Saturday, April 4, 2015

Maggie May Rod Stewart

"I suppose I could collect my books and get on back to school."

You could make a career out of being a student.  Seems like I'm always learning something, but how much good has it all been?

Almost done with everything, nearly time to go.  One more day.

Full Metal Jacket - Finale (Mickey Mouse)

Everything I'm doing seem rather Mickey Mouse, which made me think of this song.

Don't know if I'm in a world of pooh-pooh just yet, but I could be heading in that direction.

Click to watch  Was that necessary?  For some, yes.

Time goes on slipping, slipping... into the future

The day is getting away from me.  Looks like I have almost everything now.  I believe all my internet orders are completed.  Been making runs to the hardware stores in the area now.  You could say last minute items.

Need water container ( s).  This isn't the slam dunk it may appear to be.  I think I've got a quick and dirty answer that may require another trip to the hardware store.

After that, I should be done with purchasing everything.

Been working on my solar panel.   It is ready to test outdoors, but weather isn't exactly cooperating.  Better to try it today than tomorrow, though.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Good Friday

Religion hasn't been my strong suit.  I freely admit that.  It snuck up on me again, like always.

I meant to write something about the subject.  Ann Barnhardt writes about it.  If it weren't for her, I probably wouldn't have written this little piece now, for what it is worth.

I include this link from the video The Gospel of John, which illustrates something about the nature of man, at least as I understand it.  After seeing all the miracles of Jesus, and having shared this with him personally, Phillip asks Jesus to show them the Father.  Jesus rebukes him.  Why?

Isn't it obvious?  Maybe it isn't because it wasn't obvious to Phillip.

There are those who say that they would believe if they saw such things, but here is Phillip asking Jesus to show them the Father.  They have already seen Him, yet they will not believe.  That's the problem.

There it is.  That's about all I can manage.  Maybe somebody will get something from that.

I move slowly for a reason

I'm freakin' old, Mr. Bigglesworth.

No more than what I did yesterday, even when moving slowly, I'm sore anyway.

Sometimes I forget that I'm an old fart now.

My body doesn't forget.  Nor does it forgive.

No big deal.  I'll keep moving slow and I won't be sore forever ( I hope).

The only thing the GOP seems to do well is to give in

They simply won't fight the left.

When I say "fight", I don't even mean actual fist fights.  I mean there's no resistance at all.  If the left objects to anything, the so-called right just caves in like sand in front of a wave at the beach.  There's nothing but marshmallow in place of their spines.

After the Indiana legislature approved its legislation last week, an array of major companies and associations, as well as political and entertainment figures around the country, offered harsh criticism. Some state governments said they would curtail travel to Indiana, and some boycott efforts began, prompting state business leaders to demand changes.

You'd never think that the GOP had most of the state legislatures in this country right now.  It is almost as if the Democrats were still running the show.

What the hell are these people afraid of?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

A few closing thoughts on the day

The day began early as I didn't sleep as soundly as I would have liked.

Seems like the days are busy and progress is being made, although it is slow.  But I repeat myself.  I'm looking at a Monday departure date now.  Hopefully, there are no more delays.

What I had hoped to accomplish has been narrowed down considerably.  This is more of a fact finding trip now than an anticipatory series of moves to relocate out West.

That was my day until I talked with Wishbone.

What a conversation.  Of course we noted all the news lately.  Wishbone likes to argue and I do not.  So, when I smelled an argument coming, I ducked out of the conversation.

I felt I had to correct him about Christianity.  He thinks Christians are soft.  Well, that might be an accurate observation there, but it is not true of the religion throughout its history.  If Christians weren't tough, they never would have survived.  I mentioned that today's Christians need to toughen up.  That's why they are being rolled so much.  It leaves the impression that they are soft and that only invites more aggression.

He started to get into an argument about Capitalism v Communism.  He has admired Communists before, so I smelled an argument right there.  I know my brother.  It is pointless to start arguing with him because he argues for the entertainment of it.  He doesn't probe for truth, but argues for a "victory".  It's all a war to him.  A battle.  Everything in life is a battle to some people, and my brother is like that.

That's why I wrote about Solutions v Conflict.  We have that in our culture.  There are a lot of people who want the battle, but care little for the truth.  That's what I find most unproductive about my arguments with Wishbone.

To them, my solutions probably seem too "pie in the sky", too visionary", and/or "too kumbaya".  The trouble with Wishbone and a lot of people is that they like the conflict better than they like the truth.  It's all about the entertainment, not the problem solving.

We have problems and we have solutions.  But we can't solve any problems if we are bashing each other's heads in.

Such is the contrast.  I am willing to be a warrior if that is what it takes, but I don't think that it is always necessary.  For some people, that's all they seem to live for.

Reports of a nuke deal with Iran

I suppose you can look at this in more than one way.  One way is negative, the other is positive.  The negative way says that this deal allows Iran to get the bomb.  The positive way to look at it is that it averts a war ( maybe ).

In any event, Iran gets the bomb eventually because the current administration doesn't want to prevent that from happening.  That's the bottom line.  It's all about optics and the short term needs of the current office holders.  The country and world gets the bill later.

In order to make this deal "positive", you'd better come up with a very, very good missile defense system now.  That's what we threatened to do with the Soviet Union.  We didn't follow up because the Soviet Union collapsed.  But these guys won't go away so easily.  We'll have to develop missile defense in earnest now.  There's no getting around that fact.

Gold Prices Distorted

How to Profit When Reality Hits the Gold Market | Kitco Commentary


I suspect that gold prices are low because our policy makers want it to be low for political reasons.  In other words, if the price was where it was supposed to be based upon its fundamentals, there would be a sense that something is really wrong.  But since prices are low, politicians can point to the price and say: "what's the big deal, gold prices are low!"  Also, the stock market is high!  Unemployment is low!  Things are great!!!

Don't be fooled.  The numbers are being manipulated.  Things are not so hot.

Big stuff loaded

Got the lumber and got the pallets.  It's a good thing I scaled down, cuz it wouldn't have fit.  It may not fit anyway.  There's a ton of stuff, and there's limited room.

I'm a little worried about the solar panel now.  With so much stuff, a thing like that, which has a lot of glass, can be quite fragile.  It may take some thinking to get this stuff loaded without endangering it in any way.

Today's the day to do stuff, cuz tomorrow, I'm going to have to wait around for stuff to arrive.

Scaling back a bit

One problem with what I'm doing is that the objectives may be too ambitious.  Instead of a 20 foot quonset, I shrunk it down to 16.  Now, I want to shrink it even more, down all the way to 8 foot.

It's not much of a project now, but that really isn't the point now.  It is too costly in terms of time and money, which are scarce.  I have to scale down and still achieve some important milestones.  Having a structure out there is important.  Having a means to power my tools is important.  Having a way to take care of basic needs is important.  To achieve these major goals will make it a successful trip even if it doesn't result in a decision to move out there now.

To move out now is too ambitious.  But I'm acting as if I will because it is an important exercise.  Besides, in the effort, I may find that I will want to move out there now, after all.  You don't know what will happen until you start doing things.  That's the main point.  To DO things.

"It's always the other guys" nothing more than a cop-out

Looking at this post by Ace, I am reminded at by what the conservative's problem really is:
I've got half a mind to become a Muslim and begin affirmatively pushing for Sharia. At least I know the left won't f*** around with me then.

You can't "affirmatively pushing" for anything with "half a mind".

Deep down, the conservatives don't really want to do anything.  They want to leave all the dirty work to others to do.  Ace's idea of "affirmatively pushing" for Sharia is just to talk, like what so many conservatives do now, which is nothing but talk.

The left wants Sharia, so becoming a Muslim only gives into them.  It isn't fighting them, knuckleheads.

The problem in this country isn't with the left, the problem is that nobody is actively opposing the left.  That's because those that might oppose only have "half a mind" with respect to their opposition.  Like the beat cop in the movie The Untouchables said:  "What are you prepared to do?"  The answer must be more than passive acquiescence.

With half a mind, you are only willing to talk.  This problem requires action, not mere words.

Not knowing what you don't know

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This post will go into the general subseries of the off-the-grid main series of posts.

Edwin Aldrin, the second man on the moon, once said something like what the title of this post says.  What it means to me in my own context with this off-the-grid project is that I am learning by doing.  If you do stuff, you learn what you don't know, and then you can go about the task of learning it so that you do know.

That solar panel wiring wasn't too good, so I'm going to do it over.  This time, with mc4 connectors that I've just ordered.  Oh, no!  Not another order!  Yes, another order.  It will arrive tomorrow, so I am told.

The solar charge controller will have to be outside in the elements.  But that isn't good, because my workmanship left something to be desired.  I could do that over as well, but I've got other ideas.  I'll make a little housing that will shield the little gizmo from the elements and also allow me to monitor this one panel and battery.

All this for such small results?  Yep.  When you don't know how to walk, you crawl first.  At this point, I am at the crawling stage.  When I learn to walk, then perhaps an attempt can be made to run.  But that's not for now.

The bigger picture says that I'm not ready for prime time on this project.  The odds are that I'm staying at least another year.

Endless preparations are what the Civil War General McClellan was accused of.  General Grant was more of the type needed at that time, because he was willing to jump in there and do things even if it got ugly.  Not that I am unwilling to get ugly, but I have no Lincoln backing me.  Lincoln believed in Grant, and gave him the necessary materials to do what needed to be done.  As for me, I am on my own.  So, it will be back to the job in less than a month, most likely.

If you think the comparison was a bit grandiose, you may be right.  But I am using it as an example.  This isn't a war, and I know I am not talking about anything of great import here.  Just saying that to clear up that point in case someone thinks I am getting to be a bit too much.  Which is always a possibility.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Something of a grind

Moving along real slow.  The day is over, and what exactly do I have to show for it?

The chair company will send me a "frame" to replace the one that is broken.  So, that's that.

I submitted my tax return, but the IRS said something was wrong with it, and rejected it.  They didn't say what was wrong, so now I've got to figure that out.

In the meantime, I managed to get another order done and over with.  It is a super duper battery that is designed to give you a jump if your battery is weak.  It will also power some electronics.

Also, I looked for the electrical parts needed for the solar panel.  When I didn't find it, I bought something else, and improvised a solution.  The solution leaves something to be desired.  I did get some function out of the controller.  The weather is too overcast to try the panel and see if it will charge the battery.

After making some errands, and doing the above, I went back to the van to fetch a few tools.  I found a flat tire.  Now, I've got to deal with that.

I made an inventory of all the stuff I'm taking with me ( but I haven't gotten everything yet ).  At least that gets me a bit better organized.

It looks like I may try to get out of here by Saturday.  Or I can wait.  Can't say that there's a big rush, but time is critical.  There's not that much of it and you have to use it to best advantage.  Don't always feel that I do use it to best advantage, that's all.

Microwave in the wilderness?

Yep.  I'm going to take it along.  I did the calcs on the energy usage for the thing ( 600 watts ), and it should not be too much of a hit on the electrical supply.

Sounds crazy, but there it is.

Preps are beginning in earnest, but I've got a long ways to go before I take off.

Boy, can't anyone get anything right?

Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes.  I can b eye itch over this all day long.

I'm getting slowed down a lot by these mistakes.  But I won't get too upset over it.  I still don't have a good solution for my sleeping arrangement.  That new chair is a bit hard on my maximus gluteus.  So, I figured I'd try some things before I go out there.

Stuff is still arriving.  Looks like a duplicate order will have to be taken care of.  The postal guy said he left it on Monday, so I looked for it and it wasn't there.  I went through all the trouble of getting another one because I need it, only to have the dude drop it off yesterday.  Now there's another one coming and I really don't need it.  Another thing to fix.

The broken chair issue is still out there.  I'll have to deal with that.

Another foul up has come to my attention:  the "complete" solar panel kit isn't complete.  It needs more mc4 connectors.  I figure about three of them.  It included an mc4 connector, and that's fine, but there's more wires to connect than just one.  There are at least four.  Also, it didn't include any connection to the battery.  This will require another couple mc4s, plus another type of connector on the other end of the wire for the battery.

Not sure how I'll handle all this.  The solar panel isn't critical, but it would be nice to have a power source available on site.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hillary should be forced out of the race

We had eight years of the Clintons.  We don't need any more of them.  But that is what the Big Money wants to push upon us, it's either the Bushes or the Clintons with those guys.

What Hillary is doing is flat out criminal.  Do people really want that again?  Nor should they want the Bushes either.  Both of them have been bad trips.  We've been down those roads, why go down it yet again?

Aside from not wanting those two, the rest don't thrill me either.  Our problem is bigger than personalities.  It's going to take more than a personality to fix this.

The ice didn't break

It seemed like it would, but it didn't.  Now it looks like it could, but it has looked that way for a long time, yet hasn't.

As Yogi Berra once said, predictions are hard, especially about the future.

I don't have a crystal ball, but who does?

Frustrating day

I wanted to get a lot more done than this.  I'm not even sure now that the chair company wants to play square with me.  This may run into more delays while I attend to that detail.

My replacement chair arrived and it is obviously much more robust than that other chair.  I don't anticipate any problems with it.  When I refer to replacement, I mean from a different company.  However, the company that sold me the flimsy chair doesn't want to do a refund.  I may have to get into touch with Amazon on this and let them arbitrate it.  Looks like these guys don't want to play ball.

I checked through the items that I've bought so far and put them into a central location in order to see how much space this will take.  It looks like the van is going to be filled to the roof in all directions.  There's no way to manage all this at the property, since nothing is out there yet.  Perhaps I can get some temporary storage in El Paso, since I have to go there anyway.

While I was getting my solar panel, I came across a van that looks interesting enough to buy.  If I mess around with that, it will delay me further.  Well, so what?  I've still got time.  Maybe I can check out the van.  But, I'd better make a phone call first.

As can be seen, everything is really fluid.  That's what this month is about, though.  It's about getting things firmed up, so to speak.

Attaching MC4 connector to wire

Got my solar panel and controller kit.  Now I am confused as all get out.  I need to educate myself on how to do all this, which means more time.  Which means not at this time.  I may jump to plan B.  But, while I am waiting for my cell phone batteries to recharge, I thought I'd post this video on how to attach MC4 connector to wire.  Yep, I got those now and I don't know what to friggin' do with 'em.


Another tutorial on how to set up a solar panel to a controller.


Basically the same thing, but saying it just a little differently.  I may be a little dumb, sometimes, but not that dumb.  I can figure this out.  The question is, do I have time for all this?

Quickie before I go, 3/31/15

Actually, I'm not going to work, but to do some errands.  Gonna pick up my solar panel.  Probably get my pallets today, too.  I may return the chair today, but I'm going to have to call the seller.  Don't know what to expect there.  I'd prefer a refund.  Replacing the chair ain't the ticket.

While I was attending to my to do list, I noticed one of the few comments I get here.  I like to check out the people who send them.  Oh!  That may bother some folks that I'd do that.  Not to worry.  When I check out somebody, it is only the stuff that they put out on the web for others to see.  Okay?  There's no invasion of privacy being attempted here.  I'm a private person, and I respect other's privacy.

Anyway, this young lady said on her Google page that she admired some video, so I watched the clip.  It reminded me of how our culture has changed in my lifetime, and not for the better.

There's been a role reversal.  Many years ago, men didn't cry---they just didn't.  Now women don't and are proud of that.  Now, men are expected to cry, you see.  Now men are acting like the women used to act and the vice versa.  This is screwball as far as I'm concerned.  It is one of the most screwball things that has happened to us.

I see this and I note what Barnhardt has said on the subject.  But she admits acting like a man herself.

Screwball, I tell you.  Just plain screwball.  No wonder the race is dying out.  You cannot have this and have a healthy and reproducing society.  The society dies out because the women go around wanting to be like the men and so they just don't want to have babies.

You don't think so?  Just look around and see.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Keeping track of the orders

So much stuff.  I'm starting to get a little concerned about this.  This is too much stuff, yet I can see a need for it all and more.  But it is a lot of stuff.

A sleeping bag arrived.  It's like a clown in a clown car.  How many clowns can you get into that car?  This bag looks small when you open the box, but unwrapping it, it becomes large.  Then it is a problem getting it back into such a small space.

More things are on the way.  I've got a solar panel system, another chair, my food order, a jump starter, a portable toilet, and maybe something else, but can't remember at the moment.  See what I mean?

After this, I need to get some water storage.  This is before I purchase any wood and hardware for the major purpose of the trip, which is to build a quonset hut.  Oh, brother.

In the meantime, I have to do my tax return and prepare to return this broken chair.  Also, I need to get some other stuff not having to do with the trip.


Looks like the order has been lost.  It is claimed to have been delivered, but has not been.  Just another thing that has gone wrong.  I'm getting tied up with crap like this while I should be getting my stuff together for my move.


Now those two items are handled, I wait for my replacement chair, which arrives today.  Plus, I got a replacement for the lost food order, which arrives tomorrow.  A couple other things arrive tomorrow too.  By the end of tomorrow, everything will be set to start my final preps for the trip.

Chair fail

Well, this is most unexpected and unwelcome.  Last night, I was trying out this chair for sleeping, as I indicated in an earlier post.  Everything seemed okay until about 3 am, when I started to get up, the chair broke.

Now I've got to send it back and get a refund.  Not what I had in mind.

Also, I have to find a replacement idea.  I like the idea of using a recliner because of its dual purpose.  You can relax in it and sleep in it.  I do that with my own recliner here at home.  Not only that, you can fold it up and put it away, which would be most handy out there in a primitive environment.  It turns out that I would have bought a different chair that is rated by customers most highly, but settled on this based upon a single review which did not have a long track history.  A mistake, it appears.

Strongly considering purchasing the chair I originally considered, but now I wonder if these type of chairs are up to the task for which I wish to accomplish.

It is better to find out something like this at home than out in the wilderness.  Thank goodness for that.


Ordered the different chair mentioned above.  It will come on an expedited order.  Trying to stay on schedule, but this may cause a delay.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Trying out my new toys

Just took a "shower" with my battery powered shower thingie.  Somewhat of a disappointment because of a lack of control over water output.  It pumps until you turn it off, but the switch is way over there when you are way over here.  Not easy.  Didn't get as clean as I would have liked and still used 2 gallons of water.  Splashed water all over the place too.  More water was getting on the floor than getting on me.

I am not too, too unhappy though.  I figure with some practice, I can get better with this thing.  Mainly, not to use too much water.  Water is too scarce to be putting on the floor, for heavens sake.

This was a delivery that happened in the last couple hours.  In that delivery, I also received a head lamp.  I put this thingie together and it works pretty much in a straightforward way.

Another thing that came was the rocket stove.  I don't know about this one.  I can't see where to put the stuff that's going to burn.  There's a grate in there that won't admit anything larger than a small twig.  I was figuring on using charcoal, but those won't fit inside this thing.  Sure, I can find twigs and even cut them down to proper size, but that sure seems like a lot of work to use this thing.  They didn't do enough to design this thing.

Stuff is arriving pretty fast. I should have everything I ordered by Wednesday.  Then probably leave shortly afterward.


An experiment with the shower mechanism shows that it will pump about a gallon per minute.  This means you'd better get washed quickly if you are to use this thing because it will use up the water at this rate.  I was figuring on using a gallon of water or less.  That plan will have to be adjusted.

Small chores, big results?

I think I have a solution for the chair.  I'll use the air mattress in a partially inflated condition as additional cushion.  That ought to work.  It's a big deal if I can sleep on it.  It can be easily put away after using it each night.  Or, if I want to take an afternoon nap, I can set it up.

On another note, I found an old voltmeter.  Thought I'd use it to test battery's state of charge.  However, I'm not sure that it's working right, or I'm using it right.  Well, I'll keep fiddling around with it in order to learn something if there's anything to be learned.  I don't want to use up all the juice in this little bitty battery.

I practiced using the drill for driving in screws.  I found something that looks a little like a bit and a phillips screwdriver.  I was thinking of buying this, but it looks unnecessary now.

Finally, I found a way to store the trailer.  I'll leave it in the van on top of the wheel wells.  I strapped them down and secured them, so they'll ride ok and stay out of the way.  Now, I don't have to worry about my trailer.

Today don't look like much, but I'm getting stuff done.  All the same, I may not get out of here as early as I figured on.

The times that try men's souls

Written by Thomas Paine.

The key quote:

THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

We've got a lot of "sunshine patriots".  I was thinking about that when I wrote about Limbaugh.  If you take pay for your service, you are a sunshine patriot.  What happens when the money is no longer there?

I heard that Limbaugh was leaving the country.  Was that true?  If so, how does this guy have any credibility at all?  The sunshine patriot will only love his country when the sun is shining.  If the country goes through a stormy time, the sunshine patriot will flee.  He is like the hired man that tends the flock who is the type Jesus talked about.  He will flee when the wolf shows up, for he cares nothing for the sheep.  Beware the sunshine patriot.  There are a lot of those these days.


The last sentence was linked to an example of sunshine patriotism and it wasn't referring to who you're thinking it is referring to.  The guy may deserve punishment, but his "punishment" only ennobles him because he was willing to lay it on the line, which so many here take as an example of punishment.  In other words, they've got it backwards.  In other words, Jesus Christ got what he deserved by this kind of thinking.

In Your Eyes Peter Gabriel ( 1986 )

Blast from the past.

Not much to write about right now.  Oh, I tried sleeping in the chair.  Not comfortable enough.  Got to work on that.

Anyway, here's the unabashed filler material