Monday, August 29, 2011

Divide and Conquer

I guess its my turn to rant again. Just read Old Jules blog at  and I've been intending to post a thread something along the same lines, but just haven't gotten around to it until now.

Note the title to this blog being Divide and Conquer. Well I think that's what's been happening in this country for a long time now. No one seems to give a crap about someone else's rights... they are more concerned about their own rights even if it takes someone else's rights away. Funny how that goes when someone sides for taking someone else's rights away until its their own and then they get all huffy about it. At one time it was just whites against blacks and Vice Versa Then it was the Anti War protesters against the war mongers (Which might not be a bad thing) until the pawns fighting in the wars started getting the blame to. From that time on it has been one group against another group and I feel that most of that is caused by the government pulling the media's stings to get it to start more crap.

If you can divide the country far enough and in to enough small groups with each small group pushing their agendas to remove other people's rights then that's called Dividing. Once the citizens of the US are divided enough then it would be easy to Conquer. Can you say Slave to the Government? Well its almost that bad already.

Now some of the ways we have been divided is non-smokers against smokers, the physically fit against the obese, non-drinkers against drinkers, environmentalist  against non-greenies. Rich against the middle classed against the poor, The young against the old because of SS and this list could probably go on for ever.

As long as Americans are divided this country is doomed to fail. People need to QUIT finding faults with their fellow Americans and unite to get this country back on track. Tell the politicians enough is enough and work to change what they have done back like it should be.

Its already been said that all old people need to die rather than get replacement body parts. What's the big deal? Let people smoke their selves to death, drink themselves to death, eat themselves to death, shoot people causing harm to them, their property and other people. Looks like to me that's the easiest way to get people to die. Why make sure they live longer by telling them they can't do this or that.

As for the SS issue now, it isn't the people that are retires, on disability and so on that caused the problem its the so called law makers. You know... making laws that says they can spend the SS funds like this and like that until there are no more funds left. Around twenty five years ago the government was buying TV commercials saying something to the effect of "Don't worry about Social Security there's enough in the funds to last another hundred years." How in the hell did it run out in twenty five years instead? That's easy it was the government blowing it on what ever silly thing they decided they should spend it on and you can bet that most of it  was on NO GOOD. The SS fund was never supposed to be used for anything else. It was to be used for social security payouts only. Now the politicians are saying that SS isn't a entitlement its a benefit and can be cut off. Bull Shit! They are only trying to cover their own asses for blowing it in the first place. There is no one party to blame the blame goes on both or all.

Rant over for now...

Thursday, August 25, 2011


No! Not this kind.

The treasure kind. More solar panels. (Again from my nephew)
And more panels. With more on the way. The two pictures above represent 530 watts so that will put me over 1KW once these are wired in. Should open up the way for a medium sized chest freezer when I can get one. I figure I can freeze jugs of water and use them in an ice chest for a fridge so as to have a usable fridge and plenty of freezer storage. It will also do away with the need for me to have to reposition the panels twice a day since there will be plenty of power all day long even on cloudy and winter days.

More panel mounts which I won't be using for that. I'm figuring I can use them as gable trusses for a small cabin or something like that.

A trucker's tarp. I think this sucker must weigh a couple of hundred pounds. I've already thought of several uses for it. (Ring) Some know him as RN.

Water hauler trailer. (Ring)

Swimming pool / Water catchment? Swimming party anyone? (Ring)

Also lots of pallets from my younger sister's boss and some 5 gallon water bottles from my older sister. Don't ask me how I'm going to get it all down south, but the panels, tarp, a few pallets and water jugs will probably make the trip this time.

I headed for Odessa last Friday and brought the trailer. Needed to take care of some VA business so I can start using the clinic in Fort Stockton and I brought the trailer specifically to haul a free 8 foot satellite dish back on. It had been laying around for just about ever, but it turned out that someone else hauled it off a few days before I got here. At first I thought I brought the trailer for nothing, but that turned out to be a good thing after all!

I'll be headed back to HELL shortly.
Managed to get all of the pallets on the trailer. (22 of them) I did a Google search on the "Average weight of wooden pallets and that came up as Killograms so had to search for a kilogram to pound calculator. I'm sure these aren't the heaviest pallets, but they aren't light either so I split the difference to come up with a ballpark weight of all of them. That came out to 40 pounds per pallet and a total of 880 pounds on the trailer. The weight limit is 1000 lbs so it looks like I'll be hauling them all back and will have another hundred pounds to play with on the trailer. I have all of the solar panels shown in the pictures above in the back of the jeep with the back seat down and can probably get the trucker's tarp back there to. All depending on what else I try to haul back I may have to strap some stuff on top of the jeep, but you can bet there will be a load on the whole rig! I'll probably add more pictures as I go. I plan to pull out early in the morning to head back to Hell.

Monday, August 22, 2011


My neighbor caught this picture of a flock of birds down by his house a while back. They came for a visit to my place after that, but before I could get the camera out to take my own picture they were gone. Don't have a clue what type they are, but there was a bunch of them.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

138 years to Read (Popular Science)

When I was a kid I used to love to get my hands on the Popular Science magazines and read about what might be in the future. Amazingly enough much of what was published actually came true and a lot of it is in use today. Popular Science and Google teamed up and you can now go through the 138 years of archives. That is a bunch of reading!!! One of my members of my main site posted a link there about a ford falcon engine breaking a world speed record back in 1961 and I started reading through the whole issue. I found some things that would go real good in the offgrid life like heating your home with solar. A water purification plant that could probably be scaled way down and powered by solar to get decent drinking water from some of the crappy water down here. One of the ads was for a two seat 3 wheeled cabbed scooter thar got 130+ MPG. That would sure go good now!

The fun part can also be the small personal type classified ads to see what was being sold way back when and for how much. You can get to the archives at:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Ever had someone assume that they knew better than you where something of yours belonged? Did they? Reason I asked is last Sunday when Frann, Denese and the other neighbor came over here from the Grub Shack and while I wasn't watching someone moved a chain I had laying on the ground. I assume who ever done it assumed that is wasn't supposed to be there so they took it upon themselves to put it where they assumed it should be.
The picture above shows the imprint of where the chain had been laying before it was moved and the red drawing shows how the chain was laying before it was moved. Now the chain wasn't laying in that position just because I chunked it down there like it was laying. It was a marker so I'd know when to stop the falcon when I drove up on the carped driveway without running off the end of it. No harm done because I can always move it back. I mean the imprint is still there.
The picture above shows where it wound up. Note the rim (which I plan to make a wind generator out of). Well it was laying down on top of that box to keep those plastic bowels and other stuff from blowing out and away. Which ever culprit did it had to have dropped the chain on the rim and then stood the rim up against the water tank. I guess they also assumed that a bicycle rim should be standing up and not laying down???

Ever had someone use your computer and assume that you must not know anything about computers or the desktop would look exactly like theirs? So... they change it to look exactly like theirs all the time thinking you would be so glad they did it for you. Kids and young adults are real bad about that and even some older folks are to.

What is it about human nature that makes people assume even though their assumptions are often very wrong?

BTW Yes I have assumed the wrong things many times in my life to.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Door again

There was a thread a while back about the wind blowing the door in this trailer shut and breaking the glass in it. I had intended to get some Plexiglas the last trip to Alpine, but after the fiasco with the border patrol I forgot half the stuff I planned on getting because of being PO'ed about that. Well I need to blame my forgetfulness on someone beside myself and the border patrol will do fine.  Anyway... I had an old mat that used to be used for a desk chair to be rolled around on. (Office type) so decided to cut a piece out of it the same size as the glass that was in it before it got broke. For now that's what I am replacing the glass with so as to get rid of the tape and tarp material over the hole and make it a little more secure and water proof to.
I think its probably made out of Lexan and has a rough texture something like the glass that got broken did so its opaque pretty much like that glass to.
Shown here is the tools used to do the trick with. The tin snips cut it just fine without breaking it which is one reason I think its was made out of Lexan. Plexiglas would have broken if cut like that. (Don't ask me how I know) I didn't have to worry about cutting the circular corners because the glass that got broken was also square and only the window frame has circular corners.
Used the only silicone I had to caulk it and it was black automotive silicone, but should hold up fine and If  I replace it later the silicone should come off pretty easy.

On the first post someone said when changing a window in an RV you just about needed four hands. Wasn't the case here because the outside part of the frame was taped to the door so it didn't try to fall out when I unscrewed all the screws from the inside. Once I got the inside frame off I caulked around the surface the glass is supposed to rest on and placed the new window material in it. Then I just replaced all the screws. Easy as pie.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

In search of... & Fast Cars / Grub Shack

Got a call from Dave at the legion yesterday afternoon saying one of my other neighbors (Not Robert) wanted me to go to the legion for some beers (He was buying). I figured FREE beer! What the heck so I headed that way. Seems he had in mind to head south to find a couple of undisclosed females. (You may be able to guess which ones though)

Anyway... on the way south we ran in to some pretty heavy rain storms. Probably the same ones that filled up JW's Black Lagoon. It was raining so hard and the wind was almost blowing the rain horizontally that we couldn't see out the windshield even with the wipers on high. We had to pull over two different times and the second time there was some small hail mixed in with the rain. I did see one of the balls on the ground and it was maybe a quarter inch in diameter, but the others were so small about all you could do was here them hitting the pickup.(about sleet sized)

We got down south and went by the porch, but the two females we were looking far weren't there, Didn't find them at their place of residence or the La Kiva either, but ran in to a few friends at La Kiva so stayed for a couple of drinks there before heading home. When we got back here I glanced at the rain gage and somehow thought it said 7/8 inch, but checking it again while ago it was actually .45 inch of rain in it. Damn funnel shaped rain gauges!

It was totally cloudy most of the day yesterday so we were probably lucky to get about 1/4th of the solar the panels were capable of putting out, but fortunately I was able to get by without running the swampy much and didn't have to use it at all last night because it was nice and cool after the rain. Haven't checked the voltage of the batteries yet, but suspect they should be ok because of not using them much. Tomorrow is supposed to be clear and I think a couple of days after that so maybe the batteries will have a chance to get back to 100% charge? Cloudy is nice for everything except solar.  There's another 20% chance of rain for today so maybe more. Or maybe  the folks down south will get some. We only saw the light sprinkle at the La Kiva, but otherwise it looked dry as a bone in most areas down there.

BTW I learned from my neighbor that the La Kiva as it is now wasn't the original and that one was a small building near 170 at the entrance to the now much larger La Kiva. While there neighbor asked the bartender if smoking was allowed. He said cigarettes were, but not cigars. Needless to say neighbor wasn't too happy, but the bartender did say he could smoke his cigarette sized cigars out on the back patio. We went back there to have the first drink and it was a light sprinkle and really felt good.

Just before noon I heard the sound of a high performance engine revving up on 118 just south of here. Before long a sheriff's pickup passed and then shortly after that another one stopped in front of the legion and a line of fast cars turned in to the legion just across from the Sheriff's pickup. I'd already seen several AC Cobras go by earlier. There were other type cars there and I thought about going to take pictures, but just didn't. Dave Secor called me from the legion and told me what was going on. It seems that someone else got the Sheriff's department to block off 118 and let them run full out. Fortunately Dave took the following pictures and sent them to me so here they are.
There were more cars there, but they were only there for a short time and took off before Dave could get pictures all of them.

Grub Shack
The second August Grub Shack Sunday afternoon dinner will be held today at the Grub Shack. (Sunday 5:00 PM Aug 14th) Its for donations only and proceeds will go toward the reopening of the GS. According to Jerry today's menu is Southern Fried Chicken, I think he said Potato salad and Cornbread. If I'm not mistaken I think he also mentioned ice cream made by them. Hopefully rain there will hold off until after its over.

I believe Frann and Denese will be there.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Blooms, Birds, Fires & Clouds

Only seen one of the strawberry cactus blooming so far and that's right on the other side of the road and on my property. There are plenty more down here, but for some reason that's the only one blooming. I should have some fruit before too long if the birds and rodents don't get them before I do.
A road runner up on my neighbor's back porch. Picture taken by him. (Robert Dawson) Matter of fact the rest of the pictures down were taken by him.
He sent me an email last night saying to look to the southeast at the fire. I'd already turned off the computer and missed the message and seeing the fire. There were storms all around, but not here and its assumed this fire was started by lightning since it was on Burro Mesa in the park. That's fifty miles from here and where Robert took the picture from. It was late so the picture didn't come out too good. According to an EMS person at BBMI they decided to let it burn because there was no way to get to it by vehicle.
Smoke from the fire just south of Bee Mountain in Study Butte.

What appears to be a funnel cloud taken during surrounding storms here. My neighbor saw it and took the picture and I saw it and failed to get one. It seems to be rotating as it dropped, but never made it to the ground.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Border Patrol Antics or (I got searched), Tire

I was wondering when it was going to happen to me / Us after my neighbor and his 16 year old daughter were singled out and harassed by the border patrol about a month ago. Welp... It happened this morning on the way in to Alpine to take Frann and Denese to catch the Amtrak. First I was asked if we were US citizens and I said Yes. Then I was ask if we live in Terlingua. My answer was again Yes. Then I was asked how long I'd lived down here and I told him 2 years. Next he asked if we had gotten any rain lately and I said yes we got sprinkles yesterday.

Next thing I know we were told to roll up all of the windows and exit the vehicle. We did and then I was asked if I had any Knives?? or weapons on me and my answer was NO. Keep in mind that the dog did NOT alert on the vehicle. We were then told to go over to a metal bench with an expanded metal seat and sit down. It was in the sun of course. There were a couple of chairs there and  Frann and Denese moved them over to the shade and sat down. Nothing was said about that, but one officer stood to the side of us while a couple more were to the other side and one with a dog began tapping in different places on the jeep. The dog would jump up to where he had tapped. Next he opened the driver's door and let the dog in. It went through the whole vehicle both front and back and didn't alert anywhere. He got the dog out and went to the back opening the back hatch and put the dog back in there. It had already been there. Again it didn't alert!

Next he pulled Denese's bags and belongings out of the back seat where she had been sitting and then put them on the ground for the dog to sniff out and he searched the bag and her purse. Again the dog did NOT alert. The dog was lead around to each of us and again didn't alert to any of us. Next one officer walked up to me and told me to stand up so I did. He then said he was going to search me for weapons so I said What ever. Woo Hoo! Never been through that before. Can't say that I liked it at all either. After that Denese's stuff was put back in the jeep and we were told we could go. I call this BS how about you?

Oh Yeah!

I was so pissed about that I almost forgot.
Got a new tire at Oasis Tire in Alpine. I asked about a used one and they didn't have one the size I needed so I priced a new one. Total was $97.38 mounted, balanced and included Tax. I doubt that I could have gotten one cheaper in Odessa at Walmart so I got it. Frann and Denese each kicked in $20 on the tire so it just cost me .$57.38. On top of that Denese sprang for lunch and paid for enough gas for the trip up there and back. Now If I'd known that were going to happen I'd have packed a bag and headed for Odessa, but I didn't so here I am. I won't gripe though.

Below is another one of the huge whirlwinds we have down here. That house you see out there is a house with an airplane hanger beside it so that should give you an idea of how big that whirlwind is.

Just had a brief rain storm and got another 1/10th of rain out of it. Sure was a relief because it was a damn hot and humid day with very little breeze at all. It cooled down from 105 in here to 95 pretty quick and is now at 92. See the picture of the rain coming below. It was coming from WAY UP THERE!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Grub Shack Get Together

Went to a dinner at the Grub Shack this afternoon. I was the first there and think I was also the first to leave. (In one of my antisocial moods today) Anyway the dinner consisted of Eva's fantastic Lazania, a salad and bread sticks and some of her home baked cookies (Which were also great) Music was to be provided by Nick on the guitar and Julianne on the banjo.

Doesn't look like many people there yet, but after I left and paid the next to last payment on the tank and drove back by there it looked like a lot more people had arrived. I swung by the legion on the way home to get ice and it was closed with a sign on the door saying to go to the Grub Shack to support Jerry and Ava so no ice for tonight. I think I can get by though.

It was sprinkling here when I left to go to the Grub Shack, but I ran out of it on the way and no sign of it there. It couldn't have done it long here. Guess I should have went back and hung out there, but like I said I was in an antisocial mood, needing a shower and will kick back here after I take a shower. Looks like I'll be taking Frann and Denese to Alpine early in the morning for them to catch their train. Sure hope we don't have a blowout going or me have one coming back. I'll try to find a tire while I'm there.

And a Falcon in a music Video

Saturday, August 6, 2011

This, That & the Other

 Sunset last night.

First off I spent about a half hour cleaning up glass off of 118 where the road from my place intersects it. You see... some jackass threw out a couple of bottles and some more trash out just as they were passing that road and it scattered glass all along the opening to my road and half way across 118. One of the bottles was a Fanta soda bottle as there were a couple of pieces just big enough to tell and there were several pieces that could have easily cause a blow out by people driving down 118 headed south hitting them. (Who in the heck drinks Fanta?) Don't know what the other bottle was, but looked like it could have been some sort of liquor bottle. I took several pictures, but none of them showed the glass very well so am only posting one and it is all the white spots you see in that picture. The glass was scattered for quiet some distance and I used a shop broom to sweep what I could off the highway and had to pick a good bit up because it just wouldn't sweep. Also picked up some of the other trash so that's more trash that doesn't belong to me and I have no way to get rid of it. I won't be scattering it along the highway though! Must have been a local because part of the trash was a mostly used up pack of Top rolling papers.

The Cobras (Shelby Racing Group) will be back here again the last part of September and first of October. I had my first TFFN member's get together last year at the same time. Unfortunately only one member showed up and he drove all the way down here from Illinois. I'm going to try that again this year and hope more members will show up. Just in case I'm trying to line up several options for them to use if they come. One will be the Cow Head Ranch not far from here. I asked Sunni about it and told her some of my member might want rooms there. You can't beat the price at $10 a night, but I didn't have a chance to see them. I didn't see Cowboy Chris' Lincoln there and knew Sunni was at the legion so just took some pictures from 118. I'll try to catch someone there later and do a Blog thread on it.
Next option will be the Big Bend Motor Inn then the resort in Lajitas (where the Shelby Group will be staying) and lastly camping here if anyone wants to rough it. I think BBMI is about $100 a night, and I don't have a clue about Lajitas Resort, but I'd figure a lot more expensive than BBMI. Here for them to camp out it would be free. My group (If any show up in their Falcons, Comets or Econolines) are supposed to meet up with the Shelby Group at the Legion and have sort of a car show there. (the New and the Old or the Ancient)

Lastly... I'm always craving pizza, but the only place around here to get it is Long Draw Pizza which is only opened three days a week. (Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday.) They are also only open from 5:00 PM to 9:00 I think and its also about 30 miles from here. As you might figure it isn't cheap either, but is great Pizza. Anyway I have made pizzas using flower tortillas in years passed and the other night I revived doing that. This time I took a small can of tomato sauce (8 Oz can) put it in a sauce pan, added some Italian seasoning, garlic salt, onion salt and some chopped up beef stick. (Sort of like Slim Jim). Brought it to a boil and simmered it for about 5 minutes until it thickened up some. I heated up a 10 inch cast iron skillet put the topping on the tortilla and added mozzarella cheese and placed it in the skillet and covered it. Didn't take long to cook it and the sauce was enough for two of them. (Which I pigged out on.) They were really very good. Best part was not having to heat up the oven and add insult to the already sweltering trailer.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Two More Blowouts

We had sort of a Pizza party at the Long Draw Pizza place last night. Frann, Denese, Tyra and I were there. I'd invited John Wells, Neal, Neil's son and Paul to join us, but they chose to eat at the Starlight instead. However, my neighbors down the road from me (the ones that left the booze) Robert, Lanette (Sp?) and Brandy  showed up and surprised us and another near neighbor showed up to so it wasn't a total loss.

Anyway on the way home last night I heard a loud noise coming from the passenger's side front followed by a severe pull to the right. I managed to keep it straight and then everything went back to normal. Since it was almost dark and the jeep wasn't acting like it had a flat I continued driving on home. When I got home I got the flashlight and found the above. Somewhere back down 118 there's a road gator from that tire. The whole tread had slung off and that was what I'd heard and felt. Amazingly enough the tire was still up and is still up now, but I need to get out there and put the spare on. I'll probably do that before it gets too hot.
Note the black marks down the side where the road gator hit on its way out. I'd call myself lucky because I have seen tires do that and totally destroy a fender in the process, but I didn't find any damage to the fender at all. Looks like I'll have to buy a can of polishing compound to get rid of the black marks. I was supposed to take Frann and Denese to Alpine on the 9th to catch an Amtrak to Houston and had intended to go from there to Odessa. Looks like those plans are dashed because there isn't enough in the budget for a new tire and to do that to.

Now... yesterday I opened the trunk of the falcon to get some tools out and found that the spare in there had blown out just laying in the trunk. :( Must have happened while I was gone at some time or another because I never heard it happen and don't have a clue when it happened. So now I've got two vehicles and no spare for either. That seems to happen a lot down here.

BTW while  we were at the porch at the ghost town yesterday afternoon before heading to the pizza place the thermometer in the shade there said 118 degrees.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Good Neighbor

Made a trip in to SB this morning to take care of some business, get supplies and take a shower. When I got home I noticed something didn't look right after I'd made several trips unloading the jeep. Well there was a large cardboard box sitting in front of the outdoor fridge so I looked in it to find the below.
I know what I'll do with the above. ;)

Not sure what I'll do with this, but I'll think of something. First will be to check the wattage while its connected and if its low enough I may keep the laptop connected to it since the battery for the laptop died a long time ago. If it turns out to pull too many watts while connected at night then I'll probably add a handle and use it for a portable power supply to run a drill or the like and only charge it during the day when there is enough solar. Sure is nice to have good neighbors. ;)

Update on the swamp cooler is that the belt stayed on it like it was supposed to from about 9:00 PM last night to about 3:30 this morning when I turned it off. It was still on right when I checked it about 15 minutes ago, but I doctored it up again just for good measure before turning it on. I won't be putting it back in the window because sitting it on an ice chest I can direct it any where I want to which makes it real nice.