Saturday, January 30, 2021

Weekend Steam 2: Ride The Ravenglass

 This video was shot in 1963, but you can still ride this railroad today.  It comes highly recommended by Engineering Johnson, who always seems to track down trains in his travels.  Thank You, EJ!

2021 Valentine Festival! That's Amore, Dean Martin

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

2021 Valentine Festival! Everybody Loves Somebody, Dean Martin

Brassman Bart: Cotton Top Rag, March and Two-Step

Brassman Bart's Comments: "This week's musical offering is Cotton Top Rag, written by Will Huff, published in 1916 by Fillmore Music House, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Never heard of Will Huff? Actually, you have, but not by this name. Will Huff is an alias for a famous composer of that era, and this will be the basis of this week's trivia questions. The first question is obvious: 1. What was Will Huff's real name? 2. Why did he use an alias? 3. How many works did he publish? You get bragging rights if you get all three right.
This is listed as a march and two step, which were quite popular in the era, and this one is not terribly difficult to perform, and would be a good number for a school band or city band. The music is available as a free download at, and is fun to perform and fun to listen to. All parts are performed by me, using Audacity multi track recording program. Parts covered are solo, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd cornet, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trombone, baritone, tuba; percussion is covered using low cowbell for the bass drum part, high cowbell and tambourine for the snare drum part, and cymbal and triangle. Please watch the video to the end to hear the answers to last week's trivia questions about Karl King's True Blue march, and please subscribe to my channel. Thank you. Brassman Bart"

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

2021 Valentine Festival! Butterfly Mornings And Wildflower Afternoons

 "Welcome to Cable Springs!"

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

                                     Click Picture For Link To GunBroker.  Sold for $1325.00

From Ruger's AuctionPage:

 "We have another stainless Ruger® GP100® 357 Magnum caliber, double-action revolver up for auction this week! The serial number is 174-68988, and the roll mark date is June 4, 2002. This revolver has never been sold. The GP100® Revolver was introduced in 1986 and “Designed as the ultimate .357 Magnum for police and personal defense use.” This particular model, KGPF-340, was introduced as “New for ‘89” in the 1989 Ruger Firearms Catalog. The revolver features a 4 inch barrel with a short ejector rod shroud; fixed sights; a round butt cushioned grip with walnut inserts; satin-polished stainless finish; and 6-shot cylinder. The revolver will be shipped in its original gray plastic box along with an original instruction manual and cable lock. The GP100 is being sold “as is,” and the purchaser assumes all liability for its safe and proper ownership, storage, use, and resale. The revolver is a part of the Ruger factory collection in Southport, Connecticut, and a certificate of Authenticity will be mailed to the winner of the auction.

PLEASE NOTE: The winner of this auction will be responsible for paying the Federal Excise Tax of $34.09."

This fine revolver will sell January 27, 2021 at 12:30 PM, EST.

Tuesday Torque: Gemmer, Like That Rare Coin... would see in magazine ads that was worth a fortune.  A Gemmer engine recently was sold in an online auction for nearly $80,000. It is in good excellent original condition, with a copper cooling tank and brass fuel tank. It  is a horizontal engine with two 30 inch flywheels, and about 4 horsepower.  I couldn't find a video of one just like it, but this video shows a vertical Gemmer. Go out and look under the junk in the corners of your barn just in case one of these is hiding there! These rare engines were built in Marion, Indiana.

Monday, January 25, 2021

2021 Valentine Festival! Cherish, The Association

Just One Month After Christmas, It's Burns' Birthday!

You all probably noticed that we posted a Robert Burns poem today. It's a good occasion for a little celebration, or an ornate one with kilts and bagpipes.  We are fresh out of sheep lungs, so no haggis for us, but we can still enjoy Robert Service's tale of daring on another Burns' night long ago.  I used to be able to recite this...

The Haggis of Private McPhee

"Hae ye heard whit ma auld mither's postit tae me?
It fair maks me hamesick," says Private McPhee.
"And whit did she send ye?" says Private McPhun,
As he cockit his rifle and bleezed at a Hun.
"A haggis! A HAGGIS!" says Private McPhee;
"The brawest big haggis I ever did see.
And think! it's the morn when fond memory turns
Tae haggis and whuskey -- the Birthday o' Burns.
We maun find a dram; then we'll ca' in the rest
O' the lads, and we'll hae a Burns' Nicht wi' the best."

"Be ready at sundoon," snapped Sergeant McCole;
"I want you two men for the List'nin' Patrol."
Then Private McPhee looked at Private McPhun:
"I'm thinkin', ma lad, we're confoundedly done."
Then Private McPhun looked at Private McPhee:
"I'm thinkin' auld chap, it's a' aff wi' oor spree."
But up spoke their crony, wee Wullie McNair:
"Jist lea' yer braw haggis for me tae prepare;
And as for the dram, if I search the camp roun',
We maun hae a drappie tae jist haud it doon.
Sae rin, lads, and think, though the nicht it be black,
O' the haggis that's waitin' ye when ye get back."

My! but it wis waesome on Naebuddy's Land,
And the deid they were rottin' on every hand.
And the rockets like corpse candles hauntit the sky,
And the winds o' destruction went shudderin' by.
There wis skelpin' o' bullets and skirlin' o' shells,
And breengin' o' bombs and a thoosand death-knells;
But cooryin' doon in a Jack Johnson hole
Little fashed the twa men o' the List'nin' Patrol.
For sweeter than honey and bricht as a gem
Wis the thocht o' the haggis that waitit for them.

Yet alas! in oor moments o' sunniest cheer
Calamity's aften maist cruelly near.
And while the twa talked o' their puddin' divine
The Boches below them were howkin' a mine.
And while the twa cracked o' the feast they would hae,
The fuse it wis burnin' and burnin' away.
Then sudden a roar like the thunner o' doom,
A hell-leap o' flame . . . then the wheesht o' the tomb.

"Haw, Jock! Are ye hurtit?" says Private McPhun.
"Ay, Geordie, they've got me; I'm fearin' I'm done.
It's ma leg; I'm jist thinkin' it's aff at the knee;
Ye'd best gang and leave me," says Private McPhee.
"Oh leave ye I wunna," says Private McPhun;
"And leave ye I canna, for though I micht run,
It's no faur I wud gang, it's no muckle I'd see:
I'm blindit, and that's whit's the maitter wi' me."
Then Private McPhee sadly shakit his heid:

"If we bide here for lang, we'll be bidin' for deid.
And yet, Geordie lad, I could gang weel content
If I'd tasted that haggis ma auld mither sent."
"That's droll," says McPhun; "ye've jist speakit ma mind.
Oh I ken it's a terrible thing tae be blind;
And yet it's no that that embitters ma lot --
It's missin' that braw muckle haggis ye've got."

For a while they were silent; then up once again
Spoke Private McPhee, though he whussilt wi' pain:
"And why should we miss it? Between you and me
We've legs for tae run, and we've eyes for tae see.
You lend me your shanks and I'll lend you ma sicht,
And we'll baith hae a kyte-fu' o' haggis the nicht."

Oh the sky it wis dourlike and dreepin' a wee,
When Private McPhun gruppit Private McPhee.
Oh the glaur it wis fylin' and crieshin' the grun',
When Private McPhee guidit Private McPhun.
"Keep clear o' them corpses -- they're maybe no deid!
Haud on! There's a big muckle crater aheid.
Look oot! There's a sap; we'll be haein' a coup.
A staur-shell! For Godsake! Doun, lad, on yer daup.
Bear aff tae yer richt. . . . Aw yer jist daein' fine:
Before the nicht's feenished on haggis we'll dine."

There wis death and destruction on every hand;
There wis havoc and horror on Naebuddy's Land.
And the shells bickered doun wi' a crump and a glare,
And the hameless wee bullets were dingin' the air.
Yet on they went staggerin', cooryin' doun
When the stutter and cluck o' a Maxim crept roun'.
And the legs o' McPhun they were sturdy and stoot,
And McPhee on his back kept a bonnie look-oot.
"On, on, ma brave lad! We're no faur frae the goal;
I can hear the braw sweerin' o' Sergeant McCole."

But strength has its leemit, and Private McPhun,
Wi' a sab and a curse fell his length on the grun'.
Then Private McPhee shoutit doon in his ear:
"Jist think o' the haggis! I smell it from here.
It's gushin' wi' juice, it's embaumin' the air;

It's steamin' for us, and we're -- jist -- aboot -- there."
Then Private McPhun answers: "Dommit, auld chap!
For the sake o' that haggis I'll gang till I drap."
And he gets on his feet wi' a heave and a strain,
And onward he staggers in passion and pain.
And the flare and the glare and the fury increase,
Till you'd think they'd jist taken a' hell on a lease.
And on they go reelin' in peetifu' plight,
And someone is shoutin' away on their right;
And someone is runnin', and noo they can hear
A sound like a prayer and a sound like a cheer;
And swift through the crash and the flash and the din,
The lads o' the Hielands are bringin' them in.

"They're baith sairly woundit, but is it no droll
Hoo they rave aboot haggis?" says Sergeant McCole.
When hirplin alang comes wee Wullie McNair,
And they a' wonnert why he wis greetin' sae sair.
And he says: "I'd jist liftit it oot o' the pot,
And there it lay steamin' and savoury hot,
When sudden I dooked at the fleech o' a shell,
And it -- dropped on the haggis and dinged it tae hell."

And oh but the lads were fair taken aback;
Then sudden the order wis passed tae attack,
And up from the trenches like lions they leapt,
And on through the nicht like a torrent they swept.
On, on, wi' their bayonets thirstin' before!
On, on tae the foe wi' a rush and a roar!
And wild to the welkin their battle-cry rang,
And doon on the Boches like tigers they sprang:
And there wisna a man but had death in his ee,
For he thocht o' the haggis o' Private McPhee.


A Red, Red Rose, Robert Burns

 O my Love is like a red, red rose

That's newly sprung in June;

O my Love is like the melody 

That's sweetly played in tune.

So fair art thou, my bonnie lass,

So deep in love am I;

And I will love thee still, my dear,

Til all the seas gang dry.

Til all the seas gang dry, my dear,

And the rocks melt wi' the sun;

I will love thee still, my dear, 

While the sands of life shall run.

And fare thee well, my only love!

And fare thee well awhile!

And I will come again, my love

Though it were ten thousand mile.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

January Activity...

 Take a nap with a dog on your lap.

                                                              Back To The Old Grind!

2021 Valentine Festival! Blue Eyes, Elton John

Friday, January 22, 2021

Monday, January 18, 2021

Tuesday Torque: Pulling With Single Cylinder Lanz Bulldogs!

 Gosh, this actually gave me an adrenalin rush!  Merle, this is a great one!  Thank You!

The bonus video shows a young man firing up a baby Bulldog. That will build your arms!

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Best Laid Plans

                                                                            All Set!

                                ....And Gravity Loses.  Oh Well, Back To The Old Grind!

2021 Valentine Festival! My Dancing Lady, Rudy Vallee

History: Throwed Rolls & A Forgotten Civil War Fort

 It's been more than thirty years since we ate at Lambert's. Need to go again!

Friday, January 15, 2021

2021 Valentine Festival: Fever, Peggy Lee

Weekend Steam: Banovici Coal Mine, Bosnian Narrow Gauge Steam

 Merle found another great one! I love seeing steam doing real work and not just looking pretty for the tourists.  Thank You, Merle!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Valentine Festival! Ain't We Got Fun?!

Seventy Years Ago, Mary Frances Housley Was Called To Work

Miss Housley, "Frankie," was a stewardess for National Airlines.  She was twenty-four years old and had been a stewardess for just four months. Frankie was called on January 13, 1951, and was on Flight 83, a DC-4, from Newark to Philadelphia on the 14th. Just after 2 P.M. they approached Philadelphia. There was a pilot, co-pilot and Frankie as the only crew, with twenty-five passengers. Conditions were near minimum and the runway was covered in ice. The plane went off the end of the runway, bridging a deep ditch and the left wing was torn open, spilling aviation gas. The fire started immediately. Frankie opened the door and saw the ten foot drop to the ground.  She could have left, but went back in the cabin and began bringing people out who weren't making it on their own. She made ten trips taking people to the door and getting them out of the cabin. She went in an eleventh time, and was found later with four month old Brenda Joyce in her arms. There were four other women and another infant who also did not get out. There were 21 survivors. You have to wonder how many people are alive today because of Frankie's bravery that day. She was called The Bravest Woman In America by MacKinlay Kantor and others, and I think that title is still solid today. What a true hero!  She is buried in Lynnhurst Cemetery, Knoxville, Tennessee.

Brassman Bart: Fairest Of The Fair, by John Philip Sousa


Notes From The Brassman: "Let's try a little trivia contest this week. This week's music is a Sousa march, The Fairest of the Fair, composed in 1908. I have two questions, and please let me know if you think you know the answers, by leaving them in the comments at the bottom of the screen. The first question is for what event did Mr. Sousa compose this for, and the second question is what was his inspiration for writing this? Next week, I will tell you the answers. Whoever gets it right, gets bragging rights for their knowledge of music history, and if you need to look up the answer, that's ok, it's a learning experience. Producing the audio for this video required me to use all 18 tracks available with Audacity, including the metronome track. Most parts were played using my 1912 vintage euphonium, which you see in the video. Tuba part was played on my 1924 vintage Climax brand American made tuba, and percussion was covered with cowbell, tambourine, triangle, and cymbal. I believe we played this in the Air Force Band that I performed with way back in the 1970's, and have also played it in the Iowa Military Veterans' Band more recently. Just to see how many people read my notes to the end, here is one more question: I added a part that J.P. Sousa didn't write in the original version. Tell me what part I added, and you will have expert bragging rights. All parts are performed by me, using Audacity multi track virtual recorder. Please enjoy this video, please like, please share, and please subscribe to my channel. Thank you. Brassman Bart"

Monday, January 11, 2021

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Up The Chimney They Go

                                                                  Back To The Old Grind!

Friday, January 8, 2021

Weekend Steam: Anybody Speak German?

Thank You, Merle! Great Pick!

 Am 9. Februar 1996 geht die Stromlinienlok 01 1102 auf Lastprobefahrt auf großer Runde. Meiningen, Eisenach, Neudietendorf, Arnstadt, Oberhof und zurück nach Meiningen. Geplant war die Zulassung für 150 km/h Höchstgeschwindigkeit. Zwischen Eisenach und Neudietendorf werden kurzeitig 167 km/h erreicht. Viel Spaß beim Anschauen. Hier mehr zu Stromlinienloks:

On February 9, 1996 the streamlined locomotive 01 1102 goes on a load test drive on a large tour. Meiningen, Eisenach, Neudietendorf, Arnstadt, Oberhof and back to Meiningen. It was planned to be approved for a top speed of 150 km / h. Between Eisenach and Neudietendorf, 167 km / h are briefly reached. Have fun watching. More about streamlined locomotives here:

Monday, January 4, 2021

Tuesday Torque: Sputter, Choke, Flames, Smoke!

 Giant diesel generator engine was from the Auteuil racecourse "hippodrome" (france)

Moteur Duvant turbo diesel 9VOS 1600CV, 330 ltr, 34 tonnes, 9 cylinders, 4 valves/cyl, 6 meters long.

Thank You, Merle!

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Few Do So Well For So Long

W.T. Rawleigh was born in 1870 and started out making ink for his schoolmates at age 15. He went into business at 18. By 1915 there were about 2000 Rawleigh men selling his products around the country. We have used Rawleigh's Salve forever, it seems. It is great on chapped hands and lips, and softens the bottom of your feet. A veterinarian who got in my truck one day picked up my can that lived on the truck's seat and remarked that you "could heal just about anything with this."  Mr. Rawleigh passed away in 1951 and  his likeness has recently been taken from the familiar can. 

 The tin of salve now holds 1/2 ounce less of the product, but the can lid now comes off with a twist, and that is a nice improvement. Save those old tins; they might be valuable collector items in another century or two! We should all do as well as W.T. Rawleigh.  Back To The Old Grind!

Friday, January 1, 2021

Weekend Steam: Did You Get A Train Set For Christmas?

 Thank You, Merle! We love it! 

Here you go, Zeke!

How Does A Barberchair Happen?

 Here is a great example of a barberchair, and the guys cutting this tree had no idea it was coming. There are a couple of factors that contributed. The opening in front of the hinge was too narrow. The opening should allow the tree to rotate downward on the hinge nearly to the ground. When the butt of the log hits the stump, the tree will stop motion, rip the hinge apart, or the log will split lengthwise, making a barberchair. You will often see long fibers on big stumps, and that is caused by the narrow opening. The other problem was that the loggers were aggressively pounding wedges in the back cut while the hinge wood was too thick. They may have started the lengthwise crack, but the tree started over with a hinge that was much too thick, and then the opening closed. 

Make your face in front of the hinge at 70 to 90 degrees, make your hinge the right thickness before cutting the backstrap, use wedges to stabilize the tree, and then to tip it over. Know your escape routes if your plan falls apart.