Monday, August 19, 2019

Tuesday Torque: Hoe That Corn!

Here's a rare machine that I am guessing did not sell well, or create satisfied customers.  I bet if you put me on it, I could destroy 20 acres of corn per day trying to keep it between the rows.  I never was good at driving a tractor with a cultivator, and it gave me the nervous jim-jams trying not to disturb the corn roots. The young farmers of today have never used a cultivator, what with the use of herbicides.  Farmers today take off in mid-summer and go on vacation. Old-time farmers might have slipped into town on a Saturday night and had a cheeseburger and an ice cream cone.  Times sure have changed.


Never Going Back To Work



                                     We've been surrounded by it! Back To The Old Grind!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Weekend Steam 2: Maine Two-Footers!

Merle's pick is a good one.  Thank You, Merle!


Click this over to YouTube to read the description.  Number 7 was freshly restored in 2018.

Weekend Steam: Threshing At Pinckneyville

We shot this video a few years ago. This Advance steam engine was pulling a thresher with a Garden City feeder, so it can be fed from two bundle wagons.  The belt was set up a bit loose, it slipped, and the thresher choked up.  Panels were pulled off the thresher to clear it, and it blew chunks when they started up again.


Thursday, August 15, 2019

Pinckneyville Weekend

This video was shot in 2015 and is a good example of the sort of things you get to see at a big engine show.  The show goes on all weekend at the fairgrounds on the west side of Pinckneyville.


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

EAB; We Got 'em!


The Emerald Ash Borer arrived in Southern Illinois several years ago and we are experiencing the die-off that other areas north and east of us  have had.  This year it is really going!  I see dead ash trees wherever I drive and we have trees dying in our yard and woods.  The tree in this picture is one I planted about thirty years ago, and the bucket has been kicked out from under it.  Oh Well, or words to that effect. We will have nice firewood during the upcoming winter.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The USA Shooting Team


Ruger is offering an M77 Rifle in .300 WSM this week, and it is special!  It has extra nice wood in the stock, was built in December 2005, and it is a New Old Stock rifle, in its original packaging. The price is not bad as I post this, and it is a good one to drop a bid on.  CLICK HERE to read the full description and to place that winning bid. This rifle will sell mid-day, Wednesday, August 14, 2019.  $750; Someone got a great bargain!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Tuesday Torque: Support Your Local Engine Shows!


 There probably is an engine show within easy driving distance for you nearly every weekend through the summer and fall.  Pinckneyville, Illinois is having their annual summer show beginning Thursday of this week.  Engine shows change every year because exhibitors bring different parts of their collections.  This Massey at Pinckneyville in 2018 is a work of art.


Model #2!

Operator platform.


Maintenance reminder!

Transverse engine...

 ...built by Buda.


CLICK HERE to go to the Farm Collector Show Directory.  There is plenty of good, family oriented entertainment out there if you look for it.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Sharpen That Shovel!

I am a cheater, and I do not go to the pains of perfectionists like Wranglerstar.  I look for shiny spots on the edge and knock them out with an angle grinder. Annual applications of of linseed oil keep the wood in good shape and I hardly ever need to change a handle.  This is a great shovel that Wrangler is fixing.  Firefighing shovels have more angle so you can grab a little dirt and give it a fling. You can also scratch fire line through pine needles and leaves.  I mostly used Council rakes, which are great for raking leaves and cutting brush.  You have to keep them sharp, too.  Back To The Old Grind!


Saturday, August 10, 2019

Love Island It Ain't!

We saw a few minutes of what they call a reality show the other night.  The premise of the show was young adults hooking up, and somebody "winning" through votes from viewers.  Susan and I decided we have our own reality show.  We call it "Get Up And Go To Work!"  This week's episode was a thrilling exercise we call "Find The Pipe," where we are searching for perimeter and downspout drains that have become plugged over the years.  It is much better than Find The Pipe, 2018, where we were replacing sewer lines.  We won last year, and it looks like we will win again in a few days.  The yard looks like rabid gophers have been digging, but that will be remedied with the next game, "Rejuvenate The Lawn."


Friday, August 9, 2019

Weekend Steam: Lombard Log Hauler!

Off to the North Woods to see how they pulled out white and red pine logs to build a nation.  You must have nerves of steel to steer this beast with a train of logs behind you and point it downhill.  Thank You, Merle!


Thursday, August 8, 2019

Can't Quite Figure This One Out


Our electric co-op has a good arborist that is in charge of line clearance.  He must have been on vacation when the crew did this tree.  It's a dead red maple, and the entire tree should have been taken down and chipped. 


Maybe the chip truck was full; maybe it was close to quitting time...  I do have to say that our power is extremely reliable since Jim Gifford became the line clearance guy at Wayne-White Electric Co-Op.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Oh Boy, New Boots!

My work boots are getting old, so I ordered a new pair, and they are nice.  They feel like pulling on a set of kid gloves.  They just need a good treatment of Pecard's and they will be ready to go to work.


Ruger's Auction To Benefit The USA Shooting Team


Ruger is offering a P85 this week, and these guns have a great reputation for being built like a tank.  This one was built in 1988, and it comes with a 15 round magazine.  These pistols don't fit the current mold for concealed carry, but they make a great house or car gun.  This one comes with ambidextrous mag release and safety catch.  It is a new gun that has been stored in Ruger's vault for more than thirty years.  The hammer will fall mid-day, Wednesday, August 7, 2019.  CLICK HERE to read the full description and to place that winning bid.  These do not draw the big collector money, so be sure to study this one and how it might fit into your life!  $660

Monday, August 5, 2019

Tuesday Torque: Buckley Michigan Engine Show

Here is a pleasant video showing some of the machinery at the Buckley show a couple years ago.  There are lots of engine shows going on, and they will be going on until winter weather threatens.  Get out and enjoy them!  Note, at 6:24 the Farmall on stilts.  No Way would I ever be tempted to get on this thing! Tippy!


Sunday, August 4, 2019

Plenty More Where This One Came From

I could be cutting problem trees every day, and there are three more on the other side of the barn from this walnut that I will be doing soon. It's all very satisfying, but we don't have as much play time as we thought we would have when I retired. Gotta hit it again this week, so it's Back To The Old Grind!


Saturday, August 3, 2019

Grasshopper 727 Lawnmower Review

Our Grasshopper mower is in its fourteenth year of mowing grass at two homes, and we just did some repairs to keep it going. Here is the rundown on the repairs and maintenance we have had to do on this machine.



The gearbox in the mower deck is the only part of this machine that is cause for dissatisfaction.  Grasshopper could punch a hole in the skidplate assembly to provide access to the oil plug.  Maybe they don't do it because they don't want their customers working under the deck.  There is probably a liability risk if they tell people to do that, and then a deck flops down on the person checking the oil.  It looks like a good modification, though, if you want to make your maintenance chores easier.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Joys Of Country Life

Lisa loves to go for rides in the country with me, and you can hear her grumbling at this crop duster.  I love the free air shows we get out here.


Extreme Wedging


This is definitely not fun.  This walnut was past my lean limits by at least a foot, but this takedown was not optional; it was threatening a barn.  We used a rope to counter some of the back weight and pounded wedges 'til it went over.  The problem with extreme wedging is when you pass four inches of lift on the back of the butt log.  Wedges won't hold if you need to add more, and they kick out rather than lift.  After sleeping on this problem, I think I see a solution by adding an angled seat to the stump with a chainsaw, plus a hefty wooden block.  That is something that I will try if I have to do this again.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The USA Shooting Team


Ruger is offering a rare one again this week.  It is a straight-pull bolt action (Not Semi-Auto) Mini-14 that was made for export to the UK. It was built in 2000, has a Zytel stock and fiberglass hand guard, bayonet lug, flash suppressor, folding rear peep sight, and scope rings.  CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place your bid for this unusual Mini-14. It will sell mid-day, Wednesday, July 31, 2019.  $1625

Monday, July 29, 2019

Tuesday Torque: More Than Knowing What To Flip

Starting early gas engines and tractors can be tricky for a novice. You have to get your head into that four stroke cycle, and be thinking about when the mag is going to click over.


Yard Work Reward

Yard work in the country means brushpiles and then wienie roasts.



Back To The Old Grind!  Ready for S'mores?

Saturday, July 27, 2019

July 24, 1944

The USS Colorado was shelling Tinian prior to the invasion and was hit 22 times by Japanese shore batteries.  Remember these men.   Here is one of the survivors.  It is good to see one of Lloyd Bentrup's shipmates still up and going.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Lost Dog; Wild Week


Our friend Michele, who is one of the founders of Midwest Schipperke Rescue, had a pup escape this week.  Mina (Sister of Vinnie) got out on Monday and disappeared into a double-planted corn field.  Susan and I spent three days studying aerial photos, searching, and talking to lots of people who live in the area.  Michele spent most of her waking hours driving, looking, and giving her phone number to everyone in the area. The efforts paid off today when one of the families Michele contacted called her with a sighting.  Michele and a friend were soon on site and retrieved the little Schip.  Here is Michele's post on Facebook.  What a relief!  We have been sick thinking of the possibilities with storm drains, gullies, coyotes, and heavy traffic.  We all can sleep easy tonight.

Weekend Steam: Big Boy In The Midwest!

The Big Boy is on tour right now!  It will be on display in West Chicago this weekend and will be heading west again next week.  Click Here to see the schedule and take a day off!  This video shows the Big Boy in Wisconsin this week.




Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Seldom Seen Insect Treat


I think I have seen exactly three of these in my life.  It's a mole cricket. Not a bug you want to see in your greenhouse, but neat to look at.  I saw my first one fifty years ago.  I collected one for Entomology a couple years after that, but don't remember where I found it.  (I may still have it in a cigar box!)  This one was in the garage tonight.  Kinda like running into an old friend. Internet sources say that it is a serious pest of turf, especially golf courses.  Our yards do not come close to golf course standards, even for the Rough, so No Problem!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The USA Shooting Team


Ruger is offering a used Police Service Six in .357 this week.  This firearm was returned to the factory for unknown reasons, and it is marked as used.  Go Here to see the photos on Ruger's website before you bid.  It appears to my eyes that someone thought Stainless Steel was impervious to corrosion and dings.  There are darkened areas and pits.  It looks as though someone liked salty foods and failed to wash their hands before touching the gun.  Oh Well, it is for a good cause, but this is a truck gun, not a collector, or one you will want to show off.  Click Here to read the entire description and to place a bid if you are so inclined.  The photos remind me of seeing used lawnmowers that are returned to stores at the end of summer.  Some people will abuse the good nature of others.  $655

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Swiper Has Left The Building!


Swiper is in his new home and reports are that he is adjusting well.  We will miss this special friend, but he is in the right place now.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Cugnot's Artillery Wagon

The original was built in 1769, and holy cow, that is 250 years ago.  It was innovative at the time because it used pressure to move the pistons, rather than a vacuum from condensing the steam.  It used ratcheting devices instead of cranks to turn the wheels.  Much of the original machine is still in existence, but it never was put into use and is just a neat curiosity in history.  It should have been much more.  Thank You, Merle for picking this good video!


Thursday, July 18, 2019

Young Leader Pistol Shoot, Sponsored By The White County Farm Bureau

                                                        Click On Photos To Enlarge.

We had the 9th annual Farm Bureau steel shoot last weekend at the Carmi Rifle Club.  The weather was nearly perfect this year, and the heat held off until we were done picking up afterwards. We had a rules and safety meeting for all participants and split into three groups.  Everyone shot three stages; the plates were rearranged, and we shot three more stages before a fantastic lunch.  Here we see all of our shooters.



Here are the big winners!  Raya Adcock, Youth Winner; Rachel Hast, Pistol Raffle Winner, Ruger Competition Mk IV donated by the Gun Room, Norris City; Lucas Lueke, Second Place Youth; Justin Aldrich, First Place Adult; Gordon Simpson, Third Place Adult; Lynn  Simmons, Second Place Adult.


Here's Dawn blasting away.  She hardly ever practices and still beats most of us.


Sheryl is shooting fire!  She is a serious shooter and always puts me to shame.  Hmmm, maybe I should switch to Browning.


Lucas has been shooting for just over a year, and has plenty of youthful enthusiasm. Mk IV pistols seem to be replacing Mk IIIs.


Matt Rhinehart was running a GSG 1911-22.  These full size pistols seem to run on any brand of .22 ammo, and they are a fine choice for a recreational .22 pistol.

Photos provided by Doug Anderson, White County Farm Bureau.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Tree Falling Steps: The Importance Of Hinge Thickness And Placement

Here is an interesting chainsaw video to watch.  Anyone who has been through Game Of Logging training does things differently.  Loggers say that we only know one cut, and that isn't quite true, but we do some things consistently.  Once you have had good training on cutting trees you will make the cuts on the front and back of the hinge at the same height.  That eliminates twisting and shearing of the hinge wood.  We also watch carefully just how thick the hinge is.  If the hinge is too thick you are asking for a barberchair, with loss of control of the tree and possible damage and injury. 

I don't know why the faller is using a jack on this tree; it's not that big, and wedges would have sufficed. The extra power of the jack was part of the problem, but the high back cut combined with the thickness of the hinge were the real causes of this accident.  If you haven't had training, get it!  Learn to bore cut and to set up a tree so it goes when and where you want it.