Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Carl's Jr?

Wasn't planning on incubating any of Carl's "efforts" till February.  Due to his sudden demise, decided I would give it a shot while there is still a chance for his genetic code to live on.  Ordered a nice little egg warmer for the effort.  Got 5 chances with recently laid eggs that hadn't been refrigerated.  Would have had a 6th chance but I ate if for breakfast yesterday (oops).  The good news is - I may have quite a few more chances.  From what I just read, (if Carl was doing his duty) the hens could lay fertile eggs for up to 4 weeks without his further "assistance".
66.73,64, .02",B,0

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

RIP Carl

Let Carl and the girls out just like I do every morning.  Late this afternoon, the hens were around but no sign of Carl.  Checked the coop and there he was - dead as a doornail.  Since I have no idea how old he was and there were no apparent signs of truama - perhaps he just died of old age....or too much love.  75,82,57,0,B,0

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

the skeptical atheist

That's what I used to be.  Having grown up with exposure to the Presbyterian Church then the Methodist Church, I have had enough education to at least consider the idea that atheism might be incorrect.  Although there were many years that I did not attend church or even give it much thought, I always left the option open.  From a practical standpoint, to flat out deny and profess that there is no God is rather foolish and shortsighted given the fact that religion has such a major presence in the world...not to mention its' importance in the founding of our country.

Recently I had a conversation with a friend who professed to be an atheist because even though he attended church as a young man - it just "didn't stick".  He has decided there simply in not a God.  It was not a situation where a debate should happen but I began to think about just why I think there is a God because it is important to share that information under the right circumstances.

To just flat out say there is no God and be wrong has horrible consequences.  To say yes there is a God (and that there is evil in the world because of Satan) and be right and follow the teachings of the Bible, leads to eternal life.  In my recent past: maybe there really is a God and I should look hard for Him by studying the Bible, history, and prophecy - saying prayers and giving thanks and praise and observing the outcome of that communication - and listening closely to teachings of Christians I respect.  Ultimately,  His existence has become obvious to me with just an open mind and a little effort on my part.   Although I now know God is real...for the sake of argument, there is another outcome to consider.  To say there is a God and be wrong.  If everyone jumped on that bandwagon yet it turned out to be a false hope, by following the greatest commandments we would all ultimately die a final death but at least there would be heaven on earth.

Mark 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear , O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this , Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

special guests

Visit today from my buddy Bryce who I have corresponded with for a couple of years and finally got the chance to meet.  Second visit from my good friends Nick and Adri.  They had a chance to meet Benita a couple of years ago and just got acquainted with Ben.  Ben really liked Adri.  67,80,46,0,B,.12

Thursday, October 24, 2013

back to farming

Planted some winter greens today...spinach, chard, kale.  70,83,43,0,B,0

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

last 5 acres

Trekked back out to the Solitario to track down another tract...the last bit of property I own that I have yet to see.  This one is 8 miles southwest of TFL.  Went out with a buddy from the ranch that owns property that meets mine at a corner.  Had to take the long way (South County Rd.) because the creek crossing on the shorter route was too swampy.  As long as I was in the neighborhood, I swung by the 20 acre tract again and found the section marker that is my NE corner (thanks to my friend Julianne and her wizardry with transposing map numbers into GPS coordinates).  Rather disappointed that the marker was only a short piece of rebar, a stick, and some rocks.  67,78,39,0,B,0  .

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


My chickens aren't sure what to make of a tarantula.  
Field Lab Friend Jim Shirey popped in for a visit today.  After seeing a photo I did a couple of months ago of corned beef hash and eggs - he tried it.  He wasn't sure what to make of it.  I forgot to warn folks that it looks and smells kinda like canned dog food.  He brought me a can  -  probably bought two but after trying one, decided to give the other one away.  By the way...if you try this brand - DON'T ADD SALT to your dish.  Each can has 108% of the adult daily requirement of sodium.  65,77,47,0,B,0 

Monday, October 21, 2013


I have been freelance since 1989 and guess what....I have purchased my own healthcare since then.  (These are some of the options from my current provider if I choose to switch plans - with no subsidies.  A $5000 deductible sounds rather high but as an example saving 56 cents a day for 25 years pretty much takes care of that.)   My parents taught me to be a responsible adult and taught me about saving money from an early age - they started me with my first savings account when I was 8 years old - I learned how to balance a checkbook when I was 10.   Making sure I'm covered is just part of the game of budgeting life.  I have worked smart and hard to pay for the things that I need without a single handout from the government.  All the generations of my family have done the same.  Few of my friends in "the arts" have had healthcare because they think that following their bliss is more important than sucking it up, doing what is right, and paying the price.  Most of them are loving the false promise of Obamacare.  Forcing everyone to join up does not make healthcare more affordable.  Healthcare is still just as expensive as it was before the ACA kicked in. It just dumps more money into the pool to be redistributed as illnesses arise.  I'm not an actuary nor am I an economist but this sure sounds like a ponzi scheme to me.  My parents also taught me about debt.  How can a nation that is 17 trillion in debt afford to subsidize a system that gets more and more expensive every year?   67,80,46,0,B,.16  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

we stand or we fall

You would think that with the information age, the great truths would be easily spread throughout the world...but Satan uses this to spread lies and deceit.  What hope can there be when so many choose to bear false witness.  Both sides of every argument are clouded with half truths and fabrications presented at fact.  As the world becomes more and more connected - people are increasingly divided.  This quote by Patrick Henry speaks of both government and religion.  “Let us trust God, and our better judgment to set us right hereafter. United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs.”  Patrick Henry

1 Corinthians 1:3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; 5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

barn chickens

Carl and the girls have discovered the wonderful world of the steer pen and barn.  Lots of bugs for them to eat out there.  One of the hens has decided that the barn is a perfect place to lay. I hope Ben and Bud don't get broody.

It was finally time to put the door back on my blew off on June 6th.  64,78,52,0,B,0

Friday, October 18, 2013


Ventured out into the Solitario and found my 20 acre tract today.  Rather benign piece of land but lots of nice scenery on the way out to it - 11 miles off the highway (6.5 miles SW of TFL as the crow flies).  The roads were pretty good but there is one Terlingua Creek crossing and lots of washes on the way there - not a place to be or a place to go to after a heavy rain.  73,86,58,0,B,0

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Figured out that the only way to get all the unnamed ranch roads on my new GPS was to download the topo map for Texas from Garmin  (I bought the Garmin GPSmap 62s because it includes an altimeter function just in case I decide to take up powered paragliding).  Took 2 hours for the download to complete even though the progress bar kept suggesting that it would take anywhere from 6 minutes to 58 minutes.  While that was working, I trimmed about a half inch off the pot studs on the rocket stove and cut a steel "skirt" from another little junk tank I found.  Just after the download completed, I went outside and checked to make sure it all worked and I heard some cranes way up high flying their migration route south...without a GPS.  65,88,57,0,B,.26  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

chopping wood

Made an adjustment to the rocket stove today.  Removed the 2 bars that the pan was resting on and replaced them with 4 studs so the heat can come up and all around whatever is sitting on top.  Broke out the table saw and ripped a bunch of cooking fuel from an old pallet.  Only 3 or 4 pieces of what normally would just be kindling is now fuel for a hot meal.  62,74,57,0,B,.11

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


64,72,64, .04",B,0

Monday, October 14, 2013

3 stick soup

From cold stove to boiling soup in 15 minutes.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Reformation

I am reading a book from Remnant Publications called The Great Controversy   The lesson of this book is that if we aren't very careful, history will repeat itself..."Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." 

I had heard about "the reformation" but never really knew how horrible the persecution of Christians throughout history had been (and it is still going on today just as horribly at the hands of Muslims in the middle east).  The Roman Empire and the early Catholic church used the Word to enslave the masses.  With no access to a Bible, the subjects of the empire were forced to rely on the Pope and his officers for their interpretation of scripture.  The church grew rich and powerful by the sale of indulgences...just pay a fee and you can continue to sin and be absolved.  The problem with that plan is that absolution only comes through Christ but the people were not allowed to hear that.  Satan was able to corrupt the Word from the earliest of times with the temptation of great wealth and power.  Although the struggle continues today, men like Martin Luther discovered that the Living Word of the Bible is something for every individual to experience on their own - not to become a tool for emperors to wield power or to enrich the coffers of the church. 

Yesterday I was listening to KRTS Marfa Public Radio and they were playing some "best of" the NPR series This American Life.  This particular episode kind of sums it all up.  This YouTube video is audio only but well worth the listen.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live ; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Put the final touches on the rocket stove today.  Wrapped the vent pipe with 1" thick kaowool (I had 2 sq ft that I ordered back when I was planning on building a furnace to melt my silver).  Filled up the rest of the space with some vermiculite that Julianne gave me a couple of years ago.  Super insulation is the magic behind a rocket stove.  First cooking test coming next week.  79,91,57,0,B,0

Friday, October 11, 2013

junk rocket

Been thinking about building a heavy duty rocket stove ever since my friend Stacy gifted TFL with her first attempt at making one just over a year ago.  Decided today was the day.  Went looking for parts at a nearby junkyard this morning.  Found most of the crucial parts I needed (as well as 2 more car batteries to cash in).  Just have to add vermiculite for insulation, some handles, and a pot rest... and it will be ready to cook.  76,88,53,0,C,0