Sunday, June 25, 2017

Oak Tatters; Herbicide Drift

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

World Music Day! Here's Something To Ponder.

Poor old Randy Newman. He's a great musician, composer, and entertainer, but the numbers are small. I like all of his songs, and here is a paradox.

Here's Randy doing You've Got A Friend In Me with Lyle Lovett. 84 thousand views since 2011.
Here's Randy performing solo 1 1/2 years ago. 16 thousand views.
Randy Newman, one year ago, 400 thousand views.
A guy with his little kid, six months ago; 15 MILLION views.
I hope Randy is getting royalties on that one!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

Ruger is offering another special collectible firearm this week, and the collectors are lining up. It is a 25th anniversary .44 Magnum Carbine made in 1982 as production of this neat little rifle came to a close. The bidding is up to $1525 as I post this, so take a deep breath before you post your winning bid. CLICK HERE to read all about it. This fine collectible carbine will sell mid-day, June 21, 2017.  $1525

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Once Won't Kill Them

Many of the tree planting projects have been in river bottoms along the Little Wabash, Elm, and Wabash Rivers, plus tributaries. Flooding often occurs after trees have been planted, and it kills the leaves. Trees hold back a set of buds and will usually survive, putting out new leaves after the waters recede. One Spring we had a second flood, and that will kill a tree planting project. There aren't any reserve buds left after two floods. This project is a 60+ acre planting near Crossville, IL, and it went under after the leaves were fully emerged this year. Click and enlarge the photo and you can see the new leaves coming out.

We see a similar mechanism with drought. If the trees can grow long enough to store up reserves and form buds for the next year, they will often survive a severe dry spell in August that kills the leaves.  One of my good friends once said that "We shouldn't worry so much about how we plant trees. Leave a field alone for ten years and trees will be all over the place." I do like to see good ones growing, so I still obsess over it all.

That's Gratifying!

My YouTube channel passed five million views early this morning. Our first video was in October 2007 and we are still having a good time making them, although we have pulled down most of the old 78 records to avoid copyright problems. Viewers like chainsaws better than shooting and old engines. We have many good friends from YouTubing and blogging, and that is the best part.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Sourwood Flowers

Our sourwoods are blooming now. We brought them from Eastern Kentucky as tiny seedlings in 1984 and we wish we had more. They are a beautiful reminder of our years before Southern Illinois. The flowers are small, delicate, with a soft fragrance, and are famous for the honey produced from their nectar.

With only two small trees we will not have any sourwood honey to sample, but Susan's bees do like them. These flowers came on as the persimmons finished, so we should have planted more sourwoods. The white blooms are brilliant in sunshine and they brighten eastern forests after the other trees are done blooming.

Sheba, June 14, 2017

                                                                 Click To Enlarge.
Sheba has died as a result of a twisted gut (torsion). She got real sick early Wednesday morning, and we were rolling at 5A to take her to the emergency clinic at Glen Carbon. We got there before 7, and her heart attack began during the initial exam. She passed at 7:25.

Sheba began showing symptoms of GI distress a year ago, and she has been to Glen Carbon (diagnosis, pancreatitis), and to our regular vet (diagnoses, ear infection, anal gland infection). Little dogs don't get torsions, and every vet knows that. Sometimes you have to get past your education. Of course, no vet is going to take a dog in for surgery after the symptoms ease up, so Sheba had to wait for the big one, and then she couldn't be saved.  She has been my close buddy for almost two years, and a constant companion since I retired.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Before The Great Society and the Welfare State, We Had Families

$350 for one of those man-killing machines in 1952! That would be almost $6000 in today's money, going by the increase in postage stamps. A big felling saw power head is around $1000 today, depending on size and make, and that is still a big purchase you have to think about before you drop your money.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

Ruger is offering a 1975 vintage .357 Blackhawk for sale this week. It has a 6 1/2" barrel, and has been stored in Ruger's vault all these years. Photos on Ruger's website show a bit of wear on the left side of the muzzle, and fingerprint stains on the hammer, plus a tiny ding on one of the stocks, so I would call it slightly shopworn. It will sell mid-day, June 14, 2017. Click Here to read the full description and to place your bid. $616

Monday, June 12, 2017

Tuesday Torque: Mogul 6 HP At Evansville

This smooth running, good looking 6 HP Mogul was running over at the Evansville SIAM show on June 10, 2017. It's hypnotic!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

I Couldn't Help Myself!

Tony Sage of Vincennes, IN had a great display with two IHC Ms running. One was turning a corn sheller, and the other was turning a grinder. I still get up and stay busy, so, Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Friday, June 9, 2017

Weekend Steam: Old Steam Powered Machine Shop 23, Sleeving A Cylinder

I have a soft spot in my heart for big Economy engines, and that is what machinist David Richards is working on in his latest video.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

When Stuff Happens, It Happens Fast!

Nobody was hurt; no equipment was hurt; but it was close!

Our guy dug all around this big leaning white oak in preparation for pushing it over, but as it went over a branch caught the back of the bucket and nearly wreaked havoc on the backhoe. If the branch had hit the cab it would have broken all the windows and showered the operator with glass. This tree was rotten through and through, and I think that allowed the branch to tear off. Otherwise, it would have pulled the backhoe into the hole.

Pay Attention, Pass The Word, Blaspheme Daily

The Ramadan massacre continues and the pace is picking up. Thirteen days in and more than 800 are dead from terrorist attacks by faithful Muslims. Over at the Religion Of Peace blog I see the UK Daily Mail reports there were eighteen missed opportunities to stop the Bridge Massacre. Right below that, the next headline tells us that UK police are going to crack down on "offensive" Facebook posts. Whatever you do, don't offend a Muslim on Facebook if you live in the UK. Continue to submit to Islam and the police will leave you alone. Yeah, they will leave you for the Muslims to handle.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Worse Than Pulling Teeth; The Big Pin Oak Comes Out Of The Pond

Boy oh boy was this a full day. Our guy with heavy equipment showed up and we spent the day pulling and cutting. He could just barely make that tree move, (Two big limbs were jammed into the bottom of the pond.) but we persisted. We cut a couple big chunks off to lighten the load as it came out, and then we began cutting big limbs out of the crown. We just have some branches in the pond to pull out tomorrow, and then I can start making firewood.

I Never Had Time For A Job!

We have been busy since pulling the plug on the job. Mowing, gardening, cutting trees that should have been cut twenty years ago...

Most of the trees a person has to cut are not exciting; just normal problems of getting it on the ground while watching out for safety concerns. This post oak and white oak are both easy ones to drop with forward weight, but cleanup around each needed to be done first for a clear work space and escape routes.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

Ruger is offering a 2003 P90 Manual Safety 9mm pistol this week. It is new-in-box and has been stored in Ruger's vault all these years. CLICK HERE to read the entire description and to place your bid. These pistols are built like a tank and the prices are usually reasonable on these auctions. This pistol will sell mid-day, Wednesday, June 7, 2017. $510! Good Deal!

The Whistle Blows

"....The Army said they would try to give us twenty-four hours' notice of departure. Actually the call came at nine o'clock one morning and we were ordered to be at a certain place with full field kit at 10:30 A.M. We threw our stuff together. Some of us went away and left hotel rooms still running up bills. Many had dates that night but did not dare to telephone and call them off.

As we arrived one by one at the appointed place we looked both knowingly and sheepishly at each other. The Army continued to tell us that it was just another exercise, but we knew inside ourselves that this was it.

Bill Stoneman, who had been wounded once, never showed the slightest concern. Whether he felt any concern or not I could not tell. Bill had a humorous, sardonic manner. While we were waiting for the departure into the unknown, he took out a pencil and notebook as though starting to interview me. "Tell me, Mr. Pyle, how does it feel to be an assault correspondent?"

Being a man of few words, I said, "It feels awful."

When everybody was ready our luggage went into a truck and we went into jeeps. The first night we spent together at an assembly area, an Army tent camp. There we drew our final battle kit--such things as clothing impregnated against gas attack, a shovel to dig foxholes, seasickness capsules, a carton of cigarettes, a medical kit, and rations. We also drew three blankets just for the night, since our bedrolls had gone on ahead.

The weather was cold and three blankets were not enough. I hardly slept at all. When we awakened early the next morning, Jack Thompson said, "That's the coldest night I have ever spent."

Don Whitehead said, "It's just as miserable as it always was."

You see, we had all been living comfortably in hotels or apartments for the last few weeks. We had got a little soft, and there we were starting back to the old horrible life we had known for so long--sleeping on the ground, only cold water, rations, foxholes, and dirt. We were off to war again......

That was when the most incongruous--to us-- part of the invasion came. There we were in a front-row seat at a great military epic. Shells from battleships were whamming over our heads, and occasionally a dead man floated face downward past us. Hundreds and hundreds of ships laden with death milled around us. We could stand at the rail and see both our shells and German shells exploding on the beaches, where struggling men were leaping ashore, desperately hauling guns and equipment through the water.

We were in the very vortex of the war--and yet, as we sat there waiting, Lieutenant Chuck Conick and I played gin rummy in the wardroom and Bing Crosby sang "Sweet Leilani" over the ship's phonograph.

Angry shells hitting near us would make heavy thuds as the concussion carried through the water and struck the hull of our ship. But in our wardroom men in gas-impregnated uniforms and wearing life belts sat reading Life and listening to the BBC telling us how the war before our eyes was going.

But it wasn't like that ashore. No, it wasn't like that ashore."

Excerpts from: The Whistle Blows, Brave Men, by Ernie Pyle; Scripps-Howard Newspaper Alliance

A Post From Ernie Pyle; 73 Years Ago

I took a walk along the historic coast of Normandy in the country of France. It was a lovely day for strolling along the seashore. Men were sleeping on the sand, some of them sleeping forever. Men were floating in the water, but they didn't know they were in the water, for they were dead.

The water was full of squishy little jellyfish about the size of a man's hand. Millions of them. In the center of each of them was green design exactly like a four-leafed clover. The good-luck emblem. Sure. Hell, yes.

I walked for a mile and a half along the water's edge of our many-miled beach. I walked slowly, for the detail on the beach was infinite.

The wreckage was vast and startling. The awful waste and destruction of war, even aside from the loss of human life, has always been one of its outstanding features to those who are in it. Anything and everything is expendable. And we did expend on our beachhead in Normandy during those first few hours.

For a mile out from the beach there were scores of tanks and trucks and boats that were not visible, for they were at the bottom of the water-swamped by overloading, or hit by shells, or sunk by mines. Most of their crews were lost.

There were trucks tipped half over and swamped, partly sunken barges, and the angled-up corners of jeeps, and small landing craft half submerged. And at low tide you could still see those vicious six-pronged iron snares that helped snag and wreck them.

On the beach itself, high and dry, were all kinds of wrecked vehicles. There were tanks that had only just made the beach before being knocked out. There were jeeps that had burned to a dull gray. There were big derricks on caterpillar treads that didn't quite make it. There were half-tracks carrying office equipment that had been made into a shambles by single shell hit, their interiors still holding the useless equipage of smashed typewriters, telephones, office files.

There were LCTs turned completely upside down, and lying on their backs, and how they got that way I don't know. There were boats stacked on top of each other, their sides caved in, their suspension doors knocked off.

In this shore-line museum of carnage there were abandoned rolls of barbed wire and smashed bulldozers and big stacks of thrown-away life belts and piles of shells still waiting to be moved. In the water floated empty life rafts and soldiers' packs and ration boxes, and myserious oranges. On the beach lay snarled rolls of telephone wire and big rolls of steel matting and stacks of broken, rusting rifles.

On the beach lay, expended, sufficient men and mechanism for a small war. They were gone forever now. And yet we could afford it.

We could afford it because we were on, we had our toe hold, and behind us there were such enormous replacements for this wreckage on the beach that you could hardly conceive of the sum total. Men and equipment were flowing from England in such a gigantic stream that it made the waste on the beachhead seem like nothing it all, really nothing at all.

But there was another and more human litter. It extended in a thin little line, just like a high-water mark, for miles along the beach. This was the strewn personal gear, gear that would never be needed again by those who fought and died to give us our entrance into Europe.

There in a jumbled row for mile on mile were soldiers' packs. There were socks and shoe polish, sewing kits, diaries, Bibles, hand grenades. There were the latest letters from home, with the address on each one neatly razored out-one of the security precautions enforced before the boys embarked.

There were toothbrushes and razors, and snapshots of families back home staring up at you from the sand. There were pocketbooks, metal mirrors, extra trousers, and bloody, abandoned shoes. There were broken-handled shovels, and portable radios smashed almost beyond recognition, and mine detectors twisted and ruined.

There were torn pistol belts and canvas water buckets, first-aid kits, and jumbled heaps of life belts. I picked up a pocket Bible with a soldier's name in it, and put it in my jacket. I carried it half a mile or so and then put it back down on the beach. I don't know why I picked it up, or why I put it down again.

Soldiers carry strange things ashore with them. In every invasion there is at least one soldier hitting the beach at H-hour with a banjo slung over his shoulder. The most ironic piece of equipment marking our beach-this beach first of despair, then of victory-was a tennis racket that some soldier had brought along. It lay lonesomely on the sand, clamped in its press, not a string broken.

Two of the most dominant items in the beach refuse were cigarettes and writing paper. Each soldier was issued a carton of cigarettes just before he started. That day those cartons by the thousand, water-soaked and spilled out, marked the line of our first savage blow.

Writing paper and air-mail envelopes came second. The boys had intended to do a lot of writing in France. The letters-now forever incapable of being written-that might have filled those blank abandoned pages!

Always there are dogs in every invasion. There was a dog still on the beach, still pitifully looking for his masters. He stayed at the water's edge, near a boat that lay twisted and half sunk at the waterline. He barked appealingly to every soldier who approached, trotted eagerly along with him for a few feet, and then, sensing himself unwanted in all the haste, he would run back to wait in vain for his own people at his own empty boat.

Over and around this long thin line of personal anguish, fresh men were rushing vast supplies to keep our armies pushing on into France. Other squads of men picked amidst the wreckage to salvage ammunition and equipment that was still usable.

Men worked and slept on the beach for days before the last D-day victim was taken away for burial.

I stepped over the form of one youngster whom I thought dead, But when I looked down I saw he was only sleeping. He was very young, and very tired. He lay on one elbow, his hand suspended in the air about six inches from the ground. And in the palm of his hand he held a large, smooth rock.

I stood and looked at him a long time. He seemed in his sleep to hold that rock lovingly, as though it were his last link with a vanishing world. I have no idea at all why he went to sleep with the rock in his hand, or what kept him from dropping it once he was asleep. It was just one of those little things without explanation that a person remembers for a long time.

The strong, swirling tides of the Normandy coast line shifted the contours of the sandy beach as they moved in and out. They carried soldiers' bodies out to sea, and later they returned them. They covered the corpses of heroes with sand, and then in their whims they uncovered them.
As I plowed out over the wet sand, I walked around what seemed to be a couple of pieces of driftwood sticking out of the sand. But they weren't driftwood. They were a soldier's two feet. He was completely covered except for his feet; the toes of his GI shoes pointed toward the land he had come so far to see, and which he saw so briefly.

From "Brave Men" by Ernie Pyle

Monday, June 5, 2017

Tuesday Torque: Southern Indiana Antique Machinery Show...

...coming up June 9-11!  Just north of Evansville on Hwy 41 at the Vanderburgh 4-H center.

"If It's Happening In Ames, Iowa..."

You have to laugh. "One time thing," "It'll never happen again," fights and unruly behavior caused by "Bars and college students." It's easy to excuse until it's your head that's busted.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Carmi Rifle Club Youth Shoot

This weekend we had the annual Carmi Rifle Club event for kids.  We only had seven, so volunteers outnumbered the kids, and the kids got to shoot all they wanted to, with rifles, shotguns, and pistols.

They love shooting clay pigeons at 100 yards.  They are pretty quick to get onto trigger squeeze and follow through. They want to see the bullet strikes, so they keep their eyes open. This little guy broke a bunch of them.

Everybody loves hitting the tannerite bombs. Reactive targets, whether they are steel, clay pigeons, or tannerite, give shooters incentive to shoot well.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

How's Your Ramadan Going?

Six days in and we are rolling right along with 345 kills already. Ramadan 2016 set records and included the Pulse Nightclub masacre where faithful Muslims killed 49. If they keep up the pace they should make better than 1700 heinous murders this year. Maybe they are going for 2000.  The warmup was overacheiving, and the kidnap and masacre in the Phillipines continues, even though the news hacks can't seem to say Muslim, or Islamic Terrorists. Go To Religion Of Peace every day for your Ramadan update and to read the latest news from around the world so you will know what's coming to your neighborhood. If you see Ramadan carolers coming to your door, go out the back and run!

Many Thanks to Glen R at Religion Of Peace for permission to post his graphic.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

Ruger is offering a classic rifle this week.  It is a 77/22 testfired in October, 1985. It is New-Old Stock, with beautiful walnut, and the pictures show it is in excellent condition.  It will sell at mid-day, May 31, 2017. Click Here to read all about it and to place that winning bid.  $855


The Ramadan Bombathon is rolling right along, right on schedule. Don't forget that there were half a dozen major events in the days leading up to Ramadan. Manchester, Coptic Christians in Egypt, kidnappings and murder in the Phillipines. This is a world at war.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Tuesday Torque: Four Fairbanks Diesels On The U.S.S. Silversides!

Our Memorial Day

We made our annual visit to the Odd Fellows Cemetery, cleaned headstones and trimmed up a bit. Neighbors were there and we had a nice long visit.

O.T.'s marker. He and some friends decided to be Marines and they all went to a recruiting station. O.T. was the only one they took! O.T would not talk at length about the war, but we picked up some of his memories over the years. It seems odd that people you never knew become ingrained in your memory.

I never could get O.T. to tell us who all his buddies were in the snapshots he had. This one was taken after Bougainville, with Guam and Iwo still ahead of them. I think O.T was the only one to come home unscathed. Most of the guys he knew in his photos were killed or badly wounded.  He never wanted to go to reunions.

O.T. at twelve years old, on your right front. Brother Maurice behind him was a SeaBee. Ray, at left rear worked in defense industries in California. Alfred (Dutch), between Ray and Sister Dorothy died of appendicitis before the war.  Donny, the little guy between the parents, served on a seaplane tender in the Pacific. Lloyd, front left, served in a gun crew on the U.S.S. Colorado.

Lloyd suffered burns when the Colorado was hit repeatedly during the shelling of Tinian in June, 1944. He was evacuated to Saipan, where he passed a week later.

Lloyd was returned to St. Jo after the war, where he is buried next to his brother Alfred. O.T. would decorate his grave with peonies every year for Memorial Day until he left St. Jo. We haven't been to St. Jo to visit O.T.'s brothers' graves in many years, but we remember them every year.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

How's The Urban Civil War Going?

Not Good. Here are some recent posts by Colin Flaherty highlighting how criminals in the black communities are targeting cops and others.

When you are done looking at the videos, Click Here to read about a crime that happened in Cairo, IL in 2014. The killer has been sentenced, and now you can see some of the details that were not made public previously.  The murderer, James Watts cut the throats of the three women he was trying to rob, and stabbed one of them more than 50 times. One of the commenters at the end of the article says that he hopes the killer gets justice in prison. I think the guy will be a celebrity, with plenty of cellblock cred for killing two white women.

Keep your head on a swivel when you navigate our fair land's cities.  It's a jungle out there.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Move Those Volunteers Now!

Every spring we have new trees volunteer all over the yard. Walnuts are so plentiful they have gained "weed" status, and of course they grow better than ones we have planted over the years. Here is a new swamp white oak seedling that we noticed and moved today. You have to leave your yard alone for a week or two when most people would be mowing, but the wait will give you free trees if you have seed sources around your yard. Use a small shovel and make a hole that matches the plug your tree is in; planting will go quickly, too.

Smith & Wesson Performance Center M & P Shields

Susan looked at a bunch of pistols in gun shops a year ago and settled on a 9mm M & P Shield from the Performance Center.  I recently did the same, only Susan talked me into a .45 so we could tell our guns apart. Check them out; these guns really work, and the porting makes the recoil easy to handle.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Weekend Steam: More From The Steam Channel

Memorial Day Weekend

The poppies aren't as numerous this year as we would like, but they are pretty, and people notice as they drive by.  They are a good reminder for us that this weekend has a serious meaning beyond the start of summer barbecues.

                    This was our flower show in 2012.  It's what we aspire to every year.

In Flanders Fields is a poem everyone should know by heart, but how many know the story of its writing? Click Here to read the brief history of the poem.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sheba Loves Her Rides In The Country

Carmi Rifle Club is Hosting Youth Shooting Camp, June 3, 2017

Brownells NRA Day
Youth Sportsfest Shooting Camp
Sponsored by Carmi Rifle Club, Brownells, and NRA Foundation
June 3, 2017
A fun opportunity for youths, ages 9 - 18 years old., to learn more about firearm safety and shooting fundamentals and to experience a wide variety of shooting sports - all in one place, all in one day!!  The Carmi Rifle Club is excited to offer this rewarding and enjoyable experience to the youth of southern Illinois.  The Carmi Rifle Club is located on County Road 1250 E just off Hwy.14 north of Carmi, IL

 8:30 am - Registration                                                          11:45 am - Picnic lunch provided
 9:00 am - Safety and range instruction                                12.45 pm - Center fire pistols and rifles
10:00 am - .22 target pistols and shotgun instruction            3:00 pm - Finish up and head home

Participants will have the opportunity to handle and fire a variety of firearms such as:
1.  .22 caliber target pistols                               3.  9 mm., .44 cal, .45 cal., .357 and .38 special pistols
2.  .410, .20 gauge, and 12 gauge shotguns       4.  .22, .223, 7.62x39 and rifles           

Participants are welcome to bring their own eye and ear protection - regular glasses with shatter-proof lenses or shooting glasses.
However, safety glasses and hearing protection will be provided for those who do not bring their own.   Participants under 18 years
old must be accompanied by an adult.
FEE:  $30

Advance Registration required, event limited to first 25 applicants
Free Camp T-shirts
 (subject to availability)
Carmi Rifle Club
Carmi, IL
For more information contact Valinda Rowe: 618-963-2788 email:

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

Ruger's offering this week is a 1990 New In Box, P85 9mm Decocker. These are great guns and are built like tanks.  It will sell mid-day, May 24, 2017.   100% of the proceeds of this auction will go to benefit the Light Foundation. CLICK HERE to read all the details and to place that winning bid.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Tuesday Torque: Do You Subscribe To Gas Engine Magazine?

Gas Engine Magazine began in January 1966 as an outgrowth of the Iron Men Album, a steam engine magazine published by Reverend Elmer Ritzman. Elmer was a steam engine fan, and he started his publishing career in the 1940s with the Farm Album, which he soon renamed the Iron Men Album.  I have been taking Gas Engine since its beginning, and still do.  Elmer is long gone, but his baby lives on.  Iron Men went away, because the steam hobby is much smaller than the the gas engine hobby.

One of our engines, the 5 HP Falk made it to the cover of an issue a few years ago after Gary Bahre restored it to show condition, and we bought extra issues. Another engine that passed through our hands, a 5 HP Collis will soon be written up by Gary and featured in an article.

I bought a 5 HP Collis engine many years ago at a farm auction.  It was built in the eary 1920s for running a binder, but there weren't many made, and production soon ended.  It's a rare engine, and even though it is unremarkable in appearance it is highly collectible. The single pushrod and rocker arm operates both the intake and exhaust valves, and the radiator is in the flywheel  The radiator spins around the impeller for the water pump. It's a compact little engine and it marks a change from the big hit and miss engines of the day. Here it is as it left our garage several years ago.

And here it is after Gary put it back in running order. Gary has been published several time in Gas Engine over the years.  He finds unusual projects and sees them through to the end; then he is good about telling the story for other engine people to enjoy. Be watching for his article sometime in the next several issues.  Gary will also be finishing his article about the 8 HP Bessemer, and I suspect that one will be on the cover.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Lumberjack Movies On Location

This weekend we were doing chainsaw work and we shot some video today.  It's uploading to YouTube now, and it will be done about midnight.

The heat for next winter is shaping up nicely.  I wonder how many trees we have pushed up the chimneys over the years. What's in your woodpile!?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Easy Part

The easy part is putting it on the ground.  There's a lot of work to do after you let gravity do its thing.  We have been cutting and trimming around the yard today and the cleanup takes a lot longer than the cutting.  I like ones like the snag in this video.  I cut if for a friend several years ago.  I left after this part of the job and he cleaned it up.

I will shoot some vid tomorrow if the rain holds off, and maybe we can make a lesson or two out of our projects.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

After Action Review

How do you know if you have done enough? These photos are from three years ago, but are a good indication of what I have done during my years as a forester working for a state agency.

The Dead File...Now it is half again as big.  These are files that are inactive because of death or properties sold; and of course many of those ended up dead soon after. You keep them because you never get rid of government records, and the ground may become a case again with a new owner. The next forester won't know who to look up, though, so it is a waste, but you can't destroy records.

Tree orders and confirmations. I changed the landscape with the help of many good landowners, and that was just part of my job. The last several years I have not done tree orders because one of the state nurseries was closed, and the other one was severely hampered by budget problems. Landowners have had to order their trees from private nurseries and tree planting goes on.  That's a little more than twenty years of orders, all filled out by hand, and with a planting plan to government specs to back up each one,  plus recons and inspections and meetings with landowners and contractors

The change to computers came over many years and now the thought of writing documents out on a legal pad and handing it to a secretary seems ludicrous. The guy who hired me said at a meeting that "We are bureaucrats.  We fill out papers." He was right!  Everything you do must have paper to back it up or to make it go. Shortly after I started my previous forestry job in Kentucky we had a district meeting with all of the fire control people, forest management foresters and clerical.  Jack Rhody, from the State Forester's office in Frankfort gave us a short lesson that stuck with me. He got up and said "When one of you guys does something like throwing a pop bottle out your truck window, people don't call the State Forester. They call the Governor.  You are representing him, and you should be making him look good every day."  That was good advice for anyone drawing a paycheck, and I never forgot it. I still wonder who threw a pop bottle out the window.  I bet his butt is still sore.

Take A Little Walk Out Behind The Barn With Sheba

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Does Anyone Trust The Legislative Process?

Click The Screen Shot To Read The Numbers.

So, Senate Bill 1657, the Gun Dealer Licensing Act which is designed to run Illinois gun dealers out of business and to make criminals out of gun owners went to the House Judiciary Committee today for examination. There were many there to testify against it, including Springfield Arms and Rock River Arms.  Two individuals were allowed to speak. There were more than 10,000 Witness Slips filed opposing this bill to not quite 4,000 in favor, and the thirteen members voted 7 to 6 to send it to the House Floor for a vote.  If You Have Not Yet Called Your Representative, DO SO NOW!  I don't know when it will go to a vote, but it most certainly will.  Your Rep needs to hear your opinion!

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

Ruger is offering another of their coveted .44 Magnum Carbines this week, so be sure to take a look and place a bid.  This one was rollmarked in 1982 and it is a 25th anniversary model.  I see people asking for these frequently on gun forums, so  even though they have been out of production for many years, shooters still want them.  It's a great deer rifle for the woods, or for hunting hogs close up.  CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place that winning bid.  It will sell mid-day, May 17, 2017. $1425

Monday, May 15, 2017

Tuesday Torque: Page Diesel

This Page Diesel engine powered a big dragline during its working life.  It now lives in the Machinery Building at Old Threshers  in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. I have always enjoyed the sounds of this engine, and I think you will, too. They kick in the second cylinder at about a minute, and that's when you can start dancing.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Phoebe Babies!

We haven't had barn swallows in the old barn for many years, but today we noticed that we have a Phoebe family with four that are almost ready to fledge.  We blame snakes and coons for pushing out our swallows, and we hope the Phoebes are successful.

Four! Count 'em; Four!

One of the proud parents.

Call Your Mother Every Day!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Good Old Rebel, Performed By Bobby Horton

They can tear down all the monuments they want; there are some of us who study our history and we won't forget it. Good Old Rebel was written post-war, and the sentiments are genuine, through experience and hardship. It's just as important to me as any song from the mid 19th Century, and they can't remove it from my head.

Another Heinous Anti-Gun Bill In The Illinois Senate; SB-556

From IL GUNLOBBY : "A new gun ban has been filed in the Illinois Senate SB-556 would prevent you from taking a so called assault weapon out of your house. It would not allow you to go Hunting with many of your current rifles or shotguns. . . "  Link To SB-556

This bill is a very bad one.  It will outlaw guns like an old Winchester Model 74 in .22 Short or Long Rifle, because it is an semi-auto holding more that 10 rounds, and the magazine tube is not under the barrel.  Go read SB-556 , and start calling your Illinois Senator and Representative. I don't think it is scheduled for a committee hearing yet, but I will keep an eye on the IL GA site and post again when I see it.

Friday, May 12, 2017

IL Senate Bill 1657: What Will It Mean For You And Businesses If It Passes?

This is a post by Todd Vandermyde, NRA, on IL GUNLOBBY.  Todd really lays out the terrible details that most of us would have trouble spotting in the 69 page document.  It is well worth your time to read. Then, call your IL Representative and file a Witness Slip opposing this terrible bill.

"Guys we have been slammed working on SB-1657. Here are some more talking points against the bill
​Guys people have been asking about talking points on SB-1657. below are some highlights
keep the calls coming
This isn’t about licensing dealers; it’s about running them out of business. Gun dealers are currently required to have federal licenses from BATFE. Dealers in Cook County have to have a municipal dealer license. Some are then saddled with additional local requirements imposed by municipalities.
• Two State Licenses Required: SB-1657 requires “corporations” to obtain a dealership license in order to conduct business. However, before being able to obtain a dealership license, either the owner or a member of the Board of Directors must obtain a dealer license. This means that there will be a minimum of two state licenses per these Federal Firearms License (FFLs).
• How Many Licenses Are Enough: Illinois is home to over 2000 FFLs. Many are organized as corporations. Under SB-1657 they would have to have a dealers’ license for the owner, then get a Dealership license for the corporation, on top of the Federal License, and then often time on top of a local license. This essentially triples the number of licenses currently needed to operate as a firearms business in Illinois.
• Many FFLs are not gun dealers: They are machine shops that either make components, which require a FFL per BATFE, or are plating companies that also require a FFL due to handling and transfer of firearm frames and receivers. They do not engage in retail sales and are strictly business-to-business sales or transfers, many of which are subcontractors to the actual manufacturer. They would be required to do all the licensing as if they were a “gun dealer”.
• Licenses On Top of Licenses: Not content with Federal licenses, and the addition of multiple state licenses, SB-1657 explicitly authorizes additional licensure and regulations by municipalities and counties. So despite having a FFL, besides having two state licenses, they now may be required to obtain a municipal license and comply with a myriad of regulations beyond local zoning. This isn’t about licensing gun dealers. This is about creating regulations for the sake of regulating an industry out of existence, minimizing the number of retailers where Illinois residents will be able to legally buy a firearm.
• Licensing of Employees: If the duplicative licensing requirements for current FEDERALLY licensed dealers wasn’t enough, SB-1657 also sets up two new “licenses” for employees. One is for “Dealership Agents” -- people who have access to firearms. Another “Dealership Licensee-in -charge” for the person who “assumes sole responsibility” for the license. Never mind that employees have FOID cards and most have CCLs. Forget the other 4 - 6 licenses or more they may be required to obtain under the bill. Now they want to “license” every employee who can touch a firearm. And naturally there will be a charge for this, not in statute, but set by rule. A head tax by another name. Employees already have background checks: We know of no gun dealer in the state where someone who works there, as an illinois resident, selling and handling firearms is not required to have a FOID card. Most people working at gun shops not only have FOID cards, they have their concealed carry license as well. Just what exactly is the new background check going to find that the State Police missed in the FOID and CCL check?
Not merely background checks: It’s not about background checks on employees, it’s about requiring written exams, in-person interviews, apprenticeship type hours and continuing education. None of these have anything to do with background checks. It has everything to do with running up the cost of employees, running up the cost of doing business and piling on more regulations and red tape to either drive people out of business, or keep them from getting in, thus limiting the number of gun shops.
Sell More Than 9 Firearms a Year, Congratulations You’re a Dealer: Anyone who sells or transfers more than 9 firearms a year, and you’re considered a dealer. This has the effect of limiting the private transfer of firearms.
Want to sell off part of your collection to improve it or pay for college. Don’t sell more than 9 or you’ll need to get a State Dealer License and by their rules apply for a FFL, which BATFE will deny, because these people are NOT engaged in the business.
Trade a few guns and sell some others, you’re a dealer. Try to liquidate all or part of your collection, even by putting them on consignment at your local gun shop, you’re a dealer. The net effect is to limit the ability of gun owners to sell, trade or improve their collections. And, all of it comes with criminal penalties and fines of up to $10,000 per violation.
The bill adds to the federal definition of firearms dealer & engaged in the business. It also attmpts to exclude selling off parts of a collection, but it so ham-handedly tries to do these things that it creates conflicts within the law.
Registration: DFPR has unlimited rule making authority, to include “Formulate rules required for the administration of this Act.” Administrative requirements like the reporting of make, model, serial number and name with FOID card of every person buying a gun.
•​It’s about adding more regulation: Gun dealers currently deal with BATFE and their local municipality. Additionally, dealers work with Illinois State Police for background checks on all sales. Proponents now want to add another agency with the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (DFPR).
•​An Unlimited Application: As another way to harass dealers and manufacturers, DFPR is given the unlimited ability to request information about the applicant and any employees. This includes written exams and in-person interviews.
•​No Limits On Inspections: Chicago has long blamed it’s crime problem on legitimate gun dealers outside the city. Anti-gunners seek to use a regulatory scheme as a way to control gun dealers outside the City of Chicago, ones that they have long sought to close. There is no limit on the number of record inspections a gun dealer could be subject to. Federal licensing law limits such harassment inspections.
• Complaints about dealers are anonymous and the people making them are not disclosed to the dealer. The Department can act on any one of these anonymous complaints and place a licensee in jeopardy.
• In most licensing laws you can have the defense of you followed the law. Except in this case FFL are not afforded that defense:
“that the provision of paragraph (d) of Section 10-65 of the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act, which provides that at hearings the registrant or licensee has the right to show ​compliance with all lawful requirements for retention or continuation or renewal of the license, is specifically excluded.”
• Veterans excluded. If you are a veteran. And leave the active military, or even the reserves, and your job is an armorer and you want to open a gun shop and maybe a gun-smithing business you would be prohibited from doing so unless you worked for at least 1 year at another gun store.
•​They Lost Their Bans, But Want a New One: The City of Chicago lost their ban on gun shops in Federal Court. Now anti-gunners want to use a regulatory scheme to knock out gun dealers and prohibit new ones. This creates more red tape, endless applications, regulations on top of regulations and licenses on top of licenses. Despite their stated intentions, this bill is not about licensing gun dealers, it’s about running them out of business." Todd Vandermyde, IL GUNLOBBY

Weekend Steam: Extinct Locomotives

Here's another good steam video spotted by Merle.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Carmi Rifle Club Annual Youth Sportsfest Camp, June 3, 2017

Photo Caption: The Carmi Rifle Club will be sponsoring their annual NRA Day Youth Sportsfest Sat. June 3rd and safety, safety, safety will be the theme for the day. NRA Instructor and Range Safety Officer, Mike Rowe, instructs a young shooter in the fun sport of trap shooting.

Saturday, June 3rd, the Carmi Rifle Club will be hosting their annual  NRA Day Youth Sportsfest Camp for youths ages 9 - 18 years of age.  The Carmi club is proud to continue Southern Illinois' rich heritage of firearm ownership and sport shooting.  The camp, funded by a grant from the Friends of the NRA Foundation, is a unique opportunity for local youth to learn about the importance of firearm safety and to participate in a wide variety of shooting sports.  The day long camp begins at 8:30 am with registration, includes firearm safety orientation, instruction in the fastest growing sports in the nation - trap shooting with shotguns and steel challenge with .22 target pistols, bench shooting a wide variety of rifles and centerfire pistols including cowboy action revolvers.  The youths will have an opportunity to shoot paper targets, reactive targets such as spinners and steel plates as well as clay targets.

The Carmi Rifle Club, a not-for-profit organization, hosts the camp as a community service and provides lunch, hearing and eye protection, all the firearms and ammunition.  This will be the 12th annual youth event hosted by the club and members encourage both boys and girls to participant in this educational and fun camp. All activities are supervised by NRA certified instructors, range safety officers, and experienced club members.  NRA safety rules are strictly enforced.  The event will be held at the Carmi Rifle Club at the north edge of Carmi just off Hwy 1 on County Road 1250 E which is across the road from Vibracoustic Industries.

Attendance is limited to the first 25 youth to register. Youth who have attended this event in the past as well as new participants are welcome to attend.  The fee for the day is $30. To receive a registration form or for more information please contact Valinda Rowe at 618 Nine Six Three-Two Seven Eight Eight , email VRowe (at) mvrowe (dot) com.

Courtesy of Valinda Rowe, Carmi Rifle Club

Illinois Senate Bill 1657 Update

Illinois Senate Bill 1657, also known as the Gun Dealer Licensing Act, is scheduled to heard by the Judiciary-Criminal Committe next Tuesday, May 16, 2017, at 11:00 AM. This bill, if it becomes law will severely restrict rights of lawful citizens and will punish and regulate gun shops and gun smiths.  If you study this proposed law you will see that it is designed to eliminate gun stores in Illinois, and make criminals out of honest citizens, while it does nothing to stop criminals.

Go To This Link and fill out a Witness Slip opposing SB 1657. Anyone who is an Illinois resident, or travels through Illinois may fill out a Witness Slip.  Show the legislators that we do not want this law!  Call your Illinois Representative and tell them that they should vote against this bill if it goes to the floor.

Follow Illinois Carry and Il Gun Lobby on Facebook to remain up-to-date on Illinois legislation.

Trouble With A Capital T, And That Rhymes With C,

And That Stands For Coon!  We are covered up with these nasty critters. We have no proof, but the late-night bandits are prime suspects in the disappearance of the ten goslings we were watching. Now that I am retired I am learning my way around the place, and it is surprising how much I missed while I was a wage slave.

Coon Den In Siberian Elm

Coon Den In Hickory

Coon Den In White Oak

Coon Den In Sugar Maple

Coon Den In Northern Red Oak

You get the idea. Everywhere I turn in our woods, and around the yard we are infested with coons. Nasty, mean predators who carry multiple diseases and parasites. 

They lay up in the trees during the day, dreaming up mischief for the coming night. We need to bring back fur hats!