Thursday, February 27, 2014

Crankin' It Up: I'm Tired Of February Edition

Boy oh boy, is winter getting tiresome or what!?  I am anxious to get out of winter, so we are going to encourage the seasons to move with a little mood music for St. Paddy's Day.  Brat gets up and marches, and Rambler waits for rubs. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Walk Around

I've seen people walk under things like this.  It's an all natural deadfall trap, very useful for smashing dumb animals.  Don't be one of them.

Are You Part Of The March?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Don't Let The Cat Out!

From sundown to sunup this barred owl has become our buddy, I think.  He hoots all night, and talks to me at three in the morning when I take Skip out.  I don't know if he would dive on a dog or not, so right now the dogs are going on a leash every time they need to go out.  And then, there are skunks.  Little Skipper met up with Mr. Skunk at 3:30 AM a couple weeks ago, and we sure don't want that to happen again.  We haven't seen the skunk again, but we are ready for him.  Today a couple dozen geese flew in, and we are hoping they move on rather than hanging around to poop all over the yard.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Blue Monday

Zeke and Brigid have lost Barkley.  What can you say?  We've buried more four-legged friends than I can stand, but we always make room for more.  We couldn't live without them.

 Merky and Cracker,


Toopie.  Brat stayed with him while he recovered from a stroke, and stuck by his side while he died.


Marvin.  Jack sat inside his pen and mourned while I buried him,

and he did the same thing while I buried his companion, HeyJoe.  Learned people will tell you that animals have no soul, but if a pet can call me across hundreds of miles, and if a pet mourns when his friend is dying, are they not as real as we are?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Not My Victrola

Toledorecordman uploaded these two Belle Baker sides.  Good songs, and from a record sharer that we hadn't run across before.  I'm subscribed to him now, and we will probably hear more from Toledo in the future.  Here's 'Sweet Little You,' and 'Hard-Hearted Hannah.'

Wow, what a contrast; Sweet Little You, to "pouring water on a drowning man." What fun!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Illinois Carry Classes; Something I Never Expected To See

Carry classes for the new Illlinois concealed carry law are popping up all around Southern Illinois.  I took the first half of the required course of instruction two weeks ago and will complete it this weekend.  The first part is basically the NRA Basic Pistol Course, and the second half is a day to learn the intricacies of Illinois' law.  Part of the first day was a two part range exercise to cover the NRA requirements, then we all shot the required thirty shots from 5, 7, and 10 yards on the target specified by the Illinois law.  The law is available online, so I have been reading ahead and getting familiar with it.  It's not a perfect law, but it's a lot better than what we had, and I expect positive changes in Illinois because of it.

Weekend Steam: Visiting Scotland

"Footage from the last week of the 2012 season of 'The Jacobite' operated by West Coast Railways and featuring LNER class K1, no.62005. Photographers who travelled to Scotland for the final week were rewarded with some stunning lighting and cold, still conditions for most of the week which enhanced the beautiful autumnal colours."  Click on the "Watch on YouTube" icon to go to YT and read the entire writeup.  Video by acw71000.

Crankin' It Up: The End Of A Musical Era?

February 21, 2014 is the 98th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle Of Verdun, which had something like 700,000 to 1,000,000 casualties.  War was no fun after August, 1914.  Here is a recording of Prince's Band which gives a glimpse of the world view of war before the Great War changed everything.

Prince's Band recorded this lively march on January 11, 1916. War was much more fun before the Great War, which began in August 1914. America was catching the fever for Europe's war in January of 1916, after the Lusitania was torpedoed in 1915, but hadn't yet jumped in. The battle of Verdun began in February 1916, and there were over 700,000 casualties. The battle of the Somme began in July 1916, and it bled England white. The century of modern war that began with WWI pretty much ended the celebratory mood of war music, so you might look at records like this one as the end of a musical era. Tin Pan Alley continued to celebrate to whip up war fever in the U.S. in 1917 and 1918, but that was before the reality of the horrors of war were visited on America.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Big 'un Update

It's been a long day, what with the squall line that blew through this evening, and I didn't have a chance to spend time with Brat on the Brunswick.  I did spend some quality time with Big 'un, and he seems to be recovering well.

You have to remember that this cat was not a tame cat we could handle, and while his eye was hurting he was ready to fight anyone who got near him.  He lets me pick him up now, and he hugs up close to me, but welding gloves help me relax until we get to know each other better. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Thank You For Your Prayers...

Big 'un came through surgery just fine, and was up on his feet again in the evening. I brought him home today, and he is no longer in pain. He will be pretty again. He was a big cat, but the last month has taken him down to six pounds. Vets are extraordinary doctors.

I'm Pullin' For The Squirrel...

A good friend sent the link for this great nature video.  Thanks, Jerry.

Vid by 13NatureHD

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

They're Still On Guard

Things have quieted down now, and the only hunters afield are looking for coyotes, not deer.  The deer are relaxing just a bit, but are still alert.   I was staying back in the shadows in the barn, but when the others in this little group got up they spotted me.

I think they nailed me by spotting my hands working the camera.  These were out at 50 yards, well within their danger zone, and they all bounced away when I blew out a loud breath.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Homes 4 Wounded Heroes

Here is a special one this week.  Ruger is selling an early 7 1/2" Redhawk from the first year of production, and folks, they aren't making this model anymore.  I have a 5 1/2" Redhawk, and with the iron sights I can torpedo a muskrat on the pond, or take the ears off a rabbit.  The longer barreled version will perform amazing feats of marksmanship in your hand.  Collectors are piling on this one, but you should go watch the auction, and bid if you can.  100% of the proceeds go to benefit Homes 4 Wounded Heroes, and this fine .44 will sell mid-day, Wednesday, February 19, 2014.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Please Say A Little Prayer For My Cat...

Big'un is a semi-wild barn cat, but he comes running every night when I call him for supper.  He's been in our nursery for a month, but antibiotics didn't help his eye, and he is going in for surgery first thing Tuesday to have the eye removed.  

Tuesday Triple Turbo!

Barnacle Bill The Sailor, by Frank Luther

Frank Luther's Barnacle Bill #2

And here's Bix! Vocal by Carson Robison.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Crankin' It Up Valentine's Day Trifecta!

Just for Valentine's Day we have the Good,

Tea For Two, August 1924 by TrueBlueSam

 The Bad,

True Blue Sam (TheTravelin'Man) by TrueBlueSam

And the Ugly!  Don't forget!  You've had fair warning.

Some Of These Days by TrueBlueSam

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Listen To Your Ford!

Once upon a time, every shade tree mechanic serviced the wheel bearings on his car, and the bearings usually lasted through the life of the car.  Well, new cars have bearings (wheel units) that you don't service. You run them 'til they die, and then you replace them.  You will know when the time comes with grinding noises, or alarms, like we just had with our '08 Ford Explorer.

The scary part of this part failure was how the car let us know something was wrong. No bearing noise, no wobble in the steering, but in turns the ABS system began applying the brakes, and would grind us down to a dead stop while we pushed on the gas. We were lucky that it didn't kill us, given all the ice we are driving on. When I figured out what was stopping us, I pulled the ABS fuse and we were able to drive again, but still had the RSC (Rollover Stability Control) alarm going off every few minutes.

The service manager had us come out in the shop.  He shook the wheel and told us that it wasn't safe to drive unless we had the wheel unit replaced.  We got out of there for about $500, and it's nice to have the car driving quietly with no alarms. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Homes 4 Wounded Heroes

Ruger's auction this week is a very special 10/22®.  This "Ruger Race Rifle" was never listed in Ruger catalogs, and is very rare, indeed.  One like this sold last year, and collectors slept through the auction, making one of our gun blogger friends a very happy winner.  Bids so far are taking this out of the bargain category, but it is a special, rare rifle, and 100% of the funds will go to benefit Homes 4 Wounded Heroes.  This rifle will sell mid-day Wednesday, February 12, 2014.  Click Here to visit Ruger's auction page, and place a bid.

UPDATE:  $1030!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

I Ended The Weekend With A Double-Klutz And A 1/2 Descending Loop...

....And the landing really nailed me.  Boy am I getting tired of ice.

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Not My Victrola: Lift Me Up...

What a difference a band and bandleader make.  The first video is a contemporary recording of The Charleston.  The tuba, banjo, and piano are nice, and the clarinet is good, but if you need something that will lift you out of your seat, you have to go back to the original, ACOUSTIC, recording by Paul Whiteman in 1925.  When the clarinet works its magic at 2:07, my heart always does flip-flops.

We've featured The Charleston here, before, but this is one that is always worth repeating.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Weekend Steam: Jay Leno's Doble Steam Car

This week we finish up the tour of Jay Leno's steam cars with the Doble, the car that Jay says solved all the problems of earlier steam cars.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Grapple Action

You will see two different types of skidders if you hang around logging jobs.  Cable skidders have a winch, and they require a man on the ground to set chokers on the logs to be pulled.  Grapple skidders like this one only require the operator, so they are very handy in Illinois, where workman's comp insurance makes logging strictly a family operation.

Cable skidders have a big advantage when crossing streams.  The operator kicks out the clutch on the winch, crosses the stream, and then pulls his logs back to the machine.   Grapple skidders have to hang onto their load all the way to the landing, so bridges have to be put in place for stream crossings.

These machines always remind me of a big old pinching bug.  Below is a little action from our timber harvest in 2012.  Grapple skidders are really handy for sorting logs, and moving them around where you want them. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Homes 4 Wounded Heroes

Ruger's auction this week is a Blackhawk in .30 Carbine that was built in 1977.  Click Here to read all about it.  100 % of the proceeds will go to benefit Homes 4 Wounded Heroes, so loosen up those purse strings.  It is for a good cause.  This revolver will sell mid-day Wednesday, February 5, 2014.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Not My Victrola: A Legend In His Time

George H. O'Connor performed for seven presidents during his life, and was with us until 1945.  This is a new one for me; recorded by Mr. O'Connor in February 1917.

Shared with us by cdbpdx.

MMMMM.....Grilled Groundhog Tenderloins

What are you cooking for the big game?