Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Pax41 on YouTube has just posted a peppy number that is sure to put you in a party mood for tomorrow night. Irving Berlin published 'Alexandar's Ragtime Band' in 1911, and this recording was pressed the same year.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
This nice old engine started life as a steamer in the oilfield, and then it was converted into a gas engine. It is set up to be used on a cable drilling rig, having a cable operated throttle for the driller to pull when he needed extra power. It operated in a power house for more than one hundred years, and the current owners have its history, which was recorded by the operators over the years. You will note that it fires every revolution. It is a two-stroke engine, with one end of the cylinder charging the other end the same as a Bessemer two-stroke engine.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The open face and bore cut method for falling trees has some great advantages over the older methods. It is a necessity for trees with excessive forward weight in order to prevent barber chairs, which are often deadly. The bore cut allows you to make your hinge the exact length and thickness you want while your tree stand motionless, and allows you to set up your wedges in advance of releasing the tree. The greatest safety advantage I see is that the faller is up on his feet when the tree is released, and can make a quick exit away from the stump as soon as the tree is in motion. Those seconds saved in your getaway will eventually save you from injury or death if you cut down trees.
This dead black oak has a bit of forward weight to the north, so wedging won't be needed to make it fall.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Victrolaman1 has posted the original Winter Wonderland recording from 1934, the hottest year of the Twentieth Century. We could use a little global warming right now. The photo below was taken on the DesMoines River near the southeast corner of Iowa last week. You could stage the Ice Scene from Uncle Tom's Cabin there, and this week is worse. The weather man is calling for ten inches of heavy snow in Iowa City today. EJ was stuck in Chicago yesterday because most of the flights were canceled at out of Chi-Town. I scooted home Tuesday night on black ice, and am going out again first thing in the morning on slick roads. One of my favorite expressions has always been, "It's colder than Christmas!" It sure is!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Ernie expressed some interesting opinions he developed during all of this travel, and I hope a few readers weigh in with opinions of how true these assessments may or may not be today, almost seventy years after Ernie wrote them. He said: "I suppose the following assertions will draw forth screams of righteous wrath, but I say every man is entitled to his opinions. The prettiest girls are in Salt Lake City. The best-dressed women, outside the coastal cities, are in Memphis. The friendliest public servants are bus drivers. The nicest rain is in Seattle. The American town with the most spectacular setting is Ouray, Colorado, completely cupped by terrifically towering mountains. The most beautiful single scene on this continent is Lake Louise, in Canada. There is no really perfect year-round climate in America. Of all the places we've been in we'd rather revisit Hawaii. In the States, we are partial to New Mexico. The happiest people in America are not those who are wondrous wise, but those who are a little crazy."
Well, now I'm not so sure I am happy about being a generally happy fellow. Here is one of my favorite places: Mammoth Hot Springs, in Yellowstone National Park.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Here is an interesting record that you should get a pretty good kick from. The number on this recording by Range Records is 1-001, and the flip side is 2-002. If this is not the first record on this label, it is at least the first recording by The Ridge Riders. I doubt that this song made it to The Hit Parade, but be careful, or it may stick in your head for endless repeats. This is an electrically recorded song, probably from the late 1940's, but it played just fine on our old windup phonograph.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Here is solid evidence that Festivus is catching on! Now I have to decide whether to put up a Christmas tree this year, or an electric Festivus pole. This would be beautiful at night, kind of like Roman candles. Oops.....this is a fireworks stand, not a Festivus pole store. I am so disappointed.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
This video, by smgussey, is one I picked up on YouTube, and is interesting because the Case steamer takes off from a dead stop with a multi-bottom plow in the ground. The clutch had begun slipping and adjustments had to be made, and that is where this video begins. There is some great stack talk.
The next video is the view from the operator's platform on a smaller Case steamer. This video is by ddog7831, a young steam operator. Thank You, ddog!
Friday, December 5, 2008
We pulled another one out of the cabinet that we had not listened to before. This one is a Billy Murray-Ada Jones duet of an Irving Berlin song,"I'll Take You Back to Italy." This was one of the songs in the Broadway play, "Jack O' Lantern" which ran from Ocober 16, 1917, to June 1, 1918. There were 265 performances, and there were 65 in the cast. Wouldn't you love to be able to go back and see some of these stage plays? We played this as usual, on the old Brunswick.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
"We were disappointed in my father and my cousin as tourists on their western trip. We persuaded them to come back by way of Canada so they could see Lake Louise, which I considered the most beautiful sight I had ever seen. I noticed that he never said much about it in his letters, so when we reached home next time I asked him about Lake Louise. Had they seen it? Yes, they even walked clear to the other end and back. And weren't they impressed by it, by that first breath-taking sight of the blue water and the great towering mountain and the white glacier at the far end? No, not especially. Well, what was the reason? No reason, just weren't impressed. The best thing they saw in the Canadian Rockies was when they got to Banff and went to a movie."
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Oil well service rigs stayed busy this year with the big spike in oil prices. Lots of wells that had been shut in were pulled and worked over in hopes of rejuvenating production. The well in this video is in southern White County, Illionis. The rig is a double drum; one drum has a short line for pulling rods and tubing; the other drum has a long line for swabbing. In this video the crew is running in a string of pipe to do a workover. This could mean cleaning out a well or deepening it. The pump sitting on the right is for circulating fluid to bring out the crud or cuttings. A power swivel would be used to rotate the pipe. A pit has to be dug next to the well for the fluid.
As you watch you will see the crew snap the elevators on a joint of pipe, the rig picks it up, and then the pipe is lowered onto the last joint that was run in. The power tongs are then raised to the new joint to screw it in. The pipe is picked up out of the slips and lowered into the well. The sound of the pipe sliding off the stack makes me just a little nostalgic. Notice how easily the elevator man can flip around a joint of pipe.
Most of my work in the oil field was servicing and fixing the rigs and trucks for a well service company. I spent a lot of time under these rigs fixing things like air brakes and drive shafts. I prefer working with trees.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Before she took it out to shoot we put in a 17 lb. Wolf hammer spring and a 30 oz. trigger return spring. These made the Ruger much easier to shoot. We shot a few targets to dial in the sights, moving the rear sight down several clicks, and left one click. Mom shot a couple of bullseye targets to get a feel for her gun, then shot the postal match target. This match required shooting at the first nine balls in order at 7 yards, with any kind of rest allowed. Mom sat in a chair and rested her forearms across the back of a second chair. Her first shot missed all the balls, but for the next five shots she was in the zone. She reloaded, missed the 7, hit the 8, and missed the 9. She is very pleased with her revolver and is anxious to practice more. One of EJ's cousins was watching, and since he had never shot before, we had to do some range orientation with him, then let him try his hand at shooting .22 pistols. He was able to keep most of his shots in a 3 1/2 inch circle at 7 yards after a bit of practice, and then he shot the postal targets a couple of times. He hit 4 out of the 9 both times, but not in the right order. Oh Well, he had a good time, and the next time he comes out to the country we will make sure he gets to burn more ammo with us.