Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
This homemade scale model was on display at Evansville last summer at the Southern Indiana Antique Machinery show. Hot air engines always intrigue me when I see them run, and below, in the next video, Engineering Johnson provides some insight into the mysterious inner workings.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
This video from YouTube has some good advice for women who are considering purchasing a handgun, but it applies to anyone. It is well worth watching if you are new to shooting, or an old hand.
Edmundus Rex just posted a great 1928 recording of "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man Of Mine," by Ben Bernie's Orchestra. The vocal features our favorite Victrola Girl, Vaughn DeLeath. This one will have you feeling great as you shuffle out the door Monday morning.
Over on the Midwest Central Railroad Blog there is BIG news! The boiler for Engine Number 6 will soon be returning from the shop in Minnesota, and the railroaders have been busily working on the locomotive chassis in preparation for the happy event. It looks as though The 6 will be running again by Labor Day.
AND; Stranded In Iowa tells us that the Iowa Senate has passed concealed carry legislation and sent it over to the House. It is not a perfect bill, but it should provide a much better system than Iowa currently has, where citizens in many counties are not allowed to carry a weapon, based on the whims and opinions of the County Sheriff. If it is passed and signed by the governor I think that Mom will be shopping for some new hardware. Well, like she says, "You can't have too many guns!"
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Here is an unusual place to find a steam engine. Luckily for us, the Besler steam airplane was actually filmed being demonstrated in 1933, and now the old newsreel clips can be found on YouTube. Amazing pictures!
UPDATE: Go HERE to read two fascinating articles about the Besler airplane.
Friday, March 26, 2010
AND; Cheaper Than Dirt wants all of us to join in the fight against marauding Zombies, so click here to download their e-Postal target. All entrants have a chance to win a $50 gift certificate, and the contest runs until the end of November. That means you can shoot it during every range trip until you think you have maximized you score, and you will be able to track your shooting skill improvements during the year.
PLUS; Another e-Postal contest has popped up, this one from Nashville Online Handgun Postal Match. This month has a St. Patrick's Day theme, and the targets must be submitted by the end of March.
No Excuses! You know you need the practice, so load up family and friends and head to the range!
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
This video is by YouTuber jfreelan1964. It starts out with two 1/2 size Case 65's pulling the weight sled at Old Threshers. They put on a good show, and really snort. The Case 110 HP engine is next, and it just plays with the sled. The Minneapolis is working near its limit, and even though it is much smaller than the 110 Case, it pulls the sled with the weight all the way forward.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
We had to run up the road to the Belleville area on Sunday, and we had the good fortune to chase a rainbow down I-64 as we returned home. We tried hard to catch it, but it stayed ahead of us until it disappeared. Do you suppose that story about a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow is actually bogus?
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Steam engines sound best when they are pulling a good load; here are a couple of videos from YouTubers with traction engines belted up and pulling hard. The Russell is running on 150 pounds of steam, and it sounds crisp and powerful.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Last week I heard a country band play "Yearning" on the radio, and it has been spinning around in my head ever since. Here is a 1925 version, sung pretty well by a tenor. The last note he sings reminds me of a line from another old song: "Whenever I think of Lincoln, I know I could never forgive a guy who would murder a man like him, and let these tenors live!"
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I saw this story through a link on The Conservative Scalawag, and it is one that must be passed on: "The superintendent of a rural school district in Montana says he was showing students his black powder muzzleloader gun when he accidentally fired the weapon into a classroom wall during a history lesson.
Dwain Haggard, who used to be a Civil War re-enactor, was showing the gun to five students in Reed Point High School's American history class Friday when it fired." (Click here to read the rest of the story.)
There are only four easy-to-remember rules for basic firearm safety, (See Rules To Live By on the lower left sidebar.) and they apply to all firearms, from antiques, to the most modern. The teacher should have been familiar with the operation of a musket if he was a Civil War re-enactor. For those of you who are not familiar with muzzleloading firearms, below are excerpts from a Civil War era manual which explains how to check your musket to discover if the bore is empty or loaded. Every time your muzzleloader comes out of its case you should check it, just as you would check a modern firearm for an empty chamber.
One time and two motions.
227. (First motion.) Seize the piece with the left hand below and near the upper band, carry it with both hands opposite the middle of the body, the butt between the feet, the rammer to the rear, the barrel vertical, the muzzle about three inches from the body; carry the left hand reversed to the sabre bayonet, draw it from the scabbard and fix it on the barrel; grasp the piece with the left hand below and near the upper band, seize the rammer with the thumb and fore-finger of the right hand bent, the other fingers closed.
228. (Second motion.) Draw the rammer as has been explained in loading, and let it glide to the bottom of the bore, replace the piece with the left hand opposite the right shoulder, and retake the position of ordered arms....
[ From Loading: 5. Draw- RAMMER.
One time and three motions.
160. (First motion.) Half draw the rammer by extending, the right arm; steady it in this position with the left thumb; grasp the rammer near the muzzle with the right hand, the little finger uppermost, the nails to the front, the thumb extended along the rammer..
161. (Second motion.) Clear the rammer from the pipes by again extending the arm; the rammer in the prolongation of the pipes.
162 (Third motion.) Turn the rammer, the little end of the rammer passing near the left shoulder; place the head of the rammer on the ball, the back of the hand to the front.]
234. Put the rammer in the barrel as has been explained above, and immediately retake the position of ordered arms.
235. The instructor, for the purpose stated, can take the rammer by the small end, and spring it in the barrel, or cause each recruit to make it ring in the barrel.
236. Each recruit, after the instructor passes him, will return rammer and resume the position of ordered arms." *
*Hardee's Rifle and Light Infantry Tactics (1855)
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I have been having so much fun watching last week's video of an ignitor that I had to post another. This engine is a little Mogul that we saw last fall at Boonville. When you are watching this, remember that the engineers and draftsmen who designed these things didn't have fancy computer software to help them. These were all designed on paper, one line at a time, and the visualization had to happen between the ears.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
The Ruger Redhawk is a pistol that is near and dear to me. I have been shooting one for years, and the massive construction really soaks up the recoil when you shoot full power loads, making them tolerable for someone who doesn't shoot hot loads regularly. I usually shoot moderate loads, a bit hotter than .44 Special, but below the listed magnum loads, and pistol novices would have no trouble shooting them in the big Redhawk. Redhawks are made for serious handgun hunters, but mine mostly does plinking duty, plus taking care of varmints around the farm. I often say that it shoots like a rifle, and it has never failed to connect when I shoot at a possum, skunk, or groundhog.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Aspect is one of the first lessons discussed in forest ecology courses, and field foresters see the influence of aspect on a daily basis. Aspect is simply, the direction a slope faces. The snow on the maple branch above illustrates how quickly the environment changes from the south facing slope to the north facing slope. The direction a slope faces influences the type of timber, the growth rates, plus fuel types and fire behavior.
Forest site types change with soil type, slope position, and aspect. It is common to find red oak-white oak forest growing on the north and east sides of a hill in southern Illinois, and on the opposite side of the hill, with the same soil type you will find post oak and black oak growing as the dominant species. You will find differences just as dramatic in fire fighting. It is common to have hot fire conditions on the south and west sides of a hill when forest litter will not carry a fire at all on the north side.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
The steam videos this week are YouTube posts of engines in Swiss steam boats. The first one is in the 100 year old ferry boat, Stadt Zürich as it travels across Lake Zürich to Rapperswil.
This engine is in a paddle-wheel boat on Lake Geneva between Lausanne (SW) and Evian in France.
This is beautiful machinery, and the size of the cranks and rods is breathtaking.
Friday, March 5, 2010
This week we are featuring the well known "Hoosier Sweetheart" on a well worn Victor dance record. This is one of those songs that everyone likes, and the previous owner of this record demonstrated that by playing it hard. Jean Goldkette and his orchestra recorded "Hoosier Sweetheart" on January 31, 1927.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
The 40' X 100' three story brick building is now sitting above its new foundation in Washington, Iowa. I think that the movers and both neighbors probably were nervous during the parking phase of this project, and there is still lots of work to do, setting more jacks, removing the wheel units, and etc. This was a much tougher test than parallel parking for the DMV. Do you need a license to drive a brick building down the street? I guess that would be a BBDL.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
There is a bit of lost motion in the rocker arm pivot of this IHC hit-and-miss engine, but it doesn't seem to mind. This video gives you a good look at the ignitor hardware. Sparkplug ignition is mechanically simple, and electrically complicated; ignitor ignition is simple electrically, and mechanically complicated. And more fun to watch.
This engine was running last fall at the fall show at Boonville, Indiana.