Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Eight Days 'til GBR!

There are many good reasons to attend the Rendezvous next week in Reno; here are a few:
Meet SFC Toby Nunn, who will be representing Project Valour IT;
Win a Leupold Scope!;
Or maybe a Glock;
A Venturi Air Rifle;
A High Point 9 mm Carbine;
Tour Cabela's, Reno;

Plus lots of good times at the range and visiting with bloggers, shooters, and industry reps. Sign up now if you haven't done so already! Click here for the GBR site, and let Mr. Completely know you will be there!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Loading and Unloading Your Semi-Auto Pistol; Courtesy of Ruger Firearms

There are many good points in this video; watch it a few times to let all the lessons sink in, especially if you are a new shooter. Lori Petoske, whom you see at the beginning of this video will be Ruger's representative at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous next week, just one of many good reasons for you to go to this grand event in Reno.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

Here's Something You Don't See Too Often In Illinois...

Tailhooks. You should have heard these babies come over my office as they came in to land at the Fairfield airport. We're talking Wright Cyclones here, over 1400 HP.

This was the first time I had seen a T-28, and two of them, no less.

The pilots stopped off to refuel as they flew to Offut AFB in Nebraska for an airshow.

They said they are the same vintage as the airplanes; 1955, or thereabouts. (click) (click)

Go here to read about the outfit they belong to.
You can see them at Offut this weekend, so if you live nearby, hit the road to see some beautiful machinery.

Crankin' It Up

Here is a fiddle record from 1924. The Girl I Left Behind Me was an old song then, but you still hear it played today in the right types of gatherings. This is played by Patrick Gaffney as you would have heard it played at a dance, that is basically, the same thing played over and over again for the dancers. Fiddlers today commonly put together a medley of fiddle tunes for audiences who seek listening pleasure, not a square dance.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

September e-Postal Match

You're sipping your coffee early one morning, and as you look out the back door, you see your favorite rooster about to do battle with a pack of coyotes that has invaded your farmyard. He's a tough rooster, but he's no match for a coyote, so you grab the nearest shooting iron and let one fly to stop the attack, and follow up with a kill shot. To shoot this match, CLICK HERE to download the target. Shoot once offhand (one or both hands), then once with a support, at each coyote. Use any type of improvised rest which simulates resting against a doorframe or window ledge. This can be a monopod, bipod, shooting bench, side brace, etc. A touch will count for three points, and a solid hit (Half or more inside the line) counts as five points. Hits on the chicken house count as one negative point. If you goof and hit your rooster, well, take the family out for a chicken dinner. At least the coyotes didn't eat him.
Shoot this contest at 25 feet with a pistol, 50 feet with a rifle, and 15 feet with a smooth bore BB gun. If you must shoot at different distances at your shooting range, provide the distance with your target scan, and I will adjust your score proportionately. (Shoot with a rifle at 300 feet, and your score will be increased 6 times.)
Class I: Rimfire with iron sights
Class II: Rimfire with optics
Class III: Centerfire with iron sights
Class IV:Centerfire with optics
Class V: Rimfire with iron sights
Class VI: Rimfire with optics
Class VII: Centerfire with iron sights
Class VIII: Centerfire with optics
BB, Airsoft, and etc:
Class IX: Iron sights
Class X: Optics
More: You shoot it, and I will score it!
Scan or photograph your targets and e-mail them to: Truebluetravelinman (at) gmail (dot) com
If you have difficulty with Google Documents, e-mail me, and I will send the pdf directly to you.
Please send your entries in by midnight, September 30, 2010.
You have one more weekend to shoot the August contest, so if you have not entered yet, take both targets to the range this weekend. Make it an outing for family and friends, and have a good time shooting.
Every entry in Mr. Completely's e-Postal contest is eligible to win a $50 gift certificate from Cheaper Than Dirt, so take several guns with you to the range and enter multiple times to improve your odds!

UPDATE:  We have had a request for an extended September contest, so you can shoot this contest through the first weekend of October, and submit your target on Monday or Tuesday.  I will be compiling the results as they come in.  Save The Rooster!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


The countdown is getting short to Gun Blogger Rendezvous V. Click over to the GBR site to read all about it, register with Mr. Completely, and book your room at the Silver Legacy. Lots of activities are planned that you do not want to miss, so get off the fence and sign up!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Early 4 Wheel Drive

This Massey Harris General Purpose tractor is a good example of the progress during the early years of the changeover from horse farming. Four wheel drive didn't catch on for many years after early examples like this one, and I suspect the the steel wheels were the primary reason.

You could dig a tractor into a hole pretty fast with lugged steel wheels, and burying both ends of this iron beast would be an experience that you would never wish to repeat. Rubber tires were such a great improvement over steel in providing traction that farmers did not clamor for all-wheel drive. Dual wheels came into general use during the 1960's. Articulated all-wheel drives and front wheel assist came along after that. It is common to see six or eight wheels pulling now in row crop country.

I suspect that the more complicated machinery of four wheel drives like this one scared away many potential customers who were just learning how to operate gasoline powered farm equipment. There are universal joints or a CV joints hidden in the front axles, and a farmer who grew up with horses and steam engines would be intimidated by the thought of working on this assembly.

I think one of these would be just great for dragging logs out of the woods. Loggers used to use two wheel drive tractors before skidders became common, and this four wheel drive looks like it would be much better than a conventional tractor.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mack And Masseys

I made a flying trip over to Pinckneyville, and spent a couple hours taking pictures and video. The featured tractor this year was Massey-Harris, and there was a bunch of Massey machinery. This vintage Mack does a pretty good job of upstaging its load. Lots of hobbyists get into tractor collecting because it is (mostly) not a "Rich Man's Hobby." Tractors take a few more bucks now than they used to, but the trend I see is that money has showed up, and it is being put into fancy rigs to haul the tractors. The good thing is that you can still get into tractors and gas engines at just about any level of spending.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Not My Victrola

From Pax41, a 1928 version; and below, R. Crumb and the Cheap Suit Serenaders, posted by afteryard.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Crankin' It Up

Toot Toot Tootsie! Goo' Bye
Uploaded by TrueBlueSam. - Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.

When I think of Al Jolson, I think of Toot Toot Tootsie! This is his original acoustic recording from September 11, 1922, and even though the recording is done through a megaphone, Al's energy and excitement really come through on this record. Played on our old Brunswick, just to be authentic.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"If You Can Make It For A Dime, And Sell It For A Dollar...

...there's bound to be a lot of liars in the business." ( from The Furniture Doctor, George Grotz, Doubleday, 1962) This photo from the cover of Mizzou's Alumni Association Magazine from Summer of 2009 shows a common, frustrating problem that plagues violinists and fiddlers: gunky rosin buildup under the strings, on the body of the fiddle and the fingerboard. This stuff sets up and the violin has to go into the shop to have it removed with a secret process in the backroom where no-one is allowed to watch.

EJ's violin used to have this problem, too, (Photo Credit: St. Louis Symphony) until the light came on in my head one night long ago as we used the violin polish purchased in the same shop as the violin. We realized that the little bottle of miracle polish was actually removing varnish as we used it to put a shine on the fiddle! We went into research mode to learn about violin finishes, and polishes. The most useful information at the time came from "The Furniture Doctor," and we soon passed on what we found to the other violinists in our group of string friends.
Most violins are finished with a shellac formula, which will be modified by the violin maker to include some resins to toughen it, but it is still mostly shellac, which is soluble in alcohol. This type of finish is great for violins, because it can easily be repaired, re-amalgamated, stripped, replaced, or added to. It dries fast, too, so it doesn't pick up dust and lint while the finish is curing in the shop.

The polish sold to you by violin shops is an oil product which will leave a nice shine on the violin, plus water to help pick up dirt as you rub your fiddle, plus a little soap, and enough alcohol to make the oil and water mix with the soap when you shake it up. Leave the lid off the polish while it sits in the sun, and soon, the ingredients don't stay mixed so well, because the alcohol evaporates. The alcohol insures that the violin owner has to bring the fiddle in occasionally to have the finish restored, because the more you polish, the faster your shellac finish is wiped away. The oil which gives you the nice shine makes rosin stick, and the proud violin owner must take it to the shop to have it cleaned.

This type of product looks so innocent, but it actually hurts what it is sold to protect, and it provides a steady string of return customer visits for violin shop owners. Who knew? What should you use on your stringed instruments? Paste wax. We touched up the damage ourselves, (after much research) and began using Simoniz car wax with great results. The finish could be dusted easily after playing sessions with no more annoying rosin buildup. If your wax coats build up too much after a few years, the wax can be removed with a bit of mineral spirits. Hard paste wax is difficult to find on most store shelves nowadays. The last time we needed some we found good paste wax in Sears with their wood finishing supplies. Keep the lid on tight when it is not being used, because it will turn into a brick pretty quickly if the mineral spirits are allowed to escape.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Not My Chainsaw!!!!!

A forester friend in Deep Southern Illinois took these photos about one week ago. I have included his description and thoughts below. Go down the left side to the Rules To Live By and review the long list of chainsaw safety rules. Every one of them is important. I frequently point out to saw operators that guns have only four basic safety rules, and you generally have to violate more than one of them before someone gets hurt. Chainsaws are a bit different; violate even one rule and you may pay for it with your life. Click Here for a short list of posts that will help you put trees on the ground where you want them. Sometime in the future I will be doing a post on lean, segments, and limits that will help you decide if you can handle the back lean and side lean of trees you may cut, so check back once in a while. Here is what the photographer had to say about this truck:
"I saw this as I drove through Carrier Mills, Illinois this morning. Since the view was so striking, I thought I should share to those who work with chainsaws. There were two stumps in the yard. Both stumps were in the neighborhood of 30 inches at the stump and both were within 25/30 feet of where the truck was parked. This occurred yesterday and I heard that the truck belongs to the tree cutter and not the homeowner. I do not know how/why (other than the obvious) this happened. Will try to get the story later today. Always remember that when you are cutting trees, you must have a safety zone around the area of the cut. Some tips to consider when hiring an arborist to remove trees on your property.
-Copy of insurance papers, public liability and workers accident cover.
-How they will access the jobsite?
-How they will remove the tree? Will they climb it or use a tower or perhaps a crane, etc. The condition of the tree may influence this decision as well as the site.
-How long will removal take?-What equipment do they have and are qualified to use (see crane question above)?
-How deep will the stump grind be? (Did you know there was a stump grind!?)
-Will all debris and wood be removed from the site? Is there extra cost for cleanup?
-Is the tree cutter a qualified experience professional.Perhaps the last point is the most important!
No, I do not yet know the story of the pictures. I heard that the truck belongs to the tree cutter, not the landowner! Will get the story out when I hear what happened."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fairbanks-Morse, Throttle Governed, Open Crankcase

One of the engines shown at Boonville in July. This Fairbanks is a forerunner of the later engines used in oilfields all over the U. S. The oilfield engines had a closed crankcase, and tapered roller bearings for the mains, plus a condensing radiator on top. This one sounds about the same as the oilfield engines due to the throttle governing.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Trigger Control, Courtesy Of Ruger Firearms

Ruger Firearms is turning out a great series of videos for both beginning and experienced shooters, and this is their newest one, which gives you some good instruction for using your trigger finger properly. The lady in the red shirt is Lori Petoske of Ruger Firearms, and she will be Ruger's representative at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous. It is exciting and gratifying to see corporate sponsors sign on with Mr. Completely to make GBR a success, and you should sign up, too, if you haven't already. The Rendezvous not only serves a noble cause by helping seriously wounded servicemen, it is just about the most fun you will ever have on a vacation. Click over to Mr. C's GBR site to read all about this year's Rendezvous, and to download the registration form. It's just 23 days away, so don't delay!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

August 14, 1945, Honolulu

VJ Day, Honolulu Hawaii, August 14, 1945 from Richard Sullivan on Vimeo.

From Theodore's World; click over to read about this video.

Weekend Steam

EJ, Mrs. True Blue Sam and I rode the Virginia and Truckee back in '98 during a visit to Nevada. We also had a great time exploring the touristy attractions in Virginia City, including a trip down into a mine. This video was shot in 2009 by kristlld. It's good to see that the machinery is being well maintained, and that Virginia City is still as rustic as ever.

You can see this railroad first hand by attending the Fifth Annual Gun Blogger Renezvous! Mr. Completely will be taking the GBR attendees to Virginia City on September 12 for a fast draw competition. GBR is just 25 days away...click over and register!

Click Here to see The Packing Rat's photos from Day 4 of the 2009 GBR.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Crankin' It Up

We're too busy to do a new record this week, so I pulled one that I posted on YouTube two years ago, and never used on The Blog. George H O'Connor performed for Presidents Taft through Truman, and "I Ain't Got Nobody" was one of his best. It's a fun song that has been done by many since, and you can tell from the wear on this disc that it was well liked.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Another Chainsaw Carburetor Lesson

BLSnelling posted an excellent video and explanation on Arboristsite which demonstrates what you should listen for when setting the high speed mixture on your chainsaw. Here is Mr. Snelling's article:

"There's more to tuning a chainsaw than just adjusting the high end, but this is a start. It also gives an excellent example of what 4-stroking sounds like.

In the first cut, the saw continues to 4-stroke, even towards the bottom of the cut. That's a little too rich. It should run clean all the way through the cut once under load.

After that first cut, I tune the H screw. I turn the H screw in clockwise until the engine peaks out and is totally 2-stroking. No 4-stroke at all. I then quickly richen the mixture back up by turning the H needle counter-clockwise. Immediately you hear the engine begin 4-stroking again.

The next cut you can hear the engine immediately clean out once underload, and stay that way for the entire cut. After that cut I rev the saw and you can hear that it is still 4-stroking at WOT. It's important to check for that after a cut, since that's when your saw will be its hottest and leanest."

Those are very clear and concise instructions. Thank You, BL!

Remember This Mogul?

I wrote about this Mogul 10 HP engine last November, and how it now has a new home.
Jim Phillips, over in Missouri went to eastern Kentucky and brought back the parts to this 4000 pound engine, and went right to work restoring it. He sent some pictures to me in the mail to show how this behemoth looks now.

Sweet! Jim usually attends the Pinckneyville show (weekend of August 21), and I am hoping he brings this engine with him. Two tons is a lot of iron to drag down the highway, so I won't be holding my breath, but if he brings it, I will shoot some video to share with all of you.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ruger Is Going To The Rendezvous!

Mr. Completely has broken the news, and it's big! Ruger Firearms is sending a representative to Reno, all the way from Enfield, Connecticut. Lori Petoske, Ruger's Marketing Communications Manager will be at the fifth annual Gun Blogger Rendezvous. This is a fantastic opportunity for all firearms entusiasts, whether you blog or not, to find out the latest news from a major firearm manufacturer, and maybe send a wish list to the corporate offices of guns you wish Ruger would build.

Travelling with firearms by air or land may inhibit some from attending the Rendezvous, but it is actually quite easy to take firearms along on a trip. When you check firearms with an airline, you get shunted to the short line to have your luggage checked, and you get to really lock your gun cases so they are secure, instead of using those TSA locks. Ruger pistol boxes can be converted easily into suitable, locking cases for airline travel. Drill two holes, and use two long shackled padlocks to satisfy the TSA inspectors. A short stack of washers will take up the slack between the case and the padlock. The washers can be epoxied together so they don't scatter when you open the case for the TSA inspector.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Much Better Now

Regular readers may remember Toopee, the little twelve year old terrier we took in last winter after his owner passed away. Toopee had his problems. When we picked him up he had fleas, mange, hookworms, and worst of all, heartworms. The heartworms were the vexing problem; killing them without killing the dog is not a sure thing. Do you treat them, and maybe kill the dog with the treatment, or leave them alone, knowing that the worms will kill him? We had him treated, (A long process) and now Toopee has a clean bill of health. Not too bad for a dog that is 85 in people years.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Revolver Reloads; Courtesy of Ruger Firearms

Most of my shooting is still with single action revolvers, so this seems mighty modern to True Blue Sam. No matter what you shoot, do what he says, and practice, and get good at what you do.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Monday Morning Coming Down!

$180 !?!?!? Dream On! Now Get Back To the Old Grind!

Not My Victrola

Friday's post put me in the mood for another song from the "Comedian Harmonists." SBD650 posted this record, one of my long time favorites. "Tea For Two" is from the 1925 show, "No, No, Nanette."

Farm Air's Still Goin' At It

Mark from Farm Air in Fairfield sprayed another field just down the road from us last week, and I hustled down there to get a few shots. It is hard to follow a low flying airplane with a camera on a stick, but I got a little bit of video worth sharing.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

More Steam!

Andy was running the sawmill again this year with his Huber at the Southern Indiana Antique Machinery Show. Wayne brought his Keck-Gonnerman, and you will see it running at the end of this video. The thing that stands out to me while watching the sawmill activities is that some people show up to work in sneakers and shorts. I don't feel dressed for any kind of work unless I have a sturdy pair of boots on my feet. There was a kid of about ten years old stationed along the green chain to shove lumber toward the edger, and I did not include that in the video. Kids don't have any business working around a sawmill, and I don't want to encourage that.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Weekend Steam: Show Time!

The Pioneer Engineers' Club of Rushville, Indiana is hosting their big annual show this weekend Click over to their website to read all the details, and to look at the photo archive, which shows many of the activities you will enjoy at this event. Rushville is 40 miles southeast of Indianapolis and 65 miles northwest of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Crankin' It Up/Not My Victrola Twofer

"Whispering" is the song that launched Paul Whiteman as the "King of Jazz" shortly after he arrived in New York to record for Victor. His version of "Whispering" is a great dance record, and Paul's career was hot all through the 1920's. Perhaps his biggest milestone was debuting "Rhapsody in Blue" in 1924. He recorded "Rhapsody" acoustically, and again after electric microphones came into general use. Click over to Wikipedia to read a biography for Paul Whiteman.

If you want to know the words to "Whispering," you would be hard pressed to find a better version than the record cut by the "Comedian Harmonists" in 1934. This record was posted by EdmundusRex, and you can click over HERE to read the bio material provided by Mr. Rex with his YouTube upload.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Daily Calls

Horned oak gall is keeping my phone busy this year. This unsightly gall occurs on pin oak, shingle oak, and cherrybark oak, and it seems to be worse every year. Horned oak gall is caused by a wasp which lays its eggs in oak twigs, and the gall develops around the larvae as they grow.

One adult will eventually emerge from each of the horns. When this malady girdles enough of the twigs on an oak, the tree falls into a decline, and dies. There is not any treatment available to intercept the egg laying wasps, and if your tree smells right to the little buggers, it's a goner. One new thing I am seeing this year is that gray squirrels are clipping off infected twigs; letting them fall to the ground. The squirrels then go to the ground and chew up the galls in order to eat the wasp larvae. This behavior may be our best hope to save valuable shade trees.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Nicely restored Hercules engine doing its thing at Boonville, Indiana.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Our Fingers Are Stupid

Walther P22 With Safety Set For Holstering

You may have read the story about the Florida deputy with eight years of experience under his belt, including lots of range time. During a shooting exercise with his weak hand he holstered with his finger in the trigger guard and injured his leg. The newspaper article tells us that his buddies are giving him some ribbing about it, but I hope the trainers have figured out that the training regimen needs to be improved. Ask any violin teacher or student, and you will learn that no matter how well your brain knows how to do something, the fingers will not cooperate unless they practice regularly. I bet the deputy has no problem keeping his strong side trigger finger out of the guard while holstering, and his brain certainly knows it, too; but the weak side hand must practice it before it will perform properly.

Skeeter Skelton said in one of his articles that Bill Jordan told him, "Automatics will get you shot." My take on that statement is that you must know the manual of arms for any gun you are handling, and practice it well before you put the gun to use. Click over to this post on Oleg Volk's Live Journal for an illustration of how easy it is to make a mistake. Holstering a cocked semi-auto with the safety set on Fire is not a good practice, even if it is "just" a photo-shoot with an unloaded gun. The photos in Oleg's post show a violation of Rule Number One, and as the lad was holstering he probably crossed himself, violating Rule Number Two.

Know your gun, practice its operation properly and regularly, and teach your shooting students to do likewise.

Click the SHOOTING LABEL to see other shooting related posts.

August e-Postal Contest Is In Play!

Curtis Lowe is hosting the Mr. Completely's August e-Postal Contest, and it is a good one. If you can hit the paper, you will probably make some points, so click the link, print some targets, and go to the range with family and friends. Remember, every entry you send in gives you a chance for a $50 gift certificate from Cheaper Than Dirt! Cheaper Than Dirt also has a season long e-Postal Contest that you should shoot while you are at the range. This contest is great practice for the coming zombie apocolypse; challenging and great fun!

Touch Greatness

I was visiting a friend in his office on Monday, and as we took care of some paperwork, I mentioned that Tuesday was Ernie Pyle's 110th birthday. He said, "Who's Ernie Pyle?" You have to wonder how anyone of the post-WW II generation grew up without hearing of Ernie Pyle, but it seems that only a few of us keep his memory alive. If you haven't read any of Ernie's posts lately, type his name in the search box in the upper left of this blog for a sample of his work that has been posted on True Blue Sam. We need a few people like Ernie Pyle today.

You probably noticed the library number on "Home Country." Libraries all over the country have discarded Ernie's books. That particular book used to be in the Wayne City, Illinois High School library. You have to wonder what took its place.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Basic Chainsaw Carburetor Mixture Adjustment

This is an informative video off of YouTube that shows the adjustment process for your chainsaw carburetor. Before you start, you should have a clean air filter, and a properly adjusted bar and chain, of the length you will be running. Switching to a different length bar and chain will necessitate a slight readjustment of your high speed mixture, because the load on the engine will be changed.

The idle speed should be adjusted so the chain is stationary when you release the throttle, and you may have to reset that a time or two while changing the idle mixture. If you set the idle too rich, the engine's crankcase will load up with excess fuel, and the engine will flood out when you goose the throttle, or roll the saw into different positions. If you set the idle mix too lean, the engine will stagger when you pull the throttle trigger. Play around with this setting for a while, and you will develop a good feel for setting it right.

The high speed mix should be set so you have a slight burble or miss from just a bit of excess fuel. As you turn the high speed needle leaner, the engine will go to a full scream with no missing. Go a bit further, and you will hear the engine sag. This is very dangerous to your cylinder, piston, and rings, so I don't recommend it, other than to note a reference point during the adjustment. Saws today usually have a cutout in the coil circuit that causes the engine to stutter when it is being over-revved, so be careful not to confuse that with the slight miss from a rich mixture.

The fellow in the video has a tachometer, which is pretty handy to have, but it is not necessary. It is more important that you learn to recognize the notes of an engine that is running rich, lean, and at a slightly rich and safe mixture.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Not My Victrola

Wow! Where has this record been all my life?!?! This is the 1935 version by Paul Whiteman of "Anything Goes." The vocal refrain is by Ramona, and if you listen closely you will be shocked at the things they were singing in 1935. FuzzBear played this one on his 1926 Orthophonic Victrola.