Saturday, April 30, 2016

Texas To Recognize Illinois Concealed Carry Licenses!

The Texas Attorney General's Office called Valinda Rowe of Illinois Concealed Carry with the good news.  Click Here!

Better Living With Isopropyl!

I walked down a railroad right-of-way recently to visit a property and found a lovely bucket that was decorated with the Fire Snake logo and instructions.  I had never heard of it before, but I am impressed, and I found their video.  If you need to expand some rail to tighten a joint, this is just what you need!


Thursday, April 28, 2016

What's A Good Day Worth?

Pattie started shooting when she was 88 years old, and it is an important part of her stroke recovery.  Last summer she had pneumonia, and then she had it again in late winter.  Good days have been hard to come by, but she is fighting her way back as well as she can at almost 92.  I could tell this morning that she was starting a good day.  She has had a couple of good nights sleeping, and she has been eating enough food to bring her weight up a bit, and she is staying hydrated. She had her hair done this morning, and she still felt good when I came home from work.  We went to Pistol League and she shot three rounds with hardly a miss.  Her times aren't as good as last summer, but they are consistent.  For her last round we had her shoot on one plate and she was making all five hits in six seconds, starting from low-ready.


I'd say about a million bucks...

PS: Crossing your thumb is safe on the Ruger Mk III's, and Pattie doesn't shoot any other semi-autos.

This Guy Should Teach Geography!



SO, if you don't like the news on November 9, head for the southern border!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Just Say No To Ornamental Pears!

Pears are pretty every spring for about a week, and the rest of the year they worry you to death with Fire Blight, broken branches, and dieback from girdling roots.  Next time plant a real tree.  Oh Yes, they are an invasive species, too.  They are showing up in timber all over the place.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The USA Shooting Team


Ruger is offering a new-old-stock Engraved Red Label Shotgun this week.  The engraving is a one-off sample.  It was engraved, then a simpler design was chosen for production.  The collectors are showing their approval, but Click Over and have a look, and maybe you can bid.  This fine gun sells mid-day, Wednesday, April 27, 2016.  100% of the proceeds of this auction will go to benefit the USA Shooting Team.   $2725

Barn Fox Family

I left the game camera at the other end of the barn for a couple days and we have a nice litter of fox pups to admire!  I also found a pile of chicken feathers while I was out and about, so our neighbor is not locking his chickens in securely at night. Oh Well, or words to that effect.




Maybe If He Had Listened To Roger Miller...

Monday, April 25, 2016

Tuesday Torque: A Really Big Sideshaft!

Embeddding is disabled on this one, so you will have to Click Over.  Move the slider over to 4:30 and the action will begin shortly.  Monoxide so thick you can cut it with a knife!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Take A Trip With Eric Janssen On His Old Freighter, Valer

We have been seeing Eric Janssen and his Schipperke Saartje on "I Love My Schipperkes", one of the Facebook pages we watch.  He pilots as antique freight barge on the waterways of Europe with his son and his faithful Schipperke, and now he is a TV star.  Here is the trailer for the series that follows Eric, Saartje, and his boat.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Little Things That Make Us Happy

The house is back in order and repairs are almost completely finished, and now we are working on regular repairs and upgrades.  Susan went shopping online and found a perfect replacement for an old toilet seat.  Of course this poem came to mind:

Toilet Seats, by Robert Service

While I am emulating Keats
My brother fabrics toilet seats, 
The which, they say, are works of art,
Aesthetic features of the mart;
With plastic of a pastel shade,
Of topaz, ivory or rose,
Inviting to serene repose.

Rajahs I'm told have seats of gold,---
(They must, I fear, be very cold).
But Tom's have thermostatic heat,
With sympathy your grace to greet.
Like silver they are neon lit,
Making a halo as you sit:
Then lo!  they play with dulcet tone
A melody by Mendelssohn.

Oh were I as lyrical as Yeats
I would not sing of toilet seats,
But rather serenade a star,---
Yet I must take things as they are.
For even kings must coyly own
Them, as essential as a throne.
So as I tug the Muse's teats
I envy Tom his toilet seats.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Barn Fox

I hear this fox bark at night, and it drives Lightning nuts.  Susan was up at the barn looking around today, and she was finding squirrel feet.  I will set up cameras in new locations and try to get better pictures.  There might be babies to watch soon.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Yard Work

The weather is perfect this weekend for yard work.  We have been picking up limbs, cutting and moving trees, piling firewood for next winter, mowing grass, and etc.  More trees to cut tomorrow, and maybe we can shoot a little vid.





Not My Victrola: Before The Blues

Before the Blues came along we still had plenty of sad songs meant to jerk a tear.  After The Ball is one of the best known sad songs, and it has a great tune that isn't even sad if you don't know the story line.

Performed by William Bolcolm and Joan Morris.
By Katy Lou Wurlitzer 153 Band Organ.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

I See...


...Dead cars.  This truck is really most sincerely dead, and I remember trucks like this with good paint, good rubber, and an old farmer driving them. I say old, but the guys I saw driving trucks of this vintage were younger than I am now.  They were just old to me back when.


What is this Buick; about 1963?  I remember these when they were new, sometime during the Mercury space program years.  We were shooting astronauts into space and we still didn't have seatbelts in our cars.  Everybody wanted to be "thrown clear". Good Old Days! Nice chrome, though.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Free Cats


Four years ago my Brother-In-Law brought free cats to us from St. Louis.  He had trapped these feral cats, had them fixed and vaccinated, and dropped them on us.  I took stock recently and it hasn't turned out as good as we would wish, but these feral city cats have had a good life, and some of them are still with us.


We could keep them penned up only until hot weather arrived, but they all hung around for the free food when we turned them loose.  We could not touch most of them.  Only one of them, Shorty, remained wild.


Pansy and Woody, the tuxedo cats met bad ends.  Pansy was picked off by coyotes and Woody swallowed something that perforated his esophagus.  Our vet had to put him down.  Mean Jean and Brownie, the two black cats in this picture are still with us and are enjoying life in the country.


Cancer took Big 'un.  The vet tried, but we didn't know how bad it was, and this sweet little cat had to be put down a month after surgery.  Shorty was a big black long-haired cat that would not be tamed.  He would come up for food, but he roamed the countryside and the neighbors saw him frequently.  He stayed in the barn rather than the garage, and he would come when I called.  He just wouldn't let me get close enough to touch.  Well, Shorty was hurt; possibly in a fight with a coon, possum, or a bad Tom cat.  Last week his face was swollen up, an eye was infected, and he was lethargic.  I still couldn't get close enough to catch him.  I did what I had to do so he wouldn't suffer a slow painful death.

On the bright side, Mean Jean, Brownie, and Mama Cat are all living the good life.  Had they remained in St. Louis as feral cats they would have lived a hard, short life, probably with a painful, lonely end. Cats end up costing you the same whether they are free, or you buy them, and they steal a bit of your heart along the way.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The USA Shooting Team


OK, you charcoal burners, here's your chance for a great percussion revolver.  Ruger hasn't made these since 2008, so go take a look at this one.  It's a Ruger Old Army built in 1975.  It is marked "used", but was never sold.  100% of the proceeds of this sale will go to benefit the USA Shooting Team.  This fine revolver will sell mid-day, Wednesday, April 13, 2016.  CLICK HERE, or on the picture to go to Ruger's Gunbroker page to read all about it and to place the winning bid.  $855

Monday, April 11, 2016

Midwest Schipperke Rescue


 We hooked up with Midwest Schipperke rescue back in December, and that is how Junior came to our doorstep.  He was a good match for us, with good country-dog smarts, and we adopted him.  Midwest called on Saturday and asked if we could head north to Vandalia to pick up two female Schips that had just been surrendered to a shelter because their owner had to go to a nursing home.
These little girls are Barbie and Missy.  They are good looking Shipperkes with the stocky legs and body shape that the breed is known for.  Barbie is seven, and Missy appears to be about ten years old.  They have been cleaned up and brushed and are settling into life in the library, away from the other dogs.  They made a trip to our vet today for some immediate needs, and will be available for adoption through Midwest Schipperke Rescue after dental work is taken care of.  They are already responding to us and walking fairly well on leash.  They do their business when we take them out in the yard, and they make fine lap warmers.


This rescue business is hard work!

Tuesday Torque: V12 Rolls Royce Merlin!

Here's an engine nut in hog heaven.  Can you beat this with an engine in your collection?


Saturday, April 9, 2016

March Mr. Completely e-Postal Scores


Besides being fun, and good practice, one reason we like to do the monthly e-Postal contest is because it is good therapy for Pattie.  Her stroke in 2012 gave her what the doctors call "left deficit."  She doesn't see or perceive things to her left, and fighting that is part of the rehabilitation process.  We have found that when shooting plates she does better if she goes from left to right, and the back and forth movement of this target was a challenge for her.  You can see the effect of the left deficit in the two targets above.  It is eerie the way many of the shots line up vertically between the left and center circles.  She settled down after a few warmup targets and we talked her through the one where she shot 9/10.  Pattie shot all of these off her rest that she uses for rifle shooting, and I think that is OK for someone over 90.

Billll of Billll's Idle Mind, Susan, Pattie, and Merle all entered, and we had a new participant.  Kevin showed us how to shoot a 10/22 at 25 yards.  A big Thank You to all who entered.

Class 1; Air Pistol, Iron Sights/Non-magnified red dot
Firearm
Distance
Score
Kevin Ellis
Crosman 1377
25 ft
8/10
Class 2; Air Pistol, Magnified optical sights  
Firearm
Distance
Score
No Entries



Class 3; Rimfire Pistol, Iron Sights\ non-magnified red dot

Firearm
Distance
Score
David aka TBS
Ruger Mk III Billll’s Ghost Ring Sight
25 ft
10/10
Billll
Ruger Mk I Iron
25 ft
9/10
Pattie Ann
Ruger 22/45 Lite/ Bushnell
25 ft
9/10
Merle
Ruger Super Single Six 22Mag
25 ft
8/10
Merle
Ruger Mk II 6 7/8” Red Dot
25 ft
8/10
Susan aka Mrs TrueBlueSam
Ruger Mk III/ Bushnell
25 ft
8/10




Class 4; Rimfire Pistol, Magnified optical sights



Merle
TC Contender .22 LR  2x
25 ft
6/10
Class 5; Centerfire Pistol, Iron Sights/Non magnified red dot
Firearm
Distance
Score
Billll
Glock 22 .40 S&W
25 ft
8/10
Class 6: Centerfire pistol, Magnified optical sights



Merle
TC Contender 9mm 2x
25 ft
7/10
Class 7; Rimfire Rifle, Iron Sights/Non-magnified red dot
Firearm
Distance
Score
No entries



Class 8; Rimfire Rifle, Magnified optical sights (25 yds)
Firearm
Distance
Score
Kevin Ellis
Ruger 10/22 UTG 4 x 16
25 yds
10/10




Good Shooting, Kevin!  That 10/22 will do well on the April target!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Wonderful Things...

...fly into the airport across the road. I can count on seeing a plane worth stopping to look at a few times a year. This beauty is a 1946 Piper Grasshopper that appears to be fresh from restoration. The owner was kind enough to let me take a few photos, and I learned he was flying it from Ohio to Kansas. Note the wood prop with 85 ponies to spin it. Nearly all of the pilots who flew during World War II started their training in a Piper.










Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Easy-To-Make No-Weld Target Stands


We bought some 12" gongs to go along with the  Redcoat Gong from Rifleman Training Targets.  I assembled this system using 1/2" re-bar and 1/2" pipe tees and nipples.  It's easy to assemble and you can leave a set assembled, minus the legs for transport to and from the range.


You can use 4' lengths of re-bar for the legs, but they will sink deep in soft springtime mud.  You can save a few bucks by making your legs out of ripped 2 X 4 scraps.  One 2' piece of re-bar will make pegs for all four legs.  Drill the holes slightly undersize so the pins don't fall out.

Our gongs are from Rifleman Training Targets.  They are made of AR 500 steel, and they are water-cut.  Be sure to check the photo gallery when you visit the website.

Train Whistle Blues, Merle Haggard

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The USA Shooting Team


If you have a hankerin' to go moose hunting it doesn't get any better than this!  Ruger is selling a .375 H & H Magnum M77 Magnum Rifle this week to benefit the USA Shooting Team.  This fine rifle was manufactured in January 1992 and has been residing in Ruger's safe for all these years.  Go Place Your Bid to win this exceptional hunting rifle, and keep your fingers crossed.  It will sell mid-day, Wednesday, April 6, 2016.  100% of the proceeds of this auction will go to benefit the USA Shooting Team.  $2450, Now go, keel moose and squirrel!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Tuesday Torque: Early Tractors


Tractors have been evolving since they were first built, and some of the early ones are bizarre by modern standards. IHC built one cylinder hit-and-miss tractors a bit more than a century ago, and they really were just a self-propelled stationary engine for belt work around the farm. It is hard to believe that they built tractors with hit-and-miss engines, but they sure did.The big twin cylider Mogul tractors were made for both traction and belt work, and that engine makes a lovely sound. IHC built their first lightweight tractors in 1912 with automobile type steering and lighter, faster turning engines.

a
Video by RumelyTractor.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

April Mr. Completely e-Postal: April Showers

Mrs. True Blue Sam has come up with a real winner for the April contest.  It's simple, and just challenging enough that everyone will want to participate.   Twenty five feet is recommended, but shoot whatever distance you are able to shoot at your range, or whatever distance makes you confident.  Each hit on a raindrop is one point, and holes in the umbrella are -1 point.  Fire ten shots with whatever position you like.


Send scans or photos of your targets to truebluetravelinman (at) gmail (dot) com by May 4.  Use the name you want to see on this blog when scores are posted.  Write your name, firearm, and sights in the umbrella.  Click the picture or HERE to get the link for the pdf target.  Send in your scans for the March target.  We are assembling scores and will post them in a couple of days.

John Prine: A Legend In His Time...

...and a national treasure.  This interview is from 2015.


Whole Lotta Grinding Going On!

Widespread winds over much of the country have damaged or taken down trees all over the map. Out in the country we don't worry about stumps. We can let them rot down, or burn them out, or just ignore them. City dewllers don't have that luxury and must take stumps out before the neighbors complain.

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Not My Victrola: Scott Joplin, The Magnetic Rag

My head was stuck in the 1920's musically, until 1971 when I heard Scott Joplins rags played the way they were meant to be played.  That moved my musical brain back more than a decade.  Joshua Rifkin published his recordings of Joplin's music on Nonesuch records, and they have been unavailable on YouTube until recently.  The albums are available on CD, and probably MP3, too, and I have had the CD's for many years.  The only problem with the CD is that one of the songs had one note noticeably distorted during remastering.  I know it's coming every time and it bugs the heck out of me.

You never know what you are going to find on YouTube, and this player piano recording was made by none other than Scott Joplin himself in 1916 of the Magnetic Rag.  It is one of my favorites, and a very dramatic piece of music.




Not all of Joshua Rifkin's recordings are on YouTube, but you should listen to the ones that are published there, and then go purchase a copy to support the artist.  I have been listening to him for fortyfive years and I am not tired of him yet.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Weekend Steam: Let's Go West, Way, Way West

Who knew?  A steam railroad in Japan!  I figured that went away very quickly in the post-war years, but at least one engine has survived.  Click the YouTube logo in the lower right of the vid to read all about it.