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Saturday, May 31, 2014


The most important thing missing in America today, is the freedom to fail! Think about that for a minute. Do you have the freedom, the ability, to fail? Certainly in business we do, that is not up for discussion! But to fail at other aspects of life..... do we have the freedom to fail, or are we legislated..... LOBBIED by special interest groups, into an inability to fail...... IF, we pay the appropriate fee and hire those the lobbyists protect?

We re-watched the documentary "Garbage Warrior" today. It shows the struggle that our mentor and alternative building guru, Michael Reynolds endured when he built his Earthship projects in Taos, New Mexico. Michael made the comment that he, we, learned from failure and that over-legislation had taken that from us.

No big deal right? In fact, it actually protects us from making costly mistakes, or doing something that could harm others..... or something so radically different that it could change forever the way we live!

You know, something like the assembly line, a railroad, steam power, sailing across the FLAT ocean, flying buttresses, bronze, the wheel, or fire. All these things could and did harm others. All these things in America today, would be subject the scrutiny by an endless army of beauricratic drones whose main purpose in life is to squash anything non-traditional!

Humanity has, for the 50,000, yes, 50,000 years of social civilization learned nearly everything that brought Europeans to the New World (blacks had been here for 35,000 years and Asians for 12,000 before the modern European invasion, but white folk have re-written that out of history) from trial and error....... and there where a lot of errors that did not make the chronicles!

But, zoning laws, "uniform" building codes, "environmental" standards and the fear from assorted constuction industries that they might lose income if we "did it ourselves" have removed, as far as construction goes, the ability to fail AND to learn from that failure!

THIS is why homes today are essentially built the same way as they were 300 years ago! Even so called sustainable homes are not much more that clones of Elizabethan homes with better insulation and a few solar panels or wind turbines!

Oh sure, the regulations are there to "protect" us from mistakes and had they been in place a hundred years ago, pennicilian, a mistake, would have been delayed a few million lives, to name just one mistake mankind has profited from!

Michael Reynolds went through Hell to build his Earthship communities. WE would have NEVER gotten approval to build the Eco Ranch had we remained in Florida...... we got a serious violation in Florida because our septic system was not built by a contractor and even though Robert's design would NEVER have utilized a drainfield, our drainfield required three "inspections to meet the required, "one inch drop in ten feet"that "code" demanded!

SOME of the regulations do make sense, but when those charged with determining whether something meets "code" do not themselves possess the ability to cover thier own butt-crack, one has to wonder just how much money changed hands from the construction industry to the County Commisioners to even write the "codes"!

Freedom to fail has been the thing that brought humanity to this point. Freedom to fail is what allowed America to build the greatest civilization that has been recorded on Earth AND to innovate for the future! Some might suggest that mistakes by an alien races.... two crashes, one near Roswell, New Mexico and one near Cincinnati, Ohio resulted in microchips, cyclosporin, pinpoint guidance and more!

Freedom to fail is an inalienable right of mankind! We cannot have it legislated away by old white men and enforced by butt-crack sporting, gap-toothed drones!

We are lucky (smart) enough to live in one of the less that 40 counties in the USA that allow alternative construction. Those who seek to emulate ours and Reynolds lifestyles need to seek out these counties. But beware, the construction lobbyists, HVAC contractors, Masons, realtors and assorted others with interests in our housing are already trying to close these "loopholes". Many counties and municipalities nationwide ware passing laws prohibiting solar panels and wind turbines and as we often mention, three states claim rainwater as "State property" and regulate or prohibit its collection!!!!

"Garbage Warrior" is on YOUTUBE in its entirity. Watch it to see what some are going through, what has been accomplished and where we can take the country, if we first RE-TAKE it from the lobbyists and butt-crack drones!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I wrote this today and am submitting it to everyone I can. While the illegal gating in Terlingua Ranch is not in the front of everyone's mind, it is there and needs to have a final solution. I think my article offers an opportunity for just that. Gating may not be on everyone's mind, but let a gate appear on YOUR road and it will be all that is on your mind.... I know! ------------------------------------------------------------ Taxes & Gating in Terlingua Ranch We received our proposed tax bill for 2014 this week. It proposes a 258% increase in our property taxes. This is huge, percentage wise, but still a small sum of money. However, it seems to be a PERFECT time to force Brewster County into action regarding the gating of our roads here in Terlingua Ranch by a few ne'er-do-wells! If EVERY Terlingua Ranch property owner protested the valuation of their land, due to the uncertainty of access created by the current poor ruling regarding ONE case, Brewster County would be forced to take definitive action! Some may not want action, but once a gate pops up between them and their property, their opinions can change! With the possibility of having up to 20 gates erected between my property and highway 118, my land is worthless, possibly landlocked and that can be easily shown in a hearing. If enough Terlingua Ranch residents protest their tax valuation and Brewster County is faced with the subsequent revenue loss, they will take decisive action against and to prevent gating. Let's create a group to motivate property owners and solve this problem once and for all! Interested landowners can contact me to get this moving! Robert Earl  432-371-3200 Robert Earl ECO-RANCH.US 400 North Smiling Dog Trail Alpine, TX 79830 432-371-3200 "The measure of a man lies not his potential, but his achievement. Failing in achievement, his worth lies in his effort, or lack of effort in attempting achievement. Enlightenment comes not from amassing fortune, but in gathering knowledge & peace. He who leaves this Life while on the path to enlightenment has accomplished more than a thousand men resting on the side of the path, counting their gold."   "Robert, 2-20-11"

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

NO NEW POSTS..... probably ever!

I will no longer be using this blog or format to write. I have started a FACEBOOK page and will be posting there. Please follow that page! Here is the URL:

Monday, August 12, 2013

We Live!

Hello! We are still here...... just very busy and still without a main computer and camera. It is hard to just write when most people are posting photos and video, so I have not been posting anything for many months. Still, we have not been idle! The latest project is an outdoor kitchen, modeled after the ones I saw on my first visit to Singapore in 1999. If you think about it, an outdoor, our SEMI-outdoor kitchen makes a lot of sense! After spending the day and a LOT of money to cool your house, why re-heat your entire house during meal preparation? An outdoor kitchen, or one with three inside walls and one exposed to the outdoors will remain the same temperature as the outdoors and nothing you do in it will affect the controlled temperature inside. So, we are building our main kitchen outdoors, with a slightly smaller one indoors. In Singapore, Malaysia and much of SE Asia, the only kitchen is outdoors, but since we are still American and should try to retain a home that is "functional" in the USA, we are also building an apartment sized kitchen in the "Homas De Bottellas" as well. Part of this kitchen design, is a solar hot water heater made from beer bottles and "tall-boy" beer cans. The beer bottles make up the structure of the heater, as they do in the structure of the house. The cans are the heat sink for the water and are under plexiglass and painted flat black. There will be 288 cans under the glass, with 100' of pex piping running through 20 stacks of 9 cans. All this will face 200 degrees off of due north, at a 31 degree angle to the sun. A light sensor will switch on an in line recirculating pump from dawn to dusk that will circulate the heated water through our two, 50 gallon hot water tanks, heating the water inside. Additionally, since we have over 8kw of solar panels and the potential of 6kw more of wind power generation, any power we dump, dumps through the two hot water tanks... through the four heating elements. We have replaced the AC elements with four, 600 watt, 12 volt elements. This way, any power we dump further heats the hot water. I have incorporated an outdoor patio design into all this, so that the heater is the focal point, with seating all around it in a horseshoe shape that looks into the outdoor kitchen. If the Sun is too hot, folks can sit at the limestone picnic table under the "solar panel patio", an area shaded by 50 solar panels. Limestone benches, picnic table, counter tops and window frames complete the kitchen, with a native oak cutting board island, framed by more limestone. The entire area is illuminated at night by yellow "rope lights". The rope lights and limestone are items used by wannabe yuppies in their "McMansions". The limestone is of particular interest, as it is "Leuders Stone", featured on both the DIY and HGTV networks..... I get it cheap, as we go there often for the folks I work for when my health permits, to pick up benches and fountains..... we also have a veined limestone fountain/birdbath as an integral part of this design, but that is another article. When the outdoor kitchen and water heater are completed next week, I begin construction on an 1180 square foot building with two bedrooms and a bath. When this is done, we move the travel trailer out and finish the inside of the current patio area. When completed, we will have a 3200 square foot home (including the outdoor kitchen) set in a classic Mexican hacienda format. Stay tuned for more and hopefully photos and video soon!

Thursday, December 27, 2012


When I say "WOW!", I mean that we are less than a week away from the year 2013 CE, unbelievable!!

My first and earliest comprehension of the new year was at New Year's Eve of 1958, the first New Year' Eve I was allowed to stay up to watch the New Year being rung in. 2013 was so far away that I could not even conceive of its arrival, yet in about five days, it will be here.

Much has changed since that night: the United States now have 50 states instead of the 48 I was born under, Man has walked on the moon, the cyber age has dawned & matured, global warming is an irrefutable fact unless you are a Neanderthal Republican who believes the cash strapped few "scientists" who sold their souls and ethics to deny it..... in fact one of the very few things that has not changed since 1958, is that Elizabeth II is still Queen of the British Empire, or what remains of it.


December 21st, 2012 has come and gone with not even a whisper of destruction. This is something we are relieved to see, not disappointed over!

But, with "Global Climate Change" a fact and a countdown for our way of life, much must be done, many must be educated and governments, including our own, must be compelled to adapt to.

Tonight, for some reason, I was reviewing some of the things about us that made the INTERNET, from the unfortunate comments of our gay and reclusive "neighbor", to several YOUTUBE postings from visitors here, to, of course, the episode of National Geographic Doomsday Preppers".

It appears that we have come a very long way, yet for the last week, I have suffered from severe depression over the LACK of progress! Something is coming, be it a real "apocolypse" a collapse of power, economics, or governments..... or, as we fear, the collapse of a major ice sheet from Greenland or Antarctica into the ocean and the chaos it would bring..... it is coming and in MY lifetime and remember that I am already in my 60th year!

My depression is due to the fact that we are not ready yet! As with most readers, money, CASH, has been the delay. We just order our first of four, custom made "forklift batteries". These batteries have the capacity to store three times our original power capacity, EACH! But I expected to have them in place months ago. Likewise our solar capacity. We now have 32, 130 watt panels in place. However, I had wanted to have all 48 in place before Fall of 2012. So things move slowly, but at least they move!

A new computer is still months away. Bad news for those hoping to see photos and video from us of our progress and innovations..... but since our safety, not publicity, comes first, the batteries and panels come first!

Today, the first day of full sun in over a week, I ran both air conditioning units. Although we lack two wind turbines and 16 solar panels, we still had to dump power from the solar panels into the hot water tanks, despite demanding over 50 amps AC from our inverters. So I guess our (individual) infrastructure is ready to support us in any event.

My "secret" tenaja, or water hole, has recharged itself and now has about 2000 gallons of fresh water in it. Our tanks are nearly full though and this water will have to stay in its hole for now, particularly with four days of rain predicted for next week.

Also, I have spent the last four days working on completing the three indoor walls of our dog's building in stone masonry. Perhaps this is where the depression comes from. Since this is now finish work, it moves slowly and demands a lot of thought to complete. One significant modification to the original design, is the addition of "Leuder's Stone" limestone to the design. If Leuder's Stone sounds familiar to you, it has been featured at length on HGTV in several million dollar homes and is the new IT surface for counters.

I have been lucky enough to meet the owners and buy many tons of damaged slabs of the stone to use here. We will be doing everything frome flagstones to countertops, to window sills, to masonry edging with this stone.

I am finishing the rock walls of the dog's building this week and decided to use some of the Leuder's Stone as edging to separate sheetrock from stone. THIS, requires some engineering, not to mention lots of rock cutting to get the edging right!

So maybe it in not so much depression as fatigue from handling the slabs, some of which weigh about 400 pounds.

But as a result of the introspection, I have decided to at least write about what we are working on, the devices we are using to complete our sustainability goals and the many new ideas I am getting from many sources that can help anyone build their own "Eco Ranch"!

A new computer is coming......sometime.... but in the meantime, I invite you to read what we are doing to develop the Eco-Ranch concept, ask questions and even visit if you are in the area!

So beginning on January 1st, 2013 (WOW) this blog will have regular posts relating to developing individual infrastructure ans sustainability.......... if you want spray painted glitch and media mediorcity, I can refer you to the LBGT individual who stays two point five miles to our south-south east... here there is just information!


Friday, November 16, 2012

"To Tell The Truth!"

Does anyone remember that game show form the early days of television? Just wondered.

But to really tell the truth, we only allowed National Geographic to come here and film us for one reason only: to show our publicity hunting freak of a "neighbor" that ANYONE who sets their mind to it, can get publicity...... unearned, as in his case, earned, as is the case with Hurricane Sandy victims, or quasi-earned, as in our case!

So, jackass, ANYONE WHO WANTS TO CAN GET THIER MUG ON TV. In fact, in this day and age, the less talent, the more exposure....... enough said!

No, Our appearance on Doomsday Preppers was not a lie, it was almost entirely the truth. The only stretch, a bow to the ratings goddess, was the too much time spent on killing and eating rattlesnakes! More on that in a moment.

I was told at a very early age, that "I was to be one those who would 'lead' the world during the 'Age Of Aquarius'..... the place where we all now find ourselves..... and that I would do this 'late in life'...." I guess 60 is rather late in life, though it doesn't feel very late to me!

Someone can interpret that in many ways, I truly never gave it a lot of thought, except that I tried to learn everything I could about living without the things we all take for granted and learning how to build & engineer my own conveniences.

Then we awakened to climate change, overpopulations and the depletion and/or domination of natural resources and determined that we would survive for the sake of surviving...... not become "moderate preppers", hermits, or eccentrics for the sake of a short blurb in a newspaper, magazine or TV show. We just want to survive in some comfort!

So, when I wrote to Doomsday Preppers, it was not for our egos, but to show the overwhelming majority of people out there that "prepping" does not belong to gun toting freaks who worship at the alter of Ted Nugent, or the sole domain of those with unlimited resources! Our purpose was to try to show that everyday "Joe and Jane Luncheboxes" could prepare for disaster as well as the 1%ers and gun-toting freakazoids we can all live without!

They did a fair job...... except for the rattlesnakes! Yes, you can eat a rattlesnake, kill something with its venom (with a proper delivery mechanism), and even drink its blood for nourishment...... in theory, though if that is all you have to drink, you're really already dead.

The truth is that in the three years we have lived here, we have not seen one rattlesnake on our property. If we did, it would have to die to protect the livestock, but not as food. Rattlesnakes have toxins throughout their meat and improper cooking & preparation, same as in Japanese Fugu, can hurt you!!!!!

The REAL truth and I learned this back in 1975 from the diary of an early Arctic explorer, is that if you have one ounce of shot, or a one ounce bullet, it is far more frugal to use that one ounce to kill a bear, deer, antelope, hog or feral (in the event of doomsday) steer, that will feed you for a month, than to waste it on one rattlesnake that will feed you for a meal. The field producer from National Geographic didn't see it that way and since she had paid a "wrangler", complete with her own snakes to come out here, for the sake of "good TV" we were obliged to do the scene.

We commented on that, our prodigious water supplies and food stores in our "follow-up" video...... which is why we did not have one, they did not like what we had to say!

However, both our points were made! 1) Jackass..... any moron can get publicity, we proved that, so stop thinking you are something special! 2) "Prepping" is for EVERYONE, not just the wealthy, gun-toting freaks who think George Bush and Ted Nugent are real American heros (someone please tell Nugent that! He was an asshole when we were growing up in Dearborn Heights [Kingswood Estates] and he remains one today, something all the money in the world cannot change!)

Preparing for the unexpected is good sense! Whether you have MREs, or hard wheat & honey like we do...... 50 guns with 10,000 rounds of ammo, or a remote location and kind hearts that offer food and hope to those unprepared, instead of idle threats from overly-armed Rambo wannabes...... "prepping" isn't about waving guns and high dollar "stuff", it is about being ready to rebuild order, civility, PROPER technology and PEACE (OK, with the means to enforce the peace if need be).

I have had an intimate relationship with guns, death and life-threatening experiences.... most from my own carelessness or lack of knowledge. One thing I have learned, at least as it applies to this discussion, is that when you finally fire a shot, you already lost the war. That is why we are here, that is why we prepare and that is why we will survive a Hell of a lot longer that the so-called "experts", a couple of Nugentesque Viet Nam veterans predict we will!

We hope there is no "doomsday" to prepare for! We hope mankind drops phrases like "clean coal", "peak oil", global warming THEORY, 45 MPG is good and so on and gets on with the business of preserving the planet.

Despite what the narrator with the smooth voice may say to marginalize us and the other "preppers", Greenland IS melting and melting at about 100 times what was predicted a few short years ago. With the breakup of several of the Antarctic ice shelves, Antarctica is not far behind. That is not George Noory stuff, that is real science!

Sea level rose one foot in the last century..... we all saw what Sandy did to the East Coast with that one foot! The next decade may bring as much as a 20 foot rise, enough to bring the beach to our old Suwannee River homestead and inundate Miami, NYC, Boston and of course New Orleans.

Will "we" be ready? Based on the number of people moving back under sea level in New Orleans, most won't be! But some, us among them, will be and WHEN, not if things go downhill, the collective "we" will work together to rebuild properly. No one will care about who got what publicity "back in the day", what will matter is what we can bring to the table to make right what went wrong! We all need to be "preppers"!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Posts coming, I promise!!!!!

Well, it has been about nine months since this blog was created...... time flies when you are having fun...... or preparing for "doomsday"!!!!

OK, we really believe that 12/21/12 will be just another day, but with all the hype, being somewhat prepared seemed like a good idea. After all, Narional Geographic came here to film our preparations for "Doomsday", so we needed to be prepared!

BUT...... in all the preparation for what probably will be another Y2K, we have not had extra money to replace our computer and other hardware, yet! So because of this, we have not wanted to just post text. Photos and video are much more fun to have in a blog, but since there may not be photos and video for a couple more months..... like just before 12/21/12, we decided to write some posts to let folks that know us know what we are up to and give folks that don't know us a chance to find out what we are about, doing and preaching! Perhaps the written word can stimulate folks to begin their own journey into individual infrastructure, reuse, recycling, repurposing, keeping it simple and keeping it cheap..... AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY, how to manage to live with dignity despite being fleeced by banksters, conspirators and other Republicans!

So stay tuned and PLEASE pass on the address to this blog to all those you think might find it interesting!!!