The Field Lab

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Life off the grid in the SW Texas desert. An experiment in sustainable living. NUMBERS AT THE END OF EACH BLOG POST: temp at 8PM,high temp,low temp,rainfall,wind conditions(CalmBreezyWindyGusty). Live streaming video at http://ustre.am/TM8N YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/TheFieldLab John Wellshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/12783305402239706779noreply@blogger.comBlogger3271125
Updated: 16 hours 21 min ago

a monday matinee...

Mon, 2017/08/21 - 12:31pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

when I consider thy heavens...

Sun, 2017/08/20 - 11:36am
Psalm 8 : 3  When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

truck battery

Sat, 2017/08/19 - 5:11pm
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
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a friday night film

Fri, 2017/08/18 - 3:06pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a wider berth...

Thu, 2017/08/17 - 3:02pm
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 
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Holy Road

Wed, 2017/08/16 - 4:50pm

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
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

9 years of blogging...

Tue, 2017/08/15 - 2:55pm
Time sure has gone by quickly out here since I started the blog on August 15, 2008.  Including today, I have done 3265 posts.
CONTEST:  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
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a monday matinee...

Mon, 2017/08/14 - 10:02am
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

I don't think so....

Sun, 2017/08/13 - 1:41pm
I think she needs to find a new pastor...
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

40 years...

Sat, 2017/08/12 - 1:42pm
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        
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a friday night film

Fri, 2017/08/11 - 8:56pm

92,98,74,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

NO BORDER WALL?

Thu, 2017/08/10 - 3:02pm
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
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

14 CFR § 107.61

Wed, 2017/08/09 - 5:41pm
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
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

end of an era...

Tue, 2017/08/08 - 5:28pm













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
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a monday matinee...

Mon, 2017/08/07 - 10:02am

80,95,70, .01",B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

communication

Sun, 2017/08/06 - 3:21pm
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.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

reset...

Sat, 2017/08/05 - 3:45pm
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 
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a friday night film

Fri, 2017/08/04 - 3:04pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

STOP

Thu, 2017/08/03 - 3:59pm













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 back...in the middle of the road.  89,92,71,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

the dreaded update

Wed, 2017/08/02 - 6:05pm
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
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs