Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The USA Shooting Team

Ruger is auctioning a rare one this week; a left-handed Gunsite Scout Rifle in .308!  This model was developed with Ed Head of Gunsite, and this rifle was built in 2011. There are not many of this model out there in the world, and this is a great opportunity for southpaws to get a rifle that can handle a multitude of situations.  CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place your bid. The hammer will fall on this auction mid-day, January 23, 2019.

2019 Valentine Festival, Chantilly Lace, The Big Bopper

Saturday, January 19, 2019

2019 Valentine Festival: O-HI-O, Al Jolson, 1921

It's Saturday night, so let's have a little bonus song.  "A country girl you know is just like a Ford, They're not so stylish, But for service, Oh Lord!"

2019 Valentine Festival: Passionate Kisses, Mary Chapin Carpenter

This is one of the best songs ever.   Back when CDs were a new thing, I bought the album with this song on a cassette.  I loaned it to a friend, and the next time I saw her she told me, "I'm keeping that tape!"  Good friend, no problem; but this song and MCC are that good. 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

More Snow On The Way

They say we will be in the 1" - 2" area on Saturday,(They are forecasting more as of Friday night.)  so tomorrow's task is to bring up more wood from the barn; just in case it is worse than forecast.   This photo is last week with 3" - 4" on the ground.

Inside, by the fire: Junior and I agree, Home is where the heat is!

2019 Valentine Festival: Everybody Loves Me Baby!, Don McLean

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

2019 Valentine Festival: Redneck Girl, Bellamy Brothers

We're having fun now!

This Took A Little Detective Work With The Voltmeter,

and we finally found the problem.  The electrician who installed this box a few years ago failed to run down the screw on one of the neutral wires.  The washer was going through death-throes yesterday and we thought it was a goner, but it is feeling much better now! Dogs Barking: It was feeding time and the people were ignoring them!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

2019 Valentine Song Festival: Let's Do A Hawaii Night!

There is a cold snap coming, and that's a good time to dream of warmer climes, palm trees, Pacific sunsets, and Hula girls!

I've been listening to old records for almost sixty years. Most of those years have included Yaka Hula Hickey Dula. I never cared for that one, but it is cute, and probably sold a bunch of records. Many artists recorded it. Down In Honolulu Looking Them Over is a Unicorn record. It is extremely rare, and I have never seen or heard an original. I have it on a vinyl reproduction. Ukulele Lady is my pick from these songs. I first heard it when Arlo Guthrie recorded it in the early '70s. He did a fine job with it, but Vaughn DeLeath's recording is classic.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The USA Shooting Team

This nice little Single Six is marked used, but seems to wear only a scratch line around the cylinder.  It was made in 1984 and returned to the factory for unknown reasons.  Single Sixes ride nicely on the hip, and the .32 caliber bullets pack a lot more punch than a .22.  CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place that winning bid.  This neat little gun sells mid-day, Wednesday, January 16, 2019.  $755

Sunday, January 13, 2019

It Might Come Back!

An acquaintance of W. C. Fields saw some of his liquor stash and remarked that Prohibition was over.  Fields replied something like, "Yes, but it might come back!  I am not a climate change naysayer; climate has been changing since Earth was a cooling ball of gas.  These Canadian granite boulders came south to Illinois during the Illinoisan glacier, some 300,000 to 125,000 years ago.  That ice made the edges nice and round so you can tell them easily from exposed bedrock that they might be sitting on.  Someday that ice will come back, no matter whether you drive  a Chevy  or a Prius.  Maybe it will make little pebbles out of whatever is left of Chicago.  That will solve the crime problem up there!  Back To The Old Grind!

2019 Valentine Festival! Diggy Liggy Lo, Doug Kershaw

One Is Not Enough!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

A Legend Has Passed; Bob Einstein aka Super Dave Osborne

Super Dave passed away on January 2 of this year.  I didn't see it in the news, and just stumbled across it a few days ago.  He was sure good at what he did.

Language Barrier No Problem; Barberchairs Kill!

Svante Hansson does a mighty fine job of showing the dangers of barberchairs.  We get negative comments regularly about borecutting and safety rules for chainsaws.  Pay no attention to the naysayers.  Cutting plans, borecutting, safety gear, and following chainsaw safety rules will save you from injury and death.

Hi, John: Thanks for the comment question. Here is a video I shot many years ago of chainsaw instructor Joe Glenn demonstrating the use of the bore cut to make a hinge, plus setting the dogs and rotating to make the hinge the proper thickness. His tree is an elm. The student in the latter part of the video is cutting a heavily leaning hackberry, and the same technique is used. At the end of that segment you will see the hackberry domino a red-cedar that has been set up with an undercut to the backstrap.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Weekend Steam: Steam Trains Galore #5

Merle's pick this week includes some nice shots of a Heisler loco.  Pretty rare, and really neat!  Thanks, Merle!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Tree Planters Are Troublemakers

At least that is how I was treated by many.  Farmers often don't like the idea that neighbors are planting trees.  Federal agency people did not necessarily like landowners getting assistance for eliminating farm ground by converting back to trees.  (Most were enthusiastic, but the troublemakers could cause trouble!) Prairie enthusiasts hated me!  Illinois is supposed to be the Prairie State, after all!  We persisted, though, and made a real difference.  Here is a post from ten years ago.  I would like to visit these fields again and see how these sites look today.

One year old bottomland hardwood planting project.

A similar project; ten years later.

The Conservation Reserve Program created a ton of work for the District Foresters in Illinois, and every one of us had to come up with strategies to use in our counties.  One of the keys to cranking out plans quickly was this list of species that is pretty well tailored to the soils and sites of my district.

Upland Sites:  black cherry, red-cedar, white pine, red pine, white oak, black oak, persimmon, tulip-poplar, dogwood, redbud, plum, elderberry, hawthorn, smooth/shining/staghorn sumac; plus all bottomland species.
Side Slopes:  Upland species; bottomland species; and if the slope is north or east facing, northern red oak, Shumard oak, and black walnut.
Riparian Zones:  Bottomland species; and black walnut, Shumard oak, cherrybark oak.
Bottomland Sites:  Pecan, hackberry, bur oak, shellbark hickory, baldcypress, sweetgum, pin oak, persimmon, river birch, sycamore, swamp white oak, nuttal oak, overcup oak,  swamp chestnut oak, willow oak, red maple, and cottonwood. 

Ash species are no longer recommended because of the Emerald Ash Borer.  Use cypress, sweetgum, birch, sycamore, cottonwood, silver maple, and red maple for spacer/trainer trees instead of ash.

Black walnut will grow on uplands, but will not always perform well for timber production.  The wildlife value of walnut remains on less-than-ideal sites.

When we started out with CRP, lots of people wanted all walnut on their ground.  Walnut is very site specific, and after a few years, the Federal agency people had the landowners educated about picking the right trees before I had their paperwork.  All that tree planting made for exciting times.  We made a great difference to the landscape with some of the projects.  The thick ten year old planting shown above actually stopped the Little Wabash river from blowing out into an old channel, which would have destroyed many farm fields.  We had a similar situation along the big Wabash, and with a series of tree plantings on a peninsula we stopped serious erosion to farm fields that was occurring during flood events.  The prairie people still don't like me. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Holster Hack

I've been using Hawg Holsters for  carrying and I really like them.   I like to drop the LCP II in a pocket, but the Ulti Clip stood out a bit too much for my liking and was too prominent.  I often drop the S & W in a coat pocket and noticed that the clip was visibly printing.  The clip is easy to remove, so this week I stuck both of them in a vise and made the bends you see in the photo.  The holsters are still shirt-tuckable, but now they do not print noticeably when I carry in a pocket.  I don't know if the folks at Ulti Clip would approve, but it works for me.

Timber Harvest and Taxes Workshop, Coming Up At John A. Logan College!

Most timber owners in Illinois are not making the income they should from timber sales.  Jay Hayek, from the University of Illinois will provide all the knowledge you need to have a good experience selling timber and maximize your income.  Be in charge of managing your timber and make the most possible from your investment.  CLICK HERE to register.  This workshop will be held on January 26, 2019 at John A Logan College from 9 AM 'til Noon.  John A. Logan is located at Carterville, (Williamson County) Illinois, on the north side of Illinois Hwy 13.

                      Click Poster To Enlarge.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

Here's another special one this week!  Ruger is auctioning a Convertible Blackhawk made for Buckeye Sports Supply in .32 H & R Magnum and .32-20 Winchester.  This is one of a run of 5200, and it was built in 1989.  Click Here to read all about it and to place that winning bid.  This fine revolver will sell mid-day, Wednesday, January 9, 2019.  $1250

Monday, January 7, 2019

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Oh Well, Or Words To That Effect; I Have Been Doing It All Wrong!

Must bring calipers to the table!

Back To The Old Grind!

Tracked By Phone: What Does Google Know About You?

I got an email from Google that shows me some of the information collected via my phone over the previous year.  There is no telling exactly what they have on file.

And the other day, this happened!  We went shopping at Kroger and it appears that Google and Kroger have colluded to help me with my shopping chores!  They knew I was coming!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Charles R. "Bob" Hancock, Carmi; An Old Friend

And a darn good tree planter. He put a lot of seedlings in the ground in Southern Illinois during the early days of the Conservation Reserve Program. He passed away today. This 2011 photo is a project he planted on his farm.

                                                         Click Photo To Enlarge.

This cherrybark of Bob's was nearly 9" diameter in less than twenty years.  He did good work.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Weekend Steam: Jay Leno's Doble Steam Car

If you go to steam shows or old car shows you will probably see a Stanley Steamer once in a while, but a Doble steam car is almost a unicorn.  I have never seen one, and if not for Jay Leno, I would know nothing about them.  This is a good look that all steam enthusiasts will enjoy.  Hat Tip to Merle for picking this video!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

The New Floor Progresses

This is how we were yesterday morning when the contractors were working in the entrance hall. We keep sweeping, and it seems there is always more to pick up.  I was still finding a few staples today from the carpet pad and 1/4" plywood tile-underlay. The dogs have to be confined while the stairwell is open for the contractors.  We set up exercise pen panels around it at the end of the day.

Here we are tonight, with about seven feet of width to go; and then the trim. The dogs will be glad when this is over and done.  They have to be locked up all day because the workers are in and out the door to cut pieces to fit.  I have been giving the critters extra walks to settle their nerves and to exercise their legs.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Family Get-Together, 100 Plus Years Ago

Scrolling through photos, I spotted this scan of a photo I printed from the negative many years ago.  The license plate says 1914, and that probably is pretty close.  At the wheel is a great aunt, May Garrison, and in the passenger seat is her sister Iva.  Behind Iva is my Great-Grandmother Myrtle, who passed away in 1971.  I remember her very well. 

I know nothing about the car, but it is noteworthy that it has acetylene headlights.  I think manufacturers switched over to electric lights about 1915.  The right hand drive is dated.  Ford switched to the left side with the Model T for the 1909 model year. I wish I knew where this gathering occurred, and the people in the background.  They are probably family, but the details are a lost ball in high weeds.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Still Prepping At The Last Minute;

but we are ready for the flooring guys.  They will be here early tomorrow.  This won't be the end, but it marks the end of the hard parts (I think!).