Archive for October, 2009

Sorry for the Delay… Laptop failure

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Well it’s been a few days since I’ve been able to update the website.  I experienced total system failure on my laptop.   I have gotten a new laptop and am back online.   To update you on the solar system, panels have been installed and tied in to the system through the combiner box and the door to the shed has been fabricated and installed.   I am working on the first phase adobe building now.  Below is a picture of the rough footings that I am digging for the building, and you can see the railroad ties in the background that I will be using for the foundation.  (Warning…  this is not to code, please do not tell code enforcement that I told you this was ok)   The dimensions of this first building are such that code does not apply so I am building this one as a “true” adobe.   No concrete footing, bond beam, or any of that.   I visited the Taos Pueblo and spoke to some of the native americans there about their pueblo which has stood for 1000 years and is still occupied.  They told me there is no foundation, just compacted earth and that with adobe the main thing is maintenance.  They re-plaster the exterior twice a year to keep erosion and water penetration out.   Their adobes are not stabalized (obviously) and yet for 1000 years those buildings have stood unaffected by time and weather.   I was so inspired that I decided to do my first building in a true adobe style.   The railroad ties for the foundation walls are more for my piece of mind, as I’m not sure I’m tamping the earth enough to prevent movement and they will help to distribute the weight of the adobe walls evenly across the earth.  This will help to prevent cracking.   I will be wrapping them in felt paper to help keep a layer of seperation between them and the earth, even though they are soaked with creosote it makes me feel better to protect them.   Here’s the pictures…

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I will update the site with more soon…  I need to recover some of my files from my old laptop, but will try to keep current with everything until that is done.

Panels Are Installed

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Well I have installed the two 205 watt solar panels on the shed of the roof.   It took the better part of a day to do it because the mounting kit had no installation instructions.   Once I figured it out though it’s not bad, I could probably install more in half the time now that I know how.  Unfortunately I am not having the best experience with my supplier.  I was told on thursday to pick up the rest of the equipment friday morning and that everything would be ready.   I drove for an hour to get there friday morning and sat in the parking lot for 2.5 hours, they never opened.   No sign, no voicemail message, nothing.   They just decided not to come in after wasting 5 hours of my day.   Needless to say, there will be repercussions for this.   Here is a picture of the panels, installed.

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Also, the other day I was thinking to myself that my poor dog needs a friend to keep her occupied since the cats want nothing to do with her.   I have noticed since arriving that the desert seems to provide what you need.  Not what you want, but what you need.   I was sitting in the middle of the county road trying to get cellphone signal miles from the nearest house, and I heard scratching on the door to my jeep.  I opened the window and there was the cutest little dog whining and begging me to let him in.  I opened the door to get a better look at him and he jumped in the Jeep and into my lap and started licking my face.   I asked around but no one had lost a dog.   He’s a great dog, minus the chewing issue which we are working on and my other dog loves him very much.   I’m keeping him.  Here’s a picture.

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