Sunday, August 30, 2015

No Running In Place!

Give it your best on Monday! Fill your hopper and get Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Not My Victrola: Waitin' For The Evening Mail

We haven't listened to a good old Al Jolson song for a long time, and this is a good one.

Mr. Completely's September 2015 e-Postal: Exponential Windage And Elevation

Expect to have high scores this month! You can shoot from any position so long as your hands support your firearm, and you can really show off your finest marksmanship skills. The rules are printed on the target: Shoot at 25’ with pistol, 25 yards with rifle; any position. Hands, not a rest, must support the firearm. (Your hands can be supported by a rest; you can shoot with a sling from prone.) Fire ten shots. Double your points for scoring in two 20 sections; Double again for scoring in three 20 sections. Double again for scoring in four 20 sections. Double your score for hitting two X’s. Double again for three X’s. Double again for four X’s. SHOOT THE MOON option! Hit all four X’s with only four shots on the paper, get 12,800 points. (Total Possible points with ten shots)

If you fire all ten shots, you can get your X- doubles on 1, 2, 3, or 4 X's, but if you want to Shoot the Moon you must hit all X's. An X can be used for a 20 double, but a 20 without the X is not an X double. Touch a line and you get the larger score. Print the PDF HERE.  

Shoot Merle's target, too, while these two matches overlap. I will split the entries into classes based on your firearm and sight info. I plan to include non-magnified red-dots with iron sights.

Send photos or scans of your targets to: truebluetravelinman (at) gmail (dot) com.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Weekend Steam: Romania


From the heritage series this is a concise movie about one of the almost gone jobs in Eastern Europe: manual loading mocanita wagon. In Romania the person performing this job is called "tapinar". 
Today the wagons are loaded mechanical and this manual activity is almost gone. The only place still to find this old tradition is the CFF Viseu de Sus forestry narrow gauge line in Maramures, Romania.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Crankin' It Up With Brat The Cat

Here's a real knee-slapper (Not Really) from May, 1914. I think this song is based on a very old joke, or maybe this song is old enough that the old joke is based on it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Summer Is Winding Down

Ironweed, goldenrod and boneset are in full bloom and the bees are working hard to put away honey for winter. Fall honey is strong and dark because of goldenrod, and beekeepers don't rob it. That's good, because the bees need it. These boneset flowers have a very delicate fragrance, and I think the honey from them would be good if it wasn't mixed with goldenrod. This photo makes me sad because of the wings on this little working girl. She is just about worn out, and won't live to see next spring. (Click the photo to enlarge.)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ruger's Auctions (Yes, Two This Week) To Benefit The Light Foundation and Honored American Veterans Afield

Ruger is pulling out all the stops this week with TWO auctions for two worthy causes. Click Ruger's photos for the details, and to have a go against the collectors! Both of these fine firearms will sell mid-day, Wednesday, August 26, 2015.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Friday, August 21, 2015

Weekend Steam: Three Hundred Twenty Plows In The Ground!

There's probably a song in this somewhere, if you have the talent to write something as catchy as 99 Bottles! The American Threshermen put on quite a show with the Case Expo and they plowed this field in one pass with a whole bunch of Case tractors. If you tire of the internal combustion models, just scoot the slider over to eight minutes for steam action. Two 110's, an 80, and a 60.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

1918 Case 20-40; A Tale Of Woe, And Of Triumph!

Last Friday we took off for Pinckneyville and had a very productive few hours looking, photographing, visiting with friends, and shooting video. This beautiful Case from 1918 stood out among the machines we saw moving about the grounds, and we got some great pics.

I just learned today that when they fired this old girl on Saturday, the crankshaft broke. That is a catastrophe if you have a machine from 1918, but People's Good! And Cell Phones! The owners got on the phone, and within an hour they tracked down a crankshaft in Canada that they could purchase. This tractor will be torn down and be reborn in the months ahead.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Was This A Gag?

Twenty years ago this informational piece came across my desk, and it stuck. I have always wondered if U.S. Forest Service personnel actually tried this method of disposal. I guess it would be handy if you had old explosives you needed to use, or it would be good for making the low man on the totem pole remove shoes off a five day old carcass. I bet that was good for a laugh.

(Click on images to enlarge them.)

That reminds me of a story a friend told me about practicing with explosives while he was in the Army. He and a buddy were busting boulders by packing explosives on top, with a mud cap, when they wondered if the boulders would break with a charge underneath. That technique launched a boulder out of sight. They had invented the Potato Gun, but never got credit for it!

I am also reminded of this old news video from 1970. If you are going to try this method, don't call me; but I would like to see your pictures.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Could It Be....

...DIESEL? That's what it looks like to me now that we've had a closer look, and I found an intact example on SMOKSTAK. (See second picture in the SMOKSTAK post.)

Here's what it looks like up close.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

This week we have another good one for average folks! Ruger is selling a P90, .45 ACP pistol with manual safety that was made in 1990, and is new, in the box in Ruger's vault. This fine pistol is not attracting the collector crowd, so you have a chance for a good deal, and can do a good deed. This fine Ruger comes with two 7 round magazines, high visibility white dot sights (rear is adjustable for windage), a magazine loading tool, ambidextrous safety levers, and ambidextrous magazine latch. Don't let this deal pass you by! Click Here to place your bid. 100% of the proceeds of this sale will go to benefit Honored American Veterans Afield. This great Ruger will sell mid-day, Wednesday, August 19, 2015.

$456! Someone got a great deal!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Big Case Tractor At American Thresherman Show

The show at Pinckneyville was a Case Expo this year, and there was a boatload of old iron assembled in Racine. This 40-72 Cross-Motor was one of the more remarkable sights, and we got to see it pulling a plow! What a great machine!

Tuesday Turbo Boost

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Better Get More Chickens!

He can feed a bigger flock now that he has power on that corn cracker!

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Not My Victrola

I'm still learning. Edison started out with cylinders, and they went through some technological changes, but I always figured that his disc business pushed the cylinders aside. Well, this song, the Home Again Blues is from 1920, and that sure beats the Uncle Josh and Minstrel Era songs that he published on cylinders in the early 1900's.

Crankin' It Up; Pathetic Ballads

Pathetic ballads were a big thing at one time. The Baggage Coach Ahead is a classic, and it is about a young widowed husband and his child as the deceased mother is carried in "The Baggage Coach Ahead". Young Marion Parker fits the genre, except this is a true story. Marion Parker was twelve years old, and was abducted from her school, held for ransom, and murdered. There are gruesome details, which you can read about HERE. The murderer told the cops that he needed the ransom money to attend Bible college. It's all very fascinating, and very sad. The song fits into the Country Music category in OKeh's list of records.

Weekend Steam: Threshing At Pinckneyville

This Advance steam engine was pulling a thresher with a Garden City feeder, so it can be fed from two bundle wagons. They choked it up! The belt slipped, but the engineer shut it down before it came off. The crew had to pull panels off the thresher and dig out wheat, and when they started up again you should have seen the chunks going out the blower. It was a pretty good show.
In this video you will see the engineer use one of the injectors to add water to the boiler, and stoking the fire with coal. Note how he hits the corners. As we were leaving the show we were lucky enough to catch this engine as it returned to the steam engine lineup.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Stand Back, Guys!

She knows how to use that thing! Yep, we took a day off and went to Pinckneyville. It was a quick visit, but we did see many new things, and we have photos and video to share in the days ahead.

I have been wanting to see one of these Pioneer tractors for fifty years, and one appeared at the American Thresherman show this year. We didn't get to see/hear it run, but at least there is YouTube to fall back on. It's big!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Recipe For Recurring Failures

Knock the top out of a tree, let the resulting sprouts grow as they wish, wait twenty to forty years for your disaster. I have been seeing that a lot lately. A thunderstorm in July tore down this white pine that had multiple competing tops. It only got a high tension line on its way down.

This tree was weakened by an injury long ago that broke the top out. It then grew competing tops that were not anchored to the center, and there was rot introduced with the injury, which you can plainly see in the second photo.

This red maple appears to be rot-free, but it had the same poor structure due to an injury many years ago. It also had a house for a target.

This pin oak has a similar history to the first two trees. The top was knocked out, and multiple branches all tried to be the top. Rot got into this one, too. The branch went clear to the frame of this home, and crushed a man in his bed. If you have a tree with this type of structure within striking distance of your home, barn, parking place, or picnic table, you might want to take it down. 100% of the trees you see in the forest will at some time end up on the ground. One of your priorities in life should be not to be in the way when it happens.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What Have We Here?

Well, I don't know. It might be an engine, or a compressor, or a pump. I was on a mission, and just paused on the road long enough to take a couple photos. I will have to go back on my own time some weekend and have a closer look. Gotta be careful; sometimes these things follow you home.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans

This week we have one from Ruger that is almost affordable! It's a 22/45 made for Lipsey's in 2011.

This is a nice one! Removable grip panels, two triggers, so you can swap to a bright one if that's your style, and a fiber optic front sight. This nice .22 pistol will sell mid-day, Wednesday, August 12, 2015, and 100% of the proceeds will go to benefit Honored American Veterans Afield. Click Here to read all about it and to place the winning bid.

$501! A good deal for a good-deed-doer!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Not My Victrola: These Foolish Things

I was looking through some of my YouTube subscriptions for new material and saw a familiar title, with a singer that was new to me, Greta Keller in this 1936 Brunswick recording.

I looked her up on Wikipedia and learned that I have not paid attention very well. Greta was famous worldwide with a 45 year career. She even did a song for Cabaret back in the 1970's.

Getting back to the title I recognized, here is Rudy Vallee performing it as I first heard it.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Weekend Steam: Midwest Central Railroad, and More!

Old Threshers at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa is just a month away from the annual Labor Day Weekend show. Click Here to visit their website, then pour a cup of coffee and watch some of the train and trolley action you will see there. Holy Cow; they are giving away a WD Allis this year! You better pack up and go!

Since we ran into that notice about the free Allis-Chalmers tractor, I just had to go find this song to listen to again.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

August 6, 1945

If you don't know that date, you need to do a search on the Internet, but you surely heard some mention of it today. I bring it up because Ernie Pyle's final collection of columns is still on my mind a few days after his 115th birthday. He visited a B-29 base in the Marianas in 1945, and wrote  a pretty good chapter about it. Of course he had no clue as to what would occur in August, but it sure is good reading now, especially if you couple it with Enola Gay, The Bombing of Hiroshima, by Gordon Thomas and Morgan Witts, Copyright 1977.

From B-29s, The Last Chapter, by Ernie Pyle: "Their lot was a tough one. The worst part was that they were over water every inch of the way to Japan and every inch of the way back. And, brother, it's a lot of water. The average time for one of their missions was more than fourteen hours. The flak and fighters over Japan were bad enough, but that tense period was fairly short. They were over the empire for only twenty minutes to an hour, depending on their target, and Jap fighters followed them for about fifteen minutes off the coast. What gave the boys the willies was "sweating out" those six or seven hours of ocean beneath them on the way back. To make it worse, it was usually at night. Some of the planes were bound to be shot up, and just staggering along. There was always the danger of running out of gas, because of many forms of overconsumption. If you had one engine gone, the others were liable to quit. If anything happened, you went into the ocean; that is known as ditching. Around a B-29 base you heard the word "ditching" almost more than any other. Ditching in the Pacific wasn't like ditching in the English Channel where your chances of being picked up were awfully good. Out here it was usually fatal."

Ernie provided lots of details and anecdotes about the planes and the men who flew them; he even got to go up in one to see what it was like. " I sat on a box between the pilots, both on the takeoff and for the landing, and much as I'd flown before, that was a real thrill. The islands are all relatively small, and you're no sooner off the ground than you're out over water, which feels funny. If the air is a little rough, sitting way up there in the nose is a very odd sensation, for the B-29 is so big that, instead of bumping or dropping, the nose goes into a willowy motion. It's rather like sitting out on the end of a green limb when it's swaying around."

One thing Ernie did not dwell on was the extreme danger crews faced at takeoff. Fully loaded with bombs and avgas, on a marginal runway, there were a lot of crews that died. From Enola Gay; "Gackenbach cocked his head: one of the engines was out of pitch. He shouted into the Quonset hut. The others had also heard the sound. They joined Gackenbach. The group listened as the aircraft continued to roar down the runway.

"He's airborne!"

Gackenbach's shout of relief was followed by Beser's warning. "He's not going to make it!"

The words were followed by a bright, orange-red flash, low in the sky over the runway, enveloping the bomber.

A split second later, the roar of high-octane fuel exploding over incendiary bombs reached the horrified watchers."

If you are interested in the history of the war in the Pacific, both of these books should be in your library.

Could It Be Saved?

It probably could be, but I think the magneto is worth more than the rest of the tractor. Not quite a basket case, but it might as well be.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Gun Blogger Rendezvous! August 20-23!

That is just two weeks, so get busy, register, and make your travel plans!
Kevin over at The Smallest Minority has assembled a nice collection of videos from previous Rondys. Click Here to see his post. My favorite is Molly Smith blasting out impressive times with her Smith and Wesson revolver.

Lucky Gunner and Mr. Completely have arranged for a new activity this year. Attendees will try their skill at an indoor simulated steel event, shooting at paper in a four lane bay at Reno Guns and Range. Sounds like a good time, and I wish I could be there. This sounds like something that would be good to do at indoor ranges during our Midwest winters.

CLICK HERE to sign up with Lucky Gunner for Gun Blogger Rendezvous X! Read all about the Rendezvous while you are at this link, and read more at This One.

Crankin' It Up With Rambler And Brat: Has Anybody Seen My Husband?

Here is some levity from 1910. Married in the morning at half past three? I'd love to know the back story on this one. Collins and Harlan, so you know it may be foolish.

Has Anybody Seen My Husband by TrueBlueSam

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

Take a deep breath before you click over to read about this one. It is another prototype of a fiftieth anniversary Mk II, and collectors are serious about such things. It's for a good cause, and 100% of the proceeds of this sale will go to HAVA. CLICK HERE to read all about it and to contemplate bidding. Next week a shooter, not a safe queen is coming up.

This fine, collectible Mk II will sell mid-day, Wednedsay, August 5, 2015.


Monday, August 3, 2015

July e-Postal Scores Are Up At....

....Billll's Idle Mind. Pattie is holding her own pretty well. She beat Susan and me shooting with her rifle.

Mr. Completely's August e-Postal Match, Courtesy of Merle

That most prolific postal shooter, Merle has assembled a target and rules for the August Match. Here is his writeup.

Here is a taste of silhouette shooting. The targets for IHMSA and NRA are pretty much the same, so this target gives the feel of either discipline. Go here for the target. 

For each handgun and rimfire rifle print two of these targets.

For centerfire rifles print one target, to keep ammo costs down.

PISTOL DISTANCE: 25 ft/10 yards, whichever is available
RIFLE DISTANCE: as noted in Classes
PISTOL SHOOTING POSITION: Standing, unsupported.
RIFLE SHOOTING POSITION: bench, prone, sitting, any other safe position that does not include a cradle.
    Take five shots at the ram. Try to get them off in two minutes, as that is the standard time. Repeat for handguns and rimfire rifles.

 1. .177/22 cal air pistol, iron sights/non magnified red dot (air or CO2 powered)
 2. .177/22 cal air pistol, magnified optical sights (air or CO2 powered)
 3. rim fire pistol, iron sights/non magnified red dot
 4. rim fire pistol, mangified optical sights
 5. center fire pistol, iron sights/ non magnified red dot
 6. center fire pistol, magnified optical sights
 7. rim fire rifle iron sights/non magnified red dot (25 yds)
 8. rim fire rifle magnified optical sights (25 yds)
 9. center fire rifle iron sights/non magnified red dot (50 yds)
10. center fire rifle magnified optical sights (50 yds)

Anything else; airguns, crossbow pistols, airsoft, muzzle loaders, etc. Shoot it and send it in.

Shoot as many guns as you can, multiple guns per class are fine (as inspired by Mr. C) but only one entry per gun please.
SCORING: center red dot is “X”; black ring is “10”; next ring is “9”, next ring is “8”; any hit completely within the body is a “7” because partial hits usually won’t topple the ram. Any shot touching the next higher rings gets the higher score.
Mark each target with:
The name you want used
Score, including “X” count
Firearm make/model
Any comments that apply.

List your score for each target, plus the grand total for both targets.

Make a scan or take a photo of your targets and send to: truebluetravelinman (at) gmail (dot) com (Do the translation.)

Include photos from the range and your gun if you like.

Good luck!!!

Thank You, Merle! This looks like a good contest, and it should not be intimidating to new shooters. This is a good contest for including family and friends, so take a carload when you head to the range. 

Tuesday Turbo Boost

Did You Miss This World War II Anniversary?

Ernie Pyle, August 3, 1900- April 18, 1945

During the 1930's Ernie Pyle and his wife traveled the country, sending in posts about the places and people they visited. Ernie grew to know the U.S intimately, and Americans grew to know him. When he went off to war, the men he met in the front lines all knew him, and he knew the places they came from. It was a match that has never happened before or since between fighting men and the reporters covering them.

You have probably heard of some of Ernie's books. They are collections from columns he wrote during his travels in the 1930's and 1940's. Brave Men, Here Is Your War, and Home Country should be in every home. You probably have not heard of or read Ernie's Last Chapter, the brief collection of his travels in the Pacific in 1945. It's not as common as the other books, but it is available online, and I recommend it highly. Here is the beginning:

"To The Pacific War

The hour of leaving came at last.

When starting overseas, you don't usually get away on the day the transportation people originally set for you. I remember when I first started going to war, how impatient I was at delay, and how I fretted myself into a frenzy over waiting, But time changes things like that. Now, although there was a delay of a few days, I welcomed every one of them with a big embrace. I felt like saying to it, "Ah, my love, you are the day of my dreams. You are my one more day of security - How I cherish you."

But the final day came - early in February 1945 - and at last the hour. I put on my uniform again and sent my civilian clothes to a friend in Los Angeles to keep for me.

It was night when we left San Francisco. We flew in huge four-motored land plane operated by the NATA (Naval Air Transport Service). The Army's equivalent is the ATC. I've flown on both of them so much I feel like a stockholder. They fly all over the world on clocklike schedule, over all the oceans and all the continents, carrying wartime mail and cargo and passengers. I've flown the Atlantic four times, but this was my first flight across the Pacific."

Copyright 1945, Scripps-Howard Newspaper Alliance
Copyright 1946 Henry Holt and Company, Inc.

The 70th anniversary of Ernie Pyle's death on Ie Shima went unnoticed by the news hacks, so I guess he is not relevant to the mainstream media people today. Click Here to read the obituary from the New York Times on April 19, 1945.

Today is Ernie's 115th birthday, so take a few minutes to find the Last Chapter online. You can have it in your computer for under five bucks. You will enjoy reading every word.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Pet Rescue

Dogs and cats are abandoned or lost, and most of them never find a new home. The lucky ones find their way into online rescue networks, and there are many happy endings because of that. Our newest family member is Sheba, a 3 year old Schipperke from Northern Illinois who went into a shelter when her owner died. Here is Chipper, an elderly Schipperke that we have been watching on Facebook.

Click Here to see the photos and narrative about this lucky old boy. It is chilling to see him walking out past the death chamber.

Photo from LI Brown's Facebook slideshow.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat: Hot Jazz Tonight!

Tiger Rag And San, Univeristy Six by TrueBlueSam

The University Six, aka The California Ramblers on the Columbia label, recorded these sides for the Harmony label on May 12, 1926. The Puritone label was marketed by Straus and Schram, Chicago.

Not My Victrola, A Good Old Jolson Song, Irving Berlin. This song is great for Fox-Trotting around the living room.

I Caught A Live One!

I am always running across dead cars or parts of cars out in the woods, but this time I caught a live one. I stopped to mail a letter in downtown Wayne City and caught this 1915 brass T on its way to the annual festival in Johnsonville, IL.

Steam Events!

Rushville, Indiana is coming up next week! August 6-9, 2015.

Rough and Tumble Historical Association, Kinzers, PA is going to be in two weeks.

American Threshermen at Pinckeyville, IL will also be in two weeks!

Bonus Video from Kinzers!