Friday, January 19, 2018

2018 Valentine Festival: Ukulele Lady, Arlo Guthrie, and a bonus! Vaughn DeLeath!

Weekend Steam: Let's Take A Ride On A Baker!

Merle spotted another good one; this video is from a show at Sycamore, Illinois.  One thing I have noticed is that engine operators today will put the clutch in while the engine is running.  The old-timers who taught me would warm up the engine, stop it, push the clutch in, and then use the throttle to start the engine with the clutch engaged.  They wanted the clutch engaged whenever the engine was moving, because you use the engine to stop quickly if need-be, and you cannot do that if the engine is not connected to the drivetrain.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

German Sport Guns/Sig Sauer 1911-22

Mom bought this 1911-22 back in 2011 and it performed great right from the start.  I cannot remember a single malfunction with this pistol, which is the same size as a 1911 .45 ACP pistol.  We have been using it in pistol classes at the Carmi Rifle Club for several years and everyone who shoots it likes it.  Breaking it down requires an Allen wrench, so I just keep the breechface and slideface clean, pull a boresnake through it and keep the slide rails oiled, and it runs just fine. I usually carry a centerfire pistol around the farm with me, but this gun comes out every time we have a shooting event at Carmi.  It is unmodified and still has the magazine disconnect safety, which has caused no problems.  This GSG pistol is the same as a Sig Sauer 1911-22.  I first got to shoot one at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous in 2011, and it worked flawlessly, too.  These guns are moderately priced, so keep your eyes open for one.  Here is Bea on her first range trip with it a little over six years ago.

2018 Valentine Festival: Logger Lover, Jo Mapes

2018 Valentine Festival: I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm, Dean Martin

Something we all need right now!  So IL was zero this morning and sub-zero yesterday.  I have my little Lisa dog to keep me from freezing! 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit the Scholastic Action Shooting Program

Ruger has moved to another good cause this week; The Scholastic Action Shooting Program.  A Ruger P90 Manual Safety in .45 ACP, made in 1995 is up for auction this week.  This fine pistol will sell mid-day January17, 2018.  CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place your bid.  $915

2018 Valentine Festival! Moonbeam Kiss Her For Me, Nick Lucas

Monday, January 15, 2018

Tuesday Torque: Maybe Should Save Up For One Of These...

The snow is not all that deep, but I am tiring of it rapidly.  We are going in the deepfreeze for a few days now, so if you drive one of these, be sure to put alcohol or kerosene in the radiator so it doesn't freeze!  Aren't you glad you don't live in the Good Old Days?!

Photo by Bea!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Weekend Steam: Old Steam Powered Machine Shop Number 36

The January Thaw Has Expired!

I woke up this morning at 6A and opened the weather app on the phone.  The screen was totally blue.  I thought the phone was busted, then I zoomed out.  Crappy weather.  It was freezing rain last night when we went to bed, then it switched to sleet sometime in the night.

When I walked the dogs it was mix of sleet and big snowflakes; very noisy.  Lisa didn't know what to think.  She is from Midland, Texas, and probably has never seen weather like this.  Pretty soon she was dancing in it, though.

There is good traction on the back roads.  Sleet with snow on top is easy to drive on as long as you pay attention.  The worst part is the cold wind that continues to blow.  Even though there is not much loose snow on top, it moves, and there is drifting to watch for on the backroads.

We have our countermeasures. Both wood stoves are going, and I scraped out the chimneys yesterday to prepare for a cold snap.  During cold weather I run a fire on one side of the firebox and set wood on the other side to warm up and finish drying.  It is usually blackened and cracked when I roll it onto the fire, so it takes off immediately instead of skunking along when we want heat.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Like A Locomotive Idling, or An Alien Spaceship Hovering

Countrymark oil called us about a year ago to see if we would make a deal for an easement in our tree plantation for a pumping station.  It would be less than an acre, but it would be there basically forever.  We said no, since we had the option to do that.  We were hoping they would put it far away, but a next-door landowner signed the deal with them.  There is a power line here providing three phase electric to a coal mine several miles away, so this is where they needed to place it.  The oil in this line is pumped at Johnsonville and ends up over in Indiana at a refinery.  The pressure in the line as it crosses us is about 600 psi, and these booster pumps send it on at about 1800 psi.  There are two pumps working parallel with five plungers each, and with 300 HP motors.  It is kind of neat to be there when they cut them in.  One pump will start rolling as they open the valves so oil goes through the the first one; then they kick on the power and it is running.  The second one starts up quietly, too as its valves are opened, then it is running; then the valve on the main line is closed and the motors, plungers, and valves are all doing their thing, making an odd little rhythmic noise that penetrates the house a quarter mile away. There are five plungers on each pump, and that means ten valves per pump.  Twenty valves are clicking on and off their seats all the time the pumps are running. You feel it as much as you hear it.  They put some big-ass lights over the whole thing, so we are really glad that we have our trees shielding us from that.  When I walk the dogs on a foggy morning the  lights are shining over the trees and the pumps are throbbing.  It sounds like aliens in a 1950's Sci-Fi movie are landing.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Wounded Warrior Outdoors

This week Ruger is offering a New Model Single Six Convertible in .22 LR and .22 WMR that was made in 1980 and returned by the distributor.  This revolver does not show any shop wear in the photos on Ruger's website, and it appears to function normally.  This fine gun will sell mid-day, Wednesday, January 10.  Click Here to read Ruger's description and to place that winning bid.  $600

Monday, January 8, 2018

Tuesday Torque: IHC Slideshow From Pinckneyville...

...courtesy of Gary Bahre, the ILEngineGuy.

Lots of M's, plus a few LA's/LB's.  These are all throttle-governed, closed crankcase engines.  They are smaller and lighter than their predecessors.  The M's have grease cups for the mains.  The LA and LB engines are later, with oil splashing the main bearings.  Engines evolve!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Weekend Steam: First Run With A New Boiler!

Thanks, Merle!  They call this an Advance, but the engine doesn't have the earmarks I expect on an Advance.  Hmmmm.  Must do some book-looking.  They should know what they are talking about, but I must see some old photos.  Exciting, nevertheless!  Well, it does look like an early Advance!  Later ones had angled lugs rather than lugs at a right angle to the rim.  The early catalog photos have spark arresters on the top of the stacks, so you can't see the top of the stack.  The pattern on this engine resembles ones you see on Nichols and Shepherd engines, and also some Russel Engines.  Later Advance engines had a simple ring around the top of the stack.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Did You Ever Drop A Scoped Firearm?

I just did.  My Mk III Ruger has a Bushnell Shotgun scope on it and it does amazing things.  I hold it in close when I shoot, and with the 6" eye relief of that model it was easy to adapt to a stance that works for me.  It fell off the seat of the utility vehicle last week; it fell maybe 2 feet or less and clunked on the floor.  I checked it yesterday at a long 25 yards.  I set this target at 80 feet and fired one round (Number 1).  It was cold, so I just worked from the bench and did not go out and measure to get the numbers perfect.  It was 2 1/2", and from the bench I estimated 3" high, and 1" left. (Click On The Target to Enlarge.)  I cranked it way down and a bit right to check if the scope was tracking OK, and did Shot #2.   Back up for a group, and then back down for the zero.  I then shot group 5 carefully to see if I was on.  After that, I cranked it up 2 quarter minute clicks, so it should be right on at 25 yards. All shots were fired with my wrists rested and the pistol supported only by hands.  The pistol has a stock trigger, but it is well broken-in and breaks just under 4 pounds.

The front of the scope rail is unsupported and I think the gun landed on the front bell of the scope, putting a little bend in the scope rail forward of the receiver.  The gun was in a Midway Tactical Pistol Case, so the change surprised me just a bit.  The moral is ABC; Always Be Checking.  Or ABZ; Always Be Zeroing!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Flatt and Scruggs Finest Album?

That would be dangerous to argue, but Final Fling, released in 1970 after they broke up was a solid capstone to their twenty years together.  I bought a copy out of a bargain rack back then and it is still one of my favorite records. 

Girl From The North Country brought this album back to mind. It seems just a bit odd that I prefer Lester Flatt singing Bob Dylan songs over Bob Dylan. Must be the hillbilly in me!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Wounded Warrior Outdoors

The .44 Magnum Carbines are always popular, and this week it seems especially so.  The bidding as I post this is up above $2100, but it's for a good cause, so at least go have a look.  This fine little rifle sells mid-day, January 3, 2018.  Click Here or on the photo for the link. $2125

Tuesday Torque: Large Hall-Scott Engine at Coolspring

She starts out a little rough because they are working on the ingnition, but be patient and you will hear it purr. I love to watch the rockers and push rods.

Many Thanks to Merle for spotting this one!

Monday, January 1, 2018

How To Drink Whiskey???!

This guy makes a horrible mistake, and if you just bought an expensive bottle of single malt, I hope you have more sense than to throw away the first you pour into your glass.  Rinse your glass with water first, for crying out loud!  Here is what he didn't tell you, and what you need to tell your kid going off to college so he/she doesn't have to puke their guts up in the dormitory rest room.  NEVER drink hard liquor straight from the bottle!  Pour a little bit into a glass.  Add a little water, or whatever you wish to dilute it with, or add to the flavor.  Sip it slowly and make it last.  Drink some water.  Wait.  If you are not driving, you may have another; also measured into a glass, diluted a bit, and sipped slowly.  Others who do not know this may be observed in the morning in the restroom puking their guts out.  I have been thanked for this advice, and if you pass it along, you will too!

Could You Make This Shot?

Thirty yards, sitting still, it should be easy with a 4X scope.

Of course you could.  Heart/Lungs or brain shot.  But you won't, because water/ice is behind.  Easy shot; not gonna do it.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Koda's Gone Where The Winds Hit Heavy on the Borderline...

....Where the Snowflakes Fall, Where the Rivers Freeze When the Summer Ends.  Icy roads on the way to meet Koda's new family reminded me of a song (!) and it's been running through my head all day.  We met up at mid-day, took care of paperwork, and helped Koda work through his case of jitters from seeing new places, people, and real COLD SNOW. One Degree Fahrenheit Snow!  It will be a switch for a little dog accustomed to Southern Illinois, but he will have a cozy bed and loving people to take care of him.  Here we see Koda conducting the adoption interview.  Best Wishes for a Happy New Year for Koda and his Forever Family!

Here's Bob Dylan's song, performed by Lester and Earl.