Desperate for Fire

frplcnkdWell, it’s the last day of February and winter is running out.  This has been the lamest winter in my memory.  I think it froze maybe twice for just a few hours.  It was not even cold enough to properly enjoy my fireplace.  I have a ton of wood that is sitting there attracting termites.

It is in the upper 50s right now which is just not cold enough for a fire but I’m desperate so I’m opening all the windows in the house, getting naked and appreciating the fire anyway.

Winter sucks in Texas.  I wish I lived up north.


Win for solar!

broktreWoohoo!  I just wanted to tell someone!

My yard is very shady so it wasn’t until after my own tree fell down that I was able to build a solar panel and tracking system.  Even then my view of the sky was limited due to the neighbor’s tree.

I have been hoping for months that it would fall down and give me a few more hours of sun each day and today we got a powerful front with 40 mph winds through the area.  The tree finally submitted to my wishes and the branch that shaded my panels broke!

Now I have more motivation to complete the tracking circuit and get my system operating like I had planned.  I’m so excited.

How low is Medina Lake in Texas?

mlktrsMedina Lake is 3.2% full as of March 3, 2014

After years of drought in Texas, Medina Lake is one of the most hard hit in the state.  This picture was taken in February of 2013 and shows a tree that has been submerged under 60 feet of water since 1913 when the dam was built.

The lake is now only 3.2% full which means it is down 90 feet from normal.  The drought is expected to continue through 2014 at which point the lake will surely dry up completely.

Originally built to supply local farmers with water for their crops, farmers are no longer allowed to draw water from the lake.  Things are not looking good for Texas.  Global Warming has dealt the state a staggering blow.  It is time to start migrating north.   Click here for the current lake level.


Lonely Man Dinners – Waffles


Waffles. They aren’t just for breakfast anymore.  For a lonely man, pancakes and waffles make a great meal.  Waffles are even better because they have little pockets that hold the syrup.

I was wandering around Best Buy today and passed the small appliance counter.  They had an Oster Flip Waffle Maker for $29.99 that called me by name.  There were more expensive models right next to it but I couldn’t imagine how much better a waffle maker can be so bought the cheap one.

Today after coming home from work, I knew what was for dinner.

I busted it out of the box and took the Hungry Jack just-add-water pancake mix off the shelf.   1/2 cup of mix plus a little over 1/3 cup of water.  Mix, Pour into the hot machine and flip it over.

The green light goes off and after a few minutes it turns on again indicating that your waffle is ready.  Flip it back over and set the waffle free.   Pour on some nice warm syrup and enjoy.

I believe I will be enjoying this machine for years to come.  Sure beats pancakes.

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Petit Paquet

I just received some tiny mercury switches for my solar panel tracker.  I bought them off of eBay and they were shipped from Canada.

The postage label from Canada has both English and French translation.  I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to see a translation other than Mexican on an item.  Everything here in San Antonio is written in both English and spanish.

While browsing at Best Buy today if picked up a package and thought I was losing my mind because I couldn’t make any sense of it.  It was printed completely in spanish.  I turned the box over and over looking for an English description of what was inside.  No luck.

That was the first time I’ve ever seen that.  It is probably a sign of the times though.  It is just a matter of time before we are all speaking spanish here in the United States.  Then shortly after that we will be speaking a combination of spanish and Chinese.

The future does not look good to me.  I’m glad I will not be here when it happens.


Preserving Doughnuts

glzddntsFresh doughnuts are perhaps the most awesome thing on the planet but what does a person do with a box of doughnuts.  Eat them all at once?  Maybe.  But what if not?

After a day the glaze for some reason starts to melt and run down to the bottom of the box.  The doughnuts start to get wrinkly and not so fresh.

A great way to preserve them is to put the box in the refrigerator.  That may sound wrong but the glaze will stay intact and all you have to do is put one in the microwave for 9 seconds.  The coldness will be removed but the glaze won’t melt.  It’s just like it was when you bought it.

Hooray!  Doughnuts!

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