Saturday, January 31, 2015

Not My Victrola: How Mean Is She?

The selection this week is 'She's A Mean Job', but this song doesn't have a mean bone in its body. We found two selections; Frank Westphal's Orchestra and W. C. Handy's Memphis Blues Band, both recorded in 1922'

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Life Is Good

Crackling fire, cup of coffee, Garden Scoot, Target Terminators T-Shirt from the Sand Castle Crew.  Can it get any better than this?

Patriots' Day, Plus 240 Years: Get Ready For It!

The 240th anniversary of Patriots' Day is coming up in April, and Appleseed is commemorating it with events all over the country.  Participants will go home with a special patch to show they took part in learning the history of our country.

Click Here to find an event near you.  Prepare a rifle and yourself for the event, and resolve that you will also earn a Rifleman patch on this historic weekend.  Practice, Practice, Practice!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat

This is a good, early country record.  Brat provides some good tail shakes, then he takes off to wrestle with Bart. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Seventy years ago the Soviet army liberated Auschwitz.  Many important anniversaries from two World Wars are being noted this year, and they are dates and events to be pondered and observed, rather than celebrated. Fifty years from now, if there are still free people in this world there will be commemorations of events happening now, even if the news media continues to ignore them today.

How did you first learn about the Holocaust?  I'm part of the Baby Boomer generation, and when I was in grade school a C. B. & Q. branch line ran past our school.  Recess was always great if a train rolled by while we were out.  A bunch of boys were waving at the engineer one day, and the kid next to me said, "My dad saw a train full of dead bodies." That was a shock, and I had to tell my dad about it.  He knew all about it because he knew men who fought in Europe.  He knew about the gas chambers and furnaces, and he also told me that the Germans skinned people with tattoos. Tonight I was reading from We Lucky Few, a book of remembrances of World War II vets from southeast Iowa. (Available from Camp Pope Publishing, The interview entitled 'Meat Hooks' with Ezra Jones brought those memories back for me. Mr. Jones' words from the book "I visited Buchenwald concentration camp after the war was over....One building was 50 feet wide and a city block long. There were wooden beams every two feet across the ceiling. There were meat hooks hanging from the beams every two feet. They did not allow cameras inside this building. We were told that the Germans hung the Jews upside down by running the meat hook through the Achilles' tendon. The tour guide had us kneel down and examine the concrete floor below the hooks. You could see that the concrete had been cupped out 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep. They said the concrete had been scratched out by the fingernails of the prisoners hanging from the hooks. That's when I said that I was glad we killed all the Germans that we did."

After World War II there were a lot of people who said "Never Again," but it's happening again all around the world, especially in the Middle East and in Africa, with very little attention given by news organizations.  We had the news on this morning from one of the New York studios, and the entire first half hour was spent on their non-blizzard. The strongest words said by American politicians against the various genocides going on  amount to "We have to find a way to stop terrorism." News hacks and the American public should be outraged by the lack of leadership in fighting terrorism effectively, but instead we keep hearing about underinflated footballs, and some important beer ads that will be shown this next weekend.  As Denny, the Grouchy Old Cripple In Atlanta would say, "We're Screwed."

I highly recommend We Lucky Few, and The Three of Hearts, both available from Camp Pope Publishing.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Youth Shooting Sports Alliance

Ruger is offering a Stainless Ruger® Mark II™ 22 long rifle caliber pistol manufactured in 1984.

100% of the proceeds of this sale will go to benefit the Youth Shooting Sports Alliance., or on the Mk II to read all about it and place your bid.  This fine pistol will sell mid-day, Wednesday, January 28, 2015.


Bessemer Update From Gary Bahre

Good News from Gary Bahre!  The cylinder and piston are home from the machine shop, and they look great. The mixup on the piston ring width has been remedied, and the new rings are straight/butt cut rather than the boxlock type that Gary had planned.  Considering that the cylinder is now sleeved, the straight cut rings should work just fine.  The rings are drilled, and pins are installed in the ring grooves so the rings will stay out of the intake and exhaust ports of this two-stroke engine. The piston needed only a little cleanup.

The rod-build is coming along.  Original rods just are not out there in the world, so the broken rod will be replaced by a fabricated one.

Pretty neat! This is welded up from flat stock.

The cylinder has been bored out, sleeved,...

...and ported.  The pins in the piston rings keep the butt ends out of the ports.

Gary expects to have the Bessemer running within a couple months. The rod is the biggest item to finish now, but there are lots of little details that take time as final assembly is done. Photos all by Gary Bahre. Stay tuned for further updates!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Tuesday Turbo Boost

All those brown leaves....this came to mind.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Not My Victrola

Bert Lown; You're The One I Care For

Bert Lown - You're The One I Care For by kspm0220s
Posted on Daily Motion by KSPM0220s

Crankin' It Up With Brat and Bart

The International Novelty Orchestra recorded this great dance number on May 17, 1923.  Now that we've been told that sitting is as bad as smoking, I want to know, will a tango cancel out a smoke?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Weekend Steam: More Factory Corliss Goodness This Week!

The power plant that drives the historic Queen Street Mill in Lancashire, UK., preserved as a living museum.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


It's bored. It's sleeved.  The piston is turned; the ring grooves are cleaned up.  The new (very special) rings were ordered. They not only overlap up and down; they overlap in and out. The new rings arrived.  They are 1/16" wide.  They should be 5/16" wide. 

Oh, Well; or words to that effect.  The Bessemer has been part of our life since 1976, and we figure it died at least forty years before that.  We were hoping to see it run at Gary's upcoming crankup in March, but it's not meant to be. Soon, though; soon.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

It Looks So Natural...

...but it appears to be deceased.  No cloud of blue smoke behind it.  These were a good car for poor boys. The old slant sixes seemingly ran forever, and good parts were available from junkers all over the landscape.  If you have a hankering to try your hand at resurrections, drop me an email and I'll tell you where it is.

We Should All Be In Vegas....

for the SHOT Show.  Fortunately, there are several bloggers and YouTubers filing reports so everyone can see some of the wonderful things on display. Here is one of Jeff Quinn's (GunBlast) videos.

Mike Galion (Mr. Completely) is there, and also Caleb Giddings of GunNuts. The Firearm Blog is posting regularly, and I know there are others.  Do some searches, especially on YouTube to follow this annual industry show.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire

Ruger is offering a very fine, new Hawkeye® rifle in .308 Win, Serial number NHFG-0001, to celebrate 150 years of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. It's stainless steel, extra nice walnut, and gold embellished!  Click Here to read all about it and to place a bid.  This beautiful rifle sells mid-day, Wednesday, January 21, 2015.  100% of the proceeds of this sale will go to benefit the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Friday, January 16, 2015

Weekend Steam: How About A Good, Cold PBR?

This Allis-Chalmers Corliss engine used to provide electrical power for the Pabst brewery.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Crankin' It Up With Rambler And Brat

Brat didn't want to leave the heat register, but when the record began to play, he came on the run.  This is the flip side of the record we played last week, and I bet if any of these discs found their way to to the Carolinas, Georgia, or Florida, they were used as clay pigeons for shooting practice.  There is definitely a little bit of Marching Through Georgia injected into this medley.

Hello, America, Hello. Jazzarimba Orchestra, 1918.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow?

 This one could have done better.

These trees were planted in 1989 by a retired gentleman, and he recently sold this land to an Amish man.  The only management done on this ground was the initial planting, and you can see that it was done pretty well.  The trees are planted pretty close to 10' x 10'; about 436 trees per acre. Click on the photo for a closer look.  The trees were running into each other by ten years of age, and they should have been thinned at around fifteen years.  White pine can stand quite a bit of competition, so they have not thinned themselves.  These trees should have lots of crown, but you can see that the crowns are pinched and very short, about the size of a six to eight year old tree.

Thinning would have allowed the trees to build larger diameters, and that could still be done, but trees that have been suppressed through competition often don't respond, and if they do, it takes several years to build the crown to a size where normal growth is possible.  The easiest way to thin a plantation is to knock out every third row, followed by selective thinnings in later years.  A stand this thick is difficult to work in because trees won't fall over when you cut them.  A contractor once told me that a stand was "too thick to thin!" and his point was well taken.  We worked out a strategy, though, and he got through it pretty well.

This stand is being turned into lumber on-site, and since it is now owned by the Amish, I expect it to be converted to pasture or row crop.

Sawmill Photos!  This is a Lumber Tiger, made in Middlefield, Ohio.  I can't find a website for the company, but contact info is on the internet.  Lots of guys who are retirement age buy mills like this one to use as a hobby.  They have no experience moving logs and they give themselves hernias and ruptured discs. But, these machines are a lot of fun, and they turn out good lumber.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Four Rules All The Time!

Here's a video from a link I saw at The War On Guns.  The store owner hands a .380 to the cop without checking it, the cop covers the muzzle with his hand, sweeps other customers in the store, racks the slide, covers the muzzle with his hand again, and pulls the trigger!  Read about it here.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Youth Shooting Sports Alliance

This week Ruger has put up for auction a  Ruger® New Model Single-Six® from 1984 in .32 H & R Magnum.  It sports a 6 1/2" barrel, perfect for controlling varmints around the ranch, and it is still in the original box with its instruction book and marketing materials from 1984. This fine single action revolver will sell mid-day, January 14, 2015, and 100% of the proceeds will go to benefit the Youth Shooting Sports Alliance.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Guns Of The Great War

This video gives a pretty good rundown of the major small arms of the First World War.  The only problem I caught was the M1917 Enfield being shown while the narrator was talking about the '03 Springfield.  There's a good session about Alvin York.  Six Germans dropped with six shots from his M1911 is still amazing to me.  I was fortunate to visit Sgt. York's grave forty some years ago, and got to visit with one of his neighbors.  He said that Alvin really enjoyed fox-hunting.  Fox-hunting back them involved sitting on a ridge with your buddies around a campfire, and listening to the dogs run.  Nowadays fox hunters have to run foxes in pens, and it's not nearly as much fun.

Boy, Mondays Can Be Rough

Back To The Old Grind!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Weekend Steam

Believe it or not, spudders still are used on some oil wells.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Crankin' It Up WIth Our Old Buddy Brat

This week we have a well loved old recording of Turkey In The Straw, along with Arkansas Traveler and The Preacher And The Bear, all thrown together as a medley played on the Jazarimba!  The violins have just about disappeared through long-ago wear, but it is a fine glimpse into entertainment just before the Roaring Twenties.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Now That's Country!

Country dirt, that is.

We've lived in the country for a long time, and I know better, but every time we have a flat I have to contend with a pile of dirt in the spare.  The spare should be dropped every month or two and the dirt and gravel washed out, but it always waits 'til I have  a flat.  The cable on the old Chevy is just long enough to hook up and let down when the tire is directly under it, and a load of twenty or thirty pounds of rock and dirt is no fun at all.  You have to block up the tire, dig dirt out of the middle, and break the frog loose from the center of the rim. You're lucky if you get to do it in on a hard surface.  Life's not all bad; there was still air in it!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Great War 100 Years Ago

We began following some of the events of World War I in July of last year, and by 1915 the Western Front had been pretty well established.  During the next four years the front would move very little as both sides tried new plans and strategies to break the stalemate.  Here is a good video from the BBC that brings us up to 1915. There is a good segment about the Royal Horse Artillery.  Kaiser Wilhelm called the Brits who came over in 1914 a "contemptible little army,"  but they fought his armies to a standstill.

1915 would see the introduction of poison gas and the flamethrower.  Machine guns and bolt action rifles ruled No Man's Land, and the lights were out for the duration for all of the areas around the front until the Armistice.

Folks at home were still full of optimism and fighting spirit at the end of 1914.  Entertainers were doing their part to keep spirits up.  Tipperary came out in 1914, and it is still popular today.

The reality of war on the Western Front was more like this:

A Casualty by Robert Service

 That boy I took in the car last night,
With the body that awfully sagged away,
And the lips blood-crisped, and the eyes flame-bright,
And the poor hands folded and cold as clay --
Oh, I've thought and I've thought of him all the day.

For the weary old doctor says to me:
"He'll only last for an hour or so.
Both of his legs below the knee
Blown off by a bomb. . . . So, lad, go slow,

And please remember, he doesn't know."
So I tried to drive with never a jar;
And there was I cursing the road like mad,
When I hears a ghost of a voice from the car:
"Tell me, old chap, have I `copped it' bad?"
So I answers "No," and he says, "I'm glad."

"Glad," says he, "for at twenty-two
Life's so splendid, I hate to go.
There's so much good that a chap might do,
And I've fought from the start and I've suffered so.
'Twould be hard to get knocked out now, you know."

"Forget it," says I; then I drove awhile,
And I passed him a cheery word or two;
But he didn't answer for many a mile,
So just as the hospital hove in view,
Says I: "Is there nothing that I can do?"

Then he opens his eyes and he smiles at me;
And he takes my hand in his trembling hold;
"Thank you -- you're far too kind," says he:
"I'm awfully comfy -- stay . . . let's see:
I fancy my blanket's come unrolled --
My feet, please wrap 'em -- they're cold . . . they're cold."

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Youth Shooting Sports Alliance

Ruger's auction this week is only a little bit unusual. It is a 10/22® Deluxe Sporter Rifle with a 22" barrel, a model variation that was never in the Ruger catalog.  It has a black walnut stock, and the old style, flush-fitting magazine release.

It's just unusual enough that it is receiving a fair amount of interest on GunBroker.  This rifle would be a good one to install a high quality peep sight for fine target work, given the extra four inches of barrel length.  It will sell mid-day, Wednesday, January7, 2015. 100% of the proceeds will go to benefit the Youth Shooting Sports Alliance.


Monday, January 5, 2015

Tuesday Turbo Boost: Ridin' The Mongolian Pony

It's hard to beat Nigel Kennedy, so we'll start off with him, and then we'll add a few others so you can enjoy the contrast.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Not My Victrola: I Missed The New Year's Eve Concert From Vienna... I am trying to make up for it. Here is Sousa's Band from 1905:

And last year's presentation from Vienna.

Whoa! Here's the entire concert for this year!

And the final portion of the concert. Blue Danube begins at 3:30

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat

Brat and I found a good one this week.  It is an early Victor record, recorded by Sousa's Band December 31, 1901.  The Jolly Fellows' Waltz is cracked badly, but it still plays, and it was played extensively by a previous owner after it cracked.  Brat was in good form, and show's everyone that he earned his good name.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Weekend Steam: If Wile E. Coyote Had A Steam Engine...

...This could have been the one.  This sure looks like an oil field engine and it runs well for having sat for fifty or more years.  The Stephenson Link reverse gear is easy to see and understand, and I bet some collector now has this in an engine shed.  I thought that all the collectible engines in the wild were gone forty years ago, but I think I should plan some expeditions and look for treasure once more.

Still Standing...

We have had a couple of busy weeks fixing things around home, and burning unused vacation days.  Today it was back to work, and it turned into a long day, so I didn't do a record with my cat.  I promise to do that tomorrow for you.  In the meantime, enjoy this update on the chimney we have been watching.  I think the lightning rod is all that keeps it up. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Cousin Found Me!

We received a nice e-mail over the holidays from a gentleman who found us through this blog, and we are related through a great grandfather born in 1834.  Pretty neat!... and he has pictures and family history that we haven't seen.  Of course we have been sending New-To-Him information and photos, too.  It's all great fun.  Here are a couple of Aunt/Uncle/Cousin photos he will be getting soon.

 That's May at the steering wheel, Iva next to her, and my Great-Grandmother Myrtle's forehead over Iva's left shoulder. That's a 1914 license plate.  I wish I knew something about the old car, other than acetylene lights were obsolete in 1914.

And here are all the Garrison Girls; Iva, Pearl, May, Myrtle, Bessye; Nelson and Lovilla, the parents.  Myrtle was one of my Great-Grandmothers, and the one I remember best. The photos came down to me through Bessye.

Like A Little Locomotive Going Full-Tilt

Little Skipper is a joy to watch when he's out running around.