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...

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Schips Like Snow

We have been staying in as much as possible during this cold and snow snap.  We go out for firewood and to walk the dogs.  They love to play in the snow, no matter the cold.  Here's Lisa relaxing in the snow after a good rip around the dog yard.

Here's Lisa in January 2018 enjoying a little run around the dog yard.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

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

Here are a couple of New-Old-Stock Mk I Target pistols being offered by Ruger this week. This is a rare opportunity, so click the photos, read all about them and place your bids.  These fine pistols will sell mid-day, Wednesday, November 13, 2019.


Second Chances For Dogs And People

                                                            Click On Photos To Enlarge.
Susan and I have been fostering Schipperkes (for Midwest Schipperke Rescue) four years now.  We did not know much about fostering when we started, and we are learning with every dog because each foster is unique.  This is our latest, Ozzie, a show dog in his senior years.  He is a champion quality dog whose owner was a Schipperke breeder until this year when her health failed.  Her dogs went to new homes and this old boy came to us as a foster to prepare for retirement as a house pet.

Ozzie lived in a deluxe kennel with his own outdoor run and was not a house dog. We often have to housebreak the fosters for various reasons, and we adjust our days to fit the dog and change their habits without stress. We use frequent walks with lots of rewards for the behavior we want. As the dogs learn how to behave they are introduced to our dogs and cats, and become part of our household.  Ozzie adjusted well to our home and liked sleeping in our bedroom at night, but he never tried to get in bed with us because our bed was already full of Schipperkes.  He learned to bark at us when he needs to go out and would go to his kennel like the other dogs when it was time for meals.  Ozzie was a joy, and we would have liked to keep him, but someone out there needed a dog like him.

Ozzie's new mom lost her Midwest Schipperke Rescue dog to old age earlier this year. She felt lost without a Schipperke, so she applied to Midwest again for a dog to adopt.  We were given her contact information, spoke to her over the phone, and took Ozzie up to St. Louis to meet her. She was the "Someone" that needed Ozzie.They hit it off, and on our second visit, with a little bit of paperwork, Ozzie was adopted.  He has a bed in every room, lots of toys, and a choice of two beds in his new mama's bedroom.  Ozzie chose her bed, though, and that is where he sleeps.  It is gratifying to see the joy in dogs and humans when they become a family.

If you have the time and inclination to foster Schipperkes in need of a home, contact Midwest Schipperke Rescue and fill out an application.  Volunteers are needed for transporting dogs, and for rescue and rehab.  Donations are welcome at the address listed on the link.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Tuesday Torque: Engines At Rollag

The Rollag show grounds is populated with building after building with fascinating displays, and tons of old iron.  Here are a few of the gas engines you will see in those permanent displays.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Want Fresh Apple Cider?

Back To The Old Grind!

Tree Bigger Than Your Saw?

This tree has been waiting for us until the crops were out. We had warm weather and favorable wind to help bring it over, so today was the day. A diameter tape showed the tree was 55 inches diameter, and our big saw has a 28 inch bar, with an effective reach of 27 inches. We have had to deal with similar situations before, and found that removing blocks around the tree is a good solution. Borecutting makes your saw as handy as a light saber for making special cuts. Find a chainsaw class if you don't know how to borecut and do open face cutting to drop a tree.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Friday, November 8, 2019

Weekend Steam: Cute Ones Across The Pond

Merle spotted a couple good ones for this week. Wouldn't you love to have one of these in your back yard? Thanks, Merle!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Gophers Again

We dug again.  During our previous explorations for the downspout drains we found the perimeter drain on the south end of the house, and where it had been cut decades ago during a water line installation.  The far end was plugged by tree roots and it had to be replaced from the cut  outward.  We had the plumbers here this week and they got 'er done in half a day.  It's installed and covered up.  We will be leveling next Spring, and maybe we can make this yard smooth enough for Bocce Ball.

Maintenance Reminder!

Guns should be cleaned and lubed after use, especially before being stored away so they don't rust.  Your carry guns should be cleaned and lubed regularly so they are always ready to run.

Oil creeps away from the surfaces that need to move, and lint will pull the oil off.  Pocket carry should be considered as extreme service because of lint and dirt exposure.

Ignore your gun for too long and pocket dirt may prevent proper functioning.

You need only a few minutes to break down, clean, and lube most guns.  Do it at least once a month. 

Take note of of your carry ammo, too.  You need to run your gun occasionally, use up that ammo you bought five years ago and stoke up with factory fresh.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

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

You can be a winner this week with Ruger's auction offerings.  Ruger is selling a Law Enforcement Only Mini-14 from 1988. It was returned from a Minnesota Police Department and was returned to inventory.  It looks like a good one and is drawing lots of interest.  The revolver is a Ruger Service Six made in 1985 and returned in 1986.  It looks good, and it may go for a bargain price, judging from the bids as I post this.  Click on the photos to go to the GunBroker links.  Both of these fine firearms will sell mid-day, Wednesday, November 6, 2019.


Monday, November 4, 2019

Tuesday Torque: Firing Up A Field Marshall

This is really Firing Up!  You have to light a punk and put it in the combustion chamber, and then you spin the engine with a shotgun shell.  Boy, do we have it easy today! Thanks for the pick, Merle!

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Oldie? Be A Goodie!

                                                              Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Have You Been Trained To Use Chainsaws Safely? Here's Your Lifesaving Opportunity!

                                                             Click On Image To Enlarge.

If you have a saw, or are thinking about buying a saw, and have not had chainsaw safety training, you need this class.  How many times have you seen a news report of storm cleanup and seen someone operating a saw in shorts, sneakers, maybe on a ladder, with no eye protection, no leg protection, and no hard hat?  Just about every time there is storm cleanup, I'd say.  Don't be that guy.  Call or email the Dixon Springs Ag Center and sign up for this class.  You will learn valuable skills and avoid visits to the emergency room.  Be sure to inquire about advanced training, too.  They will be scheduling a class for that also. 

Friday, November 1, 2019

Weekend Steam Bonus

Last weekend we went to Pinckneyville for the Fall Festival.  One of the highlights was watching the Corliss engine that is now hooked to a new boiler setup in the American Thresherman stationary engine building.  Watch for more engines to be set up in the years ahead.