Thursday, November 27, 2014

Weekend Steam: Sounding Off!

If you are close to Youngstown, Ohio, that is where you need to be on Saturday.  Click Here for the information.

Denver and Rio Grande 5 Chime Whistle

Baldwin 3 Chime Whistle

Hooter Whistle

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat

 Both sides of Columbia disc A3539 are formula songs with all the proper buzzwords for a good old Mammy song. This side even mentions banjos. Trouble is, this is 1921, not 1901, and any feeling of authenticity is lost, even for my little cat. The lack of wear on either side of this record demonstrates that it was not given much play after it was purchased.

Now, quit fooling around on the internet and get back to family!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Seventy Years Ago In Europe

We always hear about D-Day and The Bulge, but all of the fighting through Europe was brutal from start to finish.  I recently re-read George Wilson's book, If You Survive, and it is an important book for all who have an interest in World War II.  Seventy years ago American soldiers were in one of their toughest fights, in the Hurtgen Forest.  Mr. Wilson briefly mentioned Thanksgiving 1944 in his book: "Our Thanksgiving dinner was hand-carried up to us by men from the service company.  Our cooks had put together giant turkey sandwiches, and they were a treat compared to K-ration Spam, even though we, of course, received none of the usual fancy trimmings.  It wasn't all celebration, however, for we learned that some of the food carrying party had been hit on the way up.  Though this happened all the time, we never quite learned to accept it.  We had been fighting in the Hurtgen Forest for twelve days, the worst combat I had yet encountered."  If You Survive, George Wilson, Ballintine Books, 1987.  American forces suffered 33,000 casualties in the Hurtgen Forest; the Germans had 28,000 casualties.

You can see a photo of Mr. Wilson at the bottom of THIS PAGE, and read his obituary HERE.  His book is easy to find on the internet, and you should be able to buy a copy for under $10.

George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation, Because Everyone Should Read It!

"Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789." G. Washington

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Youth Shooting Sports Alliance

Ruger's auction this week is one of their classic P85 Decocker Pistols, made in 1990, and residing in the Ruger safe all these years.

This fine pistol will sell mid-day Wednesday, November 26, 2014, so click over to Ruger's GunBroker page to place your bid.  The price may be reasonable on this one; it is only up to $460 as I assemble this post. 100% of the proceeds of this auction will go to benefit the Youth Shooting Sports Alliance.

$580!  Someone made a decent deal!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pick 'em, Clean 'em, Smash 'em!

Hmmm...They don't actually grind cranberries.  Well, it's close enough for me.

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Not My Victrola: Across The Pond

Paul Harrison is a regular YouTuber with an historic record collection.  It's not just 1920's popular music; he has a very large collection of music hall songs from the early Twentieth Century.  Think Broadway and Vaudeville on the Thames.  These are songs you would hear if you went out for a night of entertainment back then.  This song by Billy Williams is a cute one with several amusing scenarios.  The money shot begins at 2:40, for the folks who have a hard time sitting through these old recordings. Yes, folks had impure thoughts back in 1910.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Weekend Steam

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat

We are going back a little more than a century with this Columbia disc for a couple of amusing songs performed by Bert Williams.  Turn up the volume and listen close.  These are good ones.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Here's An Easy Snag, and A Brief Saw Lesson

This is one is a really easy drop that I did last summer.  It's punky, and the dust really flies.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Take A Look At The Insides Of An Ignitor!

Gary Bahre pops the ignitor out of the Falk to clean the points.

We Love This Buggy!

 We bought the RTV two years ago and it has really improved our firewood gathering ability.  We can all ride to the woods, instead of only the guy driving the tractor and wagon.  I cut, Susan and her mother load, drive back to the house, dump the firewood, and return to the woods. In years past, I would cut, take the tractor and wagon back to the house and unload while everyone waited for me in the woods, then I would go back to cutting while they loaded.  I was always beat at the end of the day, and the loaders were cold from waiting for me to unload and return.

Now I cut, Susan and Pattie load. Unloading is done by pulling a little lever and letting the RTV dump the load, while I am still in the woods cutting the next load. We're handling the wood less, and we feel good at the end of the day.  Wood that has to be split is separated by load, so it comes off the RTV to the splitter, and then into the stack at the house. 

National Ammo Day!

Go out and buy at least 100 rounds today.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Youth Shooting Sports Alliance

Ruger's Auction this week is a stainless GP100® from back in 1987.  There is plenty of interest in this auction, with 21 bids and a current bid of $905 as I post this.  100 % of the proceeds will go to benefit the Youth Shooting Sports Alliance, and this beautiful handful will sell mid-day, Wednesday, November 19, 2014.  Click Here, or on Ruger's photo to go place your bid.

Monday, November 17, 2014

On The Cover Of The...

...Gas Engine Magazine!  I collected this 5 HP Falk Engine while I was in high school, and we have kept it under cover all these years, though we haven't run it in forty five years.  Gary Bahre has it in his engine shed now, and he has done a beautiful restoration.  You can Click This Link to read the article in GEM, and see the photos that accompany the article.

I've been taking Gas Engine Magazine since it came out in January 1966.  Seeing the Falk engine on the front brings this Golden Oldie to mind.

Tuesday Turbo Boost For Classical Music Aficianados!

This video is over on Facebook, and it's a winner.  If I could hook up my dancing cat with this little gray pounder we could all be rich. I really like the way he rolls his face on the keys.

Post by Suara.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Comment Moderation...

We get regular spam comments from the other side of the world; mostly from folks who want posting rights on this blog. Anyhow, comment moderation is a necessity, but we are going to drop word verification and see how that works. Reading and re-typing the combinations is discouraging many would-be commenters, so the settings have changed, and we will see how it goes.

Nothing To Do?

Head out to Azerbaijan and....

Back To The Old Grind!

Trail of Tears Prescribed Burn Photos/Vid

You can go over to my GooglePlus page and view all the photos from my camera.  Feel free to copy them and use them if you wish.  This Link has some smoke video. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Not My Victrola:Let's Go Cake-Walking!

Pious, church-going people were catered to by the major record labels, but other brands could be more effective at showing folks a good time.  My record cabinets have had OKEH records for more than fifty years, and they can make you get up and dance.  KSPM shares a good one from 1925, and includes a great picture show of music covers from bygone days.

E. Taylor w/ C. Williams' Blue 5 - Cake Walking... by kspm0220s

Friday, November 14, 2014

Dropping A Snag With Fire In It

I had the pleasure of participating in a prescribed burn way down south in Union County this week, and I got to drop several trees.  This snag had fire in it and had to be dropped, bucked, and the burning pieces rolled down the hill on the black side of the line.  It was definitely weakened by rot, so sizing up included assessing where it would go if the hinge failed; which it did.  You can see the tree drop down when the hinge collapses, trapping the saw.  The backstrap let go and the tree fell where its weight carried it.  It's not a problem if you have it all sized up ahead of time, and you know where you need to be if it happens. I stayed out of the way when the tree dropped off the tall stump, and the photographer was safe behind a large tree that provided cover if things went bad.

Note the firefighter digging out the fire in the stump as the tree is bucked up. Everyone on a fire is good about taking care of problems.

Weekend Steam; World War I Vintage Road Locomotives

Merle, the most prolific e-Postal shooter, sent the link to this great video.  Great Britain did things a bit different than we did in the states with steam traction engines, and you will see some action you won't see in American steam shows.  I think the life expectancy of these engines would be pretty short if they came within range of German artillery spotters.

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat: He Went In Like A Lion

Billy Murray recorded this comedy classic 95 years ago.  I have had this copy for fifty years, and I always use a new needle when I play it. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

This One's Retired

We have five miles of wide open space behind the barn, but we still like to stop bullets on the range.  We use the shooting lane for travel with the utility vehicle, so we don't want permanent berms, but we do have plenty of wood to work with.  We keep some tall sections at 25 and 100 yards, and in spite of the .22 LR shortage, we made daylight in this one.  In one summer!  We have also split a 12" diameter section of white oak into halves, also with .22's.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fall Prep Brings May Flowers (We Hope!)

We did our annual prep on the wild flowers at the end of the driveway.  If they pop up next year, feel free to stop and pick a few.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Youth Shooting Sports Alliance

This week's auction has a seldom used adjective in the description: "unique."  Yes, this is really one-of-a-kind!  Ruger is offering a Standard Model Pistol from 1980 with a receiver in the white, and there is not another like it.

100% of the proceeds will go to benefit the Youth Shooting Sports Alliance, and this unusual pistol will sell mid-day, Wednesday, November 12, 2014.  There are only 7 bids as I post this, with a current bid of $605. You could own this pistol if you go place a bid!

$1380.67  Holy Cow!

Armistice Day/Remembrance Day/Veterans' Day

Be sure to thank a vet today, and never forget our debt to the ones who serve.

Siegfried Sassoon (1919)

Have you forgotten yet?...
For the world’s events have rumbled on since those gagged days,
Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways:
And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow
Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you’re a man reprieved to go,
Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.

But the past is just the same-and War’s a bloody game...
Have you forgotten yet?...
Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you’ll never forget.

Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz-
The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
Do you remember the rats; and the stench
Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench-
And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?
Do you ever stop and ask, ‘Is it all going to happen again?’

Do you remember that hour of din before the attack-
And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then
As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
With dying eyes and lolling heads-those ashen-grey
Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?
Have you forgotten yet?...
Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you’ll never forget.

Tuesday Turbo Boost: Take Your Pick!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Tell A MarineThat He Can't Do Something...

...and he'll figure out a way.  Take a good look at the Marine showing off the .45 and think about that for a minute.  Marines had to hide a .45 when they weren't fighting, or it would be taken away.  My father-in-law buried his under his bed in an ammo box so he would have it when he needed it. 

The pistol is shown prominently, and the flap is tucked into the fellow's trousers.  These fellows obviously wanted folks back home to take a good look when the film was developed.

And here's why.  The wooden grips have been replaced with plexiglass, probably from a wrecked airplane, and it tells anyone with a magnifying glass where they have been, and where they are.  Pretty slick, and that roll of film went right past the censors.

Eyes and Ears! (Lungs, Too!)

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Not My Victrola: Madelon

Madelon was a popular song with French Poilus in 1914. 

It's a charming song, and was revived during World War II by Marlene Dietrich. Shared on YouTube by Tim Graycyk.

The November Mr. Completely e-Postal Match Is Up!

Head over to Sand Castle Scrolls to read the rules and print this target...
Dial your eyes in and steady your nerves; you will be shooting at 30' this month, and I recommend making a range trip right away, just in case winter weather shows up before the end of November. 

This will be the final Mr. Completely e-Postal match of the year, so don't miss out; you know you need the practice!  Many thanks to Danno, and all the other e-Postal hosts who have helped out in 2014.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Olney FFA Does Itself Proud!

The FFA students at Olney, Illinois have been making a good showing in the local and the annual state contest for more than a decade, and last year they went down at the state contest by one point in a real nail-biter.  Their instructor, Jamie VanDyke pushed them hard this year and they won the state contest by 167 points.  They just came back from the national contest in Kentucky, and they made a great showing, taking Fourth Place nationwide. 

National FFA Forestry CDE Results
LOUISVILLE- Winners of the National FFA Forestry Career Development Event (CDE) were
announced Friday at the annual awards banquet. The event was held in conjunction with the 87th National FFA Convention & Expo in Louisville, Ky. Mr. John Allen Bailey of Georgia served as superintendent of this year's event. The top ten individuals and the national winning team members received cash awards to recognize their success in the event. The cash awards and the forestry event are sponsored by Husqvarna and John Deere as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. The National FFA Forestry CDE is a competitive event that tests students' skills and knowledge in the area of forest management. Event components include a general forest knowledge exam, tree identification, timber cruising, tree/forest disorders identification, a chainsaw practicum, forestry issues interview, and a team activity. Each team competed at local and state levels for the privilege of representing their state at the National FFA Convention & Expo. This event, held at Bernheim Forest in Clermont, Ky., is one of many educational activities at the national convention in which FFA members apply classroom knowledge to real-life situations.
*** Olney FFA placed 4th in the nation***

Top Placing teams: 
Top Placing Individuals:
1st. Kathleen FFA – Florida
1st Tyler Dupree – Kathleen FFA- Florida
2. Pocahontas FFA – West Virginia
2nd Brevyn Foreman - Kathleen FFA - Florida
3. Calvin FFA- Louisiana
3rd Emmett Lee – Kathleen - Florida
4th. Olney FFA – Illinois
4th Kyle Trott – Alvirne FFA- New Hampshire
5th.Alvirne FFA – New Hampshire
5th Matt Rao – Pocahontas FFA – West Virginia
6th. Cossatot River FFA – Arkansas

7th Carroll County FFA – Virginia
6th Matthew Runyon – Olney FFA - Illinois

8th Grand Canyon FFA – Pennsylvania
7th Rich Saddler – Cossatot River FFA - Arkansas
9th Grand Rapids FFA- Minnesota
8th Tom Powers – Smith Agricultural FFA - Maine

10th Vallivue FFA – Idaho
9th Joshua Goins – Calvin FFA - Louisiana

10th Emily Schilling – Olney FFA – Illinois

15th Tanner Scherer – Olney FFA - Illinois

43rd George Boehl – Olney FFA – Illinios

Personal Thanks to Forester Wade Bloemer for jumping in and running the contest at Sam Dale lake this year, while I was out of state.  You made this win possible, Wade!

Photo Credit: Jamie VanDyke

Weekend Steam: A Documentary of N & W 1218...

...from 1988.  This is a remarkable engine, and a rare survivor.

November Mr. Completely e-Postal Contest....

...will be up soon over at Sand Castle Scrolls, courtesy of Danno and his Sand Castle Crew.  Don't put away your guns for winter yet!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Big Parade: It's On DVD!

We bought a video tape of this great movie many years ago.  It is one of the very best movies ever made, and it set the standard for movies about war.  The good news for you is that The Big Parade is available on DVD, and if you go shopping right now, you should be able to watch it on Veterans' Day.  My father-in-law saw this movie when it came out in the 1920's, and it still moved him when he was an old man.  Don't delay; go to Amazon and order your copy of this classic.

Bea Update

Mom has had enough of Good News/Bad News in the last few months.  A chest X-Ray triggered an intense round of medical tests this year, and I have spent quite a bit of time with Mom so I could take her to doctor appointments.  Her lung capacity was down to 60%, and she had two sets of biopsies done at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City.  The meeting with her doctor for results began with "There's good news, and bad news."  The good news is Mom does not have cancer.  Note the smiles, and the relief Mom is showing.

Mom does have a pretty serious infection in one lung, but if she takes her meds for the next year and a half, she should have a successful recovery.  The side effects of diminished lung capacity and all the medication have to be watched closely.  She had a big spike in her blood pressure recently, and her family doctor told her to come right in for a look.  She had a minor heart attack while he was examining her, and she spent a couple days in the Washington County Hospital.  Mom is doing OK now, and going to Cardiac Rehab for a couple sessions every week.

I went north to visit last week, and blew her leaves out onto the terrace for her. She was out today with a rake, rolling up new arrivals. She is feeling good enough now that she is talking about cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving. Her last range trip was in August, and she had dropped from two miles to one mile of walking at that time.  Taking it easy indoors during the upcoming winter months will probably be good for her. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

October E-Postal Scores!

Thanks to Merle, we had a stack of entries this month, and what a great variety! There was a possible of 50 points on the October target, so note that Billll scored 44 with his Ruger Mk I, and then took the top spot in two more classes.  I'm Impressed!  Here we go:

Class 1; Rimfire Handgun, Iron Sights
Ruger Mk I
15’ Standing
Pat B
S&W 617
15’ Standing
Mrs. Merle
S&W Kit Gun
15’ Standing
Ruger Super Single Six .22 Mag
15’ Standing

Class 2; Rimfire Handgun, Red Dots and Scopes
David N, TrueBlueSam
Ruger Mk III Red Dot
15’ Standing
TC  10” Bull Barrel 2X
15’ Standing
Pattie Ann
Ruger 22/45 Lite Red Dot
15’ Seated
Susan, Mrs. TrueBlueSam
Ruger 22/45 Red Dot
15’ Standing

Class 3; Centerfire Handgun, Iron Sights
Rossi .38 Special
15’ Standing
Old Model Blackhawk .45 LColt
15’ Standing
Pat B
S&W 625-7 .45 Colt
15’ Standing
Pat B
Colt Detective Special .38 Spl
15’ Standing
Mrs. Merle
British Enfield 38/200
15’ Standing
Mrs. Merle
S&W 632 .32 H&R Mag
15’ Standing

Class 4; Centerfire Handgun, Red Dots and Scopes
TC Contender 9mm 2X Scope
15’ Standing

Class 5; Rimfire Rifle, Iron Sights

Savage M72 Falling Block
25’ Standing

Class 6; Rimfire Rifle, Scope

Marlin 795 3X Scope
25’ Standing
Marlin M39 4X Scope
50’, elbows, sling
Class 7; Centerfire Rifle, Iron Sights (5 shots)
Win 94 .30-30, Wms peep
50 Yd, Elbows
Class 8; Centerfire Rifle, Scope (5 shots)
Rem 760 .30-06  Marble 2X
100 Yd, Elbows

Class 9; Pistol Carbine, Iron Sights
Hi-Point 4095, .40 S&W
25’ Standing Brace
Class 10; Pistol Carbine, Scope
Marlin1894 .44 Mag, 4X
50’ Elbows, Sling

Note that some of the scores are bumped up when we study them before posting. If it looks like a touch, we go to the higher score.