Saturday, July 31, 2010

July e-Postal Deadline Coming Up!

Sailor Curt wants your July e-Postal targets submitted by midnight, so if you have shot this month's contest, scan your targets and send them in. This was a good contest that allowed almost any skill level to have a score worth submitting. Thank you, Sailor Curt! Curtis Lowe will be hosting the August contest, so be looking for that on his blog. The True Blue Sam blog will be hosting the September contest, so stay tuned.

Weekend Steam

YouTube lets us see lots of things that we would miss otherwise. I have never had the opportunity to watch a steam shovel in action, so these videos are a treat. You can see the fireman stoking the boiler in the first one; the second one gives you a look at the winching engine as it runs.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

You Can't Miss!

The Gun Blogger Rendezvous at Reno is just forty days away, and you need to send in your registration. Mr. Completely is working hard to make the Rendezvous bigger and better every year, and in addition to the great swag from shooting related industries which will be given to attendees, Mr. C now has a Glock, and a Hi-Point carbine which will be raffled off to benefit our wounded warriors through Project Valour IT. You must attend in order to win! This year there will be three range days again where you will have the opportunity to shoot a variety of firearms out to 1000 yards, learn how to shoot the Steel Challenge, and maybe even become a fast drawing gunslinger under the tutelage of Quick Cal.

Click on the Rendezvous link to register and to find the info on discounted rooms at the Silver Legacy for those attending GBR. It's a good cause, and you will have the time of your life!

Ride 'em Cowboy!

I think the father enjoyed the ride more than the kid. Keep taking the boy to places like this, and next thing you know, you have an engineer.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

You Ain't Nothin' But A Hornworm!

Hummingbird Moths have lots of fans, and by looking around on the internet we have learned that lots of folks promote these pretty nectar sipping insects.

It is a bit of a thrill to see one of these moths visiting your flowers, but the awful truth is...

the larval stage of this insect devours your tomato plants! As tender-hearted as True Blue Sam is, these critters can't be allowed to carry out their dastardly work. "You're eatin' my tomaters and you ain't no friend of mine!"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Eight Horse (Some are mules.) Hitch At Boonville, IN

Boonville may have been short on steam engines last week, but the other exhibitors still managed to have a good time. Eight draft animals may be a bit much for a two bottom plow, but it was fun to watch. The little filly you hear and see toward the end was going from person to person looking for moral support while her mama was hitched up. She made a lot of friends, and was a real highlight of the show.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Weekend's Over And You Know What's Coming

Back To The Old Grind!

Not My Victrola

Pax41 posted this sweet little number by the little known singer, Grace Johnston.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Disappointed Isn't Strong Enough...

We have been going over to Boonville, Indiana for the steam and gas engine shows at Thresherman Park since EJ was a baby, and he is twenty eight years old now. I think this is the forty-seventh year for the club at Boonville. The unwelcome surprise today was ONE steam engine, and a gasoline tractor powering the sawmill. I asked around, and evidently there is some sort of brou-ha-ha between most of the steam exhibitors and the board of directors. I hope they work out their differences soon; the fall show is coming up in October. I visited with some of the gas engine exhibitors, and shot some video of engines running, then headed home.

Weekend Steam: The Sawmill At Thresherman Park

The summer show at Boonville, Indiana is going on this weekend. One of the attractions you will enjoy there is this sawmill, which is located in a shady grove with several benches nearby to enhance your viewing pleasure.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Machinery Evolution

GSC, out in California sent this photo to us a couple years ago. It is a stationary baler his grandfather rigged up to bale on the move. At the time I wished I could see the other side to figure out how the machine worked. I got lucky while flipping through some old Engineer and Engines magazines recently, and the mystery is now solved.

Here are the components used to invent the modern baler, so many years ago. 1: Stationary Hay Baler;

2: Hay loader and hay rack

Hitch them together, add a power source and a flunky to feed the baler, and you are in business! This photo was in the September-October 1967 issue of Engineers and Engines Magazine.
It's just a short step forward for an engineer to dream up a ready made baler after seeing the combinations being built on farms.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Free Air Shows

Farm Air out of Fairfield, Illinois covers a big area, and I often see their plane doing its work while I am out and about. This summer they have been busy spraying for Japanese beetles, which love to eat corn silks, and soybean leaves. Pilot Mark was killing beetles for a neighbor recently, and I ran out with my pocket camera to get some video. Not too many years ago they were flying Pratt and Whitney powered Ag Cats. The big radial engines sound a lot nicer to an engine nut like me, but this turbo-prop powered beauty does the job quicker and more safely.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Feeling Flat After The Weekend?

Put on your spare and get Back To The Old Grind!

Certainly NOT A Victrola!

More Helpful Advice From Ruger

This video series from Ruger has plenty of good tips for new and experienced shooters alike. A little trick that EJ passed on to me is to over-reach the support hand when placing it around your shooting hand. Press your hands together, then pull the support hand around, into position. It helps you to snug up your grip that extra little bit that is so important.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Crankin' It Up

Believe it or not, Beale Street Blues was on the B side of Victor record number 18369. The Side A designation went to Old Grey Mare, which we will post next time. I like Old Grey Mare, too, but I think Side B has better name recognition ninety-some years later. Both sides were recorded on August 13, 1917.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bohon: A Rare Breed

Harrodsburg, Kentucky was home to the Bohon engine line, and later the D.T. Bohon engines. Both of these brands are exceedingly rare today, and I have seen only a few. This D.T. Bohon belongs to Gary Bahre, of Sparta, IL, whom you have seen on this blog firing up a humongous Bessemer engine. The background noise is a Lister Diesel engine that Gary had on the same trailer, and since you can barely hear the Bohon over it, I threw in a clip of the Lister at the end of this video.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Thirty-Five is a pretty big anniversary, so we pulled out all the stops and went clear to Bluford, Illinois for supper at Cactus Jack's Burrito Shack. The rumor in our neighborhood is that they put Too Much Meat in the burritos, so this was also important research to find out if that is possible.

Outside of Cactus Jack's establishment is a very interesting iron sculpture garden.

Inside, you would hardly know you were in Illinois!

They even have a banquet room! Holy Cow! I think this room would seat at least thirty cowboys.
We confirmed that their burritos actually may have too much meat, but we still put away our complimentary anniversary dessert. We rate Cactus Jack's Five Stars, as a rural, rustic theme restaurant. Cactus Jack's Burrito Shack is located on IL Highway 15, between Bluford and Mt. Vernon. They are open Tuesday-Friday, 4PM to 8PM, and Saturdays, 11AM to 8PM.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pay No Attention To Those Silly Anniversary Gift Lists

I have it on good authority that 35 years is Ratchet Loppers.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Don't Miss Out; The Rendezvous Is Coming Soon!

Gun Blogger Rendezvous V is just 58 days away! GBR is an annual fund-raiser for Project Valour IT, which provides voice activated laptop computers to seriously wounded soldiers. It is a very worthwhile cause, and a great getaway for anyone who is interested in shooting. Above, we see KeeWee teaching a newbie all about shooting steel plates. (Photos by Derek, The Packing Rat)
US Citizen instructs Phil (From the UK) in the operation of a 12 gauge coach gun. Look through The Packing Rat's photos and you will see that Phil had a great time, also shooting pistols and rifles.
Meet Derek, who should be named the official photographer for GBR (Day Three GBR IV linked). He not only takes great photos, he is the man to beat at fast draw.

Click over to Mr. Completely's Gun Blogger Basics Post to read some important details about GBR, Mr. C's latest post about GBR events, then go to the GBR Website to sign up.

Ruger Tactical Tips: Flashlights, and Clearing Your Home

Ruger Firearms has posted a new video showing you how to clear your home if you are ever faced with this situation. I have prefaced it with another good one they posted on effective flashlight techniques. After you have watched these videos, click over to CarteachO's current post on flashlight techniques. He has some good thoughts that may help you.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Not My Victrola

"Waitin' For The Evenin' Mail," by Marion Harris was recorded in May of 1923, and this YouTube posting is by Pax41. Al Jolson also recorded this song in 1923, and his version is the one I am familiar with, because we have it on a vinyl re-issue from 1981. I wish I had an original so I could share it with you, because he interprets the song a bit differently than Miss Harris. It's an amusing song no matter who sings it, so listen a few times to get it stuck in your head, and you will find yourself singing this one when you think that no-one is listening . "Honey, please don't fail me, Hurry up and mail me bail, That's just a year ago..." That's entertainment!

Monday Morning Blues?

Crank out an extra cup of courage and get Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Weekend Steam: Another German Treat

Bidone1967 just posted this 2-10-0 a few hours ago, and it starts out on a turntable!
There are plenty of good shots of the machinery, and a bit of good stack talk.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pattin Brothers Oilfield Engine

This odd rig was once common in the oilfields of the eastern US, and there may still be a few in operation out there somewhere. This engine would have been set in a powerhouse on a knob or point, with rod-lines radiating out to oilwells, where a bellcrank would change the horizontal reciprocation to vertical,operating the rods and pump in the oilwell tubing. This is a small engine; I think it is just eight horsepower, and was meant to operate up to six wells of 1000 feet.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

July Fourth Weekend Fun

We didn't work all the time over the holiday weekend. Mrs. TBS discovered that we had a great crop of blackberries ripening out back, so we Deeted up, and started picking.

We both neglected to put on long sleeves; there were several ouch exclamations.

These were in a pie within the hour. We do like pie.

We had the Mrs.' parents over for dinner, and she served as grill master. We wimped out and ate this great feast indoors, in air conditioned comfort.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Shooting With Bea

There is nothing unusual going on at this loading bench, except this 78 year old grandmother has been a handgunner for just over a year, and now she is loading her own .45 ammo! Her journey as a shooter has been rather remarkable, but she has always had lots of pioneer moxie, and she is still an active person who wants to be able to defend herself and her home.

Bea's husband Dwain passed away in 2005, and he owned several guns. One was his 'house gun,' a Smith and Wesson Model 36 snubbie. Bea realized that the little .38 would be difficult for her to master, so she had one of her sons help her pick out a new pistol for her to build her shooting skills. Her first purchase was a Walther P-22, and on her 77th birthday she went to the local range for the first time. The little Walther was easy for her to handle and to shoot; the only problem she had was stripping and reassembling after her range trips. As long as it was fed plated .22's, this gun never failed to function. Bea was now a handgunner, and a pretty good shot, too. Check out the target with thirty offhand shots at thirty feet with her little auto.


Bea next learned to handle revolvers by starting with her son's Ruger Single-Six, and she found that she could shoot it more accurately than she could with the little Walther. She got lucky and found a used Single-Six in excellent condition at her local Scheel's store, and soon she was shooting the revolver more than the auto. Her son then introduced her to centerfire with a Ruger Blackhawk, and she found that shooting .38's was easy for her. She looked at the options with Ruger Blackhawks, and when the Scheel's store got a .45 convertible, she bought it. The big slow bullets are easy for her to handle, even though she weighs less than 110.

Her son has been reloading for many years, and he set her up to reload for her .45. A surprise benefit of the convertible Blackhawk is the free once fired brass other shooters leave behind at the range. Every range trip begins with policing for new brass before setting up to shoot.

Bea has several range friends in her hometown, and she is spreading the joy of shooting by teaching the basics of gun safety and pistols with new shooters. One of her new found friends is a nine year old boy who is regularly beating his dad at hitting the bullseye with her Single-Six.

First time out with the .45.

Shooting Steel At GBR.

KeeWee, Molly, and Bea at GBR.

 Bea would like for more women to realize that they do not have to be defenseless, and that even a small framed womam can shoot a gun that is powerful enough to stop an attacker. Thank you for setting such a great example for all of us, Bea.

Mr. Completely's July e-Postal Contest Is On!

Sailor Curt, over at Captain Of A Crew Of One is hosting this month's match, and it will be a very enjoyable exercise for all shooters, and very valuable practice. Briefly, you will be shooting at two targets, two shots per set, at 21 feet, until you have fired a total of twenty shots. Click over to Sailor Curt for all the rules and a detailed explanation.

In other e-Postal news, Random Nuclear Strikes has posted the results for the June match. Take a good look at the scores. If Mr. Completely tries to lure you into a game of pool, my advice is to run!

Faster Than The Speed Of Light

Watching a show about astronomy/physics several years ago, I heard a little tidbit about gravity that stuck in my head. Gravity is not limited to the speed of light; it acts instantaneously across the vastness of space. Scientists figured out that if gravity "traveled" there would be slippage in orbits, allowing them to fall apart. I liken it to a chain drive rather than a flat belt, which always has some "creep" around the wheels. What brought this all to mind was a recent local news story about a poor fellow whose "jack malfunctioned, dropping the car on him." He survived, and I figure he has learned his lesson. The truth about jacks is that they are only meant to lift your car, not hold it. If the car comes back down on the jack's schedule instead of yours, it is your fault. Buy a set of jack stands for your car if you plan to work on it, and don't get under the car until you have them set firmly in place. If you need to lift both ends of the car off the ground, additional blocking should be set under the wheels to insure that the car is well stabilized. Gravity: It never malfunctions, so be safe out there!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Home Defense Advice From Ruger Firearms

Ruger is producing a great series of videos for our education and enjoyment. This segment was posted a few weeks ago, and I will be watching for the next one for the True Blue visitors.

Monday Off?

Maybe you don't have to go in to work today. If you are one of the lucky ones, enjoy an extra cup of coffee before you start on your chores around home.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Not My Victrola: Independence Day Special

etude91 posted this Horowitz 78, vintage 1950.

Independence Day Mood Setter

I have been looking around on YouTube for someone playing "Jefferson and Liberty" without success. This video ends with "Yankee Doodle," so it will do for today. If I find "Jefferson and Liberty" I will add it to this post. Be safe today!

UPDATE! Still no "Jefferson and Liberty," but the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps performs a very nice medley of "The Minstrel Boy" and "Soldier's Joy" in the video below.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Weekend Steam

July 9, 10, and 11 there is a good show in northwestern Indiana, just one mile south of the town of Crown Point. The South Lake County Agricultural Historical Society is hosting their 26th annual show, where you can see a nice variety of gas engines, tractors, and steam engines, plus the associated machinery that was used on the farm.

George Kester, of Kester's Collectables tells me that he will be there with his 65 HP Case steam traction engine, and also his portable Case engine, vintage 1908. George will be bringing several of his cast farm toys with him, so this is a great opportunity for you to see his products if you have been putting off buying some of these wonderful hand made American toys.

This Rumely Oil Pull photo is borrowed off of the South Lake County Agricultural Historical Socitey website, and if you have an inquiring mind you have to wonder how high the cover blew when this old tractor started.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Crankin' It Up

Uncle Josh is winding up his visit to New York City, and invites his new friends to come out to the country for a visit. Cal Stewart recorded this gem (?) in September of 1903, and you will probably notice that although this record is more than a century old, it has very little wear. Maybe folks have been afraid of hyperventilating if they listened to it.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

How Did You Do?

The June e-postal requires a fine eye and an extra steady hand. I shot a few targets and could only make a couple shots before I blew it, then finally made three good shots before I hit the wrong ball. You can probably do better! Random Nuclear Strikes will accept your June target through Saturday, so run out to the range tonight if you haven't shot the contest already. Remember, Cheaper Than Dirt will award a $50 gift certificate to some lucky shooter, regardless of shooting ability.

Like Fighting Zombies?

These trees are a sample from Timber Stand Improvement (TSI) project that I inspected recently. Most trees aren't terribly hard to kill; you just have to interrupt the cambium layer and a good bit of the sapwood. A single girdle with a chainsaw, treated with a suitable herbicide will kill most trees easily. You can also use two parallel girdles, spaced at least two inches apart to kill trees that you do not want treated with herbicide. The double girdle method is usually used to prevent the movement of herbicide through root grafts to trees of the same species which are near the tree you are killing.

There isn't any real trick to doing this right, and I was rather taken aback by the poor job that the landowner did in his woods. He did about twenty acres of TSI, but he did not cut deeply enough, and his application of herbicide was insufficient or maybe totally lacking. Click the photos and take a good look. You can easily see that the trees have quickly bridged the single girdle, and the crowns are showing no distress. I fired off a very polite letter to the landowner explaining (again) how to kill trees so they don't come back. I hope he doesn't get discouraged.