Monday, January 22, 2018

2018 Valentine Festival! Blue Kentucky Girl, Emmy Lou Harris

Tuesday Torque: 1884 Otto Engine!

Merle has been doing a superb job of spotting interesting steam and gas videos for this blog, and you have no idea how much we appreciate his efforts.  Even though I have retired, we are busy with two homes as we take care of Susan's mother, and we of course have been taking care of foster Schipperkes.  Thank You, Merle! 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Over The Hill; Down The Slope

Your trees will tell you when they have passed maturity and are declining.  This pin oak is just a few years past 40, but it has grown fast, and is now on the downhill side of life.  Major limbs in the middle of the crown are dying and dropping.  This will leave stubs over 4 inches in the stem, so rot will be invading.

This tree also has horned oak gall throughout the crown, which knocks down vigor.  It was really hurting after the 2012 drought, and it has revived admirably, but we are watching it year to year.

It dropped all this wood in the last month.  Your trees will talk to you, if you will listen!  Luckily, the weight on this tree is away from the house.  We will just have to take down the chainlink fence when we decide to put it on the ground.

2018 Valentine Festival! Lulu's Back In Town, Fats Waller

Friday, January 19, 2018

2018 Valentine Festival! Ukulele Lady, Arlo Guthrie, and a bonus! Vaughn DeLeath!

Weekend Steam: Let's Take A Ride On A Baker!

Merle spotted another good one; this video is from a show at Sycamore, Illinois.  One thing I have noticed is that engine operators today will put the clutch in while the engine is running.  The old-timers who taught me would warm up the engine, stop it, push the clutch in, and then use the throttle to start the engine with the clutch engaged.  They wanted the clutch engaged whenever the engine was moving, because you use the engine to stop quickly if need-be, and you cannot do that if the engine is not connected to the drivetrain.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

German Sport Guns/Sig Sauer 1911-22

Mom bought this 1911-22 back in 2011 and it performed great right from the start.  I cannot remember a single malfunction with this pistol, which is the same size as a 1911 .45 ACP pistol.  We have been using it in pistol classes at the Carmi Rifle Club for several years and everyone who shoots it likes it.  Breaking it down requires an Allen wrench, so I just keep the breechface and slideface clean, pull a boresnake through it and keep the slide rails oiled, and it runs just fine. I usually carry a centerfire pistol around the farm with me, but this gun comes out every time we have a shooting event at Carmi.  It is unmodified and still has the magazine disconnect safety, which has caused no problems.  This GSG pistol is the same as a Sig Sauer 1911-22.  I first got to shoot one at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous in 2011, and it worked flawlessly, too.  These guns are moderately priced, so keep your eyes open for one.  Here is Bea on her first range trip with it a little over six years ago.

2018 Valentine Festival! Logger Lover, Jo Mapes

2018 Valentine Festival! I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm, Dean Martin

Something we all need right now!  So IL was zero this morning and sub-zero yesterday.  I have my little Lisa dog to keep me from freezing! 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit the Scholastic Action Shooting Program

Ruger has moved to another good cause this week; The Scholastic Action Shooting Program.  A Ruger P90 Manual Safety in .45 ACP, made in 1995 is up for auction this week.  This fine pistol will sell mid-day January17, 2018.  CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place your bid.  $915

2018 Valentine Festival! Moonbeam Kiss Her For Me, Nick Lucas

Monday, January 15, 2018

Tuesday Torque: Maybe Should Save Up For One Of These...

The snow is not all that deep, but I am tiring of it rapidly.  We are going in the deepfreeze for a few days now, so if you drive one of these, be sure to put alcohol or kerosene in the radiator so it doesn't freeze!  Aren't you glad you don't live in the Good Old Days?!

Photo by Bea!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Weekend Steam: Old Steam Powered Machine Shop Number 36

The January Thaw Has Expired!

I woke up this morning at 6A and opened the weather app on the phone.  The screen was totally blue.  I thought the phone was busted, then I zoomed out.  Crappy weather.  It was freezing rain last night when we went to bed, then it switched to sleet sometime in the night.

When I walked the dogs it was mix of sleet and big snowflakes; very noisy.  Lisa didn't know what to think.  She is from Midland, Texas, and probably has never seen weather like this.  Pretty soon she was dancing in it, though.

There is good traction on the back roads.  Sleet with snow on top is easy to drive on as long as you pay attention.  The worst part is the cold wind that continues to blow.  Even though there is not much loose snow on top, it moves, and there is drifting to watch for on the backroads.

We have our countermeasures. Both wood stoves are going, and I scraped out the chimneys yesterday to prepare for a cold snap.  During cold weather I run a fire on one side of the firebox and set wood on the other side to warm up and finish drying.  It is usually blackened and cracked when I roll it onto the fire, so it takes off immediately instead of skunking along when we want heat.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Like A Locomotive Idling, or An Alien Spaceship Hovering

Countrymark oil called us about a year ago to see if we would make a deal for an easement in our tree plantation for a pumping station.  It would be less than an acre, but it would be there basically forever.  We said no, since we had the option to do that.  We were hoping they would put it far away, but a next-door landowner signed the deal with them.  There is a power line here providing three phase electric to a coal mine several miles away, so this is where they needed to place it.  The oil in this line is pumped at Johnsonville and ends up over in Indiana at a refinery.  The pressure in the line as it crosses us is about 600 psi, and these booster pumps send it on at about 1800 psi.  There are two pumps working parallel with five plungers each, and with 300 HP motors.  It is kind of neat to be there when they cut them in.  One pump will start rolling as they open the valves so oil goes through the the first one; then they kick on the power and it is running.  The second one starts up quietly, too as its valves are opened, then it is running; then the valve on the main line is closed and the motors, plungers, and valves are all doing their thing, making an odd little rhythmic noise that penetrates the house a quarter mile away. There are five plungers on each pump, and that means ten valves per pump.  Twenty valves are clicking on and off their seats all the time the pumps are running. You feel it as much as you hear it.  They put some big-ass lights over the whole thing, so we are really glad that we have our trees shielding us from that.  When I walk the dogs on a foggy morning the  lights are shining over the trees and the pumps are throbbing.  It sounds like aliens in a 1950's Sci-Fi movie are landing.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Wounded Warrior Outdoors

This week Ruger is offering a New Model Single Six Convertible in .22 LR and .22 WMR that was made in 1980 and returned by the distributor.  This revolver does not show any shop wear in the photos on Ruger's website, and it appears to function normally.  This fine gun will sell mid-day, Wednesday, January 10.  Click Here to read Ruger's description and to place that winning bid.  $600

Monday, January 8, 2018

Tuesday Torque: IHC Slideshow From Pinckneyville...

...courtesy of Gary Bahre, the ILEngineGuy.

Lots of M's, plus a few LA's/LB's.  These are all throttle-governed, closed crankcase engines.  They are smaller and lighter than their predecessors.  The M's have grease cups for the mains.  The LA and LB engines are later, with oil splashing the main bearings.  Engines evolve!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Weekend Steam: First Run With A New Boiler!

Thanks, Merle!  They call this an Advance, but the engine doesn't have the earmarks I expect on an Advance.  Hmmmm.  Must do some book-looking.  They should know what they are talking about, but I must see some old photos.  Exciting, nevertheless!  Well, it does look like an early Advance!  Later ones had angled lugs rather than lugs at a right angle to the rim.  The early catalog photos have spark arresters on the top of the stacks, so you can't see the top of the stack.  The pattern on this engine resembles ones you see on Nichols and Shepherd engines, and also some Russel Engines.  Later Advance engines had a simple ring around the top of the stack.