Sunday, February 27, 2011

Table / BeeBee / DUST!

I had a couple of solar panels that were bad and not much chance of being fixed so I decided to put them to good use anyway. This is the one I just built a few days back and I still have one to go. Makes a darned good small coffee table.

Decided that the battery hut needed a name and I didn't like BH so... I've named it BB for Battery Box instead. That's pronounced Bee Bee just in case you were wondering. I was hoping to get the mud on it today and maybe the corrugated metal curved roof on it to, but unfortunately the wind got up before I had a chance to do either. I got about 1/3 of the lath on it yesterday and as soon as I was going to head out the door to finish that this morning the damn wind came up.
The domed looking gizmo on the top is just there. Something I thought about using for a vent and then changed my mind. The curved 2x4s the roof will be tied to came from the ladder I made for the bunk back when I was still in the dungeon. I figured I needed to use it for something else and I didn't need a rocking chair. Well come to think of it I probably do need one, but Oh Well!!!

I plan to cut a hole in the center of the roof and then I have a vent that came out of an RV. I'll put that in the bottom of the door and there will be vents on each end under the roofing metal. I'll make plugs for both for use in the winter.

There you have 9 Points again, but this time that isn't fog! Its dust/sand in the air. The wind feels like its blowing at least 45 or 50 MPH and gusting a good bit higher. Its out of the south west so its pretty warm air and its up to 84 degrees in here because I can't open the door or windows on that side for ventilation because of the blowing sand. I'm sure considering filling up the swamp cooler with water and using it. Should feel pretty good with the low humidity.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pepper / Athena Update

I walked out the door yesterday afternoon and about the time I got down the steps Pepper walked around the corner of the trailer and as soon as she saw me the tail started wagging and she assumed her usual position of rolling over on her back for me to pet her belly. She has grown a good bit and has lost the limp from her accident of falling out of the back of a moving pickup. I enjoyed the visit, but didn't have anything to feed her like I have in the past. I did have water out for when Frann comes over and Kinky needs water though. Pepper seemed to be pretty thirsty after her trip.

I enjoyed playing with her for a while, but when I quit giving her attention she laid at my feet and took a short siesta before getting up and heading off toward the south. That wasn't the direction of her new home and I knew the reason she was here was because her new family wasn't home. I decided to take her to the legion and chain her up there until her new family could pick her up there because I didn't want her out running around alone to get attacked by coyotes or maybe get run over on 118. I see her at the legion some times on the weekend when her family is there.

It was good to spend some quality time with her knowing I didn't have to keep her. ;)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Few Pictures

The above were seen a couple of mornings ago.
The battery hut insulated inside. I dug down this morning and poured a footing around it with one of the bags of concrete Frann picked up for me when she went to Alpine. I did that just to keep rodents from burrowing under it and maybe gnawing through the wood floor for snakes to follow. I hate surprises!

The three above were of a VERY foggy morning this morning.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Scam Bamm (I can't believe I fell for this!)

You know... I've always prided myself on being able to spot scams, but this time I'm a total idiot. My neighbor was here using my internet day before yesterday and he ran across this link somewhere and sent it to me. WARNING! DO NOT GO TO THAT LINK! Now this actually ties in to the last thread about FedEx and I can see why they would use FedEx or some other carrier other than USPS. They could probably be gotten for mail fraud if that supper duper kit was sent by US mail. Yes that would be what the FedEx carrier has for me.

I think most people would shy away from posting that they were stupid enough to fall for something like this, but the way I see it is if it saves even one person from falling for it then it will be worth showing my stupidity.

Before I always did some research when people sent me links to stuff that sounded too good to be true, but this all looked so real and I just jumped on it. (probably because I realize that I'll never be able to do what I want to do here in my life time at the current income level I have)

Now while I was filling out the very professional looking online forums (Including my SS number, Driver's License Number and about everything else that NO ONE should ever do online.) a little voice in the back of my head kept saying "Don't do it Dumb-ass!", but I did it anyway. Now the real dilemma is I've probably just handed my identity to a host of scammers and there doesn't seem to be a thing I can do about it now. Its too late! HEY David are you reading this. Its too late and you are a dumb-ass! So far I'm out $30+ bucks (That I know of) and that shoud have been the tale tale right there. Now all I have to do is sit back and wait for what will happen next. I hate to imagine what that might be. In the mean time I guess my next safe to do would be to close my bank accounts and start new ones. Maybe sign up for one of the services that watch your back so if my identity is stolen then MAYBE I'll be able to do something about it.

What is this supposed to be? Well it is supposed to be that Google has a work at home over the internet deal. It doesn't exist!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Here we go again. This time its FedEx. I guess time will tell how this plays out. Problem this time is I was expecting an envelope that I assumed would be sent VIA USPS. It wasn't it was sent by FedEx instead. Now my mailing address is to my other land, but I live on this land so even IF FedEx could find the other land then they wouldn't find me there. I have a 911 address here, but have never filed for a postal address here yet so as the postman suggested keep my mail going to the other mail box  so I did.

Now I figured OK I'll have FedEx hold the envelope at the nearest terminal so I could pick it up there, BUT when I tried to do that online it said I was not entering the correct address it was to be sent to. IT WAS!!! Now what do I do? Set by the road on 118 until the FedEx truck passes and chase them down or hope the driver calls for instructions to get here? (Fat chance of that happening!) How I found out about this was an automated phone call giving me the tracking number so probably any calls saying they couldn't find me or any other information would also be automated. I think the nearest terminal is in Ft. Stockton which I think is over 100 miles away.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Big Brown / United Parcel Sucks

Being how I've been in RANT mode lately here's one more fer ya. Ever had packages shipped by UPS just to receive them mangled, Much later than they were supposed to be delivered or never arrive at all?

While Julianne was here the weekend after the lawsuit she ordered several things for her, Dave, Dave's sister and myself and they were supposed to be shipped to the legion. Reason being to save on shipping cost and the products ordered were much cheaper than they could be bought for down here. (Less than half the cost)

Now this was for your normal ground delivery and should have arrived within a week, but due to the bad weather we had back then it had made it from the northern state it was coming from to Oklahoma and then was returned to the state it had been shipped from supposedly because of the bad weather. Ok... Next thing the tracking says it had made it back to Oklahoma and then Mesquite, Texas (which is bordering Dallas on the east and north east sides.) FINE! Next step is that the shipping info gets updated saying it had left Mesquite and would be delivered here by the end of the day Tuesday, but it never arrived. Next morning shipping info was changed to that it had arrived in Odessa which is about 370 miles west of Mesquite and 220 miles north of the legion here. At that time the shipping info said it would be delivered down here from Odessa by the end of the day yesterday. GREAT! It never arrived! This morning the shipping info had been updated as the picture below. It had been shipped back the 370 miles east to Mesquite supposedly because of adverse weather conditions??? HEY! What gives here? There are no adverse weather conditions between Odessa and here, but there are back toward the DFW area! I surely hope it won't go back to Oklahoma and then the northern state it came from before starting all over again!
Now I ask you. Is it United Parcel Service or is it United Parcel Sucks?

I will say that the UPS drivers down here are GREAT and go out of their way to deliver as best they can and do it as quickly as they can. They also have to deliver in conditions most other UPS drivers don't have to contend with. (MUCH Worse conditions) Problem here is getting the packages to them so they can do their jobs.

WOW! UPS must have gotten some Rocket powered Trucks!
Finely! 02/10/2011 about 7:15 PM Evidently the shipment tracking was way off! Package was in good shape though.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New Batteries / New Hut

Saturday RN & RV brought me 4 new batteries because one or more of the last four of the old ones that were still standing started going south. I decided that since I had new batteries and still had the lumber from the inside of the Dungeon I'd use the lumber to build a new battery hut. It was supposed to make 75 degrees today and it has as of right now. 75.5 degrees. I was determined to try and get the new hut finished today including blueboard insulation on the inside and OSB board on the outside. I'm afraid that didn't work out to well because around 11:00 I started to feel crappy and that seems to have been getting a little worse since then. Never the less I was determined to at least get the outside finished or get it weather proof one. The later was about all I could handle before giving up. I spent more time sitting in a chair resting than I did working. I still need to go out and round up the tools, but I'm going to have to force myself to do that because of feeling so crappy. It will get done though.
Above notice this is making use of another pallet. I picked a good one with no damage for this. On top of that I put 1/2 inch OSB thermal board with the thermal barrier up and then framed around it with 2x4s. Not much chance this will be going anywhere even in high wind with all the weight of the batteries in the center.

Not really much more than a big box, but it should work well for what it is to be used for. I plan to follow Frann's lead and stucco the outside of it. Will also build a door in the front when I feel better and add an exhaust system for the summer later on. I don't think the area is enough to worry about using it for rain catchment.

All of the panels in the picture are now connected through the charge controller so I should have plenty of juice hopefully even on cloudy days. The inverter and charge controller are also protected from the elements now so no more mixing bowl over the inverter. I still have three panels on the old battery bank and 4 on this trailer + two extra for a movable battery charger so since I'm not running the propane fridge in here anymore and am only using the LED lighting (Got two more) two or three will be more than enough to keep the trailer battery up. I'll take one or two of the panels for the trailer and add them to the old bank once I isolate the other bad battery and start using the little electric Coleman ice chest I got from RN for a fridge. I'll run it off of the old bank and those solar panels and it should do a good job (at least most of the year)

BTW we went to Alpine Saturday for me to get the propane tanks filled. I had two 5 gallon and a 7 gallon one. Turns out that they stop filling them at noon on Saturday and we didn't get there until 12:30 so I was out of luck there. We did go to ALCO and I exchanged the two 5 gallon tanks so I have heat anyway.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

More TR info by Don Mahan

By Don Mahan

Terlingua Ranch's Biggest Problem

by: Don Mahan

Before the last increase in Maintenance fees in 2005, the POATRI rate was a flat fee of $51.00 plus $0.48 /acre per year. After the increase, an owner paid a flat fee of $142.00 regardless of how much land he owned.

                                                                                               OLD FEE                                     % Increase

A five acre tract owner paid:                          $51.00 plus ($0.48 x 5) = $53.40                       174 %

A ten acre tract owner paid:                        $51.00 plus ($0.48 x 10) = $55.80                     154 %

A twenty acre tract owner paid:                  $51.00 plus ($0.48 x 20) = $60.60                      134%

A forty acre tract owner   paid:                   $51.00 plus ($0.48 x 40) = $70.20                       102%

A ten acre tract and 100 acres paid:          $51.00 plus ($0.48 x 110) = $103.80                    40%

A ten acre tract and 180 acres paid:         $51.00 plus ($0.48 x 190) = $142.20                       0%

A ten acre tract and 300 acres paid:         $51.00 plus ($0.48 x 310) = $199.80                   - 28%

It is very apparent that the largest burden of the maintenance fee increase fell on the very people who least could afford an increase!     At the same time the owners with the largest amount of land received a reduction in maintenance fees in the year 2005. With this high burden, many small tract owners to become delinquent. In most cases the cost to foreclose is greater than the value of the land and the directors have chosen to not forclose.

The board has also chosen to not allow delinquent property owners to participate in the amnesty program. It allows owners in good standing and real estate dealers to participate, but since these people already own tracts of land, no additional maintenance fees are collected under the present fee structure.

This unfair treatment of property owners is the root cause of so many property owners not paying maintenance fees.

Today the flat fee has increased to $158 per year. An owner with a five acre tract

pays $ 31.60 per acre for each acre of land he owns. At the same time, an owner with 100 acres pays $1.58 per acre for each acre of land he owns.

Prior to the increase in 2005, the 5 acre owner paid $10.60 per acre.  Each 110 acre owner paid $0.94 per acre.

What would be a fair maintenance fee?

·         One that does not put too large a burden on those least able to pay.

·         One that is fair to all property owners

·         One that is widely used by cities and counties.

·         One that does not allow some owners to escape paying fees. It is not fair to have exempt property owners who do not pay fees and that exempt owners expect other property owners to pay for all road maintenance, pool maintenance, and lodge maintenance. Also the board of directors allows these non paying members to vote and hold office. Forty years is enough free loading!

Also it is unfair that large land owners such as real estate dealers, speculators, oil companies, etc can own vast amounts of land and only pay the same amount as a 5 acre tract owner.

·         It is unfair that real estate dealers can hold ranch tracts for 50 years and pay no fees on the tracts. I would think they should be exempt from fees for a period one year, but after that, they should pay for each tract owned just like all the rest of the property owners.  The property owners of Terlingua ranch should not subsidize their land speculation.

General Information

·         The total ranch has 9,221 tracts (2003 data) and total acreage is 188,384 acres. Information should be good because,   only when tracts are split,  will the numbers change

·         Currently there are 1,132 exempt tracts on Terlingua ranch and the total acreage amounts to 61,417 acres or an average of 54.3 acres per owner. Total exempt acreage amounts to 32.6 % of all acreage of the ranch. This means that approximately 1/3 of total acreage is not subject to maintenance fees. That is ridiculous. Brewster County does not let anyone escape taxes.

·         If you subtract out exempt owners then there are (4925 - 1132) = 3,793 owners that can be assessed a maintenance fee.

·         Currently there are 284 exempt owners not in good standing because they did not pay one of the special assessments.

·         There are 2,333 property owners that pay maintenance fee.

·         There are a total of 607 exempt only property owners which only own exempt property.

·         There are a total of 525 exempt property owners that own exempt tracts and nonexempt tracts

·         There are a total of about 1,460 delinquent property owners. Calculated by  taking total property owners subject to maintenance fees and subtracting those actually paying. (3,793 - 2,333 = 1,460 delinquent owners.)

·         There are a total of 2,333 property owners nonexempt and exempt) who paid maintenance fees in 2010.

·         If each paid $155 per account, then total income for year would be would be $361, 615 for year 2010. The total income reported by the financial report was $357,427. Pretty close.

·         The ranch reported a surplus of  $90,000 in the year 2010

It is obvious that the ranch cannot survive financially if only 47% of the property owners pay fees. What will happen?

1.    The POATRI board of directors will recognize the problem and correct the problem. I won't hold my breath until that happens

2.    The property owners will recognize the problem and correct it via a petition.

3.    The ranch will fail financially due to fewer and fewer property owners paying maintenance fees. No one wants to be the last property owner paying fees.

What do you think the property owners should do?

Don Mahan 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Julianne's Lawsuit

I got the permission of Don Mahan to cross post this from a message he posted on the Yahoo Group "TR_BIGBENDVALLEY" He like I think all TR land owners need the real truth.

By Don Mahan

The Evidence!!!

On Monday and Tuesday of this week I attended a trial in Alpine
regarding the lawsuit brought forth by Julianne Braun.

Julianne presented 17 documents of evidence to the Judge, jury, defense
attorney, most of the current POATRI board, and interested property

The evidence consisted of two (2) documents filed by POATRI that were
alleged to be fraudulent and (15) documents submitted to prove that the
first two (2) documents submitted contained fraud. All the documents
were either documents filed at the Brewster county courthouse or
documents from POATRI.

The defense attorney presented no evidence that the evidence submitted
by Julianne Braun was not true factual evidence. The defense lawyer did
object to each and every document of evidence submitted to the court
stating that "The evidence was not relevant because Julianne did not
own her land when the document was filed". The judge overruled all
the objections accept one concerning liens.

The defense attorney in his cross examination of Julianne Braun and his
presentation of evidence did not refute the evidence produced by
Julianne Braun. The defense attorney asked the judge for a directed
verdict in favor of his client on a technical item because Julianne had
not filed under the proper section of the law. The judge ruled in favor
of the defense attorney's interpretation and the jury was dismissed.

Ladies and gentlemen, the suit was lost on a technical item, but the
evidence still stands. Hopefully Julianne will present a summary of all
the evidence presented. Also she has the option to appeal the judge's

A polling of the jury after the trial indicated that most believed that
POATRI had wronged the property owners based on the evidence presented
Julianne Braun. The current board heard evidence that the property
owners of Terlingua Ranch had been wronged by a previous board of

Now what will the current board do with the evidence they heard
presented at the trial? They heard exactly how the previous board had
manipulated the bylaws and TRMA to raise maintenance fees.

They can no long plead no knowledge of previous wrongdoings of the
previous board. Tanya Phillips, Charlie Oaks, Marbert Moore, Vernon
Stump, Randolph Williford, Frank Oxsheer, and Jeff Daly (partime) heard
the evidence. Dori Ramsey and Dr. Paul Burger did not attend the

I think the board will not do a thing, to right the wrong done by the
previous board. Why do I say that, because the present board is already
making false statements about the trial? On the POATRI web site Tanya
Phillips has stated:

"LAWSUIT Update - J Braun vs. POATRI -

Judge entered a Directive Verdict based on lack of evidence to show

The above statement is clearly false because the trial was won on a
technical error, not based on a lack of evidence to show fraud. I call
on Tanya Phillips to remove this false statement from our Web site.

Don Mahan

Terlingua Time strikes again!

I headed south to the Study Butte Store this morning with the intent of getting the propane tanks filled and to get gas for the generator/charger and fill up the falcon. I also decided to get a few supplies. I did get the gas, BUT the guy that is supposed to fill the propane tanks decided he was not going to fill anymore tanks until it warms up. How warm does he want it to get? Who knows?. Its barely supposed to make 40 degrees (if it even makes that.) While I was there it was pretty cool, but the sun was shining and there was no wind at all so it didn't feel bad. Now I could have left the tanks there and HOPED he decided to fill them by in the morning (along with what looked like at least 15 more tanks waiting on him) Then I'd have to made another 40 mile round trip just to pick up filled tanks or who knows maybe empty ones? Its now 32 degrees, but the wind is starting to really howl so I wonder if the "wait until it warms up" will be come "Wait until it warms up and the wind isn't blowing" ??? Hell... during holidays and what not when he decides to head out of town there is no place down here to get tanks filled no matter how cold it is.

With this said I think its time for me to start making trips North instead of South because gas is usually about 25 cents per gallon cheaper in Alpine and so is all other supplies. I'd suspect propane is cheaper there to and probably sold without the attitude or charging for more propane than is actually used to fill the tanks. Its 20 miles to SB or really about 23 to the Study Butte Store from here so if I'd had to leave the tanks and go back on the chance that they did get filled that would have been 86 miles for the two trips. Its 58 miles to Alpine, but like I said everything there is a lot cheaper and there is a lot more stuff to be had.

BTW I got my other supplies at the Cottonwood Store and it will become my place to shop down there. I guess if I really get in a bind then I'll get gas at the BBMI. I'll try not to get caught with my pants down again and always make sure I have enough propane for times like these. So far the propane is holding up for the big heater in here, but I have a feeling I'll get pretty cold some time between now and Monday when I go to Alpine for propane and supplies. Evidently the guy in Study Butte doesn't give a damn about people freezing their posteriors off because he refuses to fill tanks. May the high wind and cold chap his @$$!

For those who don't know what Terlingua Time is? Well down here a lot of people just get around to doing stuff when they want to and not when they are supposed to. That is Terlingua Time.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Super Bowl Party / J Braun vs. POATRI

 I think there will be some sort  of Super Bowl party at the Legion. Dave says there will be popcorn and probably chips and dip. If you're in the area and don't have a place to watch it then this could be the place.

Got this from Frann. This is BS and there was supposed to be a jury.

LAWSUIT Update - J Braun vs. POATRI -
Judge entered a Directive Verdict based on lack of evidence to show fraud.
POATRI wins lawsuit.