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.