dungeon so... I built another evap sort of like JW's. Actually I didn't get the idea from him though because I'd thought of using an ice chest to build one before he built his, but didn't have a spare and didn't want to have to buy one. On RN's last trip he left another large ice chest so I used my old one to build the new evap out of. It had already been butchered to an extent when I used it as the holding tank for the solar heating system I built a few years back in Plano. Unlike JW's swamp cooler I am building the whole thing in one cooler and not using a second for the holding tank. The small pump  OGT left won't need to pump water so high so should function better and probably use a little less electricity to do it.

So far I'm about 89% finished I guess. Still need to add the pump and manifold to circulate the water over the pad. For now I've been just dampening the pad every now and then with a jug. It seems to cool pretty good, but the pad area is a lot smaller than the one I built before which causes a good bit of restriction and the fan just doesn't put out a lot of air. I really need a small blower instead of the fan. At least now there is some ventilation in the dungeon where with the AC unit only I had the overhear vent closed up and there was none. That meant that when it was closed up and the AC wasn't running it got REALLY hot in there. The little evap should help a good bit with that and should do a fair job at night. At least with this new one I can keep the AC window unit in the window as well as the evap to so if I REALLY have to run the AC for short periods I can. Probably after sun down when there is still some light and just long enough to get the temp down in the dungeon. (maybe 30 minutes,)
Probably more pictures later. Hopefully after there is shade in front of the dungeon later I can finish adding the pump and get it fully functional. I will have to add water a good bit more often since it won't hold anywhere near the volume the old one did, but I wouldn't think over every three hours or so and with the smaller pad maybe a lot less often than that?

First night wasn't so cool! It was real humid because of storms in the area and then the lack of air output because of the fan didn't help any either. Had to resort to running the generator again after I woke up about 1:00 AM and couldn't get back to sleep because of the muggy heat. Code name for the new cooler is Haf'ta Du, but I sure need a small blower to get it to do that because a fan just doesn't have the static pressure that a blower does. Not much way to add more pad area so that is out. Maybe a cooler twice the size would have been better, but there wouldn't have been room for it.


Added my other fan inside in front of the discharge to act like a Turbo and it works well. Probably doubled the output of air. Problem is I loose the use of that fan for redirecting air on me and that's not a good thing. It isn't likely that even doubling the output will do the job of cooling this place during the day, but there is a chance it will at night. Guess I'll see tonight.

A couple of storm pictures from yesterday evening. Note in the first another rainbow over 9 points. For some reason that mountain seems to produce them. Also looks sort of like a pyramid with the  rain  falling toward the other direction.

The cooler did very well last night with the second fan boosting it. There was enough of the cool air blowing on my bunk that I didn't need the fan blowing directly on me. Of course day time comes and it doesn't have a chance, but will probably keep it a few degrees cooler, but very humid so I may switch to ventilation only during the day and turn the pump on at night.