Saturday, May 30, 2015

Not My Victrola: My Blue Heaven

My Blue Heaven is familiar to any fan of music from the 1920's. This version is a lively fox-trot that would soon have the needle skipping. I enjoyed the picture show that accompanies the record.

Last Night, 7:41P, A 3.4 Rolled Through

From about five miles north of Fairfield, Illinois. It sounded like thunder, and felt like a truck wrecked on the road.

Friday, May 29, 2015

May Mr. Completely e-Postal Coming To An End!

May will end Sunday night, so click on the May e-Postal over on the left side, print your targets, read the rules, and head to the range!

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat: Maytime, by Bennie Krueger's Orchestra

May is just about over, so we are slipping in just under the wire with this one. It's a peppy Fox-Trot, so push back the furniture and kick off your shoes.

Weekend Steam: Boone And Scenic Valley Railroad

Thursday, May 28, 2015

I See Things In The Middle Of Nowhere

I was on my way to a timber appointment last week,  going down an obscure country blacktop when I met a pickup pulling a trailer. I saw flywheels as it went by, and in the mirror I saw this, only covered in dull red paint. I had no time to spare, so I kept on going. I finished my first appointment mid-day, and called another landowner that was close-by. He was home, so I headed to him, on a totally different road than I had traveled in the morning. Coming at me was the same truck, pulling a trailer! I stuck my arm out and flagged him down.

It's a Reid oilfield engine, and he was coming back from having it shot blasted to take off a bad paint job. I took some photos and visited a bit. You can see this engine in June at the SIAM show, Evansville, Indiana. (June 12-14) It should be up and running then, with some new paint to make it look pretty.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bucking Rule Of Thumb

It's a general rule that you cut on the compressed side of a tree or log first. When making a bucking cut you dope that out, cut until you see the sides begin to close, then finish from the other side. Miscalculations usually mean you stick your saw. This is an embarrassment if others are working around you. Sometimes your mistake will split the log you are bucking, as happened to the log on the left in this photo.

Many years ago I was watching at a landing when one of the workers  bucked a walnut log wrong and split it nearly down the middle. That's an expensive mistake. It's important when falling a tree, too. Set up your front cut and hinge, then cut the heavy side of the back. Pound in a wedge, and cut out the light side. If you cut the light (tensioned) side first, the tree will sit down on your saw as you try to finish your cuts. It's unhandy, potentially very dangerous, and very embarrasing.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

This week we have a nearly intact Ruger .44 Magnum Carbine from 1973. This gun appears perfect, except it is missing the receiver sight that should be in the vertical dovetail on the left rear of the receiver. I think it would be easy to come up with a replacement, and the bidders seem to think the same. This fine little rifle will sell mid-day, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Click Here to see a series of photos, and HERE to place your bid. 100 % of the proceeds of this auction will go to benefit Honored American Veterans Afield.


Monday, May 25, 2015

Crankin' It Up/Tuesday Turbo

I went looking for The Vacant Chair, and I am glad I didn't find it. It's too sad. I ran across this very nice record that is a bit of an oddity. Demonstration records had mostly been put aside by 1914, because everyone had at least seen a phonograph up close, and heard records play. This "demonstration" record really belongs in about 1905-1910, but here it is all the way up in 1914. It is in the pre-Great War era, so I guess it fits. You gotta love the fifes and drums. It is a fair question to ask, how many men were thrilled by these songs and others during the early days of the Civil War, and then signed on the line that sent them to their destiny?

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Weekend Excitement

The old Kubota still runs well, but it is underpowered for our needs, and we are always wishing for 4-WD. The old L235 came to the country with Susan's parents thirty-some years ago, and it is time to update the equipment.

Just think of the possibilities of that loader! We have an old rotten stump in mind to try it out. Good times to follow!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Weekend Steam: Smoky Mountain Railroad

This video is a from WFMY News 2, in 1990. Engine 1702 is being restored, and will soon be back in service.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Grand Review Centennial-And-A-Half

The Grand Review of three Union Armies in Washington D.C. was May 23 and 24, 1865. It is worth reading about on Wiki. One of the things I noted was the herd of cattle that was stolen from families in the Carolinas. You have to wonder how many people starved out from that. Losing a cow or your rooster was a devastating situation for subsistence farmers. In addition to the 600,000 plus who died on both sides of the Civil War, there were uncounted thousands of invalids on both sides. How many families were wiped out because their sons were gone? That is something that most never think about because the elder survivors die with no-one left to speak for or remember them. Thank You, Professor, for this memorable performance!

Pattie's Rolling Right Along

Last week Pattie broke 9 seconds on the five plate runs we were shooting. That was a major improvement. This week she broke 6 seconds, and she shot very consistently, making most of her shots. We had a few dud rounds, and those were dropped. The scores are the total/average of the four best of five magazines. We were all pretty pumped from watching her in action. Susan and I were busy helping with mag swapping, and we didn't get photos this time, but here are her times.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

Ruger has an extremely rare prototype pistol up for auction this week. It is a prototype 50th Anniversary Mk II, and it is not the version that was made for sale. Interest is high, as you would expect. CLICK HERE to read the description and to place your winning bid. This fine, rare pistol will sell mid-day, Wednesday, May 20, 2015. 100% of the proceeds of this sale will go to benefit Honored American Veterans Afield.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Things grow better with cow!

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Friday, May 15, 2015

Gun Blogger Rendezvous Is Coming Up, August 20-23, Reno, Nevada!

The Tenth Annual Gun Blogger Rendezvous is set for August this year, and organization of this great fund raising event is being handled by Lucky Gunner Ammo. You need to make a commitment to go right away, because Lucky Gunner has a special deal for you.

 "If you can make it and you register here by June 1, Lucky Gunner will give a $10 donation to Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) and give you a $150 ammo voucher to use that weekend. (We'll ship the rounds to Reno just before GBR X; you can use or save the ammo as you see fit)."

Yep, you read that right! $35 will get you $150! The Rendezvous this year will again be raising money for Honored American Veterans Afield, and you would be hard pressed to have a better time than you will have with the gun blogging crowd. CLICK HERE to go to Lucky Gunners registration page, and sign up! Sign up now, while the price is just $35, and you will have the ammo you need waiting for you at Reno!

Weekend Steam; Steam Jenny!

You know you are the low man on the totem pole when you are the guy doing the steam cleaning in a shop. Been there, done that! These things do a good job, but they aren't much fun in the middle of July when you are wearing a rubber suit.

Your Cure For Melancholy!

This weekend ( May 16, 17, 2015) Sanford D. Lee, better known as Professor Farquar, and his lovely better half, Polecat Annie, will be bringing the Great American Medicine Show to Naperville, Illinois for Naper Settlement Civil War Days. (Click) There will be a Civil War encampment, and battle re-enactments Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Don't miss this great event; The Professor spends most of his time in Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa, so this is a rare treat for northern Illinoisans. Be There!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Century Ago, On The Western Front...

...Has anyone ever said "Dead before they hit the ground" more eloquently than Wilfred Owen?

Spring Offensive

Halted against the shade of a last hill
They fed, and eased of pack-loads, were at ease;
And leaning on the nearest chest or knees
Carelessly slept.
                           But many there stood still
To face the stark blank sky beyond the ridge,
Knowing their feet had come to the end of the world.
Marvelling they stood, and watched the long grass swirled
By the May breeze, murmurous with wasp and midge;
And though the summer oozed into their veins
Like an injected drug for their bodies' pains,
Sharp on their souls hung the imminent ridge of grass,
Fearfully flashed the sky's mysterious glass.

Hour after hour they ponder the warm field
And the far valley behind, where buttercups
Had blessed with gold their slow boots coming up;
When even the little brambles would not yield
But clutched and clung to them like sorrowing arms.
They breathe like trees unstirred.

Till like a cold gust thrills the little word
At which each body and its soul begird
And tighten them for battle. No alarms
Of bugles, no high flags, no clamorous haste,-
Only a lift and flare of eyes that faced
The sun, like a friend with whom their love is done.
O larger shone that smile against the sun,-
Mightier than his whose bounty these have spurned.

So, soon they topped the hill, and raced together
Over an open stretch of herb and heather
Exposed. And instantly the whole sky burned
With fury against them; earth set sudden cups
In thousands for their blood; and the green slope
Chasmed and deepened sheer to infinite space.

Of them who running on that last high place
Breasted the surf of bullets, or went up
On the hot blast and fury of hell's upsurge,
Or plunged and fell away past this world's verge,
Some say God caught them even before they fell.

But what say such as from existence' brink
Ventured but drave too swift to sink,
The few who rushed in the body to enter hell,
And there out-fiending all its fiends and flames
With superhuman inhumanities,
Long-famous glories, immemorial shames-
And crawling slowly back, have by degrees
Regained cool peaceful air in wonder-
Why speak not they of comrades that went under?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

You aren't likely to find one of these in your local gun shop! This is a Super Blackhawk made in 1976, and is stamped on top of the barrel with "Made In The 200th Year Of American Liberty." Interest is high, of course, but you should Click Over to read all about it, and make a bid for a good cause. 100% of the proceeds will go to benefit Honored American Veterans Afield. This auction will end mid-day, Wednesday, May 13, 2015.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Nothin' Freaky About It...

You've all seen reports with downed trees that have hurt or killed someone, and the words "freak accident" and "act of God" usually fall out of someone's mouth during the report. Some of them are, but many of them are anything but. Trees are temporary, and they must be evaluated regularly if they have high value targets. Here's one I spotted last week in Olney, Illinois, right in front of an apartment building, with the grass worn down in front from heavy foot traffic. It is rotten from one end to the other.

This is a bad joint with included bark. It will break apart in a storm someday. The recommendation is to take it out now, while it is easy.

Here is another bad joint, enhanced by lightning damage and rot. This tree is big enough to do real damage to the house it is shading. The recommendation is to take it out ASAP.

This pin oak is in the news at Mt. Vernon, Illinois today. It's big, it's 90% dead, and it has topping damage from many years ago.

Being topped many years ago created this unnaturally shaped top, and introduced rot into the stem.

A huge limb was knocked down last night during a thunderstorm, and it killed the man who lived in this trailer. Mt. Vernon had only a couple limbs come down in the city park, no tree problems on public rights-of-way, but there were six trees on private land that fell into streets, and Public Works employees had to be called out to clean them up. The difference between the city properties and private land is that Mt. Vernon has been aggressive for over twenty years in monitoring the city trees, and removing every problem tree they find. Monitoring your trees is more important than most will ever realize. The poor guy renting this trailer never had a clue what was hanging over his head.

Check out WSIL TV 3's news report HERE.  (The link is dead, but they gave God and freak accidents the credit for this preventable disaster.)

Tuesday Turbo Boost

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sorta Like Holsters

Chainsaw sharpening gizmos tend to accumulate, but I always go back to a good old reliable file and a cheap stamped metal guide.

Back To The Old Grind!

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Not My Victrola: Moanin' Low

The top selection by Lee Morse popped up, and I always enjoy listening to her. Several artists recorded Moanin' Low, so I did a quick search and came up with a few more performances for your listening pleasure.

I am pretty sure we have played Annette Hanshaw's version several years ago.

Libby Holman

Billie Holiday

Harry James, from Young Man With A Horn.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Quick Prone Lesson Courtesy Of Appleseed

Things happen fast at Appleseed shoots, and it isn't always easy to get them on video. The wind was still during this lesson, and you can hear the instructor. The lesson I didn't get on video is raising and lowering your NPOA (Natural Point Of Aim) in prone. Your leg sticking out behind has a toe at the end of it. Dig that toe in to drag your leg back to raise your NPOA, or to push your leg forward, lowering your NPOA. Practice that a few times and it becomes second nature. You will be able to adjust your elevation quickly, easily, and reliably if you do this!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

What A Difference Half A Day Makes

Tuesday evening on the left; Wednesday Morning on the right. Susan's poppies are so bright, every year it is like seeing them for the first time. Their numbers are decreasing a bit, so we have to scratch between the day lilies and iris this year and make sure seeds get back to the soil.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

Ruger's Auction this week is another of their 45 ACP, P90 pistols, from way back in 1991, the first year of production.

Click Here to read the description, and to place your bid. This model has a stainless steel slide and an aluminum alloy frame. It is a rugged, dependable model, and they aren't making them today. This is a good chance to buy a great pistol and do a good deed at the same time. This fine pistol will sell mid-day, Wednesday, May 6, 2015, and 100% of the proceeds will go to benefit Honored American Veterans Afield.


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Not My Victrola

This Helen Kane classic came to our minds today, because we went to a wedding! It was a joyous occasion.

Get Those April e-Postal Targets In!

The Conservative UAW Guy has not posted the scores yet, so that means you probably can still sumbit targets. Note that in the rules for April there is a Class 8, where you can shoot anything you wish. I shot at 25' standing with a 10/22 on the first line, then at 25 yards, sitting, and prone, for the other two lines. Just go nuts, and have a good time. Don't delay. I bet the scores are being tabulated as I post this.

Weekend Steam: Factories The Way They Used To Be

I think we featured this video several years ago. I've at least watched it before, because I recognize the old dog. I wonder if his tail was shortened to keep him out of the gears, or maybe by some gears!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Crankin' It Up: It's May!

Oh, That We Two Were Maying by TrueBlueSam

May e-Postal Is Up At The Smallest Conservative!

The May 2015 e-Postal target is up at the Smallest Conservative, and it looks like a fun time for family shooting.  You can shoot offhand at 25' with pistols, 25 yards with rimfire rifle, or 50 yards with centerfire rifle. Even a .50 cal BMG! There are low scoring targets, high scoring targets, and negative scoring targets, so study  those silhouettes! CLICK HERE to read all the rules, and to download the target pdf file.