Category Archives: Outdoors

Eddie’s amazing Rocket Heater

The Cantina area of Eddie's and Val's home is just under 1000 square feet, uninsulated mostly.  The wooden doors open to a patio and you can see daylight through them.

The Cantina area of Eddie’s and Val’s home is just under 1000 square feet, uninsulated mostly. The wooden doors open to a patio and you can see daylight through them.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Last year when I visited here Eddie and Val were heating The Cantina with a fireplace and a propane heater kicking in when things became uncomfortably cool.  He was troubling himself about the price of having Mesquite firewood hauled here.

http://sofarfromheaven.com/2012/12/21/la-cantina/

This year it’s an entirely different matter.  During the summer months Eddie researched the rocket stoves being utilized in 3rd world countries, turning out an amazing amount of heat on a few twigs.  Finally, he altered the designs somewhat and built one from a scrap pressure tank for his well, mortar-mix Vermiculite for the heat concentration, and a small firebox constructed from stovepipe.

The fuel?  Free pallets from the local businesses.

Total firewood requirement to keep the Cantina warm for the coldest week thus far in 2013?  Three pallets.

Total firewood requirement to keep the Cantina warm for the coldest week thus far in 2013? Three pallets.

This past week was the test.  Temperatures below freezing for a week.  The Cantina was toasty all week, and all week long they awoke to comparative warmth in the Cantina despite the fire having been out for hours.

That perpendicular piece of stovepipe is the firebox.  Eddie's redesigning it somewhat to make for easier cleaning.

That perpendicular piece of stovepipe is the firebox. Eddie’s redesigning it somewhat to make for easier cleaning.

The exterior appears fairly commonplace.  It’s inside where the Secrets of fuel economy reside.

rocket heater under construction2

What appears to be concrete is a hardened mixture of mortar mix, vermiculite, and stovepipe ….. wood ash mixed with the mortar/vermiculite to provide stability when the pipe melts or rots from the center.

Old Jules

Japanese whale hunting, seaweed, salmon and next year’s Toyotas

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.  Toward the bottom of this post you’ll find my favorite quote for 2013:  Salmon News:  “We think something happened in the ocean.”

The good news is the Japanese are still eating whales, even though you could light up Tokyo with the radiation in a whale liver.  Seaweed, too, they’re still eating. 

[This sushi thing's something I'm going to miss.  Used to always look forward to going to Tao Lyn Oriental Market in Albuquerque and buying packets of seaweed and sushi ingredients.  That's probably something I won't be doing again.]

The bad news is that the Japanese will likely pass up the rest of the human species in the race to the next evolutionary step.  Possible good news is they’ll devote that extra intelligence in the second head to actually improving Toyotas into the next evolutionary level.

http://factsanddetails.com/japan.php?itemid=879

[Nice pic of a half-butchered red whale]

http://factsanddetails.com/media/2/20090819-Ray%20Kinnane%2030257371_redwhale.jpg

 

Love of Whale Meat in Japan

Home > Japan > 05Animals…

WHALES, WHALE MEAT, SCIENTIFIC WHALING, WHALE HUNTS AND JAPAN

Many Japanese, especially older and middle-ages ones enjoy eating whale meat. It is sauteed, roasted and eaten raw. Japanese say it tastes more like beef than fish. Whale bacon sells for as much as $180 a pound at gourmet food shops and dishes made with whale go for as much as $100 a plate at restaurants.

[Nice pic of a Japanese Whale Hamburger - tastes just like pork or chicken]

http://factsanddetails.com/media/2/20090819-minke%20whale%20bruger%20at%20hakodate%20restuarants%20BBC%20_40657000_ap_burger203.jpg
 Whale meat is dark red and doesn’t look at like fish meat. Japanese consider blue, fin and sei whales to be the most delicious. Sperm whales aren’t regarded as very tasty. Humpback meat isn’t considered that good but the organs are palatable. Japanese generally like minke whales less than other species because they are small and don’t contain much fat, which is what the Japanese love. Meat from minke whales is the easiest to get today. Before the 1987 ban on whaling the Japanese didn’t even hunt them.
 Whale meat in Japan has traditionally made into stews with soy sauce and spinach. These stews are now made with beef or pork. In the whaling town of Wadamachi in Chiba you can get whale steaks, whale jerky, carved whale-tooth jewelry and even a one-meter-long decorated whale penis. Some towns sell whale nose cartilage pickled in sake in cans with a spouting whale. Those who have tried it said the cartilage has a crispy texture and a pungent taste.
 Taruichi, a Tokyo restaurant that specializes in whale meat, offers 36 choices: fried whale, whale bacon, whale heart, whale testicles, whale kidney and even ice cream made with whale fat. Boiled tongue is said to be particularly delicious. At whale restaurants in Shimonoseki you can get fried whale tail, grilled whale tongue wafers, boiled blubber and whale sashimi. In some places you can get sliced whale skin and whale burgers made with fried minke whale.
 Whale meat distributors claim that whale meat is high in protein and low in calories and have alleviated the problem of toughness associated with whale meat through improved freezing techniques. The tail meat sells for as much $70 a pound and is prized for whale sashimi. which is eaten with grated garlic or ginger to mask the odor. The health benefits of whale meat is a matter of some debate. On study found that Japanese in Wakayama Prefecture that eat pilot whale have high levels of mercury in their hair.

Meanwhile, this for you sushi lovers:

Southern California seaweed tests over 500 percent higher for radioactive iodine-131 than anywhere else in US
Thursday, July 12, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: seaweed, California, radiation

http://www.naturalnews.com/036449_seaweed_California_radiation.html
 

And this for you salmon lovers:

Salmon News:  “We think something happened in the ocean.”
http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2013/08/424670.shtml

Sockeye salmon at dire historic low on Canada’s Pacific coast — “We think something happened in the ocean” — “The elders have never seen anything like this at all” — Alaska and Russia also affected

Aboriginal people in British Columbia who rely on Skeena River sockeye are facing some extremely difficult decisions as sockeye salmon returns plunge to historic lows. Lake Babine Chief Wilf Adam was on his way to Smithers, B.C., on Monday for a discussion about whether to entirely shut down the food fishery on Lake Babine, something he said would be drastic and unprecedented.

Mel Kotyk, North Coast area director for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said department scientists don’t know why the return numbers are so low. “[...] we think something happened in the ocean.”

“We’ve never seen anything like this in all these years I’ve done this. I’ve asked the elders and they have never seen anything like this at all.” said Chief Wilf Adam
These stories were posted up on enenews. This suggests a possible explanation is radiation from Fukushima. That is speculation at this point. It could also be climate change related.

In 2011, Arnie Gundersen, nuclear expert from Fairewinds said this: “So eventually though we are going to see top of the food chain animals like tuna and salmon and things like that that have this process bio accumulates. The bigger fish gradually get higher and higher concentrations. And I am concerned that the FDA is not monitoring fish entering the United States because sooner or later a tuna is going to set off a radiation alarm at some part and people are going to think it’s a dirty bomb or something like that. So that’s not here yet because the tuna haven’t migrated across the Pacific. But I am thinking by 2013 we might see contamination of the water and of the top of the food chain fishes on the West Coast.”

!n July 2012 Gundersen said this: “The federal and even state agencies are not measuring this… I’ve been working on the West Coast and I’ve been trying to get the people of Oregon to demand of their state, the people of Alaska to demand of their state: Check the salmon, it is not difficult, it’s on the order of $500 a fish. Of course you don’t have to test every fish, but let’s test a couple and see. Either alleviate the fear or announce that yes indeed they are radioactive.”

For now I’m thinking the seafood flavored cat food’s still safe provided it comes in half-inch thick lead cans.

Old Jules

Running from the law: The Great Cockfight Bust, or The Great C*ckfight Bust

El Palenque2

Hi readers.   Thanks for coming by for a read.  Those of you who have any morals and are offended by the alternative name for the male chicken will be soothed to see I’ve name this twice to avoid criticism.

Must have been 1996, 1997, I was living in Socorro, NM, and I got wind there was a major cock [c*ck] fight going to happen Saturday night.  They happened a few times a month in that area, and though official NM law allowed it as a local option at the time, murmurings in the State House rumored it was going to be prohibited soon.  They’d raided a couple of them in counties where the local option had people thinking it was legal.

Anyway, Saturday night I was at loose ends so I headed out to put hero roosters into my body of life experience.  The place was a mile beyond a gate and down a dirt road into the Rio Grande bosque.  The salt cedars opened up to a large cleared area of several acres with a large metal building toward the back.  Room to park 200 vehicles or more.

I got there early to look things over, still some daylight.  Maybe 20-30 cars and pickups in the lot, guys hanging around talking and smoking outside.  Moseyed into the barn, looked over the seating arrangements, looked a lot like an auction barn for livestock.  But with a cage blocked off in the center for the fighters and their handlers.

Nobody was in a hurry to go inside because it was hot in that barn.  I decided it would be hotter when the place filled up, so I staked a standing-up claim against the support for a tall sliding metal door at the back. 

When the place filled it was noisy, it was hot, and things were happening fast.  Bets, chickens, arms waving and yelling, every reason to be enamored of my place at the door.

But toward the shank of the evening a horn honked out in the parking lot and someone yelled, “Raid!  Cops!”  Sirens blaring, suddenly everyone inside stampeding for the doors.  I ran to the corner of the building and saw the parking lot was filled with flashing lightbars, half-dozen, maybe a dozen police cars.  Sheeze.  This is bullshit!  Guys running out toward their cars getting snagged by the cops.

So I ran like hell out into the bosque dodging salt cedars, rattlers, just put as much distance between myself and that barn as I could manage.  When I went knee deep in mud I knew I wasn’t going any further.  The Rio Grande was right in here somewhere close.

I tucked myself in next to a dead tree in a thicket of salt cedar and watched the lights through the trees, listened to the angry yells of men being arrested, watched the lights threading through the cedars chasing people trying to get away too late.  Waited, waited, felt ticks crawling all over me, found myself wondering about the rattlers, waited, more ticks, waited.

Gradually things calmed down, engines started, gradually the sirens stopped.  Things got really quiet.  But no way I was about to be fooled by that crap.  Full dark, I waited, listened.  Ticks by the hundreds crawling around on me.  Waited, caught myself dozing, jerked myself awake and waited some more.

Finally Old Sol began crawling in, me praying him up.  Still quiet except for the sounds of the morning birds and water rustling down the channel.  I carefully, carefully began working my way through the salt cedars toward the parking area.

I squatted and watched peeking out there as light filled the parking area.  There it was.  My old Mitzubishi Montero and a scattering of other vehicles.  Sitting there trying to lure me to jail.  I scratched and watched.

Finally a guy came creeping out of the bosque maybe 50 yards away, creeping toward a pickup the other side of the Montero.   Heeheehee.  Bait.  Now we’ll see where the law’s hiding.  Glad it ain’t me!

He seemed surprised.  Got into his truck, started it, no sign of the fuzz.  Spun around and vanished in a trail of dust back toward the pavement.

Hmmmm.  Hokay.  I stood up straight, Tried to act like I was just a normal guy coming out of those salt cedars.  Wandered over to the Montero and watched a dozen other guys coming out of the trees.  Cranked up the Mitzubishi and tooled home free as a bird.

The paper was full of it, the Socorro Chieftain, the Albuquerque Journal.  Printed the names of all those guys who got busted.

Served them right, too, going out there watching c*ckfights.

If people don’t have ethics and morals enough to stay away from places like that they need to be in jail.

Old Jules

Hey! Lookee here! Manmade climate change! Ohshitodear!

Prosecutor:  Your honor, members of the jury, we have a guy with an IQ here.  An expert witness.  He knows all kinds of things about climate change.  After I ask him a few questions you jury members will be asked to decide whether climate change is guilty of being man made and what everyone ought to have to do to keep it from happening.  Professor Honest-to-Goodness, have you compiled data and examined it enough to form an opinion that climate change is happening?

Honest-to-goodness no-shit scientist:  Yes.  Climate change appears to be happening.

Prosecutor:  Have you created any hypothesis to explain why this might be happening?

Honest-to-goodness no-shit scientist:  Of course I have.  Hundreds, thousands of hypotheses are possible to explain ever piece of that data leading me to conclude climate change is happening.

Prosecutor:  Have you tested those hypotheses?

Honest-to-goodness no-shit scientist:  Um, well, I’ve tested one of them.  It would take forever to test all of them, and every time one’s tested the additional data the testing provides brings in more hypotheses to explain the data.

Prosecutor:  And did you reach any conclusions from the hypothesis you tested.

Honest-to-goodness no-shit scientist:  Well, it’s entirely possible man is contributing to the current climate changes, though it’s not absolutely certain what those climate changes actually are.  Climate change isn’t fully understood at this time.

Prosecutor:  Ah ha.  So your test of the hypothesis did show beyond a reasonable doubt that climate change is happening?  And a preponderance of the part of the evidence you believe you understand supports the hypothesis might be contributing to that climate change? 

Honest-to-goodness no-shit scientist:  Um.  There’s a strong possibility that might explain the parts we do understand about it.

Prosecutor:  Thank you Professor Honest-to-goodness no-shit scientist.  Your honor, members of the jury, I rest my case.  What we have here is prima faci evidence man is contributing to devastating climate change.  I suggest we dismiss this expert and call in some social engineers to recommend the appropriate penalties we can’t enforce in order to make the weather better.

Judge:  Members of the jury, you’ve heard the evidence.  Now I instruct you to go to the jury room and decide the case based only on the evidence before you.  Decide whether we have a preponderance of evidence [somewhat bad], or beyond a reasonable doubt [a lot worse].  Afterward you’ll all be asked to give television interviews explaining how you arrived at your verdict.

Old Jules

Outlawry and the metaphysics of Quality – Zen, Persig et al

tabby thinking it over 2

Tabby:  So what does all this airplane talk have to do with the metaphysics of  quality?

Me:  Giving ourselves quality in life comes in a lot of forms, but each trail we take leading there relies on our personal determination to define what we believe is quality.  Although it’s remotely possible some larger social or governmental entity will offer the opportunities, it’s no priority with them.  They’re concerned with something they define as ‘the greater good’.  Keeping people on the sidewalks, off the grass.  If a person sees the need to walk on the grass, to lie on it, to find the quality in it, he’s going to have to find a way to get there without going to jail.  You have to find awareness of the grass, and you can’t be aware of it until you’ve experienced it.

Tabby:  But at least they’re keeping the dogs from crapping on the grass..

Me:  That’s right.  And if you’re planning to crap on it you’d destroy the quality you hoped to find there.  But if you allow the fact someone in control is afraid you’ll crap on the grass to keep you off it so’s to make sure you don’t you’ve lost a chunk of life you’ll never recover.  A piece of the quality of living gone because someone else might have violated it if they’d gone there.

Tabby:  People can’t see the damned grass anyway, right?  They walk right past it without seeing anything.

Me:  Mostly they don’t see it because they‘re somewhere else.  They‘re thinking about something they think is in the future, where they‘re having lunch, or something someone said an hour ago.  They’re walking past that grass and have a vague intellectual awareness the grass is there, but that’s only half of where quality lives.  The flash of instant ‘seeing’ it before the mind has time to intellectually define what it’s seeing is where quality hides.  And because they don’t experience the quality of the grass they have no respect for it.  They’re minds assign it no value.  They take a rhetorical crap on the grass without ever knowing they’ve done it.

Tabby:  So that’s why the people posting the signs want to keep them off the grass?  So they won’t take a rhetorical crap on it as they go by?

Me:  No.  The people posting the signs think they’re doing it to protect the grass for the ‘greater good’ of all those people and dogs going by who won’t see it.  Sign posters couldn’t care less about what people experience as they go by.  They think it’s the separation between the people and dogs, and the grass that’s important.

Tabby:  I’m glad they do it, anyway.  I hate eating grass after a dog’s peed or crapped on it. 

Me:  But you can’t taste it until you get past the signs.

Old Jules

Old Sol’s Flipping Magnetic Field Crisis

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by.

The Sun’s Magnetic Field is about to Flip

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/05aug_fieldflip/

http://science.nasa.gov/media/medialibrary/2013/08/06/splash3.jpg

So here we are again, human beings screwing things up from hell to breakfast in the solar system.  Back a few decades ago before anyone had ever noticed the polarity of the sun reverses itself every eleven years [it's assumed, because we donealready saw it happen three times already] nobody realized how badly human beings were messing things up.

This polarity reversal seems to correspond to Jupiter being at a particular place in its orbit, similar to the sun spot cycle doing it roughly then, also.  Pure coincidence.

The reality is that human beings are creating too much various stuff in their lifestyles and some laws are going to have to be passed to keep this sort of thing from happening.  Won’t be anytime at all before the academians calling themselves scientists will be lining up for grants to study it all and make recommendations about what laws need passing.

Because those solar reversals are just another sign that man needs to mend his ways.

I consulted Old Sol about it while we were praying him up this morning, but He seemed to have a cold, runny nose or some such thing.  Kept sort of sneezing I reckons, making funny noises.

Guess he didn’t want to talk about it.  Probably something personal.

Old Jules

Tranquility Island, Kerrville, Texas – “Eh, Grasshopper:”

Tranquility Island Kerrville Texas

“Yes, Sensei?”

Old Jules

Teetering on the brink of a Christian Era here

Hi readers.

Whoopteeedoo!  Something finally worked as planned.

Escape route 2.51 storage

It’s been troubling my mind for some while, that huge storage box I couldn’t access because the ladder was wokkyjaw damaged, one leg at the top swinging loose, kinks and bends, supports pulled through the RV skin.  Not one thing about it caused a man to wish to climb it.

RV ladder repair 5

I worked most of the day crossing my fingers and knocking on wood as I went.  Cut about three inches out of the section toward the top, slid an undersized piece of tubing inside and spliced it together. 

RV ladder repair 3

That allowed the end that’s supposed to  connect on the roof to come down enough to touch, anyway.  There was a piece of rusted 1/8 inch steel rod, threaded, sticking out of the roof.  Supposed to go inside the ladder connected somehow, I reckons.

RV ladder repair 4

Couldn’t think of any meaningful way to replace it, so I whittled down a piece of broom handle to fit inside the tubing, drilled a 1/16th inch hole lengthwise through it and gorilla-glued the hell out of it.

RV ladder repair 6

Couldn’t think of much anything to do with the tools at hand about that kink, so I just hose-clamped a step on top of it.

RV ladder repair storage2

Now that I can get to it, that box is going to carry a sleeping bag, coleman stove, small tent, pick and shovel, gold pans and classifier, backpack and a number of other essentials I’d been gnashing my teeth wondering how to carry along.

Life wasn’t bad yesterday, but it’s better today.

Old Jules

1965 Time Machine – The Cat-People Vote

Hydrox:  Don’t even think about this Edgewood, New Dawn crap. 

Me:  What?  You cat-people don’t like the mountains?

Hydrox:  We cat-people don’t like anachronisms.  We don’t trust them.  They let their dogs run loose.  They lie around smoking dope waiting for the uniforms to show up and confiscate everything, haul everyone off to the slammer.

Me:  We’re talking about the EAST mountains, Hydrox.  If they’re paying off the right people it doesn’t matter what they’re doing out there.  Besides, they’re looking for people willing to work.

Hydrox:  Yeah, but work doing what?  Breaking Ephedrin caps out of packages?  Stirring up the mix to dissolve it?  Watching the acetone mist boil over the sides?  Watching the crystal iodine vapor turn your whiskers purple?

Me:  No, Hydrox.  You’ve got it all wrong.  These people are into sweetness and light.  Harmonizing with nature.  Working to build a new world.  A community.

Hydrox:  I’m betting pit bulls checking the fenceline and a National Guard Armory in the barn.

Me:  I don’t know how you got so cynical. 

Hydrox:  I was living with you 2002, 2003, 2004.  So was Niaid.  Those East Mountainers made an impression old cats aren’t likely to forget.

Me:  You’re too suspicious.    Free place to park the RV, mountains, pinons and pines.  Idealistic young people.

Hydrox:  If your good sense about the rest didn’t raise your hackles enough to tell you it’s a snakepit, the idealistic young people ought to do the job.

Me:  Hmmmm.  Yeah, idealistic young people’s where you make your strongest point.  Actually they probably do have a meth lab out there.   Or will have.  How the hell could they not? 

Hydrox:  Pit bulls running around loose looking for a free lunch. 

Me:  So you’re thinking Gila?  Mimbres? 

Hydrox:  I’m thinking anywhere but the East Mountains.  Mosquero if it comes to it.  Albuquerque’s a nice place to visit.  Wouldn’t mind seeing Amy again, see how those two Chinese girls she adopted are growing up.  But you’re too old and we cats are too old to be getting involved with East Mountain people.

Me:  I hate to see you generalizing, stereotyping. 

Hydrox:  I hate to see you not using that big brain you’re stuck with.  Hell, if it weren’t for us cats you’d probably be living under a bridge.

Me:  [Sigh] I’ve got you, babe. 

Old Jules

Learning debts incurred Universe-wise

Hi readers. Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

I’ve been asking a lot of questions lately, learning a lot, some of which might be false, but I learned it anyway. Now that I’ve blown out enough tires on two different RVs to satisfy my curiosity I’m willing to try to apply some of it. Even though it robs my macho because of not knowing it before when I knew all manner of things.

First off, there’s the thing about tires. They ain’t as good as they used to be. Old guy behind the counter at the tire store and I conversed about it a while when we shared mutual memories of having bought junkyard tires and run them until they were down to the threads. Lots of them, and neither of us remembered much in the way of blowouts.

But now the DOT mandates they date those tires. And as a consequence, he opines they blow just about when the DOT predicted they would. The DOT gave the tire industry a leg up against criticism by providing them an “I told you so!” escape and they made great engineering use of it. Supposition, but possumly true.

Secondly, another old guy pointed out all the tires I’ve blown were right-rear dooleys. Beginning with inside ones. He opined that what I’m doing is running with that right rear wheel too near the pavement edge, maybe off it, forcing the inside-rear tire to carry all the weight. Which makes a hell of a lot of sense.

I’d been mulling over the fact every blowout I’ve had happened on highway RR479 north bound and wondering at the coincidence. It’s a fairly good Texas Ranch Road with a lot of hills and curves. Might just be I’ve been letting it drift, one wheel off the pavement instead of hugging the centerline.

Thirdly, I’ve also satisfied my curiosity about whether I’m interested in arm-wrestling lug nuts put on with impact drivers. Even with a 5 foot cheater, even with a T-bar after they’re loose, I was having to take breaks between lugs. And after I put them back on and tightened them, I’d stop a few miles down the road to check, they’d always be loose enough to require a little more tight with the bar. Half-dozen times between here and Kerrville. If an impact tool’s able to take care of just that problem of reality and confidence, it’s worth the price of admission.

[Debating with myself here, can't recall whether 4th is spelled, Fourth, or Forth - what-the-hell]

Next: Careful examination of the half-inch drive corded hammer-drill suggests it might function as an impact tool, but it’s going to need a half-inch adapter between the drill-chuck and male socket whatchallit. If it works it’s going to be a lot cheaper than an off the shelf impact tool, and it doesn’t have a battery to go kerplunk.

Next: That trim above the right-rear wheel well [see pic] was destroyed when the tire blew. No way that piece of trim is going to jump out of the Universe at me to be replaced, so I’m going to have to find a way to innovate. Not entirely for aesthetics, but some places are pickypickypicky wanting to see pics of the rig before they’ll consider a person who wants to clean up their trash, mow their grass, listen to complaints of RV owners. In exchange for a pad with hookups, etc.

Last, I’ve been troubled because my ALT gauge doesn’t tell me squat about whether the alternator’s working or not. Couldn’t figure why. A guy on one of the vintage RV groups answered my question about it by telling me he had the same problem. Bought a cheap digital gadget plugs into the lighter socket. I got one yesterday and hot diggety damn. Yes, HOT diggety damn! You heard me right.

But I’ve digressed. The crux of it all is that, after having been provided all this new stuff to learn, I have to live long enough to use it, damn me if I don’t. Got myself a karmic debt on my Credit Card with an obligation I might carry spang into my next lifetime if I kick before using it.

So now, instead of just having to live long enough to pay back Keith and Rich for the lifesaving loans to get the RVs, instead of just having to outlive the damned cats, I’ve got to spend the remainder of my life changing blown tires and unscrewing pesky lug nuts.

Sheeze.

Old Jules