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!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Massachusetts Shooters Foundation

 Ruger CEO Mike Fifer (retired May 9, 2017) used this Guide Gun in .375 Ruger on an Alaskan hunt in 2012. It has been stored in Ruger's vault ever since and there is plenty of hunting left in this fine rifle.  It will sell mid-day, May 10, 2017. CLICK HERE to read the full description and to place your winning bid.  $2250

Illinois Switchblade Ban Could Be Repealed!

Illiinois Senate Bill 607 will be in a House Committee today, and if you are an Illinois resident, or someone who travels through Illinois, the passage of this bill will benefit you.  GO HERE and read more, then file a Witness Slip to support this important bill.

While you are on the ILGA site, register so you can easily file witness slips in the future.  You need to do this one for practice, because SB 1657 will soon be going into committee. I just registered and filed a slip for the Switchblade Bill, and it took just a few minutes.

Good News! This bill passed out of Committee today and will be going to the floor. Contact your Illinois Representative and support this bill!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Tuesday Torque: Cam Stopper

I see references to cam stopper engines in the magazines I read, but I don't think I have ever seen one, and I won't pretend to understand how they work.  What I see here is that the exhaust cam stops, holding the valve open when the governed speed is reached, and then rolls again when the speed of the engine drops.  Pretty neat, but my mind can't quite get around the mechanics of it!



Sunday, May 7, 2017

Women On Target at the Carmi Rifle Club


Carmi Rifle Club hosted the annual Women On Target workshop on Saturday, May 6, 2017.  The attendees first went through an orientation and safety meeting, then were instructed in rimfire pistol, and shotgun during the morning hours.  In the afternoon they shot a variety of rifles and pistols on the outdoor range.


Mike Rowe is instructing the volunteers during  a break in the action.


The ladies really took to shooting at long range. At the .22 rifle station we had a variety of steel targets up close to get them started, then we moved them out to the 100 yard berm where we had clay pigeons. Every one of the students was popping the clays with no trouble. This activity forces them to follow through, keeping their eyes on the target to catch the bullet splash in the dirt, then adjusting holdover to make the following shots. 


The AK station stayed busy ringing the gong at 100 yards. 


Showing a student how much to hold over for a first shot at the 100 yard clay pigeons.


Jay Armstrong running the Steel Challenge station.


We had a pile of .22 revolvers and semiauto pistols for everyone to try.  Steel targets are really great at events like this. Shooters get instant feedback on every shot and the line doesn't have to shut down for servicing targets until we are finished for the day.

Many thanks to Mike and Valinda Rowe for leading and ramrodding, Christina Armstrong for providing dinner, Dawn Williams for her famous potato salad, and the NRA Foundation for sponsoring this event!

Thanks to Dawn Williams and Sheryl Woodham for these photos!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Weekend Steam: Let's Take A Lesson On A Vulcan Locomotive!

Merle has spotted another good video for us!  Vulcan made a lot of locos for industrial applications. They aren't glamorous, but they did a lot of switching, and moved a lot of raw materials in mining and quarrying industries.


Thanks, Merle!

Bad Attitude Pruning

All the experts tell you not to use a chainsaw for pruning.  Those experts must have never had a line of eastern red-cedars to clean up.



Several years ago we were pruning a long row of eastern red-cedars, and doing it right with a hand saw. After several trees I figured out that I was never going to finish if I didn't speed it up, because these darn things have a lot of limbs. I have been using a chainsaw for some pruning tasks ever since even though we aren't supposed to do that. If you are going to cheat like I do, do it only with trees having a wide branch angle so the top of the bar doesn't cut the stem of the tree; be extremely careful with the bar so you don't get a kickback. Have a sharp, fast-running saw. Take the weight off by making shortening the branches down to about 6 or 8 inches before your pruning cut. Make the stub as short as possible, but do not cut into the branch collar. Wear your protective equipment.