Sunday, May 29, 2016

Trip to Terlingua..Last week

Made a quick week long trip out west last week, weather warm, but mostly breezy and nice.

Our previous trip found a back door with broken glass and ALL food items gone, along with some blankets, bedrolls, and tarps. Obviously just immigrants passing through needing survival stuff. Most of the canned foods were getting a little overall - no biggie. Except the busted out door glass. I just screwed some scrap plywood OSB over the opening and it was still in place when we got there last week. Nothing else missing or damaged.
This is the new doorway, exterior shot...shorter now. Not the previous 8' tall salvage door.

This one is standard 6-8 door. Less likely to flex during strong head on wind blasts. Still need to close up header opening in this pic.

Got to take a ride in a good neighbor's classic Falcon...nice, comfy, powerful ride down to Study Butte one morning.

This was the view from his place while we were munching on hot dogs one evening. Rains developing over Christmas Mtns but all  moved north it seems.

Small tin shack belonging to a feller I know pretty well.

Rain clouds and thunderheads brewing up many miles to the east one evening. Beyond Christmas Mtns I'm guessing.

Sunset at neighbor's place...but phone camera doesn't do it justice.

Oh, and I got to see Rhonda H of Badlands Texas fame at the Cotton Wood Store.! Too shy to request an autograph, I just blankly stared down at the peanut package display as she walked out.

Lotta bird life, honey bees.....quail coveys (covies?) this trip and a teenage cotton tail rabbit that was sighted several times around the place.

Last couple of days there were very windy...guessing 15-20 mph breezes. Couple of warm nights, but with a water bottle mister and a 12 volt Comfort Breeze fan blowing across me and hooked to a Walmart car battery on the floor.....not bad. It cooled off after midnight...and sometimes a good breeze was hustling through the place some/most of the time at night. (always leaving both doors and all windows open - in spite of Cone Nose threat - no bites this time)

Planning on a return trip in a couple of weeks. But it will be warmer then....will have to drag out the swamp cooler and get it shoved in a window for some heat relief. (sure does use the water though)

Noticed THREE NEW PORTABLE SHEDS on different land tracts that have been moved in down close to 118 along our road leading into our place. Crap...!!! This place is gonna get crowded..!! 10 yrs ago we had one neighbor nearby within 2-3 it seems there are 9.

Okay....see y'all later..!!

Friday, May 8, 2015

West TX trip pics...Garden update.....(rain,rain...GO Away!)

RAIN RAIN RAIN in NE Texas..!! (when will it ease up?)

Forecast here doesn't show any full sunny days for the next 10 days...either thundershowers, overcast or partly cloudy at best. It's muggy as hell out today, skeeters swarming like flies unless there is a breeze blowing. I'm getting low on "OFF" spray, have to use that stuff EVERY time you step out side. Grass (what little I have - really just weeds) needs mowing twice a week nearly.

Last time I checked somewhere online....ALL the NE Texas lakes are full or 85% full - and that was 2-3 weeks ago. Bet they are all full now. Out in Central/West TX....not so much.

Funny how the main stream TV news channels locally freak out when we have a drought, but then when we are running way over yearly rainfall totals and lakes are brimming full....they don't even mention this fact. (not a scary enough news topic to keep us all stirred up, I reckon?) But I don't even watch MSM's mostly guv BS fed to us all.

Here are a few garden pics.

 Here are my strawberries in potting soil experiment....middle bag is "garden soil"...pretty lame. All planted within 2 days of each other. And, as you see, planted too close together. But we get a few strawberries each day....less since the sun went away a couple weeks ago.
 I have a crap-load of small to medium sized healthy green tomatoes...guess we oughta pluck a few for a nice pan of Fried Green Maters..?? I think it will take some UV Rays to get them to turn red eventually.
 Sort of an overall pic here of the main garden area. May 8 status...(surprised these pics even turned out with all the skeeters around my head.)
 This is my little area of Native TX grass mix....$100 for a 10# bag....fenced off to keep barbedo ewe out and rabbits too.
 Zukees and bell and banana peppers here.
2 rows of red potatoes....I think?....forgot what I bought and planted back around March 1. Before the ice and snow that hit us twice the first week of March.
Two long rows of onions, planted March 1....coming along pretty well.

And now...a few pics from a trip out west last week...

 Ocotillo plants...some leafed out...others next to them not leafed out.??
 Sunset...MOON set at 7AM one morning looking at west horizon and zoomed in.
Sunrise over Nine Points Mesa.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Weber midget grill and more garden progress.

I found a good deal on a low level BBQ grill a few days ago. And I figured I'd have to dig a hole to stand in while using it, or modify the grill somehow. The grilling surface was about 3" higher than my kneecap.

I dug a shallow ring around a young Red Oak tree in the yard, and filled it with a few shovels of alpaca poop. Maybe it will grow faster this year.....we will see.

Garden is coming along pretty well, and we have had a good deal of rain in North TX over the last month, and more coming in the next few days. 
Same shot about 40 days later.
My new dog MoJo...part blue heeler, smart feller

And our other dog...she's kinda ratty lookin'....Lizzy

My Texas native grass mix....mostly buffalo grass it seems...fenced off to keep rabbits and Lizzy out.

Dat's all folks.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Still kickin....more or less.

Been over a year since I've updated this silly blogger thang, but here goes...!

Retired from work (not 62 yet, but getting there), just got tired of the big mega- corporate employee life. It used to be fun and easy to build apartment projects, but between corp insurance risks, accounting dept freak-out fears, lousy design teams, slickster development associates, and ever growing and over-reaching municipalities' rules and seem to spend more time protecting your back side than just simply building future slums! That 60 mile -Each Way- commute across DFW to Dallas wasn't fun either. Tried to depart in Oct, but bosses asked me to stay until after Jan one, so I did. Friendly split and no hard feelings on either side.

Anyway, the last 3 trips out west last fall resulted in 2/3 of those trips being in crappy, cold, windy, rainy, drizzly, miserable weather. Spending a week inside huddled around a propane heater playing fun for a day or so, then not so much. I mean you can only drown so much misery in a bottle of good bourbon, then you just wake up the next day feeling lousy, and still huddled around an LP heat source.

Been piddling with getting a decent sized garden started here west of DFW on the back/lower part of my hard-scrabble 3 acres. Previous attempts at Square Foot gardening near the house had mixed results, easy to get to, but summer heat eventually knocks out the producing of any veggies. Upper half of my place is rocky, scrubby, "Where the west begins" type land. Bottom, lower half was a thick tangle of tall skinny trees and undergrowth that a whipsnake snake slathered in Crisco couldn't get through. But I found some guys that had a service that could clear brush with a Bobcat and a front end attachment like a huge wood chipper about 7' wide, that was loud as hell, flung big wood chips as big as a foot ball 100 feet around, and could grind up trees up to about 3-4" diameter and just walk thru a forest like I had. I told them leave the good trees, and take out the rest. Ended up with me having to go back in afterwards and chainsawing down a few more to open it up, but over all very happy with the newly usable open land area. And the soil down there after years of leaves rotting was really nice and crumbly. So I found a seemingly good garden area, and have been fencing it off to keep deer, rabbits, etc out. Had to run a long hose down there, but I'm on well, with so far good water table, so watering shouldn't be an issue.

Snow, ice, sleet and cold has been delaying me after a few teasing weeks of 75-80 degrees in early/mid Feb. (shoulda known)...But 3" of snow 5 days into March? Al Gore, even though he invented the internet, seems to be off with these cold winters - esp up north.

red area is onion rows, future stuff in yellow box tilled up and ready
rented a mini-excavator to get tree stobs and roots out - worked "okay"
pickup load of alpaca poop compost - supposed to be top notch for gardens

sideways pic of potatoes planted just today
$300 nearly new pawn shop treasure that makes that soil like brown sugar (I hope)
Got two rows of onions in prior to last weeks snow and ice 5 day long event

Fenced in area...not fully fenced yet, but soon..!! with gates. Lucky it's easy digging down here.

Okay...that's all I got for now. need to get some more things into the ground tomorrow....MORE RAIN COMING SUNDAY/MONDAY..!! but at least the cold is gone seems.

Used the little excavator to dig a couple of holes for fruit trees, gotta get to Wally World for some now, their shipment finally came in a few days ago.

And gotta chop down a few of those lingering trees...too much shade for most veggies.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sittin' on Santa's lap.

At the bank yesterday they asked me if I wanted to get a pic with Santa. It was free so I said "hell yes". I guess they ran outta kids to photograph for the moment.

When I walked up to sit in his lap, he had a slightly worried look in his eye.

They wheeled him out in a gurney to the medic van with a fractured femur bone.

guess that blows my Christmas wishes all to hell.

Bah Humbug!!

(wow, 2 posts in a year.....not too stellar, huh?)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Update pics, big corporate waste... and other crapola

 These are the clouds outside our house west of FTW the late afternoon of the Big OK Tornado.
Weird huh?
I bought some fresh whole cow's milk I bought at a nearby farmers roadside market down the road from our home. Damn tasty stuff...but soon to be outlawed so big Agribiz-UScorpGovt can make me buy only grocery store milk...with aspartame soon to be added (but a law passed now that aspartame additions will NOT be on the label) I need to get a cow and get my nipple squeezing hands in shape.

Feral cats. The 2 on the golf cart platform are granny and her daughter. I think they are lesbo because they always hang around side by side and rub on each other. Even tho daughter has her own litter. Counted 14 cats now when all three litters come out of hiding at dinner time.
Took at trip to South Brewster County last wknd. It was wonderful as always, but way too short a visit, as always. Good to see friends and neighbors again.

Sunset with Ocotillo plant (we missed the blooming)

View of Packsaddle, Hen Egg and Panther Mountains 7-8 miles to the southwest

Porch of a cabin, Christmas Mtns in distance

American Legion regular customer..and his 1980s Ford F150 still hanging on
Sunday afternoon at the Legion covered patio
Blogger stretched this one out horizontally, cant fix it, but you get  it.

Some of you may realize I went back to work after 3 yrs out of work, then 1 year as a stupidentendant on a HUD rehab of a 48 yr old project. Now I'm back to an office job as a project manager in multifamily const. I can't figure out how we are having a boom in apt const lately, with so many folks in tough times, thanks to the Govt-BigBank-Big Corp partnership that is ruining our country and the world...but I'll ride it while I can.

The firm I work for purchased two large office bldgs in North Dallas that we are going to demolish and build apts on the land. These are 2 side by side five story bldgs with full basements. Built in mid-late 1970s. Over 500,000 SF between the 2 bldgs.  When the major corporation that built and owned these 2 bldgs  moved out they left all their furniture behind. I guess they'll just buy more. These bldgs were occupied and used less than 4 months ago, when we closed on them. Now I'm charged with trying to sell all this useful stuff to some liquidators. Better than it all going to the landfill. Not brand new stuff, but still lots of useful life left in it.
Bottom floor cafeteria

Typical modular file cabinet units

Basement air compressor - 480 volts
Exterior of the two twin 5 story bldgs

Front entry of one bldg, nice park like area between them

Typical training room full of tables, several of these rooms all around the bldgs

Another training room

Computer room with aluminum computer racks

Floor after floor of work stations

There are about 5 sets of these parking lot perimeter double gates I plan to haul away.

Fire hose cabinets all around the bldg. Would like to get these for the Volunteer Fire Dept in South Brewster Co. They are not heavy duty hoses, but maybe they could use the valves and nozzles?
Wall of air filters in the basement

Nice Park like area between bldgs...we are going to save these oaks and work them into the site plan for the new apt bldgs

Typical room full of desk chairs.
Also, I have a project in Austin on which we hired an outside GC to handle the construction. This has a 2 level parking garage below grade. Located in downtown Austin. There are a lot of apt projects going up in Austin now. Someone told me there are 27 projects underway there. But as always, when it shuts down it will shut down first in Austin, then elsewhere. Austin const boom turns off like a faucet. Saw it in the late 80's and other times too.
Drilling garage piers

Last but not least is Ms Sandy our guard-donkey, to keep the coyotes from killing anymore of our barbado sheep. I let them into the back yard for a few days before I mow it.

Whew...that's it...and amazingly, blogger was fast and worked flawlessly this time...let's see if I can publish this now.?