Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Send Your March Targets To Mr. C....

...or write to him and beg for another day or two. This is the end of March, and you should have shot your targets to start the 2015 Mr. Completely e-Postal season. Here are mine, and you can see what a difference red-dot sight make for old eyes like mine.  The top one is shot with iron sights; the second one was with a Bushnell red-dot sight.

I was very glad just to stay out of negative points! I did not try for any of the little circles, so those hits are purely from being rusty after the long winter.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield


This week we have one of those special guns that are really hard to come by. This is a Number 3 Carbine built in 1973, with a metal butt plate, and it is not drilled and tapped for scope mounts. It has no warnings printed in the metal like newer guns have; it's just a raw, iron-sighted buffalo gun, ready to accompany you out on the plains, or in the woods as you pursue deer, hogs, or bears. You can shoot mild factory loads, or pump it up with heavy loads for tough and dangerous game. 100% of the proceeds will go to Honored American Veterans Afield, and as I post this, the price is not at all out of line, considering the desirability of this fine little rifle. CLICK HERE to read the full description, and to place your bid. This fine rifle will sell mid-day, Wednesday, April 1, 2015.

That is some mighty fine wood! Whoa, $1550! That will take a few buffalo hides to pay out!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Makin' Little Ones Out Of Big Ones

Back To The Old Grind!

March e-Postal Is Coming To The End...

March is nearly over (Thank Goodness!) and you have until Tuesday Midnight to submit your targets to Mr. Completely. CLICK HERE to read the rules and to print your targets, then head to the range with family and friends. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Weekend Steam: More 4-4-0!

We have spent a couple weeks looking at the Civil War engine,General, and that has me wanting to look at more 4-4-0 engines. Surprisingly, there are some of them out there on YouTube. This one is the Eureka and Palisades #4 Engine running on the Durango and Silverton narrow gauge. That is some pretty stack talk as the engine pulls the grade to Silverton.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Alcohol And Anything

You name it; ladders, cars, fuse boxes, guns, maybe even wheelbarrows; it's a bad mix. There is a thread on Smokstak.com that you should go look at. It has thumbnails, and if you are a member, you can bring up the full size photo, but that's not necessary. The poor fellow nearly had the end of his foot amputated because his judgement was impaired. Scroll down the page and read the reply by LCJudge.  He is talking about a very big old engine that smashed a man. If you need a dramatization, watch The Sand Pebbles. Steve McQueen's Chinese engine room helper gets smashed in similar fashion by the crank on a steam engine. Don't mix machines with alcohol. Now, Go and Sin No More.

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat

Boy is my cat a tough critic!  A few seconds of the musical saw, and he was out of there!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sociology 101: What Would Laura Ingalls Do?

 We avoid political discussion on this blog, but don't think of this post as being political.  It is simply to give remedial instruction to those in government who don't know what in the world they are doing, and harming our country  in the process.  We have all seen the news reports about State Department spokespeople who are wondering out loud to the world how we can stop terrorism. One of them even suggested that the terrorists just need jobs, for crying out loud.  I guess the people in charge now have all been brought up and schooled in this new era where kids are not allowed to fight back against a bully. Self esteem, time-outs, and conflict resolution are words they live by. It wasn't always that way; it used to be that kids were expected to fight back against a bully.

I learned it in the first or second grade from our teacher, Miss Leona Kos, because she read most of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books to us. She started with Little House in the Big Woods, and finished most of the series before they closed Franklin Center School when I finished Second Grade. This book, Farmer Boy, is about Almanzo Wilder's childhood.  He grew up, romanced Laura Ingalls, and they lived out their lives together. A story that came back to me recently lays out the solution for dealing with bad men, and I was able to go right to the story in our library, though I heard it more than fifty years ago.  A group of bullies beat up and ran off every school teacher hired for the school Almanzo attended, and today they are coming for the new teacher...
"After a long time Mr. Corse called him to the desk, to see if he could read the lesson now. Almanzo knew every word of it, but there was a lump in his throat that would not let the words out. He stood looking at the page while Mr. Corse wainted. Then he heard the big boys coming.

Mr. Corse stood up and put his thin hand gently on Almanzo's shoulder. He turned him around and said: "Go to your seat, Almanzo."

The room was still. Everybody was waiting. The big boys came up the path and clattered into the entry, hooting and jostling one another. The door banged open and Big Bill Ritchie swaggered in. The other big boys were behind him.

Mr. Corse looked at them and did not say anything. Bill Ritchie laughed in his face, and still he did not speak. The big boys jostled Bill, and he jeered again at Mr. Corse. Then he led them all tramping loudly down the aisle to their seats.

Mr. Corse lifted the lid of his desk and dropped one hand out of sight behind the raised lid. He said: " Bill Ritchie, come up here."

Big Bill jumped up and tore off his coat, yelling: " Come on, boys!" He rushed up the aisle. Almanzo felt sick inside; he didn't want to watch, but he couldn't help it.

Mr. Corse stepped away from his desk. His hand came from behind the desk lid, and a long, thin. black streak hissed through the air.

It was a blacksnake ox-whip fifteen feet long. Mr Corse held the short handle, loaded with iron, that could kill an ox. The thin, long lash coiled around Bill's legs, and Mr. Corse jerked. Bill lurched and almost fell. Quick as black lightning the lash circled and struck and coiled again, and again Mr. Corse jerked.

"Come up here, Bill Ritchie," He said, jerking Bill toward him, and backing away.

Bill could not reach him. Faster and faster the lash was hissing and crackling, coiling and jerking, and more and more quickly Mr. Corse backed away, jerking Bill almost off his feet. Up and down they went in the open space in front of the desk. The lash kept coiling and tripping Bill, Mr. Corse kept running backward and striking.

Bill's trousers were cut through, his shirt was slashed, his arms bleeding from the bite of the lash. It came and went, hissing, too fast to be seen. Bill rushed, and the floor shook when the whiplash jerked him over backwards. He got up swearing and tried to reach teacher's chair, to throw it. The lash jerked him around. He began to bawl like a calf. He blubbered and begged. The lash kept on hissing, circling, jerking. Bit by bit it jerked Bill to the door. Mr. Corse threw him headlong into the entry and slammed and locked the door. Turning quickly, he said, "Now, John, come on up."....and more hilarity ensued before all the big boys were driven out of the school. (Farmer Boy, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Illustrated by Garth Williams, Harper & Brothers Publishers, New York, 1933; 1953 illustrated edition)

The thing that those in government can't seem to get through their head is that if someone's stated objective is to kill you; to destroy you, there is nothing to negotiate. Do you negotiate to convince them to kill you later, or only kill you a little at a time? People like that intend to use force to do what they will to you, and trying to talk them out of it is laughable. A good friend of mine was a mechanic in the Air Force during the Korean War.  He was stationed overseas, and a bully was transferred into his outfit. That guy would harass men until they would take a poke at him, and then he would beat the crap out of them. One day my friend was working on an engine, and the bully came up behind him and started his harassment routine.  My friend kept working and didn't say a thing. The bully finally gave up and turned to go. My friend  grabbed that guy around the neck with his arm as soon as he turned, and he told me, "I choked him 'til he soiled himself. And I never had any trouble out of him again."  I don't know just what they teach people in Ivy League schools so they can go into government jobs as diplomats, but it is obvious to me that they would be would be helpless against a schoolyard bully if you sent them back to the third grade.

Look Quick!

 Crocuses have been putting on a show all around the yard, and are just about done. The thunderstorms tonight will probably be the end of them, but the daffodils are popping now, so the joy will continue.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield


Ruger's auction this week definitely demonstrates how much folks like collectible Ruger firearms.  This .44 Magnum Carbine was built in 1963 and returned to the factory for unknown reasons. There are a few scratches on the stock, but otherwise it looks like new. The bidding is above $2000 as I post this, but if you are interested, go have a look.  How else will you buy a new-old-stock Ruger that was made more than fifty years ago! Click Here to bid. 100% of the proceeds of this auction will go to benefit Honored American Veterans Afield, and this rifle will sell mid-day, Wednesday, March 25, 2015....$2032.50!

While you are on Ruger's GunBroker auction page, roll down to the bottom and check out the gun they will sell next week. It's a Number 3 Carbine with metal buttplate in .45-70. I ought to stick my toe in the water on that one!

Slow Burn

A crowd of good folks got together today to do a prescribed burn on the Trail of Tear Forest in Union County Illinois.  The weather forecast sounded marginal for a burn, but if it was right, we would have a good burn, just a little slow because of high humidity.

 It started out OK, just a little slow going downhill. The ignitors ran double lines and flanking lines and they got it going pretty well...

...but very smokey. Wind out of the north kicked in after about an hour, and that made breathing a bit easier.

 The lead ignitor gets to breathe clean air! We had one big snag that got fire in it, but we were able to rake it all down and didn't have to drop it. The only cutting I had to do was for a few logs next to the line that caught. Soon after the wind kicked up the rain came, and the fire went down quick, before the center was done.  Oh Well, the line will be safer the next time with the fuel reduction accomplished today.

It was a fine, low stress burn, and there were no problems or injuries. Spring fire season is just about over, and there hasn't been much good weather for burning. The ride back down to our trucks was very enjoyable.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Tuesday Turbo Boost

One of these will probably work for you....

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Warmed Up A .22

It's been a long layoff from shooting our rifles, so I set up the gong at 100 yards today and gave it a workout with one of the 10/22's®. We have our Appleseed rifles zeroed at 25 meters, and I was guessing that they would hit about 5' low at 100 yards, so after the initial magazine I dialed it up 5.  That was pretty close, but 6 minutes up seemed pretty well perfect. It felt good to shoot again, and the rifle behaved well except for one magazine that needs to have the spring tightened up a bit. The last several groups are from sitting, and on the final one I emptied the magazine on one breath..


Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Hope You Had A Happy Equinox!

Hickok45's Deep Thoughts

We haven't visited Hickok45 for quite a while.  I figure most firearm aficionados subscribe to his YouTube channel, and don't need my help finding him...But, this is a good one, and I want to make sure lots of people see it.  I might add five or six views with this little blog, so here it is.

Not My Victrola...

I have spent most of my life listening to music from 1900 to the early Thirties, plus a lot of classical music, but there was most of a decade when I listened to Country Music most days at work. It just sort of fit in with mechanicking on oilfield trucks, and coal mining machinery. I practically became an expert on Country, but that all came to a halt when I fell into my current job, where I am out in the woods, or writing at a computer. This song by Earl Thomas Conley is one of the best, and it pretty well marks when I quit listening to Country every day. YouTube is a treasure, letting you go back and hear the oldies.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat

Listen close, and if you can figure out all the words to the final verse, please write them in Comments!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sarah Has A Date

 The weather was beautiful, the ground was soft, and it was a great day to hunt for fragments. Susan found most of the pieces of Sarah Romine's marker last year, and last Sunday she found the piece with the year of her death.  We think this stone is on Sarah's grave, but there is no base to match it to; only the sunken ground where someone was buried. These pieces are legible because they have been in the ground, protected from the weather for much of a century, and they will have to be re-buried after a small marker is set to document this grave.

They should all be as lucky as Sarah.  This little pile of bricks was under a stone that has been removed from its grave in the first row next to a farm field. Yuccas and Easter flowers show that people are buried here, but most of the markers are gone.

Some of them are stacked up and the locations for them are lost to the ages.

This base is just barely visible, but at least it still marks a place.  Most of the stones in the Rawls' Cemetery are marble, and many of them sat in sandstone bases. Some, like Sarah's were just placed in the ground with no base. Tractor-mounted mowers performed most of the destruction in this cemetery more than fifty years ago.  We have been beating back the jungle a bit, cutting trees, and marking the rows. Many of the people buried here still have family in our neighborhood, but the descendants, for the most part, are blissfully unaware that their family heritage has slipped away.  Susan gets inquiries from people occasionally for help in finding relatives buried near us, and it is gratifying to help others who are interested in genealogy and family histories.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield


This week, Ruger is offering a handy little Ruger® New Model Single-Six® .32 H&R Magnum. This little beauty was built in 1986, and returned to the factory. It has the short, 4 5/8" barrel that makes Rugers handy for packing.  100 % of the proceeds will go to benefit Honored American Veterans Afield.  This revolver will sell mid-day, Wednesday, March 18, 2015.  Click Here to read the entire description, and to place a bid.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat

Better late than never.  Here's our kitty.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Paying attention to the business at hand, our friend brings the cylinder around to the misfire, and it goes on the second hit.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Pruning Solution: Nip It! Nip It In The Bud!

 Trees like this one are a disaster just waiting to happen if they have a target. This hackberry is lined up to damage the corner of a very nice home. If you aren't tuned into looking at tree structure, you might miss the problem.

The homeowner noticed the problem when squirrels began chewing the edges of the split.  This crack is about three feet long, and the solution to this problem is to remove the tree. One pruning cut twenty years ago could have saved this tree today.

 Forking and tight branch angle problems need to be fixed while the branches are still small in diameter. You can lop off one side of a fork with a pole pruner like this one.  The stub you leave with this method is really not a problem. The tree will grow around it and in a few years you won't know it was ever there.

If you are a neatnik, use a pruning saw to cut off all of the fork.

 Be careful not to damage the fork you leave.  You want to leave the better side (Straighter is better.), and part of that decision for me is to use the prevailing wind, and the sun to straighten the tree.  I prefer to keep the side that is to the north or west, and I will have a straighter tree in a few years.

 There, this swamp chestnut oak now has a straight stem.

You can also improve the quality of the wood produced by taking off the lower branches on the trunk of the tree. Lumber quality is the goal in the woods; safety for the person mowing the lawn is the motivation for yard trees. 
You should have your pruning done before the limbs reach 2" in diameter.  That will insure that pruning wounds heal over quickly. You will tire quickly if you are pruning 2" limbs by hand, and I prefer to have them off before they pass 1". Leave as little stub as possible, while leaving the collar around the base of the limb unharmed. This minimizes wound size while getting rid of all of the limb.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield


Ruger's auction this week is the first of three consecutively numbered  P90™pistols manufactured in 1991. This pistol is chambered in .45 ACP. It features a stainless slide, aluminum frame, white dot sights, oversized trigger guard, lanyard loop, ambidextrous magazine release, and decocking lever.  100% of the proceeds of this auction will go to benefit Honored American Veterans Afield. This pistol will sell mid-day, Wedneday, March 11, 2015.  Click Here to read all about it and to place your bid.

$606 A good deal and a good deed!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Tuesday Turbo Boost

We saw this movie in the (GRUNGY) theater in Prestonsburg, KY.  Your feet would stick to the floor with every step in that place. What a dump.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Brew A Cup When You Get Up

Back To The Old Grind!

Thanks to Gary Bahre for the grinder!

Gary Bahre's 2015 Crank-Up

Some of the regular attendees in Kentucky were still snowed in, but Gary's Crankup still had about thirty-five engine fanatics roll in on Saturday for his annual barn party.  Gary had bladed the snow back earlier in the week, and the ground was frozen, so nobody got stuck.  The food was great, a line of engines was putt-putting along outside, and the food and camaraderie were great!

The new rod for the Bessemer mail box engine is nearly finished! It's a shame it will be hidden away inside the crankcase.

 The lower end has to be split, spaced with shims, and the babbit inserts have to be poured.  A slot for lube has to be cut in the upper end, then it will be ready to install.

Cale Mahnke of Mahnke Motor Sports is the artful welder who built this beauty. He thinks this rod could run at 3000 RPM, but I don't think Gary is going to try that.

Here are the faithful folks who braved slick roads to fight off the winter blues.  Many Thanks to Gary and Peggy for hosting a great event.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Weekend Steam: The Great Train Robbery!

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat

Recorded on May 23, 1911, Hold Me Just A Little Closer is romantic sentimentality, and a precious glimpse into a bygone time.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

.380 ACP In The News

There have been a few interesting new developments in the .380 field that came out at the Shot Show.  Ruger has dolled up the little LCP pocket pistol.  I think it is still selling like hotcakes, but you have to stir things up to keep market share. Hi-Point announced that their carbine will now be chambered in .380 ACP, in addition to 9 mm, .40 S & W, and .45 ACP.  Lots of people are questioning the reasoning, but there are a lot of .380 handgun owners out there, and this will make the Hi-Point Carbine a natural companion, and house gun for those who rely on .380.  The result that I think will be seen is that the long barrel of the carbine will make the .380 function as a low noise round.  That will be a benefit to those who may have to use it in a home defense situation.  It will be about as powerful as a 9 mm pistol with those extra inches on the barrel.

Browning came out with an undersized version of the 1911 in .22 Long Rifle a few years ago, and it has been very popular.  They have now started building one in .380, and it is the same size as the .22 version.  It functions the same as a full size 1911.  It has a steel slide and a polymer and aluminum frame.  Jeff Quinn of Gunblast.com provides a good look at it in this video.

I See....



Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Seventy Years Ago: Every Day A Milestone

March 4, 1945, the first crippled B-29 landed at Iwo Jima.  The Marines were a long way from the end of this battle.

O.T. was in the 21st Marines, 3rd Division, and would have been southeast of the airfield.  He undoubtedly would have witnessed this.

Photos from the history of The Third Marine Division, Infantry Journal Press.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

But Wait, There's More!

This winter there is always more.
Tonight this is being erased by a cold rain.  Tomorrow we will have sleet, and then new snow, followed by temps flirting with Zero.  The good news is that groundhogs may be hunted legally until the end of March. (In Illinois) The bad news is they are hiding out in their tunnels after having done their dirty work.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield


Ruger is offering a Super Blackhawk from 1977 this week.  This .44 Magnum revolver features a wide, lowered hammer spur, adjustable rear sight, unfluted cylinder, and a 7 1/2" barrel.  100% of the proceeds from this auction will go to benefit Honored American Veterans Afield. CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place your bid.  This fine .44 will sell mid-day, Wednesday, March 4, 2015.


Sunday, March 1, 2015