Friday, November 26, 2021

Weekend Steam: Let's Wash Out A Locomotive Boiler!

 I think you all will enjoy this one. We love to watch engines run, but most of us don't see the maintenance that goes on behind the scenes. Good One, Merle. Thank You for spotting!


Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Young Backyard Buck

George 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

Did You Ba-reak It?

 Susan and I have been enjoying the Voices Of Music and their Baroque performances on YouTube. In case you ever wondered just what is different about Baroque instruments, this video will provide the answers. Spend some time in violin shops and you will see Baroque violins that have been converted to the modern format. You are holding history in your hands when you handle one of them.


Alana Youssefian not only performs flawlessly, she is having a good time while she plays, and the other musicians reflect the joy. Watch the cellist as Alana plays harmonics high up on the strings. Joy!

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The First Country Music?

 We were introduced to La Folia (Follia) when Zeke was doing violin, and it is an addictive tune. It dates from the Fifteenth Century and was played from Italy into Scandinavia. Voices Of Music performs an authentic rendition on Baroque instruments that you will want to play over and over and over.


Monday, November 22, 2021

Hunting Thrills

 Dusty Wood has been hunting on our land for several years.  He knows the habitat and he gets acquainted with the deer every fall. This year he brought his daughter Kelby with him during the first firearm season. They saw a Nine and a Ten the first day that both would have been good to take, but she didn't have a shot presented. They came again on Sunday, setting up in a different spot because of a wind shift. Just before sunset the Nine showed up. Dusty sent me picture of the heart, and she put her bullet right through the center. Congratulations, Kelby! That is a fine buck and a great shot!



Tuesday Torque: Around The World In A Model T Ford

Theresa R. "Terri" Morrison


 Blog friends have seen Merle mentioned frequently on these pages.  Merle has been part of this blog for many years, as a supporter of the e-Postal matches and screener of engine videos. Merle recently lost his daughter Terri, and any kind thoughts and prayers you can send his way will be a comfort to our good friend.  Click to read Terri's obiturary  and please keep Merle and his sons in your prayers.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Weekend Steam: Strange And Extreme Locomotives And Trains

 Designers have done a lot of thinking outside the firebox! The Fontaine and Holman designs never should have made it to the drawing board!  Thank You Merle!


Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Jack And Lisa By The Fire

 

                                                           Jack (left), and Lisa Marie

Four years ago I drove to Chickasha, Oklahoma to get Lisa from June Adams Moore, of Midland, Texas. Lisa is the sweetest little dog you will ever meet. Even her vets love her.

BNSF Branch Line Covered In Weeds--Large Fire Encountered By Train Crew

 It's not that large of a fire, but it could sure burn some ties. If you don't have a little water and flappers to smother the fire you really can't do much. Don't ever swat a fire. That  pushes air to it. Dampen it and then smother it with your flapper. I gotta wonder if there are big old gas engines in those grain elevators. Probably not. Engine collectors figured out fifty years ago that those old elevators held treasure.


Monday, November 15, 2021

Tuesday Torque: What Can Thicker Oil Do For You?

 Our modern oils are wonders, and it is wise to stick to the recommendations from engine manufacturers. The upshot of this video is that thick oil would not move through the oil pump freely, and the gear that powers the oil pump and distributor stripped teeth. At best, thick oil won't circulate freely on a cold morning and you can have bearing damage and scoring on your pistons and cylinder walls. The authors put some great effort translating for us on this video.


"You Have No Right To Defend Yourself!"

Sunday, November 14, 2021

RSO (Range Safety Officer) Joy

 Carmi Rifle Club does a couple of carry classes every year, and has transitioned to doing renewals and new certifications because Illinois requires a review class plus requalifying with a firearm at five year intervals. We have an experienced club member with every shooter at the firing line and folks get quality instruction with lots of individual attention, and a variety of pistols and revolvers to use during the class and for qualifying. The Illinois law specifies the target and requires at least 70% of the thirty shots hit in the black, which is easy for most folks, even rank beginners. Most people are serious about doing well, and we enjoy scoring the best targets. There are 300 possible points if they hit the 10 ring every time, and there is an X ring in the middle of the 10 ring. Yesterday we had three shooters make a score of 300, and with 23 X, 24 X, and a first in our classes, 30 X. Definitely a target to keep, I'd say!



Is It Summer, Fall, Or Winter?

 It seems we are having a taste of each every week, but that cold weather is coming and will settle in for a while. Listen to these. They are as good as you will hear, period instruments, playing the music as it was written.


Friday, November 12, 2021

Weekend Steam: British Railways Garratts

 Garratts seem a bit odd to us in the U.S.A., but we have also seen videos of this style of locomotive in Australia. Good One, Merle!


Scrape Early, Scrape Often!

Boy Oh Boy do we have deer activity this fall. All the paths we walk have active scrapes, and saplings are being  rubbed to death. Yesterday the bucks started making daylight appearances, so they are getting stupid just as the weather is turning perfect for hunting. 

 
Even a neophyte hunter can find the scrapes all over our woods.


Another,

And another!


 The buck making this line of scrapes is pulling out all the stops and he left a big old calling card on this one. Whatever works, I guess!

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Deer And More


Trail cameras are entertaining us around the clock. Our phones alert us at every photo, and often several happen in the night.
 

That is Mean Jean and Sammy, our barn cats. They are shut in every night to avoid coyotes. 

Surprisingly, I have seen the big deer in person this fall, but only the less mature ones on camera. They are pretty.

Neighbor dog that visits regularly and leaves when we speak to him.

Needs to grow another couple years.

This one is a bit bigger and looking impressive.


 Turkey hens raised some good clutches this year. They parade around the yard regularly, but don't tolerate dogs like the resident deer families. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Never Done Making Wood

That is about one week's worth of firewood when we are running one stove around the clock.

Here is about three week's worth of wood.  We run two stoves when the temps go down into the twenties, and the basement stove's wood is all stacked down below. We have enough stacked at the house now to make it to Christmas, and about a month or more as reserve in the barn, so we need about three more months to make it to the end of April. We are having good weather for cutting, so the stacks will keep growing.

 

Stumps

 Stumps and tree tops are of little interest to most, I think, but foresters look at them and pay attention to them. Stumps show you the recent history of timber, information that we need when figuring out what has gone on, and how to plan for the future. Here's one little bit. Trees in the red oak group decay much faster than trees in the white oak group. This stump is a black oak, cut nine years ago. It looks about the same as a white oak stump would look after thirty-five or forty years. The annual rings in stumps will show you how fast your timber is able to grow on a site, too, and you can see in those rings when disturbances happened in the past. Foresters are easily amused.



Monday, November 8, 2021

Sunday, November 7, 2021

A Little Bit Of Heaven

 We brought a load of ash out of the woods and paused for a while to look at some of the trees we've planted. Then we went back to the house to split and stack that wood. Back To The Old Grind!


Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Down To 31° Tonight!

 We're done bringing in the last of the garden produce. These are the last habaneros.



Excitement In Bugtussle

We are easily amused out here in the country. The electric co-op was installing some new poles and put on a good show for us yesterday. The mailman had to wait a bit, but they were able to let him through in a few minutes.


 

Monday, November 1, 2021

Tuesday Torque: 1929 12-24 Hart Parr Belting Up

 Wouldn't you love to have a little Hart Parr like this one? You gotta love the sound of the exhaust. Little scenes like this one where the exhibitors are belting up make engine shows special. Thanks for spotting it, Merle!


Sunday, October 31, 2021

Dance Macabre, By Saint-Saens, Arranged By Liszt, Played by Horowitz

Dropping Dead Ones, One, Two, Three!

 Susan and I planted this spot in 1976, and it does feel a bit funny seeing trees you planted that are now sawlogs. These died last year, and we already have wood from the first drop in the stove. It is burning great.


Back To The Old Grind!

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

We Are Loaded With Free Heat


 Dead ash trees are scattered throughout our timber. I will never get it all cut and split before it spoils, but it really is easy pickings. 

Walk Quietly


He's pretty, but needs to survive another year or two. I saw a real big 'un the other day and didn't have a camera with me. The mama and her twins are still hanging around the yard every day. I hope they can keep their heads down.



 

Morning Light Show


 

Monday, October 25, 2021

Tuesday Torque: Big Associated Engine

 There is a calming effect from listening to a big hit-and-miss engine idling. There is a bit of confusion. The title says 6 HP, the tag on the engine says 12 Mule Team, so make your best guess. Thanks, Merle! I love the panting and the Snort of intake.


Sunday, October 24, 2021

Bow Season Is In, Firearm Season Coming Soon

 Bow hunters are in the woods now, and from experience we know that they sneak in on us. We will be marking our boundaries in hopes of discouraging some of the trespassers and to make prosecutions more of a sure thing. I saw many deer while I was out today. There are two in this photo, a buck who has just bedded down so only an ear is visible, and the doe who is remaining attentive.


The need to discourage trespassers never seems to end, and this year we have someone in the neighborhood has become an outfitter booking hunts. We want to make sure he is not putting hunters on our acreage. Back To The Old Grind!


Saturday, October 23, 2021

Weekend Steam II: Little Engines!

 Merle picked out some good video of model locos up close where you can see lots of neat action. Thanks, Merle!


Friday, October 22, 2021

Weekend Steam: Bulleid Southern Railway Strange Locomotive

 Merle found one that I have never heard of. British railways were nationalized after WW II, and they did some odd things. Thank You Merle!


Deer Like Sweet Potatoes!

 We took down one side of the garden fence, and this morning, most of the leaves had been eaten from the sweet potato vines. Deer like beans even more, and you can't garden without a way to keep deer out. We cut the last of the okra this morning.



Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Susan Is Still Canning!

Susan got a good deal on Top Round Roast and has been canning for two days. Now she will be looking for deals on pork and ham.


Tuesday, October 19, 2021

First Fire, Fall 2021

 The house was getting pretty cool every night, and today the sun didn't shine right away. We lit her up so we could take off our jackets in the house. Hickory smoke has a wonderful smell. Jack spent the evening lying in front of the stove.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Always The Ant!

 

A friend called about a mushroom. From the description it sounded like a giant puffball, and it was. She wanted nothing to do with a mushroom new-to-her, and gave it to Susan. It's the biggest one we have seen. Susan went to work right away and cooked each slice lightly on both sides, separated them with parchment paper, and put them in the freezer.



Winter is coming, don't be like the grasshopper. Back To The Old Grind!

Weekend Steam II: Please Read The Steam Engine Guide, and Please Use A Tripod

 This video is worth wading through just to see what may be a Stanley Steamer engine, but my gosh, you may need a Dramamine. You gotta wonder why they are not warming the engine up properly by blowing out the steam chests and cylinders without locking hydraulically. Anyone wanting to get into steam engines should read Prof. P.S. Rose's Steam Engine Guide, find an old man who has run engines, and nowadays you can also find steam schools associated with many of the shows around the country. Thanks for spotting, Merle! 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Weekend Steam: Stack Talk With An English Accent

 The brief writeup on the video says this is an an 1874 engine, and I think it is that old. Fowler built these for plowing, and he was developing his engines in the 1860s. Over on the American side of the ocean, early traction engines didn't grow to large sizes until the wind stacker was invented for threshing machines. The older machines with web stackers required less horsepower, and the wind stackers were a dividing line in American traction engines. Anyhow, this Fowler engine has obviously been overhauled and maintained, and it can really talk. I wish the numbers were published so we could see the horsepower this engine is producing. Thanks, Merle, for spotting!


Thursday, October 14, 2021

Took A Walk In The Woods Today

I visited the remains of an old friend in the woods today and found that a nice young tree is growing from the stump. That Is A Joy! Time flies! Susan and I watched this red oak for years, visiting it every time we were up in the north end. We should have named it sooner! Anyway, I am thinking that it was a stump sprout, so it would have been 70-plus years when it was cut in 1940, and now it is growing again. How many cycles of stump sprouting has this tree had? No way to know, but if it survives wind and weather, the next time Ralph is harvested it will be from roots well over 200 years old.

 Susan and I have plenty to do in our timber. We have CRP tree plantings due for thinning, an old shortleaf pine plantation that needs prepped and burned, plus thinning in the timber stand you see in this video. Oh, autumn olive and bush honeysuckle need to be killed...


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Brittle Tree Demonstrates The Importance Of Your Hard Hat!

 This shingle oak is dry and brittle! Watch the spears fall out of the top when this baby goes over. We will be making wood tomorrow and stacking this one at the house. I watched the seconds tick by, and from the time I turned to escape until the first spear dropped in was four seconds. A small limb dropped in at six and a half seconds, and a really hot spear comes in at seven seconds. Don't stand around watching the tree fall, because part it may be falling on you!


Sunday, October 10, 2021

Mystery Solved!

 Occasionally, but often enough I think about it, I would get a whiff of freshly cracked hickory nut while out in timber. I could never figure out why I would catch that smell, and it has bugged me for many years. It was usually fleeting, but unmistakable. I finally found the solution. This year we have a bumper crop of hickory nuts in the yard, and that means lots of hickory hulls on the ground. We have been raking them up so we can scoop them up and get them on the burn pile. We found that when they are damp after a rain and the humidity is up, you get that smell off of a pile of hulls. Fleeting, but definitely there. What will we figure out next? Back To The Old Grind!



Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Susan Said "No."


 We could have had this nice groundhog for the freezer, or maybe turned it into groundhog stew and canned it, but Susan wasn't interested. It's been a long time since I have skinned a groundhog and I was happy to leave it alone.

Neat Printing Method At Old Threshers, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa

 This popped up on YouTube, and it is neat as can be!


Monday, October 4, 2021

Fall Garden Bounty


Susan's garden is winding down, but fresh vegetables are still coming out every day. The Lazy Housewife beans were disappointing until recently when they have been producing. The Rattlesnake beans were great producers and we will definitely plant those again. We kept the deer out of the garden OK, but the rabbits were a daily feature. They worked hard on the sweet potatoes. We didn't have sweet corn, so raccoons were no problem. Susan sowed beets after the potatoes were dug, but a heavy rain wiped them out. The okra is just about done, but Susan has a bunch of that cut, dipped in cornmeal, and in the freezer.

350 HP Fairbanks Startup

 There's some good narrative in this video. Usually at shows you see them start up and run engines with no explanation, so this is a good one to watch and listen. Thanks for the pick, Merle!


Sunday, October 3, 2021

Habanero Hot Zone!

 We have dried down the habaneros and are turning them into dust for seasoning in the kitchen and at the table. This stuff is definitely great for your circulation! Keep yourself upwind while processing habaneros!


Back To The Old Grind!

Friday, October 1, 2021

Weekend Steam II: Midwest Old Threshers 1987, Steam Traction Engines

 This video showed up on our YouTube feed tonight, and we had to take a look because we were there in 1987. It starts off giving me a glimpse of Stanley Mauser, and old friend and steam engineer. He shows up again briefly near the end of the video. We saw Otto Zwicki's little steam engine with a bunch of whistles, and at the 17:12 mark you will see Mr. Oberman's Port Huron engine. I'm helping out on the steering wheel and you will see a young Zeke at the 17:22 mark, riding on the back of the engine. Pretty neat, and totally unexpected.


Weekend Steam: Pocahantas Glory Volume 8 Preview

 This video is a great one for an advertisement. I think it is a stand-alone, but if you want to purchase the full video, the web address is listed at the end of the video, and in the description if you click it over to YouTube. Thanks for the pick, Merle!

Preview of Pocahontas Glory Vol. 8, a new 71 minute DVD of Norfolk & Western steam railroading in the 1950's. Order item 011.7 from herronrail.com

October 1 Tomatoes!

 Sauce, and a couple of nice slicers!




Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Were The Tacos Delivered??

 The news hacks tend to ignore or totally miss important details. I kept seeing stryofoam takeout food containers in photos and videos from Del Rio, so I went looking on Google Earth. There is a taco shop just a block from the river, and I have a pretty good hunch that the "immigrants" were making regular trips back and forth. Is it not a problem when illegal aliens can hop back and forth across the border for takeout tacos?



Monday, September 27, 2021

Tuesday Torque: Disappearing Power Plants

 Towns all over the country had their own power plants in the not-too-distant past. The government, through the EPA has been pushing them out and beating them down, and there are not many left. Our little county seat in Hamilton County has a power plant with big Fairbanks engines, and they are used occasionally when the big transmission lines fail. The county board is talking about getting rid of it. Holy Cow. You can't pull electricity out of a hat. Thanks for a great pick, Merle!


Sunday, September 26, 2021

Elderberry Potion Time

 Elderberries are loaded with flavanoids, which are good immune system builders, so Susan has been processing berries into juice and preserving it to use over the next year. We don't have an elderberry thresher. Susan freezes the berries in a paper grocery bag, then shakes it up real good to separate the berries from the stems. We will be planting Sambucus cuttings next spring and may have to improve our processing in a few years.  Back To The Old Grind!


Weekend Steam II: Nevada State Railroad Museum

 Great one, Merle. Thank You. The old fashioned engines with a slide valve would look just right in your back yard. 


Saturday, September 25, 2021

Dead Hickory, One For The Wood Pile!

 

Here's another dead hickory for the wood pile. Look your dead ones over carefully and make sure you have enough solid wood to make a successful drop. Also look overhead for branches that may break or dislodge and mitigate accordingly. 

Thursday, September 23, 2021

This Has Been A Big Bird Year

 We hoot with our barred owls nearly every night, we watched baby buzzards grow up, a couple friends bagged gobblers last Spring, and now the Turkey Boys' Club marches around the house every day. 


A flock of geese flew in on the first day of Autumn, and when reviewing the video I see a couple of turkeys slipping through the trees on the far side of the pond. We saw a heron poking around in the shallows today, and turkey vultures from up north are heading south over us every day.


Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Driving The Dogs Nuts!

 Jack nearly caught this little guy, and then the squirrel sat up there and teased the dogs.


Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Andersonville On The RioGrande

 Henry Wirz dithered. Supplies were practically non-existent. Crowding and filth did what they do. The prisons on both sides of that conflict were terrible, but we remember Andersonville because of a novel, and the photos and records compiled at the end of the war. 

                                         
Shebangs. The trademark shelters of Andersonville. There is food and water, and there are porta-pots, but the administration is dithering. The Rio Grande is not a good place to be bathing and washing clothes. Crowding and filth can still do their thing. Keep watching. This could come to a neighborhood near you. 
 

Monday, September 20, 2021

Tuesday Torque: Prairie Tractors At Rollag

 These beasts turned a lot of ground and threshed a lot of wheat. It's well worth the trip to see these machines in person.


Sunday, September 19, 2021

So, What Happens To Those Soybeans?

The soybean crop is being harvested now, and Susan got to take a ride in the combine. 

 

What happens to those beans when they leave the farm? That is one of those things that most of us never see, even though the beans have always been part of our lives. We know there is oil, and meal, but mostly we don't see what happens.  Here's a little look at the way soybeans are processed. More of a press than a grind, but it's close enough. Back To The Old Grind!

Friday, September 17, 2021

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Okra Strong

 The garden is coming to an end soon, but the okra is not ready to quit. The bit of rain we had the other day has turned it on again!



Monday, September 13, 2021

Tuesday Torque: Swedish Krimo 35 HP Oil Engine

 Spinning this engine on a cold day is a workout. Thanks for spotting, Merle! Does it make you cringe, watching this engine run on for several minutes with no water in the jacket. I get downright twitchy about it. Two stroke engines fire every revolution and that iron can get hot in a hurry. Hit and Miss engines can run slow for quite a while with no water, what with air being pulled in and out of the exhaust as they coast. Four strokes can run a bit, but two strokes will get hot in a hurry. Anyway, it's an impressive engine, even if the guy made me nervous.  I hope his head gasket is OK. 


Sunday, September 12, 2021

An Easy One For Friends

 A long-time friend asked us to look at a dead blue spruce. They were thinking about using a ladder and a battery powered chainsaw, and you know how we feel about mixing ladders and chainsaws. It was easy. It leaned a bit toward the house, but not enough to be a hazard. A front opening, a bore cut to make the hinge 3/4" thick, and out the back, then an easy push over. We also cut some big dead branches off their old trees and pruned up a Bradford pear that had interfering branches. We chunked it all up and they picked up the pieces. Saw is the Husky 550 XP.  The weather is cooling down and we will be lighting the upstairs stove in a month, so I see more wood cutting in the future. Back To The Old Grind!


Saturday, September 11, 2021

Weekend Steam II: Steam Turbine Loco Pulling A Timber Train!

 No Chugging, but neat as heck! Thank You, Merle, for your picks!

PS: Merle sent another link. Go to Sweden to see the only turbine locos in captivity.


Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Decimated By Squash Bugs

 We are going to move our squash patch next year, and we will be more aggressive in fighting the bugs.


The Psalmist Predicts A Bummer Decade...

 Make it to 70 and the next ten years will suck. Then you die. Not gonna highlight that one!

10 The days of our lives are seventy years;
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;
For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

Monday, September 6, 2021

Tuesday Torque: A Few Of The Gas Engines At Rollag This Year.

 Propforward1000 is a small YouTube channel with some very good views of engines at the Labor Day weekend show at Rollag. Click over and subscribe to help a small YouTuber!


SUV RVing, Tristan, Cassie, and Bowser Show Where You Should Go Right Now!

 September-early October is the prime time for a Yellowstone visit. When we visited many years ago, the vendor stores shut down around the first of October, so check that out when planning your trip, and supply yourself accordingly. Small crowds in September make the trip special. 


Sunday, September 5, 2021

Weekend Steam III: Because It's A Three Day Weekend! Greenfield Village

 We haven't been to the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village for more than thirty years, and it is good to see that it is still going strong. Visit Online Here. And take a gander at one of the locomotives in this little video. Thanks for the link, Merle!


Monday's Coming!

 

 If you work for a bank or for the giverment, you can leave the belt off. Otherwise, it's Back To The Old Grind!

Friday, September 3, 2021

Weekend Steam: Puffing Billy Railway, Australia

 Visit the website HERE, to read all about it, and then enjoy the video. Thank You, Merle for spotting!


Thursday, September 2, 2021

....And The Little Gray Squirrel Says...

 He's a squacker, isn't he? I think there must have been a snake that he was seeing from on high.


Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Soot In The Flues

One of the steps in firing up your engine is cleaning the flues before you light the fire, fill the grease cups and refill the lubricator. Every engine at every show has its flues cleaned every day before firing up. Labor Day Weekend means two of the biggest shows in the country are back in business for our pleasure; Midwest Old Threshers at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and Western Minnesota Steam Threshers at Rollag, Minnesota. Both are well worth your time, and figure on spending at least two days at either one. Both of these shows have large numbers of steam traction engines, early gas engines, antique tractors, sawmilling, threshing, and a steam railroad. This brief video was shot at Rollag in 2019.


Brassman Bart: Cottontop

 Ben is still in Summer Re-Runs, but they are all good ones. 


Friday, August 27, 2021

Weekend Steam: Lartigue Steam Monorail

 Merle, this is a new one for me. I have never heard of this contraption.  It looks like an interesting concept, but not suited for the motive force at the time. Thanks Merle, for spotting this one!


Union Pacific Big Boy Schedule, Saturday August 28, SW Illinois!

 Saturday is the day if you live in eastern Missouri or Southern Illinois to see the Big Boy steaming up the river to St. Louis. Here's the schedule and the link (Click The Schedule.) to the UP site. Note that times are Central Time. No mention of Standard or Daylight Saving. Assume you should be there early if you go, so you don't miss it.


I studied Google Earth and I think I have spotted a good vantage point for photos and video out in the country, and maybe away from crowds. Here are screen shots to help you find it, not far northwest of Praire DuRocher. Just northwest of the town turn off of Bluff Road onto Goose Lake Road and go until you are on the other side of the tracks. You will have the sun slightly at your back and the river bluffs for a backdrop. Good Luck and be sure to share your videos!







Thursday, August 26, 2021

Now That's A Go-Buggy!


This is really riding in style. I always enjoy seeing homemade vehicles at engine shows. Golf carts mess up photos and videos. Creative buggies are a bonus.