Thursday, December 31, 2009
November e-Postal Results
November e-Postal Contest Hosted by Danno
October e-Postal Results
October e-Postal Contest Hosted by U.S. Citizen
September e-Postal Results
Mr. Completely's September e-Postal Contest Hosted by True Blue Sam
August e-Postal Results
August e-Postal Contest Hosted by Curtis Lowe
July e-Postal Results
Mr. Completely's July e-Postal Contest, hosted by Sailor Curt
June e-Postal Results
Mr.Completely's June e-Postal Match, hosted by Sebastian
May e-Postal Results
Mr. Completely's May e-Postal Match, hosted by Manfred
Mr. Completely's e-Postal Match (April Deadline: Midnight, May 4; Host: Jimmy B, The Conservative UAW Guy)Results Are Posted In The May2009 Archives!
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
This little throttle governed engine is an education in motion. The advances in gas engines during the early Twentieth Century made the operation of farm engines progressively easier for farmers, and this engine has a few important improvements to note. It uses a sparkplug instead of an ignitor, which is a much simpler system to maintain. Most hit-and-miss gas engines had only a mixing valve, but this throttle governed engine has a real carburetor. If you examine the plumbing you will note that the carburetor does not use a float, but it has an overflow line that takes gasoline back to the fuel tank. The crankcase is enclosed, but you should note the grease cups which are visible. Type M's, which were introduced in 1917 had a dry crankcase, and the bearings were lubricated by grease cups. There are still plenty of exposed moving parts to oil, and I think the most interesting gizmo is the handle on the fuel pump, which can be used to push fuel to the carburetor when it is dry.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Southern Pacific 4449 just made a Holiday Express run in Portland, Oregon, and it is a beautiful sight to behold. Watch the joggers. A lady jogger makes a couple turnarounds to scope out the locomotive, but the guy in the green shirt doesn't break stride at all to admire the steamer. I have always heard that a man can't resist looking at a beautiful woman, or a locomotive. As a happily married man, I have learned to avert my eyes at the proper moment for other women, but never for a steam engine. I am wondering about that guy.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
This is a great old song by Eddie Cantor, one of the greatest entertainers ever; and he has sound advice for folks who would like to keep their lives in good order. This song has been one of my favorites for a very long time.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
I hope that all of the True Blue readers have been keeping up with the saga of the man-caused global warming fraud that was recently exposed. The main stream news people have been going on as if nothing has changed, and some in our Congress want to go after the whistle blowers. I have been watching the global warming hysteria with interest since it began because it affects the forestry profession. Twenty years ago I heard a presenter tell us that in fifty years, we would be growing mesquite in Illinois. We are almost halfway there, and I haven't heard any rumors of mesquite creeping north. If you are not alarmed by what is going on , watch the video above. The man asking questions at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference is a reporter with credentials to be in this meeting. He is shut down, ultimately by an armed guard so as not to embarass a global warming proseletyzer from Stanford University. It appears that the UN intends to cram carbon regulation down our throats by whatever means is necessary to line the pockets of the world's tyrants.
You might lock away carbon if you bury wood deep underground. This tree which was recently exposed may have been buried hundreds or thousands of years ago. Spruce logs are sometimes unearthed in glacial lakebeds in southern Illinois, buried in glacial outwash ten thousand or more years ago. The carbon in those trees may still be locked up, but on a geological time scale, it is just an interesting footnote.
Eventually the carbon based molecules will be displaced, and the wood will either rot or be replaced by stone. The logs in this petrified forest were buried in sediments, then eventually uplifted and exposed by erosion in a desert totally alien to the environment they grew in; and all that climate change happened before we came along.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
AndrzejMastalerz posted this interesting video. He did not provide much info, but I think it is safe to assume that these engines are on their way to a scrapper. The banging noise is not in time to the movement of the rods, so I think it is something hanging down and banging on the crossties.
Friday, December 11, 2009
I tried to look up the date of "Oh Little Town of Bethelehem" on 78Discography, and the Puritone label is not listed. Because it is electrically recorded we know that it is no earlier than 1925. Straus & Schram was a Chicago based mail order store.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Regular readers know that I love tipping over trees; that's the fun part. After you have a tree on the ground, the hard part begins. Before we had a hydraulic splitter I loaded some pretty hefty chunks in the trailer for splitting at the house. Now we can park the splitter right next to the tree and make little ones out of big ones pretty fast; that makes processing much more tolerable. The worst part of the chainsaw business to me is cleaning up the sticks. Out in the woods you can just leave them lay, but in the yard the tree top has to be worked down, loaded up, and hauled out. We try to delay jobs like this one until late fall when the grass has quit growing. If you do one of these in the summer you have to put on a big push to do the cleanup, then smooth out the holes before the grass gets away from you.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Way back when I was a teenager I saw an IHC Tom Thumb like this engine for sale... for the unattainable sum for me, of $35.00. I don't really know what collectors these days are paying for highly desirable engines like this one, but I do know that you would be hooted down if you offered only $1000. A Tom Thumb is still out of reach for me; some things never change.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
We are really getting in a holiday mood at True Blue Sam. We looked up Christmas songs on YouTube and settled on a great Yogi Yorgesson Christmas song (posted by MickeyClark) that we know you will enjoy. If you want/need your very own Yogi CD to make it through the holidays, go to www.yogiyorgesson.com, and make the call. We bought the Yogi Yorgesson Christmas CD over the phone last year, and received great, speedy service from Mr. Howard; his phone number and e-mail address are on the Yogi website.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
ChessieStorm is a YouTuber I ran across while looking for good steam videos. He has posted over 500 videos, mostly short ones showing a variety of rolling stock on the move. These three videos are of Union Pacific locomotive 3985 going up the Big Sandy Valley in Eastern Kentucky in November, 1992, as it traveled to Elkhorn City to pull the Santa Train on the Clinchfield. ChessieStorm captured some good sound. Steam whistles do sound good in the mountains.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Christmas is only three weeks away, so we are going to help you get in the mood with a wonderful slide whistle rendition of Jingle Bells by the Hoosier Hot Shots! According to 78 Discography, the Hot Shots recorded this lively number on Novermber 17, 1936. The aluminum Christmas tree is from around 1960; the Brunswick is from around 1920; my warped musical tastes come from the 1950's. Merry Christmas! Say it often!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
This beautiful Abenaque engine was featured by Engineering Johnson in a post nearly three years ago. We videoed it last September so we could share the mechnical entertainment with you. This engine is fired by an ignitor rather than a spark plug, so there are several extra parts dancing around at the end of the camshaft and on the head.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
My favorite poet, Robert Service, gets little or no respect from Professors of English; I think because he was a Scot, and possibly because he actually made a living writing poetry. In his collection of Bar-Room Ballads, published in 1940, Mr. Service uses the term Sassenach twice in one of his poems. This word is a Scottish/Gaelic term derived from an early word for Saxon. It is a somewhat derogatory term for anything English. Use of this word may be one of the reasons this successful and entertaining writer is still being snubbed for all of his works except for a few early poems about the Yukon Gold Rush.
Below is the offending poem; a great story to read on Saint Andrew's Day. Now pour a glass of good Scotch, crank up a CD of bagpipes, and enjoy a good story.
The Ballad of How MacPherson Held the Floor
Said President MacConnachie to Treasurer MacCall:
"We ought to have a piper for our next Saint Andrew's Ball.
Yon squakin' saxophone gives me the syncopated gripes.
I'm sick of jazz, I want to hear the skirling of the pipes."
"Alas! it's true," said Tam MacCall. "The young folk of to-day
Are fox-trot mad and dinna ken a reel from a Strathspey.
Now, what we want's a kiltie lad, primed up wi' mountain dew,
To strut the floor at supper time, and play a lilt or two.
In all the North there's only one; of him I've heard them speak:
His name is Jock MacPherson, and he lives on Boulder Creek;
An old-time hard-rock miner, and a wild and wastrel loon,
Who spends his nights in glory, playing pibrochs to the moon.
I'll seek him out; beyond a doubt on next Saint Andrew's night
We'll proudly hear the pipes to cheer and charm our appetite.
Oh lads were neat and lassies sweet who graced Saint Andrew's Ball;
But there was none so full of fun as Treasurer MacCall.
And as Maloney's rag-time band struck up the newest hit,
He smiled a smile behind his hand, and chuckled: "Wait a bit."
And so with many a Celtic snort, with malice in his eye,
He watched the merry crowd cavort, till supper time drew nigh.
Then gleefully he seemed to steal, and sought the Nugget Bar,
Wherein there sat a tartaned chiel, as lonely as a star;
A huge and hairy Highlandman as hearty as a breeze,
A glass of whisky in his hand, his bag-pipes on his knees.
"Drink down your doch and doris, Jock," cried Treasurer MacCall;
"The time is ripe to up and pipe; they wait you in the hall.
Gird up your loins and grit your teeth, and here's a pint of hooch
To mind you of your native heath - jist pit it in your pooch.
Play on and on for all you're worth; you'll shame us if you stop.
Remember you're of Scottish birth - keep piping till you drop.
Aye, though a bunch of Willie boys should bluster and implore,
For the glory of the Highlands, lad, you've got to hold the floor.
"The dancers were at supper, and the tables groaned with cheer,
When President MacConnachie exclaimed: "What do I hear?
Methinks it's like a chanter, and its coming from the hall."
"It's Jock MacPherson tuning up," cried Treasurer MacCall.
So up they jumped with shouts of glee, and gaily hurried forth.
Said they: "We never thought to see a piper in the North.
"Aye, all the lads and lassies braw went buzzing out like bees,
And Jock MacPherson there they saw, with red and rugged knees.
Full six foot four he strode the floor, a grizzled son of Skye,
With glory in his whiskers and with whisky in his eye.
With skelping stride and Scottish pride he towered above them all:
"And is he no' a bonny sight?" said Treasurer MacCall.
While President MacConnachie was fairly daft with glee,
And there was jubilation in the Scottish Commy-tee.
But the dancers seemed uncertain, and they signified their doubt,
By dashing back to eat as fast as they had darted out.
And someone raised the question 'twixt the coffee and the cakes:
"Does the Piper walk to get away from all the noise he makes?
"Then reinforced with fancy food they slowly trickled forth,
And watching in patronizing mood the Piper of the North.
Proud, proud was Jock MacPherson, as he made his bag-pipes skirl,
And he set his sporran swinging, and he gave his kilts a whirl.
And President MacConnachie was jumping like a flea,
And there was joy and rapture in the Scottish Commy-tee.
"Jist let them have their saxophones wi' constipated squall;
We're having Heaven's music now," said Treasurer MacCall.
But the dancers waxed impatient, and they rather seemed to fret
For Maloney and the jazz of his Hibernian Quartette.
Yet little recked the Piper, as he swung with head on high,
Lamenting with MacCrimmon on the heather hills of Skye.
With Highland passion in his heart he held the centre floor;
Aye, Jock MacPherson played as he had never played before.
Maloney's Irish melodists were sitting in their place,
And as Maloney waited, there was wonder in his face.
'Twas sure the gorgeous music - Golly! wouldn't it be grand
If he could get MacPherson as a member of his band?
But the dancers moped and mumbled, as around the room they sat:
"We paid to dance," they grumbled; "But we cannot dance to that.
Of course we're not denying that it's really splendid stuff;
But it's mighty satisfying - don't you think we've had enough?"
"You've raised a pretty problem," answered Treasurer MacCall;
"For on Saint Andrew's Night, ye ken, the Piper rules the Ball.
"Said President MacConnachie: "You've said a solemn thing.
Tradition holds him sacred, and he's got to have his fling.
But soon, no doubt, he'll weary out. Have patience; bide a wee."
"That's right. Respect the Piper," said the Scottish Commy-tee.
And so MacPherson stalked the floor, and fast the moments flew,
Till half an hour went past, as irritation grew and grew.
The dancers held a council, and with faces fiercely set,
They hailed Maloney, heading his Hibernian Quartette:
"It's long enough, we've waited. Come on, Mike, play up the Blues."
And Maloney hesitated, but he didn't dare refuse.
So banjo and piano, and guitar and saxophone
Contended with the shrilling of the chanter and the drone;
And the women's ears were muffled, so infernal was the din,
But MacPherson was unruffled, for he knew that he would win.
Then two bright boys jazzed round him, and they sought to play the clown,
But MacPherson jolted sideways, and the Sassenachs went down.
And as if it was a signal, with a wild and angry roar,
The gates of wrath were riven - yet MacPherson held the floor.
Aye, amid the rising tumult, still he strode with head on high,
With ribbands gaily streaming, yet with battle in his eye.
Amid the storm that gathered, still he stalked with Highland pride,
While President and Treasurer sprang bravely to his side.
And with ire and indignation that was glorious to see,
Around him in a body ringed the Scottish Commy-tee.
Their teeth were clenched with fury; their eyes with anger blazed:
"Ye manna touch the Piper," was the slogan that they raised.
Then blows were struck, and men went down; yet 'mid the rising fray
MacPherson towered in triumph - and he never ceased to play.
Alas! his faithful followers were but a gallant few,
And faced defeat, although they fought with all the skill they knew.
For President MacConnachie was seen to slip and fall,
And o'er his prostrate body stumbled Treasurer MacCall.
And as their foes with triumph roared, and leagured them about,
It looked as if their little band would soon be counted out.
For eyes were black and noses red, yet on that field of gore,
As resolute as Highland rock - MacPherson held the floor.
Maloney watched the battle, and his brows were bleakly set,
While with him paused and panted his Hibernian Quartette.
For sure it is an evil spite, and breaking to the heart,
For Irishmen to watch a fight and not be taking part.
Then suddenly on high he soared, and tightened up his belt:
"And shall we see them crush," he roared, "a brother and a Celt?
A fellow artiste needs our aid. Come on, boys, take a hand."
Then down into the mêlée dashed Maloney and his band.
Now though it was Saint Andrew's Ball, yet men of every race,
That bow before the Great God Jazz were gathered in that place.
Yea, there were those who grunt: "Ya! Ya!" and those who squeak: "We! We!"
Likewise Dutch, Dago, Swede and Finn, Polack and Portugee.
Yet like ripe grain before the gale that national hotch-potch
Went down before the fury of the Irish and the Scotch.
Aye, though they closed their gaping ranks and rallied to the fray,
To the Shamrock and the Thistle went the glory of the day.
You should have seen the carnage in the drooling light of dawn,
Yet 'mid the scene of slaughter Jock MacPherson playing on.
Though all lay low about him, yet he held his head on high,
And piped as if he stood upon the caller crags of Skye.
His face was grim as granite, and no favour did he ask,
Though weary were his mighty lungs and empty was his flask.
And when a fallen foe wailed out: "Say! when will you have done?"
MacPherson grinned and answered: "Hoots! She's only haf' begun."
Aye, though his hands were bloody, and his knees were gay with gore,
A Grampian of Highland pride - MacPherson held the floor.
And still in Yukon valleys where the silent peaks look down,
They tell of how the Piper was invited up to town,
And he went in kilted glory, and he piped before them all,
But wouldn't stop his piping till he busted up the Ball.
Of that Homeric scrap they speak, and how the fight went on,
With sally and with rally till the breaking of the dawn.
And how the Piper towered like a rock amid the fray,
And the battle surged about him, but he never ceased to play.
Aye, by the lonely camp-fires, still they tell the story o'er-
How the Sassenach was vanquished and - MacPherson held the floor.
I have been spliting wood the old fashioned way for forty years; with a Sotz Monster Maul since 1980. Splitting with a maul is good exercise, and you learn to read a chunk of wood pretty well, but this year I realized that my elbows needed some relief. We did some research online, and made the jump to a 35 ton gas powered splitter. Holy Cow, what a difference! We should have done this years ago. One big advantage of this machine is that we no longer have to pick up heavy pieces of wood. We can park the splitter near the downed tree, and then roll the wood to the splitter. Thirty-five tons is a lot of push, and we won't be leaving many hard-to-split rounds in the woods now. We have worked up four trees with this new machine so far, and it has been able to split every gnarly, knotty chunk that we have thrown at it.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Bidone1967 is a YouTuber that we just met on the Internet, and I think that he lives in Germany. His videos are extra nice quality, and today's steam video, plucked form Bidone's channel, is a cute little English traction engine. I think this was filmed at a show in Germany, but since I can't read his notes, that's just an educated guess from clues in the video.
Friday, November 27, 2009
"When My Baby Smiles" was recorded in January, 1920, and is an Irving Berlin song. It has always been one of my favorite records, and now that we have it on YouTube I can listen to it without changing a needle every play. We have company for the Thanksgiving weekend, so I am being lazy and re-posting this record rather than posting a new one. Next week we should have the True Blue Studio back in operation.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
This nicely restored IHC Titan engine was at Mt. Pleasant last September. You will note that it is very similar to the Mogul throttle governed engine that I videoed at Pinckneyville. Old machines like this are a joy to watch, with all of the parts exposed; just stay back and don't get your clothes caught in the revolving machinery.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Pax41 keeps posting great copies of his music collection. "The Sweetest Story Ever Told" was recorded in July, 1917, so we know this is an acoustic recording. The clarity is amazing. The singer is Sophie Braslau; the conductor is Josef Pasternack.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Click the photos to enlarge them for a better view of the system. This drive system uses fewer parts than the typical engine of its day, and I am sure that there was much less clanking going on when starting and stopping.
You can see the back side of the crankshaft drive pinion in this photo. Aultman-Taylor engines used the Woolf reverse gear that you will also see on Case steam engines.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Snappy dance number (Fox-Trot) by the Manhattan Dance Makers, recorded on March 17, 1926. This is the flip side of "When The Golden Rod Is Blooming," a song we posted last year. Our good microphone is still away, so this one was recorded with our old mike. This record is loud and boisterous, so I think we can get away with using our tinny microphone, and we hope we will have the good one back soon. Shake a leg.