Monday, June 19, 2017

Crystal is the BOSS

This weekend we started working on the green dome again. It's been nearly 2 years since I gifted this project to my girl for her birthday. I could fall back on: we've got a lot of projects going on; it was really involved with dirt work and material acquisition; every step of it was an engineering challenge.... but really? We (I) just let other stuff get in the way.

For what ever reason, Crys decided that we should start this last Saturday. I'm so glad she did. We've ended up with a bit of help that's much appreciated on the labor end of the project (Our friend Danielle and Travis, newlyweds from St. Louis that are visiting the valley) and it's making it all go so much faster.

Saturday it looked like this:





And at the end of work on Sunday it looked like this:



We had to take a break Sunday to go help our friend, Ross, with pulling his well pump. It didn't take long and it was nice to help our buddy that's always there for us. It did rather put most of Sunday's work into the long, hot, afternoon part of the day but we all stuck with it.

Doing jobs is fun at our house. Crys is the BOSS on this one because she got it going. She's doing all the measuring of the polycarbonate angles and channels that hold them. I do the chop sawing of the sheets, she saws the channels. We all work at pre-drilling holes in the channels. Travis and I are up hanging stuff and making final custom cuts (because no matter how hard you try there are variations). We'll sheet almost the whole thing, there'll be an 8 triangle plywood "back" wall, and we can't sheet the door opening yet, as I have to engineer that for the door to fit in.

It's going well in a time of the year that is often full, and we hope to have most of the sheeting done by Crys' birthday on Wednesday (though that's pushing it a bit).

We referred to the bit that was on the first day as the Green Dome Yarmulke. Now it's a bit bigger than that and we hope to have some of the next row on tonight.

Stay tuned. :D


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Making an old camper new again.

This is our new/old Bethany Citation 88 camper. It's from 1973. I was 13 that year. I can't imagine how jazzed I'd have been if our family had one of those, we didn't really do the camping thing, mostly we did the hang around the house and work on stuff thing. It's a thing I constantly try to solve in my adult life. We're hoping this helps do that.


So today we set it up. Much of that was trial and error. The front canvas will need a bit of patching and stuff. We ordered a patch kit. If that doesn't work I found a place that will make new canvas that only costs what we paid for the whole camper, but hey, vintage~ . We learned that to make it water tight you do this folding and sliding thing with the edges of the canvas, kinda cool. And I tried the 3 burner stove and the heater (which both work). The fridge is an ice box that you literally throw a block of ice into. I'll look into a nice fridge, not sure it necessary. I'm also thinking about all the cool things I could do with solar panels and such. :D Might as well geek out on the thing right?

I'm constantly surprised and pleased that I have for my partner a woman that looks at this 43 year old camper and sees what I do. I think that's rare in today's world.

Back to work, and the sauna is up to 140 degrees! SO back to work and play.

Under the weather, and the weather is fine.

This Saturday morning is starting in a lovely, slow way. We're having coffee and riding the tubes of the internet while we get going. The chickens (Schickens if you're our 2 year old god daughter) are out and pecking in the dirt. There was a little rain last night so it smells wonderful outside, and I started up the barrel sauna for later today. We'll not share it today, we're both a bit under the weather and no one else should venture into that kind of a petri dish. We had lots of plans for the weekend but, as is often the case this year, stuff came up and some of it will wait. We might still get the 5th wheel cleaned out to move, or the RV ready to sell. We'll certainly experiment with a "just right" recipe for a hot toddy. Mostly today? We'll take care of us, and be glad that we're lucky enough to be able to do so.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

This is the video for the previous page that I couldn't figure out how to correctly insert.

video
This is from the previous page :D

Hiking the hill to the east of home.

 This is a view of the hill to the East and just a smidge south of the house. I decided to walk there.


 I like this little tree sentinel that is standing all by itself on the hill in the morning sun.


 This is looking toward the volcanic basalt rock flow that heads west and onto our property.


 This is a little view to the South as I was heading up the hill. Lots of fun views all around.


This is looking back toward home as I was heading up. The twins are a landmark for us.


 One needs to always stop to smell the flowers, in this case a cactus that's just about to bloom.


 Way up on the hill the Indian Paintbrush are just starting to bloom, this one is all prepped for beauty.


 This is a look down the vertical side facing the south, a short step to a long drop! Gotta watch out.


Here's a video of the 360 degree view from the top of the hill (the one on the south side of the two). On the hill that is on the North side of the two there's a little jar with paper and pencil for folks to put their name and location on. Several of those are on hills around here, it's kinda fun. I was the first person to put a name on it for this year.


Here I'm coming back down the hill, looking toward home again. This side is really steep!


 This is a view back up the hill I just walked/stumbled down. I sure wouldn't want to go up this way!


And finally a view of the hill I climbed up, after coming back down. The light is sure different here.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

TSA Pre-Check

Last week we accomplished the TSA Pre Check procedure.

To do it you go to: https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/programs/precheck

It's 4 or 5 pages that you fill out online, then it directs you to a appointments page where you select a TSA service location, and you set up an appointment. Here's an important tip, we set up our appointments for an AM time. A person might want to set an afternoon appointment instead, as the location we visited also did drug tests for businesses. This tends to clog up the morning shift. The nice lady in Colorado Springs told us that, "in an hour it'll be all cleared out". SO, do yourself a favor and set up for the afternoon, go have a nice breakfast, shop a bit etc.

If you have a valid drivers license and a passport for ID, that's all you need. That and the $85. I'd suggest getting the passport first, as that can be a bit more of a hurdle.

At the appointment, they check your IDs, check through your submitted info, and finger print you. And it's not like the old finger printing with the ink and stuff. This is new, fancy stuff with a scan pad. Then they take your money, non-refundable so don't apply if you have felony's. :D

It took a total of 4 days to get the result, which they email you. There's no card or anything, it's an assigned number that you have to have handy when making reservations and such. Most airlines will use it and the number gets cleverly implanted into the bar code of a given boarding pass. Often, if you're a frequent traveler (or belong to a rewards program) they'll keep your number on file for future travel.

It's a little extra work to add your numbers to existing reservations, but South West makes it easy and even our little local airline (Boutique out of Alamosa) can do it if you're patient and have your info handy.

The website makes the point that have a KTN does not mean you'll never get strip searched and anal probed, but it's much less likely.

Hope that's helpful. :D

Saturday, April 22, 2017




Happy Earth Day to one and all. This is the view from our front window this morning. The sun is just coming up, starting to strike our solar array to power the batteries that keep us humming. The coffee is perking on the stove and there's a soft tick.... tick..... tick..... from the wood stove as it warms the house on a chilly morning here in the San Juan mountains of southern Colorado. I've been out to let the chickens into the pound yard so they can scratch around doing their chicken thing. The cottonwoods are starting to bud and it looks like several of the fruit trees we planted last year are going to have made it through the winter. At my feet on the coffee table are several starter plants Crys got to make hanging baskets for out in the yard and the bright orange poppies look pretty cheerful. The coffee's warm, the creek is starting to sub up, and the birds are chirping. Guess I'll build that second chicken coop today, and maybe heat up the wood fired sauna for this evening. Here's hoping your day is as good as ours.