Thursday, January 26, 2012


Don't know how many people out of the DFW area know about this, but I think its a good thing. When I lived in the metroplex occasionally I'd go out to see what they had. The way it works is people donate cars, trucks, RVs, Buses and so on and in turn they get a write off. The money the auction makes goes toward kids collage educations.

You can bid online, but I personally wouldn't buy anything sight unseen, but I have known of people that got a great deal. Anyway I've been intending to blog about this for a long time and am just now getting around to it since there wasn't anything else to blog about right now.

The link to it is here: TEXANS CAN

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cool Aerial Vid of Terlingua

Thanks to Bigfoot for sending me the link to this video. As he said it is truly Amazing and I'd add Awesome to that. The video was made by Alex Whitmore and it appears that it was shot from an old Piper J3 Cub. (Which I also think are Awesome vintage aircrafts.) I'd love to fly one, but the closest I've ever come to that was a Cessna 150. Anyway the camera used to make the video was also Awesome! I'm starting this thread with a screen capture of the final seconds of the video which show 9 Points Mesa and Santiago Peak which I post a lot of photos of from here. I'm posting the video here, but I'm also posting the YouTube link and I'd highly recommend using it so you can go to Full Screen view because the video is that good.

You can find Alex's web site at Alex Whitmore

Link is My Secret Canyon

Ring came down Friday and bought a couple of quads for us to go exploring on (which we did yesterday). Had a great time and saw a lot of great things. We were trying to find an ancient lake that has been dry for no telling how long, but unfortunately someone has bought the land between here and it or maybe the actual property its on and they have it cut off by a cable fence and No Trespassing signs so we couldn't get to it. We still found some great views. I'm still kicking my own butt because I forgot to take the camera and there is no way I'd try to get back to some of those areas on anything other than a quad. We would have kept going, but finally came to a place where even quads couldn't tread. Well we could have made it down the gorge, but we'd have never made it out. Ring should be getting near Odessa by now as he pulled out earlier this morning.

It appears that someone decided to let the air out of one of the tires on Ring's pickup Friday night while we were at the legion. We took the tire to Gil for him to fix it and he couldn't find a single leak. Not only that, but he put the tire back on and it was still up this morning. All I have to say is that someone obviously doesn't value their life too much because IF I'd caught them doing it they would have probably lost it.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New LEDs / False Claim

My neighbor Robert Dawson dropped off a new LED light for me to try out yesterday and it turns out that it is GREAT for lighting up this place at night.
There's a couple of drawbacks to them though. For one they are 6 volt and powered by 4 AA cell batteries. This doesn't go well with trying to run them off of a 12 volt battery bank and the 4 AA batteries would only be good for  a matter of hours before the LEDs started dimming.

There is a work around this though and that would be to use a 120 volt AC to 6 volt DC transformer soldered in to do away with the internal batteries. It could then be run through the inverter. Another option would be to find the right resister to drop 12 volts to 6 volts and then wire it in and run the light directly off of the battery bank. I'm leaning toward the later. I'm going to have to round up one of these for my own and will see about doing that. Between one of these and the other three 15 LED lights I have in here the lighting level would be very comfortable. This light is a 48 LED and disperses the light a lot better than the others I have, but those are good for tract lighting.

As for the false or maybe misguided claim.

BULL S__T! Truth is that the only one that posted out-of-line posts on the blog that got nuked was the blog owner. After I posted two messages that were meant to be helpful (so called out-of-line posts) attempts were made by the blog owner to insult me and I was blocked from posting on that blog again BEFORE it was ever nuked. I hate it when people do stupid stuff and then try to blame it on other people.

Now with that said I'm getting real tired of this BS and if it continues I have plenty of backed up blog comments and witnesses as to why all of this started. Hopefully this isn't going to go any further???

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sad Sunday (Updated)

Francis Edmond Mitchell Nov 22 1925 - Jan 15 2012


For those who have followed this blog since I started it Oct 4th 2009 The second post I made on it titled (Saying Goodbye) read like this.

Now comes the hard part of saying goodbye to my family, friends and especially my elderly family members that lives in this area and all the time knowing that I won't ever see them again. I don't plan to ever come back this way again after I leave.

Unfortunately one of the elderly people I was referring to has gone on to a better place as of about 3:30 this morning. He was/is my uncle and a special uncle at that because he was more like a Dad since my dad got killed when I was 3 years old. Uncle Francis was there for us after it happened.

He was technically minded much like I am and I always enjoyed visiting with him and discussing technical stuff. I used to like to give him electrical and mechanical parts just to see what he would build using them.

Sadly, but probably fortunately he chose today to go rather than wait until tomorrow which is my aunt Wanda's birthday. I know that would have to have been hard for her to face her birthday tomorrow and future birthdays. Even worse how do you wish someone a Happy Birthday after they have just lost a loved one?

My family not only lost a beloved member, but we all lost one of the dwindling numbers of WWII Vets. He served in the Navy... I believe in the South Pacific both on a ship and on the ground at times. He always wanted to return to one of the islands he was on during the war, but was never able to pull that off. I guess that's a little like me wanting to visit Viet Nam again, but that will never happen.

He left behind his wife Wanda, a Daughter Arvilla and two sons Steve and Kaven along with granddaughters, grandsons, great grandchildren and a Great-Great Grandson. He will always be missed by all who knew him. I posted about one of his granddaughters leaving us last year (Paula) which I wasn't looking to happen when I left Plano.

Contributed by an Old Friend.


Francis and I grew up in the same Amarillo community in the late 30s and early 40s.  He was some 7 months older than me.  His dad was our local US Postman for many years.  We went to school together at the same elementary,  junior highschool  and highschools.  Francis joined the Navy before he finished highschool so did not see him again for a year or so until I met up again with him at Manus Island, Seeadler Harbor, t he Admiralty Islands.  This place was located south of the equator near the islands of New Guinea.  He served most of his Navy career there at Seeadler Harbor  preparing charts and maps for Navy ships that came into the lagoon there at Manus.  Manus was a major staging area for the US Navy ships as they prepared for the invasions of the various islands in the far Pacific area.  The ship I was on visited Manus twice both times loading some 3 million gallons of fresh water each time we were there.  We ferried these water cargos to ships near the battle front that did not have adequate water storage or evaporators to handle their crews needs.  My mom stayed in contact with Francis’ mother so she knew where Francis was located and passed that information to me.  So I knew that Francis was there.  Both times I went ashore and looked him up and spent some time with him.  He had his own boat and took me around over the harbor to different hideouts that he had in the area.  I will send you a photo of his boat.  He converted a Japanese boat which he used.  His commanding officer let him keep it.  He was quite proud of the boat.

After that, I did not hear from Francis for a whole bunch of years until one day he contacted me on the Internet to see if I was who he thought I was.  I was living in Houston at that time. Had been there for some 47 years moving there in June 1960. During the last several years I have exchanged e-mails with both Francis and Wanda.

Again, very sorry to learn of Francis’ death.  Please pass my  condolences to Wanda and the family.

Gene Leavelle

Pflugerville, TX

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Test / Cart / What Ever

Seems like blogger may be screwed up again with the lack of new blogs. I'll probably update this later if it actually posts.

Reason for the test is because the new blogs list failed to show up on my blogs I follow list. Last blog shown before I posted this was John Wells' blog from last night. Now that I've posted this several other blogs have shown up as being posted after this.

When I tried to reply to a comment on this blog all I got was a white screen and was unable to post a reply. I'd call that screwed up! Never fails that in trying to make blogger better they consistently make it worse!

Now speaking of John Wells I ran in to him at BBMI this morning. He clued me in on what a twin engine plane I spoke of on his blog comments a couple of blog back was doing around here. I speculated then that it might be Google updating the aerial views around here, but according to him the plane was dropping rabies vaccine to try and control the rabies in this area.  Of course John's blog is Evidently the coyotes eat it and it keeps them from getting the virus??? I know at one time they dropped meat tainted with arsenic out of aircraft to just kill off the coyotes.

Above is the cart BudwiserKid gifted me from a few blogs back. (In the comment sections) It needs a good bit of work and I may be taking the V-Twin off of the trike to turn it in to a mini Hot Rod! Should be a real hoot! The engine is too large and won't readily fit so modifications will be called for.

Here is an Earth Bag springing up just off of 118 headed in to Study Butte. I'll try to get photos as it is built. I don't know the people building it or much about it. Will be interesting to see how this is all done.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Clouds / Charger Update

Looks like the next 7 days are going to be more cloudy than not so I worked on getting the charger where it won't be kicking dust all over the solar panels. Looks like I managed.
I set the charger on a pallet  and boxed it in with 2x4s and long screws. I let it run for 35 minutes since it had started clouding up and I couldn't see any dust flying at all while it was running. From the forecast it looks like it will have to be run at least once daily for most of the next 7 days. I'll probably put a screened in hut over it until spring when I'll probably start building the hybrid buggy with it.

The last couple of days here have been nice t-shirt weather in the afternoons. Looks like Monday will change that.  :(

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


or Lack Of Anything Relevant To Post.
 Photo from this morning's sunrise.

Something that just caused me all sorts of grief! I assumed flash drives would far outlast a hard drive, but The one I've had PortableApps on for about the last year crashed day before yesterday and when it did I lost a LOT of important info. If you use these for storage and expect them to last for ever forget that. Of course I'm bad about not keeping recent backups, but from now on I may have clones of these in case one of them decide to take a dump.

And back to the charger. After several cloudy days after I returned from Odessa I managed to finish the charger good enough to keep the battery bank topped off on real cloudy days. I'd run it a couple of times, but didn't think to check the solar panels until a couple of days ago. Turns out that they were covered with a thick layer of adobe dust and we hadn't had any recent sand storms. Not only that, but the panels in other places were missing the dust. This was after I cleaned the panels and just dusting them off this time didn't work. Had to break out the Windex and paper towels.
Turns out that when the charger was running the whole assembly was vibrating and digging in to the ground. This was kicking up a lot of adobe dust that was collecting on the panels. Not sure how I'll cure this, but will probably bolt the charger to a wooden pallet and see if that cures the dust problem. I eventually plan to have this on a hybrid ATV (If I ever build it) That way I could use it not only to keep the batteries charged, but to ride to.