Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween's Thursday, and Here It Is, Wednesday Already

Halloween means it's time for a visit to the dark side.  One of my favorite records.....

Two Black Crows In Hades by TrueBlueSam

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Homes 4 Wounded Heroes
The Ruger auction this week is evidently the first American Rifle out the door, and it went with Ruger CEO Mike Fifer on a shakedown hunt in Greenland in 2011.  Click Here to read more about it, and bid generously to help wounded soldiers.

Tuesday Turbo Boost: Take A Trip To The Lightnin' Bar

Monday, October 28, 2013

Mr. Completely e-Postal Reminder

Mrs. True Blue Sam's Pizza Night contest will end soon. Please shoot your targets, scan them, and e-mail them to truebluetravelinman (at) gmail (dot) com, by midnight, Sunday, November 3. The November contest will be hosted by Danno of Sand Castle Scrolls, so keep an eye on his blog. We shot it out behind the barn Sunday morning, and I plan to shoot again next weekend.  I think I found the sweet aiming spot that just about guarantees a score every time!  Gotta re-shoot with a couple guns. 

Drilling For...

...Daffodils! We worked on a special project yesterday; a couple of new daffodil beds at the end of the driveway. We dragged the generator out so we could auger the holes, and we put on our shooting muffs. We need to get a better muffler before we fire that thing up again.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Planning Ahead For A Flower Bed

We spent a good bit of the day Saturday on this project. We rented a tiller from the local Soil and Water District, and had quite a time attaching it to the little Kubota. It's a six foot tiller, and a five footer would have been plenty. We had to make some changes, but we got it on, and the little tractor could handle the load working up the wildflower beds. They don't have to be tilled deep; stirring the top couple inches mixes the seeds from this year into the soil, and the poppies should put on a stellar show next spring. We will be adding additional seeds for good measure in the days ahead. The new daffodil beds were tilled deeper, with the tractor down in granny low. We tried to prep the wildlife food plot after we finished the flower beds, but a brief trial had the engine wide open, and boiling over in short order. We loaded the tiller on it's little trailer and took it back to the Soil and Water parking lot Sunday morning. You don't have to watch the entire video; it's a bit like watching paint dry. Video Credit: Mrs. True Blue Sam

It Comes Around Too Soon

Back To The Old Grind!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Weekend Steam: Advance Engine At Boonville, Indiana

The Kitten engine had a little rest at the October 2013 show, and the Advance engine did a fine job pulling the thresher at Thresherman Park.

Forest Products Week: Persimmon Processing!

Place several washed persimmons in a colander, and go to town mashing them up.

Push the pulp through the holes with a big wooden spoon.  Put the seeds far away from the house so you aren't invaded by 'possums and coons.  You can plant the seeds in unforested areas for future persimmon fruitiness.

Persimmon pulp.  Boy oh Boy is it good!  Use it in the recipe below to make these cookies.

Photo Credit: Mrs. True Blue Sam

Persimmon Cookies Recipe
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup very ripe persimmon puree*
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 Tbsp persimmon puree
  • 1 tsp grated orange peel
·         1 Cream butter, brown sugar, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl. Add persimmon puree, stirring until blended.
·         2 Stir together dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients to persimmon mixture a third at a time, stirring just until flour is incorporated. Stir in nuts.
·         3 Lay out plastic wrap on a large smooth surface. Place the cookie dough on the plastic wrap and form into a long cylindrical log, wrapping the dough completely with the plastic wrap. Place in freezer. Chill at least a couple of hours, until frozen or almost frozen.
·         4 Preheat oven to 375°F. When dough is fairly solid, unwrap from plastic wrap and slice with a sharp knife, 1/4" thick rounds. Lay out cookie dough rounds on stick-free cookie sheets, leaving at least an inch between the cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies spring back when lightly touched in center. Let cool on baking racks before frosting.
·         5 When cookies have cooled, lay out over a sheet of wax paper. Sift confectioner's sugar and then whisk with 2 Tbsp of milk until smooth. Add 1 Tbsp of persimmon puree and 1 tsp of grated orange peel and mix until smooth. Dip spoon into glaze mixture and dribble over cookies. Let harden and serve.
·         Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Brunswick Closeups

We had a request on YouTube to share the front of the Brunswick, and we always aim to please.  The Brunswick is a garage sale find, and it has plenty of honest wear, and patina, but it's a good machine to enjoy, because the price was right, and the condition problems mean that we can enjoy it without worrying about making a new scratch or two.

There are storage areas on either side of the horn for record albums.  Original albums usually are in very poor condition, and the good ones we handle as little as possible.  Most of our records are in filing cabinets, but some very special records are stored in our upright Victrola, in original Victor record albums.

Hello In There....!  No doubt about who is in charge here.  The photo session was closely supervised.  Volume control is a block that pulls through a cutout in the far back of the horn.  Just pull out the little knob on the right to turn down the volume.

Honest wear and patina.  There are several chips of veneer missing, plus various stains.  Restoration would cost more than the added value, so we just try not to make it any worse.  The spring was broken when bought the Bruns, and we did the repair by riveting the spring back together.  It has held for several years, but I don't wind it too tight.

Brat is in his kingdom when he is on the phonograph.  He likes the heat from the lights, and he likes having his ears rubbed when we do a record.  That is Imogene looking over Brat. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Forest Products Week: Somebody's Gotta Do It

 Click Here to see this on YouTube and read more lyrics for this famous forestry song.

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat

After Bye Bye Blackbird, I need something to cleanse my ears, and this one should do it.  Aileen Stanley and Billy Murray are always a joy to hear.   Whenever You're Lonesome, Just Telephone Me; June 1, 1922.

Whenever You're Lonesome Just Telephone Me by TrueBlueSam

Crankin' It Up: We Take A Request!

We still have a few records on YouTube, and one of them had a comment this week.  Seems someone wanted to hear the flip side, so here it is.  We always try to please, even if it's not one I want to listen to. 

Bye Bye Blackbird; about as bad as it can be performed...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Forest Products Week Continued: Tasty Treats

I've been loading up this evening on homemade persimmon cookies; a treat you won't find in the supermarket.  Persimmons need to ripen on the tree, and some of them won't be ready to eat until you've had a frost.  The flavor of persimmons varies tree to tree, and we sample several around the farm to find the best ones.

Persimmon wood was the most valuable hardwood we grew twenty-five years ago.  Persimmon logs were cut into short flitches, and golf clubs were processed from sections with the shaft parallel to the pith.  Persimmon wood is hard and heavy, but has been replaced by cast metal for the drivers used in the game of golf.  Persimmon is now an orphan species in timber sales, but it does make good firewood.  It is a "white" wood, with very little natural preservative, and when a persimmon tree dies, the bugs move in almost as quickly as they do in hickory.

Persimmon is also one of our most colorful trees in the fall.  Persimmons are a brilliant yellow when the sun hits them, and if they are loaded with fruit, you have little orange gems scattered throughout the crown, adding to the visual joy.

Oh...and they tell you what the winter will bring.  This fall, I have been seeing spoons, and that is what others in Southern Illinois are reporting.  Expect some heavy snow in Illinois during the upcoming winter.   It's at least as reliable as global warming reports!

UPDATE!!!! Click Here to learn about persimmon pulp, and a cookie recipe!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Forest Products Week: A Fellow Can Dream...

Something on my wish list... ....Or maybe one of these. Yep, this one's more like it!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Forest Products Week: Let's Make Some Boards!

Reciprocating sawmills like this one really vibrate, and give tourists a thrill. There is one of these at Mackinac City, Michigan that we visited many years ago. Lynn Besch uploaded this vid, but didn't tell us the location.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Homes 4 Wounded Heroes

Ruger's auction this week is a 1975 M77R in the rare and highly desirable .358 Winchester.  This rifle has been residing in Ruger's vault since 1975, and has a few small scratches on the wood finish; nothing that can't be touched up easily.  The .358 is an easy caliber to load, using .308 cases that are necked up; and anything the .308 can do, the .358 can do better.  If you are looking for a big game rifle, you can't go wrong with this one. Click Here to go to Ruger's GunBroker page and place your bid on this fine, rare rifle.  100% of the proceeds go to Homes 4 Wounded Heroes.

Tuesday Turbo

Uploaded by billbilladaada.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Not My Victrola: Arthur Collins Performs Steamboat Bill

Courtesy of geofbrit59.

J. Russell Stewart: A Remarkable Man, A Very Good Man

The Mrs. and I went to pay our respects today for one of my former employers.  Russ Stewart was part of the generation that won World War II.  He worked from the time he was a boy, and was a well respected oil man, along with his brothers and his son.  Go Here to read his obituary. 

I recommend that you look up the USS Dallas, the destroyer that Russ served aboard.  The Dallas was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, and four battle stars. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Weekend Steam, Part Two: Boonville, Indiana

We saw some great steam action last week at Boonville. This is video of the sawmill, with a Keck-Gonnerman traction engine doing the honors of supplying power. The loud exhaust you hear is the single cylinder Fairbanks-Morse engine that is right next the the Keck pulling the sawmill.

Weekend Steam, Part One

The American Thesherman Fall Show at Pinckneyville is happening this weekend. This video is a Port-Huron engine giving us a little stack talk on the Baker Fan.

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat; A New One!

Down By The Winegar Woiks; Aileen Stanley and... by TrueBlueSam Billy Murray tells us just how tough his neighborhood is in this amusing novelty song from 1925. Brat decided that he wanted to help snap greenbeans rather than stay on the Brunswick.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Crankin' It Up; Doin' It All Over Again

Just Around The Corner; Ted Lewis by TrueBlueSam I've been uploading videos to YouTube for six years, and had a few more than 700 videos there, but YouTube has changed. YT's copyright policy has been tightening up for three or four years, and it has become difficult to understand. Most of the music that I post is either before 1923 (Public Domain), or obscure late 1920's music that doesn't cause any copyright issues. In recent weeks copyright notices were showing up every day from YT, (especially on 100 year old records) and rather than risk losing my account, I pulled all of my videos with music off of YouTube. I am now using DailyMotion for saving my old records; users over there report that it is a friendlier place to post music, even though the rules are pretty much the same. So... here's one of my favorite Ted Lewis songs, moved from YT to DailyMotion! New records will be in the works, too, but the work days have been long this week and I gave Brat a break tonight. Engines, chainsaws, and etc. will still be on my old YouTube channel.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

More Tractor Action At Boonville

Seeing kids enjoying the the tractors is gratifying. You have to bring youngsters into the hobby or these machines will end up in a scrapheap. Engine hobbyists have been generous to kids as long as I can remember, and the tradition continues. You will see a couple people riding on the drawbar. That is the safe way to ride along on a tractor; you don't get run over if you fall off. Don't ever ride (or allow someone else) on the fender of a tractor. You see fatalities from that practice to this day.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Homes 4 Wounded Heroes

Ruger's auction this week is in white-knuckle-nosebleed-bidding territory.  These rare, U.S. marked Mk II pistols are very popular with the generous bidders who are lining up to donate to Homes 4 Wounded HeroesClick Here to Bid, or just to look at the numbers and be amazed.  100% of the proceeds will go to Homes 4 Wounded Heroes.  The hammer falls mid-day, today.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


The Mrs., her Mother and I had the opportunity to take a tour of Mt. Vernon's new water park, which will open in May, 2014. It's much more than a swimming pool, and the kids in Mt. Vernon will probably never appreciate how lucky they are. More to come! I have put together a slide show, but uploads take time, and I need to get some sleep. Stay tuned. Pictures from Boonville are also uploading. And...Here You Go!...

Monday, October 14, 2013

Tuesday Turbo Boost

C. W. McCall turns 85 in November. Send a birthday card to: Bill Fries P.O. Box E Ouray, CO 81427 Let's make it a double!

The Things You See At A Steam and Gas Engine Show

 This would be a welcome sight if you were stuck on the side of the road.  I really like the way that patina is respected nowadays.

That is one happy little dog.  The driver looks pleased, too.  Prob'ly because the old heap actually started.

Move Over, Rover; I'm ridin' shotgun.  Hey! That's a Stover gas engine in the back! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

All That Fun At Steam Shows...

 ...requires plenty of work by the club members. Wheat has to be drilled in before winter, and this fellow is rolling down the freshly plowed ground in preparation for that. This video was shot on Saturday, and I bet they drilled the wheat today. Back in the early Fifties when steam shows were taking off in popularity, this Farmall would have been state of the art. No I see tractors twenty five years younger than this one showing up as antiques.

Are You Ready For Monday Morning?

Perfect Weather, Perfect Show; Grinders For Those Who Need Them!

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Not My Victrola: Collins and Harlan...

...Courtesy of VictrolaMan.

Hot Tip On A B Allis!

We saw this mostly-restored Model B Allis Chalmers at the Boonville, Indiana show.  The owner has a new project on the way, and he needs to make room.  The motor has been rebuilt, and it sounds great.

Vacation Down On The Farm...

...Means you do those jobs that have sort of piled up on you. Here's one that we can scratch off the list. We need to do two more doors for the old barn at the home place.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Weekend Steam: Boonville, Indiana; Be There!

This is the weekend for the Fall Show at Boonville, Indiana.  Don't miss it.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Take It From SondraK....

...The way to a woman's heart is with...
...Shooz!   Happy Birthday!

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat

You'd Be Surprised by TrueBlueSam
This week we rerun another song that we did a few years back. We nailed a clean looking copy of You'd Be Surprised that is in much better condition than the old one in our cabinet, and we gave it a spin with the Brat's help.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hit-And-Miss Video From Pinckneyville, 2012

I was looking back through the photos and found some video that I shot last year, and I assembled it for our viewers to enjoy.  Pinckneyville, August 2012.  I have no clue what brand of engine we are watching here, but it's a good one. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Homes 4 Wounded Heroes

You haven't seen one of these in a showcase since about 1977!  Ruger's auction this week is this fine .44 Magnum Super Blackhawk made in 1976, with the Bicentennial rollmark on the barrel.  All proceeds from this auction go to Homes 4 Wounded Heroes, so loosen up the purse strings and Make Your Bid.

Winter Weather Forecast!

This Just In....Snow in Southern Illinois during the upcoming winter.

A spoon in a persimmon seed means that you will be shoveling snow.  A knife means that it will be cold.  Grease your boots; this can't be wrong.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

September e-Postal Scores; Tougher Than I Intended

September e-Postal Entries
Rimfire Pistol
Iron Sights
Mike B
S & W 617
Ruger Mk I
Pat Butler
Ruger Single Six .22 LR
Kim J
Ruger Shopkeeper .22 LR
Ruger Single Six
Ruger Single Six
1967 Ruger Semi-Auto Standard Model 4 5/8”
Rem Thunderbolts

Ruger 22/45
Ruger 22/45

Rimfire Pistol
Red Dot Sight
Mr. Completely
High Standard/OKO/Volquartsen barrel
Mr. Completely
Mitchell Arms/OKO/Homemade Barrel
Pattie Ann
Ruger Mk III/Bushnell
Susan/Mrs. True Blue
Ruger Mk III/Bushnell
Rimfire Pistol
David/True Blue Sam
Ruger Mk III/Bushnell 1.75x
TC Contender 10” Bull/1.5-4.5 Rifle Scope @2X

Centerfire Pistol
Iron Sights
Rob Jarrard
Springfield XD40 Subcompact
Pat Butler
High Power 9mm
Chester J
Bersa Thunder .380
British Enfield Number 2 Revolver/ Cal .38/200 w/Magtech 140 gr. .38 S&W

Centerfire Pistol
TC Contender 9x19mm 10” Oct/ 2-6 pistol scope @ 2X

 Many thanks to all who shot and sent in their scores for September.  I thought this would be an easy target because I shoot real oil filters and it is actually pretty easy.  The ones on paper are a bit smaller, though, and that is what splits up the scores.  Merle entered four guns, and really impressed me by scoring 19 with a pistol scope.  Pistol scopes have long eye relief and are meant to be shot from a rest.  Merle shot the contest offhand; something that I'm not brave enough to do with my pistol scoped barrels.  
Robb Jarrard has been a shooting buddy with Mom and I for several years and I am glad to have him join the crowd.  Brother Chester did pretty well with his new Bersa Thunder.  I got to handle this little jewel today, and I must say that I am impressed.  My little brother found a keeper, and he shoots it very well.  Chester's wife Kim is knocking our socks off with her little Shopkeeper pistol.  A bit more practice and she will be shooting the target before she draws.  You'll have to watch Little Big Man, Chester to understand that one.  Many thanks to all who took the time to shoot this little contest, and Thank You, Mike, for not telling me how many times you shot the target to make a perfect score.  (You did it the first time, didn't you?)