Sunday, May 28, 2017

How's The Urban Civil War Going?

Not Good. Here are some recent posts by Colin Flaherty highlighting how criminals in the black communities are targeting cops and others.

When you are done looking at the videos, Click Here to read about a crime that happened in Cairo, IL in 2014. The killer has been sentenced, and now you can see some of the details that were not made public previously.  The murderer, James Watts cut the throats of the three women he was trying to rob, and stabbed one of them more than 50 times. One of the commenters at the end of the article says that he hopes the killer gets justice in prison. I think the guy will be a celebrity, with plenty of cellblock cred for killing two white women.

Keep your head on a swivel when you navigate our fair land's cities.  It's a jungle out there.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Move Those Volunteers Now!

Every spring we have new trees volunteer all over the yard. Walnuts are so plentiful they have gained "weed" status, and of course they grow better than ones we have planted over the years. Here is a new swamp white oak seedling that we noticed and moved today. You have to leave your yard alone for a week or two when most people would be mowing, but the wait will give you free trees if you have seed sources around your yard. Use a small shovel and make a hole that matches the plug your tree is in; planting will go quickly, too.

Smith & Wesson Performance Center M & P Shields

Susan looked at a bunch of pistols in gun shops a year ago and settled on a 9mm M & P Shield from the Performance Center.  I recently did the same, only Susan talked me into a .45 so we could tell our guns apart. Check them out; these guns really work, and the porting makes the recoil easy to handle.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Weekend Steam: More From The Steam Channel

Memorial Day Weekend

The poppies aren't as numerous this year as we would like, but they are pretty, and people notice as they drive by.  They are a good reminder for us that this weekend has a serious meaning beyond the start of summer barbecues.

                    This was our flower show in 2012.  It's what we aspire to every year.

In Flanders Fields is a poem everyone should know by heart, but how many know the story of its writing? Click Here to read the brief history of the poem.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sheba Loves Her Rides In The Country

Carmi Rifle Club is Hosting Youth Shooting Camp, June 3, 2017

Brownells NRA Day
Youth Sportsfest Shooting Camp
Sponsored by Carmi Rifle Club, Brownells, and NRA Foundation
June 3, 2017
A fun opportunity for youths, ages 9 - 18 years old., to learn more about firearm safety and shooting fundamentals and to experience a wide variety of shooting sports - all in one place, all in one day!!  The Carmi Rifle Club is excited to offer this rewarding and enjoyable experience to the youth of southern Illinois.  The Carmi Rifle Club is located on County Road 1250 E just off Hwy.14 north of Carmi, IL

 8:30 am - Registration                                                          11:45 am - Picnic lunch provided
 9:00 am - Safety and range instruction                                12.45 pm - Center fire pistols and rifles
10:00 am - .22 target pistols and shotgun instruction            3:00 pm - Finish up and head home

Participants will have the opportunity to handle and fire a variety of firearms such as:
1.  .22 caliber target pistols                               3.  9 mm., .44 cal, .45 cal., .357 and .38 special pistols
2.  .410, .20 gauge, and 12 gauge shotguns       4.  .22, .223, 7.62x39 and rifles           

Participants are welcome to bring their own eye and ear protection - regular glasses with shatter-proof lenses or shooting glasses.
However, safety glasses and hearing protection will be provided for those who do not bring their own.   Participants under 18 years
old must be accompanied by an adult.
FEE:  $30

Advance Registration required, event limited to first 25 applicants
Free Camp T-shirts
 (subject to availability)
Carmi Rifle Club
Carmi, IL
For more information contact Valinda Rowe: 618-963-2788 email:

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

Ruger's offering this week is a 1990 New In Box, P85 9mm Decocker. These are great guns and are built like tanks.  It will sell mid-day, May 24, 2017.   100% of the proceeds of this auction will go to benefit the Light Foundation. CLICK HERE to read all the details and to place that winning bid.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Tuesday Torque: Do You Subscribe To Gas Engine Magazine?

Gas Engine Magazine began in January 1966 as an outgrowth of the Iron Men Album, a steam engine magazine published by Reverend Elmer Ritzman. Elmer was a steam engine fan, and he started his publishing career in the 1940s with the Farm Album, which he soon renamed the Iron Men Album.  I have been taking Gas Engine since its beginning, and still do.  Elmer is long gone, but his baby lives on.  Iron Men went away, because the steam hobby is much smaller than the the gas engine hobby.

One of our engines, the 5 HP Falk made it to the cover of an issue a few years ago after Gary Bahre restored it to show condition, and we bought extra issues. Another engine that passed through our hands, a 5 HP Collis will soon be written up by Gary and featured in an article.

I bought a 5 HP Collis engine many years ago at a farm auction.  It was built in the eary 1920s for running a binder, but there weren't many made, and production soon ended.  It's a rare engine, and even though it is unremarkable in appearance it is highly collectible. The single pushrod and rocker arm operates both the intake and exhaust valves, and the radiator is in the flywheel  The radiator spins around the impeller for the water pump. It's a compact little engine and it marks a change from the big hit and miss engines of the day. Here it is as it left our garage several years ago.

And here it is after Gary put it back in running order. Gary has been published several time in Gas Engine over the years.  He finds unusual projects and sees them through to the end; then he is good about telling the story for other engine people to enjoy. Be watching for his article sometime in the next several issues.  Gary will also be finishing his article about the 8 HP Bessemer, and I suspect that one will be on the cover.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Lumberjack Movies On Location

This weekend we were doing chainsaw work and we shot some video today.  It's uploading to YouTube now, and it will be done about midnight.

The heat for next winter is shaping up nicely.  I wonder how many trees we have pushed up the chimneys over the years. What's in your woodpile!?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Easy Part

The easy part is putting it on the ground.  There's a lot of work to do after you let gravity do its thing.  We have been cutting and trimming around the yard today and the cleanup takes a lot longer than the cutting.  I like ones like the snag in this video.  I cut if for a friend several years ago.  I left after this part of the job and he cleaned it up.

I will shoot some vid tomorrow if the rain holds off, and maybe we can make a lesson or two out of our projects.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

After Action Review

How do you know if you have done enough? These photos are from three years ago, but are a good indication of what I have done during my years as a forester working for a state agency.

The Dead File...Now it is half again as big.  These are files that are inactive because of death or properties sold; and of course many of those ended up dead soon after. You keep them because you never get rid of government records, and the ground may become a case again with a new owner. The next forester won't know who to look up, though, so it is a waste, but you can't destroy records.

Tree orders and confirmations. I changed the landscape with the help of many good landowners, and that was just part of my job. The last several years I have not done tree orders because one of the state nurseries was closed, and the other one was severely hampered by budget problems. Landowners have had to order their trees from private nurseries and tree planting goes on.  That's a little more than twenty years of orders, all filled out by hand, and with a planting plan to government specs to back up each one,  plus recons and inspections and meetings with landowners and contractors

The change to computers came over many years and now the thought of writing documents out on a legal pad and handing it to a secretary seems ludicrous. The guy who hired me said at a meeting that "We are bureaucrats.  We fill out papers." He was right!  Everything you do must have paper to back it up or to make it go. Shortly after I started my previous forestry job in Kentucky we had a district meeting with all of the fire control people, forest management foresters and clerical.  Jack Rhody, from the State Forester's office in Frankfort gave us a short lesson that stuck with me. He got up and said "When one of you guys does something like throwing a pop bottle out your truck window, people don't call the State Forester. They call the Governor.  You are representing him, and you should be making him look good every day."  That was good advice for anyone drawing a paycheck, and I never forgot it. I still wonder who threw a pop bottle out the window.  I bet his butt is still sore.

Take A Little Walk Out Behind The Barn With Sheba

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Does Anyone Trust The Legislative Process?

Click The Screen Shot To Read The Numbers.

So, Senate Bill 1657, the Gun Dealer Licensing Act which is designed to run Illinois gun dealers out of business and to make criminals out of gun owners went to the House Judiciary Committee today for examination. There were many there to testify against it, including Springfield Arms and Rock River Arms.  Two individuals were allowed to speak. There were more than 10,000 Witness Slips filed opposing this bill to not quite 4,000 in favor, and the thirteen members voted 7 to 6 to send it to the House Floor for a vote.  If You Have Not Yet Called Your Representative, DO SO NOW!  I don't know when it will go to a vote, but it most certainly will.  Your Rep needs to hear your opinion!

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

Ruger is offering another of their coveted .44 Magnum Carbines this week, so be sure to take a look and place a bid.  This one was rollmarked in 1982 and it is a 25th anniversary model.  I see people asking for these frequently on gun forums, so  even though they have been out of production for many years, shooters still want them.  It's a great deer rifle for the woods, or for hunting hogs close up.  CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place that winning bid.  It will sell mid-day, May 17, 2017. $1425

Monday, May 15, 2017

Tuesday Torque: Page Diesel

This Page Diesel engine powered a big dragline during its working life.  It now lives in the Machinery Building at Old Threshers  in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. I have always enjoyed the sounds of this engine, and I think you will, too. They kick in the second cylinder at about a minute, and that's when you can start dancing.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Phoebe Babies!

We haven't had barn swallows in the old barn for many years, but today we noticed that we have a Phoebe family with four that are almost ready to fledge.  We blame snakes and coons for pushing out our swallows, and we hope the Phoebes are successful.

Four! Count 'em; Four!

One of the proud parents.

Call Your Mother Every Day!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Good Old Rebel, Performed By Bobby Horton

They can tear down all the monuments they want; there are some of us who study our history and we won't forget it. Good Old Rebel was written post-war, and the sentiments are genuine, through experience and hardship. It's just as important to me as any song from the mid 19th Century, and they can't remove it from my head.

Another Heinous Anti-Gun Bill In The Illinois Senate; SB-556

From IL GUNLOBBY : "A new gun ban has been filed in the Illinois Senate SB-556 would prevent you from taking a so called assault weapon out of your house. It would not allow you to go Hunting with many of your current rifles or shotguns. . . "  Link To SB-556

This bill is a very bad one.  It will outlaw guns like an old Winchester Model 74 in .22 Short or Long Rifle, because it is an semi-auto holding more that 10 rounds, and the magazine tube is not under the barrel.  Go read SB-556 , and start calling your Illinois Senator and Representative. I don't think it is scheduled for a committee hearing yet, but I will keep an eye on the IL GA site and post again when I see it.

Friday, May 12, 2017

IL Senate Bill 1657: What Will It Mean For You And Businesses If It Passes?

This is a post by Todd Vandermyde, NRA, on IL GUNLOBBY.  Todd really lays out the terrible details that most of us would have trouble spotting in the 69 page document.  It is well worth your time to read. Then, call your IL Representative and file a Witness Slip opposing this terrible bill.

"Guys we have been slammed working on SB-1657. Here are some more talking points against the bill
​Guys people have been asking about talking points on SB-1657. below are some highlights
keep the calls coming
This isn’t about licensing dealers; it’s about running them out of business. Gun dealers are currently required to have federal licenses from BATFE. Dealers in Cook County have to have a municipal dealer license. Some are then saddled with additional local requirements imposed by municipalities.
• Two State Licenses Required: SB-1657 requires “corporations” to obtain a dealership license in order to conduct business. However, before being able to obtain a dealership license, either the owner or a member of the Board of Directors must obtain a dealer license. This means that there will be a minimum of two state licenses per these Federal Firearms License (FFLs).
• How Many Licenses Are Enough: Illinois is home to over 2000 FFLs. Many are organized as corporations. Under SB-1657 they would have to have a dealers’ license for the owner, then get a Dealership license for the corporation, on top of the Federal License, and then often time on top of a local license. This essentially triples the number of licenses currently needed to operate as a firearms business in Illinois.
• Many FFLs are not gun dealers: They are machine shops that either make components, which require a FFL per BATFE, or are plating companies that also require a FFL due to handling and transfer of firearm frames and receivers. They do not engage in retail sales and are strictly business-to-business sales or transfers, many of which are subcontractors to the actual manufacturer. They would be required to do all the licensing as if they were a “gun dealer”.
• Licenses On Top of Licenses: Not content with Federal licenses, and the addition of multiple state licenses, SB-1657 explicitly authorizes additional licensure and regulations by municipalities and counties. So despite having a FFL, besides having two state licenses, they now may be required to obtain a municipal license and comply with a myriad of regulations beyond local zoning. This isn’t about licensing gun dealers. This is about creating regulations for the sake of regulating an industry out of existence, minimizing the number of retailers where Illinois residents will be able to legally buy a firearm.
• Licensing of Employees: If the duplicative licensing requirements for current FEDERALLY licensed dealers wasn’t enough, SB-1657 also sets up two new “licenses” for employees. One is for “Dealership Agents” -- people who have access to firearms. Another “Dealership Licensee-in -charge” for the person who “assumes sole responsibility” for the license. Never mind that employees have FOID cards and most have CCLs. Forget the other 4 - 6 licenses or more they may be required to obtain under the bill. Now they want to “license” every employee who can touch a firearm. And naturally there will be a charge for this, not in statute, but set by rule. A head tax by another name. Employees already have background checks: We know of no gun dealer in the state where someone who works there, as an illinois resident, selling and handling firearms is not required to have a FOID card. Most people working at gun shops not only have FOID cards, they have their concealed carry license as well. Just what exactly is the new background check going to find that the State Police missed in the FOID and CCL check?
Not merely background checks: It’s not about background checks on employees, it’s about requiring written exams, in-person interviews, apprenticeship type hours and continuing education. None of these have anything to do with background checks. It has everything to do with running up the cost of employees, running up the cost of doing business and piling on more regulations and red tape to either drive people out of business, or keep them from getting in, thus limiting the number of gun shops.
Sell More Than 9 Firearms a Year, Congratulations You’re a Dealer: Anyone who sells or transfers more than 9 firearms a year, and you’re considered a dealer. This has the effect of limiting the private transfer of firearms.
Want to sell off part of your collection to improve it or pay for college. Don’t sell more than 9 or you’ll need to get a State Dealer License and by their rules apply for a FFL, which BATFE will deny, because these people are NOT engaged in the business.
Trade a few guns and sell some others, you’re a dealer. Try to liquidate all or part of your collection, even by putting them on consignment at your local gun shop, you’re a dealer. The net effect is to limit the ability of gun owners to sell, trade or improve their collections. And, all of it comes with criminal penalties and fines of up to $10,000 per violation.
The bill adds to the federal definition of firearms dealer & engaged in the business. It also attmpts to exclude selling off parts of a collection, but it so ham-handedly tries to do these things that it creates conflicts within the law.
Registration: DFPR has unlimited rule making authority, to include “Formulate rules required for the administration of this Act.” Administrative requirements like the reporting of make, model, serial number and name with FOID card of every person buying a gun.
•​It’s about adding more regulation: Gun dealers currently deal with BATFE and their local municipality. Additionally, dealers work with Illinois State Police for background checks on all sales. Proponents now want to add another agency with the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (DFPR).
•​An Unlimited Application: As another way to harass dealers and manufacturers, DFPR is given the unlimited ability to request information about the applicant and any employees. This includes written exams and in-person interviews.
•​No Limits On Inspections: Chicago has long blamed it’s crime problem on legitimate gun dealers outside the city. Anti-gunners seek to use a regulatory scheme as a way to control gun dealers outside the City of Chicago, ones that they have long sought to close. There is no limit on the number of record inspections a gun dealer could be subject to. Federal licensing law limits such harassment inspections.
• Complaints about dealers are anonymous and the people making them are not disclosed to the dealer. The Department can act on any one of these anonymous complaints and place a licensee in jeopardy.
• In most licensing laws you can have the defense of you followed the law. Except in this case FFL are not afforded that defense:
“that the provision of paragraph (d) of Section 10-65 of the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act, which provides that at hearings the registrant or licensee has the right to show ​compliance with all lawful requirements for retention or continuation or renewal of the license, is specifically excluded.”
• Veterans excluded. If you are a veteran. And leave the active military, or even the reserves, and your job is an armorer and you want to open a gun shop and maybe a gun-smithing business you would be prohibited from doing so unless you worked for at least 1 year at another gun store.
•​They Lost Their Bans, But Want a New One: The City of Chicago lost their ban on gun shops in Federal Court. Now anti-gunners want to use a regulatory scheme to knock out gun dealers and prohibit new ones. This creates more red tape, endless applications, regulations on top of regulations and licenses on top of licenses. Despite their stated intentions, this bill is not about licensing gun dealers, it’s about running them out of business." Todd Vandermyde, IL GUNLOBBY