Monday, December 31, 2018

Tuesday Torque: Let's Start The Year With A Big One!

I have seen several single and twin cylinder Fairbanks engines, but I have never seen  a six.  The cylinders sound the same, and they even blow smoke rings!  Thank You, Merle!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Object; Less Lumpiness

We are forging ahead with our prep for the flooring people this week.  This is the remains of a redwood post that held a rail separating the dining area from the living area.  It was cut off roughly and mudded over prior to carpeting many years ago.  It was  a surprise when we uncovered this line of posts.  The flapper discs on an angle grinder have been taking care of many tasks like this one.  Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

New Year; New Look, or

Tediousness Continues

This all started last summer when we began by tearing out carpet in the basement, and seeking out and destroying termite damage. Zeke and I started, but a first rate contractor had to take over for extensive renovations.

Then, plumbing issues were identified and contractors came in to take care of multiple issues.

Everything you work on seems to highlight an unknown problem, but you just have to take care of things and let the experts make everything right.  The basement is mostly done now, and soon a new shower will complete the downstairs portion of our projects.

We have been ripping out carpet and tile upstairs in preparation for new flooring to be installed next week.  Those tiles are glued down on thin plywood that is nailed to the subfloor every 4 inches. Lifting that up has not been fun, but we developed a system and have pushed through it.

We are just about to drive the dogs nuts with all of our destructive activities.  I think they feel like William Shatner in his Twilight Zone episode with the Gremlin.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Weekend Steam: Steam Trains Galore, Part 2: Western United States

Thanks, Merle for continuing to spot videos for us!  The work on the house is interfering with my web time, and your help is greatly appreciated!

Reminiscing About Foster Dogs

We have been thinking about the dogs we have had since we began fostering, and have checked up on some of them.  Koda, the chocolate Schip is in Chicagoland and is doing well in the lap of luxury.  He had a month of intensive training and became a greeter in  a pet store during that time.

Koda's buddy, Little Bear is having a great time living in Colorado.  His family would like to find a female Schip for a companion.

Missy and Barbie moved to Kansas to work with horses.  Barbie passed away from cancer, but Missy still goes on the road with a horse trailer behind her chariot. 

Old Man Hobbs was terminal when we got him; with congestive heart failure and cancer.  We made his final days comfortable and as happy as possible.  He is buried with our family pets.

Groovy is also in Chicagoland, and his new Mama now is retired so she can spend more quality time with this good little buddy.

Little Jack (R)  came to us and decided to stay.  Lisa is in love with him, and they keep me warm at night by cuddling up to me.

Titan is out in Maryland, near Chesapeake Bay.  He has a Schipperke companion now, and is living a dream life.

We never quite let go of the dogs we pass on.  We think of them frequently, and the new families hold a special place in our hearts.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Signs Of The Season

Today's Mail 

I guess this means that Christmas is over. No Twelve Days For You! Oh Well, or words to that effect.
There is always something pushing us along, isn't there?

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

Ruger is offering a P94 Law Enforcement Pistol made in 1994.  It was returned from a distributor in 1996. This pistol has many fine features;  you should CLICK HERE to read the full description and to place that winning bid.  This fine pistol will sell mid-day, Wednesday, December 26, 2018.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Lightning Round!

We missed Pistol League last week and then saw on Fbook that they started a new game at the range.  Prep three ten round magazines and shoot ten rounds in five seconds from 5 yards, 10 yards, and 15 yards, with a possible score of 300.  We made sure that we got there tonight.  I shot the Lightning Round twice and did OK.  I shot a 275 and 279.  The key (I think.) is to check you natural line of windage before you are told to load and lock.  Adjust your footing so your windage is right up the middle of your target so you are not trying to muscle into the center during those short seconds.  What fun!  This video is from last week.

My second target tonight.  

Away In A Manger, Emmylou Harris

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

A Pretty Good Lesson

That's a pretty good lesson on life. I got to interrupt my journey and return to another possibility when I was a mechanic for several years, in the Southern Illinois oilfields and coalfields. I was glad to get back to the right path. But that is really not the story that comes to my mind with that poem.

I made it a rule to always carry a compass when I went into the woods.  Navigating without one on a cloudy day you may find that you can get lost in a five acre woods; it's the same at night, only quicker.  A co-worker in Eastern Kentucky told what happened to him early in my forestry career.  He was going to look at a property in Martin County, Kentucky; a rough and isolated part of the state that is sparsely populated.  Ford and other companies bought up coal in Martin, and it has been incredibly changed by mining, but this story occurred before strip mining devastated the landscape.  Art left his truck and hiked to a mountaintop to begin his reconnaissance, and was suddenly boxed in by clouds that rolled in.  He couldn't see the sun, and became disoriented.  There were three drainages that ran away from the mountaintop, and he did not have his compass with him.  He made a guess and started downhill.  Late that night he found a mountain home down that drainage and begged a ride.  He had walked 25 miles.  I have fought fire with Art, and he could walk you into the ground, so I have no doubt about the distance he covered.  That is a lesson I did not have to learn the hard way.  I always had at least one compass in my vest, and on most hikes I had an aerial photo or hand drawn map to navigate.

Hard Candy Christmas, Dolly Parton

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Christmas Canon, Trans-Siberian Orchestra

This video is closing in on 22 million views since it was uploaded nine years ago.  Those kids are all grown up now!

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

Ruger is offering a very nice collectible gun this week.  It is a 50th Anniversary Blackhawk "Flat Top" that has been engraved.  Engraved models were not a catalog item, so this is going to attract some collector interest.  This fine revolver will sell mid-day, December 19, 2018. Click Here to read all about it and to place your winning bid. $800

Monday, December 17, 2018

Friday, December 14, 2018

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, The Carpenters

Weekend Steam: Sycamore Steam Show, Sycamore, Illinois

This video is from the 2018 show, and is on The Steam Channel on YouTube.  Spotted by Merle!  Thank You, Merle!  It begins with a steam show tradition; the Noon Whistle.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

I Know How To Do A Flat Tire!

Not much can be said about this, except Flash took one look, got the size, and went to his warehouse for a new one.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Mannheim Steamroller

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle In 5.56 Nato, Left Handed!

Looking for a great deal on a left-handed bolt action rifle?  Tanner's in Jamison, PA has a rack of these Ruger Scouts in 5.56 Nato right now for a very good price.

There's no telling how long the deal will last, so if you have a hankering for one of these, look them up and give them a call.

Winter Wonderland, Bing Crosby

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

Ruger is auctioning a 9 x 19 P94 made in 1993, with laser.  This gun was sent to Ruger's ad agency and was returned to the factory a few years later.  The laser does not currently work, but you can probably deal with that after you diagnose the problem. There were fewer than 2000 of this model built, so it is unusual, but probably has little collector interest.  You may get a bargain!  CLICK HERE to read the full description and to place that winning bid.  $703

Where Are You Christmas? Faith Hill

Monday, December 10, 2018

There's Nothin' Like A Nice Piece Of Hickory!

What Child Is This: Mormon Channel

Tuesday Torque: Fairbanks Morse 12 HP Model N

Engine friend Bob Gill has been walking around this big Fairbanks N for forty three years in his shop.  It has taken that long to find or make all the parts he needed to make it run.  Lesser engine collectors might have parted it out, but Bob is made of good stuff.  That is Bob in the nice mustache.  Thank Goodness for engine men like Bob.  He does things that mechanical wannabes like me only dream of doing.  The video is by Gary Bahre, another engine legend.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Gravel Caution Redux

A repeat from a few years ago, with a new photo:

"Travel the gravel in a front wheel drive? (Also All Wheel Drives) Slow it down to around 40 and your little buggy will stay between the ditches much better. Go fast, look away at your phone, dodge a deer, and get out of the tracks, and suddenly you are on marbles. You let your foot off the gas and your car suddenly wants to swap ends. I have seen a few on their tops in the ditches around our place over the years, and it was always a front wheel drive. Rear wheel drive cars stabilize when you back off the gas, but with your front wheels hooked to the drive train you need to keep power on and steer back into the tracks. That is hard to do when you are skidding. Anyhow, slow down when you are on a loose surface. You will also have fewer flats, because the front wheels flip nails hiding in the gravel. At forty or below, nails have time to lay down again. Drive fifty in our neighborhood and you can expect a nail a week."

                                                                Click Photo To Enlarge.
You also have to be aware of pinch points on the backroads.  The road narrows down at culverts, and there are dropoffs like this one where drainages go under the road.  This one is a good four feet deep and it is a wonder that this car bounced through without rolling over.  The car is surely totaled, but the driver has only some minor bruising.  Shopping for a car is better than recovering in the hospital, but it is a cost that can usually be avoided by slowing down and driving a bit like an old man.  Consider what your safe speed is if you have to swerve and hit your brakes.  I still recommend forty as a limit, and I slow down more when I am in areas with deer movement.

Angel Eyes, Emmylou Harris

It Does Carrots, Horseradish, Apples, Tomatoes, Potatoes, and CRANBERRIES!

Y'all will want one of these, no doubt!

Back To The Old Grind!

Carols From King's College

Saturday, December 8, 2018

The Joy Of Early Morning Dog Walks

I get dressed and hook up three of the Schips first thing every morning.  Susan hooks up Skipper, the old one, and Teddy, the white dog.  Venus is brilliant in the early morning right now, and after we feed the dogs I walk them again as the sun rises.  Views like this remind me that life is good.

The sun popping over the horizon brings out the gold highlights on our pines.  The one in the middle is a shortleaf pine, and it has been extra pretty this fall.

Back inside for a cup of coffee, and I watch the light play over the trees across the pond. 

Twelve Days Of Christmas, Boston Pops Orchestra

Friday, December 7, 2018

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Some Children See Him, James Taylor

Quit When I'm Ahead

We hadn't been to Pistol League since before Thanksgiving, so we went tonight.  Last time I shot a 470 (out of 480) and then 471.  Tonight I pushed a bit to stay within the time limit and shot a 470 on the first one.  I thought I could do better, so I slowed down and concentrated  a bit more.  That got me a 469.  I knuckled down for a third target and shot a 467.  At least when I am concentrating I can call my misses as the sight drifts off at the trigger break.  Pistol League is a great stress reliever, and the indoor shooting in the winter improves our skills for shooting steel in the summer; and vice versa.  I have been neglecting practice at home, and if I can spend some time behind the barn I might get closer to a score of 480.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee

Cut Springpoles And Leaners Like A Boss

These small diameter springpoles and leaners may not look like much, but they can act just like a bow at full draw, and they can smack you right in the face if you cut them wrong.  Here is the method I use.  It is much easier than shaving the compressed side until all the stress is gone.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Jingle Bells, Barking Dogs

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

Ruger built this beautiful 12 Gauge Red Label over-under shotgun in 1990.  It was used as a demonstrator, and then sold in 1992.  It was returned to the factory for unknown reasons, and it appears new in the photos.  This fine shotgun will sell mid-day, December 5, 2018.  CLICK HERE to read the full description and to place your bid.$4025

Monday, December 3, 2018

Baby, It's Cold Outside!, Margaret Whiting and Johny Mercer

Tuesday Torque: 85 Horsepower Bessemer Oil Engine

Two stroke Bessemers work pretty much like a chainsaw or weed whacker engine for intake and exhaust, but this one is an oil engine, and if you watch closely you will see that it has a fuel injection system.  This type of engine could burn some mighty low grade fuel, and I think that many of them ran on crude oil.  It gets a bit of load after the one minute mark, and it chugs  a bit.  Thank You, Merle, for spotting!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

George Got It Right And Bagged A Good One!

Our friends, Dusty and George have been spending quite a bit of time hunting in the Belle Prairie timber.  They have both learned how our little bit of deer habitat works, and how the deer use it.  There is enough relief and habitat variety that your best bet on different days depends on hunting the right spot for the wind and weather.  Most days you will see deer, but being in the right place at the right time works best when you hunt often enough to understand how the deer behave.  George read the forecast for Sunday and bet on the right spot.

                                                             Click Photo To Enlarge.

He hunted with his wife's muzzleloader, with no animal scents, on the ground among trees, with a log for concealment, and held still for a couple hours while deer and varmints strolled by.  This nice trophy came out of our deep cover before George gave up for the morning.  He took out both lungs and the aorta with a shot at about 15 yards, and the buck ran about 20 yards.  That is good hunting and good shooting, George!  Congratulations!

Carol Of The Bells, Mannheim Steamroller

Going To Work Monday Morning Should Be Sweet

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Holly Jolly Christmas, Burl Ives

Jackhammers Have Sure Changed!

I remember, and have used a jackhammer that was powered by a big, gas powered compressor trailer.  It was big, heavy, and noisy.  That is probably where I gave my tinnitus  a start.  We have three separate projects in our renovation work that required the help of a jackhammer.  Nowadays, you plug your jackhammer into a 110 outlet and start hammering.  Pretty neat!   I have no idea what one costs, but now the common man can run a jackhammer to work off tension if he so desires!  BTW, Ford Plumbing is a first class outfit.  They are in high demand because they get it done right.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Silent Night, All Day Long, John Prine

Weekend Steam: Rides With Chuck; Are You Blue?

The blue paint job always looked funny to me, too, but that is what a Baker was painted.  Don't get vertigo watching the gears go 'round!

Again, Many Thanks to Merle, who is our spotter for good videos. What with the renovations going on, plus regular things like making firewood, Merle's picks are keeping this blog going.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

It Seems We Will Always Have Poachers

There are more ways to poach than you can shake a stick at.  We hear the rifle shots early in the morning and late in the evening during bow season.  Deer are checked over the phone or Internet now, and nobody views the carcasses.  There are a lot of deer tagged as bow kills that are killed by rifles.  At least those deer are counted.  The number that are killed, stripped of the best cuts and antlers and never reported are a complete unknown.  Then you have trespassers, who fancy themselves to be real hunters, but they can't see a boundary line or ask permission from the landowners they hunt on.  Don't get me started on road hunters.  I interrupted a couple of road hunters on the backside of our timber today.  They drive around at daybreak and dusk, popping deer from the road, and tagging them as legitimately killed deer.  A poacher from Texas was caught near us last year.  He had been violating in our neighborhood for some time, and his fines totaled up into five figures, plus his truck and equipment.  Guys like him do a lot of damage to our deer herd before they are caught.

Sleighride, Leroy Anderson And His Pops Concert Orchestra

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Hickory Snag Schoolmarm; Dropping Two Stems On A Punky Stump

This one turned out nice!  I looked at this tree last year, but never got back to it.  I dropped it yesterday and the wood is dry and ready for the stove.  I cut the stems separately because the stump has rot and is punky.  I did not trust it to hold together if  I dropped both stems as one tree.  Thump your snags and make sure your wood is solid enough to make a good hinge.  Make a good corner in your facecut; no bypasses, and get out of the bullseye when you turn it loose.

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!, Frank Sinatra

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

Here is a fine treasure from Ruger!  It is a Redhawk .44 Magnum from 1980, the first year of production for this rugged model.  Collector interest is evident, as you would expect.  Before you bid you should look at the Photos Provided by Ruger.  It appears to me that this Redhawk was stored with some fingerprints on it, on either side of the barrel, and on the bottom of the grip frame.  This gun is New In Box, but you should be aware of possible blemishes before you bid.  This Redhawk will sell mid-day, November 28, 2018. Click Here to read all about it and to place your bid. $2425

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year, Andy Williams

Monday, November 26, 2018

More Chainsaw: 16" Hickory Snag

Tuesday Torque: Do You Want To Go To Rollag? 600 Reasons

This 600 Horsepower Snow engine is one of the wonders you will see at the Rollag, Minnesota showgrounds.  Next Labor Day, the 150 HP Case Road Locomotive will also be featured.  Thank You, Merle!

Jingle Bell Rock, Bobby Helms

Saturday, November 24, 2018

There Ought To Be An Old Saying Among Foresters...

...but there's not; so we will make it up now!  When there is a walnut up in a redbud tree, somebody must have put it there!  It's a deep mystery and we obviously need to tighten up ranch security.

Christmas Time's A'Coming, Bill Monroe

Friday, November 23, 2018

Alvin And The Chipmunks: Christmas Don't Be Late

Weekend Steam: Knowing When To Quit Is Good;..

...Knowing when to walk away before you start might be even better.  This engineer was flirting with disaster.  Excellent spotting, Merle!

Thursday, November 22, 2018

The Real History Of Thanksgiving; Rush Limbaugh's Broadcast, 2018

Link To Rush's Thanksgiving Broadcast.

Work In Progress

The basement is progressing.  The floor is now laid, except for the bathroom, where we will be jackhammering out cement to fix a drain problem.  This all started last summer when we tore out the old carpet and went on a search and destroy mission for termite damage.  One little idea leads to a boatload of projects, but we can see the end now, so life is good.

We need to finish; I have been neglecting the processing of firewood!  We did much better this week.

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, Bing Crosby

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

A Little Pre-Holiday Relief

Day after tomorrow we will be starting our annual Christmas music videos, so let's have a little relief ahead of time.  We have been neglecting music posts here because YouTube makes it difficult to post music videos, even though the records have expired copyrights.  It isn't worth the appeals and worry to me, but there are many who keep going; and Good For Them.  Now that Brat is gone, the Brunswick just isn't as much fun, but I still love the old tunes.

Smiles marks a dividing line. It came out in 1917, during the Great War and marks the end of the era of minstrel songs and pathetic ballads. It's a good song that is still loved a century later. Nobody remembers In The Baggage Coach Ahead, but we do know Smiles!

Whispering also is an historical marker.  This is the song that started the Roaring Twenties.  Paul Whiteman made his career because of this song, and he continued into the Swing Era.

My favorite rendition of Whispering is by the Comedian Harmonists.  It is well worth your time to look them up on the 'net. 

Let's listen to Tea For Two while I have the Comedian Harmonists on my mind. These songs should help you fight the holiday doldrums that us old folks may have.

Dusty And Daughter Doubled!

Our friend Dusty has been hunting our ground and sending us great photos of the wildlife he sees.  A couple days ago he hunted with his daughter from a ground blind on his farm and they both bagged a good trophy.  Moments like this are ones you will remember all your life.  Thank You, Dusty, for sharing this with us!

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

Ruger is offering a Mini-14 this week with real collector appeal.  It is from a special production run in 1979 for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, and it is marked O.H.P.  It is a blue model with a flash suppressor, bayonet lug, fiberglass handguard, fixed front sight, and adjustable peep sight.  A sling is included with this rifle.

This fine Mini-14 will sell mid-day, Wednesday, November 21, 2018.  CLICK HERE to see the entire description and to place your bid.  $2625!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Dave Rotigel's Big 16 HP Galloway

Dave Rotigel and his big 16 horsepower Galloway were spotted by Merle.  Mr. Rotigel was well known among antique engine fans, and he would haul his engines great distances to show them.  He purchased an Austral engine from a California collector and hauled it all the way home to Pennsylvania.  He showed that engine at Evansville, and also this Galloway.  Dave Rotigel has been gone for a year now, and he will be remembered and missed by all of his engine friends.   This video was shot by Rob Gill, who lives and breathes old engines. Rob makes new brass tags for old engines that have lost theirs, and that specialty keeps him busy.

 I shot a brief video, too.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Life Is Good. It Is Better With A Grinder!

Back To The Old Grind! (Not my video, but boy have we been using our angle grinders lately! Mostly on nails during our renovation.)

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Black Oak Firewood Snagging!

We are off the tripod and on the GoPro for another thrilling episode of Old Man Motor Sports!  Today we are cutting a dead black oak for firewood.  It is sawlog size, the sapwood is rotting and the top is mostly fallen.  The tree turns out to be hollow, but the wood is still solid.  The top of the tree is dry enough to go right into the stove, and these dead black oaks dry fast once they are split and put under cover with good air circulation. 

Wear your protective gear and make a plan for every tree you cut.  Not mentioned in this video is the reason for the final cut being made from the opposite side from where I did the bore cut.  The remains of the top were on the same side as where I did the bore cut, and I did not want to be under it when the tree went into motion.  The little bit of top is also the reason that I took off immediately when the back cut was finished.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Weekend Steam: Russian Locomotives!

Thank You Merle, for keeping us in good videos!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Ticked Off!

Lisa found it.  She was out in the timber with me and she zeroed on a spot.  I checked right away to keep her from eating something nasty, as dogs like to do.  A deer had been shot through.  Blood sprayed from both sides.  I looked and found four good bleeding spots, but no trail to or from.  I spent a long time circling and searching; these four spots were all.  So, someone shot a deer with a rifle, before firearm season (No Rifles Allowed in Illinois), and retrieved the deer with a four wheeler and got it out before I found them, on land that is posted.  I have let my reputation with trespassers mellow, and that is a mistake.  They will be back, and that will be their mistake.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

People Think I Won't Notice!

I have to run off trespassers regularly.  I had some Amish guys trespassing last year, and they pretended they didn't know there was a boundary.  That is the same excuse that today's trespasser used.  He told me he had permission to hunt the property east of us and didn't see the boundary.  He had to carry his stand over the old boundary fence, and since he didn't mention tripping on it, I assume that he did see it.  I was polite, though, because I don't want a fight.  I just want them to leave.

He did leave.  I checked his stand this afternoon and he was disassembling it and getting ready to move out.  I ran some orange flagging through the woven wire so he could easily see it from his stand.

I am still amazed at the hunters who want me to think they are the Lone Outdoorsman when they can't find or follow a fence or navigate with a compass.  We need to bring back the Boy Scouts, where kids learned these skills.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

Here is another rare treasure from the Ruger vault!  Back in 2005, Ruger made commemorative .357 Flattop Blackhawks to celebrate a half century of this iconic revolver.  This Blackhawk was engraved, and it was not a catalog item.  It is extremely rare!  CLICK HERE to read the full description and to place that winning bid.  This fine revolver will sell mid-day, November 14, 2018.  $780

Monday, November 12, 2018

Tuesday Torque: 5 HP Barn Fresh Galloway

Here is another good one spotted by Merle.

If you are lucky enough to come across an old engine in a building, please don't give in to the temptation to spin the flywheels. Go to a few engine shows and you will see repaired rocker arms. Those usually happen because someone spun an engine with a stuck exhaust valve. Shoot some oil on the valves and do not try to roll that engine until you know all the parts are free to move. Thanks, Merle!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Got Enough Firewood In?

Back To The Old Grind!   Tip Of The Hat to Terry Wheeler!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Armistice Day, Plus 100 Years

                   The Last Post

The stars are shining bright above the camps,
The bugle calls float skyward, faintly clear;
Over the hill the mist-veiled motor lamps
Dwindle and disappear.

The notes of day's goodbye arise and blend
with the low murmurous hum from tree and sod,
And swell into that question at the end
They ask each night of God--

Whether the dead within the burial ground
Will ever overthrow their crosses grey,
And rise triumphant from each lowly mound
To greet the dawning day.

Whether the eyes which battle sealed in sleep
Will open to reveille once again,
And forms, once mangled, into rapture leap,
Forgetful of their pain,

But still the stars above the camp shine on,
Giving no answer for our sorrow's ease,
And one more day with the Last Post has gone,
Dying upon the breeze.

Vera Brittain, V.A.D. Nurse


Have you forgotten yet?...
For the world's events have rumbled on since those gagged days,
Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways:
And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow
Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you're a man reprieved to go,
Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.
But the past is just the same- and War's a bloody game...
Have you forgotten yet?
Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you'll never forget.

Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz-
The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
Do you remember the rats; and the stench
of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench-
And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?
Do you ever stop and ask, "Is it all going to happen again?"

Do you remember the hour of din before the attack-
And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then
As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
With dying eyes and lolling heads-those ashen-grey
Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?

Have you forgotten yet?...
Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you'll never forget.

Siegfried Sassoon, March 1919

Friday, November 9, 2018

Weekend Steam: Postwar British Railway History

Merle found a real winner for us this week!  This video about the British railways after World War II is nearly an hour long, so I recommend clicking to a new tab from the YouTube icon and keeping it open so you can watch it in segments.  It is fascinating history.  Thank You, Merle!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Back Leaners: Running The Numbers For Safety

If you cut trees you deal with lean on every tree.  Hardly ever do you have a perfectly balanced tree, and if you do, you are going to have to wedge it over or let the wind push it for you.  In this video we cover the numbers that you need to do your figuring.  Don't push the limits for two reasons.  Wedging a tree near the limit of back lean is difficult and tiring; definitely not enjoyable.  Push near the limit and you will  have hinge failures.  That may not be a problem out in the woods, but it can be disastrous next to valuable improvements.  Internalize these numbers and you will be able to figure your side lean limits for safety purposes.  That is where I use this method the most.  Pick a spot to drop most of your trees where you don't have to fight any side lean and life is easier.  The math for this method is so easy you won't even need a pencil, so be sure to include it in every tree falling plan.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Hunting Vicariously

Susan and I have not hunted in many years, but we enjoy the wildlife in our timber and are glad to share it with friends who hunt.  Dusty Wood has been up in a tree stand the last couple mornings and he sent us some nice shots to enjoy.  He gave us permission to share on YouTube, so now you can join in the fun.  There were some bigger deer, too, but Dusty does not fumble around with picture taking when a potential trophy is in view.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

Ruger has an exciting rifle for us this week!  It is a Hawkeye® African in .223 Remington.  It is just the ticket for putting meat in the pot when you are on safari, or for popping coyotes when in Illinois.  This fine rifle was made five years ago in 2013, and is New In Box, in Ruger's vault.  It will sell mid-day, Wednesday, November 7, 2018.  Click Here to read all about it and to place your bid.  $1245

Monday, November 5, 2018

Tuesday Torque: Limbering Up A Rebuilt 15 HP Pattin

This video illustrates some of the difficulty of making an old engine run.  How are you supposed to make an engine fire up and run when it has stiff rings and tight bearings?  You probably need to monkey with the fuel and ignition, too.  Belting up to an engine that runs is the answer for many hobbyists.  Thank You for spotting this vid, Merle!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

I Like Corn Meal From The Store...

                                                             Back To The Old Grind!

Wilfred Owen, November 4, 1918

You have probably at least heard of Wilfred Owen, even if you are not a fan of poetry from the Great War.  Wilfred is considered to be one of the very best poets who wrote about the war, and he was a front line veteran.  He suffered illness, injury, and shellshock, but he came back to the front even though he could have stayed away.  He wrote throughout the war, and this is a fragment from 1914.

War broke: and now the Winter of the world
With perishing great darkness closes in.
The foul tornado, centered at Berlin,
Is over all the width of Europe whirled,...

Many of his poems take us to dark places that none wish to visit.  A fragment from Dulce Et Decorum Est:

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!-An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime...
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

Another from Strange Meeting:

'I am the enemy you killed, my friend.
I knew you in this dark; for so you frowned
Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed.
I parried; but my hands were loath and cold.
Let us sleep now....'

Wilfred Owen was killed in action on November 4, just one week before the Armistice.  His mother was notified on November 11.

Anthem For Doomed Youth

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
-Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,-
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

And, a fragment from Futility:

Was it for this the clay grew tall?
-O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
To break earth's sleep at all?

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Colors Have Peaked, And The Leaves Are Dropping

Still no hard freeze here, just scattered frost, so the leaves are giving us good hang time. Red maple is beautiful, as usual.  The oaks are doing great with muted red in the red oak group, and gold highlights in the white oaks. It's glorious!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Thursday, November 1, 2018

I Used To Get Calls About This!

A little splash of color that most folks do not look for or notice is white pine.  The old needles turn yellow and drop, usually in the fall, but sometimes in the spring.  New needles will pop in the spring, so the tree runs on two years of needles.  Folks may live to be 75 before they notice this, and then they call the forester in a panic because they think their tree is dying.  You explain the phenomenon and the inevitable response is, "I thought they were EVERGREENS!" 

Our white pines flipped this week and we were really enjoying the show, but two days of rain have cut our joy short.  The trees are all green again.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Way Of All Steel...

Oxide to oxide and rust to rust!  Better keep a light coat of oil on your hardware!

A neighbor hit this old Winchester with his plow about fifty years ago, and judging from the looks, it was probably on/in the ground for about fifty years.  The 1902 Sears catalog has octagon barreled Model 94s listed for $12.50, or about half a month's pay for a laborer back then.  This would have been a painful loss for whomever laid it down or lost it off his wagon.  You could buy a Model 94 in 32-40, 38-55, 25-35, and 30-30 back then. 

Speaking of losing things, Cameron Bosworth was making firewood down east of the farm in the Auxier/Shelton Creek Bottoms with Susan's Grandfather, Martin Knapp.  At the end of the day, Cameron hid the wedges so they wouldn't have to carry them out.  He had the misfortune of dying that night, and Martin never found those wedges.  That ground is all row-crop now, and I wonder if they have been plowed up and hung up in a toolshed as a souvenir.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Two Black Crows In Hades, Part 1 and Part 2

Dance Macabre, Horowitz

Click to Full Screen so you can read the annotations.

Olney FFA Did Well At Indy!

Jamie VanDyke, Olney, Illinois FFA Forestry Team, Representative from John Deere

                                                                    Click To Enlarge.

Jamie VanDyke, Ag Instructor at Olney, is a dedicated teacher.  I think this is the third time he has taken a forestry team to the FFA Convention, and they did very well.  The Team placed 8th in the nation, and they had two individuals in the top ten.  It is an impressive accomplishment for both the students and their teacher.  Congratulations!