Thursday, December 31, 2015

It Is A Good Day...

...to think about how we use our time.

Jim Croce:

Video uploaded by Sean Dolan

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Right Tree In The Right Place...

...Has been a buzzphrase for many years with arborists and foresters who work with trees in urban settings. This photo, (By Xiomara Levsen, Washington Evening Journal, Washington, Iowa; Used with permission.) not only illustrates why choices are important when planting, it also shows why you must re-evaluate trees and their environment periodically. This is a large tree in a small, restricted space. It probably fit this spot when it was planted, but in the years since there has been a new building added, with fill dirt and a retaining wall. That hurt the roots on one side of the tree.


On  the opposite side of the tree we see a roadway. Tree roots do not grow well under gravel or pavement. It appears from the shape of the roots that they may have been severed with a trencher. Anyway, this tree had limited rooting ability on two sides, which made it prone to tipping, and that is what it did. The only clue the tree shows that it was not in perfect health is one dead limb shedding its bark on the side above the roadway.

Anytime you are going to plant a tree it is a good idea to talk to a forester or arborist to discuss suitable choices for your site and situation. As your trees grow it is also a good idea to have them evaluated occasionally for problems that might arise as they mature. In this case, no-one was injured, but there is structural damage to repair, plus the expense of a tree removal. This tree should have been removed when the construction was being done around it, and a small to medium size tree should have been installed as a replacement.

Many Thanks to the Washington Evening Journal for allowing me to republish their photo.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

This week Ruger is auctioning a Mk I Standard Pistol made in 1974. It is a good looking gun, and I bet they are running out of these new-old-stock pistols in their safe. Click Over to Ruger's GunBroker page to read all about it and to place a bid. This fine, rare pistol will sell mid-day, Wednesday, December 30, 2015.  100% of the proceeds of this sale will go to benefit the Light Foundation.


$760

Shoot The Winter Mr. Completely E-Postal Contest!

Danno will be adding scores to this contest until the March contest begins in 2016, but he is going to post the scores that he has up to now, so shoot and send in your targets. Click Here to go to Sand Castle Scrolls for the rules and the target. It's easy to do; you just need a place to shoot, a pistol, and ten rounds of ammunition.  In the video below I even give you advice on tactics for Danno's target, so take a few minutes to see how it goes.  Update!  The bold line around Free Parking is a Miss, not a Minus! I should have read the rules a bit better.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Is Posting A YouTube Video Plagiarism?

No. Copying a video and then re-publishing it as your own would be, but that's not what I'm talking about. If you follow the various shooting related blogs you may have seen accusations about someone stealing a YouTube video by posting it on a blog and not providing written attribution. That would be polite, but it certainly isn't necessary. The attribution is built right into a YouTube video, along with several other things that most viewers may not even be aware of. (Click the screen shots to enlarge.)


While your YouTube video is uploading you have several tasks to handle. You need to type in the title as you want viewers to read it, describe your video, add pertinent search words in the hope that people can find your new video, and you select your Availability option. There are other tabs besides the basic info that you should also open.


Most of my videos are Public. You can find them on YouTube and the Internet by searching with words related to the subject of the video. You can make them Unlisted, and they will not be found by searching. If you post it on a blog, others can come back to YouTube from your posting and copy the Embed Code. They can then post it elsewhere. If you want your video to be private, you must select Private.


 Under the Advanced Settings tab you will find your embedding options. I make most of my videos Available Everywhere, and I Allow Embedding. If you don't check that, no-one can post your video on a website or blog.


You also select whether or not you want your new video monetized. If a video is all yours, it will pay you back a few nickels. The old records we post are never monetized because the music is not our creation. YouTube allows much of my antique music, and they have an extensive list of music that you can look up for status. Many of my records are monetized by other parties who hold copyright, and allow it to be published. It is a good way for them to get cheap advertising. I have to monitor those videos, though, because if they change their wishes, I could get Copyright Strikes from YouTube and lose my account. I currently have two old records monetized by copyright holders, and I will take those down before I upload another old record, for my safety's sake.


Now, when you are playing a YouTube video you will see in the lower right the YouTube logo. Click that and it takes you to the YouTube website where you can read all the information provided by the party who uploaded the video. You can click on the channel name and go to that party's YouTube channel.


And here we are at a screen grab of my YouTube channel page.


Anyhow, if you wonder who actually posted the videos you see on the Internet, that is how you check it out.

Not My Victrola: Columbia Disc Number 1!!!!!

Old Phonograph Steve commented on one of our old Climax records, and I checked out his YouTube channel. He is really into the old machines and very early recordings. Here is one that is as rare as they come; "In The Clock Store" from 1901.


Friday, December 25, 2015

Susan Started Christmas Early, Or, How The Schipperke Stole Christmas

 "Who, ME?"

We were packing up last night for a trip into St. Louis, and about eleven o'clock Susan made a repeat run into the back bedroom to box up a cake she had made the day before. Little Skipper had beat her to it by several minutes.  Skipper just recently started table surfing and we haven't quite made all the adjustments to our behavior that are needed. We were more worried about his liver and gallbladder than losing a cake, but he seems just fine today.

The Platter Of Shame!

Susan salvaged what she could of her cake to eat here at home and went right to work on another cake. She made it into bed a little after 1:00 this morning. She says she saw Santa. Her new cake was just as beautiful as the first one. Skipper still can't get the silly grin off his face.

Weekend Steam: Making Wood Across The Pond

This short video shows a really neat belt driven and back-geared wood splitter, and a cross-compound British steam traction engine. There is no description, so that's about all I can tell you.

I did note that this video has been up for just over a month and it has over 15,000 views. I post a video and a month later it has 20 views. Sometimes I wonder why I bother using a tripod. These motion sickness-inducing videos seem to get plenty of looks. Oh Well, or words to that effect.


Video posted by Just Video

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night, Harmony Double Mixed Quartette

Angels We Have Heard Oh High, The Piano Guys

Merry Christmas From The Family, Robert Earl Keene

.22 LR In Stock, MidwayUSA!

The .22 LR drought is pretty much over for us in Southern Illinois, but if you are still hurting for ammo, here is a good product at a good price. MidwayUSA, Federal GameShok.  We have shot quite a bit of this ammo, and it is dependable in our Ruger 10/22's and Mk III's. It is also very consistent for accuracy. Don't wait, as available .22 ammo usually sells out quickly at Midway.

UPDATE, Dec 24: Gone Already. That didn't last long. I hope you all got some.

Built-In Attribution

I spent a lot more time typing than I needed to when I began this blog. I used to carefully credit every video I used that I didn't make myself. YouTube at that time wanted themselves mentioned on any page that used a video from them, and I made sure I did that, too. Then I discovered that at the bottom of every video is the link marked "YouTube." That link takes you to the page on YouTube with that video, with the name of the YouTube channel, and an assortment of other videos by that entity. Click on the name, and it will take you to the YouTube channel of that person.

YouTube has you upload your videos in three different ways. You can make them public, and they can be found by searches, and are free to be embedded on other sites. If you have monetized your video this provides extra income to you via more views by blog and website readers.

You can make your videos unlisted. With this option, your video can't be found on YouTube by searching, but it can still be seen by others when it is posted on websites.  If you post it on a blog, others can click the little YouTube link and then get the embed code, and re-post it on other sites. It is not private!

You can also upload a video as Private, so only you and a designated few can see it. Private videos cannot be embedded on websites and blogs.

Sharing videos is good for the person who posted it, because we all like to see the numbers roll up on the counter. If it is monetized, so much the better!

So, that is why you will see me credit written posts I use, such as Ernie Pyle, and other authors, but not so much on YouTube videos.  The attribution is there already.

Check Susan's Blog, Too

The Mrs. doesn't post as regularly as I do on this blog, but she is also putting up a few songs for the Christmas season, so CLICK to visit MrsTrueBlueSam.

The Bugs Bunny Carrot In The Muzzle Trick

Demolition Ranch is an entertaining and educational YouTube channel, and here is a good one from them. It's a good reminder about keeping your barrel clear.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Silver Bells, Player Piano

Gather the family, and sing along!


Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation


Interest is high again this week for a special and rare Ruger Firearm. This .44 Magnum Carbine was made in 1985 as one of the commemorative carbines to mark the end of this line after 25 years of production.  Click Here to go to Ruger's Gunbroker page and place your winning bid. 100% of the proceeds of this sale will go to benefit the Light Foundation. This fine, collectible firearm will sell mid-day, Wednesday, December 23, 2015.   $2551

Monday, December 21, 2015

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, The Piano Guys

Christmas, Don't Be Late, Alvin And The Chipmunks

Nights Are Long...

...but the sun will be coming up earlier after tomorrow. This silly little song comes to mind every day while I'm walking the dogs before daybreak. EDIT: Well, actually the sun will begin winter by setting later.





Here's one for you, Merle! The sun peeked through the gap, and then was behind the clouds.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Charlie Brown Christmas Banned In Johnson County Kentucky?

It's hard to believe, but it's true. No mention of what Christmas is really all about can be said in a public school. Here is the offending portion; the point of the play, and the TV special we all love.



We lived in Eastern Kentucky in the 1970's and witnessed the damage that the Great Society programs were doing to families and communities. Government continues to march on.

Holly Jolly Christmas, Burl Ives

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Ruger Mk III Magazine Disconnect

Here we are, as promised, changing out the magazine safety on a Mk III for a bushing that lets you drop the hammer with no magazine in the pistol. You gain other benefits from this, and I explain them in the video.  As usual, this is a one-take vid, so you get to see the rough spots. I put a spring clip on the manual safety to keep it in place, and that was a mistake. If it falls off, just put it back. The aggravation of the clip popping loose is worse than replacing the safety when it comes out.  The hammer position is the big bugaboo for folks reassembling one of these, and you get to share the joy with me when I don't realize the hammer is cocked as I try to put the mainspring back in place. Oh Well. You get a better lesson for all that!  Pour a cup of coffee and watch how it goes.


Twelve Days Of Christmas, John Denver And The Muppets

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Bing Crosby

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Winter Wonderland

Three Ships On Christmas Day

Christmas Gifts For Shooters: Update


Update: I visited with Brian Hobbs today, and he will be in his shop on Thursday welding up sets like Pattie's. You just barely have time to order Rifleman Targets before Christmas. Go to his site right away and order if you need one of these great targets for someone in your family.

Brian at Rifleman Training Targets has a great line of high quality steel targets for rimfire and centerfire shooters. Here you see Pattie with her AQT Liberty Training Target. The Redcoat silhouettes are the same size as the 4 and 5 zones on the Appleseed Qualification Targets that you shoot at 25 yards. If you can hit these reliably, you should be able to earn your Rifleman patch. You shoot these at 25 yards, standing, sitting or kneeling, rapid-fire prone, and slow-fire prone, with rimfire rifles or pistols. They are made of 1/4" AR 500 steel.



Brian also makes a full-size Red Coat Target, to be shot at 100 yards standing, 200 yards sitting/kneeling, 300 yards rapid fire prone, and 400 yards slow-fire prone. These are made of 3/8" AR 500 steel, and will stand up to long use on your range.  He has recently added scaled-down Red Coats that simulate 200, 300, and 400 yards when hung at 100 yards. If you can't spring for the entire set, I recommend buying the 1/2 size Red Coat. You can shoot it offhand at 50 yards, sitting at 100 yards, rapid-fire prone at 150, and slow-fire prone at 200 yards.

Study the entire line of targets at the Rifleman Training Target website. We just recently bought some round gongs that we will be shooting on our range out behind the barn with both rifles and pistols. All of these targets are cut with water jet, so they have not been damaged by heat.

Arriving At The Pearly Gates!


Brian Hobbs of Handy Helper Fencing started his installation at Pattie's place today, and it is going to be a beautiful gate! It makes me think of the Pearly Gate pictures you see on century-old marriage certificates. Cement is setting as I post this, and we think the gate will be swinging by Friday evening.


Have You Heard There's A New Star Wars Movie?


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Blue Christmas Without You

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation


Ruger has another good one this week!  It's a .357 Blackhawk made in 1976, so it has the coveted rollmark, "MADE IN THE 200th YEAR OF AMERICAN LIBERTY." Interest is high, as you would expect. CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place the winning bid. This fine revolver will sell mid-day, Wednesday, December 16, 2016. 100% of the proceeds of this sale will go to benefit the Light Foundation.

$1275

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Here We Come A Wassailling: Choir In A Can

At Least They Aren't From Mars


We knew that armadillos are on the march. We see carcasses on I-64 starting at about Okawville, and from Okawville to Nashville, IL it's normal to see several on a trip. Last year we saw one in Carmi at the Little Wabash bridge. This piece of armadillo hide is from a roadkill that was at the Little Wabash bridge in Edwards County, between Mt. Erie and West Salem. Since then I have learned of one that was killed in Wayne City, and also of numerous roadkills on I-57, almost to Effingham.

Supposedly these critters couldn't make it in Illinois because of the cold winters, but they appear to be well established. They mostly eat insects, but they grub around on the ground and I think they will have an impact on quail and turkey populations. We already have an overabundance of coons, possums and skunks that feed on eggs and young birds, so we sure did not need armadillos.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Meet Slippery Johnson...

...and start saving money when you clean your guns. I've tried many of the  gun oils on the market, and when you study them you will figure out that there is no magical spout in the refinery that spits out gun oil. Gun cleaners and gun oils are basically solvents and oils in varying combinations, and if you know what you want, you can come up with a good combo yourself.  Ballistol, one of the favorite old-time gun cleaner/oils will mix with water for cleaning black powder residue, and will clean your action while leaving a coat of oil. That's easy to figure out. It will clean black powder fouling and mix with water because of alcohol in the mix, and it has hydrocarbon solvents, too, to clean and to thin the oil. Here's all you need to make your own version.


Sea Foam is a mix of alcohol (smells like isopropyl), naphtha, and kerosene. Marvel Mystery Oil is a light oil with oil-of-wintergreen added, which eats corrosion and is a degreaser. It smells good, too. Mix these together and you have a darn good gun cleaner/oil. I add about an ounce of chainsaw bar lube to the mix, because it hangs on to metal really well. I keep a pump oil can in my cleaning kit for shooting this down the barrel, and it makes the bore shine. You can also put it on your barrel cleaning snake for a quick pull-through.  Instead of paying $16 a pint for a name brand cleaner, you will have about $6 or $8 in a quart. You can use any oil you prefer; some folks like 5W-30 synthetic, some like ATF. You can also buy your solvents by the gallon in the paint/varnish department of hardware stores, but then you will have gallons of volatile solvents stored in your garage for the rest of your life.

Keep your mix in an airtight bottle, because the solvents will evaporate if given the chance. Don't use any gun cleaning product or solvent around an ignition source; and don't smoke while cleaning your guns. Beware of oily cloths from cleaning.

Away In A Manger: Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear

Here's A Nutty Gift That Everyone Will Love!



The Master Nutcracker is made by a little family business in Sarcoxie, MO, and you can find them HERE. I don't see any way to order on the Internet, so you will have to send a check, or call for more information.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Jingle Bell Rock, Bobby Helms

Christmas Gifts For Shooters


The Mk II bushing is a neat little stocking stuffer that will be well appreciated by any Mk III owner. The bushing (Dark Object Above) replaces the magazine safety (Shiny Parts above the bushing), allowing Mk III pistols to fire with the magazine removed, just like the earlier Mk I and Mk II Ruger pistols. It does a couple other things that make it a good accessory. The magazine safety interferes with magazine changes because it makes the magazine reluctant to fall free when you push the latch. You have to grab the magazine and pull it out rather than it falling out. The bushing also prevents a good many feeding malfunctions. The mag safety makes seating magazines an iffy proposition, and it is common to fire your first shot and then the gun goes 'click' on the next shot. This happens because the mag safety offers some resistance to seating a  magazine, and they don't always latch in right. The first shot makes the magazine drop down slightly and then you don't get a fresh cartridge when the slide goes forward. It's all very frustrating, but is easily cured with the Mk II bushing.

One more benefit is that your Mk III is easier to tear down and reassemble after installation of the bushing because you no longer have to slip magazines in and out to make the the hammer fall. There are many videos online that show how to disassemble a Mk III, and we will do one for this blog soon, showing how to install this little device, so have no fear of tearing down a Mk III if you order one of these.

Weak Point In A Ruger Single Action?


This may be it. The little round rod you see is the Hammer Plunger. It has a spring behind it in the hammer, and a relieved area on the side so it remains captured by the little pin you see in the hammer. This plunger pushes forward on the backside of the Cylinder Latch when you draw the hammer back, which lowers the front end of the latch, allowing the cylinder to turn. The Plunger is pushed upward into the hammer as the hammer drops, and then it pops back to the limit of the relieved area against the little pin when it is at rest.  The plunger broke on a Single Six I had in the mid-1970's, and I saw this repeated on a friend's Single Six a year or two later. It was easy to replace by using a drill bit shank cut to length, and then filing the side where the pin rides.

If this breaks in your revolver you cannot operate the action normally. The cylinder latch is not moved when you try to cock the gun, and it is jammed up as the hand tries to rotate the cylinder. I think you could make the gun work by opening the gate, rotating the cylinder so it is unlatched, closing the gate, and then cocking the hammer. The important thing for you to do if this happens is to turn the gun upside down and catch the bottom of the Hammer Plunger. You will need it when you make your new piece so you can make the length right. I haven't had this problem again for over thirty-five years, but I sure have not forgotten it. A prudent person would probably order a few of these plungers just in case one is needed.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Christmas Gifts For Shooters


Here's an inexpensive item that will be liked by anyone with a 10/22 rifle. It's a replacement bolt buffer pin. This pin sits in the end of the action and intercepts the bolt during the firing cycle. The factory pin is solid steel, and it clacks. It also disturbs your follow-through just a bit when the bolt smacks into it. Nylon pins have been popular, but they need replacing after every three or four bricks of ammo, and the ones pictured here are steel on the inside, and polymer on the outside. They should run for a good long time. I picked these up from Midway (#814069) and plan to try them out soon.

The Holly And The Ivy: George Winston

Pound Monday Into Submission


Back To The Old Grind!

Video by Gary Bahre.

Life Is Hard. Life Is Harder When You Have A Bad Mechanic

Part 1:

Part 2:

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Christmas Time's A Comin': Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys

Not My Victrola: Pax41's Christmas Collection, 1911-1928



 Song 1 - Trinity Choir - Joy To The World - recorded 7/6/1911 Song 2 - Adrian Schubert's Concert Orchestra - Cathedral Chimes - recorded 10/20/1928 Song 3 - Cathedral Choir - It Came Upon The Midnight Clear - recorded 10/1920 Song 4 - Shannon Quartet - Hark The Herald Angels Sing - recorded 7/30/1926 Song 5 - Trinity Choir - Oh Come All Ye Faithful - recorded 10/6/1911

Christmas Gifts For Shooters: Grip-Master


Hard to believe, but MidwayUSA has dropped this great shooting accessory. I guess folks aren't buying it from their website. I keep one by my computer and use it regularly on both hands. Susan uses it, too, and it not only strengthens your fingers, it is like concentrated dry-fire practice, so it improves your ability to stay on target as you squeeze. These come in several different strengths, and I recommend the Light and Medium for most people. You can do a much longer practice session each time with the Light model, and it is the right one for elderly or partially disabled shooters. You can buy it direct from ProHands, or do a search and pay less than suggested retail elsewhere.

Improve your trigger pull even more!


The Daisy Model 25 is a great tool for practicing trigger squeeze and follow through, and you can shoot it all winter long in your garage or basement. It has a peep sight, so you can dial it in close, and you can see the BB going to the target, which really teaches you proper follow through technique. Just be sure you use a target and backer that does not allow ricochets, wear your eye-pro, and shoot where you won't break a window. You can find these HERE, and probably many other places if you do a search.

I like this design much better than any other BB gun on the market. The Model 25 is accurate, dependable, and you keep it pointed toward the target while cocking/reloading. The lever action models sweep all over the place while you cock them, and that's a problem you don't want on your indoor shooting range.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Christmas Gifts For Shooters: Bill's Bullseye Sights


Bill's Bullseye Sights are The Berries for folks with middle-age eyes. I have been avoiding shooting with iron sights for several years, but I'm back now, and doing pretty well. I put my first one on the Mk III pistol that I shoot all the time, and in the video below I install one on my old dependable Single Six. It's great being able to hang a pistol on my belt again with confidence that I can hit something with iron sights.

Click Over to Billll's Idle Mind and look for the link to purchase these sights on the left side of his blog.


Hard Candy Christmas

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Merry Little Christmas, Bing Crosby

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation


Ruger is offering another stainless .357 Magnum Service Six; this one from March 1983. It was returned to the factory for unknown reasons, and has been marked as used. It looks good, but of course Ruger has their standard warning in the description. This gun will sell mid-day, Wednesday, December 2, 2015. Click Here to read the description and to place the winning bid. 100% of the proceeds of this sale will go to benefit the Light Foundation.

$750