Saturday, July 13, 2013

Two Months in (Mostly) Texas…

More rain showers and cloudy weather than expected gave me plenty of excuses to procrastinate cleaning my expedition gear after getting home from Mexico. No big deal, since I hadn't planned on using it much in May and June anyway. It was time to try and get some of the projects done at home that had been piling up on my to-do list for years. 

The outdoor guard kittens that come with our rental house are preparing for another work night...
Some of the activities I ended up keeping myself busy with included:

Learning How To Slaughter a Pig

Our friend Vico taught my friend Jean and me the basics of killing and butchering a pig. Obviously, besides a sharp knife, mastering this endeavour takes more training than doing it once -- but we got an excellent introduction. We spent an afternoon shooting a wild hog that Vico had caught earlier, trimming off the skin, and dissecting the meat. A good anatomy lesson, too!

Learning how to butcher a pig...

Visiting Chicago and Iowa

Andrea and I spent a week out of town during my time in Austin. We flew to Chicago and touristed around for a few days, something we had been wanting to do for a long time. And took the train from there to Ottumwa (Iowa) to see her parents. Good times were to be had, including a lesson in shooting a variety of guns.

Andrea shooting a cowboy (lever-action) rifle...

Playing With Car Electrics

It had been on my list for a long time to improve the setup of the auxiliary battery in the Tacoma, now my only vehicle. It took me several days of planning, shopping for parts, and fiddling around to move the inverter it powers to a spot in the cab where it wouldn't block the second jump seat anymore; to connect some of the existing and a few new power outlets, as well as the stereo, to the auxiliary battery; and to wire a remote switch that lets me join the auxiliary with the main battery to give the main a boost if it runs out of juice. Success! It's nice to have a car where you don't have to worry too much about drilling holes into the chassis to run wires through, too… ;-)

New wood panel to squeeze more power supplies into the middle console... Ugly, but it works.
In between, it was time to pack again for the next trip... (And of course, there are still tons of projects left on my to-do list.)