Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sick Swampy er... I need Catchment!

Yesterday I was sitting in front of the Swamp cooler and surfing the net when I heard a noise and crystals started shooting out of the cooler's discharge. Good thing I wear glasses while I'm on the computer. Anyway one of the Stalactites that had been growing inside it because of the crappy water down here evidently broke loose and the fan started chopping it up in small crystals and spitting them out at me. After that I heard a weird noise coming from inside the cooler so my project for today was taking it down and cleaning it up. Turns out that in all of this the O-Ring belt that drives the pump got broken which is bad news because I hear the particular cooler is no longer made and you can't get parts from the manufacture anymore. More than likely the same O-Ring can be found from other places where it would likely be used for other applications, but I don't have a clue where that might be?
You think the outside looks bad you should have seen the inside. Some of it you will, but I'd forgotten to take pictures until I'd already started cleaning it up.
Part of the inside.
Shows the broken belt
You can see the broken O-Ring here and fortunately it was still in one piece. Just Me suggested using super glue to reconnect it so I tried it and it seems to be doing ok. Not sure for how long though??? In the mean time I'll be trying to track down a new one. If I can find them I'll probably buy several.
The insides
Note the scale buildup around the float shaft. This was supposed to slide up and down and move a lever showing how much water was in the pan. It was totally cemented in half full position so the only way I knew when it needed more water was when it started blowing hot air.
The inside was full of Stalactites and this just shows a few. I believe this is probably from dissolved calcite because of there being so much down here.
Glued together belt back on.

All of the crap I could get out of it. I really need catchment because rain water down here is about the only thing that would combat this problem. Of course which well the water comes from has a lot to do with it to.

All in all the little Swamp cooler is really amazing and who ever designed it was plenty smart! Its super efficient as far as power consumption goes and the design for pumping water from the sump and delivering it to the pad is very ingenious! Manufactures of residential, commercial and industrial evaporative coolers (Swamp Coolers) could learn a lot from looking at one of these.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Remnants of Don

Sure looks like we should get some rain out of this, but there is only a 50% chance predicted for now. Was 60% yesterday.

Remnants of Don shown from outside. I can see occasional lightning to the south. Its fairly windy now, but not too hot for a change and the wind feels pretty good.

Got the rain gauge Dave gave me put up last night so IF we get any decent amount of rain I should know how much. (at least for right here)

Friday, July 29, 2011



Looks like Don may make it here so probably more to come tomorrow. This rain has just turned in to sprinkles after about 20 minutes of slow rain.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Photo from

I'm with Frann on the burn ban and something needs to be done to give us some relief down here. Alpine has trash service or a way to dispose of trash, but we don't. There was a place in Terlingua for three weeks ends where we could take our trash and put it in dumpsters, but that has been stopped. Worst part for us in this area is that it was 25 miles away from here. I was sick for the first couple of weekends it was there and didn't feel like making it and when I did on the third weekend all the dumpsters were already full. (I got there fairly early in the morning)  A woman there pointed to a mound of trash toward the back of the property and said I could dump it there, BUT there were quiet a few people there rummaging through the trash looking for treasure and considering I had some personal info in my trash I decided against dropping it off for people to rummage through. Of course that was after driving 25 miles to dump it and wasting the gas for the 50 mile round trip.

With this said the commissioner for this area needs to come up with something permanent or lift the damn burn ban on burning trash! This crap has gone on long enough! My storage tank is getting full of trash! Perhaps help both the people south of here by keeping dumpsters there and a couple up this way to so we don't have to drive 50 miles to get rid of trash!

Photo from

I really don't want to build out of trash so rather than do the above maybe the county commissioner can use it?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Just Pix

That's all Folks.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Raining again!

Yep... Pictures later of the broken window from HIGH wind.
 Rain on the way and a very high wind came out of the south and over powered a real heavy stainless steel crow bar I was using for a prop rod to keep the door open after another high wind some time back broken the latch. It slammed the door so hard that it shattered the glass in it. I walked over to the door expecting to have to force it open because of the high wind I thought was still out of the south, but as I opened it the wind had done a 180 and was out of the north. Yep this wind down here is CRAZY! Anyway it caught the door as I was opening it and slammed it back against the trailer scattering the already shattered glass everywhere.

It looked like the rain was headed this way so I  took a brand new tarp and cut it to size and taped it over the hole. Good thing I did because the wind had shifted for a third time and was then blowing out of the west north west and the rain was blowing directly toward the door.

That thing is HEAVY!

It rained for maybe 10 minutes and is now sprinkling off and on.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Missed Engagement

Most who follow this blog have seen where I have said Santiago Peak reminds me of a mountain I was on in Viet Nam. That mountain was Nui Ba Den and I was on top of it for about 90 days. I had returned to the base camp from there about 2 weeks prior to the Massacre in the video above. I left Viet Nam on emergency leave I think on the day before this happened. (May 12th 1968) That mountain has haunted me every since I laid eyes on it for the first time. I always wondered what it would be like to be on top and finally found out. Very fortunate for me that my time was up on it before the massacre or my time might have been up for another reason. I can't help but feel bad for those killed up there and their families. For that matter anyone who was injured or killed in that Stinking war!

And for this thread's Zune list...

The Climg by Miley Cyrus

This is one of the ones I put on the Zune for my grand daughters and I got to like it. I'm by no means a Miley Cyrus fan, but the lyrics and music are good. Believe it or not this one usually helps when things are not going good and I'm down in the dumps. If you listen to the lyrics you can probably see why.

One of the granddaughters loved this song and loved to dance to it. I also got to like this song and found that it reminds me a lot of a movie called Some Kind Of Wonderful

Red Red Wine by UB40

First time I heard this song was at the Balloon Festival in Plano Texas many years ago. It was done by a local band there and I preferred their version very much over UB40's. We had a couple of the younger granddaughters with us and they began to dance to the song. (They being about 4 and 6 years old at the time) The youngest is going to Med school and should be a doctor in a few more years. The older one plans to be her nurse. I loved that bands version and wish I had a recording of it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chance of Rain?

There was a chance yesterday, but no rain. Looks like there is a good chance for the next 6 days, but that doesn't mean there will be any!

Zune play of this thread

 You Were Always On My Mind sang by Willie Nelson

The eX and I used to argue over this song every time I played it. She would get furious saying that only Elvis should have sang it. I prefer Willie Nelson. How about you?

And for good measure...

Heard it in a Love Song by The Marshall Tucker Band

Played this a lot before I left.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Desert Plants (Here)

Lately I noticed this small tree or bush has really greened up. I'm sure it was around last year, but everything was green then so it didn't stick out like a sore thumb. Its actually the greenest thing anywhere around it and that makes me wonder what it is. Its too small to have deep roots and is also competing for water with the ironwood its growing next to. It must manage water a lot better than other plants around here. I don't have a clue what it is do you?

The Creosotes would be second in line for hanging in there around here. Mesquites are few and far between on this property so that leaves them out, but they seem to be doing much better than anything else around here and are loaded with beans which I hear makes good meal for baking bread and other stuff IF you have a mill to process them. There are a few on this land, but I'm lazy and they are too far away and in grassy areas and I don't want to get snake bit trying to get a picture of one so just use your imagination please. ;)

Some of the Yuccas are starting to come around now while others? Well I think they are goners. I think its much too late in the season for them to bloom and bear fruit, but I guess time will tell.

All of the Ephedra around here looks like it is totally dead so I guess time will tell on that to.

The Sage seems to be greening up, but I don't remember what time of year it is that it puts on the purple flowers which no doubt brought about the old saying Purple Sage.

This is Ironwood (Which isn't even supposed to be in this desert), but it is. No telling how long it has been here but they can live for up to 1500 years and get up to about 45 feet tall. They also grow at a very slow rate. I've been watering this one regularly with ice melt and can't tell that it has grown a bit. Seems to be about the same as the ones I'm not watering and at about the same size. I've yet to see one over a few feet tall down here. At some point they put out small red berries that look about like holly berries and coyotes love them. (So does Pepper) Last year when they were loaded with berries there were days when she would have nothing to do with her dog food and would strip those bushes of the berries instead. They don't seem to digest too well because her poop was always full of what looked like undigested berries. The way she did and I suppose coyotes do is walk up to the bushed and open their mouth, bite down on twigs with the berries on them and them back up stripping the berries off. Ironwood is also a popular hobby wood and it is so hard that it has to be worked like steel. Can be ground turned on metal lathes and so on. A lot of people make handles for knives and so on out of it.

Some of the Prickly Pear seem to be coming around now and others seem to be goners. I think they only bloom later in the season or maybe in the Fall so maybe there's hope for them yet? A lot of people make jam, jelly and wine from the fruit. Last year several of us were lucky enough to sample some that Just Me made and it was delicious. A mescal type liquor can also be distilled from fermenting the pads. Haven't had a chance to try that. :( 

The strawberry cactus seem to be making a comeback and as you can see here this one is actually trying to bloom. They put on some really beautiful flowers before the fruit comes under them. The fruit on these is GREAT and taste a lot like kiwi fruit and also make some good jam or jelly from what I hear. Some even make wine from the fruit, but as of yet I've not had the chance to sample it.

Evidently the 3/4 inch and 2/10 inch of rain we've had was enough to trigger the comeback for some plants. Of course as said in an earlier thread the Ocotilla was the first to start reviving.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My new Dog?

I sit out beside the trailer in the evenings after there's shade to sit in. That means I'm constantly swatting flies. A few days back out of the corner of my eye I saw something moving at a high rate of speed toward my foot. Not knowing what it was reflexes kicked in and I jerked both of my feet up and then I saw what was going on. The character in the pictures was after a big juicy fly I'd just swatted and it fell next to my right foot. it snatched up that fly and retreated as fast as it darted in. Now it sits out there watching me any time I'm out there hoping to cash in on more kills. I just nicknamed it Dog.
Imagine that. Now I've got a dog again to. Shots and fixing not required. ;)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Lighting / Shade / Pictures / Video Links

Finally got around to adding some permanent lighting in the It'll Du. The two lights light it up like a ballpark.

Finally found a good use for the shade tarp Bigfoot gave me last year. It lets the fridge hut breath and shades it to. Between that and my  blocking off a lot of the inside of the fridge with 1 inch of foam it at least acts like an ice box now. It freezes ice (although not much of it) and keeps cold drinks pretty cold. Not much room for anything else in there besides about 8 cold drinks. I'd taken the foam off of the outside of the hut a good while back because all that did was trap all the heat inside the hut.

Took some pictures of a lot of dead desert plants around here yesterday, but decided not to post them. Some of the yuccas that were bearing flowers and fruit last year look like they are really dead now. :( So does a lot of other type plants.

Just killed a small conenose that was trying to chew on my arm.

Music Videos. I was listening to my Zune last night and going to these links as the songs randomly came up on the Zune. Keep in mind a lot of the songs were ones I had put on for my granddaughters and my eX, but I just leave them on there and a lot of times it really depresses me.

I wish it would rain

Out or reach

Time after time

Blue collar man

Fooled around and fell in love


Ride my seesaw

I can't stop loving you

Precious and few

5 oclock world

This magic moment

Sea of love

What ever my love

My baby done wrote me a letter

Everybody hurts

Just when I needed you most

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mejo NO Like Me! / Abby

Ran an errand for Frann to pickup some hose from Fred & Mario's place and along the way I saw this.
A small red Racer. I say small (Maybe 4 feet long, but I've seen them about twice that long).

Meet Mejo the young bull. While I was at Fred's to get the hose for Frann Mejo decided he didn't like me. I managed to get out and go with Fred to get the hose, but when we got back near the jeep his head lowered and he started to charge. I managed to open the jeep door and jump in and he stopped. Fred said "He's a good boy and he likes to play." Well about that time Mejo acted like he was going to charge Fred. I think Fred got a little excited himself and backed off rather quickly and Mejo turned back toward me and the Jeep. Fortunately he didn't decide to charge the jeep and both Fred and I made our escape from there in one piece. I guess it could have been the roll of RED hose I was carrying? I hear bulls don't like red. FRANN! you nearly got me killed! ;)

Below are pictures taken of the road to Abby's land and of her land.
Need a bumper? Found this at one of the cross roads on the way to Abby's land. I don't know if its someone's way of marking a rout to their land or just someone trying to start a dump ground. People do stuff like that to help them find their land though. I've seen toilets and other junk like that used. I guess anything handy will work?

I don't remember there being a road going north beside Abby's land before and this looks like a fairly new cut so she may have another road to face her cabin on? She probably lost a little land to the road also if it is a new road.

Looking at Abby's land from the corner
Looking South West from the corner.
On the new road looking south beside her property.

The Legion Road looking East up the hill from Abby's land. They have graded the road to just down the hill heading west and widened it as Dennis told me he was planning on doing to all the roads. However, from that point back to Abby's land it hasn't been graded recently, but the road is in good enough shape. Don't know if he plans to widen it back toward the west or not?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Land Flop / Road

Just checked and notice that Frann had updated her blog with some pictures taken yesterday so I guess you can check her blog for other details. On the search for the land we found where the road to Desert Rose's land should start from the Long Draw creek bed and I think we found it, but it was totally grown over so no chance of getting there. I guess I should have checked the GPS coordinates before we walked from the jeep because we couldn't go any further in it. Turned out after a considerable walk I checked and found we had gone too far. Backtracking I finally got back to the jeep and found it was parked nearly in front of where the old road was. Like a dummy I didn't take many pictures and the camera was screwing up for some reason so there are only a couple of the trip.
The old Whore House can be seen in this picture, but the terrain to it is so rough that I think it would take a helicopter to get to it. I guess that pretty well shoots the photo opp in the rear.

We paid a visit to John Wells at the Field Lab and he and Desert Rose met for the first time. He gave us a tour of the new Wells Lake and we visited a while before going on to check on Nick's progress. The container Nick was renting has been turned back in and is keeping my old Dungeon and another container company just off the Terlingua Ranch Road.

When we got there Nick was nowhere to be found so we just took a picture or two. Looks like more vandalism to me. ;) Weird what can be done with computer graphics isn't it? :)
On the way back from the Field Lab we ran across these.

Now for the road... I heard the sound of heavy machenry earlier this morning and looked out to see a dump truck drive by. Then heard more noise to the north and noticed a grader coming down my road. My first thought was OH HELL! because the road had finally gotten packed again after the rain so no more dust.
A short time later the grader pulled up in my driveway and the driver got out and introduced himself as Dennis Nance. He siad he had been building oilfield roads for years and was now working for the TR to try and get the roads in the shape they should be in. He said he plans to crown the roads (Which they should have been done long ago) and hopes to get them straightened up. One good thing they did on my road was to haul a load of graven in and fill in the bad area on the way here. Bad part is that now part of the road is powder again, but hopefully we will get more rain before long and maybe the road will be good again after that.
He cut reliefs back in to the side of the road for dranage that had been screwed up when BBT ran my phone/DSL line in here.
TR had better watch it or I may start having something good to say about them for a change. ;) At least they now have someone doing the road work that cares about the roads and knows what he is doing. Hopefully TR will be wise enough to keep him!!! So... If you see someone grading your road now before you start shooting talk to the driver. He's a good guy and out to make your road better and not worse.