Saturday, October 31, 2015

Not Watching The Birdie

I moved the camera this morning, so I am enjoying new photos this evening. This fellow is probably safe this fall. I hope he learns fast so he can make it for a couple more years.

To The Brink And Back

Things have been difficult down on the farm since the late part of August. Pattie Ann developed pneumonia and while she was in the hospital she exhibited symptoms of a heart attack, but she was not diagnosed with one. She was sent home too early, and her antibiotic that was prescribed was not strong enough. She was back in the hospital a few days later with pneumonia in both lungs and fluid around her lungs. The doctor we had that time thought they might have to draw off fluid, so Pat was taken off coumadin, which she has taken since her stroke in '12. Things went downhill fast then. She began showing serious symptoms of heart failure, and having TIA's. Pattie pulled through and came home from the hospital, but recovery has been slow.  She has made big improvements in the last month. She tires out quickly, but she is able to go with us to dog obedience class, for shopping, and has resumed shooting out behind the barn.

Kudos to Susan, who is with her mother 24 hours a day, and many thanks to Jill for spending a week with us to help out.

What started all this? A little bit of taffy. Pattie was eating a piece of taffy and aspirated a bit of it. A few hours later she was coughing up blood. If you ever get to a place in your life when you have difficulty swallowing, remember that. Sugary anything down your windpipe is bad.

October e-Postal Reminder!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is the final weekend to shoot the October e-Postal, so head to the range tomorrow and put holes in your targets! Read The Rules HERE, and print your targets. Shoot from any position and get real steady. You get 50 points every time you can connect the eyes.

Weekend Steam: Almost Like A Parade Of Zombies!

Here is the lineup of engines going into the Cavalcade Of Power at Midwest Old Threshers. I can tell you from experience that being in it is even more fun than watching it!

Video by 1957Shep

Tonight the Midwest Central Railroad is running their Haunted Rails special. Here are some good sound effects from previous years.

Not My Victrola: Ragtime Goblin Man

From our Friend Across The Pond, Paul Harrison.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Does Your Car Want You To Have Good Abs?

This warning light came on and I was wondering if I should start doing crunches, but it is much more serious than that. The anti-lock braking system started kicking in and it even caused noise on the AM radio when I touched the brakes. I checked with a mechanic and learned that this can be an indicator of a wheel bearing that is beginning to wobble, so I scheduled maintenance right them. Turns out this was just a faulty sensor, and that is a relief, but don't put off checking your car if one of the warnings lights up. A wheel that decides to lock up at 65 mph could be fatal. 'nuff said.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

Ruger is offering one for the rest of us this week! It is a P85 manufactured in 1990 and returned to the factory for unknown reasons. The collectors are not showing interest in this fine 9mm pistol, so this is one you may be able to pick up for a reasonable price. CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place your bid. 100% of the proceeds will go to benefit the Light Foundation. This fine Ruger will sell mid-day, Wednesday, October 28, 2015.

$391.05 A Bargain!

Billll's Ghost Ring Sights For Rugers!

Bill, of Billll's Idle Mind is manufacturing replacement sights for Rugers, and they are a boon for old eyes. I ordered some of these and installed the first one on my Mk III Target that I shoot regularly.

Bill sends concise instructions for removing  the factory sight blade and installing his replacement. Removing the factory blade was difficult. It had a long point that did not clear the slot in the sight base. I persevered and pried it out of there without damaging the base.

 Bill's replacement fit in easily. He suggests using a drill bit to compress the spring; I used a large paper clip. This sight was quicker to sight in than any iron sights I have ever used, and I can shoot small groups easily. That's the factory sight next to one of Bill's Ghost Ring sights for comparison.

I don't have pictures of any targets yet because my time was limited behind the barn, but I will be able to nail varmints with no trouble. Click Over To Billlls Idle Mind and look in the left sidebar for his shopping link. One sight blade is $15, and he gives you a discount for multiple blades.

I will be putting these on my Single-Six and the 22/45 Hunter next, so stay tuned. I may even post a video of changing the parts if I can accomplish it without losing parts.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

'Round and 'Round It Goes

Monday's coming up again...

Back To The Old Grind!

Video by Gary Bahre

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Not My Victrola: Howdy One Step

Head down the the phonograph emporium and pick up one of these dancers before they sell out!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Unusual Rack

We're having fun with the game cameras. This buck is hanging out north of Pattie's house, and he hasn't let us see him in daylight. We also are seeing coons, turkeys, and fox.

Weekend Steam: Plowing With Steam In South Dakota

The James Valley Threshers at Andover, SD.  First weekend after Labor Day every year.

Crankin' It Up With Brat The Cat: The Wrong Woman

Jess Hillard recorded this one in  February 1933, and I think it genuinely qualifies as a Hillbilly Song, even if it was recorded in Indiana.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Al Jolson, October 23, 1950

A good writeup Here.

Win A 10/22 Today!

The date today is 10/22, and Ruger is celebrating by giving away TEN 10/22's. All you have to do is purchase an item from Ruger's online store and you are entered. You at least need a new hat, so go shop, and maybe win a new rifle!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Sears 5 HP Saw Rig Engine

This original condition Sears Economy engine is from Gary Bahre's collection, and was offering encouragement to the 8 HP upright Bessemer last week at the fall Pinckneyville show.

You can hear another engine putt-putt-putting along, and it is this Ruston-Hornsby running on the next display down the line.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

Ruger is offering a very nice collector's item this week. It is a prototype for the 50th Anniversary Mk II that was made in 1999 to celebrate half a century of Ruger firearms. This is not the final version, so it is one of those unique items that exist in Ruger's vault. 100% of the proceeds of this auction will go to benefit the Light Foundation. Go Here to place your bid, and watch the numbers mid-day, Wednesday, October 21, 2015, so it doesn't get away from you.


Monday, October 19, 2015

TuesdayTurbo Boost

This Elton John song came out in 1972 while NASA was still doing moon missions, and it was a big hit back then. The new movie about Mars brought it back to mind, and it still sounds good to me.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Saturday, October 17, 2015

It Was A Glorious Fall Day At Pinckneyville!

Gary and Peggy were set up on Gas Engine Hill, right next to the Little Toot Railroad.

We reminisced about finding and collecting the 8 HP Bessemer, and Gary shared some of his experiences in bringing it back to life.

I've been reading engine magazines for fifty years and a common story is the old boy with a collection of engines stashed in buildings around his farm, and they are just moldering away. Collectors try to buy them, but the old boy "has plans" and won't sell. By the time his estate auction happens the parts to various engines are in unrelated piles, and the collection is scattered to the four winds. Susan and I didn't want to be like that.

Gary has done us, and the gas engine community a great service. We are overjoyed to see the engines we accumulated over the years on display and in running condition. It wasn't happening on our watch, and I am glad I came to the realization that we needed a better plan. The Bessemer is going back to Gary's shop for completion over the winter and next year the world will see this engine in better condition than when it was sold to a farmer who lived up a hollow in Eastern Kentucky to run a sorghum press.

Pat and O.T. With The Mailbox Engine, 1992

This engine would still be up a hollow in Martha, Kentucky if not for Susan. She piled rocks under it for me until we had it picked up high enough to roll it into our station wagon way back in 1976, when we were newlyweds. And then she helped move it to the farm in 1980. Way back in 1992 one of the farmers in our neighborhood knocked down our mailbox with a wide farm implement. We needed a new one set up right away, and that is what precipitated moving this old piece of iron from the barn to the road. If not for having our mailbox knocked down, we never would have met Gary, and our engines would still be rusting away in our barns.

Friday, October 16, 2015

There Will Be Steam...

...At the American Thresherman Fall Show. I don't know if this engine will be there, but there will be a good selection. This Case engine was at the August show, and the Jansen family was breaking in a brand new boiler. They took delivery of this engine the week of the show and are trying it out on the belt in this video by Gary Bahre. This engine came from the factory with a boiler built to run on 150 psi, and now it is upgraded to 175 pounds. It will be exciting to see this engine pull a sawmill. This video is by Gary Bahre.

There will also be lots of gas engines and tractors, and of course, Little Toot.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Here's Another Nice Little Deer

We got a shot of another one of the bucks who was out walking about at 8:25 in the morning. I bet this one has a bigger guy he answers to, and tomorrow evening I will move the camera to a different spot to look for that one.

American Thresherman Fall Show Begins Friday, October 16, 2015!

Note the word FREE on this poster! There aren't very many deals like this, so don't miss it! This will be your opportunity to see the World-Famous Mailbox Engine in person, and you might even see and hear it run. Gary Bahre has it loaded on his trailer and will be showing it even though it still needs paint, a cart, a cooling system, and other finishing touches. Come and give Gary some Kudos for a difficult and masterful restoration.

The show goes through Sunday. Perfect Fall weather is forecast, so no excuses!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Watch This Monkey Motion!

Sideshaft engines are generally more desirable to old engine collectors. They are more complex than pushrod engines, are rarer, and were more costly when they were built. They are also a lot of fun to watch. Collectors call it "Monkey Motion".

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

Ruger is auctioning a very special Number 1 Rifle this week. It was thought back in 2010 that this was the 25-millionth Ruger built, and it is so marked; but it turned out that this was not the one. This fine rifle is chambered in 300 H & H, so it will handle just about anything you need to shoot, and just take a look at that wood! 100% of the proceeds of this sale will go to benefit the Light Foundation. This fine firearm will sell mid-day, Wednesday, October 14, 2015. Click Here to place your bid.


Monday, October 12, 2015

Tuesday Turbo Boost


* I heard a Congress-Person use that term, so it must be a word!

Our doggies' Alma Mater. Nice Folks! Just north of the Fire Station in Mt. Vernon, IL.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Blue Monday

Back To The Old Grind!

Photo Credit: Gary Bahre

O mortal heart...

...Be still; you have drained the cup; you have played your part. Siegried Sassoon, October 1918

We haven't visited The Great War for a while, but it was back in the news last week. Sgt David Harkness Blakey was laid to rest 99 1/2 years after he was killed on the first day of the Somme Offensive, July 1, 1916.

Sgt Blakey's remains were discovered two years ago, and he was identified by a homemade identity tag made by his wife. (Click to read all about Sgt Blakey.)

When the centennial of World War I rolled around I began posting poems by those who were there, and this one came to mind with this news story.

The Little Sergeant

He was one of the bugler lads
Born in the Army and bred also.
And they gave him the stripes that had been his dad's
For knowing what soldiers ought to know.
And then you'd see him swanky and small
Drilling grown men of twice his span,
Dressing them down and telling 'em all
That the British Army teaches a man.

Lef-right-lef-how he'd make them run-
All for their good as he let them see...
'It's the way the Army has always done,
Don't argy the point.' he'd say. 'with me.'
Sometimes they groused, but mostly they laughed-
For there wasn't a job but he bore the brunt,
And when the time came, there was never a draft
Smarter than his when he went to the Front.

Somewhere in France on a night of drench...
When their guns had pounded the line to hell
The Germans rushed what had been a trench
And the Sergeant's men and the Sergeant fell.
Light in some Boch I'm sure he'd let
Before they could count him as reached full-stop:
And if there was breath in him, then I'll bet
He told 'em why England would come out top.

Swanky and small and full of guts-
I wonder, now that he's out of the fight,
Down what dark alleys his small ghost struts
Giving his men 'Lef-right-lef-right'.
There where the darkening shadows fall
I think I can hear him chanting slow-
'The British Army's the best of all,
Don't argy the point-I ought to know.'

France, August 1916, Robert Ernest Bernede, Second Lieutenant, The Rifle Brigade

(News story and photo from TheGuardian.  Photo from The Guardian, by Gareth Fuller.)

Friday, October 9, 2015

Gary Bahre's Latest Bessemer Update: It Runs!

Here is Gary's writeup and YouTube video:

Published on Oct 9, 2015
The 8 hp Vertical Bessemer is running, after a lot of work the old mail box engine gets a new lease on life. A new sleeve, shop built connecting rod and the air/gas intake valve rebuild. The air/gas valve seat has holes drilled into the seat, I had to get the valve to seal on both sides of the seat for it to run. This old engine sat along a rock road holding a mail box for many years. There was a short story in Gas Engine Magazine about it several years ago. Everything was rusted stuck and in sad shape. Over this winter the rest of the work will take place, a cart to move it around, the cooling tank installed, the engine dialed in and the paint touched up. Most of the videos I post are of other peoples Iron, but this one is just one of mine, I hope you liked the progress of bring this old engine back to life. Enjoy

Think about this: Gary and Peggy are the only living persons who have seen and heard this engine in person. It's really good of Gary to make the restoration public through YouTube and SmokStak for engine lovers to enjoy. There is much to be done to the Bessemer yet so that it will be a good showpiece, and Gary's reports are going to stop until the final product is ready for its coming out party.

Weekend Steam: Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Pity The Poor Bumblebee

It's good pickin's for bees and other insects in Susan's flower gardens, but summer is over and flowers are looking a bit worn. Frost could arrive any day, and the 80 degree days this week aren't fooling us.

It is interesting and a bit sad to watch the bumblebees work the flowers. They are putting on a tremendous effort to have the young queens fed well so they will be ready to go into hiding until next spring. The queens are the only ones to survive the winter; these workers will die with the frost or soon after.

They persevere, blissfully ignorant of the sad end they are soon to meet.

They are going out in a little blaze of glory. The goldenrod and boneset are just about done, and they will all wither away in another week or so. One frost and these flowers will be done, too. These little gals are making sure that life will go on next year.

Head Man

We finally bought a game camera (on sale) and are having a good time seeing the antics of the herd at 4 AM. There is a pretty little six-pointer, but this guy is his boss.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

October e-Postal: Boo! Boo! Boom!

Susan put together a Halloween-themed target again this year, and it's a good one! Shoot at 25 feet with pistols, 25 yards with rifles, any position as long as both hands are on your gun. CLICK HERE to download the pdf file.

Ten shots per target, multiple hits on any figure are OK. Add the pertinent info at the bottom of the target, scan or photograph your targets and e-mail them to TrueBlueTravelinman (at) gmail (dot) com. We will sort your targets out into classes by caliber and sights. Non-magnified red dots will be classed with iron sights. You have the rest of October, and maybe the first part of November; we will see how it goes.

Five points per hit on ghosts, ten points for bats, twenty points for an eye, fifty points for connecting the eyes.

We Haven't Visited Hickok 45 For Quite Some Time

Hickok is one of my YouTube subscriptions, so I see what he puts up when he does a new video. Today he checks out the HiPoint C9 pistol. HiPoint reviews are always fun because there is such a love-hate relationship the shooting world has with these pistols. They work, and they are affordable, and they have a great warranty. I don't have one, but I do have one of the HiPoint Carbines, and I love it. Anyhow, here is Mr. Hickok's take on HiPoint pistols.

I did pick up from IraqVeteran on YouTube that they figured out the HiPoint C9's run better with hot ammo than the cheap stuff. Of course your mileage may vary. The .45 carbine we have runs on whatever we stuff in the mags.

Best Article Ever On Gun Control, by Larry Correia

Go Here, Read It! Internalize It! Save it or bookmark it so you can come back and refer to it again!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

This week Ruger is offering an old standby, and it is surprising the amount of money being bid. It is a 1975 model Stainless Single Six with only the Long Rifle Cylinder. These are great guns, and we have a couple of Single Sixes. The first pistol I bought was a Single Six way back in 1974. I carried that gun everywhere with me for several years. They were just 100 bucks back then for a blue one.

CLICK HERE for the link to the full description, and to place your bid. This fine revolver sells mid-day, Wednesday, October 7, 2015.


September e-Postal Scores

Class 1; Air Pistol, Iron Sights/Non-magnified red dot
David aka TBS
Crosman 1377 .177 cal

Class 2; Air Pistol, Magnified optical sights  
No Entries

Class 3; Rimfire Pistol, Iron Sights\ non-magnified red dot

David aka TBS
Ruger 22/45 Hunter
David aka TBS
Ruger Bearcat Shopkeeper
Ruger Super Single Six 22Mag
Ruger Mk I Iron
Ruger Mk II Red Dot

Class 4; Rimfire Pistol, Magnified optical sights

David aka TBS
TC Contender, Bushnell 2.5x
David aka TBS
Ruger Mk III Target, 4x
TC Contender,   2x
Class 5; Centerfire Pistol, Iron Sights/Non magnified red dot
Colt 1991.45 Auto

Class 6: Centerfire pistol, Magnified optical sights

TC Contender 9mm 2x

Class 7; Rimfire Rifle, Iron Sights/Non-magnified red dot
No entries

Class 8; Rimfire Rifle, Magnified optical sights (25 yds)
Marlin 795
25 yd

Participation has dropped off, and I sure can't figure out what to do. This target offered lots of opportunities to apply tactics, and we allowed any position as long as both hands were holding the gun. I used a sighter target to check where each gun was throwing, and that worked on all except my Mk III Target model with the scope. It's sighted in for 25 yards and I just could not seem to get the holdover amount right. Billll shot a perfect score at 25 yards with his Old Reliable Marlin 795, and my Contender behaved perfectly for me and delivered a perfect score. We will have Susan's target for October up by the weekend. She is busy supervising builders who are doing some home repairs for us and she hasn't had time yet to post it. We will soon, though.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Look Sharp, Stand Out, Git 'er Done!

Back To The Old Grind!

Photo Credit: Gary Bahre

Friday, October 2, 2015

Boonville's Antique Steam and Gas Engine Club's 52nd Fall Reunion And Show Is October 9-11, 2015

Boonville's October show is a three day event, October 9-11,2015.    There will be steamers, gas engines, tractors, and a great flea market.  Put it on your calendar!

Directions: Thresherman’s Park, 2-1/2 miles north of Boonville on W. New Harmony Road, 1/4 mile off Hwy. 61.

Click on the Google Earth Photo to enlarge.

Weekend Steam: Georgetown Loop

A good friend just came back from a trip out west, and one of the stops he and his family made was the Georgetown Loop. He didn't know the history behind Number 9, but that is the engine he rode behind and he got a good shot of it crossing a trestle.

I first met Number 9 in 1966 at Mt. Pleasant after Stan Matthews brought it from the West Side Lumber Company in California. I got to ride in the cab with Stan at the throttle, and a cab ride in a big Shay is something you never forget.

October is a great time of year to visit attractions like the Georgetown Loop. The crowds are small because the kids are all doing school related activities. Check the schedule and plan a fall trip to ride this great shortline railroad.

Photo Credit: John B.

O Frabjous Day!: Bessemer Update!!!!

Gary still has many little chores to do for the old Mailbox Engine, but it runs! He needs to add a gas valve to regulate the fuel, and he is going to assemble the cooling system and put it all on a cart. The magneto that Gary first installed on it developed an open circuit in the windings. Gary built two mags that work out of five mags he had stashed in his parts bins, so now he has an extra.  Anyhow, he makes it fire right up now, but it floods out pretty quickly with the temporary gas hookup that he is using. It took a long time to make the decision to part with this old piece of iron but we are extremely glad that we sent it to a good home. It is hard to believe that 39 years have gone by since Susan and I loaded this into the back of our station wagon at Martha, Kentucky. It's even harder to believe that we went to the effort to drag it all the way to Southern Illinois.

Video by Gary Bahre.

UPDATE!!! Sunday, October 4, 8:30 P. Gary reports that a proper gas valve has been installed, and Bessye runs and runs and runs, until you shut off the gas!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Shoulda Used Osmose*

I run into unusual things all the time while I am out and about. This did not look right, so I had to wander over and check it out.
A pole segment has been sunk next to the power pole and they have been boomed together.
 The pole is rotted off. The rest of the poles on this oil lease are probably close to the same condition.
I'm tempted to say "That's Country!", but it's more like "Poor people have poor ways". It will work until some Goober comes along and steals the chain and boomers.

*Osmose monitors utility poles so this doesn't happen to your power lines.