Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gary Bahre Gives Us A Bessemer Update

Gary knew he was getting a tough challenge when he loaded the 8 HP Bessemer and took it home.  We had decided long ago that we would never repair it, because it needs more machine work than we were willing to pay for.

Gary has this rare engine disassembled now, and he knows what he will have to do to make it run again.

The main bearings are good, which was a bit of a surprise to us, and the crankshaft is in good shape, too.  We pumped grease into the bearings three decades ago, but I figured they had been damaged when the engine was being used in Eastern Kentucky during its working years.

The cylinder will have to be bored and sleeved.  Gary can cut the intake and exhaust ports in his shop.  He knows a guy with a boring mill to handle the hard part.  The rod is broken, but he knows another guy who is good at fabricating and machining, so a new rod will make the wheels go 'round.

Gary got a pile of parts and a lot of blue sky when he took this one home, but give him a year or a little more, and you will see this one running at shows in Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky.

Photo Credit: Susan (first photo), and Gary Bahre

Crankin' It Up: Johny Marvin and His Ukulele Perform "I Love My Baby"

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July e-Postal Deadline, Thursday, July 31!

You have one more day to shoot Billll's e-Postal target and send your scans to him.  It's a tough target for .22 rimfire, but we shot our targets and are going to submit our scores.  You should, too. Most of the targets are tough, and low scores are to be expected.  Shooting these contests every month will improve your shooting skills and provide opportunities to shoot with family and friends.  Click the target for the pdf and the rules.

 The Mrs. beat me with the spray and pray method, and even clipped one off in the process.

Susan's Mother Pat shot a very good looking target, but only nailed down 5 points.  The remarkable thing about this is, she is now shooting the Postals without using a rest.  She decided she should hold her pistol up like everybody else, and that is just what she is doing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dropping A Hollow Honey Locust

I love days like this one when I have the opportunity to cut trees all day, and someone else cleans up the mess.  It's one of the reasons I like my job. The video begins as I complete the face cuts, and then walk around to punch in behind the hinge.  This tree was hollow, and you will see that at the end after it is on the ground.  It was open in the front, leaving room only for two short hinge segments.  It tangles with a pin oak about 1/2 way down, and rotates, breaking the hinge at that time.  Other than the hinge breaking early, this drop went as planned, and the docks were not damaged.  This tree had at least five feet of side lean, and that was of some concern.  If we had dropped it by aiming more to the left to lessen the side lean, the tree would have landed solidly on the dock, so we pushed the limit on fighting lean, and won.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

Wouldn't you love to look into Ruger's vault and see the treasure stored away there.  This week they have pulled out a Mini-14 Ranch Rifle from 2003. This one is chambered in .222, and is a model that never was in the catalog.

This rifle will sell mid-day, Wednesday, July 30, 2014.  100% of the proceeds will go to benefit the Light Foundation.  Click Here to review this rifle on GunBroker, and to place your bid.


Monday, July 28, 2014

BONUS Tuesday Turbo Boost!

We sure don't want TBS readers to go away feeling down about the first Turbo Boost, so here is one that is nothing but feelin' good.

Tuesday Turbo Boost: Conflicted Emotions

The Great War began 100 years ago, and this music was part of the landscape of the time.  The Pomp and Circumstance marches celebrated the pomp and circumstance of war, and that removes much of the appeal of these powerful compositions, but I love them anyway.  Placing these songs in the context of the times a century ago stirs up great emotions in the hearts of history buffs.  Listen to this, and read the history until you feel it too.  It's great music, in spite of the history that followed it.

Great War Centennial, July 28,2014

What was the mood in Europe one hundred years ago?  Things had been mostly quiet since the Germans won Alsace-Lorraine in 1871, and war was still seen as a glorious enterprise. Sir Edward Elgar had written four of his five Pomp and Circumstance Marches ( #4 in 1907).  These celebrated the "Pomp and Circumstance of War."  That's not mentioned very often when they play this one for graduating seniors.

There wasn't any such thing as a Peace Movement at that time. That came along in the 1920's largely as a result of the slaughter that happened from 1914 to 1918. There was Stephen Crane's warning, but he had died in 1900, and I don't think his poem was paid any attention in 1914.

Do Not Weep

Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind.
Because your lover threw wild hands towards the sky
And the affrighted steed ran on alone,
Do not weep
War is kind.

  Hoarse, booming drums of the regiment,
  Little souls who thirst for fight,
  These men were born to drill and die,
  The unexplained glory flies above them,
  Great is the battle-god, great, and his kingdom -
  A field where a thousand corpses lie.

Do not weep, babe, for war is kind.
Because your father tumbled in the yellow trenches,
Raged at his breast, gulped and died,
Do not weep.
War is kind.

  Swift blazing flag of the regiment,
  Eagle with crest of red and gold,
  These men were born to drill and die.
  Point for them the virtue of slaughter,
  Make plain to them the excellence of killing
  And a field where a thousand corpses lie.

Mother whose heart hung humble as a button
On the bright splendid shroud of your son,
Do not weep.
War is kind.

It was more like this, from violinist-composer Fritz Kreisler, in his book, Four Weeks In The Trenches. (from

"The outbreak of the war found my wife and me in Switzerland, where we were taking a cure. On the 31st of July, on opening the paper, I read that the Third Army Corps, to which my regiment (which is stationed in Graz) belonged, had received an order for mobilization.
Although I had resigned my commission as an officer two years before, I immediately left Switzerland, accompanied by my wife, in order to report for duty. As it happened, a wire reached me a day later calling me to the colors.
We went by way of Munich. It was the first day of the declaration of the state of war in Germany. Intense excitement prevailed. In Munich all traffic was stopped; no trains were running except for military purposes. It was only due to the fact that I revealed my intention of rejoining my regiment in Austria that I was able to pass through at all, but by both the civil and military authorities in Bavaria I was shown the greatest possible consideration and passed through as soon as possible.
We reached Vienna on August first. A startling change had come over the city since I had left it only a few weeks before. Feverish activity everywhere prevailed. Reservists streamed in by thousands from all parts of the country to report at headquarters. Autos filled with officers whizzed past. Dense crowds surged up and down the streets. Bulletins and extra editions of newspapers passed from hand to hand. Immediately it was evident what a great leveler war is. Differences in rank and social distinctions had practically ceased. All barriers seemed to have fallen; everybody addressed everybody else.
I saw the crowds stop officers of high rank and well-known members of the aristocracy and clergy, also state officials and court functionaries of high rank, inquest of information, which was imparted cheerfully and patiently. The imperial princes could frequently be seen on the Ring Strasse surrounded by cheering crowds or mingling with the public unceremoniously at the caf├ęs, talking to everybody. Of course, the army was idolized. Wherever the troops marched the public broke into cheers and every uniform was the center of an ovation."

Europe stepped onto the slippery slope on this date in 1914 when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and it would be just a matter of days before armies were on the move to begin what was then called the "Great War." 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Maybe It Can't Grind An Axe,

but you can still whet your knife on it.  Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Not My Victrola: Hot Twenties Play List By Pax41

 Published on Jul 26, 2014
 Song 1 - Billy Hays (Lanin) & His Orchestra - Get Out And Get Under The Moon - vocal by Scrappy Lambert - recorded 5/4/1928
 Song 2 - Goofus Five - Sweetheart Of All My Dreams - recorded 12/13/1928
 Song 3 - Leo Reisman & His Orchestra - We Two - recorded 11/20/1927
 Song 4 - Earl Burtnett & His Biltmore Orchestra - Gotta Feeling For You - vocal by Scrappy Lambert - recorded 5/11/1929
 Song 5 - Vincent Lopez & His Casa Lopez Orchestra - Just Like A Butterfly - vocal by Franklyn Baur - recorded 6/2/1927
 Song 6 - Harry Reser & His Orchestra - Wedding Bells - vocal by Tom Stacks - recorded 3/21/1929
 Song 7 - Seven Hot Air Men - Low Down Rhythm - recorded 5/23/1929

Friday, July 25, 2014

Weekend Steam: Thrilling Steam Development, and Situational Awareness Lesson, All In One!

When you are out there train watching, or whatever, Look Up, Look Down, Look All Around!  You always need to know what is happening around you.  This is U.P. 4014 arriving in Cheyenne to begin its rebuild.  Happy times ahead!

Crankin' It Up, Be Careful, Brat!

Karl Radlach and His Orchestra recorded this nice little Fox-Trot on May 14, 1930.  Brat hopped right up to promenade with this one, so you know it's good!

Be Careful With Those Eyes, Karl Radlach and... by TrueBlueSam

Mr. Completely's August e-Postal Contest...

...brought to you by famed e-Postal shooter, Merle!  Merle has been the most faithful participant of these contests over the years, and he generally enters with a variety of pistols and revolvers.  Merle doesn't have a blog, so we are posting his contest here and on.  Here's the setup:

Your nine year old grand-daughter runs into the farm house – quite excited. She just saw a fox getting into the hen house and tells you she is going to chase it away. But when she does it turns on her and chases her up a tree. She is screaming her little head off as it snaps at her heels! You grab your pistol and run outside to deal with the situation. The fox is now stumbling toward you and your mind flashes to the rabies epidemic in the next county. You must act fast – and decisively – or else!
You must avoid a head shot to allow for rabies testing, so don’t use that bullseye.
Go here for the target.

Print three of these targets. If you’re like me you MAY not be as good one-handed as you should be. It would be good to know that before the skill is needed.
1.     Take one shot at each of the bullseyes on the target (using both hands) shooting as fast as you safely can, or as fast as your range allows.  Avoid the head, for a total of four shots per target.
2.     Repeat.
OPTIONAL: if you elect to use strong hand only add 5 bonus points to your score. 
3.     Repeat.
OPTIONAL: if you elect to use weak hand only add 10 bonus points to your score.
DISTANCE: 5 to7 yards, since this is a small target.
SHOOTING POSITION: Standing, unsupported.

Iron sights OR optical (includes red dots, scopes or lasers)
CLASS ONE: Any rimfire handgun with iron sights.
CLASS TWO: Any rimfire handgun with optical sights.

: Any centerfire handgun with iron sights.

CLASS FOUR: Any centerfire handgun with optical sights.

CLASS FIVE: Anything else; airguns, crossbow pistols, airsoft, muzzle loaders, etc. Shoot it and send it in.

Shoot as many guns as you can, multiple guns per class are fine (as inspired by Mr. C) but only one entry per gun please. You may find it helps to put up a sighter target to be sure of where you are shooting – the first shot is the most important shot here.

SCORING: Add up the points for each bullseye; any shot touching the next higher rings gets the higher score. Any shot completely outside of the rings scores zero.

Mark each target with:
the name you want used
gun make/model
any comments (or excuses) that apply; It’s OK to get creative, I do! Entertainment is always welcome.

List your score (plus any bonus points) for each target, plus the grand total for all targets.

Make a scan or take a photo of your targets and send to: truebluetravelinman (at) gmail (dot) com (Do the translation.)

Include photos from the range and your gun if you like.

Good luck!!!
There you have it!  It looks like a good contest, and I will be shooting with one hand on targets 2 and 3, because I need the practice.  You can still shoot the July contest through the end of the month.  Click Here or on the July target on the left side of this page.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Gun Blogger Rendezvous Is Coming Right Up!

Mr. Completely's annual Rendezvous in Reno will be happening September 4-7 at the Silver Legacy in Reno.  It's always a great time for everyone, and this year will be no exception.  Good times are planned, and there are some great raffle prizes coming.  Take a few minutes to watch the slide show, and then go to to get a registration form.  You do not have to be a blogger to attend, so go, and have the time of your life!

Photo credits: Kevin of The Smallest Minority, Billll of Billll's Idle Mind, and Zeke of Engineering Johnson, plus a few from True Blue Sam.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Silver Bird...

...was a common term in old movies I watched when I was a kid.  I think it was used in Tarzan and other movies that involved primitive people living in deep, dark Africa.  Well, here is a gen-yoo-wine silver bird that refueled across from my office the other day.  It was built in 1959, and makes some very nice exhaust stack music.  I watched it take off, and it used most of the runway, so I think it must have fixed pitch props.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

This week Ruger is auctioning one of their old standards that should be in every shooter's collection. I bought my first Single-Six in 1974, and we currently have one of these stainless beauties at the ready to do battle with snakes and other varmints around the homestead. The one being auctioned this week was built in 1977 (Just missed getting the Bi-Centennial rollmark), and it was returned to the factory by the buyer. This revolver probably won't go much over the current retail price, so this is a good chance to be philanthropic, and to grab a nice gun. It sells mid-day, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Light Foundation.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Tuesday Turbo Boost: Who Lifts You Up?

Al Jolson popularized Alabamy Bound, but other artists recorded it, too.  I'm partial to Jolson, but I'm glad to find the others.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Back To The Old Grind!

Young Leader Pistol Shoot, Carmi, Illinois

What a great day! Temps were in the seventies and humidity was low as we had our safety and rules briefing at the Carmi Rifle Club for the Farm Bureau's annual Young Leader Pistol Shoot.

Early risers had the target stands and plates on the ground, and arranging the stages went smoothly.

We split up into groups and were soon ready to shoot. Here's Valinda shooting her first stage.

Barbecue, baked beans, and coleslaw; it doesn't get any better than this.

If you don't go home with honors, you can still go home with a full stomach!

Many Thanks to the good folks at the Carmi Rifle Club, and the White County Farm Bureau for hosting this great event!

Here is the final stage for one group of shooters.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Not My Victrola: The Best There Ever Was

Al Jolson earned the title of The World's Greatest Entertainer because of his energy, and the way he connected to audiences.  There never will be another like him.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Weekend Steam

Every engine enthusiast wants to visit Rollag, Minnesota in September.  Here's why.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Just Waitin' To Happen...

When will it fall?  That's something we cannot predict, but gravity always wins, and this tree will come down, and it will fall on the house.  That's where the weight is wanting to go.  If you have something like this dead tree in your life, take it down ASAP.  Don't wait for it to make a move, because it will smash your house, and it may kill you.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Target Terminators Visit Southern Illinois

The Target Terminators traveled all the way to Southern Illinois again this year to shoot Sporting Clays, and Gary Bahre opened his engine shed for them, making this a pretty special visit to Little Egypt.

Danno and his Sand Castle Son enjoyed all the intricacies of the 5 HP Falk sideshaft engine,

and we all stood in awe of Gary's restoration of his basket-case IHC Titan. I have some video uploading now, and I will post it below in the morning for you to enjoy.  And....Here it is!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Just Waitn' To Happen; Why Do They Call?

Homeowners call me out to evaluate their problem; in this case, dead limbs over their house, and

hollow stems supporting them.  I advise them to have the tree taken down ASAP before it damages their home, and their response usually is "But I don't want to lose it!"  It's already lost, and they must know that, since they called me to evaluate the problem, but they try to talk me into performing a miracle, which I'm no good at.  It is a regular occurrence, and before I leave I will go over multiple choices for a replacement tree, find the optimum spot for planting, and coach the owners on pushing the new tree along to have shade as quickly as possible. 

I am glad to handle these calls before property is damaged and residents are hurt, but why, oh why, do they argue over the obvious truth?  The best ones are when they ask what they can spray on a dead tree to bring it back, which always brings to mind the advice in a Nineteenth Century volume on our shelf.  It advises that if someone is struck by lightning, to pour water on them.  If they haven't revived in a quarter-hour, you should pour salt water on them.  Well folks, if I'm ever struck by lightning, please pour the salt water on me first, just in case there is anything to that remedy. 

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

Brace yourself before you click over to check out this week's auction.  Collectors are really serious about rare high quality Ruger's, and this one in .280 Remington from 1971 raises the bar.  100% of the proceeds will go to The Light Foundation, and this rare rifle will sell mid-day, Wednesday, July 15, 2014.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Crankin' It Up: Wonderful One, and Underneath The Mellow Moon...

...recorded by Paul Whiteman in January, 1923.  This is another one that we have not played before.  Underneath the Mellow Moon was too good to pass up when there is a full moon rising.  Brat was sure happy to have a little dance music again.

Weekend Steam: A Fascinating Look At Industry In Cuba

I wish there was a description with this little video, but we just have to look and wonder.  Look out for all those exposed gears.  That is a Corliss valve system on the cylinder.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

How The Years Pile Up: A Gas Engine Oddysey

More than thirty-five years ago I spotted a flywheel in a damaged shed on Buck's Branch, just upstream from Martin, Kentucky.  I bought that engine (2400 lbs. of engine!), and with the help of my buddy Reed, I moved it to Emma, where we lived at the time.  We moved it to Illinois in 1980, and it has spent the years since waiting to be put back in running condition.  Work, family, and other activities have kept me from finishing the job, but we have kept it dry and out of the weather all these years.  Our friend Gary Bahre has taken it on as a project, and today it ran for the first time in fifty years or probably more.  Zeke and I poured a new rod bearing when he was just a little tyke, and we had the valves ground a quarter of a century ago.  Gary took it home on Saturday, and on Thursday, July 10, 2014, he had it running.  Here are some photos, and his video.

This engine was built in 1920, and powered a bur mill in Eastern Kentucky. It was built with a Webster magneto with ignitor, which was replaced at some time with a blacksmith built mount for a Wico magneto and sparkplug. Gary has used the rustic appearing mount with one of his Wico mags to get the old girl going. Gary will be showing this engine at Pinckneyville along with the 5 HP Falk engine that he recently restored. Danno, the Sand Castle Son, and the other members of the Rio Salado Target Terminators will get to see the Economy and other engines run next week when they have their private viewing of Gary Bahre's engine collection, at a super-secret location in the Southern-Illinois.

Photo and video credit: Gary Bahre

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer Fun; A Visit To Ann's Day Lily Farm!

We had a very enjoyable evening last Saturday at Ann's Day Lily Farm, just north of the non-existent settlement of Cornerville, Illinois, which is west and south of Walpole, Illinois, which is still barely there.  Susan shopped, Ann dug, Mike loaded, and I took a couple hundred photos.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

Here's your chance to acquire a brand new P85 Decocker in 9mm.  This pistol was built in 1990, and is still brand new; being stored in Ruger's vault.  Click Over to Ruger's GunBroker page to read all about it and to place your bid.  100% of the proceeds of this auction will go to the Light Foundation.  The hammer falls mid-day, Wednesday, July 9, 2014.


Don't Lose Your Head! Hinge Those Leaners To Prevent Barber Chairs

 Beat those head-busting barberchair blues by using a bore-cut to make a hinge when you are cutting those leaners!  A vertical bore-cut leaves plenty of back strap to hold your tree, and if the hinge should crush, your saw won't be trapped.  Make your hinge thicker than normal for insurance on leaners.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Tuesday Turbo Boost

Hoagy probably couldn't publish this one today, but it is still great fun.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Not My Victrola: Stuck On Arthur Collins...

Last week's record sort of stuck Arthur Collins in my head, and I don't think we've posted this one before. If we have, it's been a while, so here's Hello Ma Baby, from 1899.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Note To Woods Walkers

Be sure to do a look-around before going to the Necessary Tree...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Still Standing....

....and I don't know why.

June e-Postal Scores Are Up! Engineering Johnson.  Click Over to read all about it!  These monthly contests are a great incentive to get out and shoot, and they will improve your trigger skills.  The targets are usually a bit harder than they appear at first glance, but they are always great fun.  How did you do?

Print out the July target at Billll's Idle Mind, and take a big bore to break those Q-Tips.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July e-Postal Is Up At Billll's Idle Mind!

Billll, over at Billll's Idle Mind is hosting the July Mr. Completely e-Postal Contest.  The theme is borrowed from the Top Shot television show, and it will require some careful trigger work to clip these Q-Tips.  Click over for the rules, and to print your targets. 

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

Ruger's auction this week is a one-of-a-kind prototype for the 50th anniversary Mk I Pistols made in 1999.  This particular pistol was test fired in 1998, and changes were made to the commemorative pistols, so this is a unique firearm. It is generating plenty of interest, and if you can't afford to bid, at least click over to join in the fun as this gun is sold mid-day, Wednesday, July 2, 2014.  100% of the proceeds will go to benefit the Light Foundation.


M1911; Touch A Bit Of History

We went to an auction over the last weekend, and one of the items was an M1911 with a .22 conversion slide on top of it.  I was shown a photo of the guns and picked it out a few weeks back, so we had to go watch.  The box for the conversion kit was with the gun at the auction, along with the slide and other parts that were switched.  My brother-in-law had spotted the auction, so he had dibs on bidding.  The other attendees all were clueless as to the vintage of this pistol, and $375 bought it.

There is some honest wear on the blueing, and I think it is about 80-85%.  An old fingerprint is on the right side of the slide, a reminder to wipe down your guns after handling them.  The lady hosting the auction told us that a great-uncle had fought in WWI, and this pistol came home in his duffel bag.

J. M. Gilbert was the inspector who passed this gun when it was built in 1918.  The big questions now are, should my BIL shoot it; should he shoot it with the .22 conversion slide on it, or should he just keep it oiled and hidden away in his safe?  It was an honor and a real thrill to handle this gun, and to clean it and reassemble it.