Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sherlock Holmes? Not exactly.

Something bugged me about that last trip.  That quonset hut was a lot more secure than what happened.  So, the thought entered my mind:  what if the wind didn't do it?  What if the quonset hut was destroyed intentionally?

If you have ever read Sherlock Holmes, you may remember the story of the dog that didn't bark.  There was something about that scene out there that was like the dog.  If the wind had pulled it loose from the plywood, then where's the plywood?  There was no sign of it anywhere.  There was plywood around, all right.  But it should have had holes and screws in it.  In other words, no holes, no screws, no plywood.

Well, if I forgot to nail it down, that would explain that anomaly.  But that was not the case.  I spent several days working on this thing.  If it wasn't nailed down tightly, I would have known it before I left.  It was nailed down.  No doubt about it.  Even if there weren't enough nails, and even if the nails had come loose by the fierce wind, there should have been signs of that.  But there weren't.  Like a dog that didn't bark.

There was something else.  There was a little pan that you would use to put paint in it so that you can paint a wall.  I used it to put down some weatherizer on the plywood floor.  That, by the way, was one of the things I did wrong.  Not the weatherizer, but the order in which I did things.  But never mind.  The thing to note here is that there was a gallon of this stuff and the place to put it.  That pan was upside down, and it had been stepped on.  Yes, somebody was there, and had stepped on that pan.  No question.

That's two things:  somebody was there, and there was something missing that shouldn't have been.  Enough to make me suspicious.

Unfortunately, I can't be Sherlock here in Houston.  All the more reason to move to El Paso.


There could be alternative explanations for the missing plywood.  Somebody could have seen it, and hauled it off because of all the nails being a hazard.  There doesn't have to be an explanation that includes foul play.  Better to think it that way anyway, because the thought that somebody could wreck anything you build out there may cause a person to give up.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Limbaugh endorsement of Cruz

Limbaugh has been on my fecal roster for some time now.  The Cruz endorsement shows that Limbaugh is just a money grubber.

Limbaugh likes to talk about how he loved Reagan, but I think not.  Limbaugh claims Reagan was an ideologue, but Reagan did not trust ideology.  That is how Reagan was able to get Democrats to vote for him.  Without these, he could not have won.

Cruz is not Reagan, he is Goldwater.  If Cruz gets the nomination, he will lose.

Trump can win, but he is no Reagan either.   The trouble with Trump is that he is erratic.  He is no sure winner, but Cruz is definitely not going to win the general unless he gets paired against Sanders.

Limbaugh has to endorse Cruz in order to maintain his credibility.  That is so his little radio show can continue.  He knows that too.  It is not about truth, because if it were, he would have to admit that Cruz cannot win.  Cruz is no Reagan and Limbaugh knows it.  His money is more important than the truth.

Looks like the netbook is all but dead

It is making a funny noise.  It is most likely coming from cooling fan.  Therefore, if the cooling fan does not work, the computer overheats and fails that way.

It is a seven year old computer, so it has an excuse.

I am going to miss it.  The tablet here is not as easy to use.

The Taj Mahal of Carports

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

Got the idea this morning of skipping the idea of building a shack, and just build the carport.  This isn't a new idea, but the old idea won't work.  The hard taskmaster of reality has caused me to understand this.  It may well be that a more suitable living structure may be desired than having a carport in which an RV is parked.  At the moment, however, it may well have to do the job.

The idea has always been to do it for the least amount of money.  But it seems I may have overdone that a bit.  The main thing is that it has to work.  If it doesn't work, it is just wasted money ( and time).

I wrote that my solar carport wouldn't be the "Taj Mahal" of carports.  But it looks like the Taj Mahal may be necessary.

Let me briefly describe this new plan:

It will consist of a 12x20x7 foot metal carport that will be fully enclosed with a rollup door.  The cost should run into a few thousand dollars.  I will park the RV under the carport, which will shield it from the elements.  This should make it much more comfortable to live in during the hot months as well as the cold ones.
A flash just came to me.  If you put two of these, side-by-side, that would be 480 square foot of space.  Not only that, it would give the opportunity to collect up to 300 gallons of water for every inch of rainfall.

I could store whatever I wanted in the carports, provided that they are closed up.  Maybe one would be closed up, the other would be open.


The shack is back in.  I am going to go all out.  Shack, RV, Carport, and yes, maybe even a frigging septic tank.  The thought here is that this has got to work, and these will assure that it will.

This requires more thinking, so changes could still be made.


Yeah, still thinking about this.  Permits required?  I think permits suck, and I don't want to fool with permits.

If there's any chance I need a permit for something like this, then no deal.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Gold surge

Gold was up $50 today.  Wow.  The stock market was down, it is getting close to bear market territory, or should be.

Can we now discuss how the last administration has been a failure?  Obama really thinks that he could run on this economy and win?

It is failure across the board.  Domestic policy failures and foreign policy failures.  But these guys think they have done well.

If the economy was really doing well, we wouldn't be talking about negative interest rates.  Those two do not go together.  Not unless it is in a post modernist world in which 2 plus 2 equals 5.

Building a Screen Porch - Bob Vila

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This post will go in the construction subseries of the off-the-grid main series of posts.

The failure of the quonset hut will require some changes in plans.  One change would be to build the "greenhouses" that won't actually be greenhouses.  Instead, the new idea is to raise the plants behind a screen porch to the shack.

If I were to put one of these along every wall of the shack, the shack would be in the center of the greenhouses, with plenty of shade all around to keep the sun off the shack.  While keeping the sun off the shack, the sun would shine on the plants, and they should be protected from bugs and varmints.

Obviously, there would be an overhang that would provide the shade from the sun.  The rest of the "porch" would be open but covered with the screen above.

Here's a video showing how to make a screen porch.

The reports of the death of this blog have been greatly exagerrated

Hello, again.  As may have been figured, I went out to the property over the last few days.  It wasn't a pretty sight, I'm sorry to say.  The shack I built got shredded by the wind.  Lots of work right there.

Off to plan B.  Looks like I can get something built out there for less than 2k bucks.  I am thinking that one over for awhile, and if it is a go, work will commence in less than a month.  Meanwhile, other plans have been devised so that I can make the move out to El Paso so that I can monitor the situation better.  It cannot be done here in Houston.

In the next week or so, I'm going to have to decide whether to poop or get off the pot.  I haven't gone this far in order to quit now, so most likely, I'm going to make the move within a couple months.  Unless something happens to change my mind.  Things are always happening, so there you are.


Back again to make a few more comments.

While I was out there, I did a few things that I resolved to do.  One was to use the dolly to scrape dirt off a little at a time.  I was hoping to do this in order to dig out a shallow trench in which I can collect rainwater.

The results were that I could do it this way, but it would take a long time in order to get very deep.  I worked it down a couple inches, I estimate.  Proof of concept could be said to be successful.

Secondly, I looked for the last pin that marks off all the boundaries.  This is what I've been doing all day is to look at what I did out there.  It seems I was all around it, yet I couldn't see it.  Next time I try this, I think I'll find it.

Finally, I didn't plan on fixing anything if I found that the shack needed repairs.  It is so badly damaged as to be useless except for salvage.  However, it is still basically the way I found it.  No way to take the pieces apart as I took no tools out there.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Sunday, February 7, 2016


High Cost of Living.

One of my Uber riders said she lived in San Francisco for awhile.  She told me that it cost $4k a month to live in a small 1 bedroom apartment in that city.


What good is it to make more money, but have to turn around and pay out more for things like rent?  For that kind of money, you could buy a nice house in Houston.

I mean, a comparable house in San Fran, or nearabouts, would probably be well in excess of a million.  Look at the kind of money it would take to service that.   Why would you want to make the extra money only to have to give it all back?  Not to mention that the government would tax you at a higher rate as well.

I'm finding some of that on my thoughts about moving out of Houston.  Sure, I make more here, but I have to spend more.  Not only that, I will be taxed more on the spending.  It's like a treadmill.  The more you make, the more you spend.

Just looking for another way, that's all.

How does a white man vote Democrat?

Just reading through Modo, the Dodo, and she says something that she thinks is really cool, but ain't.

When a few old rich white men are the only ones who succeed, that’s not just unfair, it’s untenable.

You know, it isn't that I think that "old white men" are the only  who succeed, but if they are, that's not why they succeed.

It's so wrong, it says so much about Democrats.  If you are a rich, old, white man, you are scum, I suppose.

How can any white man ( barring the homosexuals ) ever even consider voting Democrat?  It's like spitting in your own face.

Rise and shine, 2.7.16

Been awhile since I did a post by that title.  Reason being is that I feel pretty good for a change.  Been fighting a respiratory ailment for the last couple weeks, and it is now clearing up.  I tell ya, been fighting something or other for the past three months.  Hopefully, this is the last of this crap.  At any rate, at the moment, I feel damned good.

Well, I've been busy, in spite of these ailments, getting my plans together for the move.  If anything, these past three months have convinced me that if I really want to do it now, I could.  But, I'm inclined to wait it out.  Why?  So much stuff has happened over the last 20 months that I don't think I should risk another 18 months or so in a new place without my SS checks.  I think I could risk about six months, but 18 is too big of a stretch.  That's the thinking of the moment.  I don't have to decide for a few weeks.

If I signed a new lease on this place, it will be for a year, most likely.  That puts me in Houston until the end of March, 2017.  By that time, I will definitely be ready, unless something unforeseen happens.  Well, that kind of thing has a way of happening.

We all take our chances in one way or another.  Just to be a bit philosophical about it, you know.

So, what to do with myself today?  Pretty much the same thing we always do, Pinky.  Try to take over the world.