Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Scholastic Action Shooting Program

Ruger is offering New Old Stock U.S. marked Mk II pistols this week and next; both made in 1983 and stored in the Ruger vault.  Interest is high, but remember it is for a good cause.  If you don't get the top bid this week, check in again next week and go for the second one.  CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place your bid. Note that these two pistols have consecutive serial numbers! This week's pistol ends in 748 and next week the prize ends with 749.  $2001

2018 Valentine Festival! My Lady Of The Telephone, Baritone Joseph A. Phillips

By special request, tonight we have My Lady Of The Telephone, Edison Record!  I used to call Susan in the morning when we were in college and wake her up with this song.  Don't do it unless you are serious, because girls cannot resist you when you perform this for them!

Monday, January 29, 2018

2018 Valentine Festival! Ain't Misbehavin', Leon Redbone

Tuesday Torque: Big Engines At Coolspring!

Merle spotted this video and sent it to us a couple weeks ago.  Have you ever heard of an H layout of an engine?  I never heard of it, but after seeing it I realize that I have seen that layout in a compressor station in Eastern Kentucky many years ago.  I am sure that is long gone now!  Many Thanks, Merle!

Colin Flaherty Has Been Kicked Off YouTube...

...but he is still posting on Facebook and Minds.com. All of his YT videos are gone, but he is still cranking them out to post on Facebook, and they are public!  Click the three Menu dots at the upper right of his posts and you can grab the embed code for re-posting on your blog.

Friday, January 26, 2018

2018 Valentine Festival: Some Of These Days, Sophie Tucker

Which do you prefer? I am rather partial to the original 1911 recording, and I enjoy hearing the song in its original version; maybe because I like to hear the verse. Ted Lewis' band really sets up an exciting performance and I love hearing Ted's clarinet. Some of These Days promoted Sophie well through a long career.

Weekend Steam: Steam Powered Land Rover!

Zeke has been over across the Pond, and one of the engineers with whom he is working pointed him to this video.  Pretty Neat!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Hopelessly Lost, Indecisive?

Nope, this is what it looks like when you do a 100% inventory.  I was tallying every tree in a city park, getting the species, size, condition, plus latitude and longitude.  I am kind of surprised by my straight track at the end of this round as I went back to the park office before I left.  You have to be systematic as you go from tree to tree or you never finish.  Go with someone who is marking a timber sale and be ready to walk steadily all day long.  One of the things you do when marking timber is to size up log length on trees as you move through the woods.  You cannot judge the number of logs from the bottom of the tree.  Either you back off and measure, or you figure out trees as you walk, based on trees you have measured. 

2018 Valentine Festival! Stardust, Hoagy Carmichael

2018 Valentine Festival! Wild Thing!, The Troggs

This one is just for my little Lisa girl!  You ought to see her at feeding time and at 5:30 A when it's time to get up!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

2018 Valentine Festival: What Were The Doughboys Humming 100 Years Ago?

Will You Remember was a big one.  Maytime was a hit on Broadway in 1917, and lots of Doughboys saw it before they headed off to France.  If you look it up on WikiP, it sounds like a dreadful tale of love, heartbreak and even murder, but you have to remember that before 1919 people loved tearjerkers and dreadful, morose ballads.  Maytime was made into a movie in 1937, but only the song Will You Remember was retained from the Broadway play.

For a lighter note, K-K-K-Katy was a big one, too, and soldiers in both world wars sang this one.  If you are lucky enough to have a song book provided to soldiers during WWII, Katy is right there, and those heroes knew and loved this song.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Scholastic Action Shooting Program

These Ruger .44 Magnum Carbines cannot last forever; eventually the vault will run dry!  So get on the GunBroker site and place your bid for this highly desirable little woods carbine!  It will sell mid-day, Wednesday, January 24, 2018.  Click Here, or on Ruger's photo.  $2050

2018 Valentine Festival! They Spy Who Loved Me, Carly Simon

Monday, January 22, 2018

2018 Valentine Festival! Blue Kentucky Girl, Emmy Lou Harris

Tuesday Torque: 1884 Otto Engine!

Merle has been doing a superb job of spotting interesting steam and gas videos for this blog, and you have no idea how much we appreciate his efforts.  Even though I have retired, we are busy with two homes as we take care of Susan's mother, and we of course have been taking care of foster Schipperkes.  Thank You, Merle! 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

2018 Valentine Festival! Always A Woman To Me, Billy Joel

Got Pressing Business This Week?

Back To The Old Grind!

A Week Ago

This was ice, with sleet and snow on top, frozen hard, with drifting that made certain places dangerous.  Today it is mud and slop.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Over The Hill; Down The Slope

Your trees will tell you when they have passed maturity and are declining.  This pin oak is just a few years past 40, but it has grown fast, and is now on the downhill side of life.  Major limbs in the middle of the crown are dying and dropping.  This will leave stubs over 4 inches in the stem, so rot will be invading.

This tree also has horned oak gall throughout the crown, which knocks down vigor.  It was really hurting after the 2012 drought, and it has revived admirably, but we are watching it year to year.

It dropped all this wood in the last month.  Your trees will talk to you, if you will listen!  Luckily, the weight on this tree is away from the house.  We will just have to take down the chainlink fence when we decide to put it on the ground.

2018 Valentine Festival! Lulu's Back In Town, Fats Waller

Friday, January 19, 2018

2018 Valentine Festival! Ukulele Lady, Arlo Guthrie, and a bonus! Vaughn DeLeath!

Weekend Steam: Let's Take A Ride On A Baker!

Merle spotted another good one; this video is from a show at Sycamore, Illinois.  One thing I have noticed is that engine operators today will put the clutch in while the engine is running.  The old-timers who taught me would warm up the engine, stop it, push the clutch in, and then use the throttle to start the engine with the clutch engaged.  They wanted the clutch engaged whenever the engine was moving, because you use the engine to stop quickly if need-be, and you cannot do that if the engine is not connected to the drivetrain.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

2018 Valentine Festival! Logger Lover, Jo Mapes

2018 Valentine Festival! I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm, Dean Martin

Something we all need right now!  So IL was zero this morning and sub-zero yesterday.  I have my little Lisa dog to keep me from freezing! 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit the Scholastic Action Shooting Program

Ruger has moved to another good cause this week; The Scholastic Action Shooting Program.  A Ruger P90 Manual Safety in .45 ACP, made in 1995 is up for auction this week.  This fine pistol will sell mid-day January17, 2018.  CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place your bid.  $915

2018 Valentine Festival! Moonbeam Kiss Her For Me, Nick Lucas

Monday, January 15, 2018

Tuesday Torque: Maybe Should Save Up For One Of These...

The snow is not all that deep, but I am tiring of it rapidly.  We are going in the deepfreeze for a few days now, so if you drive one of these, be sure to put alcohol or kerosene in the radiator so it doesn't freeze!  Aren't you glad you don't live in the Good Old Days?!

Photo by Bea!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Friday, January 12, 2018

Weekend Steam: Old Steam Powered Machine Shop Number 36

The January Thaw Has Expired!

I woke up this morning at 6A and opened the weather app on the phone.  The screen was totally blue.  I thought the phone was busted, then I zoomed out.  Crappy weather.  It was freezing rain last night when we went to bed, then it switched to sleet sometime in the night.

When I walked the dogs it was mix of sleet and big snowflakes; very noisy.  Lisa didn't know what to think.  She is from Midland, Texas, and probably has never seen weather like this.  Pretty soon she was dancing in it, though.

There is good traction on the back roads.  Sleet with snow on top is easy to drive on as long as you pay attention.  The worst part is the cold wind that continues to blow.  Even though there is not much loose snow on top, it moves, and there is drifting to watch for on the backroads.

We have our countermeasures. Both wood stoves are going, and I scraped out the chimneys yesterday to prepare for a cold snap.  During cold weather I run a fire on one side of the firebox and set wood on the other side to warm up and finish drying.  It is usually blackened and cracked when I roll it onto the fire, so it takes off immediately instead of skunking along when we want heat.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Like A Locomotive Idling, or An Alien Spaceship Hovering

Countrymark oil called us about a year ago to see if we would make a deal for an easement in our tree plantation for a pumping station.  It would be less than an acre, but it would be there basically forever.  We said no, since we had the option to do that.  We were hoping they would put it far away, but a next-door landowner signed the deal with them.  There is a power line here providing three phase electric to a coal mine several miles away, so this is where they needed to place it.  The oil in this line is pumped at Johnsonville and ends up over in Indiana at a refinery.  The pressure in the line as it crosses us is about 600 psi, and these booster pumps send it on at about 1800 psi.  There are two pumps working parallel with five plungers each, and with 300 HP motors.  It is kind of neat to be there when they cut them in.  One pump will start rolling as they open the valves so oil goes through the the first one; then they kick on the power and it is running.  The second one starts up quietly, too as its valves are opened, then it is running; then the valve on the main line is closed and the motors, plungers, and valves are all doing their thing, making an odd little rhythmic noise that penetrates the house a quarter mile away. There are five plungers on each pump, and that means ten valves per pump.  Twenty valves are clicking on and off their seats all the time the pumps are running. You feel it as much as you hear it.  They put some big-ass lights over the whole thing, so we are really glad that we have our trees shielding us from that.  When I walk the dogs on a foggy morning the  lights are shining over the trees and the pumps are throbbing.  It sounds like aliens in a 1950's Sci-Fi movie are landing.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Wounded Warrior Outdoors

This week Ruger is offering a New Model Single Six Convertible in .22 LR and .22 WMR that was made in 1980 and returned by the distributor.  This revolver does not show any shop wear in the photos on Ruger's website, and it appears to function normally.  This fine gun will sell mid-day, Wednesday, January 10.  Click Here to read Ruger's description and to place that winning bid.  $600

Monday, January 8, 2018

Tuesday Torque: IHC Slideshow From Pinckneyville...

...courtesy of Gary Bahre, the ILEngineGuy.

Lots of M's, plus a few LA's/LB's.  These are all throttle-governed, closed crankcase engines.  They are smaller and lighter than their predecessors.  The M's have grease cups for the mains.  The LA and LB engines are later, with oil splashing the main bearings.  Engines evolve!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

I'm Sleeping 'til 5:30, Nowadays!

For the not-yet-retired:

Back To The Old Grind!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Weekend Steam: First Run With A New Boiler!

Thanks, Merle!  They call this an Advance, but the engine doesn't have the earmarks I expect on an Advance.  Hmmmm.  Must do some book-looking.  They should know what they are talking about, but I must see some old photos.  Exciting, nevertheless!  Well, it does look like an early Advance!  Later ones had angled lugs rather than lugs at a right angle to the rim.  The early catalog photos have spark arresters on the top of the stacks, so you can't see the top of the stack.  The pattern on this engine resembles ones you see on Nichols and Shepherd engines, and also some Russel Engines.  Later Advance engines had a simple ring around the top of the stack.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Did You Ever Drop A Scoped Firearm?

I just did.  My Mk III Ruger has a Bushnell Shotgun scope on it and it does amazing things.  I hold it in close when I shoot, and with the 6" eye relief of that model it was easy to adapt to a stance that works for me.  It fell off the seat of the utility vehicle last week; it fell maybe 2 feet or less and clunked on the floor.  I checked it yesterday at a long 25 yards.  I set this target at 80 feet and fired one round (Number 1).  It was cold, so I just worked from the bench and did not go out and measure to get the numbers perfect.  It was 2 1/2", and from the bench I estimated 3" high, and 1" left. (Click On The Target to Enlarge.)  I cranked it way down and a bit right to check if the scope was tracking OK, and did Shot #2.   Back up for a group, and then back down for the zero.  I then shot group 5 carefully to see if I was on.  After that, I cranked it up 2 quarter minute clicks, so it should be right on at 25 yards. All shots were fired with my wrists rested and the pistol supported only by hands.  The pistol has a stock trigger, but it is well broken-in and breaks just under 4 pounds.

The front of the scope rail is unsupported and I think the gun landed on the front bell of the scope, putting a little bend in the scope rail forward of the receiver.  The gun was in a Midway Tactical Pistol Case, so the change surprised me just a bit.  The moral is ABC; Always Be Checking.  Or ABZ; Always Be Zeroing!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Flatt and Scruggs Finest Album?

That would be dangerous to argue, but Final Fling, released in 1970 after they broke up was a solid capstone to their twenty years together.  I bought a copy out of a bargain rack back then and it is still one of my favorite records. 

Girl From The North Country brought this album back to mind. It seems just a bit odd that I prefer Lester Flatt singing Bob Dylan songs over Bob Dylan. Must be the hillbilly in me!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Wounded Warrior Outdoors

The .44 Magnum Carbines are always popular, and this week it seems especially so.  The bidding as I post this is up above $2100, but it's for a good cause, so at least go have a look.  This fine little rifle sells mid-day, January 3, 2018.  Click Here or on the photo for the link. $2125

Tuesday Torque: Large Hall-Scott Engine at Coolspring

She starts out a little rough because they are working on the ingnition, but be patient and you will hear it purr. I love to watch the rockers and push rods.

Many Thanks to Merle for spotting this one!

Monday, January 1, 2018

How To Drink Whiskey???!

This guy makes a horrible mistake, and if you just bought an expensive bottle of single malt, I hope you have more sense than to throw away the first you pour into your glass.  Rinse your glass with water first, for crying out loud!  Here is what he didn't tell you, and what you need to tell your kid going off to college so he/she doesn't have to puke their guts up in the dormitory rest room.  NEVER drink hard liquor straight from the bottle!  Pour a little bit into a glass.  Add a little water, or whatever you wish to dilute it with, or add to the flavor.  Sip it slowly and make it last.  Drink some water.  Wait.  If you are not driving, you may have another; also measured into a glass, diluted a bit, and sipped slowly.  Others who do not know this may be observed in the morning in the restroom puking their guts out.  I have been thanked for this advice, and if you pass it along, you will too!

Could You Make This Shot?

Thirty yards, sitting still, it should be easy with a 4X scope.

Of course you could.  Heart/Lungs or brain shot.  But you won't, because water/ice is behind.  Easy shot; not gonna do it.