Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Nothing like being woke up with a freeze warning...

Yep, was just woke up by my weather station blaring about a freeze warning, it's set to go off at 37 degrees... Yes it is 37 degrees out side... Wish I had that information earlier in the day, it's too late to do anything about it now... So another log on the fire and I'm going back to bed!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Long day of work...

Been a long day...

We now have all the solar panels hooked up, along with all the batteries. In total we now have 8 deep cycles, and 9 panels, all totaling 345 watts of solar and close to 8k watts of battery bank. When the system went live we had 14v even in the old 5 and 13.5v in the new three, 12 hours later we are at 13.8v total bank. Given a few more days of good sunny weather, and I'm sure we are going to have all the power we're gonna need!
All said and done we have close to $3200 invested. Not a bad amount of money, for what we have...

Too round out the day we worked a bit on the saloon project, finishing the back three walls. With vacation next week, it's gonna be exciting to see how far we can get to completion. This has been an ongoing project for almost a year now, but has been a dream for as long as I can remember.
We are going to need a name for it though, any good ideas? Winner gets a free round!

My insanity on display www.pioneeringaz.blogspot.com

Friday, October 22, 2010

A bit of a wasted day...

We had a nice rainy day here in Arizona, when I woke up at 7 it looked as though it had rained all night, and it continued all day! The storm total was 3/4 of an inch here, now we have clear skies, and the temperature is dropping... We were going to get some work done on the Saloon project, but with the weather the way it was we decided to do what we could with the new battery and solar array, but all we could do was install the buss and hook up the inverter. So it was an early day...

After that I headed into town for some supplies, slipping and sliding the whole way, now back at home... So with a fire in the stove, cup of coffee by my side, I think I'm going to drive into the book of Acts this evening. Then off to bed. I do hope it is a little better weather tomorrow... (but just a little, I love these rainy days, they really don't happen that often, just when you want to do something outside!)

My insanity on display www.pioneeringaz.blogspot.com

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

We have success!

After battling a leaky roof for several months, I'm glad to report that it is fixed! we've had a lot of rain the past couple of days, and it appears that all the leaks in the main room are now fixed. We even made improvements to the awning around the bedroom door and the front of the conex, which also appears to be bone dry this morning.
Another great thing, the electric car batteries that have not been charged or really used all that much for the past two years, have been plugged into the new panels for a few days, and even with all the clouds and rain, they are showing improvement. When we first went live we were at 12v flat, and now we are 12.6v. It doesn't seem like much, but they are large batteries on a trickle charge, especially with the clouds. It we can get a week of sunny skies I'm sure they will get to 13.5 in no time. Which I'm going to wait for, before I lookup the rest of the battery bank, just to make sure that these batteries are going to perform right.

Now some coffee this morning, and to get something done...

My insanity on display www.pioneeringaz.blogspot.com

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Teaching little one the joys of soap box cars...

At least a red neck version!

We took the batteries out of this custom electric car the other day, so now it's just gravity powered, and with our steep driveway, a little person could get some good speed, and she did! Drifting into a long sweeping turn, she was driving like a pro! I think I created a monster... But I really missed a good science opportunity, next time we are going to put a light on the motor, and see how bright we can make it.

My insanity on display www.pioneeringaz.blogspot.com

Friday, October 15, 2010

Well today got us one step closer...

Today we finished up on the roof project, and installed the new solar panels. We also started (have a lot of work to do still) on the new battery array. With two charge controllers and the three new batteries, well have a week test to see how well they will perform.
Weather wise, what a great day! A bit warm for a short time, but mostly partly cloudy, with rain all around... Some even hit the ground!

My insanity on display www.pioneeringaz.blogspot.com

Our morning rituals...

Feed and water 5 wild horses... Two goats, four dogs... Oh and a bunny.

My insanity on display www.pioneeringaz.blogspot.com

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Long day...

I really don't have much to show for today's work. (which by the way was one of the hotest days this month, reaching into the triple digits!) We had to finish building a roof over the Conex, and me being the bad little blogger I am, I forgot to take a before picture. So the after won't make much sense. As many as you know the Conex was the first thing out here, and because of the that, the house was built around it. When we did that, we rested the headers of the roofs on top. That made the roof of the Conex 6 inches lower than the roofs on three sides... Nice if you want to make a roof top pond, not nice if you want to stay dry inside. Not to worry now, we built a small roof that is at the same level as everything else.
Now that roof will support our solar panels, and since we are relocating the batteries into the Conex, the shorter distance will really make it more efficient. On that note, I just wrestled 3 more big batteries out of a custom electric car built by my father-n-law. Adding those into the system will boost our storage big time!
So now its off to sleep...

My insanity on display www.pioneeringaz.blogspot.com

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Depot in the news...

10/12/2010 6:01:00 AM
Home Depot plans citywide celebration Kindman Daily Miner.

James Chilton
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - In appreciation of not just their customers, but customers of businesses all over the city, the local Home Depot at 3860 Stockton Hill Road is hatching plans to host a citywide customer appreciation day in its parking lot this coming Saturday.

Home Depot's lead generator, Marie Leiter, said that she has already received confirmations from nearly three dozen businesses that will set up booth space for the event, which is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Oct. 16.

"Our goal is to share all the wonderful things that Kingman has to offer," Leiter said. "So far, I have 32 people that are on the list, including Chuy's, Chili's, banks and car lots."

Leiter said her current goal is to get the word out to as many businesses as possible interested in turning out for the event. Those businesses that have already signed up are planning to show off their customer appreciation in a number of ways, from simple informational brochures to free giveaways to everything in between.

"They can do whatever they want. I have a couple of them that are handing out free samples or brochures on their businesses," Leiter said. "I've got one of the day spas that will be offering 5 percent off on a pedicure, I've got one place that wants to barbecue ribs on the parking lot."

She added that Home Depot itself will be giving out free popcorn and cotton candy throughout the day, and will also have assorted vendors doing raffles and giveaways, including one raffle for a free storage building from Tuff Shed. In addition, booth space for businesses will be free, to encourage maximum turnout for both vendors and customers.

"We're not charging businesses for the booths," Leiter said. "It's just our way of saying 'thank you' to everybody. And I'm still getting it all together, which means there's only going to be more stuff once the date rolls around."

Leiter said she was aiming to get all participating businesses signed up by Sept. 30, though she will add latecomers to the list as she can. For more information, call (928) 681-5600 ext. 331.

My insanity on display www.pioneeringaz.blogspot.com

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Never a dull moment in the sticks...

We had our neighbor call us this morning to ask some advice. I guess sometime in the early morning her dogs started to go all crazy. So she got up grabbed her gun and went to investigate. That's when she noticed someone hiding in the bushes on her property.
She jumped on her quad and went to confront the person. It appears that he didn't speak much English, but he was cut up pretty bad, and had some dried blood on his hands and legs. She escorted him down the road and showed him which direction to walk to get help. (he didn't really want help for his injuries, she said. Just wanted money. And refused for her to call the authorities)
She called us to see if we had heard anything that would piece this all together. A quick call to DPS and we found out that there was a car accident at the nearest exit on the freeway, the night before, but all people had been counted for... They think. Without saying so much, they lead us to believe that there may have been a couple of foreigners in the bunch, that would like to not be caught in our state without the proper paperwork...
So tonight, we are all on a bit of an edge letting our dogs do, what they do, so well...

The commentary on this series of events, never take a bark for granted, always be prepared, and although we live in the sticks, we still have to worry about foot traffic!

My insanity on display www.pioneeringaz.blogspot.com

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fall is here...

Ok I'm gonna call it. It's fall. The weather has changed, been around 75 for a few days, and looks like its going to be that way for awhile. Well at least I hope it does.

The nights have been a bit crisp, but that just means winter is on its way. I think we're ready...

My insanity on display www.pioneeringaz.blogspot.com

Friday, October 8, 2010

Long day...

Well not really, it was really a relaxed day. We spent most of the morning spending some good family time, the kid played with her goats and dogs, while the wife and I talked and read our books. At around ten little one had to get on her schooling, and I had to go cut wood.
Now I've had my eye on one in particular. It fell down last year after monsoon season, and was ready to be chopped.
That was the long hard part of the day. These Arizona cedars are not easy to cut up. Especially when you're using a hobby chain saw you buy at The Home Depot for $100! After a dozen cuts you have to let the chain saw cool down so you can sharpen the chain. That wasn't too bad cause I had the chance to pick up and stack the wood in the trailer, get a drink of water and have a seat every 30 min or so. But all said and down I ended up with a trailer 3/4 of the way full. Once staked at home though, I felt a bit deflated... Guess I'll have to go out again later and give it another go around.

My insanity on display www.pioneeringaz.blogspot.com

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Decided to take the family out to a fancy dinner...

So on the way back from the truck stop, we decided to take what was suppose to be a short cut. It wasn't. But the only thing that didn't make it back home with us was a backup light. So I am counting myself lucky.

Today was a somewhat productive day. I've been wanting to tear into the conex for sometime now. Its been just way too hot to clean it out. Not today though, and I was able to go through all my tools and put them back were they belong. About time. In doing so I also made enough room to relocate the batteries, charge controllers, and inverter inside there as well. Having them closer to the house will make our little solar system a lot more efficient. And we'll have enough room for at least 20 batteries!

We also went though and made a game plan for this winters projects. Starting with completing the roof system over the Conex, which will allow us to install all our solar panels and also keep some of the water out of our living room. Second would be moving the batteries and accessories into the Conex. Third is an old/new generator that will be getting a new home out here. We'll have to build a bunker to place it in, so that no moron will be able to walk away with it. We also have a 35 gallon gas tank that will be hooked up to it, that has a gas gauge so we'll always know how much we have. The final project for this winter will be to finish the saloon.

All that and I would like to have a new heater installed in the Jeep, and the living room insulated and finished...

Are you as tired as I am after that list?

My insanity on display www.pioneeringaz.blogspot.com

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Well the seasons have changes...

Wow, what ever happened to fall? We went from 100 degree weather to waking up to 45 degrees and ice on the cars. What a difference a day makes I guess. With luck the snakes have all gone into hiding and I'll be able to get some wood cut, which is my plan this weekend. The National Weather service has posted that snow is expected in the high elevations. I don't think we'll see any here, but I do expect the temp to drop even more. Time to get busy on winterizing!
This also means play time is over, it is time for some serious building to take place. We have Solar Panels to put up, inverters to install, a room to finish, a Saloon to finish, stalls to build... Wow I'm tired just talking about it all!

My insanity on display www.pioneeringaz.blogspot.com

Friday, October 1, 2010

Our local mascotts

After last nights big thunderstorm, we woke up to our four legged neighbors, who came to pay us a visit. They have been here most of the day in fact, grazing and drinking. Little one has already picked names for all them. Anyone want to wager if can jump on and take a ride? Lets see how that will go over....

My insanity on display www.pioneeringaz.blogspot.com