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    The Road


January 7, 2009

Catching up…..

Sorry for dropping out for so long. WordPress for the iPhone is crap, and eats about 80% of the blogs I write on it, so I will be returning to one picture per post when blogging from the iphone.

What you have missed:

Windows: We now have six windows in the cabin, at $15 a piece from the local window and glass shop’s bone yard, they were recycled, cheap AND double paned. The only thing more beautiful than the view from our kitchen windows are the friends who helped hang them.

Much love to E&Z, who have helped shed a little light in my life, more times than they might ever realize.

Did I mention E loves rockets…

So, a few weeks back, a mountain lion killed our neighbors dog, and has the entire hill on edge. The same kitty was also seen stalking another neighbors dogs, while they played with their kids. Since the first snow, though, when we saw some tracks out by the edge of our property line, we haven’t seen the slightest trace, though the bobcats currently seems to be suffering from some sort of exhibitionism.

November 20, 2008


This bastard ate another post. This is like being crippled. Here’s another ducking picture… I hate auto correct.

Lights. All circuits. πŸ™‚

Oh, and I opened comments. Say hello.

— Posted From Stupid Blogpress

November 20, 2008

The garden begins!

Stupid blogpress! Spend tons of time writing a blog on this stupid little on-screen keyboard, and it gets eaten on upload. Let’s try this again:

We finally got our first raised beds in! Just a simple winter start of garlic and onions, but we are excited! The soil is a mix of peat moss, horse poop and the native “soil”; alternately clay and soft sandstone. Smells rich, now let’s just hope this is the last of our Indian summers, and we don’t wind up with young shoots too early.

We also took the time to try an experiment with blackberry cultivation. Apparently, burying the tips of the plants at the onset of winter will encourage them to root. Come spring, you snip the arches in half, and you’ve got new blackberry starts to transplant.

The solar panels have also been transplanted qto the garden, giving us a substantial increase in power as the sun dips deeper and deeper into the southern horizon. I’ll likely be running the last twenty feet of romax for lighting fixtures this evening.

This blogpress program is buggy as hell, and will not scroll down enough for me to see what I am typing, so I’ll write more later.

November 9, 2008

The powerhouse! A tour of the solar system!

Testing out a new blogging app on the phone that allows multiple pictures, and hopefully will not turn my text into haikus. Let’s see how it works!

So, here is our power system. Also known as “the contraption that turns much gasoline into little electricity”. Since we use almost no electrical devices, it is basically a ridiculously innefficient money sink… Why?

Because we can’t let these guys go below 50%…

That’s our 24v battery system, which I believe are already ruined, and which were costing me $70 a week in gas when it was 4.50 a gallon. It’s gotten better by reprogramming the charge controler, but when the revolution comes, they’ll be thefirst against the wall.

All this; Despite our beautiful panels. We’re pulling in 1-1.4 kw hours a day during the summer with these little guys, but in our current winter days, they are simply fun to look at. We could use more panels when the sun comes back next spring, but I bet with better batteries, these two would meet all our needs.

Which is where this little guy comes in. It’s a little 3.5kw generator from harbor freight. We’ve got a larger 5kw Honda we use when pumping water, but it uses way more gas, so we only use it to charge the batteries when pumping water. This one runs about 90 minutes on a gallon of gas providing 18 amps to these:

…The brains behind the operation; overkill for the moment, but as we add other electrical generators, be it solar, wind, or orgone, it will accomodate.

All-in-all, kerosine lanterns and a pocket battery charger would probably suit our needs at the moment, but if we shut down the system now, our batteries die; lesson learned; the big solar system should go in last. . .

November 4, 2008

The beam is up!

…And with it, the last task I am left unable to complete alone is
the ceiling drywall upstairs. I may be crazy, but I still expect to be
in the cabin by christmas, provided we accquire a woodstove in time.

October 30, 2008

Into the winter…

And off we go into winter… The rains are supposed to arrive tonight, and carry on until Tuesday, ending the wonderful indian summer we have been having. I was very thankful to have the earlier rains, as they gave us a chance to see what needed to be done before the season begins in earnest. I expect to be out with a pick and shovel on Saturday trenching out the drive way to prevent a recurrence of the river-runs-through-it episode we encountered a few weeks ago.

Summer was good, we got a lot done at the ranch, definitely more than the cabin, but I still managed to get the second floor supported, sub floor laid, some windows installed, and of course, the immense leveling and clearing that led to the wedding back in August.

I expect a lot of work to get done with the coming rains as ranch work generally slows down this time of year. We’ll be placing the final support beam Sunday, and from there, I get to work on pulling in walls, finishing the window installations, and from there, it should be a short matter of drywall and flooring before I get to start working on the artistic side of cabin building.

Bring on the rain!

October 29, 2008

Better late than never.

Painted the cabin with 17 gallons of recycled paint over the last few days. Should reduce weather damage this winter. Rains to start tomorrow and snow coming soon, so we spent yesterday getting things covered, and indoors when needed. We should be lifting the new gable beam into place on Sunday, and I will be picking up an entire kitchen’s worth of cabinets, countertops and fixtures early next week.

October 16, 2008

No, really, 5000 pounds!

The mountain of empty concrete sacks on top of the mountain. New word is that the Mariah turbine will be on the truck in the first week of November. Weather permitting, we might have this beast up by Christmas.

October 16, 2008

A concrete burn and a sense of acomplishment.

This is 5000 pounds of post-crete. I carried it up the hill, I mixed
it, I made this… Now I go take a shower… Somebody relax for me!

October 14, 2008

All in a years work!

We finally got the foundation kit for the Mariah wind turbine, only
about 9 months after I jackhammered this damnable hole on the top of
the rock.

Looks like we’ll be pouring Crete tomorrow, though the boss and I have
a bet on when we’ll actually get the whirly bits.