Monday, May 30, 2011

52% Humidity / Pig Roast (Legion)

Humidity here was 33% yesterday and it got up to 112 here. 94 degrees here inside the trailer was the best the swamp cooler could do at that higher humidity level. I think the norm is somewhere between 2 and 6%. It is even worse today with a humidity of 52%. :(  At least tomorrow there is a lowly 20% chance of rain. We can always hope! Its the pits with all the humidity and no rain to go with it!!! I spent about three hours at the legion yesterday during the worst of the heat and before there was any shade to get under. Then I came back and hung out in the shade the rest of the afternoon and evening until almost dark. I couldn't hack it in here with the high humidity and 94 degrees. I was sweating like a two bit gambler in a million dollar poker game. Nick also wound up at the legion for a cool place to hang out. I'm tougher than him though because I left first to come home. ;)
 I've tried several things to divert the air from the swamp cooler to the couch because it gets too warm there during the afternoons for a nap. None of the other things I tried worked out real good so I decided yesterday morning to make something that will work and would be easy to add when needed and easily taken off when I was in front of it at the computer. I took a medium sized tote and cut out part of the side that faces the couch and the above picture is how it came out. Works pretty darned good since all I have to do is hang the handle to the tote over a screw I put in the top of the swamp cooler. As a matter of fact I ran the cooler with it on there until about 5:30 this morning and I slept on the couch where it was halfway cool. It would have been much later before I could have got to sleep on the bed with the heat in here.

Saturday was a free supper at the Legion and boy was the food GOOD! There was also a lot of it left over. Wish the fridge worked good enough to store food and I'd have brought some home. This was a pig roast with Lee supplying the pig, Juan did the cooking of it and Dale did the skinning and prep. It was slow cooked for about 20 hours and was so tender it was falling off the bones. Yum Yum Pulled Pork! There were also home made roles made by Sherri, beans, baked potato wedges, greens and I'm not sure what all else. There was so much to eat including Watermelon and cantaloupe that I couldn't possibly try it all. Nick supplied the entertainment and did a great job as usual. He has also written a couple of new songs so they were included.
BTW the couple in the last photo (Dave & Sherri's brother and his wife) just moved down here from Alaska. They also have two 4 year old twin boys and the baby boy in one of the pictures. Fortunately they all seem to be holding up to the heat pretty well.

I forgot my camera as usual so the pictures are all provided by Dave and Steve. (Dave's brother)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Heat in More ways than one.

First off the temp yesterday (here) was 109 degrees in the shade. It was already 106 at 12 noon today so I have a feeling the 109 will be beat today. Its supposed to be even hotter tomorrow.

And for the other heat? Well you might notice a new blog showing up in the list of blogs I follow. That blog is called Terlingua Heat and it is intended to help Terlingua locals keep up with what the local law enforcement is doing at any given time as far as check points for insurance / license / stickers and so on. Locals can post Anonymously if they want to, but the whole reason is to help alert locals when there are check points setup so others may avoid them or at least know in advance they are there. Personally I think that practice is illegal in it own right. Rumor has it that the TSA is behind all of this and the sheriff's department is bound to follow their orders. I have no way of verifying this though, but with recent problems from TSA I wouldn't be surprised if that is true.
The ones to watch (for now)
The blog is NOT to knock the law enforcement people its just to even the playing field!

Terlingua Heat

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nick's Place

Made a trip to Alpine this morning with Frann and on the way back we stopped by Nick's place. Below pictures are from there all except the last one is a picture of the Dungeon in her new temporary home and she has company.
Shameless Huzzah! No mater where you are in the Desert someone is always watching you. ;)

Nick's Dungeon.
Nick & Frann

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Well folks since I've got bad knees building one of JW's Bike-O-Warshers is out and I've been thinking about this idea for a good while. I call it the Wind-O-Warsher because the wind should do most of the work. Of course there are probably hundreds of ways a person could use the wind to wash clothes, but this is just one of mine. It should work like this. A large round plastic tote of some sort mounted on top of an automotive coil spring with an arm going up with sails on it so that no matter which way the wind is blowing it should rock the tote back and forth and while doing that agitating the clothes.
Of course the clothes might need rinsed when you use it, but I don't always do that when I wash in one of the tubs, but a person could plant a row of plants under a clothes line and when you take the clothes out of the wash cycle hang them on the line to water the plants as they drip almost dry. Have a plug in the tote where the water left in it can be run to the same row of plants before filling the Wind-O-Warsher with clean water for the rinse. Once done do the same with that water.

It would all depend on the size and strength of the coil spring, the amount of water in the tote, the sail size and the speed of wind gusts as to how much agitation occurred.

What Ya think?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hotter than usual (in here)

Yesterday evening thunderheads built to the east. Matter of fact they did this evening to, but seemed to collapse before sunset today. The above picture was yesterday evening at sunset. The picture below is where the storms were actually located which was in Mexico and not even in Texas. Ah... just another tease both evenings. Maybe one of these days?
Note the map shows 99 degrees I think at Study Butte, but it was 105 here! Evidently it was pretty humid because the coolest it ever got in here this afternoon and evening was 89.4 as can be seen in the picture below of the inside clock thermometer and the outdoor thermometer. The swamp cooler usually keeps it 84 degrees or less in here when its on medium and 105 degrees or less outside.
About 6:00 PM I said to heck with it because the temp had dropped to about 103 and it felt more comfortable outside in the shade with the breeze than it did in here at almost 90 degrees with the extra humidity from the swamp cooler. It just almost reminded me of my Dungeon days.

On another note my neighbor Robert stopped by early this morning and wanted me to go with him to Study Butte for breakfast so I did. On the way back we stopped by Nicks Place and had a good visit. He hasn't started building yet, but a few days like this one with him living in his own dungeon I'd bet he will get motivated to get a place built?

After we got back here I went to the legion to see if they had ice yet and no luck on that so fortunately I had maybe a fourth bag of ice I'd managed to stuff in the small freezer of my fridge so at least I had ice for this evening. I guess if I want ice tomorrow it will mean a  trip south.

A few days back I acted as an adviser to help get Sherri's solar system  back up and she rewarded me with a huge loaf of home made bread. (Sherri is the weekend bar tender at the legion and the new master of Pepper/Athena) That is if you could consider anyone Pepper's master. ;) I'd almost demolished about a 4th of the loaf within 15 minutes of getting home. I melted butter in the cast iron skillet and toasted several thick slices for lunch and am about to do the same right now. Sure is GOOD! Thanks Sherri!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Trouble With...

Propane Fridges is you never know when they are going to run out of propane!
Went out to start loading up the fridge with cold ice melt water to try and cool down the fridge during the day because it has been getting up to about 60 degrees in there by late afternoon. My thinking is to fill the fridge as full as I can except for space for some small amount of perishables. Hopefully it will help it stay much cooler??? The freezer works ok, but has very limited room. Anyway when I opened the fridge I noticed it was still about 60 degrees this morning and its usually down in the low 40s early in the mornings. The propane had run out again some time last night. I decided to go ahead and clean the flue and burner before replacing the propane bottle so had to remove the top and back from the hut to do that. It was pretty dirty in there and I think I got it pretty clean That in its self should help some and maybe keeping the fridge loaded will help the rest of the way.
Hard to see from this picture, but there are a bunch of 16 Oz Sprite bottles in there and so far 1 two liter bottle. Those are all filled with cold ice melt and there is a large freezer baggy on the top shelf full of that to and that will be my small cranny for keeping perishable if this works out.  I'll try to squeeze one more 2 liter in there shortly and may fill in the gaps with pieces of blueboard foam. I was going to cut two more pieces of blueboard and add them to the outside of the door, but the antique Buck Knife I've always used to cut it with seems to have vanished. I hate it when stuff like that happens! Reason for using Sprite bottles is they were in here empty and since I can't burn them I needed to do something to get them out of here. That will work for that.

Another sunset.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Its getting real close to me eating my first (partially) home grown tomato (while I've been down here). :) I figure I'll need to get at least 4 tomatoes off of the plant to break even for what it cost me. So far there is only a start to one more. I keep trashing the plant since its growing inside where the wind and bees can't help pollinate it, but so far I can't tell that has helped.

Some pictures from last night. Moon and Sunset.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Internet Cafe / Pepper Update

First off the missing mountains from the last thread are back. The smoke seems to have gone somewhere else.

Yesterday my neighbor Robert came by about 9:00 AM to watch some NetFlix and do some work on his computer. Shortly after that Nick came by to use his computer and wound up also watching a couple of movies. Both had their computers plugged in so with mine going also and the swamp cooler going to it was too much for the little 200 watt inverter to handle so it shut down. To handle the load I switched to the 400/800 which is a power hog, but it was the next step up and I sure didn't need the 1000.

All went well until about 8:00 last night and that inverter shut down because of low batteries. I ran the generator to charge the batteries with a car battery charger because the gas charger I kept the old batteries charged with is unmovable for now because Bigfoot borrowed my 2 wheel dolly yesterday. (I need to get it redone with wheels so I can move it.) Never fails that when I loan something out I always seem to need it. ;) Anyway the generator ran for 2 hours last night and another hour and a half this morning and only got the batteries up from 11.5 volts to 12.1 volts. The sun didn't get on the panels until about 9:30 because of the position of the sun now and the shadow of this trailer blocks it until then. The batteries are just now up to 12.37 and they need to be 13 volts plus to be fully charged. Looks like I'll try to get by without the Swampie today and will have everything else shut down except for occasionally checking in online. Probably no movies tonight either. :(

About mid afternoon before Nick and Robert left Bigfoot came by to borrow my 2 wheel dolly and Nick and Robert left shortly after he got here so we went to the legion for a cool one. Just Me showed up there just as we were getting out of the vehicles so we got to visit with her for a short.

There's a new dog on the block where Pepper lives (Male) and he was seeking to make pepper his new girlfriend and kept trying to mount her, but she didn't want any part of that. Dave said she finally got tired of it and she started putting a whippin on him even though he was a much bigger dog. Dave said he tried to break up the fight and Pepper tried to take a chunk out of his hand. Looked pretty bad to me. I guess its a good thing she isn't here anymore because that would have been a death penalty if she'd done that to me.

Friday, May 13, 2011

New Additions

Trying again. Blogger lost the last post!

Yesterday my neighbor dropped by on his way to Alpine and wanted to know if I wanted to ride along. I didn't really need anything, but said I'd ride along for the heck of it. On the way he made me an offer I couldn't refuse and that was to buy his old Ford Pickup that he didn't need anymore since he got a newer Dodge PU.
 It runs like a top, but has a lot of other issues before it can be registered and driven on the highway, but can be driven on the ranch roads as it. Once I get this up to snuff and have it street legal it will solve a lot of problems for me. For one I'll be able to deliver my on water which will save some bucks (Especially since the Swampie is going through about a gallon of water per hour.) I won't have to drag the trailer every time I go to Alpine or elsewhere, but can double load if I do. Will cut down on ware and tare on the falcon. (Main thing for me) I'll also be able to get to places I wouldn't dare to try to get to now in the falcon)

And to answer one question asked in this thread before it got lost... The truck is a 94 model and has a V8 and automatic so it isn't the same truck you had Larry. Don't remember what Frann's post was?

Cooking with the Sun
I was planning to use the old satellite dish I'd used to get WiFi for a solar cooker, but my neighbor wants to get WiFi from me and he had a dish that hadn't been modified for WiFi yet so I traded with him. On our trip to Alpine yesterday our first stop was AutoZone so after reading on the net where some guy got stick on chrome decal material from an auto parts store to cover a dish for cooking I bought a roll of that there. It works very well as can be seen below. I have that dish mounted on the trailer now and just need to rig a holder for my cast iron skillet on it to start cooking. The roll of stick on chrome tape cost me $10.99 and there was enough of it for at least two or three of the dishes. It should also be a LOT cheaper than buying a bunch of small mirrors made for that application and then having to glue them all in place. No doubt saved hours of work not having to do that. I could have done a better job of sticking it on, but I was in a hurry. It works quiet well as is.
Maybe more later, but for now that piece of wood has been burned completely through in several places and actually caught on fire. Just imagine what kind of heat could be generated by using an 8 foot dish rigged like that. Might even melt some metals. The dish I used was only about 24 inches.

Update. Heavy Smoke in Area
Really smokey out there now and the smell of smoke is heavy. Who knows where this all came from???

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Night of the Moth

Unusually HOT night last night, but that wasn't the only thing unusual! I woke up about 4:00 AM this morning because I was too hot to sleep. Got up and turned on the Swampie and ran it until about 5:30 until it cooled down enough for me to get back to sleep. During the time I was up I had the fly swatter in hand, but it wasn't to swat flies it was to swat moths. They were everywhere and evidently they aren't just attracted to light, but must also be attracted to body heat because they were swarming around me. I think I must have swatted 40 or 50 of them and there are still plenty in here for me to swat now. Just swatted about another 5. Not sure what the heck brought them here unless it was the heat and I still don't know how in the heck they got in here??? The flies are still bad and now moths. I wonder what next?

Thanks to WWII Vets

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sump'ins Miss'in

Now I need to put up a privacy curtain between the It'll Du and 118. The Dungeon will now be located on the Terlingua Ranch Road as an Advertisement. (Until the next tenant gets it.)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Another Fire! Looks close.

Just walked out the door a few minutes ago and saw more smoke north of here. Looks like another fire and I'd say its considerably closer than Alpine. That's the legion where the light is.

Scalped! / Update on Shower

Got tired of my unruly mop so yesterday afternoon I scalped myself. I'll sure have to remember to wear the hat Frann gave me for sure now though! (At least until the hair grows back out some.) I was also getting tired of the scraggly beard to so.... This morning I lost most of it.
Now anyone that watches this blog should know what I look like now in case they see me in person.  I was in the legion early yesterday at the beckoning of Nick because he was cooking Fajitas there and wanted me to eat. One younger guy was in there and introduced him self and that was before all the scalping. When I went back in there later yesterday the same guy was in there and introduced himself all over again thinking I was someone else. He did ask if he knew me though and I said yes from this morning. He said he thought I must have had a brother or something because I looked familiar. ;)

BTW if any of you ever wonder why my head is always tilted... Well about 20 something years ago I had surgery on my neck and the good surgeon fused part of my neck vertebra together. He screwed up and my head has been leaning every since.

And on another note I'd picked up some water hose quick connects at Harbor freight in Odessa and intended to add them to the pump so I could easily move the pump between the water tank and the shower (All depending on where I needed it at the time.) Unfortunately like a lot of crap gotten from HF they were very lousy quality and didn't work out at all because they leaked like a sieve. Now the pump is dedicated to the shower again because its a lot of work to move it back to the water tank now. At least this time I have it pumping good again so can have my nice warm showers in the afternoon or evening. I waited until 7:00 PM yesterday for a shower to give the water a little time to cool down some. It turned out to be just right. From now on though I'll make sure the shower tank is FULL before taking a shower though. I hate soap in my eyes when the water runs out unexpectedly!

BTW its already 98 degrees here now @ 12:00 PM and is supposed to top out at 103, but it was 105 again here yesterday and I figure it may top that today.

Update on Shower
I just refilled the shower tank to find that I used 7 gallons of water for the last shower. Evidently I fixed the pump setup too good because before I only used 3 1/2 to 4 gallons. 7 is way too much so it looks like I'm going to have to put a restrictor of some kind in the suction side to slow it down. I'm still planning to convert the old trailer I got to build a storage out of in to a shower / dressing room and possibly add a commode to try and get one of the septic systems put in. Just don't know when I'll get around to that? If I get that done then it will probably be added on to... to the east with a small cabin so the facilities will be connected to the cabin.  It will have a gravity feed shower with the gray water going to water plants and the commode will be piped to the septic system. That will mainly be used for guests only because the It'll Du does fine for me.