Monthly Archives: December 2013

Cheating the landfills

Computer karma

Hi readers:

Thanks for coming by for a read.

My life’s blessed at the moment having my bud, Eddie, available to kick around finding fixes for the unfixable. In this instance, all that broken plumbing and wastewater damage blowing the tires did on the RV. That stuff’s made of a material monikered, ABS, which was never intended to be repaired. Plastics, nylon, nothing much easily available attaches to it and the hardware stores don’t carry anything much in the plumbing department made of ABS.

But ABS does attach nicely to other ABS if a person can find some.

Eddie did some web searches to find out what products might be made of ABS to be ravaged for the purposes of converting them to RV wastewater heaven. One turned out to be old computer monitors.  So he dug around until he found one.

Yesterday we examined the old monitor to make certain the flat area on the side would be large enough to make a patch to cover the hole broken in the greywater tank on the RV.  Then we took a waste piece of RV broken plumbing pipe, scarified it, scarified the potential monitor, and doctored both with purple ABS goo cement.

Voila!   Yes.  You heard me right.  Voila.

That flat surface on the side of that monitor’s going to RV wastewater heaven, holding back the forces of darkness, undergoing reincarnation, likely providing a whole new US cottage industry in the future.

Damned monitors all over the US now have something to aspire to.

Old Jules

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4-5 amp solar collector for recharging batteries

Hi readers:

Eddie’s made me another generous offer of a solar collector he had lying around, complete with controller.

solar collector

solar collector controller

controller

I have a smaller one back at Gale’s, but I think I’ll be able to just add the wires to those going into the controller.

MIA – Permanent Mouse Patrol – Niaid

Missing a couple of  days now.  Hopefully she's just on an extended adventure, but she's got Hydrox and me missing her a lot.  Last time I saw her, night-before-last I was noticing she was losing a lot of weight, skin and bones under all that fur.  But she rested on my chest purring and demanding affection an hour-or-so during the night, ate heartily, drank a lot of water. Not a bad final approach to the active runway out of here.  Jack

Missing a couple of days now. Hopefully she’s just on an extended adventure, but she’s got Hydrox and me missing her a lot. Last time I saw her, night-before-last I was noticing she was losing a lot of weight, skin and bones under all that fur. But she rested on my chest purring and demanding affection an hour-or-so during the night, ate heartily, drank a lot of water.
Not a bad final approach to the active runway out of here. Jack

The Cat in the Wood – Archibald MacLeish

The cat in the wood cried farewell cried farewell
Farther and farther away and the leaves
Covered her over with the sound of the leaves
And the sound of the wood O my love O my love
Farther and farther away and the sound
Of leaves overhead when I call to you
Leaves on the ground.

Socorro, NM, 1996 - 1997 On loan from Mel to provide company for Hydrox, her litter-mate.  Beginning the long road home.

Socorro, NM, 1996 – 1997 On loan from Mel to provide company for Hydrox, her litter-mate. Beginning the long road home.

Naiad sunset placitas

A morning on the VA medical launchpad

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I don’t know a lot more about my health this afternoon than I knew when I awakened this morning, but I know a good deal more about other interesting matters than I once did.  Went through the television interview with some people somewhere else asking about various health issues.  This evidently resulted in checkmarks going to a file telling them what testing to do afterward in the lab.

Judging from the tests the interviewers weren’t discounting a hyperfunctioning thyroid, though they  were closed-mouth about any opinions they formed during the interview.  They did hint at the possibility I might want to take it easy and not do anything particular until I’ve seen the doctor on the 20th of December.

But hanging around that waiting area was worth the price of admission.  Discovered what a huge percentage of the circa 1965-1975 US Army, AF, Navy and Marine Corps who end up getting health treatment from the VA have discovered they were point-men infantrymen, snipers, and other non-company clerk in Danang, personnel or supply clerk, cooks, or motorpool monkeys in Siagon [folks comprising 90+ percent of the Vietnam jobs of the time].

Which is to say, when you’re an old bastard and find your life hasn’t been sufficiently interesting, you can sit in the waiting room at the VA and blow smoke up the asses of a lot of other old guys.  And if you do, some others will crawl out of the wood work to provide an atmosphere of reciprocity and mutual ex post facto revisions of history.  I’ve got a feeling the non-vet practice promiscuously using phrases such as, ‘fought for our freedoms,’ or ‘fought in Vietnam’  brings the incentive.  If you were in Vietnam and never heard a shot fired in anger along with almost everyone else in Vietnam, how do you reconcile it with someone accusing you of ‘fighting for our freedoms?’  Or, ‘fought in Vietnam’?

Lordee what a needy bunch of sons of bitches we Americans are in our dotage.

Old Jules’

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.

https://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

El Cheapo Movie Day

Hi readers.

The cats and I watched the Royal Geographic Society 1953 production, the Conquest of Mount Everest.  Not too bad, though it was all stuff from the actual expedition instead of some story and acters to pretend they were Bill and Hillary.

Fact is I never realized before that Bill and Hillary were the first conquerers of Mount Everest.  Never knew the Royal Geographic Society sponsored them to hire about a hundred Mexicans fromn Nepal to tote all their equipment into those mountains, along with various white men to take care of matters inevitable involving intellect the Mexicans from Nepal weren’t equipped to deal with.

Anyway, it was informative, educational and interesting, partly because one of the Mexicans reached within 500 feet of the summit.

Afterward the cats and I watched Lassie.  The only thing I remember about the last time I saw Lassie was my sister, Frances, sitting beside me in the Kiva, or Yam Theater in Portales, yowling, “Poor Lassie.  Poooooor Lassie!”

Turned out it isn’t as bad a movie as you’re probably figuring it was. Edifying, educational and satisfying.

Then the cats and I watched Captain Scarface, a movie about a bunch of Rooskie spies trying to set off an atomic bomb in the hold of a ship to destroy the Panama Canal.

But that’s another story.

Old Jules

Man With the Golden Arm

The cats and I watched Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak fight heroin, illegal card games, manipulating faked handicap entrapping lying wives [Eleanor Parker] and a NYC when even all this was still good clean fun.

Ahhh Kim Novak.  1955.  Probably after her first film, Picnic.  Ahhh, Kim Novak, who looked so much like Noreen Nix of Portales, New Mexico, a couple of years older than me, that Noreen and Kim were of equal value in the heart-stopping beauty department.

Law law law, old Eleanor Parker managed to teach a youngster in that one movie how bolloxed up the right sort of guilt trips could send a person into a tailspin with only the most fortunate circumstances allowing recovery and survival.

But worth it if Noreen Nix was waiting at the other end.  Or even Kim Novak.

Old Jules