Wednesday, September 30, 2009

And Now We Come Down To The Wire

Today is the official final day to submit your "Mr. Completely September e-Postal Contest" targets. Scan or photgraph your targets and e-mail them (or your scores and other necessary info) to truebluetravelinman (at) gmail (dot) com. If you want to enter and have not had time, send a desperate plea for a time extension, and you can enter through the next weekend. If you go for the time extension, you should also shoot the October contest, which should be announced soon on Mr. Completely's blog. We Are Into An Extended Season!!! We have had a request, so you can shoot the contest through the first weekend of October!!!

Keep Your Donkey Dry

I was way out in the sticks last week on a rainy day to walk some timber with a landowner, and he never showed. I don't blame him. On my way out I saw this donkey, and he wasn't about to come out and get wet.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

4 HP Mogul Engine At Pinckneyville

Mogul engines were very well built, but they were not as popular as they should have been because of all the moving parts. Rural customers were put off by the thought of all those parts wearing out, and went for the simpler engines on the market. Side shaft engines of any brand are very desirable to collectors today because of their relative rarity, and Moguls are at the top of every collector's list.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Not My Victrola

"I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate" was just posted you YouTuber 240252, and it's a good one. Push back the furniture and enjoy a dance before the weekend is over, and you will feel great all day Monday.

Better Make Some Coffee...Monday's Coming

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Weekend Steam

This Wood Brothers engine is literally one of a kind. Most of this engine was found in a sawmill, but the wheels and some other parts were missing. The missing parts are from scraps of other engines, and this big double geared plowing machine is truly a unique treasure.

At some steam shows you will see operators put engines through their paces by hooking onto a tractor pulling sled. I always cringe when I see this, because these engines are all at least 80 years old, and the sled will stress them to the max. I saw this Wood Brothers engine hooked up and pulling one day at Old Threshers, and as the travelling weight maxed out the pull, something failed in the drive-train, and the engine revved up too fast and stopped. I took a look at it later, and the reversing gear failed when the engine revved. The operators were lucky that these parts failed before the flywheel exploded. I think that new parts can be fabricated, and I bet that this engine won't be tested on a pulling sled again.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Crankin' It Up

Henry Burr and Grace Nash recorded this delightful Vaudeville number in October, 1915. Most of the record is pretty good, if a little worn, except for one bad needle ding. I am going to try filling that spot with wax during the upcoming weekend, and see if I can re-do this record without the skip and pop. I will keep you posted.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Could You Make This Shot.....With A Pistol?

September is winding down and next Wednesday night is the deadline to submit your targets for Mr. Completely's contest. If you haven't shot your entry yet, CLICK HERE, or on the squirrel in the left sidebar to go to the rules and to download your target. This month you get to use an improvised rest to shoot your target, and compare how well you shoot offhand to how well you can shoot when you steady your arms. Pistol contestants will shoot two targets, one at 25 feet offhand, and one at 50 feet with an improvised rest. You may also enter in the Rifle Category by shooting one target at 25 yards with an improvised rest for your rifle.

Print out a stack of targets and take some friends with you. Do you know a youngster who would like to shoot? Take him/her to the range and turn a shooting lesson into an adventure. Set aside some time this weekend; you know you need the practice, and it's fun.

No squirrels were harmed in the making of this target.

UPDATE!!!!! The contest is extended through the first weekend of October! Get Out And Shoot!

Bring A Sharp Saw

This young silver maple has a couple of problems. At about four feet from the ground it forks into three stems, which are not growing together, but are pushing on each other as they grow.
At some time in the future this tree will fail, and one or more of the tops will come down. The fork problem can easily be fixed if some judicious pruning is done before the tree grows any larger. Two of these stems need to come off, and it would be nice if they had come off a couple years ago.

The other problem is the house that is only about forty feet away. Silver maples have very weak wood, are relatively short-lived, and they like to grow about ninety feet tall, then fall apart. I advise homeowners to not plant a silver maple within 100 feet of their house in order to prevent big removal expenses in the future.

The homeowner in this case needs to decide whether to fix the tree or remove it entirely and replace it with a more durable, long-lived shade tree. I may check back in a few months and see if the homeowner was able to make a decision.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Model Engines On Display At Pinckneyville

On of the fascinating displays you will see at most engine shows is the "Model Maker." Bob Suhre, of Collinsville had some drop-dead-gorgeous models he was running for the gratification of show attendees this year. His lovely and patient wife can be seen in the first shot of the red V-8. I had a nice visit with her; I never could get a turn to speak with Bob.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ruger Keeps Making News!

Ruger has been rolling out new models regularly of late, with the target Mini-14, a pocket auto (LCP), and a partly polymer snubby .38 (LCR) coming to mind. Recently they announced their version of an AR, which is featured in the new American Rifleman. This morning I see on the Firearm Blog that their old reliable 10-22 has been reformatted into a black rifle. Click over there to read all about it, but be warned that a case of gun-itch may attack you.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Today's Wedgie

We got an order in from Bailey'sLogging Supply today. We find that we use wedges not just for cutting trees, but in fitting new parts into the old barn. They are very handy persuaders.


This is a sight that will gladden the heart of any shooter/gun lover. It is a shooting bench at the Washoe Shooting Range during the Gun Blogger Rendezvous IV, arranged by Gun Blogger Extraordinaire, Mr. Completely. This collection has single action revolvers in .22 LR and .22 Mag, .45 ACP and .45Colt, .44Magnum, a single shot TC Contender in .222 Remington, plus semi-autos in .22, .380 ACP, and .45 ACP!
This photo is from The Packing Rat's blog, where you can see photos from all four days of the GBR IV (Click on 'Readthe Rest of This Entry' on the posts for 'GBR Days 1-4' on The Packing Rat's blog), which raised $8243.80 to benefit wounded service men and women. It is a great annual event, and a great bunch of people who go to GBR. Visit the Mr. Completely, The Packing Rat, Anthroblogogy, Ride Fast and Shoot Straight, Traction Control, Say Uncle, and Snowflakes to learn more! These sites and other gun bloggers are all listed in left column.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Not My Victrola

"At The Jazz Band Ball" was just posted by bsgs98 (I got the second play!), and it's a great tune to help you shake a leg and get out the door on Monday morning. There is a great slide show with it, so take a few minutes to watch.

Ready Or Not, Here Comes Monday!

Back To The Old Grind!

Weekends Here Are Very Predictable

Fall is approaching and we are pushing ahead so we can have siding in place on the barn before the weather turns awful. We had this timber in place this evening, and will have it fastened and tied in tomorrow. We worked a new floor joist in under the front of the oat bin, so things are really falling into place now. I should get some new bracing in tomorrow, and soon we will be putting up boards to nail our siding on. You don't have to be crazy to work here, but it doesn't hurt.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Weekend Steam

The "Marshall Corliss" used to pump water for the city of Marshalltown, Iowa. Midwest Old Threshers acquired this beauty in the late Sixties, and it is the largest steam engine in the machinery building at Mt. Pleasant. Taking pictures is usually difficult because of the crowds moving through the displays, but EJ and I got lucky this year and were able to take lots of photos and video just before the engine was shut down for the night.

The valve gear is what makes this a Corliss. The valves rotate rather than slide as in a conventional steam engine, and the quick cutoff of the intake valves is the throttling mechanism. EJ may do a post about this valve gear some day and fill in all of the necessary technical details.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Crankin' It Up

I pulled out an album of Red Labels and selected Gypsy Serenade, recorded by Fritz Kreisler in May, 1919. This record sounds better than most of the Red Label Kreislers I have listened to, and you can really hear the Master's Touch on the strings.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Opportunity Knocks

This little patch of woods has lots of possibility for the future. The overstory is about 1/3 red maple and cherry, which will make decent crop trees, but the rest of the overstory is controlled by sassafrasses and other low value, low quality trees like the ones you see in the background. Luckily, the understory is well populated by oak sprouts (foreground). All the landowner needs to do is a simple timber stand improvement job to release his oaks, and in a few years he will have a forest to be proud of.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Name That Tune!

This little Go-Buggy putted by us one evening at Old Threshers, and EJ nailed down the sound it makes as soon as he heard it. I will put his opinion in Comments; see if you can top him.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cadenzas Galore

The autumnal arias have been going on for a few weeks now, and the early risers are dying off as newly molted cicadas finish up their fall celebration. When you hear these insects sing, you know that the growing season is drawing to a close, and your preparations for winter need to begin. We still have plenty of ripe tomatoes, but the days are definitely growing shorter.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Revisiting The Gas Engines At Boonville

The fall show at the Antique Steam and Gas Engine Club, Boonville, Indiana is coming up on the weekend of October 9, 10, 11.    (October 12-14, 2012) This video was shot last summer during the July show. These engines had just been unloaded by one of the exhibitors, and he was busily oiling, gassing, and cranking.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Not My Victrola

Our YouTube Friend Pax41 has posted a rare treat; a popular 1920's song performed by Fritz Kreisler!

Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut!

This is Saturday's pick-up under our front yard chestnut tree. We WILL have chestnut dressing at Thanksgiving!, and lots of good, healthy snacks all fall and winter.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Weekend Steam

A very nice Case engine was running a thresher when we went through the gate on the first day of Old Threshers. We hustled over and started shooting video immediately.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Never Forget, Never Forgive

Appropriate words Here.....Here......and Here.

Crankin' It Up

We pulled out another Eck Robertson record this week and re-recorded it with the new microphone; it sounds much better now. Here are both sides

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Aw, Nuts!

The chestnuts are falling, and we are picking up every night to stay ahead of our squirrels.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gade Engines: Made In Iowa

This better than barn fresh Gade was running at Mt. Pleasant last week. Gade engines were made in Iowa Falls, and this spark plug ignition 1 1/2 HP model was introduced in 1912. I have one very much like this in our garage, and fortunatlely, I never had the time to tear it down and paint it up like new. Engines with original paint are preferable now, so I can stop feeling guilty. Mine has always been kept under cover, so it cleans up pretty well. I need to put some fresh batteries in the box and crank it up one of these days.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Here's A Handy Tool

We purchased this Alaskan Mill attachment for our chainsaws several years ago so we could make repair parts for the old barn, and it has been good for that. It clamps on the bar of a chainsaw, and can be adjusted for the width of the cut. We really appreciate its usefulness when we have to join two pieces together, and need straight, matching cuts. In the top photo we have spliced a 16' pin oak 6" x 8" to a 6" x 8" crosstie in order to have a twenty foot long timber with a creosote base.
We have used this tool to utilize trees in our yard as we lose them to storms and disease. We are building a pretty nice collection of boards and timbers in the barn. The only modification to the saw is a chain made for ripping rather than cross cutting. A standard chain will have a top angle of 25 to 35 degrees on each tooth. A ripping chain will have two teeth at 25 to 35 degrees, then two teeth with an angle of 5 to 10 degrees. You can buy ripping chain with the proper angles, or file a standard chain to the proper configuration.
It is a good tool for using in repairs, but I wouldn't want to cut a house pattern with it. You need a saw with at least a 75cc motor if are going to use one of these milling attachments.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Not My Victrola

I spent some time on the road this weekend, and listened to old music on CD's the entire trip. This one has stuck in my head, so I looked it up on YouTube to share with all of the TBS Fan Club. Thanks to TransformingArt for the upload.

Labor Day

Take A Break!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


In order to get this....

this one....

and this....

You see a lot of this. Oh Well. The moral is; Move in, get your shots, and get out of the way for the next looker/photographer.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Crankin' It Up

It's September again, and the goldenrod is blooming, so I just had to recycle this old favorite. The Manhattan Dance Makers performing a nice Fox Trot. Irving Kaufman provides the vocal chorus. Very nice sentiment in the lyrics, and good for dancing.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Watch Your Noggin!

It's good to remember once in a while that trees are quietly waiting to kill us. This pecan tree dates back to 1945, and has a lot of years left, but it is now shedding limbs that will seriously crease your cranium. This limb fell only a few feet from the trunk, but another of the same size landed thirty feet away on a dead-calm day. Planting large trees at least forty feet from your house is pretty good advice, and getting out from under trees on windy days, or when you tip them over is darn important. Keep an eye looking upward when you are working under trees, and wearing a hard hat is a pretty good idea, too.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Remember This?

When we last visited the barn, I wondered exactly how the roof was staying up. We now have solid wood from a foundation rock all the way to the roof again, and will next be replacing another upright that the termites have been in.

We have to jack up the oat bins and block them up away from the ground, and then we can start hanging siding. That big upright was the key to this project, so we are feeling much better now.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dark Day In History

If you are a history buff like me, you already know what began in Europe on this date in 1939. I revisit some of my books on days like this one to refresh my memory, but am not good at expressing my feelings. I hope others remember the horror, and realize that monsters are still out there in the world. It can happen again if good people do nothing.

The video was posted on YouTube by 24052; he put together a very good slide show.