The Field Lab

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Life off the grid in the SW Texas desert. An experiment in sustainable living. NUMBERS AT THE END OF EACH BLOG POST: temp at 8PM,high temp,low temp,rainfall,wind conditions(CalmBreezyWindyGusty). Live streaming video at http://ustre.am/TM8N YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/TheFieldLab John Wellshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/12783305402239706779noreply@blogger.comBlogger3183125
Updated: 15 hours 4 min ago

burro break

Thu, 2017/05/25 - 4:47pm













Shot part three of the YouTube Pepino project today.  Had to use my sheet metal break to do some bending for a chunk of duct work.  The last time I used this was 5 years ago back in the days when Mr. Floppy used to hang out (I think he must have died at least 3 years ago).  Funny thing is...I "break" it out today and just happened to have a new burro on hand almost in the exact same spot.  99,103,62,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

hot battery

Wed, 2017/05/24 - 3:21pm


Part of my morning routine is to check my battery banks.  Two days ago I discovered one of the 3 batteries left in my dying bank was really hot.  Not good.  Removed it from the bank and placed in out away from everything just in case it decided to go up in flames (or explode)...the main reason I check my batteries daily.  I think it is time to put the new batteries into service and retire this group for good.  Just so happens I shot a video of the switch which will be posted soon.  90,93,54,0,B  Note: my battery set ups are not very pretty and are one step above Frankenstein - but they work for me.  Don't do as I do.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

sibling rivalry...

Tue, 2017/05/23 - 3:39pm
Well...for some reason Chupa and Manny suddenly decided to fight a lot.  Normally, they get along pretty well and will spar occasionally but yesterday it was relentless.  Apparently they had been going at it for while in the morning before I let them out of the pen.  Both of them were a little bloody.  Throughout the day they went at it a couple more times until Manny hid in the Airstream.  Last night when I was ready to put them back in the pen, I thought Chupa had killed Manny.  He was lying frozen on his back.  I put Chupa in the pen and decided to wait a little while to try to figure out what was going on...Manny didn't appear to have any visible injuries and his eyes were open.

About a half hour later (after doing some digging online) I went out to check him and he was not moving but his eyes were still open.  I turned him back over on his feet and he hopped right up as if nothing had happened.  Seems a fight had induced a state of "tonic immobility" ...a natural state of semi-paralysis that some animals enter when presented with a threat - a defensive mechanism intended to feign death.  It can be induced by humans in various ways and is known as chicken hypnosis - a barnyard parlor thick of sorts.

It was getting dark by this time so I took a chance and put Manny in the pen with Chupa.  They both went calmly into the coop.  This morning I came to let them out and Manny was immobilized on his back again, so I righted him but kept him in the pen for the day.  I let Chupa out but he spent the whole day right next to the pen.  Decided it might be a good idea to provide separate sleeping quarters so I slapped together a makeshift second coop to keep them apart overnight to avoid any early morning conflicts.  For the next week or so they will take turns during the day - one in the pen while the other gets to run around.  The question is...do I try to get video of Chupa "hypnotizing" Manny?  77,84,64,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a monday matinee...

Mon, 2017/05/22 - 10:54am

89,92,62, .92"(yesterday),B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

this won't end well...

Sun, 2017/05/21 - 3:34pm
This has got to be the most pathetic scam email I have ever received.Wrong on so many levels...Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  Galatians 6:7"Therefore we must call upon God, He has promised to help: therefore let me not think Him to be false or untrue to His promises, for we can not dishonor God more than by not believing or trusting in Him. Therefore let us beware above all things of dishonoring God; and so we must be patient, trusting and most certainly believing that He will deliver us when it seems good to Him, who knows the time better than we ourselves."  Hugh Latimer 1485-1555    
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Ben's little blue bowl...

Sat, 2017/05/20 - 2:50pm
Made an executive decision yesterday and took Ben's large trough out of service.  Decided it was kind of silly to have so much water sitting out there for just him (and occasionally Javier), especially since I was loosing a lot to evaporation.  Years ago someone gave me a float valve and I thought it might finally be time to try it out.  Ben inspected and approved the new water source as soon as I set it up to fill for the first time.  So far so good.  80,83,71,0,W
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a friday night film

Fri, 2017/05/19 - 3:11pm

93,97,57,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

RIP Dr. Doug

Thu, 2017/05/18 - 3:09pm
93,97,57,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

bee protest?

Wed, 2017/05/17 - 5:44pm
When I went to feed Ben this morning I found a swarm of bees in his trough.  That has never happened.  Pretty sure these guys were just passing by and dropped in for a drink and a swim (or perhaps to see what all the internet fuss was about) and not part of my local hive.  They were all gone by the time I had drained it down half way.  Decided it was the perfect excuse to clean out his big bowl.  Ben was quite curious about it once I tipped it up to dry out this evening.  He will be on his little bowl for a couple of days.  90,92,68,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

How YouTube works...

Mon, 2017/05/15 - 5:14pm
There is no doubt that I got really lucky with the bucket.  Kind of ironic that getting a video to go viral was on my bucket list when I started concentration on my YouTube channel at the beginning of the year.  My 15 minutes of YouTube fame for this shot is just about over now and the media frenzy is fading fast - but I was able to score a little over a thousand bucks in ad revenue for my effort as well as a deal with GoPro worth another thousand (FYI - I didn't get the drone deal I was looking for from them because they are in such high demand right now but they sweetened the deal with $500 cash + a GoPro Hero 5 Black + a Karma Grip).  The reason that YouTube is such a tough nut to crack when it comes to making money is that it takes A LOT OF VIEWS to earn much of anything.  The payout rate at my level of subscribers and popularity is only about twenty five cents per 1,000 monetized views - top channels can make as much as $4 per 1,000 monetized views.  It is also very tricky how YouTube decides what views get counted.  Up until this viral hit, I had only earned about 40 bucks total from all the 27 other videos I have posted so far this year.  To put it in perspective, my channel would need to consistently get about 2,500,000 monetized views per month just to cover my health insurance premium.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a monday matinee...

Mon, 2017/05/15 - 10:11am

95,97,74,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

grow in grace

Sun, 2017/05/14 - 1:32pm
2 Peter 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.  18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

coming soon...

Sat, 2017/05/13 - 4:27pm
Guess where my GoPro went today.90,94,62,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a friday night film

Fri, 2017/05/12 - 3:43pm

83,86,73,0,C
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

auto care...

Thu, 2017/05/11 - 6:13pm
tires'n'oil85,86,61,0,C
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

tire delivery

Wed, 2017/05/10 - 4:02pm
Looks like I have something on my schedule for tomorrow morning at Terlingua Auto.  Along with the new tires I have an extra wheel for a second spare...and I love my new mongo jack.  88,91,62,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

the good bucket

Tue, 2017/05/09 - 5:22pm
So the bucket went over the 2,000,000 views mark this afternoon and looks like it might make 3,000,000 by tomorrow.  Just so you know...that translates into about $1,000 in ad revenue for TFL.  The video is being shared on a lot of sites now where the views are not counted and monetized by YouTube.  I fully expect that the attention will fade pretty quickly in the next couple of days and the mad rush will be over.  I have also picked up over 3,500 new subscribers to my channel.  So far I have turned down 23 media offers.  The only offer I got that I liked was from GoPro.  In return for giving them a copy of all my raw footage for them to edit and use as they please (while still giving me credit) - I retain full ownership of the footage to use as I wish in the future, it is a non-exclusive agreement that does not involve any revenue sharing with my current video on YouTube, and they will pay me $500 plus give me a new GoPro Hero 5 Black (although I am going to try to sweeten the deal for no cash but a GoPro Karma drone instead with the Hero 5 Black and an extra battery and propellers).  That is a deal I can live with.  91,94,64,0,B      
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a monday matinee...

Mon, 2017/05/08 - 12:56pm
Due to my last video going viral, the previously scheduled programming for a monday matinee was preempted.  I am a little late today because I decided to shoot a welcome video for the over 1,000 new subscribers.

86,91,67,0,W
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

seemed appropriate...

Sun, 2017/05/07 - 9:33am
Isaiah 41:17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. 18 I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.  
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

funny numbers...

Sat, 2017/05/06 - 4:08pm
I figured something must be up when I checked my email inbox this morning...over 100 messages - and they kept pouring in all day.  I get email notifications when someone comments or subscribes to my YouTube channel.  Seems the bucket is pretty popular online since I posted it.  I had no idea it would go viral(ish)...I still consider true viral to be over 1,000,000 views.  Anyway, it did pretty good today with an average of over 8,000 views per hour and over 110,000 since I posted it last night as well as drawing in about 10,000 views for some of my other videos.  It peaked at over 17,000 views between 9 and 10 this morning.  Someone from Norway posted it on Reddit and that certainly helped give it a boost.  I also got swarmed with media offers to license the video.  As you may remember, I did that with the horn cam video and it really didn't really amount to much.  I turned down all the offers to split the revenue with these sharks.  One company offered to buy the video outright for $200.  My counter offer was $25,000.  They declined.  When it comes right down to it, the video will make me at least 200 bucks and these companies all make the same lame promises of being able to sell it elsewhere with "their major media outlet connections".  The problem is, these guys are in the business of pumping out viral BS hourly and we all know how short the public's attention span is.  They make their money suckering in and chipping away at the tiny profits of thousands of creators - that is the only way the numbers work for them.  I also picked up over 200 new subscribers which was nice (but also means the pool for the free snakeskin just got a lot larger).  Special thanks to the stars of the video.  It was there dedication and hard work (and thirst) that made the production a success.  If the video reaches 1,000,000 views, I will put out a call for votes for best performance by a water drinker (I personally think George has the edge).  90,95,51,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs