Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Ruger's Auctions To Benefit The USA Shooting Team And The Light Foundation

Ruger has a couple good ones again this week.  The P-90 is a .45 Auto, Decocker made in 1992.  The Redhawk was made in 1986 and sent to Steve Vogel as a sample firearm.  It returned to the factory ten years later.  I see a bit of pitting near the muzzle on the right side, so this gun was probably handled, and then put away for a long period.  Stainless isn't. You have to wipe off the fingerprints before you put it away. It looks like a good gun, though, and Ruger is calling it New Old Stock.  Click the photos to read the descriptions and to place your bids.


Monday, December 30, 2019

Tuesday Torque: A Disagreeable Bunch...

...All of them are trying to start something! Watching all the exhaust in this video may cause Global Warming!  Thank You, Merle, for spotting another good one!

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Boonville Memories

                                                              Back To The Old Grind!

Friday, December 27, 2019

Weekend Steam: Automatic Steam Engine Reawakened

Thanks, Merle! I love stationary engines.  This one is governed by the cutoff of the slide valve, which was a great advance in technology at the time.  It appears that the slide valve was not seating as they began rolling this engine over, but everything will soon be torn down and overhauled, so this engine will no doubt reappear as new in a future video.  Click the YouTube icon on the lower bar of the video to watch on YouTube and read the description, plus comments.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

I Am Easily Entertained

This handsome possum was out on a jaunt Christmas Eve. He waddled out of the barn and headed for the woods.  He paused and let me take his picture. I should have followed him 'til Midnight to see if he had anything to say.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Ozzie Update

We called Ozzie's new mom to wish her a Merry Christmas.  She and Ozzie make the happiest human/dog relationship that we have seen.  Ozzie is in love with her, and she with him.  He was overjoyed today to open new toys. Ozzie's Mom is overjoyed with his love for her.  That call made our Christmas very merry!

Sunday, December 22, 2019

I Saw Three Ships, Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Steady As She Goes!

Try to be this good!

Back To The Old Grind!

John In Philly:  It's at Rollag, and it is beautiful. Treasure hunters from Rollag stumbled upon this engine one week before it was to be scrapped, and saved it from destruction.  The old engineeer who ran it in the factory helped them dismantle it.  He had marked everything with a chisel so it went back together perfectly in time. They got the drawings with it, so creating the foundation was a project, not an engineering nightmare.

Under Siege

We have made it through three firearm deer seasons this fall, and we have two to go.  The weekend after Christmas will be antlerless only deer hunting, as will be the final one coming up January 17-19, 2020. Bowhunting is continuous until the end of the final gun season.

I have had trespassers complain that I keep "all the deer" on our place.  We have planted trees, and we have natural timber, too, so we have good wildlife habitat.  Some of the boundary hunters and trespassers are farmers who have cleared most or all of their timber, so I have no sympathy for them if they don't have a place to hunt.

Susan and I planted all of the trees in this photo ourselves, and we greatly enjoy seeing the deer who inhabit our woods. We have friends who hunt in our timber, and they are good guests.  Our hunters call before coming and going.  We always help them retrieve the deer they bag.

Trespassers/Poachers, on the other hand, slip onto our properties, shoot deer they don't retrieve, and leave the carcasses for us to stumble upon. We hear plenty of coyote activity at night in our timber every fall because of scenes like this. This little deer is likely one of this year's fawns and should not have been a target for any sportsman.

What kind of person shoots a young four-point buck and then leaves it for the scavengers? This is common behavior that we see every year. One thing we have seen change is the use of rifles to bag deer for bow tags.  We used to hear rifles at night regularly, but Illinois made crossbows legal for hunting, and I think that poachers are using those to take deer silently while trespassing, or night hunting from roads. It would be pretty easy to do, as deer will idly stand closeby a road as vehicles move by.  I have to pass deer nearly every night when I go check on the farm.

Trespassers are just bad guests to have on your ground.  This damage on one of our white oaks was caused by an Amish guy we caught, who "didn't see the fence" where our boundary runs.  He ran a climbing stand up the tree, skinning bark and also cutting limbs as he went up.

We also have to watch for boundary hunters. They like to set up next to our property and take their chances on whether they can retrieve a deer without being caught trespassing.  This stand was less than the 300 yard requirement from our house, so we get to worry about stray bullets a bit more than normal. If we catch the hunter retrieving a deer on us, we can have him prosecuted for two violations at once, for what that is worth.

Trespassers are a brazen bunch.  This is a bait station that someone put on us a few years ago; totally illegal in Illinois.

This violator's stand was in our woods a good twenty feet.  A Conservation Policeman seized it , but for some reason the owner did not make an attempt to claim it.

 Last year some trespasser was hanging scent wicks along the pipeline. That was  a waste of effort, because the deer already hang out there, and stinkums won't make up for lack of hunting skill.

This stand was on us by a good fifty feet, and it was carried over a fence to get here. I checked on the guy I caught with this one, and he has drug convictions.  I keep reminding myself that trespassers are criminals and to be careful when approaching them.

They get lucky, probably more than we know.  The deer that was killed here was gone before I found it, and the blood was still wet.

These people won't look you in the eye when you catch them, and this guy was smart enough to spot the camera and face away from it as he passed.  Might get him next time, though.

Bullet tracks on our yard trees serve as a reminder that trespassers are lowlifes.  We planted a cedar screen south of the farm house many years ago and that made road hunting a little more difficult. 

Poaching goes on, though.  This little pile of remains was gnawed by coyotes in the backyard at the farm this month.

Christmas In Prison, John Prine

Friday, December 20, 2019

Weekend Steam: Merle Picks A Big One And A Little One!

Here's The biggest operating triple expansion engine. It is a waterworks engine in West London, and is 62 feet from the bottom to the top.  A twin cylinder engine is used to rotate the big one into position for starting.

This Locomobile would qualify for a toy today, but in its day, it was a serious competitor to internal combustion automobiles.

Thank You, Merle. Your picks are great, as usual!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Rusty Chevrolet, Da Yoopers

Winter Wonderland, Dean Martin

Ruger's Auctions To Benefit The USA Shooting Team And The Light Foundation

Ruger always puts up some good ones! The Mini-14 was made in 1995 and is New In Box! It is a Law Enforcement Only rifle because of the "assault weapons" ban during the Clinton administration.  It has a bayonet lug, a flash suppressor, a metal buttplate, and a 20 round magazine.  The P94 is a Double Action Only LE model with one 15 round magazine. It has a laser, but that does not work. Click on the photos for the link to read the full descriptions, and to place those winning bids.  Both guns will sell mid-day, Wednesday, December 18, 2019.


Monday, December 16, 2019

Angels, Angels!

Tuesday Torque: Model T Ford Railcar

You will have to go to New Zealand to see all of the great things in this video.  The things that really caught my attention were the controls on the T.  This T and some of the parts you see later were made for the British market, so the pedals and the brake lever are on the right side of the transmission. I had never thought of that, and I wonder why Henry didn't say "You can drive them in the UK if you like, but you will have to sit on the left!"

Here's a screen shot from the video showing four transmission housings made for right-hand pedals.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, Johny Mathis

Stover Bur Mill, An Oldie, But Goodie!

We put this video up more than ten years ago, and it keeps getting views.  Most of our vids don't do much, but this one has had more than 23,000 views in ten years.  It isn't viral, but it keeps plugging along. 

Back To The Old Grind!

Pachelbel Train Horns

Even more satisfying than Christmas music on bagpipes!

Let It Snow, Dean Martin

Friday, December 13, 2019

Weekend Steam Bonus: Whistles!

Another great catch by Merle!  Some bloggers tell you to go to full screen; I say, turn up the volume and make the dogs howl!

Weekend Steam: Trains On The Tundra

A bit sad, but very interesting history.  Thank You, Merle, for spotting!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

What Child Is This?, Lindsey Stirling

"Blonding" of Ash Bark

How can you tell if your ash trees have the emerald ash borer and are doomed?  Woodpeckers know, and they go after the larvae that are in the tree, just under the bark.  The woodpecker activity knocks off the gray outer layer of the bark, exposing the blonde color of ash bark.  Here is how it appears.   See this and you know you might as well be taking the tree down while the wood is still sound.

The Piper's Christmas, Rob Crabtree

"Of course we're not denying that it's really splendid stuff; But it's mighty satisfying - don't you think we've had enough?" Robert Service, on bagpipes

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Ruger's Auctions To Benefit The USA Shooting Team And The Light Foundation

Ruger always has some good ones.  This week we have a 50th Anniversary engraved Flattop Blackhawk in .357, and a Friends of the NRA Single-Six in .17 HMR.  Click the photos to go to the GunBroker pages and place those winning bids.


Silver Bells, Dean Martin

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, The Piano Guys

Monday, December 9, 2019

Songs For My Schipperke: One Poop Over The Line!

Keep that dog yard clean!

Disclaimer: Those are hickory nut hulls being flipped over the fence. We keep our dog yard clean!

Tuesday Torque: To What Lengths Will Engine Hobbyists Go?

Here is a great series of videos following the collection of an old Bucyrus Erie shovel. Those machines we love to watch at engine shows don't magically appear; someone has to find them, retrieve them, and restore them.

Songs For My Schipperke: All The Little Doggies

Sunday, December 8, 2019

We're Having Fun Now!

The boy came to visit and brought his violin. We had to do something with it, so here you are!  Yes, we sing silly songs to our dogs. They don't know that it's not wonderful.

In A Simpler Time...

...you worked your tail off to feed your family!  Back To The Old Grind!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Talyllyn Railway; The Oldest Preserved Railway (Wales)

No word from Merle this week, so this is our pick at True Blue Sam.   We hope you are OK, Merle.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Drip, Drip, Drip!

That annoying sound of dripping water prompted the discovery of a soaked ceiling tile in the basement.  Immediate exploratory surgery showed that water was dripping from above when our shower was running.  There was no access panel in our bedroom to reach the leak, so drywall surgery came next. We found a poorly done solder joint where the riser went into the elbow sending water to the showerhead. Note the crack separating the elbow from the solder.  Whomever installed this decades ago did not heat the elbow, but just the copper pipe.

Here's the post-mortem photo.  No solder in the joint, just on the pipe and the lower edge of the elbow.  We located the problem and made the repair in the same day.  Now we have to install the access panel where we cut the hole in our drywall.

Merry Christmas Darling, The Carpenters

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Custom Kydex Holster? Yup! From HAWGHolsters dot Com!

We met John Abbot at a rifle workshop several years ago. He had brought his mother and he made sure she had a good experience.  That's a good man, who takes care of his mother.  John makes HAWGHolsters; a great product, and he takes care of his customers, too.  Here's a look at the latest HAWG Holster that he has made for us.  Look him up on on the Internet, or give him a call if you have a special need for a concealed carry holster.

I'll Be Home For Christmas, Anne Murray

Ruger's Auctions To Benefit The Light Foundation And The USA Shooting Team

I try to be positive, but I have to say that I'M OUT!  Ruger is offering two Mk II Target pistols from 1984.  These are New In Box Guns, and they are up above $1000 as I post this.  I don't quite understand it, except there are generous people who will bid on things for the benefit of a good cause.  Click on the photos to go to the GunBroker page and read the full descriptions; maybe place that winning bid! Both of these fine pistols will sell mid-day, Wednesday, December 4, 2019.


Monday, December 2, 2019

Christmas Canon, Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Tuesday Torque: Revisiting The 8 HP Bessemer

Gary Bahre has been doing some rework on the Bessemer.  The rod bearing didn't suit him, so he did some work on the rod and poured a new bearing, then fitted it to the old engine.  It has come a long way from the wreck we found at Martha, Kentucky more than forty years ago. 

Friday, November 29, 2019

Weekend Steam: Union Pacific 4014

Merle thinks like we do, and he has been watching the Big Boy.  We have also been checking out the 4014 on YouTube regularly.  Thank You, Merle!

Steam engines in snow are dramatic. Here is one that we enjoyed this week as the Big Boy headed to Sharon Springs, Kansas.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation

"Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789." G. Washington

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Ruger's Auctions To Benefit The USA Shooting Team And The Light Foundation

Both of these guns sell mid-day, Wednesday, November 27, 2019.  Click on the photos to go to the GunBroker links.


Marvin Wilkerson, Our Farmer, Our Friend

Our neighbor Marvin Wilkerson passed away recently.  If you have watched our videos of harvesting on the farm, that was Marvin operating the equipment.  Marvin loved John Deere tractors, and that is what he and Donna farmed with for more than sixty years.  He has been farming Patti's ground for more than forty years.  His obituary is here.  We shot a little video in September of Marvin combining beans on the back 40.

Rest In Peace, Little Friend

Little Lightning showed up in the Fall of 2012 after we moved in to take care of Patti. He was a very wild, frightened dog.  We put food out for him and soon he was hanging around the house, but he slept out in the woods under a treetop on the ground.  We couldn't touch him.  He eventually learned that food was available when we called, and he liked to sleep in his doghouse with the heating pad under his bed. We were able to catch him one time and we had his vaccinations done.

 He tangled with cars a couple times, and his right front leg was broken and never healed.  Lightning was a good driveway alarm, so we knew when company arrived almost without fail.  Susan and I went to Carmi for a meeting at the rifle club Monday night, and when we returned, Lightning did not come around for treats.  We figured that something had happened to him, and this morning I found him in the road at the south end of the property.  It is always a difficult task to bury one of our little friends.  Lightning lived life on his own terms, never letting us get close to him, but we were able to keep him fed and sheltered.  We will miss the little guy.

Tuesday Torque: George Kester's Collectables....

...for superb Christmas presents!  George Kester is still making cast toys for kids of all ages in his shop.  These are 100% old-time toys, made in America by a steam engine man.  I have bought many for kids in our family, but even adults enjoy having a few of these to display in a place of honor. Click the picture from Kester's website to have a look.

Here are some that we have purchased in years past.  These are keepsakes that your kids, grandkids, nephews and nieces will keep all their lives. Check out the catalog on the website and give George a call!

Friday, November 22, 2019

Weekend Steam: Russell 16-48 Pulls A Sled

Merle spotted another good one.  This is a Russell rated at 16 HP on the drawbar, but at well over a century of age, it is running at just 105 pounds in the boiler.  It still puts on a good show!  I would like to see what this engine could do at 150 pounds.  Thanks, Merle!  Russells are pretty!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Things I See

The boundaries need touching up regularly as old posts and boundary trees slip away.  I was adding some posts this week and examined this old remnant.  You can see a nail inside the stem that was bent over a barbed wire, but look above that at something out of place.

Somebody drank a cool one and left the empty tucked into a fork; probably about sixty years ago.  No Deposit, No Return, I guess!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Ruger's Auctions To Benefit The Light Foundation And The USA Shooting Team

Two great pistols are being offered by Ruger this week; one to benefit the USA Shooting Team, and the other to benefit the Light Foundation. Click the photos to go to read all about both guns and to place your bids.


Monday, November 18, 2019

Tuesday Torque; A Mixed Bag From Rollag

There are a bunch of big prairie tractors at Rollag.  The Twin Cities that starts this video is a huge land yacht.  I don't have much video of these monsters, but I think I can do a nice slide show, so I will work on that.  If you want one of the Townsend tractors, you need to go back about 60 years so you can afford it. The prices are crazy nowadays for unusual antique tractors. 

Friday, November 15, 2019

Weekend Steam: More From Across The Pond

I don't know how Merle does it, but he finds things that I have never seen.  Thank You, Merle!

Meanwhile, over in Belgium...