Sunday, July 31, 2016

like an abominable branch...

Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
18 All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house.
19 But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet.
20 Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.
21 Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.
22 For I will rise up against them, saith the Lord of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the Lord.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

sedentary II...

One month later - 10 lbs gone - 15 lbs to go.  The secret?  A little more exercise and no more cookies for desert.  Magic.  BTW - got the pump to fire up today...only needed 10 more pulls on the starter cord to get the fresh gas flowing.  86,92,73,0,B

Friday, July 29, 2016

weird shower...

Double weird because it rained mid day and it came from the southeast.  Two of my creek tanks are low so I thought I would give the ol' gas pump a try.  Dumped out the old gas and put in some new but couldn't get it started.  I really need to get it ready for the next downpour since I got room for about 5,000 gallons of water that might come in handy someday.  Tally so far for the year is 4.54".  Total for last year was 11.67".  77,91,73, .17",B

Thursday, July 28, 2016

like and share

I have something I would "like" to "share"...I stopped voting because I got tired of choosing the lesser of two evils.  I'm afraid even that choice is gone now.  85,95,79,0,B

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Don't be a clickbaitor...

Just to be clear - if you click on what you think is news and the site has ads like these - BEWARE!  The amount of idiocy on Facebook is getting pretty overwhelming.  More and more I am seeing stories being shared that have little to do with what is really going on in the world - but just enough to make unsubstantiated rumors seem that much more plausible.  People just don't seem to get it.  Any number of sites today that FOOKERS (my term for people who use Facebook incorrectly) cling to are basically fake news - with just a hint of truth mixed with a lot of editorial opinion.  If you see a seemingly poignant headline that appears to come from something that resembles a news site but has ads like in the photo - you have been duped.  DO NOT share stories from clickbait websites.  You are NOT helping spread truth and you are NOT sharing "breaking news".  You are just making the owner of the website rich and making the public dumber than they already are.  Clickbait is a term describing web content that is aimed at generating online advertising revenue, especially at the expense of quality or accuracy, relying on sensational headlines (mostly political these days) and conspiracy theories to attract click-throughs and to encourage forwarding of the material over social media.  Clickbait headlines typically aim to exploit the "curiosity gap", providing just enough information to make the reader curious, but not enough to satisfy their curiosity without clicking through to the linked content (and ads like in the attached photo) - or just enough to pass in on without even researching it because they like they way it sounds.  When you do read the actual story, there is little substance to it and absolutely nothing that even comes close to verifying the "information".  If you get sucked in by a sensational headline to a site that has ads like these - you have just been clickbaited.  When you share these links, the collective IQ of the nation drops another notch. 87,96,75,0,B

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Two for the record books...

Yet another around the world record flight. SolarImpulse2 landed in Abu Dhabi yesterday afternoon. The plane left there March 9th. This was not one continuous flight. The plane made 12 stops over the past 5 months with total time in the air of about 600 hours and flying about 25,000 miles. It is powered solely by 17,000 solar panels set on its wings (which are wider than a Boeing 747’s) and fuselage. A 1,400 pound bank of lithium batteries provided power when the sun went down. The Solar Impulse project started in 2003 and also attained the record for the first solar powered plane to fly through the night and the first to fly between two continents.  But don't get too excited about flying solar anytime soon.  This "pilot project" can only carry one person and cost about $200 million over the past 13 years.  94,99,80,0,B

Monday, July 25, 2016

a busy night...

Apparently there was another jet buzzing the Bid Bend all night but I slept through it since my swamp cooler fan tends to drown out outside noise. My buddy Ronald heard it (but didn't see any lights) and sent me a message about it. Turns out it was a Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) - an airborne communications relay and gateway system. The plane is a USAF E-11A...a modified Bombardier Global Express 6000 that is a small jet that has incredible range. Last night's test flight originated near Orlando, Florida and ended at McAllen, Texas. The flight lasted almost 10 hours and he looped around the Big Bend at least 15 times from 10 PM until 4 AM.  99,102,82,0,B

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Pray for the nation...

I have some questions - the whole free will thing is a little confusing.  Does praying for the nation really help?  If our very own salvation is dependent on a personal relationship with Christ, is it possible to deliver others from evil with prayer when in fact they deny Christ?  If God grants all men free will, how can it be possible to turn a man from Satan if that is his choice?  Getting prayers answered is a tricky thing and it doesn't just happen automatically.  Several conditions must be met by even true believers in order to at least have their prayers heard...much less answered.  Do non believers "even have a prayer" when it comes to asking favors from God?  There is a lot in the bible about believers being given authority in Jesus' name to cast out demons.  That might work for the head spinning / soup spewing kind - but I am not so sure you can change a man's heart if it is against his will.  Does man have the power over others' free will when in fact God refrains from forcing the issue?

2 Chronicles 7:14  If (all) my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and (only then) will heal their land.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

One for the record books...

It has been a welcome distraction this week following the incredible personal achievement of Fedor Konyukhov over the senseless dribble that has most Facebookers have been frantically agonizing over.  (My term for people on Facebook that are distracted by nonsense and share useless information is FOOKERS)  Konyukhov easily earned the new world record for flying solo around the world in a balloon, landing just after 4:30 PM in Australia on July 23rd.  I actually stayed up until just after midnight last night just to watch him cross the finish line.  Here is my FOOKING analysis from this morning.
Amazingly - after flying over 21,000 miles around the world in 11 1/2 days, he passed the longitude of his starting point at 1:02 PM Australia time (12:02 AM our time) within one mile of where he lifted off and actually crossed the same airport runway he launched from. He maintained a high altitude over the finish line (18,625 ft) because you certainly don't want to land short after all that effort. He continued about 130 miles NE while descending and had a rough landing about 3 1/2 hours later.  Although the official time has not been announced yet - I calculate that he made the trip in 11 days, 5 hours, and 32 minutes blowing away the previous record set in 2002 by Steve Fossett of 13 days, 8 hours, and 33 minutes. Konyukhov is only the second man to successfully fly around the world solo in a balloon. Fossett self financed five failed attempts but got Bud Light to sponsor his sixth attempt when he became the first man to fly around the world solo in a balloon. He also bought a contingency insurance policy for $500,000 that would pay him $3 million if he succeeded in the flight (that sounds more like a bet than an insurance policy). It is reported that Konyukhov's record breaking attempt cost $2 million but I reckon not much if any of that came out of his pocket. The big Morton logo on the balloon is a hint. Morton is a leading Russian developer that specializes in constructing large-scale residential districts in and around Moscow and is one of the 3 largest companies in Russia in terms of construction volume.  91,102,79,0,B

Friday, July 22, 2016

extreme uv

Weather dot com added a new feature to their forecast...the UV index. 89,98,77,0,B

Thursday, July 21, 2016

angel in disguise...

Ran down to the Cottonwood store today for some weekend goodies and crossed paths for the first time since my accident with one of the EMT angels that came to my rescue.  Malynda Richardson was in charge of patching me up for transport - she was the one with the purple glove.  She had an interesting tidbit about the work they did on me.  She said ordinarily the procedure is to remove all foreign objects from a wound but when they tried to get a chunk of my sock out of my boo boo, I started to bleed quite a bit so they left it in.  It may very well have kept me from bleeding out before they even got to me.  Anyway - it was good to finally see her again under better circumstances so I could thank her.  We chatted about my accident at the store but then I decided I needed a photo so I drove over to their headquarters to get a quick picture with my tablet computer.  89.97,77,0,B

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

summer slump

Until I get motivated to get back to something FieldLabish...I'll just keep looking up.  Russian adventurist Fedor Konyukhov just passed the 3/4 mark in his world record attempt to circumnavigate the world in a Roziere balloon (an outer envelope of hot air combined with two interior bladders of helium).  Konyukhov just popped up again on FlightRadar24 this morning near Cape Town after crossing the South Atlantic. Although he is traveling at speeds up to 140mph, it feels calm to him since he is "blowing in the wind" - but it is chilly up there with daytime temperatures around 0° and nighttime temperatures going down to -18°.  With about 9,000 km to go, he might just shave a whole day off Fossett's record.  89,98,81,0,B

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

a last card...

My friends Robert and Mary came out today for a visit.  That is Chupa in Mary's lap but you can see Roberts legs in the reflection in her sunglasses.  They dropped off a birthday card for Ben.  He really liked it!  89,99,78,0,B

Monday, July 18, 2016

dizzy day

N787RR was busy today making 14 loops over TFL and the Big Bend (and Big Ben) this afternoon.

In other sky news, Russian adventurist Fedor Konyukhov is halfway through (and on track) for his world record attempt to circumnavigate the world in a balloon faster than Steve Fossett's record set in 2002 of 13 days, 8 hours, and 33 minutes.  91,100,79,0,B    

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Scientific hints?

The only way to know for sure is to accept Christ and experience the Holy Spirit.  A story link on Yahoo is probably not going to do it for you and most would still deny Him even if he walked up and slapped them in the face.  (BTW - it's not like you suddenly get super is much more subtle than that)

Saturday, July 16, 2016

card count

Here is the last round of the birthday cards for Big Ben...He got 26 total with one from the UK and one from Finland.  Thanks!  93,102,74,0,B

Friday, July 15, 2016

back to counting planes...

Been back online with my ADS-B receiver for 2 1/2 days now.  We shall see if I lose the other two ports on my router - it is placed with plenty of breathing room now and I have the backup router ready and waiting...just in case.  Today's tally so far from what I picked up from my humble little station maxed out at 30,296 pings yielding 4,336 positions on some of the 709 aircraft seen today from a maximum distance of 209 nautical miles (which is 240 miles to you and me).  90,102,80,0,B

Thursday, July 14, 2016

It's all about Big Ben

My buddy Jim Shirey just picked up Ben's birthday present in Dallas today.  Jim has been a frequent TFL visitor over the years and recently bought property near me.  He is a long haul trucker for Raider Express with his base of operations being out of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.  Last time he asked me if there was anything he could bring out when he comes in August, I really took advantage of the offer and suggested this item.  A deluxe scratching post for Big Ben. Benny is working on his carbon footprint by getting a re-purposed street sweeper brush to rub against (he produces about 100 kg of methane per year). FYI - most of the methane from a bovine comes from burps, not farts.  98,106,79,0,C

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

power path...

Got some overdue replacements today.  Two 100' contractor grade 10/3 gauge indoor/outdoor power cords.  Out of service are 3 very old (smaller gauge) 50' extension cords that have been out in the elements for 8 years.  The black electrical tape splices are due to the frequent longhorn visitors I used to have.  It was usually a calf that would chew a cord in two.  (Note: not a single electrocution.)  95,104,79,0,B  

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

modem magic

Tried out the two recently purchased routers today and couldn't get either of them to talk to my ISP.  Exact same make and model but there is some software mojo in there somewhere that won't allow a handshake.  Late in the day I took a look at the doppler radar and saw a storm heading south in my direction so I shot to town to grab a few essentials.  Just happened to catch our Big Bend Telephone tech guy Danny at the motor inn.  I asked him about the issue and all he would give up is that the only routers that work with their system are the ones that are sold by them.  I know he is holding back some information but he is a great guy and I can't fault him for being loyal to the company that has been very good to him.  I can't really fault Big Bend Telephone either since they are the only real game in town.  But there has to be a fairly simple work-around for this so I will keep looking.  Where is a good hacker when you need one?  In the meantime, I got another router from him so I have a backup in case I lose the other 2 LAN ports.  They are $65 now from BBT - they aren't so generous anymore.  They have replaced 2 modems for free since I first moved here so I guess I am still ahead in the game.  My free FlightRadar24 reciever has been offline for over a week and I need to start sending data again soon.  Got home just before TFL got hammered with a quick downpour.  94,106,84, .14",C

Monday, July 11, 2016

a very bad battery indeed...

Just as I suspected...there is a dud in the mix.  I had a feeling it was this battery because it had gotten a little low on water a couple of months ago - I topped it off and it seemed to be OK for awhile but I reckon the damage was done.  Unlike the other 3 batteries it was also bubbling away and warm to the touch - NOT a good sign.  The others all checked out at 12.7 volts.  Lost this one after only two and a half years of service.  This particular battery model (Duralast/Marine 29DP-DL) has gotten some bad reviews but I thought I would try them anyway.  Could very well be that I lost this one only due to carelessness.  I will buy one more of these (on sale for $120 at AutoZone) but if I get another dud in the next year I will go a different route.  Not a great idea to add a new battery to a 2 1/2 year old bank but I will give it a shot.  Until the next battery bites the dust, I will check the water levels monthly from now on instead of every 6 months.  (FYI - I got almost 6 years out of my first set of golf cart batteries.)  99,106,82,0,B  

Sunday, July 10, 2016


Let's vilify the rich some more and perhaps attack a Christian at the same time.  Yes he could have.  But how is a homeless person going to be able to afford taxes and insurance on 2 houses and a car?  Or...He could open Ark Encounter and generate millions in sales tax revenue for the state to help fund their social welfare programs.  And if you have read that this project is subsidized by tax payers - you are correct (barely) the tune of $18 million in sales tax rebates once they open.  After that, it is all gravy for the state.  FYI - Sales tax rebate programs generally give back up to 25% of investment and are allowed for any tourist attraction regardless of religious affiliation but only granted when there is a guaranteed return on the investment.  Ark Encounter features a full-size Noah's Ark built according to the dimensions given in the Bible.  If it wasn't a Christian thing, and was played up in the media the right way - everyone would want to see an engineering marvel like this.  Disneyland certainly attracts a big crowd.  98,102,72,0,B  

Saturday, July 9, 2016

I think I got a dud...

Been running one of my Frankenstein systems pretty hard and fast the last month along with quite a few spotty solar days.  This is my experiment with deep cycle marine batteries from AutoZone.  Suddenly found a dramatic decline in the bank's ability to hold a charge overnight.  Pretty sure I got a dud in the mix.  A battery bank is only as good as it's weakest teller.  Will check them all tomorrow afternoon after they get a good gulp of juice from our first full day of sun in awhile.  90,98,75,0,B

Friday, July 8, 2016

gone soft in my old age...

For the past 6 days it has been 100+ during the day.  I still have yet to add the 400 watts of panels I got last year to my system so I am running my AC from 6 to 8:30 PM off my generator (just like a tourist!).  This week it has been hitting 89° inside by 6PM.  One and a half gallons of gas per day is a small price to pay for a little cool at the end of the day.  By the time I shut if off - Pepino can take up the slack for the rest of the night.  93,104,78, .64",C  UPDATE:  Got hammered with over a half inch of rain from 7:30 to 8:00.  Chupa got a shower.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

dish network II

Sometime ya just gotta move on.  I was gifted a satellite dish almost 5 years ago and it has sat quietly waiting for something to happen. It has only been moved once in all that time.  Traded it today for some work from newcomer Tim Rainwater.  Hopefully he will make good use of it...I had my chance.  95,105,82,0,B

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

It's ruminantary...

Ben and Javier are officially friends now.  

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

hot router?

So I get an email Saturday afternoon from FlightRadar24 that my receiver is offline.  I think it must be a heat issue with my router from Big Bend Telephone.  I had my computer plugged into the LAN1 port and the receiver in the LAN2 port.  At first I just lost function from the LAN2 port then by Sunday night I lost function of the LAN1 port.  On Monday I plugged the computer into LAN3 and the receiver into LAN4 and was back in business and had the receiver back online for a brief time.  I decided to shut down and unplug the receiver before I ended up frying my remaining two ports in case that really is the issue.  Before I go through the customer service hassle with Big Bend Telephone, I am going to try out a "new" router.  Since this brand is the only one that works with my service, I ordered two "lightly used" ones off Ebay for $25 including shipping.  In the meantime I am rerouting all my wires (a bit of a nightmare) so I can position the equipment in a "cool friendly" spot in the hut.  95,106,78,0,B

Monday, July 4, 2016


Warning:  Before you get your panties in a knot over this - read it and think about it first.  I posted this on Facebook today and within minutes I was unfriended by yet another bleeding heart liberal.  This isn't about whether or not this country deserves a celebration.  This is an opinion about why most people celebrate it even knowing what they do.  Constantly complaining about how bad America has become -  until it's time for a party.  The list of bitch examples is not necessarily all my own but a good sampling of what I see on social media every day.  If all this is true then what are we really celebrating?  Lost potential?  Now go git yer daddy a beer!

"Seriously? You spend 364 days a year bitching about how F'd up this country is with a history of conquest, slavery, oppression, and discrimination - and institutionalized indoctrination disguised as education, a failed healthcare system, abortion, chemtrails, fluoride, false flags, guns, terrorists, global warming, corporate greed, inequality, immigration, political agendas, fighting and dying in wars that have nothing to do with our freedom, and control by the elite in government slowly eroding our civil liberties...and suddenly your misplaced patriotism surfaces for one day and you get all warm and fuzzy. Do you really love your country or is the 4th of July really just a day off from a job you hate but have to do in order to pay the interest on all the debt you owe for stuff you really didn't need but had to have yet couldn't afford? Is it just another excuse to get drunk enough to blur the perception of your reality - and little else? So let's party like it's 1776 and go back to being pissed off tomorrow about how far we have fallen since the Declaration of Independence. Happy 4th!"

Message from my new unfriend:  "You really have become quite a negative Facebook presence- constant ranting. Sorry you are so angry but I'm gonna have to bid you adios because while I am happy to discuss differences of opinion in a civil manner seeing incredibly angry rants is just not something I enjoy or appreciate. May you find peace and an escape from your own anger."

Sorry to rain on your parade...but this is the kind of world we live in.  As far as countries go - the US is a pretty good place to be but nowhere near what our forefathers invisioned and falling further away from their original intentions.  And for anyone who suggests, "If it's so bad here, why don't you go somewhere else?"  You obviously don't realize that unless you are an illegal immigrant coming into the US, moving to a foreign country permanantly is very difficult to do.  93,102,76,0,C

Sunday, July 3, 2016


Facebook has been alive this week with tributes to Elie Wiesel, the celebrity holocaust survivor who is the populist inspiration behind the notion of "never forget".  The Nazi regime was responsible for the deaths of about 6 million Jews over a 12 year period.  The world kills 50,000,000 babies every year in abortion clinics today. The question is...why is the "right to choose" any different than Hitler's was?

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Gloomy in Alpine

Supply run to the big city.  Big storms all around the area up north.  Always a welcome sight on the way home when I see sunshine at TFL from 35 miles away.  90,98,72, .20",C

Friday, July 1, 2016

4 years old

Ben had a good birthday.  18 cards in the mail from all over the country and one from England - over 100 messages on Facebook - and his first card of the day was a personal delivery from my neighbor James Beach.  66 1/4" tip to tip now.  90,99,75,0,C