Saturday, April 18, 2015

Another trip out West?

The thought has just crossed my mind.  It is not a happy one to consider that the current configuration of the quonset hut will not survive the elements.  It may take some more work to make it hold up for the next 30 months before I can be out there full time.  In 30 months, this thing will have to be taken down and rebuilt.

What would be worse ( or better ) ?  To rebuild the thing, or try to design it for 30 months while I'm away?

To let the thing go down would be hard to take after so much effort.  Sometimes, as I learned in investing, you have to take your lumps so that you can live on to fight another day.

Another thing to consider is that if you're going to worry about it that much, you may as well go out there permanently.  I don't absolutely have to go now, or do I?  In 30 months, I may not be able to do what I just did.

Tough call.  Frankly, I didn't want to leave.  But, I felt I had to for my own good.  Now, I feel the tug to go back, and finish the job.

The real problem here is money.  There's just not enough of it.

I don't have to decide right now, but I don't have much time.

More on this tomorrow.  I wanted to put something up now so as to remind myself to think carefully about this, as I may not get another chance.

Retracing some old stories

There was this story about a free energy device that could power an airplane.  My thought was that if it could power a plane, there would no longer be any room for doubt about its authenticity.  So, what happened to it?  I dunno.  It is still posted on the PESN site, but it is now buried under a mountain of new stories making the same kind of claims.

The PESN site still has Rossi's E-cat still on the site as well, but nothing seems to be coming from it.

There are folks who say that this proves that it was all a hoax anyway.  However, you did have the molten-salt reactor tech that was proven in the lab, and that has certainly been suppressed.  It has definitely been suppressed under the excuse that it is radioactive and therefore very dangerous.  This is bunk, for the most part.

People may not believe that good things can be suppressed for evil motives.  This is a rather naive point of view.  What is at stake in the energy game is a business that is currently generating revenues in the trillions of dollars per year.  Of course there is a motive to suppress any new tech that can make this obsolete and therefore worthless.  Use a little common sense here.

I don't want to forget that as I go forward.  The fact that I haven't posted on it recently does not mean that I am giving up on these ideas.  It is just that you are going against a powerful opponent that controls everything and may well attempt just about anything to stop something that may threaten it in any way.

It's the way of the world.

MHD Test 115, the movie

Another thing I saw in a motel recently was that somebody put a donut at the edge of space in a manner similar to what John Powell of JP Aerospace does.  I did it myself with JP Aerospace back in 2011.  Not with a donut, mind you.  I've got the video on my YouTube page.  Obviously, it is a publicity stunt, but it seems to be catching on, because this happened elsewhere too, if memory serves.

I decided to check in on JP Aerospace and they are doing some interesting things.  This MHD thingie produces electricity while it produces thrust.  Hey, that's an idea if there ever was one.  He can recharge his batteries while gaining velocity.

JP Aerospace is highly underrated.  Keep an eye on this dude.

Landing attempt on barge almost succeeded

I heard about this while I was in a motel room.  That and a few other things, but I digress.

Here's a couple of videos of the attempt, which I will study.  At the moment, the computer isn't working as well as I'd like.


Could strong cross winds have caused instability in the rocket as it came down?  I have always thought that the idea of landing such a tall structure invites things like this.  This thought also came from my own recent experiences out in West Texas with the tarp and the wind.  If the wind is ever a factor, landing would be a big time problem, as the rocket isn't particularly stable.

Why not landing it inside a volcano like the James Bond flick?

Anger Management, revisited

Rather than repost this one, I'll put up the original West Side Story version.  Yeah, what the heck, huh?

You know, I have quite the potty mouth, especially when I get mad.  Out on da Ranch, I was getting mad a lot.  Such hot language could have set the place on fire.  When I think of that, I think of Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson singing this song on a bridge with people driving by yelling obscenities at them.

By golly, she is pretty.

Rise and Shine, 4/18/15

Been awhile since I did one of these.  It's not a series, it's just a habit.  A habit of calling a post by a certain name, but distinguishing it from other posts by the same name by adding the date.

Well, anyway, lots of things to do, so little time.  I have to reorganize myself after the whirlwind of activity of these past 3 weeks.  It's been 3 weeks already since I left my paying job and took on this spending job.  The difference between paying and spending is that the paying puts money in your pocket and the spending takes it out!  Either way, paying or spending, I'm still working.  That's why I call it a "spending job".

Aw!  You should love what you are doing!  It's your dream!  Yeah, my dream doesn't include aching muscles and joints.  I'm like Daffy Duck:  I can't stand pain, it hurts me...
Web page, click here for more Daffyisms
With respect to my Dream, I'm thinking up some more ideas.  Uh, oh!  That's what got me this mess in the first place!  Oh, well.  Life ain't no bowl of cherries.  Problems are good because that's how we know we are alive.  Only dead people have no more problems.  Gimme the problems.  Solving them or even just the attempt of solving them makes me feel good in my spirit even though my body aches.

Friday, April 17, 2015

What worked and what didn't

What were my goals?  I'm sure I wrote them down, and like everything else on this trip, it only causes problems when you aren't organized.  The goals are written down somewhere, I just don't remember where I put them.  In a nutshell, this is what plagued me out there.  If I needed something, like a tool, I didn't know where I put it.  I lost a lot of time and had to endure a lot of aggravation because of that.

Overall, the plan worked.  I found out where I stood with respect to my preparations.  The answer is that I'm not ready.  I'd have had a lot more problems if I had decided to spend even more day out there.  I got back safe and sound.  These two were the most important goals.

The devil was in the details, which I failed to provide for in depth.

I wanted a solar powered system to recharge my batteries.  That didn't work.  The solar panel put out nothing at all that I could detect with a voltmeter.  It could well be that I did something wrong, but there were no instructions that came with the box.  Not only that, there wasn't enough hardware to connect everything.

All the power tools and the microwave worked.  The battery worked great, as did the inverter.

The "luggable loo" waste management system worked, but there's a learning curve.  Don't use too much water, as the bags get too full very easily.

The tarps are a bit flimsy.  I didn't like them.

The freeze dried food tasted great, but was a bit more complicated out in the boonies.  MRE's would have worked better, I think.

A drill bit failed, which cut short one of my days out there.

The sat phone worked great.

The conventional cell phone worked much better than I expected.  It may even be worthwhile to buy a booster to get a cell signal fairly close to home.

Kindle doesn't work out there.  But it is seven years old.

The sleep recliner dealie worked fine.  But I only used it for one night.

I didn't get to try the shower system, but I tried it at home.  If I had used it, it would have been inadequate.  It needs to be desinged better with better control over the flow of water.  Water is scarce out there.  The little device assumes that you have massive amounts of water, but there are only a couple gallons available each day for cleaning yourself.

The basic construction plan involving the cattle panels worked.  The problem was in the execution.  If I had framed it first before putting up the tarp, I would have had a much easier time.  The tarps in the wind are another problem entirely.

Free wi-fi at motels is something of a fiction.  The wifi didn't work at all in one place, and failed to be of much use in most others.  I tried all the cheap motels in Van Horn, by the way.  Perhaps "cheap" is a clue.  One motel worked great, and I thought I'd mention it.  Desert Inn at Van Horn is a nice little motel at reasonable rates.  You won't go wrong staying there.

There's a laundromat in Van Horn, but it has antiquated equipment.  I washed a couple loads there.  I needed to, because I ran out of clothes.  The place needs a serious upgrade.

Prices are too damn high.  How do those people live out there?

The "hobo stove" wasn't worth a flip.  Too small to be of much use.

The weather reports were not as reliable as you would think in this 21st century we're living in.  But that may be the nature of the place.

That's all I can think of at the moment.

Summary of the trip out West

I'm going to make a new series out these video posts I made about the trip.  This will be the first of those, and it will serve as the introduction to the series.  ( UPDATE and NOTE:  Blogger will not let me add another series, so this one has to go into the off-the-grid series that already exists.  Since it already exists, it will classified as in the General subseries.  The previous post for that subseries is here, and the Next one will be here.)

The trip took a little over 12 days.  I spent nearly all those nights at a motel room.  That is to say, after working on the quonset hut at the ranch, I came back to town and stayed overnight and went back out again, day after day.  This wasn't the plan, but the van was too cramped to work in, and the overnights were much needed.  It looks like `10 ( gasp ) overnights at a motel room.  My goodness, what an expenditure of money.  I'm going to freak out when I see the bill.

Since I went into town so much ( El Paso three times ), I did a hell of a lot of driving.  Much more than I planned for.  Another reason to freak out.

The product of all that work and expense is this rather primitive and modest little quonset hut.  I am embarrassed to put it up.  It could have used a lot more work, but I decided to come home instead.

Back of hut looking east

Side of hut, looking south
Front of hut, looking west
Side of hut, looking north

Here are the posts for the trip.  I made links for them in case you'd like to watch them.  I didn't do this on the road because of limited internet access and my equipment was inadequate for the job.

  1. Left Houston, and stayed at a motel in Fabens, just outside of El Paso.  Very grueling day, as I recall.  I had to make two trips into El Paso for the cattle panels because two wouldn't fit in the van at the same time.  If I had bothered to check, the hardware store in Van Horn had some cattle panels, but not exactly the same as I used.  Those may have worked just as well, and I would have saved a lot of time and money for the driving I did.
  2. On the second night, I find myself back in Van Horn because I forgot some plastic spoons that I needed so that I could eat out there.  This kind of extra driving was key to understanding what went wrong out there.  Mistakes were costly in terms of time and money spent correcting them.
  3. The third night ( Wednesday ), I spent on my property for the one and only time.  For the rest of the trip, I would spend my evenings at a motel room.  It cost me a lot more than I planned on, but it is necessary for the success of the trip.  Found out that the van was too small to live in.  Surprise, surprise, surprise.   Note to myself:  The battery was fine.  The inverter was fine.  The solar panel and charge controller were not.   Problems start to accumulate.  Weather changes caused delays.
  4. The fourth night was after a rain out.  I avoided the wet dirt roads like the plague because the dirt turns into mud, and then you could have a big problem.  Key themes here:  staying organized and informed.  Both were big challenges.
  5. Starting to feel it.  I'm pressing for results and it is starting to take a toll on me physically.  Now I have to go into town just to recover from the grueling work outside.
  6. Some progress being made, but more work is necessary.  That's the understatement of the year on this here blog.  By the way, another weather delay coming up!
  7. Good grief, Charlie Brown.  There was a cartoon of Charlie Brown trying to fly an kite.  That what it felt like out there, with the tarp being flipped around endlessly, so as to get the strings all fouled up and tangled.
    The wind is a tricky thing
  8. Probably the low point of my trip.  I planned a day of rest only to get bored and worked anyway.  Even though I did, I didn't get much done because of the weather.
  9. Starting to contemplate the downside of the trip in terms of costs.
  10. Starting to evaluate the value of the trip in terms of its costs.  Time to go home.
  11. Finishing the job.
  12. Back home, safe and sound.  ( I think )

The most important achievement of all is to get back safe and sound.  The rest wouldn't have mattered if this didn't happen.


Home again, 4/17/15 ( no video )

After working out there yesterday from about dawn to a little
past noon, I decided to come home. I took my time,and
got home about 4 hours ago. I promptly went to sleep.

Now I am up and will gradually get back into the scheme
of things. I still feel rather groggy and tired.

The computer has to update its files, so that's going on
as I write this.

I've got a lot to do, such as getting my stuff out of my
truck. Right now, I'm not in much of a mood to do much
of anything though.

All I can say is that I worked my butt off out there, and
I deserve a break.

When I feel up to it, I will have more to say about the
trip. Until then, see ya later.


End of series.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Check in Thursday April 16, 2015

Getting there,  thank goodness.

Update :

In order to see the video linked to in the above YouTube address, you need to select text and paste it into the address bar of your browser.

Once I get home, I will convert the posts to embedded form.  Maybe.


Okay, maybe one for now.

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