Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rough Mondays?

Back To The Old Grind!

Not A Victrola Halloween Special

"Graveyard Love," a Cemetery Moan, posted by pianosyncrazy.

"Dance Macabre" by Saint-Saens, and performed by Horowitz in 1928.  Posted by AeolianHall1.

Bonus Halloween Crankin' It Up!

I always like to pull out Moran and Mack's performance of "Two Black Crows In Hades" for Halloween to put me in the spirit of the holiday.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Crankin' It Up

Lyman's California Ambassador Hotel Orchestra performs a nice Fox-Trot for your dancing pleasure. Brunswick disc number 2504-A; recorded on October 23, 1923.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

October e-Postal: Final Weekend

US Citizen needs your October e-Postal targets by midnight on October 31, so if you haven't done so already, GET OUT AND SHOOT!  If you can't make it to a range, set up a BB gun range in your garage and shoot.  US Citizen will score your target if you shoot it!  This is a difficult target, but that makes for more fun and is better at building your skill than an easy target.  The circles are 1" diameter, and you shoot it at 21' with a pistol.  Touch the circle for 1 point, and the dot in the middle for 3 points.  I made 10 points out of a possible 60, and I had only a couple of bad misses.  You are not expected to shoot like an Olympian athlete, we just want you to have fun and improve your shooting skills.  Every target you enter gives you a chance in the $50 Cheaper Than Dirt drawing, so take more than one gun to the range with your stack of targets.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Disappearing Acts

I can think of half a dozen old barns/and or houses that have been torn down and burned around us in recent months.  I drove by this place on nearly a daily basis, and it is down to just a small pile of lumber that will soon be burned.  The top photo was taken two years ago, and I took the one below just yesterday. (Photo Credit for the first picture goes to JimH.)
The face of farm country is changing fast, and the family farms we like to envision really do not exist anymore, except  in the Amish and Mennonite communities.  One of the things that bothers me is that the barns I see being knocked down and burned are usually better than the one I am working on.  This barn is over 100 years old, and raising it up out of the termites is a never-ending task.
Our current focus is on the southwest corner, which had no sound wood holding up the roof.  The footer was poured during the early 1950's, and for some reason it has a kink in it.  The south wall leaned out to meet the rafters, and we poured a new foot for the corner, which we think is lined up pretty well.  Lining things up is sort of a relative thing in a building with no parallel lines or right angles.  As we put new wood back into our barn we are mainly shooting for less whopperjawed-ness.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Throttle Governed Massey Harris Engine

Massey Harris tractors are fairly common at the engine shows, but gas engines by Massey are none too plentiful. There were several at Pinckneyville this year, and this one was putting along at the fall show last week. Note that this is a throttle governed engine, not a hit-and-miss.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Concealed Carry Options From Ruger

Ruger has been expanding their firearm selection in the last few years. The SR9 should be familiar to you if you have been watching the Ruger videos on this blog for the last several weeks. The SR9 has developed a huge following, and it is a very dependable, moderately priced choice for self defense. Ruger recently brought out a compact version of the SR9, and Lori Petoske tells us about it in this video made during the 2010 Shot Show by trophyhunterstv.

In the next video, Jeff Quinn of Gunblast demonstrates the SR9c.

Ruger's newest addition to their line of pistols is the SR40, and judging from the reviews I am seeing, it is going to be even more popular than its 9 mm predecessor. Ruger has engineered the SR40 to tame the snappy recoil of the S&W .40, and the gun writers really like the way this new pistol shoots. The video below is Jeff Quinn of GunBlast talking about the new SR, and showing us how it handles on the firing line.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Crankin' It Up

Lyman's California Ambassador Hotel Orchestra recorded "Weary Weasel" on July 27, 1923, for your dancing pleasure. This is another of those records that I have kept safely stored away, and had never played. Imagine my surprise as I recorded it into the computer, and I heard that this song is an obvious knockoff of the "Tiger Rag!" Wonders never cease. "Before You Go" is on the A side, and I will check it out for next week's crank up.

BONUS!!! Here is the original recording of "Tiger Rag" from 1917 by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, uploaded by transformingArt.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The World's Greatest Entertainer...

Al Jolson passed away on October 23, 1950.  His last gig was entertaining soldiers in Korea, and even though he had just one good lung, and was sick with bronchitis, he did forty-two shows in seven days.  Visit the Al Jolson Society website, and light a candle for Al this evening.  Be sure to explore the Jolson Society website while you are there.  Many of Jolson's recordings are available for your enjoyment, such as the original Toot-Toot-Tootsie, and the rarest of Al's records, I'm Down In Honolulu Looking Them Over.

I started collecting old records when I was just a kid, and Jolson records were my favorites.  I still remember looking up Al Jolson in an encyclopedia and seeing to my horror that he had died before I was born.  It was like losing an old friend.

Many thanks to the Al Jolson Society for the great site, and the links. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Put-ti, Put-ti, Put-ti

I did manage to squeeze out a few hours for Pinckneyville over the last weekend, and rapidly filled a couple of SD cards taking video and pictures. In my hurry to see as much as possible in a limited time, I neglected to read the builder's tag on this nice hit-and-miss engine. I think it is a Stover, and from the size, I would guess it is about 1 1/2 HP.

Monday, October 18, 2010

WOW!! Even More Pictures From GBR-V!!

We finally have the pictures and videos taken by the True Blue Team (Bea and TBS) processed into a video for your gratification. The sound track is "Shufflin' Mose," one of my Edison records from a great-grandfather. (The father of the man next to the Model T coupe in the header.) Putting this together was quite enjoyable, especially playing with the speed on the video segments. U.S. Citizen's Thompson is NOT full auto, but speeding him up 66% sort of gives that impression. Block out some time next September, travel to Reno, and join in on the fun.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Not My Victrola

Pax41 has posted a lovely rendition of the old favorite, "Let Me Call You Sweetheart." This song was published in 1910, and this performance by the Shannon Quartet was recorded in 1926, after electric microphones replaced the horns used in acoustic recording. That's lucky for us, because we get to hear a performance of this great song by people who still know how to sing to the back row in a theater, but with much better sound quality than was available just a few years earlier.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Weekend Steam: Vintage Post Cards From Colorado

 These post cards aren't quite antiques, but they are forty years old, and I presume the photos were taken a few years before that.  These photos are from the Durango and Silverton Railroad, and it sure would be great to ride it now, while the aspens are turning.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Crankin' It Up: Forest Products Week Special

This week True Blue Sam is featuring a special old record to celebrate Forest Products Week: "Woodland Echoes", performed by the Neapolitan Trio for the Victor Talking Machine Company on November 28, 1913.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Good Stance, Good Shooting

Mom's main shooting buddy Deb took this photo during their latest trip to the Clemon's Creek Shooting Range, just west of Washington, Iowa.  Bea gave her Walther PK380 a workout, and it performed flawlessly.  What I find interesting in this photo is the way Mom goes into a Weaver stance automatically, making a good push/pull on her pistol, and doing a darn good job of hitting the target.  Well, shooting is fun, and shooting well is even funner.  Practice at the shooting range is rolling back, or at least slowing down the clock for Mom, and one day it might save her life; you never know.  Thanks for the photo, Deb, it made my day!

It Isn't Always About Chainsaws...

My good friend Troy has been chomping at the bit to get out and start bowhunting this fall, but it has been hot and dry, and not fit for slipping up on wary forest creatures, until Wednesday of this week.  Rain blew in, Troy hit the woods, and he nailed a turkey on his first outing.  Congratulations, Troy, and a happy Forest Products Week to you!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

He Shoots!...He Scores!!!

Just in case you don't already know it, Mr. Scott at Cheaper Than Dirt! generously donates a $50.00 gift certificate every month to a lucky entrant in Mr. Completely's e-Postal Contest.  This month's recipient of an online shopping spree is none other than Mr. CCBCC, aka Sand Castle Son; Danno's boy, (above) of Sand Castle Scrolls.  Congratulations, Mr. CCBCC, and happy shopping!  Thank you, Mr. Scott, for your support in motivating shooters to go to the range for regular practice, and thanks for providing great online service at Cheaper Than Dirt!

In addition to the commercial side of Cheaper Than Dirt!, there is also the Cheaper Than Dirt Blog, where regular visitors can read all sorts of timely articles relating to the shooting sports.  Blog followers should click in several times a week to read the latest posts.

US Citizen at Traction Control is hosting the October match, and I encourage all of our readers to enter.  It is a tough match, with twenty 1" circles, which you try to hit with one shot per circle while shooting offhand at 21 feet.  Touches count for one point, and touching the dot in the center of a circle counts for three points.  It's a challenge, and it is excellent practice.  Whether you score 0 or 60, you have an equal chance for every entry to win the October Cheaper Than Dirt Gift Certificate, so get out and shoot!

Danno has provided a shot of the informational plaque on the 40 MM gun for our education and gratification.  I have seen footage of these guns in old movies and news footage from WWII, and they are darned impressive pieces of artillery. Two pound projectile... makes a .45 seem almost insignificant.

Photo Credit:  Danno at Sand Castle Scrolls

Portable Sawmills

Portable sawmills are popular with rural retirees here in Southern Illinois. I have known several old boys who have bought one of these, and as long as they don't expect to make a fortune, that's OK. This one is a Wood-Mizer, and it is the most popular portable mill in my corner of the world; Kasco mills are a distant second. The Wood-Mizer uses a monorail to guide the carriage, and Kascos use two parallel rails that are down on the ground. Bailey's sells a mill that I have never seen in person, and it uses circular blades instead of the thin-kerf bandsaw blades.

These mills can go right to the woods to cut your lumber, but of course you still have to handle the logs and lumber. One of my friends thought he would retire in the log cabin building business, but a hernia and a back injury convinced him otherwise. Still, they are a mighty handy tool as long as you make yourself behave and use your head when moving heavy loads. There is very little waste with the thin kerf, so small logs can provide more lumber than the log scales would indicate. The lumber also is much smoother than it would be if produced on a traditional circular sawmill. With one of these mills you can produce all the lumber, including siding and paneling to build a house, and I know of a very nice hunting cabin that was built that way, not too far from me.

The sawyer in this little video is a logger, and sawyer, whose other sawmill is a traditional circular sawmill, powered by a Detroit Diesel.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Love The Smell Of Chainsaw Exhaust In The Morning

It smells like...Forest Products Week!  Now, get out there and make some sawdust!

Something To Shoot For

I wish that I could shoot this well, but I know that I will never put in the hours of practice required to develop this skill level.  Mr. Completely shot this target with his homebuilt High Standard, and it is a very good target, indeed.  Five shots were taken offhand, then five more from a rest, and you can see that he missed only one 'yote with his offhand shots, winged one, and nailed three.  Whatever your shooting skill level, you can improve it with regular practice, and these e-Postal matches are one good avenue to make yourself put in more trigger time.  Traction Control is hosting the match for October, so take a look at the rules, print some targets, and go to the range with family and friends to hone your skills.

This Made My Day,

and it will brighten yours.  Soldiers' Angels has posted a very nice article about Gun Blogger Rendezvous V.  Go take a look, and while you are there, please hit the Donate button and help our heroes.  Thanks to Mr. C for the heads-up!

Monday, October 11, 2010

September e-Postal Scores

We had lots of entries for the September contest, and everyone did a good job of shooting.  Those little coyotes are tough targets, and tagging one of the pesky critters is not as easy as it looks.  The scores are adjusted proportianately depending on the distance the shooter chose, with 25 feet being the 100% distance for pistols, and 50 feet being the 100% distance for rifles.  We did not have any entries for BB guns.  Here is how the scores stacked up.

Class I, Rimfire Pistol, Iron Sights

Merle                          Ruger Super Single Six .22 Mag 30
Billll                             Ruger Mk I .22 LR                    26
Paula                           Ruger Mk II .22 LR                   16      
True Blue Sam             Ruger Single Six .22 LR             14
Danno                         Ruger 22/45  .22 LR                  10.56 

Class II, Rimfire Pistol, Optical Sights

P Horne                      Ruger 22/45 .22LR                    76
Mr. Completely           High Standard  .22 LR               51.6
A Forkner                   Ruger Mk III 22/45 .22 LR       27
Merle                           TC 10" bull barrel .22 LR         26

Class III, Centerfire Pistol, Iron Sights

P Horne                      S & W 29-2                             50
Merle                          S & W 3913 9 mm                   20
Danno                         9 mm                                          7.92

Class IV, Centerfire Pistol, Optical Sights

Merle                         TC 10" octagon barrel 9mm       31

Class V, Rimfire Rifle, Iron Sights

Danno                          .22 LR                                    33
Mr CCBCC                 .22 LR                                    16.5

Class VI, Rimfire Rifle, Optical Sights

Danno                      Ruger 10-22                               39
Paula                        Remington 66                             23   

Class VII, Centerfire Rifle, Iron Sights

Packing Rat            Springfield M1-A 7.62x51           29.7

Class VIII, Centerfire Rifle, Optical Sights

Billll                         Hi-Point 9mm                             26

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Monday's Back Again Already!

Back To The Old Grind!

Soldiers' Angels Burglarized, Vandalized

We learned at Major Chuck Ziegenfuss's blog that the headquarters for Soldiers' Angels was robbed and vandalized.  Click over to read Major Chuck's post, which includes a link to this news story.  Soldiers' Angels will need many thousands of dollars to replace what was lost, so please click on this link to make a donation, or give them a phone call to help at 210 629-0020.  You can also click on the Soldiers' Angels logo, or the Valour IT poster (left side of this page) to make donations that will help our wounded warriors.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Weekend Steam: Your Fall Show Headquarters

This weekend, October 8, 9, and 10, 2010, the fall show of the Boonville, Indiana Antique Steam and Gas Engine Club is going on. There is always lots to see and do at this little show, and the weather is going to be absolutely beautiful. I don't know how many steamers will be there, but the Kitten engine definitely will be on display. You can watch it in this video as it runs a thresher.

Next weekend, Pinckneyville, Illinois is the place to be. The fall show at Pinckneyville won't have the oppressive heat of the August show, and there are plenty of machines and activities. Here is the flyer from the American Thresherman website: 

These two shows are quite different from one another, but both are good entertainment, and you will want to come back year after year.  Here is one of the engines you are likely to see next weekend at Pinckneyville.

Friday, October 8, 2010

October e-Postal Contest Is In Play!

Mr. Completely's October e-Postal Contest is being hosted this month by US Citizen, over at Traction Control. Click over to get your target and read the rules. I am holding off on posting the scores for the September contest until Monday, October 11 to let a few shooters enter who have had trouble scheduling range time, and that is a bonus for you! You have an entire weekend to enter two great e-Postal contests, so get out and shoot. Remember that each entry you e-mail gives you a chance at a $50 gift certificate from Cheaper Than Dirt.

Crankin' It Up: A Seasonal Repeat, Just Because I Like This Song

We posted this song two years ago, and since then it has had only 114 hits on YouTube, so maybe we can improve the stats with this post. Goldenrod has really packed the load for fall colors this year in Southern Illinois, what with the drought. It has been providing a show for the last month, but is fading now, just as some of the maples are coloring up. Hickories this fall have really fallen flat, going straight to brown. Sumac has been giving us some nice scarlets, and black gum is giving us deep reds now, too. Sassafras has been showing lots of orange and yellow, but most trees have remained green with the extended warm temperatures. You can always count on goldenrod for showy yellows, and most folks do not know that the snowy whites you see are from boneset, which grows alongside goldenrod in old fields. Boneset is supposed to have strong medicinal qualities, but I don't know what goldenrod is good for, other than providing nectar for insects in the fall. I made some tea with the flowers one time, and it just about closed my throat; very bitter and astringent.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Follow-Up Shots: Courtesy of Ruger Firearms

This video follows the lesson of last week's Ruger video, and guides you through re-establishing your sight picture for a second shot on the target. "Again?" "Why not?" Of course! More shooting is more fun.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mr. Completely A TV Star!

Mr. Completely worked with King TV of Seattle to produce a very nice spot promoting Steel Challenge shooting. Click over to read all about it. The finished product is below.  Kudos, Mr. C!


I don't know these guys, but it is very clear that they are always trying to start something. This was over at Evansville last summer.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Feeling Run Down?

Got that tired, run down feeling? The Boonville Antique Steam and Gas Engine Show is coming up next Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I spoke to one of the show officials the other day, and they expect to have a few steam engines show up besides the Kitten engine, along with tractors, old cars, and gas engines. They always have a great flea market, too, and you may find some real treasures there. The show grounds are just a couple miles north of Boonville, Indiana, and camping spots are available. Load up, have a great time, and rejuvenate!

Monday, October 4, 2010

...And Boy Are My Arms Tired!

Bea completed her concealed carry class on Saturday, and she was a bit surprised that everyone had to run 100 rounds through the gun they rode in with. (We thought it was 30.)  Mom was glad she has Hogue grips on her Blackhawk, since she was shooting factory .45's instead of her reloads, and she was still all smiles after the workout.  The .45 Blackhawk was the biggest gun in the class, and Mom had instant street cred when she strapped it on.  There were some .38's, some .40's, and one fellow brought a .22.  After raising her revolver up to fire 100 times, she had to feel like the guy who "Just flew in from Denver!"

Chad, the instructor, works for the Washington County Sheriff's Department, and he puts on a good class.  Mom can apply for her permit under the new Iowa law after January 1, 2011.  

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Weekend's Over!

Back To The Old Grind!

Not My Victrola

Fall weather has arrived; time to shop for a warm coat. Courtesy of Pax41.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Weekend Steam: Spark Shows

A recent attraction at steam shows is the "Spark Show." These are dramatic, and are great crowd pleasers. The old-timers who used these engines to work would look on this as so much foolishness, but today the steamers are recreational, and educational tools, and you have to attract new fans to keep the steam shows viable. This video is courtesy of TheBoss4845, and the engine is a 13 HP Russell. The sparks are made by piling sawdust in the firebox, waiting for it to catch, then opening the draft doors and the throttle; great fun, and beautiful to watch.

Crankin' It Up

Frank Crumit recorded this obscure number on January 4, 1927.