Tag Archives: homesteading

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.

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Tequila sunrise

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

Old Ms. Niaid managed to off Brother Rattler without any consequences evidently, so she’s going to have to find something else to flesh out her life experience, I reckons. Her long hair’s growing back from the sheep shearing when the hot weather hit, and it’s filling up with beggar’s lice and grass burrs, which might serve to fend off whatever’s around here dangerous to aging bachelorette felines.

Ms. Tabby, on the other hand, has a nose and front-of-her-face of the usual Tabby-summertime variety. Can’t keep her nose out of cactus, or out of the business of something capable of adding color and romance to an otherwise nondescript Tabby face. I’m thinking when we get out of here she might turn out to be a regular-looking cat.

I decided yesterday I’m going to add mothballs to that storage building to get those rattlers out where they can enjoy life instead of bickering and snarling inside that dark storage building. Can’t tell when someone’s going to want something else out of there and the anxiety level trying to find it ain’t worth not stepping on a snake some night going from the RV to the cabin to check my email.

Today I’m going to nurse the Escape Route V 2.51 into Kerrville on three tires on back and have the two blown ones replace with respectable 10 ply exceptions to the rule. Provided the spare on the ground right-rear doesn’t decide to blow the plan. I’ll try to take back roads and get the roadwork done early before the pavement gets too hot.

Keith emailed me a while back he’s planning to be in New Mexico late August or September, and I’m going to tentatively plan on getting out to visit while he’s in the area. Hopefully by then everything will be settled out here and I’ll be able to think of out-there as home for a while.

Maybe get me a nice little piece of ocean-side ground on the east, or west coast of New Mexico, once all the damned ice goes away and raises sea-level to a reasonable altitude. 4000′ mean sea level might be about right. Maybe the cats and I will open a little bait shop on the west coast near where Arizona used to be. Or maybe rig a surfboard and hang ten mornings after we pray the sun up.

I figure the west coast will probably be less jam packed with Arizonians than the east coast will be with Texans because those Texans already all go to New Mexico deliberately to ski and gamble at Ruidoso and Angel Fire. Arizonians and Californians never go to New Mexico deliberately unless they’re just going through it to get somewhere else.

By the time they wake up and discover they’re living in a salt-water swimming hole I’ll have things nailed down on all the corners, wave to them as they swim to shore, or ride in on their bass boats. Sell them some bait, maybe.

Big plans for the future here.

Old Jules

Pore old Brother Rattler

Hi readers. Thanks for coming by for a read.

Gale had a hip replaced recently, and he’s doing the recovery routines. Called me a few days ago asking me to search around in one of the storage buildings for a wheel chair and walkers stored in there somewhere. I used to store chicken feed in there and hadn’t looked inside much after I got rid of the flock.

So I opened the door and began clearing away all manner of things before the first rattler announced himself, followed by another somewhere on the other side of the path I was creating. I moved something else and a third, maybe a fourth kicked in to the orchestra.

I tippee-toed around and carefully got the wheel chair and walkers out without anything attaching itself to my leg, called him to let him know it’s all down here where it can be picked up. We discussed the plethora of rattlers, how to get them out of there. And whether I actually wanted to get them out of there before I’m ready to hit the pavement.

On reflection, I like them a good bit better in there than outdoors where they can get underfoot. My thought is I’ll leave them to themselves for a while if they’re happy there. When the time comes he can run them out with mothballs or ammonia. He’s thinking he’d like to try forcing them out the hole they came in and have people standing around to shoot them as they emerge. Which I want no part of. I mostly have no argument with pore old Brother Rattler. If he’ll leave me along I’m content leaving him alone, tending his own affairs.

However, half-hour ago I was inside the RV when Niaid announced she’d come on prey, or caught something. I looked out the screen door and watched her leap on something in the weeds. Quicker than I can tell it she had a 3 foot rattler in her mouth dragging it toward the RV, meowing out the sides of her mouth as she came.

Brother Rattler was still trying to grasp the fact he was dead, his head and neck squashed. Squirming and wiggling between her forelegs as she brought him to show off.

I’m keeping a close eye on her. No way of telling yet whether she was bitten, but she seems okay. Not favoring any body parts.

Life in the big city, I reckons.

Old Jules

The underlying fundamental truths

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

If you’re like me, you are probably asking yourself why Johnson grass, crabgrass, beggars lice, goatheads, thistles and, say, salt cedar, thrive through the most difficult of times while all the stuff you deliberately planted requires care, nurturing by various means, irrigating.  You’re probably wondering why skunks can overwinter with rabies, throwing off the virus to all their kinfolk, while almost everything else dies within days of manifesting symptoms. 

Yeah, you’re probably wondering also why the skunks in Homeland Security run you about as you’d figure,  and the entrepreneurs in the private US penal systems are wallowing around in profits without ever getting their lives dirtied by contact with inmates.  Wondering why faceless ghosts in places such as the NSA would, not only wish to know the intimate details of your life, but actually be able execute a plan to do it.

You’re probably wondering why classy, wonderful aircraft with glide ratios and whirling propellers are rotting in hangars and on airstrip tiedowns while unnatural aluminum monsters incapable of manned flight zoom around carrying people places they didn’t need to go.  Why the only damned propellers anyone cares around are horizontal wings beating the air to death and crawling over the carcass.

Well friends and neighbors, if I had more time I’d explain it to you.  Because it’s one, or part of one of the fundamental truths of the Universe.

Unfortunately, this has gotten a bit long and there’s no point in me doing it right now.  It’s a proven fact that people don’t read long blog posts and that they click somewhere else the moment anything gets fundamental, or truthful.  Or if there are no pictures of naked dancing girls, celebrities, politicians, or tsunamis.

And hells bells, part of one of the basic truths of the Universe is that I can’t upload a damned thing.  So you’ll have to figure it out for yourselves.

Old Jules

Wyffie Mysteries, Trailer Possibilities and Nomad Farmers

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

Some matters, I’m finding, my mind believes it’s better if I don’t know and refuses to assimilate and process.  I’ve been hearing for years about fast Internet and more recently how a person can just pull his car up in front of someplace in town, turn on the computer and have fast Internet.  I just took things to be that simple without going into it further.

But I’ve been doing a lot of reading the archives of the Cheaprliving Forum, http://www.cheaprvlivingforum.com/, asking a few questions, and discovering a lot without having to ask questions.

For instance, I’ve quickly ridded myself of the popup camper notion by asking one question about it, getting two helpful answers, realizing it was an abysmally lousy option.

I’ve got this laptop computer here and it’s got things on wires to plug into the USB port on the comp.   I’d assumed I could drive into town, plug one of these into the laptop and whatever it is takes a person online with wifie happens.  Now I’m finding these pre-date Wyfie and are for some other kind of fast Internet the world outgrew and left behind while I was sleeping under a tree. 

I’ve read on the forum what’s being said about their ways of connecting to wifi and the special antennae they use, all manner of doodads to amplify them.  And I don’t understand a word of it.  Don’t have a clue what it is I’m going to need to do to be able to get online.

One of the problems is that despite the CheapRLiving moniker, I gather most of these members are, either rich, or rich enough to be able to afford to go out and buy things they want.  So when they talk about solutions they’re actually talking about cavalierly forking out a $100 bill, or several of them, and calling it a solution.

Today I’m going to town for groceries and I’m going to try to find someone who’ll tell me in simple terms what I need to park my truck outside the library and go on line.  Then I’m going on Yahoo Fredericksburg Freecycle and Yahoo Kerrville Freecycle groups and find out if someone’s got one collecting dust in a closet they’d sooner hand off to someone who’d use it.

Then, if that doesn’t work, at least I’ll have a list of the things I need to get it done.  Probably find something on Ebay.

Not much interest coming on the Nomad Farmer thing.  Only two folks expressed a firm interest and one an interest for a couple of weeks.  But it’s early times yet.  Maybe late-winter or early spring some people will be wondering what to do with themselves next summer.

Or maybe I’ll just have to settle for heading for Santa Fe and take in an opera.

Old Jules

New Mexico Farmer Nomads Circuit Community

Hi readers.  I posted this on the Intentional Communities website.  http://www.ic.org/

http://directory.ic.org/24101/New_Mexico_Farmer_Nomads_Circuit_Community

Figured I’d run it up on the flagpole and see if anyone salutes:

New Mexico Farmer Nomads Circuit Community

New Mexico Public Lands, New Mexico
 Proposed [forming]migratory community to occupy BLM and National Forest lands with water available capable of growing food crops. Members would occupy each site and tend gardens 14 days maximum to stay within BLM and USFS regulations, then rotate to another community site at least 25 miles away, replacing another rotatee[s] who’s been tending the garden there.
 
No permanent structures are allowed on these multi-use BLM or USFS public lands, though if, say, a mining claim is filed [a cheap, easy means of establishing certain legitimate, defined rights of occupation], a storage for ‘tools’ building is allowed.
 
Members will need to be willing to live in tents, RVs, campers, or converted school bus shelters while occupying the sites.
 
The only reason ‘community’ is an issue is to assure crops get planted and tended at each site through the growing season, and because of the 14 day occupation limit per site.
 
Some rules regarding wood cutting, site cleanup and maintenance, and waste disposal will be needed, along with a rotation schedule for each member unit.
 
My thought is that if there’s sufficient interest in this alternative lifestyle it should begin before spring planting, 2013.
 

You just never can tell until you try, I figures.

Old Jules

Naked City in the Sticks

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

I’ve resisted posting a blog entry about this incident a couple of days now.  Felt I needed to allow it to settle in my mind enough to think calmly and clearly about it.

I’ve explained before that the nearest property line is almost 1/4 mile away from here.  No line-of-sight to the nearest dwellings.  Woods, rough roads and rough country between here and the nearest neighbor.  Aside from Gale, no reason whatever for anyone to be anywhere near here, and Gale rarely comes, never without honking his horn at the top of the hill. [That bluelike speck right-of-center in the pic is the roof of the cabin.  The barely-visible white loop’s the turnaround.]

Sooooo.  A couple of days ago I’d just finished my afternoon solar shower, poured a couple of gallons of water over my head for a soapdown shampoo and rinse out in the driveway.  Went inside to towel off and stepped back outdoors onto the porch to let the sun finish things off.

“DAMMITTOHELLSHIT!”

A cammie 4-wheeler with two people aboard was creeping by about 30 feet from the porch.  I jumped back inside to throw on some trousers and by the time I got back outside it was gone.  Not a sign of whomever I was wanting to throw rocks at and shout lectures about respecting property lines and the not-to-be-aspired-to human trait of nosy intrusion.

Because that 4 wheeler wasn’t coming down the driveway.  It came from the direction of the chicken house.  Nothing in that direction for another quarter-mile to the north property boundary fence. 

Even though that new neighbor’s got 90-odd acres for himself and his family to fart around on knocking down trees and blasting away with every caliber firearm ever invented, 90 acres just isn’t big enough when a man’s richer than 18 inches up a bull’s ass.  Got rich early enough to get thinking he could run over everyone in reach, bluff whomever he couldn’t buy outright.

When he was coming down here trying to get me to go on wages working for him I had a vague suspicion this was the kind of thing he had in mind, ultimately.  Getting a leverage in place so’s he could do anything he pleased.  He’d already described every property and house within sight of here in enough detail to suggest he’d explored already what was none of his business.  Described it without blushing, as though it was a given.

Sometime during those visits he was making down here I asked permission to haul water from his well up beside the driveway, and he’d given permission.  His water’s nearer than Gale’s from here, and the road’s better.  I’d done it once already.

But after this incident I’ll be going back to hauling water from Gale’s.  And the only thing I’ve got to say to him about what happened the other day:

“Stay the hell away from this part of Gale’s property and keep the kids and grandkids away from it when they’re visiting.  One of the rare positive stereotypes about Texans is that they respect property lines.  Where the hell did you grow up?”

Says he reads this blog.  I hope he does.

Old Jules