Monday, September 30, 2013

Tuesday Turbo Boost

Been down that road a few times.

October's Mr. Completely e-Postal Contest: Every Night Is Pizza Night!

Mrs. True Blue Sam is the gracious host for the October contest, and she has prepared a homemade pizza for everyone's enjoyment.  Click Here, or on the Pizza to go to the pdf file.  The rules are simple; 25 feet, or as close to that as you can set up at your range; shoot ten times per target.  Anchovies are worth 5 points, Olives are worth 3 points, the Crust is worth 3 points, and Pepperonis are worth 1 point.   Multiple hits on toppings or the crust are OK.  Hits that touch the center of an Olive count double, for 6 points.  You might touch a pepperoni and the crust with one shot; that will count for three on the crust.

Use the name you want published on this blog and on Mrs. True Blue Sam.  Enter your Firearm, Sights, and Caliber, and we will sort them out into classes.  We kept the number of shots at ten so you can shoot multiple times for your best score, and enter as many guns as you like.  Send scans or photos of your targets to truebluetravelinman (at) gmail (dot) com by Sunday night, November 3, 2013.  We will publish the scores soon after that date.

The September contest runs through Sunday night, October 6, so you can shoot both of these contests during one range trip.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Not My Victrola: A Tough Neighborhood!

 They "Chain Up The Children...To Keep Them From Bitin' The Dogs"!!! It sounds as though the Winegar Woiks is on the bad side of the tracks. Thanks to CDBPDX for sharing this great novelty song.

You can learn all of the lyrics over at this site.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Weekend Steam

 I've been watching this engine at Old Threshers for nearly fifty years. It's been in the same family since it was purchased new, back in the 1920's. The Minnie's family had it out for a spin, so I walked along behind it and held my camera overhead.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat

Down And Out Blues, the Cotton Pickers; 1925 by TrueBlueSam We posted this record five years ago, and I thought it would be a good one to share with Brat. It's by the Cotton Pickers, with hot trombone by Miff Moles.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

FFA Forestry Contest; Ten Years And Counting

The Mrs. and I have been hosting the FFA Forestry Contest for our part of Illinois for ten years now. The first one we did was educational for us as well as the students, and we refine our approach a bit every year. The weather was perfect this time, and everyone was relaxed and happy to be at Sam Dale Lake.
Tree Identification is tough for the students who have never had a formal class in dendrology. I was going to ask one of the kids to look up with a puzzled expression, and realized that I wouldn't have to ask.

We made our own map interpretation test. The state and national tests concentrate on topo maps, but we added in a tough section on plat books, which require knowledge of the Public Land Survey System. Midwestern farm kids need that knowledge.

Chainsaws are part of the national contest this year, and we had labels stuck all over three saws.

The General Knowledge test provided by the University of Illinois is much better now than it was a few years ago; questions are more useful and less obscure than in the past. We added a section on chainsaw safety to prep the kids for the next level.

I tell FFA classes that they should score 100% on Equipment ID, because they have a list of possible items to study. All they have to do is look up images of everything on the list in catalogs or on the internet. Some don't listen to me, and the easiest part of the contest knocks them down.
Timber measurement is trying for kids who have never done it before. I use this contest as an opportunity to instruct kids who are going to state so they can do better at the next contest. Next year we drop a couple sections and add in Compass and Pacing, and Timber Management.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Shopping Karma...

...Susan has it! All she had to do was look at the string trimmer in this video and she was offered a deep discount. I should have stayed in the car and had her check out the blower, too.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Homes For Wounded Heroes

Take a very deep breath and click over to Ruger's GunBroker page for this week's auction.  It's for a great cause, and generous folks are piling on.  If you can't afford to bid, at least go read all about it; dreaming is free.  The hammer falls mid-day Wednesday, so don't delay if you want this classic carbine.

Tuesday Turbo; Better Late Than Never

Monday, September 23, 2013

So, This Doctor Gets A Call From The Local Barbecue Artist...

...who would like to have the wood from the dead tree behind the Doctor's house. !?!?!?  The Doctor hadn't noticed the dead tree!  It's a picture from life's other side, I guess.  Surgeons get up early for work; after the scheduled surgeries, there are office hours with interruptions from the ER; then there are evening hours following up on surgery patients.  The Dr. may go for weeks and not see his home in the daylight.  It's a dead white oak; a BIG dead white oak.  Very heavy toward his garage.  The good news is that it is heavy in two directions, both away from his house. This top photo shows how the crown extends over the garage just east of the tree.

The tree is also heavy to the north, where it would take out a fence, and maybe the neighbor's donkey.  It's a tall tree, but it can be reached by a bucket truck while the ground is dry.  The Doctor is going to have his tree removal guy get on it right away.

It's big, it's solid, and it will cook a lot of pork chops and ribs.

The extremely unbalanced crown makes removal urgent.  Once the roots are dead, they start losing their grip on the soil, and gravity will win sooner than later. 

Did Monday Beat You Down?

Just when you feel like you are settled into your routine, something lands on your head;...somewhat related to the next post. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Not My Victrola: Nellie Kelly, An Old Favorite Of Mine

This recording by Billy Murray is on a Berlinner type disc; the one below is a "Hill and Dale" Edison disc, and is the recording that I heard many years ago. I like this one because of the soprano voice in the chorus.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

August e-Postal Scores!

Well, we had a rift in the e-Postal-Time-Space Continuum that has delayed posting the results for the August Mr. Completely contest; hosted by Carteach0.  Seems that Carteach has taken on a new job that is eating his days, seven days per week, but he sent the scans to me, and I have assembled them into a table so all can see how the scores ran last month.

Take a few minutes to study the entries.  Dan M is a friend of Mark H (ASM826), who shot his first contest, and outshot his friend with the borrowed Woodsman.  Not only did he outshoot Mark, he shot a perfect score on a fairly difficult target.  I hope you enter again, Dan!  Mr. C shot a very respectable 47 with the High Standard antique that he recently acquired.  It's much better than I could do with iron sights.

Dana SW is another new entrant, and he also shot a perfect score with a very pretty scoped Hammerli.  A THIRD new entrant for August is my Mother-In-Law, Patty Ann.  Patty suffered a severe stroke last year, and works hard at improving her recovery.  The latest new thing for helping vision and coordination?  Shooting a Mk III pistol with a red dot sight.  Pat doesn't have the strength to hold the pistol at arm's length, so she shoots off a rest; but that is necessary for her disabilities.  You should see her smile when she shoots a good target.

Many thanks, Carteach for hosting a great contest, and I hope you get your new job under a semblance of control.

Danno:  Send your scans if you find your targets;  I will add them into the results.

Be sure to click on the link for the September contest on the left side of this page.  I have already built a table and pasted in the first entries.  The results will be posted after the first weekend in October.

August e-Postal Scores

Rimfire Open Stock; Any Pistol, Box Stock
Iron Sights
Dan M
Colt Woodsman, 1934
Pat B
Ruger Single Six
Ruger Mk I
Mark H (ASM826)
Colt Woodsman, 1934
Mr. Completely
High Standard Sentinel Revolver
Ruger Single Six
Target Lost On Desk
Ruger 22/45
Target Lost On Desk
Ruger Single Six
Target Lost On Desk
Ruger 22/45
Target Lost On Desk
Rimfire Pistol
Open Class
Dana SW
Hammerli Xesse; Leupold 2X Scope
Mr. Completely
High Standard, OKO Red Dot Sight
David N aka True Blue Sam
Ruger Mk III Bushnell Scope 2X
Patty Ann
Ruger Mk III
Susan, Mrs True Blue Sam
Ruger Mk III Bushnell Red Dot

Rimfire Rifle
Open Class
Sand Castle Queen
Ruger 10/22, Bull Barrel, Target Trigger, Leupold Scope
33’, from the bench after sighting in
63!!!!! We are anxious to see what the Sand Castle Crew can do with this rifle in the months ahead!

...AND, A late entry, from my brother, Chester, the jeweler!  First in his class!  Way to go, Chester!

Centerfire Pistol
Iron Sights
Springfield XDM .45 ACP

 Dan, with his perfect target, shot with a borrowed Colt Woodsman!

 Pretty hardware used by Dana SW to shoot his perfect target.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Up And Down For Miles And Miles

This old pulling unit is sitting near the old office for Texaco's Sims, Illinois oil field.  Most of the wells in this field run about 3000 feet deep, and this old truck has probably been rigged up on all of the locations that Texaco had around Sims.  The winch has to be run in and out for each rod or joint of tubing, so when pulling a 3000 foot well the winch line runs back and forth 6000'.  You do that two or three times a day, for five or six days a week, and the winch line gets a few miles on it.  The operator has to use the clutch a couple times per rod or joint, so his left leg had plenty of exercise.  The fellows wrenching rods are on the run all day long, either spinning the rod wrenches or tailing the rods out on the rack.  The guys who do this work are tough as nails.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

From Farm Fresh...

 Allis WD

 Farmall F-20

 John Deere R Paint Booth Pretty.                                    

You never know what you will see at an engine show.  Fifty years ago, everyone wanted the factory fresh look, and you still see that today.  This McCormick Deering was just restored by the grandson of the man who farmed with it, and he was rightly proud of the way it looks and runs.  I don't think they ever looked this good from the factory.  The straight-from-the-field look, with rust, dents, and sixty years of patina has really caught on in recent years, and it makes the old machines more approachable.  Fresh, shiny paint means Hands-Off, but rust means you might get a tractor driving lesson.  Cleanup after the show is a lot easier, too.

Climb up, sit down, and hang on!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Homes 4 Wounded Heroes

Ruger is donating to a new beneficiary this week, and this .38 Special Security Six is a rare early one.  Click over to the GunBroker page to read all about it and to place your bid.  There have been a lot of lookers, but so far this revolver is affordable.  The hammer will fall mid-day Wednesday, so look and bid.

Tuesday Turbo Boost

All the way from 1915 comes this very rare Billy Murray-Irving Kaufman duet that will stick in your ear and have you feeling good all day.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Not My Victrola: A Good Old Cohan Song!

What Fun!  Forty-Five Minutes From Broadway,  by George M. Cohan. This fine song was sung by Billy Murray in 1906. I guess George would call me a Jay or a Ruben if he saw where we live. We are half a continent away from Broadway, and that is fine with me. Now listen to this fine player piano rendition of George's songs from Forty-Five Minutes From Broadway. Uploaded by Waukee321

Gun Shopping Adventures With Mom

I visited Mom recently and we spent quite a bit of time at the Clemon's Creek Shooting Range.  Mom lost a lot of strength after her surgeries, and that has become a problem when she shoots her Ruger LCP.  She can't grip it as well as she could two years ago, and that is causing stovepipe jams, plus, she can no longer rack the slide.  Brother Chester, the jeweler has been frequenting Skunk River Arms at Hayesville, Iowa, and we went shopping there on his recommendation.  Mom and I looked at a variety of small .22's that might serve as pocket guns, and I think we found a winner.   Dan, the proprieter, had Mom try a polymer framed, double-action-only Taurus PT22, and she was able to snap the hammer.  The tip-up barrel eliminates the need to rack the slide (harder that you would think on this little pistol) and the little gun drops easily into a pocket with a pocket holster protecting the trigger.  The grip is wider and more rounded than the LCP, and I think that will allow the little gun to cycle reliably in Mom's hand.   Dan cautioned us that these little Tauruses often need a brick of ammo run through them before they will run reliably, and he assured us that it would run well if we would give it a vigorous break-in.

Dan was right; the little PT22 was stiff and we had several malfunctions early on, but we oiled it well every other magazine, and ran it as fast as we could.  Between 200 and 300 we realized that one magazine was misfeeding the final round every time, and we did a lip-tweak with Swiss Army Knife pliers. That problem disappeared, and between 300 and 400 we had no malfs at all.  The ammo we used for break in was new Federal American Eagle High Speed hollow points.  We also ran 100 CCI Mini-Mags through it, and had zero malfs with those.  We took it back to Mom's house, cleaned it and oiled it, and it is ready for duty on her daily walks.  Many thanks to Dan at Skunk River Arms for his help and recommendations!

Jeff Quinn at posted an informative review on his site, and also made a good video demonstrating this neat little pocket pistol.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Weekend Steam: Georgetown Loop #12 at Old Threshers

I hadn't visited Old Threshers at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa since 2009, and it was good to spend a few hours there during the Labor Day weekend. I saw many new-to-me machines and could have spent a couple days looking if I'd had the time. The most obvious change that I saw was the Number 12 from the Georgetown Loop in the place of Number 9. I was at Mt. Pleasant in 1966 to witness the first show with Number 9 with Stan Matthews at the throttle. I have the urge to head west so I can hear my favorite Shay's whistle echo off the mountains.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

September e-Postal Reminder: Go Ahead, Embarrass Me!!!!

Hoo-Boy!  I thought this would be an easy target, and I can't seem to shoot it.  Shoot each can twice; one point for the lower portion, and two points for the dark end.  The best I have done is 9 points out of a possible 12  24, and I should be able to make all the points.   You have three more weekends in September to make me look bad, so print out your targets, go to the range with family and friends, and give it your best shot.  CLICK HERE to read the rules and print your targets.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Worst Job On The Farm...

...was sitting next to a stationary baler tying the baling wire.  I've had more than one old-timer tell me how much they hated that job.  It's always dusty, often with moldy dust, and you almost never get a breath of fresh air as you sit hour after hour tying baling wire.  Ah...the Good Old Days!  The best smell on Earth is  a barn full of new red clover hay.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Tuesday Turbo Boost

Courtesy of BentleyKS63. True story, by the way; three mile horse race.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit the Youth Shooting Sports Alliance

You better swallow hard before you click over to look at Ruger's GunBroker page for this unusual Mini-14.  It has a special serial number because it was made as a fundraiser for NRA in 2008.  It started at $500 and has had 24 bids as I post it.  It is for a good cause, and the winner gets a collecible/shootable firearm.  Go, Look, Bid if you can!  This fine Mini-14 sells mid-day, Wednesday, September 11, 2013.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

It's A Little Workhorse!

The Kubota RTV is proving to be a real help down on the farm.  We have been using it for firewood collection, and it can pull a big load behind, in addition to a full dump box.  The hydraulic lift for dumping is even better than we imagined.  When you are cutting and moving brush, unloading at the far end of a run is a thankless task.  The little Kubota dumps it for you; all you have to do is back up to the spot you want it, and pull back on the hydraulic lever.

We just installed a roof and windshield, and what a difference they make!  We are out in the sun every weekend, and the roof takes away plenty of heat stress on the driver and passengers.

Skipper is taking ownership of the little buggy, and he is ready to go at a moment's notice.

Hit Monday Hard


 Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Not My Victrola: Way Down Upon The....

Swanee River was a popular subject in songs for a very long time. There are many renditions on YouTube, by a multitude of singers and orchestras, but the one thing they have in common is... they are "Sad and Dreary."
 You can only stand so much of that, although sad and dreadful ballads sold well for decade after decade...but folks want to smile, to laugh, and to dance. Collins and Harlan performed this humorous Swanee River number for the Zonophone label in September 1912, while the Ragtime and Minstrel era was still going strong. Uploaded by Paul Harrison. Then came the Jazz Age, and George Gershwin... You can sing like Al if you just follow the words on this 1919 piano roll. It remains to be seen if someone will make a 21st century hit about the Swanee River.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Weekend Steam: Little Iron Horse

It's not an official trip to the American Thresherman Show at Pinckneyville unless you pause to watch their Little Toot fly by a few times. I remember ads for these little locomotives in the Iron Men Album fifty years ago. This website shows us the locations of the Crown locomotives, but they missed the one at Pinckneyville! Pinckneyville's Little Toot was re-boilered a few years back, so she should be running for many more years.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dateline: Reno!

The fun has begun! The first arrivals hit the Reno Cabela's store today and everyone scored a box of CCI Mini-Mags. After lunch they headed to Fernley for some Cowboy Action Shooting.
Bigbore rifle shooting! This cowboy is lining up on the 400 yard target!
Friday is the NRA Breakfast, rifle and pistol shooting out to 900 yards, Show and Tell, and dinner sponsored by and Brian Ciyou. After dinner, Brian, and other industry people will be visiting with the bloggers, and then there will be an indoor shooting match with an OCAT System. The Optical Computer Aided Training Simulator from Outwest systems, uses real guns shooting lasers instead of bullets. An OCAT System will be awarded to one of the competitors by random drawing! (Text stolen from Gunbloggers dot blogspot dot com.)

Photo Credit: Zeke, of Engineering Johnson; Thanks, Zeke!

Brat was on the Brunswick tonight, but I didn't have time.  We will do a record Friday.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Stickney Pump Jack Engine: A Real Oddity

We saw this fine model at the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion last week at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.  Very few original engines of this type exist, and the models are very rare, too.  It's an ingenious design, and I am surprised that it didn't catch on like the little Baker pump jack engines did.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

If You're Missing It, You're Missing Out

Engineering Johnson has assembled a holster and shoulder rig again this year, and it will go to the winner of the Ruger Blackhawk! 

Gun Blogger Rendezvous begins Thursday at the Silver Legacy in Reno.  If you haven't signed up, show up, sign in, and apologize for being late.  You will have the time of your life.

Photos from EJ.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit the Youth Shooting Sports Alliance

Ruger's auction this week is for a 1975 Mk II Rifle in .358 Winchester.  This is a cartridge that can handle anything on this continent.  It is a necked up .308 cartridge; and anything the .308 can do, the .358 can do better.  The velocities are about the same as the .308, but the bullets are bigger, heavier, and thumpier!  Bidders have been piling on this one, so it is not for the faint of heart, but if you need a rifle in this caliber, you better go look.  CLICK HERE or on the photo to read all about it.  Take a deep breath and bid if you want this fine big game rifle.

Monday, September 2, 2013

We All Need A Fortress Of Solitude...

...and the Stranded In Iowa family has theirs! I made a trip to up north to see Mom, and we met up with the Stranded clan for a tour of their little getaway. Our visit was brief, but it was great to see Stranded again, and to meet his lovely wife and Number One Son.

The drought last year was brutal and killed many of his newly planted trees, but some of the tender little Kentucky Coffeetrees survived.
There is some dramatic relief (At least it was dramatic to someone who lives on the edge of a glacial lakebed.), lovely hay-ground, a young forest, and a deep pond.  It is a bit of heaven.  Many thanks to the Stranded Family for meeting up, and for supper!