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!

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Peter Jackson's Military Treasures

 Pour a cup of coffee and take a trip back in time.

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.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

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.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Weekend Steam II: British Steam BR Standard Class 9F

 We are gaining education from the videos you find Merle. Thank You!

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.


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 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

Big Four "30" Tractor, The Giant Horse

 You gotta love the sound of a big four cylinder tractor engine! Thank You, Merle!

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!

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Two Easy Ash Drops

Weekend Steam II: Pocahantas Glory #7, N & W Steam

 1956, I was starting school at Franklin Center. The Milwaukee Road was already dieselized and I wasn't seeing any steam. Thank You, Merle!

Thursday, November 4, 2021

The Key To Birthday Bliss...

 ...comes from a Forestry Suppliers catalog?

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!