Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Sixty Five Years? Yep, Sixty Five Years Ago...

Mom has that dinner bell in front of her house.

I think Grandma snuck this picture.

December in Iowa; they had to chain up before they left the church.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Homes 4 Wounded Heroes


Ruger is starting 2014 with another great firearm to help wounded vets.  This All-Weather Ruger 77/22 was test fired in 1991, and has been residing in Ruger's vault.  Click Here to read the entire writeup and to place your bid.  100% of the proceeds will go to Homes 4 Wounded Heroes, and the auction ends mid-day, New Year's Day.


Monday, December 30, 2013

It Ain't Blue Steel and Wood...

...but it does what must be done!


He's still waiting for a repeater.

Tuesday Turbo Boost

Back in the early 1980's we would put this album on in the morning while I got ready to go out the door.  It still works for me now...

Bobby Bare;  Down and Dirty

Here's another, not quite as energetic, but fun, nontheless.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Not My Victrola: Early 1920's Songs

We haven't played any records from Pax41 for a while, but he is still out there on YouTube posting very high quality records from the Roaring Twenties.  I'm kind of a dinosaur, mixing technology from ninety years ago to play my records, with digital technology from the present day.  Pax41 plays his records on modern turntables and obviously uses current technology to erase noise from the record-needle interface.  Sometimes I think I should spend the money for good recording equipment, but then I couldn't let my cat walk around on it. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Weekend Steam: A Reunion Of Sorts

Back in '06 I was up in Minnesota for a couple weeks on fire duty with a Forest Service crew. I was riding in the back seat of their truck all the way up and back, and as we neared Duluth, Minnesota on the way home I saw a really big locomotive sitting on the west side of the road. Well that engine just appeared in a slide/video show on YouTube, and I have been having a good time watching it. It was uploaded by whj58, and I include his writeup for your educational pleasure.

"Yellowstone Locomotive Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway Minnesota DM&IR 2-8-8-4 steam locomotive.These locomotives were based upon 10 2-8-8-2s that Baldwin had built in the 1930s for the Western Pacific Railroad. The need for a larger, coal burning firebox and a longer, all-weather cab led to the use of a four-wheel trailing truck, giving them the "Yellowstone" wheel arrangement. They were the most powerful Yellowstones built, producing 140,000 lbf (620 kN) of tractive effort, and had the most weight on drivers so that they were not prone to slipping.
Eight locomotives (class M-3) were built by Baldwin in 1941. The Yellowstones met or exceeded the DM&IR specifications so ten more were ordered (class M-4). The second batch was completed late in 1943 after the Missabe's seasonal downturn in ore traffic, so some of the new M-4s were leased to and delivered directly to the Denver & Rio Grande Western.
The next winter the D&RGW again leased the DM&IR's Yellowstones as helpers over Tennessee Pass, Colorado and for other freight duties. The Rio Grande returned the Yellowstones after air-brake failure caused Number 224 to wreck on the Fireclay Loop. This was despite the Rio Grande's earlier assessment that these Yellowstones were the finest engines ever to operate there.
DM&IR's were the only Yellowstones to have a high-capacity pedestal or centipede tender, and had roller bearings on all axles. Some of the locomotives had a cylindrical Elesco feedwater heater ahead of the smoke stack, while others had a Worthington unit with its rectangular box in the same location.
Only one Yellowstone was retired before dieselization took place on the Missabe; Number 237 was sold for scrap after a wreck. The rest of the 2-8-8-4s were retired between 1958 and 1963 as diesel locomotives took over.
Three of the eighteen built still survive and are on display: Number 227 at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in Duluth, Minnesota, Number 225 in Proctor, Minnesota, and Number 229 in Two Harbors, Minnesota."

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Crankin' It Up: Re-Runs

Tonight we are recycling a few of the records that we pulled off of YouTube.  Three are reassembled into one video on DailyMotion for you.

Prohibition Collection by TrueBlueSam

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

This Calls For A Review!

I'll try not to shoot an eye out.

This Made My Day!

We got home late from a trip to St. Louis, and were greatly cheered to open this e-mail: "Recently I googled Marmon16 and your blog appeared. On your blog,there was a 1932 Marmon 16 that you photographed in Aug. 2011 on display in Pinckneyville, IL. That car belongs to my Dad. We live in Belleville. Recently Dad turned 89. I threw a surprise birthday party for him at Fischer's Restaurant. I wanted to incorporate a picture of his beloved Marmon on his birthday cake. I used your picture (attached) for the cake. I wanted to thank you for the nice article and pictures you took. If you ever want to see that car again, let me know."

 Here is a photo of the car. It's nice to make someone happy once in a while with this little blog.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Not My Brand, But What The Heck!

Tuesday Turbo: Sounds Of The Season

If that one doesn't Jingle your Bells, try this one.

A Three Decker Sauerkraut and Toadstool Sandwich...

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Homes 4 Wounded Heroes

Ruger has another highly desirable gun up for auction this week; one of their Mk II Government models that was returned for a minor repair, and kept in the Ruger vault.  Most of these auctions are too rich for my blood, but it is enlightening to see just what serious collectors are willing to pay.  100 % of the proceeds will be donated to Homes 4 Wounded Heroes, so bump it up a bit if you can afford to be the last man standing when the hammer falls on Christmas Day.



Sunday, December 22, 2013

You Can Take A Break Wednesday,

but Monday, it's....

Back To The Old Grind!

Video by tbfoto.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

Weekend Steam: A Christmas Special at Flora, Illinois!

The Little Toot Railroad will be running a Christmas Special this weekend, at Charlie Brown Park, Flora, Illinois. Temps are forecast to be mild, but rain may play havoc with riders in the open cars. This video was uploaded by Norman Morgan.

Drop A Small Diameter Leaner Safely And Easily

Small diameter leaners are a special problem for everyone who uses a chainsaw.  Firewood cutters cut defective trees like the one in the video to improve their timber while they build their wood pile for winter, and loggers have to deal with trees like this on a daily basis as they clean their workspace around trees they are cutting.  The method I was taught involves repeated shaving cuts on the heavy side of the tree until it folds over.  Trust me; dozens of shaving cuts take a lot of time, and it is fatiguing to raise and lower your saw.  Because there hasn't been an easy, effective method of dropping these little buggers, I see a lot of this when I am on my woods-walks.

Watch the video a few times before you head to the woods with your saw, and give this method a try.  I think you will like it as much as I do.  Make the hinge a bit thicker than you normally would when cutting a leaner, and be very careful to punch through parallel to the front face.  If you blow out your hinge with a poorly aimed cut you may trap your saw.

Christmas Crank-Up With Brat And Rambler

Merry Christmas to all of out True Blue friends, from Susan, David, and of course, Brat, Rambler, and Skip.

Puritone Christmas Special With Brat And Rambler by TrueBlueSam

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Emily Gets Her Gun…

...But Obama Wants To Take Yours.  It would be the rare blog-follower who hasn't at least heard of Emily Miller, Senior Editor at the Washington Times, and her documentation of the process to acquire a firearm in Washington D. C. while negotiating the spider web of laws and regulations in our nation's capital.   Miss Miller is practically unique as a member of the mainstream media, because she is also an outspoken and prominent proponent for our rights that are enumerated in the U. S. Constitution.  She has had an incredible journey over the last few years while she labored to become a knowledgeable, responsible gun owner in the hostile D. C. environment.  Emily's efforts are all the more amazing because she knew nothing about firearms when she decided that she needed one, and wanted to obtain one in the most gun-unfriendly city in America.  Her book is a wakeup call for folks who haven't kept up with the shenanigans of anti-gun politicians, and it is a picture from life's other side for gun owners who grew up with guns as part of their life.

My parents and my grandparents were all farmers, and a gun or two was always within easy reach.  Grandpa was unusual in our neighborhood because he kept sheep in addition to cows and pigs.   He never would have been able to keep sheep without his guns because of dogs that would regularly invade his pastures.  Skunks and opossums had to be kept at bay to protect the chickens, and racoons were a pest that would foul stored grain.  The last several years Grandpa farmed, coyotes were moving into his neigborhood, and he would sit out in his pastures on moonlit nights to keep them at bay.  Guns were necessary tools around the farm, and there was no stigma against them or gun owners back then.

Mom's parents and their farm are long gone now, and Mom is living in town by herself.  She doesn't have to worry about varmints raiding her chickens nowadays, but she came to the same conclusion as Emily did; that she needed to be able to protect herself from two legged predators who might invade her home.  A background check by the County Sheriff was all Mom needed in Iowa to obtain a permit to purchase handguns, and as soon as Iowa passed a carry law, Mom took her class and paid for her carry permit.  It was an easy process, as it should be for law abiding citizens.

Emily's ordeal in purchasing one gun will make you realize that there is not just one America for the citizens.  Emily made a list of seventeen separate steps she would have to perform, she had to take off repeatedly from her job to visit the city police, and she paid hundreds of dollars in fees to the city in order to buy her gun.  There was page after page of paperwork that had to be completed, and Emily had to leave D. C. to shop for guns, to learn how to shoot, and to purchase ammunition.  You can't do any of those things in the city that should be the seat of our liberty.  

Emily Gets Her Gun also documents the ongoing dirty tricks and strategies of the politicians who are working ceaselessly to deny the basic human right of self defense for Americans, and Emily introduces us to real Americans who have been abused by the system in Washington D. C. 

Emily spent four months of intensive effort to buy her first gun as a resident of the District of Columbia.  Contrast that with the state where you live.  I live in Illinois, which is generally considered to be an anti-gun state, due to the influence of Chicago at the far north end, but buying firearms is much easier than in D.C. 

Emily Miller has sounded an alarm with Emily Gets Her Gun, and she continues to beat the drum for Constitutional rights in her job at the Washington Times.  Go online and buy a hard copy, or electronic copy of this important book, and then follow Emily in the news for her latest updates.

Emily Gets Her Gun...And Obama Wants To Take Yours is published by Regnery Publishing, Inc., Washington, D. C.  Copyright 2013 by Emily Miller

Buy The Book on Amazon.

Cover Photo furnished by Regnery Publishing, Inc.

Here's a Big 'un!

This smooth running hit-and-miss engine was at Pinckneyville last August.  I am going to risk looking ignorant and guess that this is a Waterloo Boy engine.  I should take notes, but I am always having too much fun at engine shows as I go from engine to engine.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Homes 4 Wounded Heroes


Ruger's auction this week is a real oddball, and the collectors have to be licking their lips over this one.  It is a Service Six in .380 Rim, which was probably built for export.  Click Over to Ruger's GunBroker page to read all about it and to place a bid if you want this in your collection.  This unusual Ruger will sell midday, Wednesday, December 18, 2013.  All proceeds will go to benefit Homes 4 Wounded Heroes.

The hammer fell at $1526!  

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Put The Beans On To Soak...

 ...The forecast is for cornbread!


Back To The Old Grind!

Photo Credit: Gary Bahre; Thanks for the grinder, Gary!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Coming Up, Four More Inches!

The snow from last week has barely settled, all the gravel roads are solid ice, and another storm is on the way for Friday and Saturday.  Work has been busy, and Friday we will be rounding up more firewood, so blogging may be light.  I didn't even crank up the Brunswick for Brat Cat tonight.  Stay tuned, we will work in a record sometime this weekend. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Out In The Sticks...

...I never know what I will run into.  Sometimes you get out and walk before you planned, sometimes you see a lesson, sometimes you see a picture from life's other side.

In over thirty years of doing forestry work, I've never had to call for a wrecker. ( I did get pulled out by a tractor once.)  I park early, and when I'm off the paved roads, I tend not to use four wheel drive to get into a place, only to get out.

What logger pulled this stunt?  No hinge at all made for an embarasingly visible barber chair.  Even rank amateurs know better than this if they leaf through their chainsaw manual.

It looks like the renters tightened the place up quite a bit with the scavenged tin added to the roof.  That's a good looking old Maytag; I wonder if young wives today know how to run a set of rinse tubs with a machine like this.  I'm afraid I don't see much joy in old houses like this one.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Homes 4 Wounded Heroes


Ruger's auction this week is that old favorite, the Ruger Super Single-Six.  This one was test fired in December, 1975, and was returned for an unknown reason by the distributor.  Folks are bidding generously; it must be the Christmas season!  Every penny goes to benefit wounded servicemen, so jump in and bid if you can.  This fine pistol sells mid-day, Wednesday, December 11, 2013.

$762!!!!!  Many thanks to the bidders, and to Ruger for their generosity!

November Mr. Completely e-Postal Scores Are Up!

Click over to Sand Castle Scrolls for the results. Merle entered a total of TEN targets! Thanks, Merle; that's real dedication!

 Danno is going to leave the results up, and if you want to try this target, he will add you into the results.  It's a tough target, but lots of fun for the family.  Get out and give it a try with friends and family while you are together at Christmas.

The Mr. Completly e-Postal Contests will resume in March, 2014 with Mr. Completely hosting the first match of the year. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Grind Out Some Goodness For Christmas Dinner!

Back To The Old Grind!

Photo Credit:  Abbie Watters, from the Abbie Watters' Blog.
Click over to learn her recipe for Cranberry Salad.
Copyright, Abbie Watters; used with permission.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Not My Victrola

Uploaded by benjioben.

December 7 Changed Everything,

and touched everyone. I've known lots of veterans from WWII, and it's true that most of them didn't talk much about their experiences. Usually you can glean only a little bit at a time, even with those you know well. Today, we really can't fathom the changes to everyone's life, as the entire country became focused on fighting a war, with the iron will to win it.

 How many parents felt their hearts sink when they received one of these?

Men from every corner of the country, all part of a team.  These guys even had a couple of Code Talkers with them.

"This guy got killed on Guam, this guy died on Iwo, this guy got shot all to hell, this guy went nuts.  I got tired of seeing the guy next to me get it." It's a wonder that any vets go to reunions.  The memories need to be kept under control.

Good things and bad come out when your vet opens up and talks a bit.  "Navy guys would trade booze for souvenirs."  "I always picked up the first BAR I could find after landing."  "When you came off, you would fill an ammo box with oil, put your .45 in it, and bury it under your bunk so you would have it next time."  "On Iwo, you would go hole to hole, and you always had either your .45 or your Ka-Bar in your hand when you went into a hole....I sure got tired of sticking that Ka-Bar in Japs."

Weekend Steam: Apples and Oranges

Merle (of e-Postal Match fame) sent the link to this video, and it's a good one.  Contests like this one come down to torque and traction, and a smokin' Diesel is just providing a good show if the weight, rubber, and gearing don't match up with the opponent.  Plowing backward with your tires is darned impressive!

Video by: Millar's Tractor Spares Thanks for the link, Merle!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Four Wheel Drive Is A Must

It's a joy to get where you are going without going in the ditch.

Crankin' It Up

Have a look at the next phonograph to go online!  Susan and I bought this old Brunswick in 1975, and we are going to see if we can make it play again.

Wildlife Masacred By Blizzard!

Porcupines Frozen In Mid-Stride!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

So Far, So Good, But....

...will it blow snow?  We purchased a new Red Max blower this fall, and it does great rolling leaves out of the yard, and is light enough to use blowing out the gutters.  The snow falling tonight is heavy, but we will give it a try on the driveway tomorrow and see how it does with the white stuff.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

"Many A Weary Nibble"

Here's a strange call.  A homeowner contacted me because her cedar tree was raining down the tips of branches.  A close inspection showed that all of these juniper tips were cut cleanly.  You will see this type of behavior from squirrels, who like to drop the ends of oak branches with acorns, or with wasp galls full of tasty larvae, but these limbs are too small for a squirrel to navigate.  That left mice as a choice.  Voles are a mouse-sized rodent, with a short tail, that are murder on tree plantings in grass.  Voles are always chewing up bedding for their dens, and it appears that a vole, or voles, zeroed in on this tree to provide bedding for the winter.  The homesite is being taken over with young trees so the grasses are disappearing, and it looks to me as though the voles moved to the next best thing for bedding in their cozy little dens.  That's my guess, anyhow.  If you can think of a better explanation for who's been making these tiny cedar cuttings, let us know in comments.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Rattles Your Windows, It Does

It's always a thrill when you hear a crop duster arrive over your house.  The pilot usually finishes up his application before you can find the right spot to shoot video, but this time he was right across from the end of the driveway.  I miss the old Pratt and Whitney rigs that Farm Air used in years past, but these turbo-prop rigs are much better at climbing out and pulling a tight turnaround. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Tuesday Turbo Boost

One listen of this, and you will be fired up all week!

Uploaded by HotAndSweaty.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Homes 4 Wounded Heroes


Ruger's auction this week is a .357 Stainless Blackhawk made in 1978.  It was sent out for a photo shoot, and had a new firing pin installed when it was returned to the factory.   The serial number has been modified to reflect that it is a "used" gun.  It's hard to beat a Blackhawk, and we always keep one handy at our house.  You can bid on this gun at Ruger's GunBroker page, and be assured that every penny goes to benefit wounded veterans.  This Blackhawk sells mid-day, Wednesday, December 4, 2013.

UPDATE: $965.00

Sunday, December 1, 2013

On Some Jobs You Must Gum Up The Works

Back To The Old Grind!  (This man is too much of an artist to use a grinder, but that is most of us would do today.)  (Gumming a saw increases the depth of the gullet to match the reduction at the top of the tooth.  If you don't do both, the gullet will fill with cuttings.)