Friday, March 31, 2017

Weekend Steam: Homebuilt Steam Speeder

Not much of a description, but you can look at the info HERE.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Rather Boring Fireline... generally better than an extremly exciting fireline, but this was just a bit too slow.  We got 'r done, though.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

We Like Freebies! Samsung Dryer Dropped On Us!

Our brother-in-law was given a dryer with a problem, but he didn't need it.  Our dryer was still working, but it needs a new timer and sensors, so we upgraded to the Samsung and did the necessary repairs to get it going.  For fifty bucks we have a new-to-us dryer!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Massachusetts Shooters Foundation

This week Ruger is offering another 25th Anniversary .44 Magnum Carbine.  It sells mid-day, March 29, 2017. Click Here to read all about it and to place your bid.  $1525

Monday, March 27, 2017

Tuesday Torque: Allen Diesel Engine

We usually see big 2-stroke Diesels, but this Allen Diesel is a four-stroke, three cylinder engine.  It doesn't sound like the big Fairbanks engines.  The writeup on YouTube says it is 200 HP and 285 RPM.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Ahhh....Monday Mornin' Comin'!

The Great Divide

I passed this milestone a bit more than thirty years ago, but today it comes to mind once more

At Thirty-Five

Three score and ten, the psalmist saith,
And half my course is well-nigh run;
I've had my flout at dusty death,
I've had my whack of feast and fun.
I've mocked at those who prate and preach;
I've laughed with any man alive;
But now with sobered heart I reach
The Great Divide of Thirty-five.
And looking back I must confess
I've little cause to feel elate.
I've played the mummer more or less;
I fumbled fortune, flouted fate.
I've vastly dreamed and little done;
I've idly watched my brothers strive:
Oh, I have loitered in the sun
By primrose paths to Thirty-five!
And those who matched me in the race,
Well, some are out and trampled down;
The others jog with sober pace;
Yet one wins delicate renown.
O midnight feast and famished dawn!
O gay, hard life, with hope alive!
O golden youth, forever gone,
How sweet you seem at Thirty-five!
Each of our lives is just a book
As absolute as Holy Writ;
We humbly read, and may not look
Ahead, nor change one word of it.
And here are joys and here are pains;
And here we fail and here we thrive;
O wondrous volume! what remains
When we reach chapter Thirty-five?
The very best, I dare to hope,
Ere Fate writes Finis to the tome;
A wiser head, a wider scope,
And for the gipsy heart, a home;
A songful home, with loved ones near,
With joy, with sunshine all alive:
Watch me grow younger every year --
Old Age! thy name is Thirty-five!

Robert Service

Collateral Damage In Prescribed Burning

Friday, March 24, 2017

Weekend Steam: Steam Shows Comin'!

Here are some shots from Old Threshers of engines I have watched for years.  There are three different Averys; an undermounted, a straight flu overmounted, and a return flu.  A forty horse Avery used to be at Mt. Pleasant, but I saw in a steam magazine that it went out of commission with a bad boiler, and it is scattered to the four winds.

Video by 1957Shep

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Hank's Daddy, Ervin Simpson, Rest In Peace

I delivered a tree planting machine to Ervin Simpson well after dark, many years ago during the Spring tree planting season.  When I was ready to leave, Mr. Simpson asked me if I wanted a cat.  That's an odd question from a landowner, but Hank had been fighting with the other cat, and they had Hank declawed.  That made him worse.  A declawed cat will become a biter instead of a claw fighter, and Hank wasn't fitting in.  I put Hank in the truck with me and he rode home cuddled up against me.  We already had cats, so we put Hank in the utility room by himself and that became his home.  He was happy there, and he didn't have any problems with our other cats that way.  Every time I saw Ervin after that he would ask how old Hank was doing.  He missed his cat.  Well, Hank got bladder cancer in his old age, and we had to have him put down.  We hated that, and I did tell Mr. Simpson what happened to his old friend.  This week I saw Ervin Simpson's obituary on the WFIW Radio website.  He was a good old country boy, and I liked him from the first time I met him.  When you keep a loved pet for someone, it creates a bit of a bond.

Buckin' Billy Ray On Topping...

This man is a genius, and he's better with a chainsaw than you or I will ever be.  Listen and watch while he shows us a butchered tree.  Topping kills, but it takes time.  It also causes rot, which homeowners are not  aware of while it is going on.  Kudos to Billy Ray for fighting the good fight, even if it means losing a job.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Jug Band Joy

Roberta posted about a 1929 Jug Band record this week, and gave me a little brain storm.  I like music from the early Twentieth Century, and we have a pretty good collection.  Look for the album "Folks, He Sure Do Pull Some Bow" if you like this sort of stuff. Here are a couple good songs you will hear on that album.

Not a jug band, but humor from the same era. This is Moran and Mack (The Two Black Crows), two white vaudevillians who pretend to be a couple of lazy guys making low-key humor. In this little video there are two segments featuring a kazoo, which is where this all started with Roberta's post.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Massachusetts Shooters Foundation

Here's another good one this week from Ruger!  It is a 1990 (first year of production) Ruger P85, 9mm, Decocker, New In Box.  This treasure has been residing in the Ruger vault for 27 years, and now it can be yours! Click Here to read the full description and to place your bid.  This fine pistol will sell mid-day, March 22, 2017. $700

Monday, March 20, 2017

Tuesday Torque; Moguls, The Pinnacle Of Farm Engine Development

Moguls, by IHC, were the best, but most farmers could not afford them. They are beautiful machines, side shaft instead of push-rod, mechanical oiler instead of drip, and throttle governed instead of hit-and-miss.  Collectors want them, and they are hard to get, so prices are high when they go on the market.  Pile Of Iron posted this video recently.  We haven't visited him in a while, and it's good to see he is still out there making videos.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Saturday, March 18, 2017

It's Almost Sprung!

Nearly centered up this morning! The equinox is supposed to occur at 5:28 CDT on Monday, March 20.

In other news, these daffodils looked pretty sad after a low temp of 18° F a few days ago, but most of them came out of it just fine. We just ran one stove yesterday, and the house temp was 80° last night at bedtime.  Gotta make a smaller fire.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Cyanide Boobie Traps Are Legal? Who Knew?

From The East Idaho News:  The article is not clear on whether the United States Department of Agriculture is setting these bombs, or if they distribute them to private individuals for varmint control, but golly; it's ok, because this is the first time since 2014 that one has gone off and hurt somebody.  A pet was killed, a child was heavily exposed, and a parent was also exposed.  Unbelievable!

Weekend Steam: Hop Across The Pond For A Real Treat

The video of the Ruston Hornsby shovel has embedding disabled, so Click The Pic to go to YouTube and watch this neat video.  These machines with clutches, throttles, and brakes built up big arms on the operators.

Screen Shot from St Ervan's YouTube video.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

18° F Last Night,

Low 30s today, and we still had turtles out sunning on a log.  I counted three today.  Last week we had a temp around 50° and a crowd showed up.  They are anxious for Spring.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

March Cold Snap

Southern Illinois winters can be muddy, but we do get ice, snow, and cold weather, too.  The daffodils will probably be wrecked tonight.  The forecasters are calling for 18° F tonight, and that is a bit much for Spring flowers.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Massachusetts Shooters Foundation

This week Ruger is selling an oldie-but-goodie; it's a .357 Magnum Blackhawk made in 1974, the second year of production for the New Model Ruger single-action revolvers.  Click Here to read all about it.  This fine revolver will sell mid-day, March 15, 2017.  $651.11

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Get Up And Go To Work?!

I took the cure! Ain't goin' back, either!

Dry Wood Fresh Off The Stump!

This black oak was a nice bonus for our firewood supply!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Weekend Steam: Rebuilding A Pickering Governor

From Old Steam Powered Machine Shop:

Mutant Parent; Defending The Indefensible...

This interview explains a whole lot of the problem in the welfare communities.  It's well worth your time to listen to this, and it will improve your awareness of the dangers you face if you navigate the cities of our country.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Massachusetts Shooters Foundation

A relatively new model Ruger is up for bids this week.  It is a Ruger American in .30-06, made in December 2011, and jury tested by Mike Fifer before the model was released in January 2012.  Click Here to read all about it and to place your bid.  This fine rifle will sell mid-day, March 8, 2017.  $700

Monday, March 6, 2017

Has The Weird Magnet Struck Again?

When you drive across southern Wayne County on I-64 in Southern Illinois you had best be careful. For many years there has been speculation that a mysterious force, known as the "Weird Magnet" makes people behave in a crazy fashion. Folks have been known to stop and disrobe while driving through, and there have been many other instances of bizarre behavior. Here's the latest, reported in the Wayne County Press from Thursday, March 2, 2017: "Florida Man Blames Crack Cocaine On Prostitute" Yes, he really did that! A truck driver from Palmetto, Florida was stopped last week on I-64 in southern Wayne County. When the door of the truck was opened, the trooper "discovered a plastic baggie containing approximately one gram of a rock-like substance that field-tested positive for crack cocaine." A pipe with cannabis was also found by the State Trooper. The truck driver told the cop that the cocaine "belonged to a prostitute he met in Laredo, Texas and she had left it in the vehicle." I guess maybe he was going to take it back to Texas and return it!? The driver also told the trooper that the cannabis "belonged to his cousin in Florida." The driver was taken to the Wayne County Jail, where I assume a good laugh was had by all personnel. You can subscribe to the Wayne County Press (213 East Main, Fairfield, IL 62837) for $57.00 per year and enjoy this type of entertainment twice a week.

Tuesday Torque: Beautiful Music From A 6 HP M, 1919

Watch the first video, and then compare the IHC M to the IHC Titan from 1917 in the second video.  Same horsepower, but size, weight, ease of operation all changed markedly in two years.

CPR For Your Dog; Watch This Video!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Should We Grind Something This Week?


Our Tipping Pin Oak

We have been watching our big pin oak tip with great consternation, because it is going in the pond, and there is no pulling it back.  It will become a "project" and there is no way to fight it.  Back in November 2015 the lean was 5 5/8" in 2 feet.

November 2015

March 2017

The tree is 90 feet tall, so 7" in two feet represents 315" off center at the top.  I had predicted that this tree would be in the pond by Christmas 2015, so I am not very good at predictions, but there is no doubt that this tree is going down.  It will be a project. 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Bahre Crankup 2017; A Beautiful Day

Many Thanks, Gary and Peggy, for the party and the fellowship!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Weekend Steam: Pouring Babbitt Bearings

Here's a skill that everyone should have.  I learned about babbitt bearings when I was a kid, and have done it a few times.  That skill was important in my oilfield job, where I was expected to be able to pour wire rope sockets.  I did a bunch of those for a small fleet of pulling units and spudders, and none of them failed.  This video shows the process on a Minneapolis traction engine that is being overhauled.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Stimulating Brood Production...

...and preventing starvation!

We have had a warm winter, and the bees have been active many days.  That burns up honey, and honey is needed for survival, and for raising brood. Ignore your bees and you risk having the hive die out just when things finally bloom.

Susan has given her hive three sugar cakes so far in late winter, and the bees are looking good.  I look at them every day to check for skunk damage.  We have been lucky so far.  Skunks can wipe out a hive if you aren't watching out for them.

Unholy Toledo! Our Cities Are Sewers

Note the news hack questions why the murder victim was at the scene.  If you get in the way of a heinous perpetrator it is probably your fault!  Sheesh!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Massachusetts Shooters Foundation

This fine pistol will be selling in just three hours after I post it, so go look, and make that winning bid.  It is a P-90 Decocker in .45 ACP; a fine gun in a fine caliber.  The next bid price at posting is $695, so the price is reasonable for a benefit auction.  CLICK HERE to read all about it.

Update: Five minutes to go and it is just $700 for the next bid.  Jump on it; they aren't making this anymore!

$695 it is.  Someone got a good deal!