Thursday, February 28, 2019

Fluorescent Light Socket Aggravation, # Gnashing Of Teeth

We recently converted all of our fluorescent fixtures to LED tubes, so I have had a bunch of practice dealing with this little problem.  One of the little guide pins breaks off and blocks you from removing the old tube, which would be no problem if you were standing flatfooted; but you are always up on a ladder when you are doing this. We changed out 45 bulbs, so now I am practiced enough that I get the old bulb out pretty quickly.  The LEDs are supposed to have a long life, so I have a pipe dream that I may never have to wrestle bulbs again.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Chainsaw Training Opportunity

University of Illinois Forestry Extension is hosting a two day training session for chainsaw users, April 26 and 27, 2019.  Class size is limited to 8, so do not delay if you are able to attend.  You will learn how to safely and properly use a saw to drop trees with the face cut and bore cut method.  This course will make you a safe operator.  CLICK HERE to register.

You can do this!  These classes do not come around often, so get it while the getting is good.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The USA Shooting Team

Here is a rare, desirable Ruger New Model Blackhawk for you!  It is a Buckeye Sports Supply marked Convertible Blackhawk in .32 H&R Magnum and .32-20.  This fine revolver was made in 1989 and it can be yours on Wednesday, February 27, 2019.  CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place that winning bid. $1483.58

Monday, February 25, 2019

Big Chicago Pneumatic, Jerome, Arizona; Gold King Mine

Thanks, Merle!

10,154 Cubic Inches in three cylinders!  I want to see the numbers.  I have been looking at books and at SmokStak archives to see the actual size of this engine, with no luck.  10 grand is a lot of cubic inches.  Run the math on cylinder volumes and I think this is an exaggeration.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

New Skillets As Good As Old

If you want to make the inside of your new skillet smooth and slick, it is easy to do.

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Too Heavy To Carry Out, Or Just Being Prudent?

A guy or two left a couple of beer bottles under this cedar tree, and there are several more empties down this boundary line.  This is a phenomenon I have observed for decades.  Folks will carry beer out into the woods, enjoy their beverages, and then leave the empties.  Once I found a nearly full bottle of 100 proof Old Fitzgerald.  That may be the answer to this puzzlement.  I figure some guy wanted to be able to enjoy a drink, but doing so at home was not an option.  Hide a bottle in the woods, go out squirrel hunting, and enjoy a little sip while the wife can't see you.  If that is what you are doing, please make sure you are sobered up before you hop in your pickup truck to head home, and hide your bottle well.  After finding one full bottle, I am looking every time I go out!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Weekend Steam: Take A Ride On The Cass Scenic Railway!

Susan and I have done this road once, and I would love to go again.  The history at this place is incredible, with the old sawmill building, the company housing that you can stay in, and of course the engines.  It's time to go again, I think.  Thanks to Merle for spotting!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

I-57 Is A Mess

I-57 is a dangerous drive in Southern Illinois.  There are wrecks that shut this road down regularly, and there was one in the news the day I saw this one.  This wreck never made the news, and with a load of steel hitting the back of the tractor, I figure the driver may have been killed.  I guess because the road was only partially shut down, the news people didn't feel the need to report it.  I saw it and luckily had a camera with me.  Be on the alert when you drive on I-57.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Hard Hat Or No?

I was required to wear a hard hat when I worked in Kentucky as  a forester.  The hat went on when you got out of the truck. I had a few close calls.  Up in Pike County on a fire, a big limb landed right next to me, and if it had hit me on the head, the hat wouldn't have been any help.

In 1979 near Missoula, Montana, we were walking through burned over timber where big trees had been tipping over all night. "*"  The fire had burned down in the soil, and roots were no longer stabilizing the trees.  There was no noise at all until a tree landed.  A big Douglas-fir tipped right after I passed it and the guy behind me had to jump ahead to keep from being crushed. 

Illinois did not enforce wearing a hard hat, so I wore one only for fires, chainsaw activities, logging jobs, and windy days. (Actually, I tend to stay out of timber on windy days. I will go out in rain, but wind is just plain dangerous.)  A safety reminder appeared a couple days ago. This treetop fell during the night when we had only light winds of 5 mph. This is another one of those things that will kill you whether you have head protection or not. When big wood falls it often causes smaller wood to fling great distances, so protection is a good idea.  It seems a bit odd that I wear a hard hat more frequently now that I am retired than when I was working, but maybe my head is not as hard as it used to be.

* We were stuck up on a mountainside that night and everybody found a boulder or tree to get close to.  The fire had caused boulders above us to break loose, and all night long, big rocks were coming down the mountain.  We were glad to be able to hoof it out of there at first light.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The USA Shooting Team

Ruger put a good one out this week!  It's a Mini-14 in .223 made in 1976, and it is marked Used.  It may have been used at a promotional event for industry people, or returned from a gun shop (unlikely!).  It looks good, though.  This is pre-Ranch Rifle.  This fine almost-antique will sell mid-day Wednesday, February 20, 2019.  The Mini-14 is one of the guns singled out in the IL Senate Bill called an Assault Weapons ban.  This fine firearm could soon become illegal in Illinois.  It is already illegal in Cook County, along with a long list of firearms that are scary to some people.  CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place your bid.  $1283.58

Monday, February 18, 2019

Tuesday Torque: Big Titan Tractor

I pulled up one of my old videos this week.  It's 1913, 45 HP IHC Titan tractor with a pony motor for air starting the main engine.  This is a very rare tractor.  Stop the video between 15 and 20 seconds to read some of the specs.  You can see this great old tractor in action every year at the engine show in Pinckneyville, Illinois.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Excitement and Video Opportunities This Week!

The Morbark machine is on the north end, and should be running tomorrow!  It's a thrill a minute living in the country.

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Lisa Is Recovering

Schipperkes often appear to have super powers, especially when they go on a rip, but they are mortal. Lisa did a big jump last year and tore an ACL. She had surgery a week and a half ago. Her stitches come out Monday, and then she can shed her cone when she is not in my arms. Walking is limited to calls of nature, but soon she can have five minute walks; then in a couple more weeks, ten minute walks. She is putting weight on her leg now, but no zoomies are allowed for a year. She is enjoying the extra lap time.

Weekend Steam: Let's Go Down Under To A Warmer Clime!

Be sure to take a good look at 6029.  It is really something with engines on both ends and the boiler in the middle.  Good Pick, Merle!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The USA Shooting Team

Ruger is offering a consecutively numbered pair of Mk II Target pistols made in 1984.  Click Here to read all about it and to place your bid.  These .22 LR pistols will sell mid-day, Wednesday, February 13, 2019.  $1725

Pretty Woman, Roy Orbison

Monday, February 11, 2019

Tuesday Torque: Vintage International Truck

Wendell Kelch, the restorer shares his first run.  This 1920 model was the first year IH had direct drive and pneumatic tires.

Strangers In The Night, Frank Sinatra

Late To Work! I Had Pressing Business!

Well, since retiring, I don't take the Old Grind quite as seriously, I guess.  We have been busy with Maggie, the Rescue Schip, and Lisa, who had ACL surgery last week. We had ice, too, and that meant that Big Jack had to come over from the farm for an overnight stay.  I never had time for a job!

Back To The Old Grind!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

2019 Valentine Festival: When My Baby Smiles At Me, Ted Lewis

This song is always a great one to listen to.  Ted's famous clarinet kicks in just after the 2 1/2 minute mark!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The USA Shooting Team

Ruger is offering another rare one this week; an engraved (not regular production) 50th Anniversary Flattop Blackhawk in .357.  This model was offered in 2005, but the engraving was not offered.  There are not many of these in Ruger's vault, so this would be your opportunity if you want one of these.  This fine revolver will sell mid-day, Wednesday, February 6, 2019. CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place your bid. $1275

2019 Valentine Festival: Put On Your Dancing Shoes!

And, one more Rudy Vallee; One of my favorites!

Monday, February 4, 2019

2019 Valentine Festival: Going Way Back In Time... visit The Troglodyte! Jimmy Castor Bunch

Tuesday Torque: Morbark Chipper...

...has 850 Caterpillar horsepower putting all that machinery through its paces. This baby will eat sawlogs and spit them out the back!

Saturday, February 2, 2019

2019 Valentine Festival: Maggie, Yes Ma'am; Come Right Upstairs!

Oh, the challenges of young love!  From 1923, here is Billy Murray and Aileen Stanley doing a genuine Vaudeville number.  (We picked up a Schipperke rescue today who is named Maggie, so this song naturally came to mind.  Photos will be added tomorrow so you can share in the joy!)

And Here's Maggie!  We haven't had Maggie 24 hours yet, but she appears to be a quiet traveler and seems to be very well housebroken.  She wants to explore outdoors, but does not try to escape her leash.  She responds to her name very well.  She has been sheared and has only an undercoat right now.  She has had a bath and a toenail trim with no problem.  Maggie will be seeing a vet this week to be checked for heartworms, dental, and vaccination updates.  Maggie is 11 years old and is a small Schip at 11.4 pounds.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Weekend Steam: Specials On The Durango And Silverton, 2011

If you follow the Durango and Silverton, you will see special events happen in addition to the regular trains.  This video shows some good times.  Thanks, Merle!

2019 Valentine Festival: It's Telephone Night!

Give your honey a call this weekend!  Click the YouTube icon on the lower bar of a video and it will take you to the uploader's channel.  YouTube videos all have this self-attribution feature.