Saturday, December 10, 2016

Holly Jolly Christmas, Burl Ives

Campbell's Bears

Bonus Weekend Steam: Boats With Boilers, Arnhem!

Our friend Eric Janssen posted this video on his Facebook page this morning, and it's a good one, even if I can't understand the words.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Blue Christmas, Elvis Presley

That makes me think of this one:

Steam Engine Parts Stores: Building One The Hard Way!

Fifty years ago an old boy told me that steam shows wouldn't last because the engines were too expensive to maintain. He thought people would give up their old toys in the near future, way back in the 1960's. I am glad his pessimism has been proven wrong. These videos are from Herb Crosby, showing part of the work needed to preserve steam powered Lombard Log Haulers that were used in
the North Woods. Visit the Maine Forest and Logging Museum website HERE.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

It's Been A Great Fall

But it's all over now.  The weathermen are calling for So. Illinois to go down to 15° F tonight.  We have both stoves fired up, and extra wood is on the hearths so we don't have to step out in the night. Here are a few highlights from Autumn this year.

Christmas Time's A Comin', Bill Monroe

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, The Piano Guys

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

Ruger is offering another 25th Anniversary .44 Magnum Carbine this week, and if you want one you might as well bid.  They don't seem to get any cheaper.  As I post this on Tuesday night the bid is up above $1500, but it is for a good cause.  Click Here to read all about it and to place that winning bid.  This fine little rifle will sell mid-day, Wednesday, December 7, 2016.  $1650

Frosty The Snowman, Jimmy Durante

Monday, December 5, 2016

Jingle Bell Rock, Bobby Helms

Tuesday Torque: Steamboat Arabia Artifact

I've been fascinated by steamboats since I was a little kid, but there aren't very many around to study.  There have been a few dug up by adventurers who did research and then went looking. Digging up a steamboat wreck is a tough job, because even though the boat may be under farm land now, it is still in the river valley, and the river also flows through the alluvium.  Digging out a boat is a real engineering feat, and you must have good pumps  to keep the hole dry, because the river will fill it right up from the bottom.

The Arabia is an exhibit  in Kansas City, and it is a must-see museum if you are in the vicinity.  Here is a necessary little steam engine from the boat that is little known today.  Boilers need to be fed, and water must be pumped from the hull to keep the boat afloat.  It looks like this engine performed both tasks.  It is a real piece of history.  Video by our friend Gary Bahre.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee

Weekend Steam: A Whole Lotta Iron!

It's hard to believe that big engines like this are still being found and saved. These videos are from '09 and 10, so I will have to look for more information and see if the engines have been reassembled.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

There's No Place Like Home For The Holidays, Perry Como

Visiting Old Places

Most of my time during the last year was spent looking at tree plantings done over the last 25 years and writing new plans for them.  I haven't been back to many of these fields since I checked them after planting, and it is satisfying seeing a good looking young timber replacing a farm field that doesn't fit today's agriculture.

These pines and oaks are a project that repaired a worn out, eroded field in Wayne County, Illinois.  The fellow that planted these trees also planted a couple field on his parent's farm, a few miles away.  I wrote up over a hundred projects like these over the last year, and more are showing up to do every week. I don't know how many trees I have helped people put in the ground, but one file drawer is nearly full of tree orders  from the last 28 years.

Getting back to this project; the man who planted these trees never got to enjoy them, and he comes to mind every time I go near this project.  He died in a house fire shortly after he planted them and that has always weighed on my mind.  He was just an average country boy who grew up on a farm and held down a job in addition to farming a bit. I called on his mother a few years back, and she was dressed up as if she was going to church.  She had fallen and actually broken a leg the night before.  She showered and dressed up, and she had me get her car out so she could drive herself to the hospital.  She wouldn't hear of me giving her a ride; she said she wasn't hurt that bad.  People's Good.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What Child Is This? Lindsey Stirling

I've Seen The Big Guy Three Times; Still No Pictures



Not The Big Guy

That's the way it goes.  I saw the big one at this spot a month ago, and twice since then.  When all the deer move one way, he goes the other. He is smart and obviously does not want any close calls.  Firearm season starts again Thursday morning, and then we will have Muzzleloading Season.  After that he is home free.  I still hope to get a picture of him.