Thursday, May 31, 2018

Memories This Week

This is always a special week.  We clean the family stones and reminisce.  This year we had no flowers, but the visit was good for Pattie.

We spent some time visiting with neighbors who were there.  Someday we will get back to St. Jo for Memorial day and visit Lloyd's grave.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

Here you go!  Everybody wants a Ruger .44 Carbine.  This one is new, from 1981, and has only a couple of little chigger bites on the stock as shop wear.  These are dandy little rifles in the woods for deer and hog hunting.  This fine little carbine sells mid-day, May 30, 2018.  CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place your bid. $1325; Now you know what these Carbines are worth!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Tuesday Torque: Minneapolis Restoration

This video was posted just a year ago, so I be the cleats barely have the paint rubbed off.  It is a thrill seeing one of these monsters come back to life.  Four cylinders of Pocketa-Pocketa goodness!

Memories Passed On

Growing up in the Sixties, with a job in an appliance store, I was in a lot of homes helping with deliveries and service calls.  That was just twenty years after the end of World War II, and many of those homes had war souvenirs such as ash trays made from artillery shells. You would also see service photos of soldiers, sailors and Marines.  The guy I worked under was middle-aged and he would always ask about those photos, and invariably it was a son that did not come home from the war. 

After I was out on my own I saw a lot of veterans in my work.  I remember visiting with a  World War I vet near Louisa, Kentucky who had a book full of photos and history where he served in France.  He would have talked all day if I had been able to stay and listen.  I have heard many stories over the years, and that is one of the things I will miss during my retirement years.

The one that sticks with me most, and it always comes back to me on Memorial Day, is from a World War II Navy veteran.  He saw Kamikaze attacks, and the ship he was on came alongside a ship that had been hit, and damaged badly.  As they came next to the damaged ship he was directly across from a gun mount that was on fire.  A blonde kid was in the mount, heaving ammunition overboard.   He said the kid could not have been over seventeen, and as he was throwing ammo, it all exploded. That man was in tears while he told me about that, and his memory stays with me.  I am sure my old friend is gone now, because he would be way up into his nineties.  I hope that you all will remember that boy, too, and appreciate the sacrifice that our fighting men and women make for us.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

As You Grow Older, Find Ways To Use Ladders Less...

Is There A Big Race Coming Up?

I saw this live performance by Doodles Weaver from 1957 and noted that he mentioned Sam Hanks. That didn't ring a bell for me, but it should have. I looked it up and Sam Hanks won the Indy 500 in 1957, after trying twelve times before. He announced his retirement from racing before he climbed out of his winning car. You can read all about it at This Link.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Weekend Steam: Norfolk and Western 611

It is well worth planning a trip to the eastern U.S. just to ride behind this engine.  If you have spent your life seeing traction engines and narrow-gauge logging locomotives, be prepared to get strange sensations when you are up close to an engine like this one.  Thank You, Merle!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

A Plan For Every Tree You Cut

An old friend spent a few days in the hospital this week. He is a forester and has worked around and with chainsaws for twenty five years. He was cutting a small maple straight through without doing a match cut or hinge cut. The tree pinched his saw and then split. The butt kicked up hit and him around his left eye, breaking bone and splitting skin. He will look rough for several weeks, but will recover.

We get negative comments about the videos we have demonstrating the cutting of small trees. Little trees may not squash you, but they can sure kick up and break your face. I think it is time to make a few more chainsaw videos. In the meantime, review those chainsaw safety rules on the left side of this page before you fire up your saw.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Lovely, Dark, and Deep

I had to go to town the other day for a little errand, and after taking care of that I made a little side trip to see a tree planting project I was thinking about.

Going there I went by five other projects, all six in less than a mile. They all look good.

One of them was the only project where someone was injured during planting.  The landowner was driving the tractor with a planter behind, and two guys riding the planter. You have to pump the planting foot out of the ground at the end of every pass before you turn around.

The old boy driving the tractor had a bottle of booze in his back pocket, and he wasn't allowing time for his helpers to raise the foot before he turned.  He rolled the planter up on its side, dumping off his workers, and one of them broke a finger.  Whiskey and machinery do not mix well.

Another one of the landowners bought a hoedad and planted his entire project by hand, all by himself.

The other four were planted by contractors with tree planting machines.  Tree planting projects always catch my eye, and many of them are a surprise when I see them, because of the years that have passed since I saw the trees go into the ground.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

What a beauty we have this week!  This is a 1985 Ruger 77/22 bolt action rifle.  It was used as a show gun and was never sold.  It appears as new to me in Ruger's Photos.  This rifle will be shipped with one 10 round magazine, but there is no mention of scope rings, and I think you will have to purchase a set. The buttpad is rubber with the Ruger logo instead of the nylon buttplate used on production guns. This rifle will sell mid-day, May 23, 2018.  CLICK HERE to read the full description and to place your winning bid.  $750; Someone got a great deal!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Repurposing; Recycling

I wish I could watch this without imagining the smell of sour, leftover milk!

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Foghorn's Weasel

We have several dogs that we feed twice a day, plus a couple of treat times.  The quietest moments of the day occur in the minute after they are all locked in their kennels with their bowls of rations.  The time leading up to that reminds us of the hungry little varmint in Foghorn's barnyard.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Weekend Steam: Cylinder Petcocks

You must warm up a steam engine when you open the throttle.  The cold cylinders make steam condense, and then you have water, which does not compress.  You open the petcocks on the steam chest and the cylinders to allow that water an escape route, or the engine will lock up suddenly when the piston hits a wall of water.  Warming up a traction engine is not as dramatic as a locomotive.  There is less iron, and as you make the engine turn it is not moving all the mass of a loco. When you start a cold locomotive you must be extra careful, because if you hit that water with the weight of the engine, things are going to break.  It makes for a great show.  Thank You, Merle, for spotting this one!

Are You Ready For A Home Invasion?

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Easy To Build Target Stands For Your Shooting Range

We have been using this system for a few years, and it works very well.  The pipe fittings and rebar hold up well against bullet splash.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Goslings Again

We are down to two, from five a few weeks ago.  It could be snapping turtles, coons, possums, coyotes, foxes; who knows?  I hope these little guys are able to survive now.

The Bombathon Has Begun

It's a holiday season like no other.  Click on the Religion Of Peace link on the left side of this page regularly to watch the celebration unfold. Wear Kevlar if you have it.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Light Foundation

This week Ruger is offering a Single-Six in .32 H & R Magnum.  I remember the gunwriters really liked this cartridge/revolver combination when it came out in the 1980's, and it still is a good choice today.  It is lighter on the hip than a Blackhawk, and is a good choice for varmints and self defense while you roam around your compound.  This revolver was made in 1989, and is marked Used because it was a show gun, but the photos on Ruger's website do not show any shop wear to my eyes. This fine Ruger will sell mid-day, May 16, so CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place the winning bid.  There does not appear to be collector interest and you just may get a deal worth bragging about.  $580

Monday, May 14, 2018

Tuesday Torque: An Artist At Work

805 Road King is the real deal in small engine mechanics.  He jumps right into this Toro lawnmower.

That man's a hero! Nuff o' this!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Way Down, Low Down

Holy Cow, take a good look at the conditions for that guy watching the clay as the wheel spins around.  He's wearing sandals, not work boots.  Around machinery.  The dust; fine, clay, lung clogging dust, is all around him in this facility, and he doesn't even have a simple mask on his face to protect his airways.  He will not live to be an old man working in these conditions.

Be Glad, that you are not going Back to His Old Grind!

I have been lucky. Fifty two years of work and only two weeks unemployed. I worked six years in Forestry in Kentucky and was outdoors much of the time. Indoor work was office time, and I had lots of fire fighting to make life exciting. I worked in the Southern Illinois oilfields for six years, and that was mostly outdoors too. Indoor work was mostly under trucks. The oilfield crashed in '86 and I got a job with Joy Manufacturing at their rebuild facility in Mt. Vernon. The first month (July), I spent in a rubber suit steam cleaning parts of torn down coal mining machinery, then I worked my way up to a mechanic/welder job. There was always welding smoke in the air, blue light from arc welders, lots of steel on steel noise, and the constant talk of big milling machines machining gear cases and other miner parts. It was all very depressing after working outdoors for the previous twelve years. This song by Johny Cash played in my head back then. I was glad to get back into forestry, where I spent much of the next twenty-nine years outdoors again.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Weekend Steam: Maine Two Footers

Thank You, Merle!  I have a book about these railroads that my dad read and re-read many times.  They are fascinating roads.

Here's the book!  I think my parents gave it to me as a Christmas present.  I read it a couple times, and Dad nearly wore it out.  Note that it cost $6.00 back then.  It is still out there in the world, and I think the price is not bad when you consider inflation and the enjoyability of this little book. 

A Little Reminder For You...

Mother's Day is coming right up. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Our Assignment... to work on our poppy population this year.  They are losing ground to the Iris and the beds need to be thoroughly disturbed. We will be watching for the seed pods to mature so we can sow it all back where the poppies belong.  Our wildflower beds out in front of Pattie's house have crashed, so this week we will be killing grass (again!), tilling, and sowing seed again.  (In addition to mowing grass, pruning limbs, making firewood, cleaning up storm damage, cleaning out the wood pile in the barn, replenishing the woodpile, Sheesh!)  Good thing I am retired.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Ruger's Auctions To Benefit The Scholastic Action Shooting Program

Ruger has two great pistols for you to place bids on this week!

The first is a Standard Pistol made in 1982.  It is New-In-Box in Ruger's vault.  CLICK HERE to bid.  $562.12

The second is a 1995 production of the Ruger Stainless P-90 Manual Safety model in .45 ACP.  It is also New-In-Box.  CLICK HERE to bid.   Both of these guns will sell Wednesday, May 9, 2018.  $605

Monday, May 7, 2018

Tuesday Torque: Top Ten? Well That Could Be Debated,...

...but it is a pretty neat list.  Is that old boy holding a starting rope for the jet engine?  Many Thanks, Merle.  We do appreciate the spotting you do!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

"Be Sure You Are Right, Then Go Ahead." Davey Crockett

This baby ain't right.  The board it is mounted on blocks the ground corn from falling through.  This type of grinder is mounted on a box to catch the meal for chickens, or the kitchen.  Sheesh!  Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

A Fine Day At Carmi Rifle Club

Carmi Rifle Club hosted the annual Women On Target Event.  This event is supported by the Friends of NRA, and numerous volunteers from our little club in White County, Southern Illinois.  Here are a few photos.  Many Thanks to Dawn for running my camera!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Decisions, Decisions...

Derby or Cinco de Mayo?  Juleps or Margaritas?  Hard to beat a Mint Julep!  Remember, you muddle the mint leaves.  Drink one too many and you muddle your brain.

Weekend Steam: Tired and Sad Engines

Merle spotted some good ones again.  These are pretty sad to watch.  Some may be saved; indeed, many of the British engines have been, but most of the American engines will not.  It takes a lot of money and there are plenty of steamers already in service.  Click the YouTube icon in the lower right of each video to go to the respective channels for the commentary.

Isn't There A Horse Race Coming Up?

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Toonces Can Drive...

Why can't I? "What a perfect day for a drive!"

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

As Summer Approaches, People Get In Their Boats

Forty-five years ago I went under that rock.  My friends say that I was under there for a long time, and I remember it well.  I popped up on this downstream side because I was wearing a life vest.  I am a poor swimmer, so I have never been too proud to wear one.  Davey Kannapel was in his canoe a short distance from where I came up.  He extended a paddle and said only, "Grab the paddle."  He was an Eagle Scout and he did not want a near drowning victim to touch his canoe.  If you go boating, wear your vest.  If you see someone's kid without a vest, read them the Riot Act.  Crap happens fast.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Will You Remember?

Maytime played on Broadway in 1917 and 1918.  Lots of Doughboys who were going over to France saw that play and heard this song, which was popular in 1918. I think it is a much better song than the ones Tin Pan Alley was churning out to encourage the country into The Great War.  May, 1918 the First Division was in the process of moving into trenches at Cantigny, the first major battle for American troops.  That fight started on May 28, 100 years ago.  It's worth remembering.

This song was also used in the 1937 movie, Maytime with Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald.  There were not many similarities to the stage play other than this song. 

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The Scholastic Action Shooting Program

Where else are you going to find a new Ruger Service Six?  This one is from 1986 and it was returned to the factory by the distributor.  The closeup photos on Ruger's website show shopwear, so it has been handled quite a bit, and Ruger has added a U to the serial number to label it as a Used firearm; but it is basically a new gun with shop wear.  This fine revolver will sell mid-day, Wednesday May 2, 2018.  CLICK HERE to read the description and to place your bid for this nice firearm.  $713.11