I finally got around to emptying out a lot of the contents of the tank looking for the heater and moving other stuff around where I can get to it when I need it without having to empty it again. Unfortunately all of the stuff you see in front of it needs to go back in it and that's where the problem comes in. I put it back in there as is and it will have to be stacked back on top of the stuff I just arranged where I can get to it. I SURE NEED to build some shelves in there, but that will have to come later.
I just happened to look at one of the tires under this trailer as I was coming back in this morning and saw the large walking stick on it. I bet it was cold because it was 38 degrees according to the thermometer in the It'll Du earlier. Don't know how these guys handle freezing weather, but if they don't it's time may be nearing the end.
Cold, Pain? Yep... with the cold weather comes all the damn joint pain and my right knee has gotten to be the worst of all. Last night it got so bad that it was almost impossible for me to get up and down. Just bending that knee a little too much caused agonizing pain so I didn't move around anymore than I had to. Getting up and down the steps of this trailer isn't much better than just getting up and sitting down. Looks like I may have to build a ramp to be able to get in and out of here. I'm actually thinking about building a splint to wear when its giving me trouble so I can't bend that knee at all. That won't help being able to get up and down much, but at leas it should help the pain or at least cut down on it. I'm sure I'm going to have to live with the pain though because surgery isn't in my future. BTW... the heater felt mighty good several times last night and early this morning to.
Here you have another one of my makeshift dishes. I guess you could call it spaghetti? Anyway I'd used the flavor packet out of a pack of shrimp Top Ramen noodles for a rice dish I concocted a few days ago and didn't want to trash the noodles. I've made spaghetti like this before, but used the flavor packet though. This time I used half the water called for. (About 1 cup to boil the noodles in. Added garlic power to the water as well as Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and some ground Oregano. I boiled the water with the seasonings first and then added the noodles. After that I placed the noodles in the water and boiled them for 7 minutes and there was still a little too much water so I added about a table spoon of 5 minute rise to absorb the rest of the water. Then I added the last 2 table spoons of butter I had and an 8 Oz can of tomato paste and simmered it for a few minutes. It was actually about as good as any meatless spaghetti as I've had. Didn't have any meat this time, but the next time I get the hankering for spaghetti I'll make sure I do. This makes a real fast batch of spaghetti and could have probably fed two, but I pigged out on it myself. I'd suspect using 2 or more packs of the noodles and maybe some diced tomatoes with a little meat of some kind (Diced Spam should be real good) and it would probably make a good meal for several. (Especially with some garlic toast and shake cheese)
Yesterday I went over to one of my friend's place to check on a fridge he has for sale and we wound up going to another friend's place to watch him and another guy process a 6 point mule deer buck that had been hit by an SUV. The SUV wound up on a trailer headed for Alpine to be fixed and the deer wound up beside the road. Another guy stopped and then the game warden also stopped. The game warden took the head of the deer which is common practice and then gave the rest of the deer to the guy that stopped. Once they got the deer cleaned and butchered I was given a shopping bag full of deer meat, but considering I didn't have any place to store it I let my friend have it. Perhaps I'll get to eat some of it later?
Now... back to the fridge. It was real near the same as the one in the above picture and I put the watt meter on it to see whether I'd be able to use it or not. I have way more than enough solar to run it during the day, but am a little afraid it would drain the batteries at night. At the watts it pulls (147) I'd probably need a couple more batteries to be able to run it full time. My friend bought it sight unseen and really took a beating on it at $300 and I wouldn't pay that for it since its used. Its also an apartment sized and pulls the same watts as my neighbor's full sized fridge so I figure if I'm going to eventyally get a fridge I might as well get a full sized one.
And back to the pyramid... I've decided that the rails wouldn't be good for the corners after all because evidently they were made to flex in a collision. I'm a little afraid high wind might also make them flex so have ruled out using them for anything other than bracing. The guy that has the winch truck has some used thick wall pipe that was used in the oil field and I thought about getting four joints of that for the corners and using the rails for reinforcing it, but alas he has gone up $10 a joint and now wants $45 a joint. He also wants more for the use of his truck than I'd pay so it looks like the big pyramid is on hold again and maybe for good. I guess I'm going to go back to the skid type building I was planning to build before the pyramid idea came up. I do still plan to build a smaller pyramid for more storage, but will use tubing to build it out of.
Evidently Nick got some bad info about the winch truck. I managed to catch Juan at his place yesterday and he told me that he does own the winch truck and I could get him to upright the pyramid for me. I didn't think to ask how much he'd charge me to do it, but will the next time I see him. This once again opens up the possibility of erecting it as I had planned. I'll have to get a lot done before that happens though and it will be a good while before it goes forward. I still haven't heard from Bigfoot to know what the status of the brackets/hinges I designed is. Maybe there's a Pyramid Raising Party in the near future?
There is a new Mechanic out this direction and I caught his wife at the Study Butte Store yesterday putting up a flier on the bulletin board so I told her to give me one and I'd post it on the blog. I met the guy at the legion once and he seems like a great guy. I haven't had any work done by him, but have talked to people that have and they say he is a great mechanic. He seems to be pretty near full service which is a good thing. If you live in the area or are visiting down here and have vehicle trouble then you might want to give him some business. Im sure he could use it being how they have kids to support.
Chili Cook Off & Burn Ban BS
I was checking on the 2011 Terlingua Chili cook off site and found a link posted to this on it. Above was the email and the link to that is Here
The link to the Chili Cook Off site can be found Here
Now it appears that this only covers the chili cook off and has nothing to do with any of the other area so evidently any of us locals breaking the existing burn ban could stand to be fined $500 or more for doing it. According to this text anyone at the chili cook off breaking the rules would just be asked to leave. There were BBQ pits in use as well as fires at the bike rally, but I don't see that included in the above text, but evidently official were told to turn a blind eye to that?
Anyway... this makes me feel real bad because it insinuates that us locals must be morons who are not capable of using good judgment in BBQ'ing or having camp fires. It also insinuates that 10,000 drinking people stumbling around the chili cook off will have the good sense to have fires or be able to BBQ. Where is the logic in that?
It would really be nice if they would lift the DAMN BURN BAN for all!!!
Pyramid any time soon. Here's the deal... The pyramid deal all hinged on (pun intended) my being able to use my friend Juan's winch truck to hoist the pyramid frame in to position, but he doesn't actually own the truck and has lost the use of it. So... No way to hoist the pyramid frame in to position.
I learned about the loss of the use of the truck from Nick when I saw him at the hardware store this morning. Also took a gander at a rattler he killed last night and threw in the back of his PU. He asked about working with the skin and that was an easy one. You skin the snake and place the skin in Antifreeze for about a week and it is cured and ready for use.
Here is how I had intended for the pyramid deal to work.
Bigfoot's son is or was planning to cut out some brackets I designed to make a 4 way hinge out of and it would have let me lay out 4 of the road rails flat on the ground and then lift them in to a pyramid using the winch truck. My plan was to pour 4 concrete pads with anchor bolts in them to bolt the base of the pyramid bottom to once the rails were lifted in to place. From there I planned to use some of the other rails as cross braces. I'm not beat yet though I'll just have to come up with another game plan. I have plans for a smaller pyramid in mind for now. Just a matter of getting around to starting on it.
Current conditions now is 95 degrees and windy as hell! That was after a chilly mid 50s for this morning.
Started sorting out all of the newer panels I have connected now. I'm still using pallets and they work so well that's what I'll always use for them more then likely. There are way too many panels to try and set them up on some kind of solar tracking, but for now not even cloudy days are a real problem. Maybe a weeks worth would be though. If worse comes to worse I can go out a couple of times a day and prop the pallets up in different directions to get the most out of them, but I haven't had to do that since I started adding the extra panels.
After I first started adding some of the newer panels I wired them directly to the battery bank and left the others to run through the Harbor Freight charge controller. Didn't take long to figure out that wouldn't work, because I woke to the inverter squawking a couple of mornings. I wasn't out of power yet either morning and fortunately the sun started giving me more power before the inverter had a chance to cut out. After that I bypassed the controller and wired all panels directly to the battery bank and used ME as a controller by keeping tabs on the voltage and disconnecting some of the panels when the voltage got to high. That turned out to be a hassle so I got to thinking. (Believe it or not) It finally dawned on me that the controller wasn't working because it was getting a false reading from the panels going directly to the battery bank and kept shutting off the other panels. Yesterday I moved the other panels off the ground and added three more pallets on the south side of the battery hut for them. I rewired all of the ones that were going straight to the battery bank in to the controller like they should be and all seems to be doing well. I still have another 10 panels to add to that bank so will have to add several more pallets before I add them. I've actually got two battery banks now, but the other one is two of the older batteries with about 200 Watts of panels running to them for this trailer.
There's the Ride for Trails bike Rally going on at the BBMI this weekend. I took the camera when I went in earlier this afternoon for supplies and thought there would be a lot of bikes there to take picture off. Turns out that most were out on a Poker Run of something like that and there just weren't many bikes there. I was invited to go to the feet at BBMI by my neighbor about 6:00 and tole him ok, but the more I thought about it I decided agsainst that and stopped by his place on the way back to tell him not to stop to pick me up. I guess I'm going in to another one of my antisocial moods? BTW I hear that every single room at BBMI is booked and looks like most of the RV park is taken up to. Haven't seen it this full in a long time. Of course it will probably be the same way for the chili cook off though.
I'm seeing a lot of this where between the lack of rain until it was too late and high wind a lot of the Yuccas are going south and blowing over. There have been no blooms at all around here yet and I'm sure there won't be this year either. Dang! There goes some good desert food that I won't be getting this year!
Got 4 more of the rails delivered yesterday which makes a total of 7 and at 26' long each it opens up the possibilities of the below plans.
A 12x12 room would just fit in the lower part and there would be a ton of storage around that and also above. Of course there could also be a sleeping loft in the top part also. The outside space in the lower part would also open up the possibility of bunks that would fold back in to the wall leaving most of the full 12x12 wide open during the day. A closet and drawers could also be sunk back in to the outer area. This is just one of many ideas I'm kicking around. I think a pyramid 17 feet tall seen from 118 would look pretty cool. What do you think? Bigfoot's son has said he can make the parts I'll need to join the rails at the top and I can fabricate the plates to secure the 4 corners to the ground.
One of my friends has a Mack Truck with a boom and winch that could be used to lift the joined corners to make the pyramid.
My flower garden just outside the door of the trailer. That's about all the wildflowers I see blooming anywhere around here.
This morning just before sunrise. There was actually a star or planet seen through the sunrise and it looked so cool I took this picture. Unfortunately the camera didn't show it so I made a feeble attempt to add one, but that didn't turn out too good either. Maybe you can get the idea of how it looked?
Made a trip to Alpine yesterday to take care of some business and pickup some supplies. Hopefully the supplies will last me until next month! Ever notice how some supplies just seem to vanish in a hurry though? Like cookies, candy and beef sticks (Intended for Romain noodle lunches) and so on. ;)
On the return trip there were a lot of Monarch butterflies flying along and down the highway and they weren't always easy to dodge. The one in the picture above is one that I didn't manage to dodge. It fell off the grill after I pulled up in the driveway.
It seemed strange to make that trip alone since I haven't done that in ages, but it sure meant making a lot less stops. I didn't even eat lunch at the Chinese restaurant there (which had turned in to sort of a ritual) Instead I just had brunch at McDonald's. I also didn't visit the resale store this time. Guess I'll start putting out the word that I'll be making monthly trips to Alpine in case some of the people around here want to ride share and maybe split gas cost.
Got another 1/10th inch of rain last night over a period of time and with interment showers. I'd left the driver's side window in the jeep, but fortunately the rain was blowing from the north west so missed getting the seat wet.
Took the above two photos early this morning before sunrise because of the fog down in the valley.
Can anyone ID this snake. My neighbor was out digging a hole for a post and he said this snake came out of a hole next to where he was digging. He said it arched up sort of like a cobra does and started coming toward him so he killed it with his shovel. I don't have a clue what it is and he doesn't either. Maybe a Rat Snake?