Saturday, April 21, 2018

Annual Gosling Show

Our annual goose couple has hatched five goslings successfully and we have been enjoying them the last couple days.  They will stay here for a while, then march cross-country to a neighbor's pond for a week or two, return and start flying.  Kids grow up so fast.




Friday, April 20, 2018

Weekend Steam: Chasing Santa Fe 3751

This one spotted by Merle just might give you a case of vertigo!


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Earth Day/Week Is Coming Up In A Few Days...

...so it is a good time to bring this one out again.  This reminds me that I need to get out and make wood for next winter before the weather turns hot.  We have nearly used all the wood stored in the barn, and if winter doesn't end soon we will be breaking up the furniture.


Change Your Flints!

Change Your Flints! from Concord Museum on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Tree Farmer Activities

I'm going to a Tree Farm committee meeting tomorrow!  While I worked at Fairfield we had four Tree Farmers of The Year in my district.  Bernie Podolsky, Terry Wheeler, Jack and Beth Riley, and last year, Gary and Debbie Stratton.  We are meeting tomorrow at the Stratton Tree Farm to plan a field day in the Fall of this year.


All of our Tree Farmers are extra special.  We don't nominate anyone into the program unless they have done many things well.  Jack planted the shortleaf pines you see here when he was a young man.  He got into timber management twenty years ago and he and Beth kept me busy at their farm.  Jack was nearly crushed to death by a falling tree and he cut back on doing chainsaw work.  He needed a big dead tree cut six years ago, so I took it down for him.  He was able to break it down into firewood OK after it was on the ground.  Jack is gone now, and Beth has passed the farm down to the kids.  Here is the snag coming down.



Gary has been managing his timber since he bought the ground in 1975, and he is getting close to having a big harvest.  During the last ten years he has been doing some burns to get oak regeneration established, and it will be fun to walk through it tomorrow and see if the oak seedlings are popping.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Scholastic Action Shooting Program


Ruger is offering a Single-Six this week with moderate collector interest.  It is a .17 HMR that is marked Friends Of The NRA.  I think it is in the safe because the grips have an odd dark streak running their length, but that won't hurt the functioning at all.  This fine little revolver will sell mid-day, April 18, 2018.  CLICK HERE to place your bid.  $655

Crowder! Interview Me! Interview Me! I'm Over 21!!!!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Tuesday Torque: Model T On A Dyno!

It produced 12.7 horsepower out the rear axle.  That is pretty good for a 20 HP engine.  Consider the old tractors that were rated 10-20, or 15-30 (Drawbar and Belt Pulley).  Beat 50% of the rated engine horsepower and you are doing well.


Friday, April 13, 2018

Weekend Steam: Test Run Failure In UK

There is some dramatic video here because of a steam leak that developed on the test run of SR 35018.  Click the YouTube icon in the lower right of the video and you will see the brief writeup about this ill-fated trip.  Go to Google Earth Pro and type in the town names.  You can then see where this locomotive will be running when the repairs are complete.

Thank You, Merle for spotting!


Thursday, April 12, 2018

When Do You Say No To A Tree?

This is one I said NO to!  I posted this video here in February 2012, and because I was still working I couldn't give some of the details.  This black oak had a big opening in the north side so you could look in and see that it was just a rotten shell.  It was not a safe tree to cut, and I recommended that the park staff wait until there was a good layer of snow on the ground, throw in some diesel fuel with gas mixed in, light it and walk away.  There would be no picnickers near this tree that time of year, and it made sense to me.  They did not like my recommendation and insisted that I drop it.  Take a good look at the hinge.  It is all rotten wood, but it held together long enough to send the tree to the ground without falling apart on the stump.  Watch that rotten wood dust fly as I cut.



Wednesday, April 11, 2018

YouTube Prefers Rocks and Clubs

YouTube has been changing the rules for videographers.  A couple years ago they began de-monetizing firearm channels and videos.  I had a number of firearm related videos that I had uploaded for use on this blog, and a couple of them were actually good performers, gettting about 10,000 views per year.  That is almost viral on my channel.  Those were de-monetized, and my YouTube income dropped from about $200 per month to less than $100.  It has since rebounded with more engine and a few chainsaw videos.  The De-Monetization hit many YouTubers hard because the videos had become a major source of income.  I am glad that I am only a hobbyist.

 YouTube recently hit channels with more rules.  If you did not have 1000 subscribers you were de-monetized.  If new videos  do not get 1000 views per week they may not monetize them.  The goal posts keep shifting.  The latest news has been heard by most people who follow gun blogs and firearm related Facebook posters.  A list of prohibited firearm subjects has been sent out to YouTube members, and even though I think my videos do not violate the latest rules, I have deleted all of my firearm videos from YouTube. The clincher for me is that anyone can complain about a video and have it taken down.  I figure that the anti-gunners will be trolling YouTube for any and all gun content and harassing the gun channels.

The marketplace has responded, and Full30 is bumping up their capabilities so we can all move over there and share videos about firearms.  My channel name at YouTube is DavidN23Skidoo because when I started it I thought I would be doing records of music from the 1920's.  That worked for a while, but as the years went by YouTube became more restrictive about uploading old music, so I have backed off from that subject.  At Full30 I will be Knucklebuster44, because I sort of like shooting .44 Magnum hand guns.  Nobody had thought of that name, so I grabbed it.  Full30 plans to be a good place for firearm related videos, and they say that they will be setting up monetization for uploaders.  That will be nice, and I hope that they grab a goodly portion of YouTube's market share.

There are other avenues for those who need income from their Internet activities, such as Patreon accounts, but I am not going there.  This blog and my videos are a hobby to me, and the little bit of income is not a life changer; it just makes it a bit more enjoyable.  Right now I have a couple more trees I want to cut for YouTube videos and then I need to get back to gun videos for my Full30 account.  We will see how it goes, and I am quite optimistic about it.


I even deleted the videos of Pattie shooting, but we are not going to worry about what YouTube loses from this.

The Bludgeon Of Doom!...

will not save your children!  They even lock it up to make it doubly useless against an attacker.  How about give one to every child to wear on their belt rather than have the teacher lock it up in her desk.

Erie, PA, Millcreek School District (Click)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Scholastic Action Shooting Program


Here is another great collector item from Ruger this week. Back in 2005 you could buy a 50th Anniversary edition of the Ruger Blackhawk in .357 Magnum.  It was made in the smaller, original frame size with the flat top that collectors prize.  This particular revolver was sent out and engraved.  The engraved model was not produced for public consumption, so this is a one-of-a-kind .357 Flattop Blackhawk. Click Here to bid.  This fine revolver will sell mid-day, Wednesday, April 11, 2018. $1550

Monday, April 9, 2018

Tuesday Torque: Restoration Is A Long Process!

Here is another great pick by Merle; Thanks, Merle!  New piston rings sliding down a freshly honed cylinder make a special sound, don't they?!


Friday, April 6, 2018

Bonus Weekend Steam: A Sad Case

It's not a Case; it's a Russell, but you won't see many worse than this one.  Look closely and you will see this engine hasn't just been neglected and allowed to molder away; it has actually been defiled.  If you have been following steam here for a while you will spot it.





A good-hearted engine collector saved this one from a scrapper, but it will likely never be restored.  There is just too much wrong to make it a good project.

Weekend Steam: Eureka & Palisade #4 on the Durango and Silverton

Another great pick by Merle.  Thank You, Merle!




Watching this little 4-4-0 chug along reminds me that the old TV westerns used a lot of stock footage featuring steam engines. I remember seeing Cheyenne and Maverick shows where they were supposedly riding on a train and every little bit you would get a switch to engine shots, usually of the crosshead and rods flashing and the wheels running on the rails. As a kid, I thought they filmed the whole thing on a train. It was all very exciting.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

MR Ducks


I think we have seen teals, mallards and wood ducks, but I really don't know ducks.  I would eat sticks before I would shoot a duck. Click the photo to enlarge. These ducks have green, brown and white.  They are pretty ducks as far as I know.  We enjoy watching them come and go, and are glad they can rest here.  The annual goose family is evidently incubating eggs, because we see only one goose at a time now.  A couple weeks ago I watched the pair swimming across the pond to the island as the sun set behind the pines.  Life is so beautiful sometimes...


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

McLeansboro Odd Fellows' Cemetery Damaged


The Illinois Department of Transportation has pulled a bad one today. They have closed IL State Highway 14 on the east side of McLeansboro without posting any detour signs to guide motorists around the total blockage.  I ran into it this morning, and because I have lived and worked in Hamilton County for nearly four decades, I was able to get around it a couple of different ways, coming and going from my business today.  Many others were not so fortunate. You have to know the backroads.  Particularly unfortunate is the fact that the Odd Fellows' Cemetery is adjacent to the blockage.  Semi trucks were soon detouring through the cemetery and there has been significant damage.

                                                                Click Photo To Enlarge.

You can read WSIL TV 3's report HERE, and IDOT makes a very lame excuse.  I think I know what is going on.  The township roads are all posted now due to winter and spring road conditions, and the road commissioners do not want heavy truck traffic damaging the roads.  If IDOT had put up detour signs for those roads it would have caused trouble for them in the form of real damages; so they just did not bother.  Truck traffic should have been turned at Enfield, 10 miles to the east, and in McLeansboro where IL Hwy 14 intersects IL Hwy 142.  They also could have scheduled the work after the township road weight limits are lifted a week and a half from now. 

The map above from Google shows the shorter detour around the IDOT roadblock; safe for passenger vehicles.  I highly recommend this route, because it takes you right by Larry's Gun Shop, one of my favorite stops when I am in McLeansboro.  Larry's is marked with an L. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Scholastic Action Shooting Program


Ruger is offering a 25th Anniversary Model of the .44 Magnum Carbine, manufactured in 1982.  Folks are interested, but CLICK HERE and read all about it, even if you can only wish.  Wouldn't you love to have one of these!?  The hammer falls mid-day, April 4, 2018.   $1635, I am impressed!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Tuesday Torque: Does Daddy Buy His Tires?

A poor boy can't afford to drive like that, but I saw a young guy just last week with a freshly restored old Mustang burning the tires as he left a gas station.  Given the price of tires, I always figured that someone other than the driver paid for the rubber. I hope the guy who fixed up this tractor hasn't rolled it over on himself; he is a pretty ingenious mechanic.  The writeup on YouTube says it is a Volvo 240 with Turbo.  Pretty neat!

Merle keeps finding them, and I keep posting them! Thanks, Merle!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

More Than We Can Bear

The last few weeks have been rough for our extended family. We lost Hobbs, the little guy we took in as a terminal foster, then we lost Brat, our music loving black cat.  This week we heard from Barbie's Mom.  Barbie and Missy were our first Schipperke fosters, and we loved them more than we should.  They were happy little girls and they would talk to us and cuddle with us.  They moved to Kansas two years ago and have been living a great life at home and on the road, transporting horses around the country with their Mom.

Last week Barbie went off her food and her vet discovered that she had cancer.  Her Mom took her to the Vet School at Mizzou to see if anything could be done, but Barbie passed away the very next day.  Life is so fragile and short.  Barbie was a loving little dog, and we all miss her.  She loved to watch the squirrels when she lived with us, and you can see how she would follow one through the tree tops.




Rest In Peace, little girl; we will never forget you!

A Little Grinding Blast From The Past

Here is a great looking Monitor horizontal engine running a feed grinder that I shot in 2009.  For some reason I put on YouTube as Unlisted.  It has a total of 18 views, probably by posting it as a weekly grinder back then.  A grinder I posted two years later has 22,000 views, so that one has made a few dollars over the years, no doubt.  Maybe this one will get a few views now; we will see.



I noticed this as I was deleting nearly 90 shooting related videos yesterday.  YouTube demonetized my shooting vids a couple years ago and the difference was noticeable, even on a little-watched channel like mine.  One of my videos was getting 10,000 views per year, but YouTube cut it from the program because they said it did not interest advertisers.  Rather than take a chance on losing my channel over shooting videos, I have deleted them and will stick to chainsaw and engine videos on YouTube for the time being.  It is a little disappointing, but I realize that I am no Hickok45!  Most of my shooting videos were watched very little, being subjects like Pistol League on Thursday nights at the Carmi Rifle Club.  They are fun to watch if you are a member, but don't have much appeal beyond that.   Oh Well, or words to that effect.  Back To The Old Grind!

Bonus Weekend Steam, Because Winter Just Won't Quit!

Thanks to Merle, I have a new ringtone on my phone today.  I have been listening to the Number 9 Shay at Old Threshers for quite some time, but today I have switched to this melodious locomotive.  Thank You, Merle!


Squib Safety Lesson, Courtesy of Hickok45

Well, YouTube hasn't canceled Hickok45 yet, so let's look at a great safety video from Mr. Hickok.  You have to be ready to recognize a squib all the time when you are shooting, because they really do happen. 


Saturday, March 31, 2018

Weekend Steam: Plan Your Vacation Itinerary!

Nevada State Railway Museum, Carson City,  Independence Day Weekend Only!  Spotted by Merle; Thank You!


Friday, March 30, 2018

Lots Of Wildlife Activity Lately

We have been seeing a steady stream of ducks stopping by as they migrate north, and this week we had a couple of egrets stop for a day and load up on fish.  They were a joy to watch.



We had a tree full of buzzards this morning.  They all appeared to be resting, so maybe they had a rough night.  I never stand still very long when there is a flock of buzzards, just for safety's sake!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

This Is Why We Carry!

An armed guard prevented robbery and mayhem last night in a Chicagoland church.  This is good to remember if you go to Church Night.  A gathering of peaceful people is attractive to robbers, but this one was foiled by a good man who was prepared.  Click For Link to WGN9 News.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

...And While We Are Thinking About Not Blowing Up Guns...

...Here is the latest from Fortune Cookie 45LC on his Smith and Wesson .45 Colt/.454 Casull discovery.


Revisiting 2.7 Grains Of Bullseye

One of the first reloading articles I remember reading is Blowing Up With 2.7, by Col. Jeff Cooper, about 1980.  The thought was that the standard load of Bullseye might occasionally detonate behind a .38 wadcutter load and blow up your revolver.  Bullseye is a dense powder, and there is a lot of power in a little pile of the flakes.  The issue of possible detonations still comes up, and pistols do sometimes blow up with handloads.  Today I stumbled across an article in a 1982 American Handgunner magazine that addresses the issue, and it pretty well settles it for me.  Read the article, pay attention to your quality control when loading, and you will probably never have your gun blow up in your hands.  I never knew if light loads of Bullseye would actually detonate until I read this article, but I did decide to use bulkier powders so a visual check will easily catch double charges, and make triple charges impossible.  Click Here to read the article, which appears on pages 8 and 69.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Scholastic Action Shooting Program


Collectors are going wild over this one!  It is a 1972 Ruger 10/22 Carbine that was returned by the distributor for unknown reasons.  It has a black walnut stock, aluminum framed trigger group and an aluminum buttplate.  Current carbines have a birch, polymer or laminated stock, polymer frame trigger group, and polymer buttplate.  This beauty has the Lyman rear sight with the white diamond below the sighting notch.  This fine collector piece will sell mid-day, March 28, 2018.  Click Here to place your bid.  $655