Thursday, September 17, 2020

Got Milkweed?

 One of the commenters on our Monarch Butterfly post mentioned that there might be readers out there who don't know milkweed. It's so common to us that I didn't even think about that, so we are correcting that right now.  I even found a couple more caterpillars this morning. It's a thrill.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Brass Man Bart: By The Light Of The Silvery Moon

Sunday, September 13, 2020

A Job Well Done

Susan's pumpkin patch is picked, except for a big Cinderella pumpkin that is still very green. We had a couple kinds of squash with dinner today, and also some nice watermelon. The foxtail got out of hand, so we are going to mow it down, till it in, and hope that it sprouts so we can kill it out with a pre-Winter tilling. You are supposed to follow pumpkins with a legume, so we have some planning to do.  Maybe a big patch of green beans?

                                          A job well done means Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Weekend Steam II: Kory Anderson's 150 Case Pulls 36 Bottoms!

 It looks like the James Valley show went on out at Andover SD!  Kory was having the 150 HP Case stretch its legs a bit, but it pulled the load with no trouble.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Brass Man Bart: Excelsior Gallop

 Brother Ben has run off to the circus. I feel just like I'm under the Big Top!

Barberchair In Minnesota News

                                           Photo Credit: Redwood County Minnesota Sheriff

Regular blog readers here know that I am always pushing proper falling techniques. Failure to make a plan for dropping trees makes every one you drop an accident, and sooner or later that will catch up with you.  This tree was cut from the tensioned side until it split lengthwise, gained elevation, and fell on the operator.  He paid a horrible price, being trapped for four days before he was rescued. Here is the link to the report:Chainsaw Accident

KARE 11 posted a video on their news site:

I think it is worth noting that the fire department personnel took two hours to free the man from the tree.  Moving a tree off of someone is not a simple thing, and I doubt that the firemen have had training in special chainsaw techniques. Study the Chainsaw Safety Rules on this blog, and click on the Chainsaw label to access all of our posts about chainsaws and dropping trees. 

Lift A Log Video:

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

A Sincere Pumpkin Patch

 Tomorrow we are going to pick the rest of the pumpkins and squash.  The patch looks much different than it did in May. Susan kept the weeds down for half the summer, but then it got away from her and we have foxtail up to our head all over now. After we have everything picked we will mow it.  Next we will till it and wait for the weed seeds to germinate, then we will till it again.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Tuesday Torque: One Of Our Favorites, The Page Diesel

 The Page ran a dragline for many years and now resides in the Machinery Building at Midwest Old Threshers.  The Page has an addictive rhythm, and you could dance to it.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

No Days Off When You Retire!



                                                  There's Somethin' Doin' Every Day!

                                                            Back To The Old Grind!

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Meet Sunka!

 Sunka is a 15 year old Schipperke male who has outlived two owners.  He has been in a private kennel for two months since he became homeless, and now that Betty Boop has been adopted we had room to take Sunka in. It is difficult to find a home for a 15 year old dog, so he will probably be a permanent foster for us.  He is a perfect little gentleman, but he is deaf and mostly blind.  He navigates around the dog yard very well and is enjoying life here already.  The other dogs are being kind to him, even energetic Sisko. Many Thank Yous to all who have donated to Midwest Schipperke Rescue! Your generous donations  provide healthcare for Sunka and other lifers in the Midwest family.

Turnip Greens!

 The turnip patch is doing great! Susan brought in some greens for a special treat this morning.


Served with rutabagas, chuck roast and fresh beets. 

Monday, August 31, 2020

Tuesday Torque: Let's Watch Some Bump Starts!

 Big old engines are hard to pull through compression so bump starting is popular with these heavies. Watch the mag, and especially the trip for kicking the engine off. 

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Digging, Always Digging

 Do you ever wonder about which tools were invented first? I've thought for years that the hammer would be first, but there is also a good chance it was the shovel. Pick up a stick and you can use it to reach, to push, or to dig. Deuteronomy 23:13 tells us to carry a stick so we can clean up after ourselves.  We never get done digging, until we're really done, and then somebody else gets to dig for us.  Anyhow, the dogs are liking their stepping stones, and they will give us a safe path to clean the dog yard when it rains.

Back To The Old Grind!

Friday, August 28, 2020

Weekend Steam: Barn Fresh Steam Traction Engine?

 This is a rare occurrence!  This engine went from the barn to running with very little work. During the 1950's and 1960's you would hear about this type of find, but you sure don't expect it today.  The Minneapolis had been idle for 60 years. Remarkable! Posted to YouTube, November 2018.

The Iron Ranch
2.76K subscribers
"Here is a 1910 Minneapolis 22hp steam tractor that we recently picked up. We found it in Eastern Oregon and it last ran in the early 1950's. Everything was in great shape, so with a little work we had it running again for the first time in over 60 years. The engine is 22hp #6423 and it lived its entire live in a roughly 10 mile zone until we found it this fall. Even now, it is only a few hours away from its original home. Aside from being local, the tractor is almost entirely original, having the factory jacketing, original whistle, original pressure gauge, and some original paint too! We are very excited to continue tinkering on this amazing engine! I hope you guys enjoy it too! And for those who ask, yes we know the governor is not working. We had to disconnect it because of an issue that we discovered upon initial fireup. We left it temporarily disconnected in order to be able to test run the tractor and have a little fun before we ran out of daylight. We will be fixing this before it's operated again."

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Roaring Twenties Music: Japanese Sandman

 Whispering and Japanese Sandman are a couple of the best songs in the world for Fox Trotting, and we play them often.  Paul Whiteman recorded both of these classics in August 1920.  We featured Whispering last week, and here is Japanese Sandman, with a bonus of Nora Bayes in a second video.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Brass Man Bart Performs Wait 'Til The Sun Shines, Nellie

 Ben knocks out another good one!

How Many Ash Trees Will You Be Cutting?

 We have a bunch of them! Ash pops up all over the place, especially around edges, so we will have a good supply this winter of stove sized ash that needs just one split. Remember that these edge trees are usually way off balance.  Don't get your head knocked off by a barberchair.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Tuesday Torque: Revisiting Old Threshers At Mt. Pleasant

 Midwest Old Settlers And Threshers is one of the shows that is cancelled this year, but they will be back. Here is a nicely restored Reid oilfield engine that I recorded in 2009.  Susan and I were fortunate to see engines operating in powerhouses when we lived in Eastern Kentucky. The Reid is pretty neat because it is a 2-stroke cycle engine.  Instead of the crankcase being used for intake and transfer to the combustion chamber, Reids use a charging cylinder running parallel to the power cylinder. They have their own sound.

Rick: Listen to the John Deere at 24 seconds as the operator cranks it. You can hear the atmosphrically operated intake valve snorting while the engine is at low RPM. Thanks for the question in Comments!

Sunday, August 23, 2020

At Least It's Not Plumbing!

 We're reshaping a corner of the back yard to improve water flow away from the house. The old Ariens has been busting clods for forty years!

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Emerald Ash Borer In The Local News: My 15 Seconds Of Fame!

  John Ross of WSIL TV 3 called yesterday and then came right out to do a brief interview and look at emerald ash borer damage to trees.  We got lucky and found some really good galleries for the camera.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Roaring Twenties Music: Whispering, by Paul Whiteman

Paul Whiteman and his orchestra recorded Whispering on August 23, 1920.  It went to Number 1 for eleven weeks, and stayed on the charts for twenty weeks, selling more than two million copies.  It is one of the songs that made the Twenties roar.


Weekend Steam: 1911 30-96 Nichols & Shepard

 Let's go to Reynold's Museum! "Lighting up Reynolds Museum's own mighty 1911 Nichols & Shepard 30-96 steam traction engine for the first time in the 2017 season. This massive behemoth is affectionately known as "Big Nick" and is one of the most powerful steam tractors operating in Canada today. With a full head of steam on this traction engine delivers a whopping 96 horsepower and roughly 1250ft/lbs of torque at the flywheel from it's two cylinder simple expansion engine, drawbar horsepower is rated at 30. The steam engine makes use of the famous Stephenson twin eccentric valve gear system to control engine direction and variable steam cutoff. This tractor is fitted with a solid drive pin to bypass the clutch under heavy load, locking the crankshaft directly to the output drive gears when heavy traction work is required such as plowing, this prevents clutch damage due to excessive slippage. A huge thanks must be extended to the Reynolds Alberta Museum for lending out their vintage machinery for our group to gain steam hours towards our heritage steam operators certificates."