27 September 2011

Packard Shack....nearly complete! (UPDATE)

Well...with the wonderful aid of modern machinations (Littlefoot's mom...guess that would make her my mom-in-law?) and a borrowed JD diesel tractor with front end loader...we got the brick floor nearly completed.

Concrete would have cost nearly $500 just for a half truck of "mud"..not to mention forms, rebar, labor to pour and finish...when I have all these bricks FREE.!!

Nephew Joe did the tractor work and brick loading on Sat/Sunday. Then Monday I got "Jackie" out to handle finishing up the brick placment.

Let's see...32 cubes of brick...each cube has a tad under 500 bricks...so what's that 16K bricks?
These were left over from an apt const job I was managing back in 1995. They had planned to install a long, high-dollar brick privacy fontage screen wall, and these bricks are special order to match the original phase one bricks (we were adding 120 units for phase II project to match in looks/etc), I ordered the bricks early in the job, due to a long lead time. By the time we were framed up and started brick work, the development dept decided "no fence"...we could not get credit for the over order of bricks...and we did not have any storage area for saving the extra materials. (Big REIT public-held company that wasted $$ like no tomorrow that I worked for). We had to pay for them to complete the purchase order...so I had these last 2 truckloads shipped out to my 3 acres west of DFW.. instead of telling the brick supplier to "keep 'em".
These are "wood mold" bricks, and somewhat irregular in shape. Not the standard wire-cut neat longer bricks we see mostly nowdays. Made via the old method when they used wooden carved molds. No round holes in these bricks, just square tapered holes on bottom side called "frogging" for some reason...at least the brick salesman explained it to me like that.

Joe loaded the bucket as full as he could, then drove to the Pack/Shack and dumped them. I started a few bricks Sunday afternoon...

Smooth out the dirt with a long metal "screed" and eyeball leveling, and little trowel fine tuning...and start laying bricks. Shoulda wet it down to help setttle in the dirt first...but hose not long enough and I ain't haulin water in a barrel.

Jackie showing progress made.

Old fridg is non working...just used for storage cabinet-to-be.

I saw this one today on Zerohedge.com....no words needed if you live in the US and have your eyes open.

That's it for now..



23 September 2011

How to make a fat boy sweat....or "I'm HONGREE"

Nuttin' much to report today...got up and after my morning chores of feeding the cat herd, feeding the pug, and then walking the pug, watering the garden...I decided to actually "fix" me some breakfast.

4 eggs, scrambled with peppers, fresh from the garden (it's actually producing again), grated (pre-) sharp cheese, and hot sauce....with a couple of sliced Walmart 89 cent/lb Roma (Mexican grown) 'maters drizzled wit some buttermilk dressin'.....and I'm in bid'ness.!! Oh, can't forget a big glass of Tomato juice.

The wife (the one that started this blog)....has to get up at 5:30AM everyday...so I get up with her...and get my lazy day started early. Kinda nice to get out walking the dog, puffin' on my pipe before sun-up.

Caren is working hard and putting in some long hours teaching these days. She is seeing first hand the wonderful Fed CorpGov program for "no kiddos left behind"..and how it's like an unspoken policy in the public high schools to NOT flunk anyone...just move them to the "special program" area....and each kid you move into the "needs help" area...the teacher has to fill out a 1/4" thick stack of forms on EACH kid and turn into the admin. She has 3-4 slow kids in each class.

She has a coach/part time teacher across the hall....that miraculously has NO "problem kids" that are failing..(he doesn't want to deal with the paperwork...so everyone in his classes are "passing" fine.) And no one questions him..???

The TX public schools now are sooo wrapped up in getting and maintaining their "Exemplary" status via their TAKS test and drop out rates...that they push through ALL kids...and some schools even have special schools for "slow" kids that are failing...and these small sideline Special schools let kids zip through a semester of a subject class in a 2-3 weeks, by having them do "modules" on the computer at school...no homework, minimal tests. Funny how a kid that was about to flunk out, gets into the special school and graduates EARLY..!!

And I know one kid that went through this "Special high school" that told me his teacher would fill out his test answers for him, if he was having ANY trouble with a test.....I couldn't believe it.!! He graduated from high school and the kid can barely do simple math in his head...and not very well on paper. America's future...thanks to 30 - 40 years of help from the FEDs.

(Damn....haw'd I get started on that rant???)

okay done.....adios all.


20 September 2011

DIY antenna for reg TV folks..and solar batch HWH

Don't know if many of you readers have started the major downsize and back-up in living costs that are coming for most of us regular folks in the the US economy, but we dumped the $65 Dish bill and opted for regular sheeple TV programming, with only the local 8 or so channels (half of them Spanish) for FREE with a converter box.

This one works great...almost 3 yrs now....1x4 board...some screws, wire and 2 coathanger wires...one is white in the pick...the other one rusty red....AND the cable coax connector part. A tad bent and beat up from being blown over a few times...(not attached , just leaning up)

I did some research online about a home-made antenna and it works better than the $70 radio Shack version we started out with that ran off a wall-wart power source. I found the detailed instructions on the "Instructables" website...and you can look at everything there for free but you get better pics and complete PDF downloads for a membership fee of $10 per year. Lotta kewl stuff there....good ideas...making tools with a torch and PVC pipe, changing a dorm fridge to a chest fridge...etc etc.

Changing gears....I was on the way to pickup Nephew Joe the other day and spied a nice big elect HWH sitting by a dumpster...we swung back by and loaded that 55 galloner laying down on the back seat of the Towncar....BUT the door wouldn't shut all the way on Joe's side...so he had to ride reaching back in the back seat trying to hold the door from flying open....only a 2 mile trip...so no biggie.

Now we got it home and started to strip the skin off the outside, for a future "Hot water solar batch water heater"...there are some plans on the internet for these...but the easiest and best I've seen is from an old Mother Earth News article....google it. These things work great,especially in the desert. You can easily scald yo'ass if you're not careful.

Still gotta get the foam insulation off...and build the wood cradle/casket with a repurposed and hinge mounted sliding glass door lid for it to be complete.

AND you and up with a nice heavy guage hunk of sheet metal for a BONUS to use somewhere else.!!

hmmm.,,,think I have about 4-5 of these tanks gathered and stripped down...ready for making into a batch heater....guess I oughta take it to the next level, huh? (that's the A.D.D. kicking in)

The pack shack is gathering junk already...becoming a hang-out spot for me. Complete with stylish cinderblock occasional tables for tasty adult beverages and/or a pipe..!

okay....long blog...done now..



16 September 2011

Carport/Shed progressing....but slowly.

They say "Quality takes time"....so maybe that's why this simple little shed is dragging out so long?

Or it could be lack of funds, lack of get up and go, sizzling hot temps all summer here in north TX....or that I'm a fatass, lazy, old AH? (yeah...the latter could be true?)

With the break in the temps yesterday, me and Nephew Joe (my 18 yr old workhorse) had to put in a little concrete curb-wall to keep any runoff rainwater (not that it will ever rain again) from running into the low side of this carport. Dug a 4-5" deep trough, found some junk steel around here to use as rebar (better than nothing)...mixed up 3-4 bags of 80# Maximizer mix, using a couple of metal drywall framing track pieces for forms. And got this done before 10:30AM.

I didn't have any anchor bolts for a possible future framed wall, so grabbed some 5" long X 1/2" galv lag screws and set them, screw tip up, into the top of the conc....with plans to use a wood block for a "nut" later. I picked up a small trash bucket half full of these lag screws at a nearby yard sale for $10 last week.

Now I finally used up most of a few rotted, discolored, ratty looking, partial fence panels I picked up somewhere for free, to make a light duty visual screen wall. (anything to piss off the nosy, nit-picky, neat freak, neighbors next door who drive by at 2 mph trying to sneak a peek at anything I'm doing). Actually has a nice "rustic" look to it....may just leave it like that.

Tomorrow, Joe and I are gonna try to get the old '48 Packard started and drive it into the shed....gotta find that 6 volt charger, pull the battery out and charge it up good overnight. Need to suck out the old crappy gas and put some fresh "go juice" in as well.
Pretty cool how the Packard hood opens from left OR right side...and with 2 people can be easily lifted off and set to the side...no wrenches...no pliers.. no screwdrivers needed...(and no sledge hammer Billy Bob!!)

More pics later....A.M.F.!

- Bigsocks.

12 September 2011

Remember this...?

I tried to upload a few pics this morning...as the connection speed and blogger seemed to be responsive today...but after one pic....it slowed down again and I was unable to add any more pics.

Oh well....I had to switch back to the "old" blogger editor version, as I never could add a pic with the "new" one.

Hey at least it's a break from politics...huh?

okay...tried again later...and got this one to upload. It's a pic from last Friday when I got Nephew Joe and a buddy of his to show up for a couple of hours of finishing the Packard Shackard metal roof. Now I need to put on some diagonal bracing, and some sort of side wall screening.

And an older shot from somewhere in South Brewster County..(I cannot wait to get back down there !!!)

UPDATE: It's 5:30PM here and weather website says it's 108 degrees here now...dangit. What happened to the cooler temps?


09 September 2011

US Corrupt-Govt Senate passes secret $500B spending increase 1 day ago..from WSJ

(from the Wall Street Journal today)
"The U.S. Senate, in an unusual procedure, cleared the way Thursday for the U.S. to lift its borrowing authority by $500 billion to $15.19 trillion, enough to keep the support federal government borrowing through late January or early February.

The action came under an unusual legislative procedure spelled out under the August agreement to raise the U.S. debt ceiling and avoid a U.S. credit default. In a 52-45 vote, the Senate blocked an attempt by Republicans to slow down the process that will result in the $500 billion debt-ceiling increase.
The increase stems from a deal between Congress and the White House, finalized last month, that spells out how the borrowing limit would be increased by $500 billion. Under the process, lawmakers in both the House and Senate must vote on a resolution of disapproval against the increase in the borrowing limit. President Barack Obama would then have to veto the resolution of disapproval, and Congress would then vote to try and override that veto.

The complicated procedure, designed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), would allow an increase of the borrowing limit while allowing most Republicans to vote against such an increase.
There was a twist in this scenario Thursday evening, however. Democrats held firm, rejecting the resolution of disapproval, thereby speeding the process and increasing the borrowing limit immediately."

Hmmmm...and the "super committee" was supposed to come up with the  $1.2 TRILLION in govt budget cuts (by Thanksgiving '11)....and after last nights American Jobs Bill...they gotta come up with an ADDITIONAL $450 Billion in cuts to pay for this latest "stimulus" package..??

We are going the wrong way....spending our way out of this hole.

Obama says his plan is all "paid for"....but wait...he doesn't even have a "plan" yet...that's gonna roll out Monday (9-19) he says....
(the big Corps and BO's handlers need a week to meet, assemble the math, and add the detail to this idea, then paste it to the tele-prompter for The Empty Suit reader to relate to us....so far merely a campaign propaganda push for re-election.)

It ain't happenin'....not w/o pulling back from our 3 wars in Africa and Mid East...and shrinking other huge govt agencies.

They are already saying they will decrease the SS paycheck with-holdings from 6.2%...to 3.1%....but think about it...this will only make the SS program debacle even WORSE.!!

We are screwed and it doesn't matter which party is in power...they are both 100% corrupt and self serving. We didn't get this screwed in the last 2 years...it's been going on slowly since the 1960's. We are simply in Hyperdrive mode to destruction now. IMHO.

I am unable to post pics with Blogger...so I'll just post politics...for now.


07 September 2011

the North TX weather KILN has been turned off.....finally!!

Great Tffnguy get together in South Brewster Co last wknd....thanks David.!

(no camera = no pics from the weenie party)

Back home now, but sure do miss the gorgeous views and nice breezy weather we left behind in far SW Texas. The extreme heat wave that we've enjoyed here in North TX has finally goen away. Highs this week in the low 90's...lows in upper 50's....wooohooo!!

I was looking thru the card from the camera and found some older pics that I thought I'd share with you..BUT Blogger is taking way too long, longer than I have patience for, to upload pics today....so I'll try another day.

Instead...here's an excerpt from Obama (AKA Barry Sotero)...from his Detroit speech a couple days ago...

"That’s why we chose Detroit as one of the cities that we’re helping revitalize in our “Strong Cities, Strong Communities” initiative. We’re teaming up with everybody -- mayors, local officials, you name it -- boosting economic development, rebuilding your communities the best way, which is a way that involves you. Because despite all that’s changed here, and all the work that lies ahead, this is still a city where men clocked into factories. This is the city that built the greatest middle class the world has ever known. This is the city where women rolled up their sleeves and helped build an arsenal for democracy to free the world. This is a city where the great American industry has come back to life and the industries of tomorrow are taking root. This is a city where people, brave and bold, courageous and clever, are dreaming up ways to prove the skeptics wrong and write the next proud chapter in our history."

Make you feel good now...??  Yeah, me too...all warm and fuzzy like..huh?

I can't wait for the "I will save the world" speech tomorrow night.

NEWS FLASH....Tropical depression "Nate" spinning towards Mexico....may bring rains to TR by early next week...!!!!