Saturday, October 31, 2009

Weekend Steam

I don't know how many steam shows have two 110 Case engines, but there can't be very many. Last year there were three at Pinckneyville, and they had all of them plowing at the same time. This year they were down to two, which is still pretty remarkable.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Crankin' It Up

Applesauce is the flip side of last week's record. Last Sunday we made apple cider at the neighbors' house just down the road, and we made a pretty big pile of squeezed apple pulp. Mrs. TBS brought home a bucket-full for an experiment. Normally when you make applesauce you core and peel the apples. The pulp had stems, peels, and seeds all mixed in, but she cooked it down and ran it through her Foley Food Mill. She calls it "Apple Slop," but I can't detect any problems with it; it tastes just like applesaucee should taste. Now we wish we had saved all of the pulp. Oh well, we can still have a nice Fox-Trot.

Halloween Weekend Crankin' It Up

This is a re-post of an all-time favorite that we posted last year. This was recorded from the Brunswick with our old microphone, but it still comes through pretty well. Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Trees That Caught My Eye

When people think about fall colors they automatically mention sugar maple, which can be very dramatic with its yellows and oranges. This tree is a red maple (One of the soft maple species), and it generally does pretty well putting on a show, too. This year red maple began turning well before sugar maple, and they have had very bright yellow and red leaves. They began dropping leaves in earnest over the last weekend, and are nearly bare now.

Baldcypress always turns a nice bronze color that looks dramatic in the evening sun.

Hickory has been good this year, too. The yellow leaves look especially bright on this one because it is on the edge of an opening where it can catch some rays.

I am waiting for some smart person to figure out what makes certain trees attract sapsuckers. This yellow-poplar is obviously emitting some signal that birds like. If we could discover how to harness this behavior, maybe we could entice birds to go after forest pests that we don't want, such as bark beetles and unwashed hippy protestors.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

FFA Forestry Contest News

(originally posted 10/19)
FFA students at last year's state contest appear to be stumped by this quiz tree. Forestry contests are great learning experiences, and lots of fun for the students and instructors. Olney, Illinois' FFA student's went to the 2009 state forestry contest October 10 at Carbondale, and won top honors! Olney has been a good competitor for many years, but this is their first state championship. They will be going to the National FFA Forestry Contest in Indiana October 22 and 23. Congratulations are in order for the team, and for teacher Jamie VanDyke. Great work, everyone, and good luck at the next level!

Olney FFA Forestry Team


The Olney FFA team placed 15 out of 39 teams at the national contest, with everyone on the team earing a Silver rating! KUDOS to Olney. They made an excellent showing for a forestry team from corn country.

Reid Two Stroke Oil Field Engine

This beauty was running at Old Theshers this year. Reids are fun to watch, with the charging cylinder running beside the power cylinder. You can hear the atmospherically operated intake valve snorting out a joyful noise for old engine lovers.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cider Pressing, Continued

This video may be more exciting than you can handle, so sit down and have a drink at hand.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Apple Cider Sunday

We cleaned up our old cider press on Saturday, and added a brace to keep it from getting all cattywampus on us., then hauled it down to the neighbors' house. They had a batch of apples that we ground and squeezed on Sunday. If you buy cider in a store, or at an orchard, it is pasteurized. We have the real stuff, and boy, is it good. We have a bunch more video to process, so TBS visitors can see more of the cider pressing process. Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Not My Victrola

The Cotton Pickers recorded a real winner with the "Rampart Street Blues." BSGS98 added a great slide show to a song that will have you snapping your fingers and dancing around. Miff Moles is on the trombone in this acoustic 1923 recording.

Another Monday Is On The Way!

Back To The Old Grind!

Beautiful All Over Again

Remember how our sourwood looked when it was blooming last summer?

The fall payoff is pretty good, too.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Weekend Steam

This video is a short string of engines puffing around at Old Threshers this year and in 2008. I started shooting at 640 x 480 when YouTube upgraded, and you can tell the difference beginning with the little Case engine, with the videos shot at 320 x240. The larger format looks much better, but you have to plan ahead for your uploads if you are on a rusty wire out in the country.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Crankin' It Up

"After Every Party" was recorded on March5, 1923 by The Columbians. It's a waltz, so it is a change of pace from the Fox-Trots that we usually post for our Friday selection. We picked this record up at a little antique shop along I-64 just two weeks ago as we returned from Boonville.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Acquire And Fire!

Mom went to the range yesterday to get in some trigger time while the weather is still good. She scanned this target for me to admire. At 25 feet she would cock her pistol, bring it onto the target, and fire. She alternated every few shots between her .22 Single-Six and the .45 Blackhawk. Both of us are pleased with her consistency when she switches to her big gun. Her .22 practice regimen is keeping her from developing a flinch, and she can point and shoot pretty darn well, if I do say so myself.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

As Basic As A Tractor Can Be

This single cylinder 1909 International tractor was obviously meant to do belt work, such as running a threshing machine. It was probably designed to attract buyers away from the steam traction engine market with its simple design. Traction work would have been a stretch for this machine, with one power stroke for every two revolutions of the flywheels. A single cylinder steam engine has two power strokes with each revolution, the same as four cylinder gas engine. An engine such as this one cannot recover its speed quickly when heavy loads are thrust on it, since the power stroke not only has to catch up with the load, but also has to rev up the heavy flywheels again, which are meant to keep the speed somewhat even with the single cylinder design. I think that this engine would have had a real struggle pulling a sawmill, but would have been OK with threshing and corn shelling. I am glad that some of these early oddities have survived, and you have to wonder how the original owners felt about machines like this one after a season or two working them on the farm.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Something For Everyone

Engine shows always have a nice variety of old vehicles, many of them driven regularly, some that the owners don't want you to touch, and others that are obviously recreational. I like ones like this first T that are driven and shown, and look like farm and family cars of eighty years ago.

This one is a bit rougher, but it does appear to have new upholstery, and you only need a brick or a sandrock to polish it. It's most at home hauling chickens or goats to market.

This A Model is pretty special with its side-mount spares. I am surprised that it was left unguarded. My dad spoke often of a 1931 Buick he had before he was drafted in 1945. It was in good shape, and was a fancy model with side-mount spares like this A. He couldn't get tires for it because of rationing, and he lost track of it when he went into the army. Oh Well, or words to that effect. I think that is why he liked to look at old cars. He never did see one like it again.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Not My Victrola

"Wasn't It Nice" is a lighthearted song by Aileen Stanley recorded in 1930. Pax41 posted this number, which is getting rave reviews for the accordion accompaniement in the YouTube comments.

Here Comes Monday!

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Weekend Steam

The Kitten engine was sounding good on the threshing machine at Boonville last week. Mrs. TBS's mother watched this and commented on the accuracy/skill of the bundle pitchers. The bundles should land on the feeder so the grain heads are pointed into the thresher. I have never pitched bundles, but I do know that a hungry thresher will work you to death as you try to unload the wagon and keep a fairly level surface to stand on.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Crankin' It Up

Start the weekend with a snappy Fox-Trot! "Out Of The East" is the flip side of the record we posted last Friday, and it is a peppy one. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

THIS Is A Gas Engine!

I have said for years that the gas engines you collect should be big enough that you are never tempted to pick them up to move them. Gary Bahre of Sparta, Illinois must agree, but I do believe he could throw out his back if he isn't careful when he rolls it over to start it. Gary shows this behemoth at the American Thresherman Show at Pinckneyville, Illinois. The Bessemer used to work in an oil field power house.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Almost Forgot!

This is Forest Products Week! Your celebration of this hallowed week can be a deeply personal decision. You can take your favorite board to work, go hiking with a hickory hoe handle, or even celebrate with fireworks. Whatever you do, have a blast!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hand Made...In America!

Kester's Old Time Collectables now has a website! Until recently you had to find the phone number by various means of divination in order to obtain a catalog, or to order, but now you can browse online for authentic American made farm toys. You still have to call, or send a letter to order. I recommend using the phone, because George is very pleasant to talk to, and you will learn all manner of fascinating facts about steam engines, machine work, and of course, these beautiful models.

Kids of all ages love these toys. Click the link to go to KestersOldTimeCollectables, or go the link on the left side with the Case Roller Russell portable engine.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Rain Delay

The rain last week brought the fall harvest to a screeching halt in Southern Illinois. This combine was parked on the high ground in a Wayne County field. Waterways and ditches were full, and the Little Wabash and its tributaries are up into crops that were ready to pick. The big Wabash was bank-full when we crossed at Grayville on Saturday.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Not My Victrola

Pax41 has posted a very nice Edison recording of "Painting the Clouds With Sunshine", from "Gold Diggers of Broadway". Edison records give you an extra minute, and it is always fun to listen to songs you know from regular discs, to see what the artists do with the extra time.

A Quick Boonville Review

The rains we had on Thursday and Friday thoroughly soaked the grounds at Thresherman Park north of Boonville, and the tractor pull had to be cancelled. Many of the regular gas engine exhibitors stayed away too, because of the mud, but the show still measured up pretty well, with good attendance, and plenty of activities.

Here is Mrs. TBS checking out one of the several mumbooths in the flea market area. The sky cleared off Saturday morning and it was a very pleasant day for fleaing.

The log cabin is always interesting to visit. The little biscuit maker was busy rolling out dough for her grandmother, who was baking with a wood fired cook-stove.

We found plenty to yak about in future posts, so check in once in a while.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Weekend Steam; Where We Will Be

An engineer waters his Kitten at the Boonville Antique Steam and Gas Engine Show. Saturday is going to be cool and sunny; perfect for strolling, looking, and reminiscing.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Crankin' It Up

It rained all day Thursday; it's still raining Thursday night ( I had to record this between thunderstorms.), and rain is forecast for Friday. "Rainy Day Blues" was recorded by Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra on April 23, 1919.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ooh...That Tingles!

Wayne-White Electric Co-op linemen demonstrate what happens to someone who climbs out of a vehicle with a high-tension line draped over it. This co-op in Southern Illinois performs live line demos for the public, and especially school children in order to educate the public, and to prevent accidents. This week they performed their magic for fourth graders from the schools in White County.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Boonville, Indiana Steam and Gas Engine Show! October 9,10,11, 2009

Don't miss out! One of the nicest little steam and gas shows is next weekend, at Boonville, Indiana.

This show is scheduled for October 14, 15, and 16 in 2011. It is always scheduled for the second full weekend (including Fridays) in October. If you show up on Columbus Day weekend in 2011, you will be disappointed.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mr. Completely's September e-Postal Results!

I think all of the targets have been sent in; if I have missed you, or you had trouble scanning and e-mailing your results, please let me know and I will add you to the tally. We had a nice turnout, with a few new entrants, and a very nice variety of .22s shooting the targets.

Class I Pistol: Rimfire, Iron Sights

Tucson Cliff, Ruger Mk II; 69
Merle, Ruger Single Six; 53
Billll, Ruger Mk I; 43
True Blue Sam, Ruger Single Six; 41
Jamesll, Ruger Mk II; 27

Class II Pistol: Rimfire, Optical Sights

Mr. Completely, High Standard, Leupold; 188
Mr. Completely, High Standard, Red Dot; 147
Merle Ruger Mk II, Tasco; 64

Class I Rifle: Rimfire, Iron Sights

True Blue Sam, Marlin 39; 54
Danno Schultz & Larson; 21

Class II Rifle: Rimfire, Optical Sights

True Blue Sam, Winchester 74, Bushnell 2.5; 88
Danno ,Ruger 10-22; 56
Billll ,Remington Nylon 66; 45
Jamesll, Mossberg; 32
Tucson Cliff, Ruger 77/22; 25
Froggy, Browning BL22; 12

The Winchester 74 mostly does 'Possum Duty' around the farm. It belonged to my mother's dad, who is standing next to the Model T in the banner at the top of the page. He used to talk about the unbelievable shots he made on ground squirrels in newly planted corn fields. He used iron sights; I cheated and added a scope for the difficult shots. It still has a good barrel.

Thanks to all who participated! The target turned out to be a little more difficult than I thought it would be, but it was a lot of fun to shoot. Check Mr. Completely's blog for the next contest, which is hosted by U.S. Citizen at Traction Control; or click on the October link under "Get Out And Shoot" in the left sidebar.

Monday, October 5, 2009

"Well...It Used To Be."

One of my neighbors stopped by to look at our barn a couple years ago while I was doing some patch work on it. He was an older farmer, and was retired. He looked our barn over pretty well, and remarked that there weren't very many barns like it anymore, then he announced that his barn was a much better barn than ours. He paused a few seconds and then said, "Well, it used to be." I had been watching the weather, gravity, and termites crumble his barn for many years, and of course, he was remembering how it was when he farmed as a young man. He died recently, and Mrs. TBS went to his estate sale to take pictures. She took this shot of his old barn for me to remember him by. We put in several hours on our barn again this past weekend, and we have concluded that lifting an old barn away from the termites is about like fighting off a zombie attack. We are going to win, though.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Not My Victrola

This week's Monday Mood Lifter is another selection by Zez Confrey's Orchestra: "Morning Will Come." EdmundusRex posted this 1923 recording on YouTube. This song was one featured by Al Jolson in the 1921 production, "Bombo."

Here Comes Monday!

Back To The Old Grind!

Southern Illinois Still Life

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Weekend Steam: Make Plans For Next Weekend

The fall show at The Antique Steam and Gas Engine Club, Boonville, Indiana is coming up October 9, 10, and 11. Steam engines, gas engines, old tractors, good food, flea market, plus a great bunch of friendly people will be there for your enjoyment. Take the family, and don't forget the camera.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Crankin' It Up

"I'd Like To See A Little More Of You" is a genuine oldie, recorded in 1907 by Ada Jones and Billy Murray. It is on the Oxford label, which pressed records from 1906 to 1916. It is in pretty good shape, and like many records in our collection, this was the first time I had listened to it.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

One Is Not Enough!

There is good news over on The Firearm Blog for folks who want to enjoy lots of inexpensive practice with a pistol that is just like their self defense packing piece. Smith and Wesson is now shipping their new PK380 (below), which is almost identical in size and operation to their popular P22 (above).
Click On Photo For Link To Firearm Blog Post.
Both of these models are moderately priced, and the only difference I can see in the operation besides the caliber is that the .380 does not have the magazine safety that is part of the .22 pistol. There have been complaints on the internet about the P22 having problems with the slide breaking because it is made of a zinc alloy. Most P22 owners love the little gun and have no problem; Smith and Wesson has been very responsive in making things right with customers who have had problems. The PK380 has a steel slide, so dependability should be a non-issue with the new model.
My limited experience with a P22 showed that the little gun is very dependable, but it does not like cheap, unplated .22 ammo. I never had a bobble as long as it was stoked with Mini-Mags or Velocitors. Takedown for cleaning is easy if you read the directions, and so is the re-assembly. Call your favortite gun shop and load up. You will be well practiced, and well armed!

First Outing

This 1926 Ford roadster was on its first time out since its restoration was completed. It was in the lineup for the noon parade on the first day of Old Threshers, and after I took these shots I spoke to the owner. He was very proud and pleased with his flivver, and just a little nervous with all the other cars and people around him. I couldn't see a fingerprint on it anywhere, and it even smelled like a new car.