Thursday, September 30, 2010

E-Postal Deadline EXTENDED!

This is NOT the last day to shoot the September match before the Midnight, September 30 deadline.  If you want to enter this contest, but haven't  made it to the range, it only takes one e-mail request or comment to extend this contest past the first weekend of October.  Let me hear from you if you are pressed for range time before the deadline.  (WE HAD A REQUEST!) (My score: 14.  You can do better than that, so Save The Rooster!)

UPDATE:  We have an extended season!  You can shoot this contest through the first weekend of October, and submit your target the following Monday or Tuesday.  I will compile the results as they come in.

FFA Forestry Contest

Last week we hosted the annual FFA Forestry Sectional Contest at Fairfield, and were very pleased to have twelve schools attend with sixty FFA students.  This year the kids have Tree ID; Timber Measurement; Tree Selection for harvest, leave, or kill; Equipment ID; Map Reading; Compass and Pacing; plus a written test.  Here we see one of the Wayne City students measuring diameter with a Biltmore stick.

Many of the kids had no idea how to use a compass, so I gave every group a quick lesson before they navigated the course.  The sectional contests are as much about learning as competition, and many of the kids we help come back as good competitors the next year.  Olney High School's students placed first, and Wayne City placed second.  Both of these schools will be competing Saturday at the State FFA Forestry Contest at SIU- Carbondale.  The Wayne City kids came out to the farm after school on Wednesday, and spent a couple hours reviewing tree species in our woods, so maybe they can put some heat on Olney this weekend.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More Help For Beginning Shooters Courtesy Of Ruger Firearms

The videos by Ruger just keep popping up on YouTube, and they make an interesting and informative post every week. I manage to learn something from every one of them.

I still have a bit of video from the Rendezvous to post, and I have collected photos from the Packing Rat, Bea, and myself to make a slide show of GBR activities. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Earnest or Full Swing, Illinois

You can count on hearing the U of I Extension saying every year that the harvest has started in Earnest, or that it is in Full Swing. I am not sure if they are trying to be funny, but it always gets a few laughs.

Monday, September 27, 2010

No Worries!

Bea and a couple of her friends will be taking a concealed carry class later this week up in Iowa.  Although shooting is not actually required in the new Iowa concealed carry law, the instructor for their class takes everyone to the range and wants them to shoot at three yards, seven yards, and fifteen yards.  They will be shooting a total of thirty rounds, and he wants them to be able to score at least 80% on a 12" x 28" target.  Bea was worried about that, so she ran off thirty rounds the other day at fifteen yards, and put twenty-nine in the target.  Not bad for shooting offhand, through tri-focals.  Expect an update after her class.

Operating Lessons For The Model T

The first video is published by the Henry Ford Museum, and it teaches you just about everything you need to know to make your Ford go. The museum wimped out and put a starter in this 1916 car to prevent cranking accidents. The second video shows how the crank will spin backwards if you forget to retard the spark. The proper way to crank one of these engines is with one hand only, and the thumb should be on the same side of the crank as your fingers. You want your hand to break free cleanly if the engine kicks, so your arm and hand are out of the arc when the crank comes around. Hang on tight, and sooner or later you will have a broken wrist.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mondays Just Won't Quit

Back To The Old Grind!

Not My Victrola

This Johny Marvin song was recorded in the UK in 1928, and shared with us by 240252.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Weekend Steam

This weekend we are going via YouTube to Scotland, to see the machinery in the Waverly. According to the information with the videos, this ship was built in 1946, with a triple expansion engine, and feathering paddle wheels. The videos are of varying quality, but are all fun to watch.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Crankin' It Up

Here is the flip side of last week's record by Vaughn DeLeath. "I'm A Doggone Struttin' Fool was also recorded in November of 1921, and this disc has seen hard use on both sides.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Not My Victrola Fall Equinox Full Moon Special

This 1908 Columbia may be the first recorded version of this old favorite. Posted by MsMartyBob.

This record by Ada Jones and Billy Murray was made in 1909, and posted by edmundusrex.

Twenty years later, after electric microphones were in use, the song had not changed much. edmundusrex also posted this version, by the Hal Kemp Orchestra.

Ruth Etting made this recording in 1931. Thanks go to bsgs98 for sharing this great old record.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Gun Blogger Rendezvous 2010 from CS Tactical on Vimeo.

CS Tactical has posted a great video of activities during the recent Rendezvous. I think you will really get a kick out of the quick draw action at the end of this presentation.  We went into this contest with most assuming that it would come down to Molly and Derek, but it soon became apparent that there were other contenders.  You can see the results over on Mr. Completely.

Hinge Failure

We are revisiting hinges in this post to have another look at the theory that a hinge will turn a tree if it is left thicker on one end.  If a hinge is aimed where you want it, and it holds together, that theory is totally wrong.  A hinge will make the tree fall at 90 degrees to the face; unless it fails.  This elm had a bit of side lean, and I made the hinge thin on one end, and even thinner on the other.  The extra-thin end was on the light, or tensioned side of the tree.

I made the tensioned side thin enough that it pulled apart (Failed) when the tree was turned loose.  Because of this failure, the tree did fall slighty toward the lean instead of going where the hinge was aimed.  In this photo you can see that fibers pulled out of the stump...

...and here you can see that fibers also pulled out of the butt end of the tree.  Normally, you want the hinge to be about 10% of the tree's diameter in thickness, or a little less.  You can leave one end on the thick side if it is the tensioned side of the tree, and the side lean is near your limit.  If you think the side lean is at or over a safe limit, work out another plan to drop your tree.  Don't play games trying to turn a tree with a bad hinge; it will become a dangerous, unguided missile.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Quantifying A Good Time

Just how much fun was Gun Blogger Rendezvous V?  It's hard to place a value on good times, but I think we found a way to put a number on it.

We did lots of shooting, of course.

We got to admire the hardware that others brought, and tried out some guns that were new to us.

We made a lot of new friends...and shared some good meals.!

But when we got home we found a way to put a value on it that any shooter can understand.  Because we traveled by airline, we had to weigh our ammo before we flew out of Cedar Rapids.  We re-weighed when we unpacked, and found that we had launched 8 1/2 pounds of lead downrange on our trip!  Sounds like a very good time, indeed!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Range Basics; Courtesy of Ruger Firearms

The bloggers really enjoyed visiting with Lori Petoske in Reno, and she told us that Ruger is planning on continuing with their series of videos related to shooting. Ruger is doing a great job with all of their videos, and this series for beginning shooters is really hitting the mark, judging from the postive comments on YouTube.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Not My Victrola: Bonus Post!

I was over on Grouchy, and his Sunday Guitar was a nice gentleman playing the Traumeri. I immediately did a search on YouTube and found one of my favorite Jolson songs, from 1912. I have heard this song on an original disc, but my only copy is vinyl, so I haven't been able to share it with you. Victrolaman posted his record, and no-one should give him any trouble since we can see his machine playing it. These old records are iffy sometimes with YouTube if the singer is a big name that may have been published on CD or mp3. The lyrics are included on this video, which can be a help if your ear isn't used to picking up the words on acoustic discs.


Back To The Old Grind!

Not My Victrola

Pax41 has posted a 1911 recording of "Alexandar's Ragtime Band" performed by Collins and Harlan. Irving Berlin had just published this song,and it is fun to listen and see how the singing styles have changed. Below are the notes included with this record by Pax41:

"United Record A1032 recorded 6/7/1911, this is a Columbia recording used by United Talking Machine Co.

The song was written by Irving Berlin in 1911.

Collins and Harlan were the most successful duo of the acoustic era. Collins and Harlan came to be largely identified with black dialect work but they were not limited to this. They sang comic songs in various dialects, performed rube skits and recorded songs satirizing trends of the day.

Collins and Harlan were the first to record Irving Berlin's "Alexander's Ragtime Band". The choice of Collins and Harlan for "Alexander's Ragtime Band" was natural considering they had recorded more Berlin songs than any other artists up to that point in time. They were also well known for singing syncopated melodies, what Tin Pan Alley called ragtime."

Thank You To All The Gun Blogger Rendezvous Supporters!

GBR-V was a great experience, and all who attended enjoyed it greatly. Mr. Completely and KeeWee work harder than we can imagine to put this meeting together every year, but it also requires the support of others. Below is the list of contributors, borrowed from The Smallest Minority:
"Bill Brassard Jr., Director of Communications for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The NSSF provided the pizza dinner Saturday night, and Bill is the gateway through which bloggers can get media credentials to attend the annual SHOT show in Las Vegas.

Rachel Parsons of the NRA, who provided a very nice breakfast for us Friday morning before we headed off to the range, but was unable to make it herself due to illness.

Randi Rogers AKA "Holy Terror" of Glock, who provided a certificate for any standard Glock handgun.

Charles Brown of Hi-Point Firearms and MKS Supply, who provided a certificate for a 9mm Carbine.

Kerby Smith of Para USA who provided a 35% discount coupon for any new Para pistol

Lori Petoske of Ruger Firearms who provided very nice briefcase-style range bags for all of the bloggers, plus cups, hats and other swag.

Larry Weeks of Brownell's, who unfortunately couldn't be with us as this year he was a range officer at the USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals being held in Las Vegas. Brownell's provided AR-15 mags, one of their top-of-the-line range bags, and other great stuff.

Colin Anthony of MidwayUSA, who provided shirts, a stack of excellent pistol range bags and other stuff, plus a discount code for blog readers (and another one to come!)

Patrick Harlan of Crimson Trace, who provided a certificate for any in-stock Lasergrip, and some very nice pistol rugs and other swag.

Leupold, who through Allen Forkner of Swanson*Russell, provided a damned nice VX3 scope.

Jamie Klund and Gary Shank of Cabela's who hosted a tour of their 125,000 square-foot Reno store, and let us fondle the rare firearms in their Gun Room, (including a $30k Single-Action Army!) Cabela's also gave us some discount coupons that most of us made immediate use of.

The Cowboy Fastdraw Association, who put on a match for Rendezvous attendees Sunday at absolutely no cost to us. It was, to coin a phrase, a blast. Special thanks to "Quick Cal" Eilrich and the Sage Hills Reno Rustlers Cowboy Fast Draw Club who ran the match.

The Palomino Valley Gun Club who run a fine range, and the Western Nevada Pistol League who let us shoot their steel on Saturday.

Richard Brengman of Special Interest Arms, who brought some of his stuff to Friday's Show-'n-Tell for us to look at and handle. Richard lives an hour or so away in Gardnerville, NV, and said he thought some other local manufacturers might be interested in attending next year.

Derek of The Packing Rat, who donated an Air Venturi Bronco break-barrel air rifle. Derek is also the unofficial photographer for the Rendezvous.

And the Silver Legacy Resort and Casino who treated us well all weekend.

And thanks also to all the attendees who helped us raise money for Project Valour-IT."

A few more: The bloggers were greatly honored to have Jeff Bader from Soldiers' Angels attend this fund raiser.

Springfield Armory donated a stack of hats, and ball point pens.

Front Sight Institute provided a certificate for a deeply discounted training session.

Caleb provided a personally autographed NRA hat!

And, Thank You, Kevin, for putting this list together!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Weekend Steam

I must apologize for the smudge in the upper left of this video. I was busy running around Pinckneyville taking pictures and should have checked the lens more often, but Oh Well, or words to that effect. The video is still worth looking at.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Recreational vs Competitive Shooters

The photos and videos from the Rendezvous are not only fun, but are very educational to watch. In this little compendium, we see Dirtcrashr with his .45, Lori Petoske of Ruger with a Mk III, (both recreational shooters) then KeeWee and Mr. C, both of whom compete regularly. Quite a difference! Bea is pictured at the front end, and Dirtcrashr at the finish of this clip.

Crankin' It Up

Vaughn De Leath recorded this one on November 14, 1921. Both sides of this record were well liked, and played pretty much to death.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Reason For The Rondy

Before we post any more photos and reports from Gun Blogger Rendezvous V, I want all of our readers to pause and remember the reason that Mr. Completely and the other gun bloggers gather every year for this fun event. GBR is primarily a fund raising event for Valour-IT (Voice Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops), one of the many projects which are promoted by Soldiers' Angels. Jeff Bader, one of the founders of Soldiers' Angels honored the Rendezvous attendees by attending and becoming acquainted with every person at the Saturday night dinner. He told us that last week Valour-IT placed its' 5001st laptop with a wounded soldier. The bad news is that as long as this war goes on against us and our culture of freedom, soldiers are going to be seriously wounded, and more laptops will be needed. Please go to the Valour-IT site and make a donation, even if it is small. Then go over to Mr. Completely's appeal and let him know that you have made a donation as part of his Gun Blogger Rendezvous fund raiser.
Mr. Completely, True Blue Sam and all of the other bloggers involved in this project greatly appreciate any contribution you can make.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Multi-Talented Mr. Completely

Meeting Mr. Completely in person at GBR-V was a great thrill. Bea and True Blue Sam both traveled to Reno to represent this blog, and we were warmly greeted by Mr. C and KeeWee when we arrived at our meeting room. Here, we see Mr. Completely and The Smallest Minority welcoming Lori Petoske, the representative from Ruger Firearms. Lori soon impressed the entire group of bloggers with her shooting skills out on the range.

During our show-and-tell session, Mr. C provided the group with some of the super secret details of the machine work and gunsmithing that go into his homebuilt High Standard competition rigs. Here, Mr. Completely explains his stance and grip for shooting steel plates.

Out on the steel range he put us all to shame putting lead onto the plates.

Some of us shot the five shot drag race stage with Bea's .45 Ruger Blackhawk, and I think Mr. Completely smoked both True Blue Sam and Bea with her gun.

He's a fast draw artist, too! CS Tactical goes up against Mr. Completely in this stage, and you could have cut the tension with a knife. The bad guys wouldn't have stood a chance against these two shooters.
We will be posting more about the Rendezvous, so check back once in a while. The Packing Rat (official photographer for GBR) has published a bunch of photos on his blog, so click over there to see his posts. His photo galleries for each day can be viewed by clicking on the 'read more' link at the bottom of each day's report.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Not My Victrola

Here's an amusing number by the Georgia Yellow Hammers.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Weekend Steam

When you attend the same steam show forty times in your life, the whistles you hear at those shows haunt your dreams at night. This little video gives us a sample of the whistles on Midwest Central's Number Six and Number 9, courtesy of ReevesMan88.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Crankin' It Up

This week we have the flip side of "The Girl I Left Behind Me." "Maggie In The Woods" is another great old time fiddle tune, perfect for dancing. You don't even have to worry about bouncing the needle when you play it on YouTube.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Yard Work

Mom and I did some pruning on her trees this week and admired her new ones she is growing. This is a Kentucky coffeetree we planted in September '07, when it was about one foot tall.
This beauty is a swamp white oak that Dad stuck in the ground in '03 when it was a 4" seedling. He laughed and said that he would never get to enjoy its shade. He watered and fertilized it, and had it up close to his knees before he passed away in 2005. We measured it today and it is 17' tall in seven growing seasons. These trees were planted to get the jump on the ash trees dying when the emerald ash borer comes to town; and we know it will.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Unique Mogul 10-20 Tractor

This 1917 Mogul truly is a unique treasure. It spent all of its working life in a building running a corn sheller, instead of being on a farm, eating dirt, mud, and wearing out before its time. The second owner kept it under cover, and the current owner takes it out and shows it, so it is seeing the great outdoors more now than it ever has. Working indoors was good for this old girl, and the head has never been off to have the valves ground. Yes, this tractor is 100% original, and I doubt that you could ever find another like it. It started with one pull the day I watched it run at Pinckneyville this year.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Old Threshers Slide Show

I missed Old Threshers this year after attending thirty years straight, and forty times in my life. I hope to make it next year. This slide show appeared on YouTube courtesy of morepowernow16, and it gives us a good look at some of the engines on display this year.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Determine Which Is Your Dominant Eye; Courtesy Of Ruger Firearms

Ruger keeps knocking them out of the park with their series of useful videos for shooters. This is an easy method to discover which is your better eye for aiming, and I suspect that many people who have trouble shooting are using the wrong eye. We need to keep in mind that things can change as we age. I developed problems seeing iron sights in my mid-forties, and that has given me incentive to shoot more because it is not as easy as it once was. Recently I found that I am developing a cataract in my left eye, and I am glad it is not my dominant side; of course it is just a matter of time before the right eye does the same thing.

You can meet Lori Petoske at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous this week and learn all kinds of important things about the Ruger line of fine firearms, so for Heaven's sake, sign up with Mr. Completely and hit the road to Reno.

Monday For You?

No Grinding Today!

Friday, September 3, 2010

August e-Postal Scores

Curtis Lowe has posted the scores of Mr. Completely's August contest, which you can see by clicking here. The turnout for August is disappointing, and I hope more enter the September contest, and save the rooster. (Based on an actual event out here in the sticks!)

The current contest is a good one for applying your best tactics in order to maximize your score. The prescribed distance is 25 feet for pistols, but you can shoot at any distance you want/need, and your score will be adjusted. Say for instance that you are shooting 3's at 25 feet, but at 20 feet you can score 5's. Well, 20 feet will give you a scoring factor of 80%, which gives you 4's, which are better than 3's any day. Or maybe you are an extra steady shot and can make 5's at 30 feet. Your 5's would then be increased by 20% to 6's, blowing away the competition, unless some hotshot can make 5's at 35 feet. It's a good contest for experimenting to make your best possible score. If you can't make it to a range, set up a BB gun range in the basement or garage and have at it. Every entry you send in gives you a chance in a random drawing for a $50 gift certificate from Cheaper Than Dirt, so for Heaven's sake, get out and shoot!

Weekend Steam: The Six Ain't Quite Fixed!

On the scene reporting by a True Blue team member on the ground at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa: Narrow gauge locomotive Number Six is still in the shop and was not running during the first two days at Old Threshers this year. The dedicated railroad volunteers have really been knocking themselves out re-assembling the old girl, since they received the repaired boiler not too many months ago. You should visit the Midwest Central Railroad shop to see the progress first hand if you make it to Iowa this weekend. (Update: The shop crew thinks they will have Six up and running this weekend. Number 9 had a shakedown run Friday after some repairs, and needs a bit more fixing before it is ready to work.)

These first two photos of the beloved Baldwin Mogul are publicity shots from the Midwest Central from the 1960's.

This shot was taken at the 1987 show as the engine was being readied for its first run after a major overhaul.
There is Mrs. True Blue Sam leaning out from the front door of the lead car one evening at the 2006 Labor Day weekend show. Engines Number 9 and 16 will be packing the load this year, so you can still have your train rides. Below is a video posted by SemperVaporo of Engines 9, 6, and 16 at the 2007 show.

Midway USA Is On Board For The GBR!

Midway USA has joined in to be one of the sponsors for Gun Blogger Rendezvous V! Click over to Mr. Completely for the details. Anyone who is part of the gun blogging community is being offered a discount for products from Midway until the middle of September. You don't have to be a blogger; anyone who looks at the blogs is invited! The Rendezvous starts on September 9, so you can still jump in for this get-together of the blogging community. Sign up at Mr. Completely's Rendezvous blog, pack your bags, and a shooting iron or two, then hit the road to Reno.

Crankin' It Up

This week we are revisiting that artful Vaudevillian, Frank Crumit as he performs one of the real classics of the Roaring Twenties, "Crazy Words, Crazy Tune." Frank was at a real disadvantage in the years before 1925, when his expressive voice did not come through well on acoustic recordings. This is one of his best, and you can hear him strumming along on his ukulele as he sings.

UPDATE: I just noticed that this record is the 350th posting on my YouTube channel. No Oscars yet, though. My YouTube views are now past 830,000, which is much more impressive than the numbers for True Blue Sam. My blogging may not be very good, but at least there is a lot of it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bringin' The Message

We had a forestry workshop for landowners last week over near Albion, IL, and most of the speakers brought Power Point presentations with them. I brought wood and chainsaws. The weather was perfect for being outdoors, and folks would rather see live action than watch a slide show.
The best part for the audience was when I flooded my new saw on a warm re-start; that was good for a laugh. It is amazing how many people own a saw, but have no idea how to make the basic cuts for dropping a tree, and no-one in the crowd had any personal safety gear to wear when they run a saw. I hope the lessons did them some good.