Sunday, November 18, 2007

Photo Op...

For those of you who are interested, below is a photo of my daughter's dog Loki. He's a Chinese Crested. About the size of a Chihuahua, he's totally hairless (almost) and as cute as a bug.

The dog below is Loki's full litter-mate. Her name is Panda. She will be coming to Washington to live with us in a few weeks. Notice any difference in the dogs?

Am I excited or what?

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Hey! How did I get here?

And, how do I get down?
Now way here.
Too far.
Maybe I'd better sit back down.
Nope, this is not right.

Hey, where's the seat belt on this thing.
It's always nice to have the help of a friend.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Breaking News...

Don't you just hate it when everything on the news channels today is 'Breaking News'?

"Breaking News... Bobbie Brown falls off his bike in front of Mr. Black's house and now Mrs. Brown is going to sue Mr. Black for maintaining an unsafe sidewalk in front of his house.

"In return Mr. Black is suing the Browns for defacement of the sidewalk from the blood stains that Bobbie maliciously splattered across his sidewalk."

Fortunately, that has nothing to do with this blog so, here goes. Yes, I know. I'm in a rare mood but, that's Roger's fault.

Roger has been away, again. He left Thursday to fly to Nellis AFB for the air show. He told me (before he left) that he was going to talk to the man who owned an F-105 (I think it was an F-105) that was being exhibited in the show.

Roger told me when he called that he did have a conversation with gentleman. Unfortunately, I did NOT give Roger my American Express Card and the owner of the aircraft would not take a check for the jet. So Roger will be home later today via Alaska Airlines rather than RJRanch Airlines. Besides the Robinson landing pad is too short for the jet and landing it in the alfalfa field might really upset the farmer.

I, on the other hand, have been working on my painting (among other things) so I thought I'd include a photo of my studio as it looks today. The painting of the grain elevator (on the easel) is not quite done but it's getting close.

Many of the things on the shelf above the sliding door are a collection of items I originally kept from hitting the land fill because I wanted to use them for still life drawing. Some of the items have been contributed by Roger though I don't think he really know he donated them. It hit me yesterday that they might look good up there (instead of in the barn). And, they do (I think). But then, I'm an artist and we all know how quirky artists can be.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Home Again, Home Again Jiggitty Jog...

After being gone for two weeks Roger returned home just stuffed with new ideas. He was supposed to be gone just a week but extenuating circumstances and another class offering (that 'he just couldn't pass up') kept him longer than he intended to stay at school.

He is really excited about what he has learned regarding alternative energy sources. We're both excited about fact that we can use some of the ideas in our own home. Why does the word guinea pig keep popping into my head?

In keeping with saving energy or using 'green' energy we have installed the three 50 gallon drums in the new greenhouse. Each drum is filled with a mixture of water and anti-freeze. The idea is to use the heat collected by the drums during the day to warm the greenhouse at night. The anti-freeze will keep the water in the drums from freezing during the coldest part of the winter.

(Let's see. If the anti-freeze keeps the water from freezing that must mean that the water [by itself] would freeze with the outside temperatures. So, how much heat is generated by ice? Hmmm...I need to think about that.)

We did manage to cut down four of the eight Italian cypress that blocked the east side of the greenhouse (I just hated to do that). With the added sunlight the drums seem to be working. We've had the temperature drop to as low as 18 at night and the plants that remain in the green house are surviving. There's still a lot of winter left yet so we'll see what happens.

Once a company located in the State of Washington begins to manufacture solar panels we will be installing said solar panels in the field on the east side of the barn. By installing equipment manufactured in our home state we will be able to sell the excess energy generated by the panels back to the power company for more than if we were to use equipment purchased elsewhere. It is our understanding that there is a company that will begin manufacturing panels some time early next summer.

We will be doing some preliminary work on the project before that time. And, we will be documenting our progress once the project begins.

Meanwhile the field stands ready and waiting.

Roger would like to make installing energy conservation equipment his business. I think it's a great idea too. But, it's also scary knowing that we will be working on someone else' home. Maybe it's best that we're trying it on our own home first.

There are a lot of people around here that are interested in conservation. And, nearly everyone in Pullman knows that Roger is the guy who built The Electric Car. Though both are great ideas, I think it would be a stretch to equate one to the other. Somehow, watching the workman installing a solar heating system on a roof while reading an instruction book does not inspires much confidence; especially when it's your roof.

Because Roger was gone for so long this last week was spent playing 'catch-up' on our projects. We started out with about 35 items on our list and now have it down to about 10. We hope to have it down to four by next weekend and completely eliminated before Thanksgiving. We just might make it too (if we can stop adding to the list).

We finally finished the south wall of the barn. I insulated the walls and Roger and I put up the metal siding to complete the project and insure that the storage area will not leak again.

Door closed....................door open
Watch the disappearing door.

Roger fixed the large door that was twisted off of the rail by the wind last winter. Notice it's no longer standing askew. He then cut off the bottom part of each door and fixed them so we could close them all the way. I think the repairs will eliminate the leaking there too.

It was such a nice day today that we decided to complete another project on our list. We put an anemometer up on the side of the hill to monitor the wind. We already have one down near the drive way.

There appears to be much more wind on the hill than near the house. We will monitor the wind speed for a few weeks to see if it will be worth the effort to install a wind power generator.

Does he look like he's having fun or what?
I think you can see it spinning.

We plan to set up a small dam so we can measure the amount of water coming down the hill from the seasonal waterfall. The waterfall doesn't run all year but it does run for a few months beginning in December and (except when things are completely frozen) continuing even into May. It will be easier to complete the construction while the stream is dry. I think we're going to try to get it set up this year. If we don't make it there's always next year. We should be able to generate energy from the water if the drop is great enough. If not then maybe we'll have a nice little duck pond.

I'm wondering if energy conservation counts as one project or if there isn't really three our four new projects here.

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