Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mr. Completely e-Postal Reminder

 Danno has a reminder up on Sand Castle Scrolls, and he will accept entries for May (Click) through the first weekend of June.  Bonus time is good!  If the June contest is posted in time, you can shoot both months' contests in one range trip. 

Danno specified 50 yards for centerfire rifles, but I can't see the small spots at that range, so I shot this target with the .45 ACP Hi-Point at 25 yards.  I pulled off a couple shots, but that little rifle can sure shoot.  It has a Tru-Glo red dot sight on top of it now, and with its low mount, I can also use the iron sights while looking through it.  Varmints had better stay out of our yard!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Shooting With Mom

Mom and I were busy fixing little things around her home and yard over the weekend, but we also found time to do some gun looking/shopping, and a couple trips to the Clemons Creek Shooting Range.  The big news out there is the new pit toilet!  Wow!  A real necessary room, so folks don't have to run to the woods for emergencies.

This was Mom's first time shooting since her last surgery, and we took several guns on Sunday.  My suspicions were confirmed that her 1911-22 needs to be lubed after sitting on the shelf for extended periods.  A little fresh oil on the slides had it functioning well, and we ran over 100 through it to break it in a bit more.  The bad news is that Mom has lost a great deal of strength with her illnesses, and she is good for only one double-action-trigger pull on her LCP.  The good news is that the Walther PK380 functioned perfectly after nearly a year of rest, and Mom can really hit with it.  She ran 50 through it without a hitch.

We took her Mk III Hunter out on Memorial Day, and ran 200 rounds through it.  We used CCI Mini Mags rather than bulk pack ammo, because she didn't want to spend her time doing malf drills.  She shot up one of the targets that she brought home from the Washoe Shooting Range, and made every magazine a drill, shifting to a different bullseye for every shot.  She came home energized by the experience of shooting again.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Not My Victrola: Memorial Day Special

"As Victrolaman's Tribute on Memorial Day 2012 to all those who served and sacrificed to preserve our Freedoms. Here is John Phillip Sousa's "The Washington Post March", composed by Sousa in 1889 when he was the leader of the United States Marine Corp. Band. This Sousa March became so popular it led to Sousa being dubbed "The March King."

Weekend Steam

A re-post of a video from the 2009 Old Threshers show at Mt. Pleasant: This Corliss engine used to pump water for the city of Marshalltown, Iowa, and was moved to Midwest Old Threshers in the late 1960's. You can see it operate in the machinery building every year during the Labor Day weekend.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Crankin' It Up

Gene Austin recorded this cute little number on December 2, 1925.

Played on the old Brunswick.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pack Your Range Bag!

We are coming up on the last weekend of the month, so if you haven't already shot Mr. Completely's May contest go HERE to download the target and read the rules.  There are several classes, but if you have a gun that doesn't fit, shoot it anyway, and Danno will make another category just for you.  The e-Postal hosts are so glad for every entry that you can shoot just about anything.

Mr. Completely just won the Gold Medal for Senior (50 and older) Rimfire at the European Steel Challenge, so if you can beat get close to his score you will have real bragging rights.  He always shoots in the Rimfire With Optics class.   Scores from the April contest are HERE.

Join in the fun; we all need the practice.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

9:15 On May The 23rd In '34

I had been thinking about this song, and then forgot all about it last night. Flatt and Scruggs had this Tom T. Hall song on their Final Fling album just before they split up, and it is easy to remember the anniversary after you listen a few times.

End Of A Dream

Mrs. TBS really outdid herself last fall when she worked up her patch of flowers out by the road.  We have had a long lasting show this spring of poppies and corn flowers, but the poppies are just about done.  It looks as though there will be plenty of seed to make it even better next year.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mr. Completely Scores BIG In The European Steel Challenge!!

Mr. Completely has been in the Netherlands again for the European Steel Challenge.  I think this is his third trip for the contest, and this year he really outdid himself.  Here in the U.S. he shoots in Super Senior, for contestants over 65.  The Europeans have only one Senior class, for those 50 and older.  He was really prepared, because he won the Gold Medal in Senior Rimfire.  Hop over to his blog to read all about it, and leave a note congratulating him in comments.  Way To Go, Mr. C!

The Gun Blogger Rendezvous is coming up in just three months, and that is just where you need to go if you would like some good shooting pointers from this champion.  Click Here to download a registration form!

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Carmi Rifle Club Does It Again!

Women On Target 2012 by TrueBlueSam

The Carmi Rifle Club sponsors events for shooters throughout the year, and this month they hosted the NRA's Women On Target Program again.  Mrs. True Blue Sam and I headed to Carmi early on a Saturday morning to shoot some photos and video. The primary instructors were Mike and Valinda Rowe, who have been leading the struggle in Illinois for concealed carry.

Some of the video was shot next to a lady who landed on a Colt 1911-22, and it was a joy showing her how it operates, and then watching her shoot it.  I wouldn't be surprised if she looks for one of these fine running pistols, because she liked it as much as my Mom likes her 1911. 

There were lots of smiles, and most of the attendees tried two or more pistols to find out what worked for them. Look up one of these events in your neighborhood if you want to try you hand at shooting.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Makin' Little Ones Out Of Big Ones

Back To The Old Grind!

Sittin' Right Next To You...

John Prine, from 2005 on Austin City Limits. This version has the bad words bleeped out; uncut song HERE, with an odd but nice slide show to go with it.

Not My Victrola

240252 shares a great Jan Garber dance number, and provides some great 1920's images to boot.  This is what folks were dancing to in 1927.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Crankin' It Up

Frank Crumit recorded this Vaudeville gem on April 13, 1926. Buggys were nostalgic antiques in 1926? That's what it sounds like in this song. City dwellers may well have had little exposure to buggys in the 1920's; what with trolleys, trains, and automobiles. Even rural hayseed types had converted over to autos by then, even though horse power still was being used for farming, and travel when the roads were muddy.

Weekend Steam

Basset669 shares a look at a beautiful Stuart 5A steam engine setup.  This engine is available as a rough casting kit, so you need some machine shop equipment to build one of these.  This specimen has both a displacement lubricator and a mechanical lubricator.  The mechanical lubricator is the little square box on the left side of the engine base.  There is also an eccentric driven feedwater pump, and Stephenson reverse gear.

The little engine sitting beside the big one is a Stuart 10V engine.  The Stuart 10 series is a good entry level steam engine for folks who want to try their hand at engine building.  The bore and stroke of the 10's is just 3/4", and the flywheel is 3" diameter.  Click Here to watch a 10H with transparent valve cover, courtesy of geoff5269.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Weekend Steam Again

The Battleship Texas was the most powerful weapon in the world when she was launched May 18, 1912. The ship was powered by two triple expansion steam engines, which, I think you can see up close if you take the hard-hat tour. Here is a video telling us about it from the Texas tourism people.

There is a lengthy article on Wikipedia well worth reading HERE.

Good photos HERE.  Battleship Texas Foundation HERE.

Just Gettin' By

We'll wind up the old Brunswick during the weekend.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Not An Emerald Ash Borer

I make lots of calls for sick ash trees, and many of those are for folks who claim to have found an emerald ash borer.  This buprestid beetle is twice the size of emerald ash borers, and the yellow markings are not on the smaller pest.  Tiger beetles are also a shiny green, and cause people to get excited.  The emerald ash borer will eventually be all over the Midwest, but with ash yellow disease being rampant, ash is already a poor choice for shade or timber plantings.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Struck By Lightning!

People actually call me to find out what they should do with trees like this ash, which has been almost totally girdled by a lightning strike.  The funny thing about this specimen is that the leaves are still looking fine.  The inner bark is gone, but the sapwood is still functioning, so the tree is able to provide shade yet this summer.  With the cambium and inner bark gone, the roots will starve out soon, and I doubt if it leafs out next spring.

Good luck for the homeowner is the city transmission line about fifty feet away from this tree.  The city will take this ash down to prevent anyone being electrocuted.  Keep that in mind if you have a tree that needs to be cut within striking distance of a powerline.  Utility companies do not want you to be injured, or for you to cause a power outage.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

Run Pinch Free While You Buck

Bucking is not nearly as much fun as dropping trees, but once that sucker is on the ground, you have to do something with it. Novices commonly get their saw stuck while bucking, and the easiest way around that difficulty is to use wedges. Even if you are good at doping out the push-pull forces in logs, wedges make life easier.

Do you ever have to buck logs on pavement, or rocks? Cut most of the way through the log, pound in a wedge tight, which will raise the log off the ground. Plant the tail of the saw on the ground and complete your cut downward. The power head will sit down at the end of the cut, and your bar will still be off the ground

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Hard Way

Are you as tired of "Green Technologies" as I am? This video may at least be documenting a link between bagpipes and brain damage; I'm not sure which came first. Hook it up to an electric motor or gas engine, folks! And put away those pipes 'til St. Andrew's Day.

Back To The Old Grind!

Crankin' It Up, Better Late Than Never

Luis Russell's Heebie Jeebie Stompers recorded Please Don't Turn Me Down on November 17,1926. Played on the old Brunswick, as usual. The spring was making noise when I ran this record, so you may hear me cranking the motor a bit to keep it quiet. My cat Brat was quiet, though. He usually chimes in, and you can hear him on some of the other records.

I knew this was coming. YouTube hit me with a message as soon as this record uploaded: "Your video "Please Don't Turn Me Down", may have content that is owned or licensed by The Orchard Music, but it’s still available on YouTube! In some cases, ads may appear next to it."

This is pretty common, even on records 100 years old. YouTube usually lets them play, because they sell ads to the folks with a claim. You can click the ads to buy mp3's or CD's with many of these old songs. The BIG exception is Al Jolson. I don't even bother trying to post one of his. YouTube blocks uploads of his old records in most countries. I keep an account with DailyMotion just in case YouTube cuts me off because of a copyright complaint.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Weekend Steam: Will He Make It?

Given the wiggly tracks, and the dancing steamer, I would be more than a little nervous standing by the track to shoot this one. Lucky for us that AndrzejMastalerz is a brave YouTuber who is not afraid of being run over.

Friday, May 11, 2012


The Original Dixieland Jazz Band performs on Victor disc number 18483-A. Played on the old Brunswick phonograph.

We got in late,and need to get some sleep, so here is a re-post from a few years ago. We'll put up a new record sometime this weekend if we can find the time.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Keep Your Eyes On It, Or Skedaddle?

Chainsaw videos on YouTube get plenty of comments, and one of the regular comment subjects is to not turn your back on a falling tree. My instructions to chainsaw users are to get out of the bullseye of the stump quickly, as soon as the cutting is done, or when the tree starts to move during wedging.

The trouble with watching the tree go, is your advantage of time disappears if something comes at you. You have to see the danger, and move, when you could have been moving already. Well, I did it. I had cut several snags already, and I stood still and wasted a little over one second when I should have been moving. The top of this snag broke and came back at me, and luckily only smacked me on my left hand. Nothing was broken, and the soreness lasted only a couple days.

The last step in every falling plan is your escape route, and you should perform an escape every time you drop a snag or tree. Why? Because gravity likes to win.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hidden Treasure

 After a long woods walk with a landowner, I took him back to his home, and he invited me into his garage to see his partially restored old engine.  It has been sitting on a shelf for many years gathering dust, but it will be an easy project for him to finish when he retires from his factory job.

 The mixer isn't mounted to the head; I hope he has it stashed nearby.

You can see a magneto peeking from between the flywheels.  That is worth as much as the rest of the engine.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

That's Not A Crawdad Hole...

...THIS is a crawdad hole!!!

I took some photos quickly and moved on.  It might not be healthy to bother this bad-boy.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Rules 2 And 4, and the .22LR

Here is another video from IraqVeteran8888, who recently showed us just how far you have to go to destroy a Hi-Point pistol. (He had to turn it into a pipe bomb in order to make the barrel fail.)

In this video, he explores the lethality of the humble .22 LR round.  Take the time to watch this one, and give some serious thought to why the basic gun safety rules are so important.

Firearm Safety Rules:
1. All guns are always loaded.
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
4. Be sure of your target and what lies beyond it.

 At a quarter mile, the .22 is still quite capable of killing.  Pay attention to that muzzle, and don't let one loose if you don't know where that bullet is going to stop.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Back To Work Already

Back To The Old Grind!

Happy Birthday, Little Brother!

My LIttle Brother Chester came along when I was in high school, so I wasn't around during most of his growing up.  I watched Captain Kangaroo when I was little; he watched Sesame Street.  One of the things Dad learned from the three older kids was that sixteen year old kids tend to tear up cars.  When Chester got close to sixteen, Dad found an old mail jeep and fixed it up for him.  It was a pretty neat vehicle, and I even bought an alternator for it and installed it for Chester.  It was a good car for a kid to drive to school, but Chester hated it.  He drove it hard, but he couldn't destroy it, no matter how hard he tried.  I heard about jumps he made with it over rural railroad crossings, but the jeep always made it home.
Dad took pity on him and fixed him up with something better.  This project started as a worn out and used up Camaro.  There weren't very many things that didn't need fixed, and Dad and I built the 350 engine during a vacation visit in 1985.  I have done several engine rebuilds over the years, but this is the only one that was field tested at 135 miles per hour.  I guess Dad and I torqued everything right.  Chester traded it off for something more practical when he got married.  I bet he would like to have it back now.  Happy 44th, Chester.  If you want to help my little brother feel better about being 44 years old, order a couple carats from him on a pretty gold bauble.  He does nice work, and his number is on the left side of the page.  He doesn't go 135 mph nowadays, but he did get a 1 mph speeding ticket from a camera in Iowa City.

UPDATE:  We heard from Chester after he read this little writeup, and he adds: " But one correction needs to be made... The Camaro would go 140! Never could get the speedo buried, it went to 150. Thanks again -C"

I Don't Care What Dear Abby Says,

I Have Complaints!

Gotta Love John Prine.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Weekend Steam

Uploaded by TeenageAnimal on Jun 20, 2008

At Greenlane station, Glenbrook Vintage Railways train climbs the steep hill through to Remuera on a run around the Auckland Waterfront Circuit. Anthony Allen Video

Friday, May 4, 2012

Crankin' It Up

Luis Russell's Heebie Jeebie Stompers recorded this jazz gem on November 17,1926.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mr. Completely's May e-Postal Contest Is Up!

Danno, over at Sand Castle Scrolls is the May host for Mr. C's monthly contest.  This target requires some thoughtful tactics applied to your shooting skill in order to maximize your score.

 Mr. Completely's notes on the May match:  "I particularly like the combination of  high risk and high value vs low risk and low value spots on the target. Do you go for the big score and risk getting zero for the shot, or should you go for a bigger target you can easily hit but only get a small number of points? There's classes for just about anything you might have to shoot, so head on over to Sand Castle Scrolls, download the target, check out the rules, and head out to the range!"

Dave Spaulding Starts A New Series For Ruger!

Ruger finished up their series of videos on the 1911 recently, and now they are bringing Dave Spaulding back to give us some help with pocket pistols. Here is the introduction:

And some of the choices available from Ruger.

Ruger posted a great series of videos in 2010 and 2011 to introduce novices to pistol handling. You can see them all at THIS LINK on YouTube, and watch a sample here with Instructor Il Ling New.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Revisiting The Bore Cut

One of my early videos was this pixilated demonstration of the technique you need to punch a chainsaw through a log or standing tree.  It keeps getting hits, and I have added to it with a dead persimmon tree we dropped recently.  It makes the video a bit more useful, showing how the bore cut is used to establish a hinge, and keeping the tree stationary until the release cut is completed.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Good-Bye Joe

HeyJoe showed up in June, 1998 while we were canoeing in Utah.  One of our favorite places on that trip was Hey-Joe Canyon, so that is how he got his name.  Susan's mother was watching the place while we were gone, and Joe was so hungry when he wandered in that he ate a potato that she offered him.  He has been a good, faithful watchdog, but his old heart finally gave out tonight.  We are going to miss him.

Molly Does Herself Proud!

Gun Blogger Molly Smith (Seen here at the Rendezvous) is staying active competitively, and amazing all of the gun blogging community with her prowess at the range.  Go Read about her latest accomplishments at Women's Outdoor News.   Wow! Three Titles!  Congratulations Molly!

Stayin' Alive

 Everyone has had some close calls that stick in their mind.  Mine are nearly drowning, narrowly avoiding falling into a burning stump-hole, almost falling down wells, a head-on collision narrowly averted.  They happen fast, and either you make it or you don't.  A retired pilot recently told me about a friend who liked to push the limit on low level flight, and one night was suddenly gone; a pod on his plane caught four feet of a ridge top.  There wasn't even time to say S---.
 One cold, dark night in the just-passed winter, a woman from out of town visited a local church and attempted to walk back to her motel on this abandoned highway segment.  When she came to the barrier at the bridge she stepped around it, and then fell down the steep bank.  She was found early the next morning at the bottom of the drop, and searchers reported that she had clawed at the bank until she succumbed to hypothermia.  The little things that kill people seem almost unbelievable.  I traverse obstacles worse than this regularly and my biggest concerns are keeping my feet dry, and keeping my face out of poison ivy.

If the lady had just turned around and looked behind her she should have seen that she could walk right out of the creek bed.  It was dark, and she probably did not have a light with her... but Highway 15 was a short distance away, and she could have walked or crawled there easily.  She would have seen headlights if she had looked around.  Anyway, when things are not going your way, stay alert, look around, carry a light, wear good shoes.