Thursday, April 30, 2015

If The Poppies Are Out...

...The wind must be blowing, and if the wind is blowing, the buffalo gnats aren't biting! So, Thursday night pistol league moved outside tonight at Carmi so we could shoot steel.

We were rusty, but Susan broke 5 seconds on the six plate runs we were doing tonight, and we stopped at the DQ on the way home to celebrate.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Dowsing: Either You Have It, Or You Don't

I found out about fifty years ago that I could dowse for water and sewer lines, and my dad could do it, too.  He worked for the municipal water system, and all of the water and sewer department trucks had dowsing rods for locating buried utilities. The first time I tried it was at McMillan Park in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. They were getting ready to stake down some equipment before Old Threshers, and they needed the location of a water main before putting anything into the ground. I was amazed then, and I still am every time I see it work.  In this brief video you will see the rods cross on a burial from 1850.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Let's Drop A Rotten Cherry Tree

I was asked to drop this cherry tree for a couple reasons. The top was crooked and wide-spreading in two different directions, so the weight was hard to figure. It also had a large dead branch about 8 feet up, and the crew figured it might be rotten. I tapped the trunk with a hatchet, and you could tell that it was indeed punky, but the question remained; how rotten was it? The open face cut revealed the insides, and we were OK. The center 1/3 of the tree was punk, but we had 6 to 7 inches on both sides that were solid wood, so completing the drop would be safe. I wasn't sure about the balance on  the tree, so I put a wedge in the back cut for insurance. It tipped on its own when I cut it loose. Note the branch that broke loose out of the top, and how it spears the ground.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

Ruger's offering for HAVA this week is a .41 Magnum Blackhawk that was built 40 years ago. If you are an old fan of Shooting Times, you know that Skeeter Skelton was greatly enamored with this caliber in the Blackhawk. It is still in Ruger's catalog, so it is still popular, even if you don't hear much about it on the blogs and in the magazines. This fine pistol will sell mid-day, April 29, 2015, so Click Over, read all about it, and place that winning bid. 100% of the proceeds of this auction will go to benefit Honored American Veterans Afield.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015

Here's How To Pull A Tick Quickly And Easily

We have tried many different methods for pulling ticks, and the little Tick Twister works best for us. We are beset by Lonestar ticks this year, and the sooner you pull them, the better. Those little critters make you itch much worse than the dog ticks and deer ticks do.

Weekend Steam: A Move Up From Triple Expansion

May 1 will be here in just a few more days, and that is the centennial of the Lusitania leaving New York on her final voyage. The great ship was torpedoed on May 7, and 1198 passengers and crew perished. Click Here to visit a site with some very good old photos of this historic ship. These are from a private collection, and are not public domain.

The Lusitania was revolutionary by virtue of its turbine engines. They were by no means perfected, and the ship had troubles with them, but she could run at 25 knots with the new-fangled non-reciprocating steam engines.

Images of Lusitania via Google Search.

Great War Anniversaries

The war really got in its groove in 1915, becoming a never-ending nightmare that sent us down a century of war, and it is still not over. Today, April 24 marks the centennial of the beginning of the Armenian massacre. Pick your number, but the dead easily numbered more than a million Christians murdered by Turkish Muslims. This atrocity is where we got the word, Genocide. April 25 is ANZAC Day, the centennial of the attempt by the Allies to reach Russia via the Dardanelles. The Turks were on the high ground, and the disastrous result is the stuff of legends. There is a wealth of information about both of these nightmares on the internet, and after looking at them for several evenings, I am going to link this one from the History Channel, and this one from World Net Daily. You will find more than you can stand to read if you do a few searches.

The final ANZAC  survivor of the Gallipoli campaign passed away in 2002.

Chugging Right Along...

Some say that blogging is dead, and if I look at my stats, this blog is not very warm. TBS gets around 100 views a day, which ain't much on the Internet....BUT, part of my blogging is my YouTube channel. It currently has well over 500 videos. The videos that are on my channel right now have garnered:




  • 3,500,374
  • 942
That's enough encouragement to keep me going for a while, and my videos of the old records mean that I don't have to change a needle every play. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat: Kiss Of Spring, Waltz

Old Brat is a tough critic, and he has no patience for songs that don't measure up to his high standards. He didn't care for this record and he drew blood on my hand before walking of the set. It didn't do much for me, either.   CLICK THE BANNER AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE TO SEE THE CURRENT POSTS!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I Do Not Like 'possums

 Darn Critters! You can always tell by the smell if one of these is hiding out in your garage. This was a smart one, and he wouldn't go in the trap. I finally located him, stood the trap on end, picked up the possum and dropped him in. I took him a couple miles away and set him off in a patch of woods. At least they don't spread distemper, rabies and worms the way coons do. I tend not to give coons a break if they invade the garage.

The deer are still bunched up, even though winter is really over. The leaves have popped since I took this picture, and the deer are going to be hard to see now. The reason you're getting wildlife photos instead of the Brunswick tonight is that the intro video for my records did not get transferred when I changed computers. I will pull it off one of the hard drives tomorrow and see if I can get the latest record posted.

The Western Front, 22 April 1915

One hundred years ago today the Gemans launched the first gas attack on the Western Front, near Ypres, Belgium. The German army had previously tried gas on the Eastern Front on January 31, 1915, by firing nearly 20,000 gas shells, but the cold temperatures of that day prevented the gas from vaporizing, and there was little effect. It worked at Ypres. Click Here, and Here for a couple of articles. The one on the History Channel's site plays an ad, so kill your volume.

My history teacher in high school told us about an uncle who was gassed in WWI. He was basically an invalid, and lived with his family while my teacher was growing up. The man's days mostly consisted of coughing up phlegm all day so he could breathe. God Bless families who take care of their own.

Wilfred Owen wrote Dulce Ed Decorum Est in 1917, and it centers around being in a gas attack. Two years after the first gas attack, every soldier was equipped with a gas mask, but sometimes you could not get it on quickly enough...

"If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,-
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori."

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Muzzleloading Demonstration By Jim Wallace, Sons of the American Revolution

This demonstration was a real treat for the attendees at the Appleseed shoot at Marion on Patriots' Day weekend.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

This week we have another of the ever-popular MK II pistols made during the 1980's for the U.S. Military. This is a good one! It was test fired only after manufacture, rejected for a split grip, repaired, and stored away in Ruger's vault for these many years. Click Here to read the entire description, and to place your bid.

Note the time change for the end of the auction! It will end on Wednesday evening rather than at mid-day! Check the auction when you get home from work, and you still will have a chance to place the winning bid. 100% of the proceeds will go to benefit Honored American Veterans Afield.

Yellow-Poplar Blown Apart

Little challenges like this snaggy yellow-poplar are why I love my job. The workers at this site weren't confident enough to stick a saw into this split and rotting tree, so they asked me to give it a shot. The best part is, I didn't have to clean it up! I left the hinge a bit thick in case it wanted to collapse, and it gave me plenty of time for a getaway.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tuesday Turbo Boost

More Appleseed Photos, Marion, IL, April 18 and 19, 2015

This is the fourth Appleseed that I have attended, and the second one where I shot.  The last two I carried the trunks for Susan and Pattie. It was a stretch for all three of us to shoot, but it was worth the effort, and Pattie was able to rest when I shot.

 Susan's new rifle was dialed in right on the money.

We had some great history lessons, and even a muzzleloading demonstration.  I have raw video of that, and will process it soon for all to see.

NINE! Count 'em; NINE attendees won a Rifleman Patch! I missed the first one on Saturday, but here are the Sunday winners.  If any of the readers can provide names, please comment, and I will edit this post.

Steven and Luke Abbott are brothers who both qualified. It was a thrill for all who witnessed it. Luke (In the red jacket) just made it with a score of 210, so he stepped out from under the roof and took some liquid sunshine down his back.

All Those Bullets Gotta Start Somewhere

Back To The Old Grind!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

All Those Happy People,

Where do they all come from?  Appleseed shoots are a good place to look for smiles. Susan has been working diligently on her shooting techniques, and it paid off today with a score of 219. No water down her back, except for the rain!

And I made it, too, with a score of 213. Pattie Ann shot, but she couldn't quite pull it together today. After a very full day yesterday, she was pretty tired out. We all had a good time, though, and we really enjoyed taking part in the salute.

Americans, Go Drop A Tear

Where your slain brethren lay!
O! mourn and sympathize for them!
O! weep this very day!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat

I didn't get to the phonograph this week, so Brat had a little break, and we are recycling one we did last year with our old kitty. We talk a bit about the Great War in the intro, and it was definitely going on 100 years ago. April 22 will mark an important anniversary, and if I can snag a little time for posting next week we will talk about that.  Here's Brat:

Not My Victrola

The music I know is getting older every day. This one is over 50, and that is older than my first 1920's records were when I started collecting.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Buy-A-Gun-Day Purchase

What did you purchase to celebrate BAG Day?  We're claiming Susan's new rifle, Magnum Research's version of Ruger's 10/22; the MLR 1722.  I think the 17 is for the 17" barrel length. Susan thinks she may get to sneak out behind the barn with it tomorrow, so I'm going to give the action a quick clean and lube. Here are a couple photos.

Susan is using the trigger group from her Ruger 10/22 in this new rifle because we have modified it for ease of use. It has a Tactical Solutions magazine release lever, which is really handy during timed shoots with magazine changes, a modified bolt release, and a Voquartsen hammer. We checked the trigger pull, and it is right at 30 ounces. The trigger that came in the MLR 1722 is just over 3 pounds, so it is not quite a stock Ruger trigger. It is now in her old rifle, and we will leave it at 3 pounds. I just realized that this purchase made two consecutive guns we have purchased that are not Rugers. If you felt a disturbance in the Force or a tear in the Space/Time Continuum, blame us.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

No Post Tonight...

...The borrowed computer is not seeing eye to eye with Blogger, and I cannot upload photos. Oh Well. New 'puter is supposed to be ready soon, so don't go away.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

NRA Women On Target Shooting Clinic at Carmi Rifle Club: Coming Up May 2, 2015

Women On Target 2012 by TrueBlueSam
The Carmi Rifle Club in Carmi, IL will be hosting its annual NRA Women On Target instructional shooting clinic for women on Saturday, May 2, 2015. The day will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. followed with firearm safety orientation and instructional sessions for shotgun, .22 caliber handgun in the morning and rifles, and centerfire handguns in the afternoon. Participants will be treated to a picnic lunch. ... The purpose of the clinic is to provide training in the safe handling of shotguns, rifles and pistols in a relaxing, non-competitive, and fun-filled environment. The clinic will conclude at approximately 3 p.m. Firearms, ammunition, targets and lunch will be provided by the club. The event is made possible in part by the Friends of the NRA Foundation.
The event will be supervised by NRA certified instructors and range safety officers as well as experienced club members. The club is located north of Carmi on County Road 1250 E, just off Illinois Highway 1.
Registration for the clinic costs $30 per participant. Pre-registration is required. To register, contact Valinda Rowe at Six One Eight-Nine Six Three-Two Seven Eight Eight, or send an email to VRowe (at)

The Cost Of Higher Quality: Shooting The Magnum Research 10/22

Well, we did it. We upgraded our .22 arsenal with a Magnum Research 1722. We visited Larry's Gun Shop in McLeansboro recently to look for ammo, and I looked at the MR 1722 that was in his New rack. It has the Hogue overmolded stock, machined aluminum receiver with integral rail on top, and the graphite barrel. It's light; just 4 1/4 pounds, and the weight is centered around the receiver, not the barrel. I handed it to Susan and she started grinning, then she got down on the floor and tried it in prone and sitting. We filled out a 4473, and Susan has a new rifle. We put a Bushnell AR22 scope on it, swapped the trigger group from her Ruger, and put on 1 1/4" sling swivels for the GI sling.

This model has a target chamber, so it is tighter than other off the shelf rifles, and MR's manual cautions against bulk ammo and CCI Stingers, which have a longer case than other Long Rifle rounds. They recommend CCI Mini-Mags, but we no longer have those in our stash.  We do have a good variety, though, with plenty of CCI Standard Velocity .22 LR. We gave the rifle a real workout last weekend in preparation for an Appleseed event we will be attending.

We found that this rifle is not nearly as picky about ammo as the factory literature would lead you to believe, but we did avoid ammo that we knew would be unreliable. The first thing we tried was current production Remington Golden Bullets, which have been performing well in both our pistols and rifles. They ran just fine in the MR 1722, and accuracy was good, but even the current production Goldens will vary in power once in a while, and the weak ones will throw to a different spot.

We got serious after sighting it in with Goldens, and fine tuned it at 25 meters with CCI Standard Velocity. You can see the first ten rounds in the upper left of the picture. We made the necessary adjustments and shot some five round groups and they were all good.  The surprise for me was the tight grouping of Velocitors. No adjustment is needed to switch to the hyper-velocity rounds for popping coons and coyotes. All the ammo shown in the photo ran without fail in the rifle. We tried Aguila target ammo, and it failed to cycle the bolt. Aguila Pistol Match cycled the bolt reliably, but it throws 1" right at 25 Meters. I have found that to be true with the Ruger 10/22 that I shoot, too.

The down side of this rifle can be considered a feature, or a bug, depending what you want out of your rifle. The tight chamber must be kept clean. Somewhere around 70 rounds after cleaning, the bullets don't slide in cleanly, and you must clean up. I expected that, and we had supplies out behind the barn for cleaning. Fail to clean, and the gun will go click.  You check it, and it will have a stovepipe jam. Drop the magazine!...Because it will have chambered a round, but it couldn't fire with the empty holding the bolt back. Clear the empty, reinsert the magazine, and resume shooting, but stop and clean it soon.  Our cleaning regimen at the range is to shoot PB Blaster in the chamber and action, brush the bolt face and breech, spray the action again with Blaster, then mop it out. Pull a brush through the barrel, then the snake. We then give the bolt a few drops of oil, cycle it a few times, mop off the excess oil, and get back to shooting. The need for extra cleaning was understood when we bought this rifle, and to us it is not a problem, considering the lighter weight and tight accuracy we are seeing. Every firearm purchase is a serious personal choice, and this one fit Susan's needs for the shooting she is currently enjoying. Someone who is wanting a plinker that can suffer neglect would not like this rifle, and it is a tool that you don't throw behind the seat of your old pickup truck.

We were so busy shooting that I didn't bother with photos during our outing, but we will get some pictures next time out to share with our readers.

UPDATE: We shot at an Appleseed event on April 18 and 19, and Susan's new gun ran just fine. We cleaned it before every target for scoring and it ran great. Other folks there had Ruger 10/22's and they had dirty chamber problems on the second day. We knew exactly what to do to get them going again, and very quickly. You can work on a rifle at Appleseed only during the preparation period before shooting, and it has to be done with the muzzle right at the firing line. We would shoot my cleaning oil mix down the barrel, and pull a snake through the bore, then put a few drops of oil on the bolt. It worked every time, and I will have to do a video to show how quickly you can do a cleaning at the range to get your gun running again.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

Ruger's auction could be won by ordinary folk this week.  It is a 1990 production P85 in 9mm, and the bids are reasonable so far. CLICK HERE or on the photo to place your bid. This fine pistol will sell mid-day Wednesday, April 15, 2015. 100% of the proceeds will go to benefit Honored American Veterans Afield.

$445! Someone nailed a bargain!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tuesday Turbo Boost

Get Hot With Gertie!

Throw In My Computer, Too

Gotta shop for a new 'puter. Blogging will be hobbled for a few days...

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Not My Victrola: The Tulips Are In Bloom!

So of course this old chestnut came to mind.  We haven't posted this song for a few years, so let's look at it again. I think you had to be a hoofer to get into the talkies back then.

That was 1929; this clip is from 1944. More hoofers.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Not All Re-enactors Carry A Musket

 My brother Ben started playing the tuba when he was in the sixth grade, and that was a little more than half a century ago.  He still plays the tuba, and he has collected a few nice ones that make playing a joy.  He has a Civil War era Euphonium, and that was like giving a mouse a cookie. Now he does Civil War music.  All I can do with music is listen, so his talents with instruments amaze me.
The best thing I ever saw musically from him was that the U.S military people handed him a tuba rather than a rifle.  That's pretty darn good when your draft number is 5, and they need cannon fodder for Vietnam. Way To Go, Ben!

PS: Photos from Ben; not sure whom they belong to.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Getting Ready For Appleseed

 Anyone who has attended an Appleseed event will recognize the pattern of our bullet holes.  The AQT has four stages, with four targets on the bottom, then three, two, and one large Red Coat at the top.  We also were shooting the Red Coat targets, and 1 inch squares.


Pattie had lots of quality time relearning how to shoot the various stages, and getting comfortable with her rifle and scope. Her time spent pistol shooting over the winter at the Carmi Rifle Club has really kept her sharp.

She started out a bit wobbly, but soon was keeping all her shots in the targets.  She impressed us more than you can know when we had her shoot the tiny Shingle rectangle from 25 meters. She hits it Every Time.

Pistol League tomorrow, and then another rifle practice on the weekend, and she should be ready to try for a Rifleman Patch.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

This week Ruger is offering one of their ever popular (and very rare) U.S. Government prototype Mk II pistols made in 1983. These always attract high bids, and this one is at $2000 as I put this post together. This fine pistol sells mid-day Wednesday, April 8, 2015. 100% of the proceeds will go to benefit Honored American Veterans Afield. Click Here, or on Ruger's photo to place your bid.

Mr. Completely March E-Postal Extended....

...through Monday, April 13! The March weather held down the number of entries, so you have another chance to enter the first contest of the year.  This target favors small calibers, tight zeroing, and fine trigger control; so I went only for the big circles. I bet you can do better, and if you can't, you need the practice! So get out and shoot! We are taking a stack of targets to pistol league this week and have some of the hotshots give it a try.  Click Here to download your target and to study  the rules.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Tuesday Turbo Boost

We haven't visited BachScholar for quite a while, and I am always energized by his playing.  He has moved from the West Coast to Northwestern Missouri, so Midwesterners can now get lessons from this Master in person.  Click over to watch this on YouTube, and you can follow a link to take piano lessons online.

And, here's a bonus march for you!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Summer Engine Season Will Be Here Soon!

Our friend Gary Bahre shot this little vid last fall at Pinckneyville. Apples were being ground for pressing into cider, and for cooking down into apple butter. All the engine guys are glad winter is over, and they are checking over their collections and prepping engines to show again this year.
Back To The Old Grind!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Weekend Steam: Heisler; A Geared Logging Locomotive

From two different YouTubers, a Heisler loco, and a good look at the engine and driveline.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Chamber Flags: Make Them A Habit!

Here is a cheap, easy method to make some ultra-deluxe chamber flags for your rifles and pistols.  Be safe at the range!

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat: I Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle

This is a good one tonight, and Brat really liked it; lots of tail shakes and strutting.  He had to get down to rub my ankles because Rambler was at my feet, and Brat had to do his share.  I Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle was recorded by the Original Jazz Hounds in August, 1925. Hot Jazz!

April e-Postal Contest: Can You Skin Griz, Pilgrim?

The Conservative UAW Guy has the new contest up for all of us to demonstrate our marksmanship skills.  Shoot 15 bears, from three different stances, and you should have 15 bears in the bag! (Snort!)
Click Over to read the rules and to download your target.

Plant Your Taters!

Here's a timely one from Bill Donze; McCook's Mr. Bill

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

McCook's Mr. Bill

I enjoy poking around on YouTube, and just recently ran across this pleasant fellow.  He's been YouTubing for several years, and he tells a good story.  I think we'll be featuring him when I can't come up with a good post on my own.

CLICK HERE to read a good article about McCook's Mr. Bill.