Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fairbanks 208 On A White County Oil Well

One of the joys of my job is seeing oil wells up close, all over my corner of Southern Illinois. This Fairbanks 208 is running great, and if you watch closely you can see the governor operating the throttle. Great engine music, and the pumping unit isn't squeaking too bad!

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

Ruger is offering another chance for you to acquire one of the few U.S. Government MkII pistols that were made in the 1980's under a contract with the Rock Island Arsenal. This one was rejected for a split grip, repaired, and then stored away in the Ruger vault. These pistols feature a 6 7/8" barrel, a burnished chamber, and finer sights, and better accuracy than the run-of-the-mill MkII's. CLICK HERE to read the entire description and to place your bid. This fine, rare pistol will sell mid-day, July1, 2015. 100% of the proceeds of this sale will go to benefit Honored American Veterans Afield.

July Mr. Completely e-Postal Is Up At Billll's Idle Mind!

Billll has designed a great target for July; you can't miss! It's as easy as shooting Fish In A Barrel; in fact, that is the name of his contest. You can score each fish/item only one time, so you must knuckle down and shoot well. You will shoot this one standing, unsupported, so I suggest practicing your breathing as you hold your natural point of aim, and squeeeeezing the trigger very carefully! Click Here to go over to Billll's blog to read the rules and to print your target.  This looks like a great target, Billll, I can hardly wait to get out back of the barn.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Cut Safely When Dealing With Storm Damage!

We have quite a few limbs down from the storm last week, and a few broken trees that will make firewood for next winter.  Here is a relatively easy problem to deal with, if you know how to make your cuts.

Tuesday Turbo Boost

One thing's for certain; there is plenty of Mississippi mud to go around this summer! Get out and start patting your feet on it!

That was Bix with Paul Whiteman; Here's Bix with Bing Crosby!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

All Those Lonely Vegans...

...Makin' rice cakes. What kind of life is that? Oh Well.

I think I will stop by the taco shop and throw caution to the wind. Back To The Old Grind!

Birthday PARTY!

We had a little family reunion in St. Louis yesterday on Pattie's 91st birthday. It was a long day, and a good one.  The weather was beautiful, and we were home right at sunset.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Not My Victrola: Blue Yodel #9

We haven't listened to a Jimmie Rodgers song for a mighty long time, and it's time to fix that! This recording has Louis Armstrong providing the trumpet accompaniment; the only recording where these two legends appear together.

R.I.P., Chimney

June 25, 2015. Nighttime T-storms.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Some People Find Beautiful Arrowheads

I find ancient television burial grounds.

Pattie's Birthday Reminder

Pattie Ann was born in 1924 while the wheat was being harvested for threshing, so it's easy to remember her birthday is coming up. The wheat has been ripe and ready for over a week, but the storms from TS Bill delayed getting in the field with equipment. Susan brought Pattie over to the farm last night so she could see the combine work its magic.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat

Whoa Tillie, Take Your Time and Don't Think You'll Be missed were recorded in October and November, 1922 by Margaret Young. She was born in Detroit, in 1891, and began her career in Detroit. She recorded for Victor in 1920, moved to Brunswick in 1922, and was popular through the Roaring Twenties. She recorded again for Capitol Records in 1949. She passed away in Los Angeles in 1969. I am sure you will enjoy both sides of this classic Brunswick disc.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Coolspring Flame Ignition Expo

Our friend Gary Bahre just got back from Pennsylvania where he attended the big Flame Ignition Expo at the Coolspring Power Museum. There were engine fans there from all over the world, and it was a great show. Many of you have heard about hot tube ignition, which is powered by flame, but before that there were intricate mechanisms built that transferred flame directly into the cylinder, and those engines were the big draw at this show. The Crown engines in Gary's video were used in urban settings to pump water up to holding tanks, providing running water to apartments. They were built in the 1880's, and it is a wonder that any have survived to this day. These are running on a mixture of hydrogen and propane. Originally they would have used illuminating gas, but that is more corrosive than propane, and propane flames are visible, so you can see what the engine is doing.

In the second video, by Reddrryder, pull the slider over to 31 minutes to see his photos of the flame ignition engines on display.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

The firearm of the week from Ruger is a 12 gauge Red Label Over and Under Shotgun made in 1989. This gun features 3" chambers, 28" barrel, and fixed chokes of Improved Cylinder and Modified. 100% of the proceeds of this sale will go to benefit Honored American Veterans Afield, and it will sell mid-day, Wednesday, June24, 2015. CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place your bid.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Wake Up And Smell The Ozone!

This is a good look at an old electric coffee grinder like you would have used in grocery stores some 60 or 70 years ago. Note the sparks in the motor when he fires it up.

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Not My Victrola: Advice To The Love Worn By The Red Hot Mama!

I always liked the expression, "Kissin' Don't Last; Cookin' Do! Pancakes, bacon, eggs, brisket, mashed taters, biscuits, gravy and PIE is the strategy I would recommend. But it's a good song! Here's Sophie:

Friday, June 19, 2015

Weekend Steam: Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat

Let Me Call You Sweetheart was published in 1910, and was first recorded by the Peerless Quartet. This recording was made in January 1926, at the end of the acoustic recording era, and it's a good one. This record has been in my collection for over forty years, and as usual, this is the first time I have listened to it.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Coolspring Flame Ignition Expo!...

...Going on right now!

You can visit the Coolspring website HERE, and read all about it. This museum is on every iron collector's bucket list, and I hope to go some day, myself. Do searches on YouTube in the weeks ahead for videos of the engines being shown at this special event.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

This week we have another example of a prototype commemorative Ruger. It is a 1999 Mk II pistol, to mark the anniversary of the 1949 beginnings of Sturm-Ruger, and the original Mk I Standard Pistol.

CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place your winning bid! 100% of the proceeds of this auction will go to benefit Honored American Veterans Afield. This fine, rare pistol will sell mid-day, Wednesday, June 17, 2015.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Tuesday Turbo Boost

Here's Roger Miller lip-syncing one of his classics from fifty-some years ago on American Bandstand.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Carmi Rifle Club Youth Shooting Camp

A group of dedicated volunteers got together at Carmi, Illinois on June 6 for the annual Youth Shoot. The group was split for the morning activities, with half blasting clay pigeons outdoors, and half learning how to handle pistols and revolvers at the indoor range. The groups swapped places mid-morning. I was indoors and managed to get a couple photos. Kids generally love shooting pistols, and after the initial single shot exercises they really burned the ammo.

Safety was the number one concern all day, and the kids were good students. The only unfortunate incident was one little girl that was hit in the side of the face with a .22 hull. She left the line, but soon came back to have another go at it. Then she got burned by a powder particle in the same spot. She stayed at the range with her father the rest of the day, but she was done shooting.  We all hope she eventually gets over it. We old-timers need to be mindful of the sensitivities of beginners, and talk about  these difficulties before they happen. We should have moved her to the left end of the line before she shot again, but who would expect the same kid to have something like this to happen twice?

Here's Valinda Rowe explaining to the kids how to score a bulleseye target

Some of the kids were pretty darn amazing. Click this photo to have a good look at the target!

After lunch the kids shot pistols (Both rimfire and centerfire), rimfire rifles, and centerfire carbines at paper, steel, clay pigeons, and Tannerite. The 10/22's with drop reticles were well liked by kids who figured out they could hit clay pigeons on the 100 yard berm. It was amazing to watch kids figure that out and make the shots.  The volunteers stayed and cleaned the range of equipment and trash after the kids were done. It was a great day for the shooters, parents, and the volunteers.

Evansville! This Weekend! Be There!

The annual steam/gas engine/tractor/antique car/flea market show is June 12-15, 2015, just north of Evansville on Hwy 41. There is plenty of shade, and it is always a great show. Here is a video from 2012:

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat

The news hacks today reported that a bunch of Boy Scouts and their leaders required rescuing out in Colorado, so I thought of this old record. Carson Robison and Frank Luther recorded this classic on April 19, 1930.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

This week we have the last of three consecutively numbered P-90 pistols that Ruger has pulled from their vault to auction over the last few months. This is a new-in-the-box-gun, featuring a stainless steel slide and aluminum alloy frame. Read the full description HERE, and place your bid! 100% of the proceeds of this sale will go to benefit Honored American Veterans Afield. This fine pistol will sell mid-day, Wednesday, June 10, 2015.


Monday, June 8, 2015

Odometer Thrills

The way it used to be:

Now you might just as well punch it up on a calculator.

At least every morning when I write down my miles I am reminded of a great song.

Tuesday Turbo Boost: Did I Hear Something About A Horse Race?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Yep, He's From UK!

Check the tag on the engine.

Back To The Old Grind!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Chainsaw Blunders; or, Your Sins Will Find You Out, or, Gravity Always Wins

There are too many mistakes in this stump; one is wasteful, two are potentially fatal. The first one is the high stump that the cutter made. This was a white oak, and was included in a sale of high quality trees, so the stump should have been just off the ground. Cutting the stump above his waist was just plain stupid if the cutter was trying to make money on this tree. Cutting high not only throws away high value wood, it pushes the bucking points of the segments into lower grade logs, and devalues the entire tree. But that's just money.

The front cut defies belief. The purpose of the front cut (face cut) is to aim the tree, because it wants to fall at a right angle to this cut. Wood that is left in front of the face interferes with the forward and downward travel of the tree. The two cuts that should make this open face must meet! Wood in this face interferes with the rotation of the tree to the ground. In olden days the front cut was opened up to 45°, because that was what you could do with an axe. The tree would close the opening halfway to the ground, breaking the hinge. Nowadays, because we use chainsaws, we open that cut up to 70° or 90°. The tree will rotate all the way to the ground before the hinge breaks. There is no excuse for making that single cut on the front side of the hinge. When the tree begins to rotate, it will hit that wood and split lengthwise, causing extreme danger to the cutter as the tree elevates on a springpole.

Now, the back cut. Way back in B. C. (Before Chainsaws) we cut the front opening to aim the tree and to allow the tree to turn down on the hinge. Old timers call the hinge Holding Wood. Nowadays, the holding wood is the backstrap that you cut last; so you have to be careful with your terms. The tree was felled by cutting from the backside with a crosscut saw. At some point, if the tree has forward weight, the tree tips on the hinge. If the tree has excessive forward weight it will tip too soon, and split lengthwise, elevating itself on a springpole called a barber chair. Chainsaws can bore through a tree, making a hinge of proper thickness in order to prevent springpoles, while you leave a backstrap that holds the tree in place on its hinge. The cutter who made this stump obviously did not possess the skills to do that, and he probably did not understand the importance of a proper setup on his stump.

I think the cutter survived, because the ruined tree was cut up in pieces and left around the stump. Learn how to use your chainsaw safely and effectively. Now, go and sin no more.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Mr. Completely's June e-Postal Contest Is Up At Engineering Johnson!

This month we are visiting an old-time carnival shooting gallery! It just takes ten shots to impress all your buddies, and maybe win a big old stuffed bear. Click Here, or on the target to head over to EJ's place for the target and the rules.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

Put on your Big-Boy-Bidding-Hat this week! This is one serious rifle. It is a 50th anniversary Ruger Number 1 Rifle in .45-70! It is tastefully engraved and highlighted with 24 carat gold. It's ready to be locked away in your gun safe, or to go hunting grizz. It is a rare one for sure, and the collectors are piling on. Click Here to read all about it and to place your bid. This fine, rare rifle will sell mid-day, Wednesday, June 3, 2015.


Monday, June 1, 2015

Tuesday Turbo Boost

May and June e-Postal Shoots

The June contest will be up in a day or two at Engineering Johnson. The Smallest Conservative will be posting the results for May next weekend, so you have bonus time to shoot! Get out this week and shoot the May contest if you haven't already done so. I recommend using a red-dot scope, a close-in stance with your offhand forearm on your chest for stability, and lines on your cardboard to guide you to the planes of choice.