Saturday, August 19, 2017

truck battery

I reckon it is time to post about replacing my truck battery.  That is the best way for me to remember the last time I did it (in case it shits the bed before the warranty expires).  Seems the last one I bought only lasted a little over 3 years.  This one just started getting sluggish on starting about a week ago.  My guess is that if you need a 100 watt solar panel to get you going, it is probably time for a new battery.  As long as I was at it - I added a new positive terminal to the mix along with a healthy dose of di-electric grease and battery terminal protector spray.  I wonder how many suggestions I will get as to what battery I should have purchased and what I should have done to protect the terminals...  82,94,69, .03",B

Friday, August 18, 2017

Thursday, August 17, 2017

a wider berth...

Only took an hour this morning to chop my road wide enough to get past the bad spot.  Tune in tomorrow night for the video.  Another big storm came through this afternoon but only hit my road up by the highway.  Another small chance of rain later tonight and if that one misses, looks like I will be good to go for awhile.  83,94,72, .05",B 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Holy Road

Well...that rain yesterday finally chipped a little too much of my road away.  The only way to get by now is to shave about a foot off the bank across from the trench to make the road wide enough for my truck.  That is a lot easier than trying to fill in where the road has disappeared - the trench is now 5' wide and 4' deep.  If the rains miss me tonight, that is on my list for tomorrow morning.

I kind of expected a few more tries at the trivia contest.  Funny thing is, the numbers Billy Bob came up with were the same ones I had - at first.  I was about to concede the victory to him, then Barbara Brostowicz chimed in.  After triple checking the numbers (I missed the "no post" on November 30, 2008), Barbara is the winner.  Send me an email with your mailing address and I will send the mug out to you.  73,92,73, .06",B

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

9 years of blogging...

Time sure has gone by quickly out here since I started the blog on August 15, 2008.  Including today, I have done 3265 posts.

  A.  How many days had I been here before I started the blog?  
B.  How many days have I missed doing a post since I started the blog?  
C.  What day in 2015 did I not post?  

First person to get all three questions correct 
wins a BE LIKE CHUPA mug!
86,92,72, .50",B

Monday, August 14, 2017

Sunday, August 13, 2017

I don't think so....

I think she needs to find a new pastor...

Saturday, August 12, 2017

40 years...

My family moved to Tell City, Indiana when I was 8 years old.  We lived there for 7 years.  I had a lot of great friends I grew up with from 3rd grade on and it was tough to leave that experience behind when we moved to North Carolina right after my freshman year of high school.  I have since caught up with a lot of them on Facebook.  Since they graduated, a core group has been getting together every August - called the Last Man's Club.  This year they are celebrating their annual LMC gathering as well as their 40th high school reunion.  A few of them tried to convince me to attend but I decided not to go because it would be too much of a time warp for me.  Keep in mind - the last time I saw these guys we were all 16 years old and I knew most of them since 3rd grade...and they are all so old now!  Moving away when we did really sucked because I missed out on all the shared experience of growing old together with a group of childhood friends.  Since I blew off the reunion, I figured the least I could do is send them all a BE LIKE CHUPA mug.  Cheers!  89,97,75,0,B        

Friday, August 11, 2017

Thursday, August 10, 2017


Been seeing a lot of very uninformed folks adding this graphic to their Facebook profile picture lately.  Seems the latest cry from the bleeding hearts against Trump's tough stance on illegal immigration is how a border wall may effect wildlife refuges.  Unfortunately, a few of these refuges just happen to be along a stretch in east Texas that just happens to be where the absolute most amount of illegal traffic occurs along the entire Mexican/America border (almost 200,000 apprehended in 2016 and DHS estimates that at least that many actually got through without being captured).  Something the bleeding hearts fail to realize is that this isn't just about stopping innocent families crossing the border, looking for a better life.  Aside from the threat of terrorists getting though, it just so happens that Mexico is where we get most of our coke, heroin, meth, and fentanyl.  The cartels have stepped up their game with these commodities to make up for the lack of demand for their low grade marijuana.  And now there is also a huge black market by the drug cartels to smuggle our high potency "legal" marijuana back into Mexico.  As for the construction of a physical barrier that may harm some wildlife...don't blame the government.  Blame the drug dealers and our junkie society.  91,95,76,0,B

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

14 CFR § 107.61

As long as I am at it...might as well get a commercial drone license so I can legally earn some money with my Mavic Pro.  Studying to pass the knowledge test to earn a Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small UAS Rating from the FAA.  This will also involve a road trip as the nearest testing center is in Big Spring about 60 miles east of Odessa.  (Maybe I will stop by and visit Medical Center Hospital where they patched up my leg.)  88,92,73,0,B

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

end of an era...

Looks like my 9.5 year old AGM's have finally lost their will to live...or take a charge.  These (the two batteries on the right) were part of my original Frankenstein set up that powered lighting and ventilation (including the swamp cooler) in my hut.  I did this with a split system to compare a couple of lead acid batteries to a couple of AGM's.  The 2 batteries on the left are second generation - the originals died almost 4 years ago.  This mess is still charged with my original Harbor Freight solar panels.  Good news is Ron Mohr of Green Desert Living is about to get in another load of surplus AGM's so it will soon be time to clear the cobwebs and reboot (and rewire) this system.  86,99,73,0,B

Monday, August 7, 2017

Sunday, August 6, 2017


Ephesians 4:29Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Saturday, August 5, 2017


Finally resolved my computer issues...after fighting with them for 2 days.  Programs kept locking up and I couldn't get online.  I was barely able to edit my Friday and Monday YouTube videos and save them to an SD card so I could upload them from my other computer.  Got pretty close to giving up and taking my computer in to Nectar Computers in Alpine and pay them deal with it.  The only thing I know for sure is that it wasn't a virus problem and had something to do with the recent updates I tried to install.  After numerous attempts, I was finally able to do a "refresh" of Windows 10 - wiping and reinstalling the OS.  The problem with doing that was my anti virus software (McAfee) kept popping up and stopping the process.  Once I figured out how to disable it (McAfee kept locking up too) - everything went fine and now the computer is back to normal.  Another thing a refresh does is wipe all programs added to the computer that weren't originally there, but fortunately it does not affect saved files like documents, pictures, and videos.  The only wiped program I really needed back was my video editing software so I purchased a new download from Amazon.  It took a painfully tense 4 hours to download...then it wouldn't install!  After banging my head on the table a few times I remembered that when I first bought and installed the program back in January, I had ordered a disk instead of a download and was able to find the disk and the installation went fine. Ordinarily,  Amazon does not refund software downloads but I politely asked anyway.  The next morning they responded and said they would issue the refund ($75) as "a one time courtesy".  89,95,77,0,B 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Thursday, August 3, 2017


Well...about once a year someone takes out our silly stop sign at Terlingua Ranch Rd. and DOT comes out the next day and puts it right the middle of the road.  89,92,71,0,B

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

the dreaded update

Did a Dell update and the pending Windows 10 update on my super laptop this morning and now it is all wonky - problems with internet access and programs locking up.  Uninstalled the updates but it's still temperamental.  Looks like I will be taking it to the computer doctor in Alpine next trip north unless find a fix on the internet or it magically goes back to normal.  Although this is the first time I have ended up with a problem, I always dread "updating" my computer when everything is already working fine as is.  84,88,71, .06",B

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


Now that the solar oven is back in business...looks like uncooperative solar cooking weather for at least the next week.  Just got a new oven thermometer and great deal on a new pre-seasoned cast iron dutch oven ... for the next time there is enough sun to use them.  79,93,77,0,B

Monday, July 31, 2017

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Saturday, July 29, 2017

a sprinkle

Big storms in the area today...caught just enough to settle the dust and take the heat off.  74,100,76, .07",B

Friday, July 28, 2017

Thursday, July 27, 2017

trash day...


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

back in business...

Part of the production yesterday was Ben helping me reassemble my solar oven.  As it turns out, I wasn't called upon to prepare anything with it so I am enjoying my first solar oven cooked meal in over a year tonight.  94,97,76,0,B

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Ben Fogle returns...

Had a return visit today from Ben Fogle.  My Ben was named after him when his show New Lives in the Wild filmed here 5 years ago.  Nice when a celebrity insists on getting selfies with my famous animals and includes my favorite UPS driver.  They were here for 8 hours today to do a follow up on my episode from the first season of the program.  95,97,74,0,B

Monday, July 24, 2017

Sunday, July 23, 2017

all things

Philippians 4: 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

say hello to my little friend...

I really need to do some welding tomorrow on the solar oven...but a spider has made a home in my welding jacket.  I hate to disrupt all the hard work he has put into it so I think I will make do without the jacket for this little project.  92,98,71,0,B

Friday, July 21, 2017

Thursday, July 20, 2017

another bump...

Nearly 3 months in and just when I think "the bucket" has had its last dying breath - someone new finds it.  This morning it was the Ukraine.  This is the second time it has made the rounds there.  88,92,73,0,B

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

solar project...

Looks like I have something to keep me busy through the weekend.  I have committed to cooking a pizza when the film crew is here next Tuesday.  My big solar oven has been laying in the same spot since the stand broke last year.  A little welding and a lot of cleaning and it should be good to go.  Let's just hope we have a sunny day.  77,88,74,0,B

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

plenty of room...

Looks like it will take at least one more big storm before I won't be able to squeak by.  The rest of the road is all dry now and clear sailing for at least the next week.  87,94,71,0,B

Monday, July 17, 2017

Sunday, July 16, 2017

how much more...

Matthew 7:
11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!  

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017

Thursday, July 13, 2017

the goggles have landed...

A bit of touch and go this morning with the weather.  Was afraid I wouldn't get my deliveries due to rain.  Luckily the nearby storms passed this morning with only a brief sprinkle and it was clear sailing.  Headed out at 2 PM and caught a new FedEx driver headed my way with the goggles.  I told her I was sorry she didn't get a chance to meet Chupa.  She was more than happy to avoid the encounter since she had already heard all about him.  Ventured south and caught a substitute UPS driver on the road with another delivery.  I figured Manny must be on vacation because normally I am his first stop and he gets here by 1 PM.  Brought the new gear home and charged everything up.  Easily got through linking the goggles with the Mavic and luckily my poor eyesight is just right to be able to see an incredible image without any glasses (the view is truly amazing).  The fit of the goggles on my noggin was a little iffy and they tended to slip (as I have seen in some of the reviews).  Figured out that wearing a backwards baseball cap under the rig was just what I needed to keep them in place.  Lots of little things to still figure out.  Will do a full review of all the new gear eventually on YouTube.  82,88,75,0,B    

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

7 years ago...

Had a return visit today from Larry D. Hayden.  Good to get caught up after 7 years and Chupa was on his best behavior (sort of).  Ben really enjoyed seeing a Hasselblad for the first time.
Larry shot this iconic image of Benita when he was last here. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

glad that is finally done...

Tackled the worst of it yesterday.  First major clean up since my accident 2 1/2 years ago.  Last on the list is to find out what is going on under the bed - where the monsters live... 95,96,76,0,W

Monday, July 10, 2017

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Saturday, July 8, 2017

another tail light

Just over a year ago I replaced this tail light.  2 months ago the new one jiggled loose and lost a vital part and I have been nursing it along by applying a little duct tape to hold it in place.  Last week I forgot to check the tape and took a trip south for some errands.  That evening I noticed the tail light was gone.  Found it the next day along the highway about half way to Study Butte.  Just installed a new replacement today (and put some thread lock on the 2 screws that hold it in place).  90,95,75,0,B

Friday, July 7, 2017

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Name that critter.

First time I have noticed one of these at TFL.  Do you know what it is? Note: proper identification includes being age specific... 79,90,73,0,W

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


Made an executive decision today (I love making those) and ordered the DJI Goggles for my Mavic Pro.  Rather than get another dedicated tablet (I already have 3 tablets and none of them work very well in this application) I decided on the FPV (first person view) goggles.  Came to that conclusion after a good amount of research.  When I first started hearing about the goggles, I sort of wrote them off as a silly racing drone accessory.  What I have come to discover after seeing a lot of reviews is that they are the perfect solution for being able to precisely control the drone while filming (which is the whole point of why I decided to buy the drone in the first place). They are 20 bucks cheaper than the new bright DJI CrystalSky 5.5" monitor and there is absolutely no issue with glare from the sun when you wear them.  From what I have seen it is a truly immersive experience and just like being in the cockpit when flying the drone.  They work wirelessly with the Mavic Pro with DJI's new OcuSync technology and provide a flawless HD video feed from the drone throughout its full distance range and a touch pad on the side of the goggles gives access to all the configuration and flight mode menus.  80,102,75, .04",W

Monday, July 3, 2017

Sunday, July 2, 2017

let not the sun go down upon your wrath

Ephesians 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.  26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:  27 Neither give place to the devil.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Big Ben is 5 years old!

95,98,75,0,B, 68.25" tip to tip