Sunday, August 31, 2014

DON'T Touch That Crank Until Tuesday!

 

Monday's A Holiday!  Back To The Old Grind Tomorrow!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Not My Victrola: Train Time

If you are within driving distance of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, that is where you should be heading.  The Midwest Old Threshers Reunion contiues through Monday, and the Midwest Central Railroad is one of the highlights.  Tickets are a bargain, and you can listen to the steam whistles all day long. 

Have You Registered For The Rendezvous?

You really want to go to Reno and take part in the Rendezvous, but you procrastinated and haven't registered.   Make the best of this terrible situation and go anyway!  Go to GunBloggers.blogspot.com for all the info you need, call the Silver Legacy to reserve a room, e-Mail Kevin at thesmallestminority (at) gmail (dot) com and let him know you are coming.  You can pay your registration fee when you arrive.  Even if your time is limited you need to be there for Saturday night, pizza, and the best raffle ever.  If you are a gun owner, if you read the gun blogs, these are your people!  You do not have to be a blogger to attend, so head for Reno!

Here is a little video of Rendezvous Past.


Gun Blogger Rendezvous, Let Us Count The Ways by TrueBlueSam

More Weekend Steam: OldieCarl, Like Father, Like Son

If you roll down the page a few posts you will see some fifty year old home movies that were shot at Old Threshers.  OldieCarl's father shot those, and Carl has shared them with the world on YouTube.  I met Carl at Mt. Pleasant while we were both shooting Number Six pulling into the South Station, and I bet he is there this weekend.  I'll be watching YouTube in the weeks ahead to see his further adventures.  Here are three of his videos from recent years.



Friday, August 29, 2014

Gun Blogger Rendezvous, Reno, September 4-7, 2014!

 Sign up if you haven't already done so, and head to Reno to be with your kind of people next week.  There are many good reasons to attend the Rendezvous, and here are just a few of them...a Ruger Mk III Hunter....
 ...Sig-Sauer 1911-22...
...Hi-Point 995 TS...
...a nicely restored Winchester Model 74...
...and the latest addition, a Redfield Battlezone™  6-18x44mm model rifle scope! CLICK HERE, or on the Gun Blogger Rendezvous logo on the left side of this page to register.  CLICK HERE for more posts about Mr. Completely's annual Gun Blogger Rendezvous.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Crankin' It Up Repeat: Memories of Old Threshers

Go to the saloon at Old Threshers for the floor show, and you may be pulled up on the stage by the dancing/singing saloon girls so they can embarrass  you with this song.


You'd Be Surprised by TrueBlueSam

Weekend Steam: Old Threshers, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, This Weekend!

Henry County Iowa had  quite a bit of rain on Thursday, but should be dry on Friday until a squall line blows through in the late afternoon.  Head to Mt. Pleasant for train rides, traction engines, gas engines and tractors, and a whole lotta fun.




Some video from fifty years ago, by OldieCarl. I recognize faces in these vids. Stanley Mauser and Bill Sater,plus others I recognize, but don't remember the names.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Flyweight Guns At Nery: Heroism Of The Highest Order

One hundred years ago the French and British armies were being pushed back toward Paris in a relentless onslaught by the German army.  Look up the timeline of 1914, and you will be amazed by the number of battles in August while the Great War was still a war of movement.  On September 1, 1914, a single gun of L Battery, Royal Horse Artillery held back the Germans by battling an entire German battery for 2 1/2 hours.  Three Victoria Crosses were awarded.  Many Brits died that day.  September 1 is the day that the Battle of the Marne was won, and Paris was saved.

Click Here and Here for two very good sites that tell about Nery.  Here is the link to Wikipedia's page.

A poem from that time, by Robert Service

The Convalescent


. . . So I walked among the willows very quietly all night;
There was no moon at all, at all; no timid star alight;
There was no light at all, at all; I wint from tree to tree,
And I called him as his mother called, but he nivver answered me.

Oh I called him all the night-time, as I walked the wood alone;
And I listened and I listened, but I nivver heard a moan;
Then I found him at the dawnin', when the sorry sky was red:
I was lookin' for the livin', but I only found the dead.

Sure I know that it was Shamus by the silver cross he wore;
But the bugles they were callin', and I heard the cannon roar.
Oh I had no time to tarry, so I said a little prayer,
And I clasped his hands together, and I left him lyin' there.

Now the birds are singin', singin', and I'm home in Donegal,
And it's Springtime, and I'm thinkin' that I only dreamed it all;
I dreamed about that evil wood, all crowded with its dead,
Where I knelt beside me brother when the battle-dawn was red.

Where I prayed beside me brother ere I wint to fight anew:
Such dreams as these are evil dreams; I can't believe it's true.
Where all is love and laughter, sure it's hard to think of loss . . .
But mother's sayin' nothin', and she clasps -- a silver cross.





Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Whoa! It's Embeddable Now...

One of my favorite songs by John Prine is no longer "embedding-disabled."  I think this is the song that made folks sit up and listen to John Prine so many years ago.  And speaking of hello's, today the preacher came by to visit, and we learned he had never been shooting.  Mom and I spent a couple hours with him going over gun safety and operation of different types of pistols.  Then, later in the day we ran into an old friend and reminisced about our dogs, especially Schipperkes. 

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=434751018

I'm out, but it's still fun to read about this one and to wish I had bought one back in 1985 when I might have been able to swing it.  Ruger's offering this week is a .44 Magnum Carbine dolled up to commemorate 25 years of this model as its production came to an end.  Collectors are going wild on this one, and that's a good thing, because 100% of the proceeds will go to benefit the Light Foundation.  If you can afford it, go bid; if not, go and read all about it.  Many Thanks to the good folks at Ruger for the generous support they give to worthy causes.

$2225

September Mr. Completely e-Postal Contest: It's A Monster!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9fSdW_Kqmy0LU85SW1UbzJvdUU/edit?usp=sharing
Gator Season is opening up in Louisiana, and this year we are going to find out if you all have what it takes to be a swamper.  Click the picture (OR HERE) to download the pdf and print several targets.  Set your targets at 25 15 feet and fire twelve shots.  Each gator can be scored one time.  Solid hits count as ten points; shots not entirely in the line count as five points.  We will score the higher value shot if you hit a gator more than one time.  Classes: I'll split the entries into classes when you send your scans.  Shoot 'em if you got 'em!   List the type of sights you have on your gun.  I split iron sights from red dots because the red dots are a big advantage to old eyes. Scan and submit your targets by the end of September to TrueBlueTravelinman (at) gmail (dot) com.  If you haven't shot Merle's target for August, print that one, too, and shoot both contests this weekend.

UPDATE, UPDATE!!!!!

We shot this target out behind the barn, and 15 feet is plenty difficult.  We will have a good point spread even at 5 yards, so don't be intimidated!  Print 'em up and Shoot 'Em with family and friends! If you can't shoot at 5 or 7 yards at the range you use, shoot as close to that distance as you can and note that on your targets. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

People's Good, Woody!

WFIWRADIO, in Fairfield, Illinois has a show every weekday morning with two talented guys who are both newsmen and entertainers.  They call themselves Woody and Murvis, and they are a regional treasure.  One of the recurring things we hear on their show comes at the end of many human interest reports they do.  Murvis will say, "People's good, Woody!" and they mean it.  There is a lot of good out there in our country, in spite of all the bad news.

I drove up to Iowa over the weekend, and made my usual stop at Cabela's at Hazelwood, Missouri.  It's just across the road from Ferguson, where all of the recent trouble has occurred.  It's a good restroom break, and I stretch my legs checking out the gun counter and the ammo specials.  I was impressed this time by the crowd shopping for guns.  The customers were a diverse lot, and I even saw mixed race couples shopping for guns.  One lady was absolutely giddy to be buying a pistol with her husband by her side.  No-one was angry, but many were obviously taking care of business to protect their home.  As I left the store with my purchase I saw a black man hold the door for a white lady.  People's Good!

Today I was in Iowa City with Mom for a medical procedure, and we stopped at a restaurant for a bite on our way out of town.  Mom was wobbly as we left and I parked her on a bench while I brought the car up to the curb.  When I got out of the car a really BIG black man was helping my mother out of the restaurant to the car. Don't let the race-baiters bring you down.  People's Good, Woody.

Do It Like You Mean It!

The Book of Faces has turned into a page of ice-bucket challenges in recent days, some of them are downright anemic, but fun nevertheless, and for a good and worthy cause.  Here is one that will be hard to top.

Tuesday Turbo Boost

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Not My Victrola

Here's a real treat; one of my all-time favorite songs, (by Irving Berlin) performed on the player piano.  This must have been a very popular song soon after it was published, because this is not a word roll for singing along.  That makes me think that everyone knew the words and this roll was made for dancing.  If you know the words, you sing, of course, to your baby as you dance with her.


When my baby smiles at me Oh, what a beautiful day
All my troubles go hurrying by
Just like bubbles they fly to the sky
And I never ask the weather man
Whether it's fair or warmer
Rain or Shine, the weather's fine
When my baby smiles!

Cultured, and I Didn't Even Know It

I knew immediately that the song title in the next post down (Click Older Post at the end of this post if it isn't visible.) is not pronounced a-patch-ee, and I owe that to the poet Robert Service.  It's amazing how quickly these things come back with a little reminder.



Julot the Apache
You've heard of Julot the apache, and Gigolette, his mome. . . .
Montmartre was their hunting-ground, but Belville was their home.
A little chap just like a boy, with smudgy black mustache, --
Yet there was nothing juvenile in Julot the apache.
From head to heel as tough as steel, as nimble as a cat,
With every trick of twist and kick, a master of savate.
And Gigolette was tall and fair, as stupid as a cow,
With three combs in the greasy hair she banged upon her brow.
You'd see her on the Place Pigalle on any afternoon,
A primitive and strapping wench as brazen as the moon.
And yet there is a tale that's told of Clichy after dark,
And two gendarmes who swung their arms with Julot for a mark.
And oh, but they'd have got him too; they banged and blazed away,
When like a flash a woman leapt between them and their prey.
She took the medicine meant for him; she came down with a crash . . .
"Quick now, and make your get-away, O Julot the apache!" . . .
But no! He turned, ran swiftly back, his arms around her met;
They nabbed him sobbing like a kid, and kissing Gigolette.

Now I'm a reckless painter chap who loves a jamboree,
And one night in Cyrano's bar I got upon a spree;
And there were trollops all about, and crooks of every kind,
But though the place was reeling round I didn't seem to mind.
Till down I sank, and all was blank when in the bleary dawn
I woke up in my studio to find -- my money gone;
Three hundred francs I'd scraped and squeezed to pay my quarter's rent.
"Some one has pinched my wad," I wailed; "it never has been spent."
And as I racked my brains to seek how I could raise some more,
Before my cruel landlord kicked me cowering from the door:
A knock . . . "Come in," I gruffly groaned; I did not raise my head,
Then lo! I heard a husky voice, a swift and silky tread:
"You got so blind, last night, mon vieux, I collared all your cash --
Three hundred francs. . . . There! Nom de Dieu," said Julot the apache.

And that was how I came to know Julot and Gigolette,
And we would talk and drink a bock, and smoke a cigarette.
And I would meditate upon the artistry of crime,
And he would tell of cracking cribs and cops and doing time;
Or else when he was flush of funds he'd carelessly explain
He'd biffed some bloated bourgeois on the border of the Seine.
So gentle and polite he was, just like a man of peace,
And not a desperado and the terror of the police.

Now one day in a bistro that's behind the Place Vendôme
I came on Julot the apache, and Gigolette his mome.
And as they looked so very grave, says I to them, says I,
"Come on and have a little glass, it's good to rinse the eye.
You both look mighty serious; you've something on the heart."
"Ah, yes," said Julot the apache, "we've something to impart.
When such things come to folks like us, it isn't very gay . . .
It's Gigolette -- she tells me that a gosse is on the way."
Then Gigolette, she looked at me with eyes like stones of gall:
"If we were honest folks," said she, "I wouldn't mind at all.
But then . . . you know the life we lead; well, anyway I mean
(That is, providing it's a girl) to call her Angeline."
"Cheer up," said I; "it's all in life. There's gold within the dross.
Come on, we'll drink another verre to Angeline the gosse."
And so the weary winter passed, and then one April morn
The worthy Julot came at last to say the babe was born.
"I'd like to chuck it in the Seine," he sourly snarled, "and yet
I guess I'll have to let it live, because of Gigolette."
I only laughed, for sure I saw his spite was all a bluff,
And he was prouder than a prince behind his manner gruff.
Yet every day he'd blast the brat with curses deep and grim,
And swear to me that Gigolette no longer thought of him.
And then one night he dropped the mask; his eyes were sick with dread,
And when I offered him a smoke he groaned and shook his head:
"I'm all upset; it's Angeline . . . she's covered with a rash . . .
She'll maybe die, my little gosse," cried Julot the apache.

But Angeline, I joy to say, came through the test all right,
Though Julot, so they tell me, watched beside her day and night.
And when I saw him next, says he: "Come up and dine with me.
We'll buy a beefsteak on the way, a bottle and some brie."
And so I had a merry night within his humble home,
And laughed with Angeline the gosse and Gigolette the mome.
And every time that Julot used a word the least obscene,
How Gigolette would frown at him and point to Angeline:
Oh, such a little innocent, with hair of silken floss,
I do not wonder they were proud of Angeline the gosse.
And when her arms were round his neck, then Julot says to me:
"I must work harder now, mon vieux, since I've to work for three."
He worked so very hard indeed, the police dropped in one day,
And for a year behind the bars they put him safe away.

So dark and silent now, their home; they'd gone -- I wondered where,
Till in a laundry near I saw a child with shining hair;
And o'er the tub a strapping wench, her arms in soapy foam;
Lo! it was Angeline the gosse, and Gigolette the mome.
And so I kept an eye on them and saw that all went right,
Until at last came Julot home, half crazy with delight.
And when he'd kissed them both, says he: "I've had my fill this time.
I'm on the honest now, I am; I'm all fed up with crime.
You mark my words, the page I turn is going to be clean,
I swear it on the head of her, my little Angeline."
And so, to finish up my tale, this morning as I strolled
Along the boulevard I heard a voice I knew of old.
I saw a rosy little man with walrus-like mustache . . .
I stopped, I stared. . . . By all the gods! 'twas Julot the apache.
"I'm in the garden way," he said, "and doing mighty well;
I've half an acre under glass, and heaps of truck to sell.
Come out and see. Oh come, my friend, on Sunday, wet or shine . . .
Say! -- it's the First Communion of that little girl of mine."

Friday, August 22, 2014

Crankin' It Up: Early Twentieth Century Paris



 This excellent old one-sided Victor disc was cut in early 1910. Apache refers to the Parisian underground of the early Twentieth Century.

Click Here to read Julot the Apache by Robert Service.

Weekend Steam; Beautiful Sights and Sounds at Pinckneyville

Bob Gill and his son Rob are well known among engine collectors.  Rob shot this video last week during the American Thresherman show.



Josh Maschoff, of the family who shows this engine shot the run from a different perspecitve.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Speaking Of Hi-Points...

...We have mentioned Hi-Point Carbines in two posts in two days, and, well, they are just so good I have to mention them again.  My little brother called me today and asked for my opinion, and I told him how much I love my Hi-Point Carbine.  Seems that his wife is thinking they need a good house-gun to have handy in emergencies, and she is thinking along the lines of an AR style rifle.  Chester thinks a Hi-Point would be a better fit for his philosophy of use right now.  I need to take mine along with me to Iowa so he can bust some caps and see how it performs.

Now, here's a real deal for all of you!  You can win a Hi-Point in the the Gun Blogger Rendezvous raffle, coming up in early September.  You just need to register and go to Reno to have a good time with the other GBR attendees.   You don't even need a blog to attend!

If you can't do that, you have one more option; but it's a longer shot.  MKS Supply is giving away...


A 9 mm Carbine in Woodland Camo.  I shouldn't be telling you, because it will only hurt my percentages, but here it is.  Go to MKS Supply's site and register before the end of September.  You may register ONE TIME.  It is too good to pass up, so be sure to put your name in the pot.  AND, you should still go to Reno and buy raffle tickets at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous!  Really; where will you ever have a better chance to win such great prizes, and have the time of your life?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Four! Count 'em, Four....

...chances to take home a new gun from Gun Blogger Rendezvous IX!  MKS Supply/ Hi-Point is donating 995TS (Target Stock) CarbineMKS Supply/Hi-Point has been a supporter of GBR since the first year, and once more this year, a lucky attendee will become the owner of a brand-new, trusty and dependable Hi-Point Carbine.

In addition to a Hi-Point, there will also be a Ruger Mk III Hunter, a Sig-Sauer 1911-22, and a vintage Winchester Model 74.  You will also have two great days at the Washoe County Range north of Reno, self defense training at MiScenarios Digital Shooting Range, and hours of stimulating conversation with other GBR attendees.

Don't Delay!  Register for Gun Blogger Rendezvous, and make your reservations at the Silver Legacy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Caterpillar 60 Lines Up Instantly!

This guy is amazing! One turn, back up, hook up, pull up, and it's right on! I can tie my shoes and take a shirt off the hanger.  Love the stack talk of the old Cat.

Gun Blogger Rendezvous; Sign Up To Go NOW!

Gun Blogger Rendezvous is better every year, and you really need to be there this year.  Take a look at some of the goods you might bring home.

Winchester Model 74, a very fine .22 semi-auto.  I've killed a boat load of starlings with one just like this. My Grandpa kept groundhogs, ground squirrels, coyotes and feral dogs under control with one of these rifles. That's a fine restoration, Zeke!


Ruger Mk III Hunter; great for shooting steel, squirrels, or coons out of 100' pin oaks. Zeke has this fine firearm in his safe, and he will be bringing it to Reno for you to view.  He will also be bringing his own Hunter for you to try out at the range on Friday and Saturday. Many Thanks to Mike Fifer, Ken Jorgensen, and all the fine folks at Ruger.


Sig-Sauer 1911-22 from Osage County Guns in central Missouri. I love mine, and you will love it too! (Mine even eats Golden Bullets!)


Best Range Bag Ever, from Brownell's, Montezuma, Iowa. It carries ammo, guns, ears, and etc. for several people! This is the bag that Mrs. True Blue Sam, her Mother, and I use when we go to the range.

 AR-F3, from Burris!!!! Thank You Burris, and Lori! Be still, my beating heart!


Tactical Flashlights from Brownell's!
Dillon Precision has donated one of their fantastic Ammo Bags!



Zeke is making one of his beautiful holsters again this year, and it will go to the winner of the Ruger Mk III Hunter pistol.

Don't delay any more! Go sign up and send in your registration to Mr. C and make your travel plans.  The Rendezvous begins September 3 when folks begin showing up, and runs through September 7.  Activities are scheduled every day, September 4-7.  The Raffle for HAVA is Saturday night.  You must be registered, and be present to win.  GO! It will be one of your most treasured memories.

If you don't like flying, you can be to Reno with 2 or 3 day's driving from anywhere in the country.  You really must go if you enjoy shooting, or if you read the shooting blogs.  These are Your People!

UPDATE!!!! MKS Supply is donating a Hi-Point 995TS Carbine again this year.  Don't miss out!  This is your best chance ever to bring home one of the big prizes from Reno.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

Take a deep breath before you look at this one.  It is an engraved Red Label shotgun made in 1980, and the collectors are showing their appreciation.  All of the proceeds go to the Light Foundation, and this fine collectible Ruger will sell mid-day, Wednesday, August 20, 2014. Click Here, or on Ruger's photo to go to their GunBroker page.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=433606625

$4425! wow...

Monday, August 18, 2014

We're Gonna Let 'em Shine!

The 5 HP Falk engine has been part of my life for more than forty-five years, but it has been hidden away in barns for most of that time. I showed it only once, before I went off to college and moved away from Iowa. We collected the Sears 9 HP Economy more than thirty-five years ago, and it was an interrupted restoration that we never finished. We were feeling very guilty about hiding these engines away, and our friend Gary was glad to take them on as personal projects so engine lovers could see them again.

Gary Bahre showed both engines in the rain at the American Thresherman Show this past weekend, and we waded half a mile of mud to see our old engines run again. The big surprise of the day was seeing the Falk die when the Century-Plus ignitor return spring broke. Gary had already wound a new one, and he had it in the coil box. He's a forward looking mechanic. Here are some pics.

 Prune that fork in the tree!

Happy, Happy!


 Put an umbrella over the video cam!

 Can it still make moonshine?  Oh yes, it can! (And cornbread, too.)

 102 years and it broke??!!  See if we can get a settlement!


 Muddin' our way home.

Photo credit: Susan and David

Tuesday Turbo Boost


I do believe that Bill Monroe wore out that mandolin.  He was an entertainer that didn't know how to retire.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Soggy American Thresherman Show

Boy, oh boy did we did we do some slogging Saturday.  We had a good time, but we didn't look at all we normally would have.  Here's a sample of the action that attendees saw.

No New Angles On Monday...


...just Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Not My Victrola: Optimism From Ted Lewis

Just Around The Corner is in my personal play list, and evidently it is well liked by other collectors, judging from the number of uploads I see on YouTube of this great song.  We haven't listened to it for many months and it is great for cheering up, so here it is.  Don't be like this guy and put your old records where someone might sit down.  I learned my lesson 45 years ago; evidently this collector has been lucky so far.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Bonus Post For All Of You

This was on the radio as I drove back to Illinois yesterday.  More, Later...

Crankin' It Up; Another Jazzy OKEH Record

Bart, Brat, and I pulled out a great OKEH record from November 1926.  Brat sat out the dance, but did flip his tail.  Bart hung around for cheek rubs.


Plantation Joys; Luis Russell's Heebie Jeebie... by TrueBlueSam

Weekend Steam: Steam Show Sights and Sounds

This scene is being repeated wherever steam shows are going on around the country.  This Keck was singing its song in 2011.  You can hear it again this weekend at Pinckneyville, Illinois.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hercules Engine and Pump...

......at the SIAM Show, Evansville, Indiana, June 2014.  The name on the surge chamber is Hercules, made by the Barnes Mfg. Co., Mansfield, Ohio.  Very nice, active display.



We found this display especially interesting because it is the same brand of pump,(but smaller) as the pump that goes with the Novo engine that Gary Bahre bought from us. His gas engine projects keep him hopping, but one of these days you will see the Novo pumping in a display just like this Hercules.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Gun Blogger Rendezvous IX, Even More.....!

Kevin at The Smallest Minority has announced that Osage County Guns has jumped in with both feet to be a GBR sponsor and is donating a Sig Sauer 1911-22 for the fund raising raffle.  You must be present to win, so go register and make your reservations at the Silver Legacy.  Mr. Completely, Kevin, and Zeke are pulling out all the stops this year to make GBR IX a memorable reunion, so be sure to attend. 

Zeke (Engineering Johnson) has a couple more surprises up his sleeve that will be traveling to Reno along with Ruger's Mk III Hunter, so stay tuned.  Don't delay in registering and making your travel plans.  Trust me folks, you will want to be in Reno this year!

Reasons to Attend Gun Blogger Rendezvous IX





Lori (Petoski) Yunker, of Burris, formerly of Ruger has arranged for this BEE-YOOTIFUL Flattop Fastfire Sight to be one of the prizes this year at the Rendezvous.  We met Lori in 2010 when she represented Ruger at our Reno Rendezvous.  



Acquaintances you make at the Rendezvous will become lifelong friendships and you will treasure your memories of this great event.  Go sign up right away, and make your room reservations!

Pinckneyville, Illinois; August 14-17; Be There!

The annual steam and gas engine show at Pinckneyville is on, RIGHT NOW!  It is one of the premiere engine shows in the country, and you will see wonderful things there.  Here is a 50 HP Bessemer oilfield engine that you will not see traveling to any other shows.


This year you will see an extremely rare 5 HP Falk engine that was rescued in the late 1960's and hidden away in a series of barns until this year, when our friend Gary Bahre put it back in working order.

Less rare, but interesting nonetheless, Gary has also revived our 9 HP Sears Economy that we collected in Eastern Kentucky some thirty-five years ago. He has completed the restoration and will be showing it for your engine-viewing pleasure.

This 1920 vintage Sears Economy engine powered a stone bur mill on Buck's Branch near Martin, Kentucky, providing a source of corn meal for the community of families living on that creek. It also cracked a lot of malted corn that was used for making moonshine locally. The millers who ground meal for folks would keep track mentally of the malted corn they ground and take the toll out of unmalted corn when the moonshiner came to have his cornmeal made. It is all fascinating history, and the mill and engine survive to this day. We have made cornbread for years with meal ground in the old mill, which is now in Southern Illinois.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Billll's Idle Mind Has Posted The July e-Postal Scores!

Billll ran a tough contest for July, but it was a good one, and we had fun shooting it out behind the barn.  Mrs. True Blue Sam beat me for the first time in our years of shooting the e-Postal contests.  She hit three of the cotton swabs, while I touched only two.  It made the day for both of us.  Click Here, or on the target over on the left side of this page to read the results on Billll's Idle Mind.  Thank You, Billll, for devising a contest for  our worthy blog followers!





If my Sweet Wife's Mother can shoot these e-Postal contests, improving her skills in the process, you can too!  The August contest is on the left side of the page.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The LIght Foundation

Once in a while one of these auctions come along and makes me feel like a real winner.  Ruger is offering a 3" GP100 from 1988 that was never listed in their catalog.  Bidding as I write this is up to $1325; just a little bit north of my price range.  I have a very nice S & W Model 66-1 with a 2 3/4" barrel, purchased decades ago that is always close at hand around home.  That fine old Smith right now is saving me over 1300 bucks, and I'm loving it more every day.  If you have a hankering for a solid, stainless, short-barreled .357 revolver for packing around the homestead, this Ruger is meant for you, and I promise not to jack up your bid.  100% of the proceeds will go to the Light Foundation.  CLICK HERE to place your bid.  This fine, rare revolver will sell mid-day, Wednesday, August 13, 2914.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=431993099

$1475!!

Take Your Mom To The Range Week...

...is any time I visit Mom up in Iowa.  I've been to the range three times with Mom already, and once with Chester.  Chester and I had a great time, and burned a bunch of .45 ACP doing the Collateral drill.  Lots of fun, and no holes down our legs! I shot from Low Ready, since I didn't have a holster for Chester's XDs.  We both like the grip safety; well, for safety related reasons when going for the gun in a hurry.  Today I set Mom up to do a variation on that famous drill, and had her do three body shots twice, then two head shots twice.  She was doing them in about eight seconds total; about five seconds from the time she clicked off her safety.  Enjoy!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Great War Centennial: Early Actions As The War Begins

August 7, 1914, the first British soldiers arrived in France, and the Battle of the Frontiers began. No-one knew at this time what this war was going to become. German forces were initially pushed back, but British and French armies were soon to retreat toward Paris, and the Battle of the Marne. Lots of information is out there on the web, and I have included a few links for you to begin your research. This little description is greatly over-simplified, and new developments were happening every day during August of 1914. 

Robert Service obviously knew men who were there, if he wasn't there himself.  "appy days. The days too good to last."



The Red Retreat
Tramp, tramp, the grim road, the road from Mons to Wipers
    (I've 'ammered out this ditty with me bruised and bleedin' feet);
Tramp, tramp, the dim road -- we didn't 'ave no pipers,
    And bellies that was 'oller was the drums we 'ad to beat.
Tramp, tramp, the bad road, the bits o' kiddies cryin' there,
    The fell birds a-flyin' there, the 'ouses all aflame;
Tramp, tramp, the sad road, the pals I left a-lyin' there,
    Red there, and dead there. . . . Oh blimy, it's a shame!


A-singin' "'Oo's Yer Lady Friend?" we started out from 'Arver,
    A-singin' till our froats was dry -- we didn't care a 'ang;
The Frenchies 'ow they lined the way, and slung us their palaver,
    And all we knowed to arnser was the one word "vang";
They gave us booze and caporal, and cheered for us like crazy,
    And all the pretty gels was out to kiss us as we passed;
And 'ow they all went dotty when we 'owled the Marcelaisey!
    Oh, Gawd! Them was the 'appy days, the days too good to last.

We started out for God Knows Where, we started out a-roarin';
    We 'ollered: "'Ere We Are Again", and 'struth! but we was dry.
The dust was gummin' up our ears, and 'ow the sweat was pourin';
    The road was long, the sun was like a brazier in the sky.
We wondered where the 'Uns was -- we wasn't long a-wonderin',
    For down a scruff of 'ill-side they rushes like a flood;
Then oh! 'twas music 'eavenly, our batteries a-thunderin',
    And arms and legs went soarin' in the fountain of their blood.
For on they came like bee-swarms, a-hochin' and a-singin';
    We pumped the bullets into 'em, we couldn't miss a shot.
But though we mowed 'em down like grass, like grass was they a-springin',
    And all our 'ands was blistered, for our rifles was so 'ot.
We roared with battle-fury, and we lammed the stuffin' out of 'em,


    And then we fixed our bay'nets and we spitted 'em like meat.
You should 'ave 'eard the beggars squeal; you should 'ave seen the rout of 'em,
    And 'ow we cussed and wondered when the word came: Retreat!

Retreat! That was the 'ell of it. It fair upset our 'abits,
    A-runnin' from them blighters over 'alf the roads of France;
A-scurryin' before 'em like a lot of blurry rabbits,
    And knowin' we could smash 'em if we just 'ad 'alf a chance.
Retreat! That was the bitter bit, a-limpin' and a-blunderin';
    All day and night a-hoofin' it and sleepin' on our feet;
A-fightin' rear guard actions for a bit o' rest, and wonderin'
    If sugar beets or mangels was the 'olesomest to eat.

Ho yus, there isn't many left that started out so cheerily;
    There was no bands a-playin' and we 'ad no autmobeels.
Our tummies they was 'oller, and our 'eads was 'angin' wearily,
    And if we stopped to light a fag the 'Uns was on our 'eels.
That rotten road! I can't forget the kids and mothers flyin' there,
    The bits of barns a-blazin' and the 'orrid sights I sor;
The stiffs that lined the wayside, me own pals a-lyin' there,
    Their faces covered over wiv a little 'eap of stror.

Tramp, tramp, the red road, the wicked bullets 'ummin'
    (I've panted out this ditty with me 'ot 'ard breath.)
Tramp, tramp, the dread road, the Boches all a-comin',
    The lootin' and the shootin' and the shrieks o' death.
Tramp, tramp, the fell road, the mad 'orde pursuin' there,
    And 'ow we 'urled it back again, them grim, grey waves;
Tramp, tramp, the 'ell road, the 'orror and the ruin there,
    The graves of me mateys there, the grim, sour graves.