This week we made Elk sandwiches. Our sous-vide setup was used to cook out the collagen. I had excellent results by cooking the meat for 10 hours @ 135F and then searing it with a hand held blowtorch.
Our two apricot and peach trees have already started opening their buds. This is scary because our last freeze could be as late as April 15th and the high winds have already begun. The arugula and cauliflower are already bolting.
On our way to a birthday party this weekend we stopped by bottle wall Ken's place to pickup some extra broccoli. It's been a great winter grow season so he had a ridiculous amount of food to give away.
Our neighbor Smoke is leaving town. We met him at Burningman five years ago and convinced him to move to Truth or Consequences. He is part of the Neon crew who decorates the man each year. He had some gear to unload on his way out of town including a golf cart that has been to burningman eight times and a giant aluminum gas tank. They have been added to our scrap pile.
Our neighbors had some friends in town who were serious hikers. When asked what our favorite hike was we decided it would be easiest to just show them.
A copper mine is headed into a community just a few miles south of town. It will destroy the place. it will wreck water, ruin land people and other forms of life will get sick and suffer. It will suck. No one who has anything to do with it should feel proud unless they're fighting to shut it down.
Public comments must be sent before March 9th to be considered: BLM_NM_LCDO_Comments@blm.gov or fax to: 703 760-4899
Like any good homesteader we worship mason jars. They just solve so many problems around storing food. The trouble with them is finding space for the jars themselves plus their accessory lids and rings. While struggling to organize the lids this morning Wendy suggested we find some old paper towel holders from a yard sale. I liked the idea, but did not want to wait. I put together these PVC holders in less than 10 minutes. There is no glue so they easily come apart to remove the rings.
I can tell spring is coming when I see the cat sleeping in the cold frames. This particular cat Baby IO is infatuated with water and drinks from the irrigation systems whenever they turn on.
During our daily run Sesame and I came across some new structures. We were running by Rotory Park on a trail that takes you up the mesa along the Rio Grande. I believe this trail is going to be part of the healing waters trail that connects to the rest of town. Today we saw two rebar structures which look like they might be for shade and benches in the future. They kind of look like giant ocotillo from a distance with their spray painted orange tops.
I've been looking for a pair of head phones that can do it all and I think I've finally found them.
- cordless (with reliable bluetooth connection)
- cover ears (not ear buds)
- stay in place while running
- built-in mic for voice phone calls and Siri control
- good sound quality
The Motorola S305's start at $30 (ebay refurb) and do it all. I feel like they give me super human powers as I can touch the side of my ear and ask Siri any question or to do simple tasks.
When filtering veggie oil we like to use gravity and time to settle out the contaminants. We also use fine paper filters as a final pass which clean the fuel down to 2-micron. In order to reduce the amount of paper filters required used jeans work as a in-between step. I simply tie the denim leg ends off and pour oil through the top of the pants. A piece of rebar suspends the jeans over a 55 gallon drum. This technique is surprisingly effective in how quickly we can filter 100's of gallons of fuel.
Where do we get jeans? Why the thrift store of course. They sell jeans for about $2 each, but it gets better. The thrift store sorts out the jeans that they feel are too damaged to sell and puts them in giant trash bags labelled "for quilting". Each bags contains about a dozen pairs of jeans and costs only $2.
Shouldn't we all be able to solder? I was surprised how fast the kids picked up the idea of keeping a steady hand. I went over the temperature controller they soldered later and it actually worked. The big surprise when teaching is kids is how much trouble they have aligning a 28 pin IC with the holes in the circuit board.
This is a typical scene at our place after a 3-day weekend. All the packages for things we have sold through our store or ebay pile up.
I transfered some grease yesterday to a new friend in Albuquerque. He picked up 125 gallons and managed to fit it all in his WVO converted 1984 Mercedes 300TD. Keep in mind that he still had two fuel tanks and two occupants so he might have been carrying as much as 1400 lbs. Good thing he just put on new shocks.
PIMP - power in my pocket. Wendy named it. My soon to be released battery tester, charger and desulfator. It's designed to charge battery banks from 1-100V at a constant current of .5A. When I'm confident the firmware is stable I'll release the full design files, source code and bom.
The latest to arrive is Jeannie and Kyle, nomad artists tired of the road, they settled just down the street from us. They are an excellent example of the kind of folks who can make it in T or C, they have mad skills, they're real makers of things and they sell their wares on the web. It's best not to rely on our local economy for more than the domestic economy of gifting and barter which is great for keeping the cost of living low and avoiding using money but useless when you need to earn American dollars for the few expenses needed to live in this inexpensive local.
Check out their blog and store. Welcome to T or C Kyle and Jeannie! Video
I know, I know...I said don't take broken irrigation stuff from the dumpsters after a freeze. Last time I grabbed a bunch of cracked solenoid valves and wasted a bunch of time when I realized how they had already cracked from a hard freeze in December. Well, this one might be different. This is a irrigation controller which looks kind of ancient, but might have some life left in it.
We just had a great day of rain. It was dark and gloomy all day, but we have learned to love that kind of weather as it is rare in our region. This morning we woke up to a light fog which quickly burned off with the morning sun.
My capacitive charger kit is one step closer. The professionally printed prototype PCBs have arrived. Whew, that's a lot of P's. I'll be soldering them up and doing some testing before placing a bulk order for full spec PCBs.
Had a nice valentines day dinner with neighbor Laura and Wendy. It was a real 5 course meal which I forgot to photograph in it's entirety. The sous-vide carrot and parsnips and challah bread were my contributions. I forgot to add the sugar to the sous-vide bag and was a 1/2 a teaspoon high on salt on the bread. It was good enough.
This week I nonchalantly mentioned that I thought I had congestion in my gallbladder and that my liver was sluggish based on how I felt and on line reading. An acupuncturist also confirmed the belief. Yarrow effortlessly offered up the following simple cleanse which I did right away and made me feel immediately better. I'm posting it here to share in case you need it.
For three nights just before going to bed mix the juice of a grapefruit with three tablespoons of olive oil. Swig. Go to bed immediately (so your laying down) and tuck your right leg up to your chest while laying on your right side for ten minutes or so. That's it! In the morning you will no doubt notice that your gallbladder is being flushed. Thanks Yarrow.
For those who live in T or C, keep an eye out for a spring juice fast Yarrow will be offering.
This is the best time of year to harvest ephedra. The plants are preparing to bloom, the color is deep green, potency is high and the little spikes are minimal. We went into the desert and picked a large quantity mormon tea to be sold in dry leaf and tincture forms.
Our old kitchen sink faucet died. It started to leak and was so mineralized that it appeared to be beyond recovery. We had a spare on standby and swapped it. It took me nearly two hours to complete due to the limited space and visibility.
Sesame and I took of for our morning run only to return home in record time. The park was closed off with three police cars. When we tried to enter a police officer waved us away. It seems a dead body was found. No information has been released so far as to who died and the cause.