Friday, October 7, 2022

Crankin' It Up: Gid Tanner And His Skillet Lickers

I haven't posted a new phonograph video in ages. Brat died, and YouTube is much stricter on copyright enforcement than they were in the early days of posting, so most of my records have been taken down. This record, from 1927 is a surprise. Gid Tanner was a popular musician, but nobody has spoken up, so maybe Columbia hasn't kept up the copyright on this performance. If I hear from YouTube that this video violates a copyright, I will take it down, so listen now, and enjoy!

Why Did Someone Hang The Bucket On A Tree?

 We got this patch of timber nearly forty years ago, and I pass this hickory tree frequently. It was a sapling when someone hung the bucket overhead, and now the bail goes nearly through the middle. Chomp, Chomp!

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

It's Good To Be Lucky

We are finishing up mowing for this year. We neglected mowing much of the yard this year and are taking care of the outlying parts now. I got lucky. If I had mowed during the summer, I would have run right into this hornet nest. It was right at head level when driving the tractor. That would have been a bad time for sure.  


Driveway Activity

 We get alerts regularly on our phones to tell us that a photo came in. Turkeys are fun, the coyote is no surprise, but we don't like him.





                                                                  Neighbor Dogs


                                                             Geezer and Gal


Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Tuesday Torque: Go Buggies

Many Thanks, Merle for sending this one! Manure spreader wheels and exposed sprockets and chains are a must when building a buggy for touring show grounds. 

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Corn Sheller and Feed Grinder, Rollag, Minnesota

 Vintage corn sheller and Letz feed grinder, plus two engines belted up to do the work. This was at the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion, Rollag, Minnesota.

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Weekend Steam II: Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Model Building, 2022

 I sent Merle a few emails while I was on the road at Rollag for the big steam show, and he sent me a link for the model display there. Good thing, because every time I went to that building, the place was crowded, and I never got in! Thanks, Merle!

Friday, September 30, 2022

Thursday, September 29, 2022

How Do You Roll Over A Big Engine?

 This Worthington pumping engine easily qualifies to be called "Big." It takes leverage and patience to prepare big engines for starting. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Twin City 40 Prairie Tractor

 Prairie tractors came in amazing varieties. Every make, and every variation is distinctive, and Twin City tractors are big bruisers. They upright, inline engines, (Note the 6 cylinder model next to the 40 in the lineup!) and a radiator that is quite similar to the Aultman Taylor tractors.

Traveling Forge

 Have you ever wonder how repairs were made in the field for armies in the 19th Century? Wonder on more! The traveling forge is strangely absen from movies as far as I know, yet it was a critical need for armies on the move. 

Monday, September 26, 2022

Friday, September 23, 2022

Weekend Steam II: Newly Restored Reading And Northern T-1 2102

 Merle sent a great link for the newly restored 4-8-4 engine, and it is beautiful! Thanks for spotting, Merle!

Weekend Steam: The Smallest Railroad With The Heaviest Locomotives

 Go to Youngstown, Ohio this weekend for a special treat; ride on the J & L Narrow Gauge (2 feet) Railroad! This is a heritage railroad where you can ride behind an 0-4-0 steel hauling Porter locomotive. Read about it on  Facebook, and on the railroad's website: J&LRailroad.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Rollag Kinetics

 You keep your head on a swivel while looking around at steam shows. Something is always on hte move. Here are some of the sights at Rollag, Minnesota.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Shelling The Corn!

 Susan got to take a ride today while our farmer shelled corn. It is always a good time. Next will be the beans, then the second crop beans. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Monday, September 19, 2022

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Chopping Is Close To Grinding....

 This is the machine that will chop your ensilage and put it into the silo. This is a mystery to folks who have never been around a farm, so it is well worth watching. Keep your clothing and hands away from the moving parts!


Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Weekend Steam II: Engine 353 At Rollag!

 No charge to ride the train around the grounds at Rollag. Your gate fee takes you all the way! It is best to be there on Friday, and ride then, because the train will be packed Saturday and Sunday. 

Friday, September 16, 2022

Weekend Steam: Steamboat October Meet, 2012

 Here are some mighty fine boats to enjoy. Thank You, Merle for spotting! Lake Nockamixon Steamboat Meet, Lake Nockamixon, Bucks County, PA, October, 2012

Water Powered Workshop

The water wheel sings a lovely song as it turns, and it powers wood working equipment in the cabin. One of the fascinating displays at the Western Minnesota Threshers Reunion at Rollag, Minnesota.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch!

 Great interview with a great instructor! Many good takeaways in this video. "I buy my wife guns as good as mine, or better than mine, 'cause she may be the one that saves my life." 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

This Is The Way It Is!

 Plan Accordingly!

Tractor Driving Mixed Up With Suicide!

 The tag says Improved, but I don't know exactly what it was they improved. Not the muffler, for sure. This nasty two stroke tractor will bust your eardrums.  Not the murder part; this tractor still has that! Listen to the owner tell about it. Lug it down with a heavy load and the motor will reverse, cause the tractor to back up, and the driver is crushed between the tractor and the load. Sounds like a good one for static display!

Sunday, September 11, 2022

McCormick Sheller, Letz Feed Grinder

 The Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Show has more exhibitors than you can shake a stick at! You will wear out your feet in a few days and you will not see it all, so plan another trip. In this brief video you will see ear corn being run through a McCormick sheller, then the shelled corn is dumped into a Letz feed grinder. It makes for happy pigs and chickens. 

                                      Back To The Old Grind!

Historic Plowing Record!

 Kory Anderson's big Case 150 has successfully plowed with 50 bottoms in the ground! The steamer barely broke a sweat!

Weekend Steam II: Advance Rumely On The Sawmill!

This Advance Rumely provides some great stack talk for us to enjoy as the sawyer pulls through some big cottonwood logs. The edger provides some good sound effects, too! Rollag, Minnesota, September 4, 2022.

Friday, September 9, 2022

Weekend Steam: Advance Rumely 18 HP

 Kory Anderson, his brother and dad, brought this nice 18 HP engine to Rollag last week. The final bit of work they did before the show was to install a new crankshaft and pour new babbit bearings. Click the photo to enlarge you you can see the shiny new metal. This weekend in Andover SD, the Andersons are pulling 50 bottoms with Kory's Case 150.  I have seen one video already, so there will be some available to post soon. 

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Corncrib Capstan Winch

 I think this was used in a corn crib. It would be a perfect tool for lifting the front of a wagon to dump corn or wheat into the drag for a bucket elevator. The top unlatches so you can flip a line around it. Rig the line to lift from the ceiling to a snatch block and hook then back to the ceiling, and you pull with two lines.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Kerosene Annie!

 This unique Oil Pull prototype is one of the reasons I went to Rollag for Labor Day Weekend.

This post from WDAY tells you all about it! CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

You Never Know How TV Interviews Will Go

I was meandering through this roundhouse when I spotted a television reporter (Kevin Wallevand, WDAY TV) conducting an interview with a locomotive engineer, so I stopped and watched. This interview went on for at least ten minutes and there was plenty of good material. I looked it up on the 'net that evening, and saw neither hide nor hair of this accommodating engineer. Oh Well, that is how it goes. The reporter found another story that he liked better. CLICK HERE to see the story that made the news from the show grounds that day. It's good, too! Roll through the INFORUM posts on WDAY's website and you will find a couple more videos about the show at Rollag.


Tuesday Torque: Davis Pump Jack Engine

 I slipped off to a little steam show, and this beauty was the first thing I looked at. It is extremely rare.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, Part 1

Midwest Old Threshers, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, Labor Day Weekend!

 Here is a video from the early 1960's that is well worth watching. I recognize some of the men I see on engines, though I don't know their names. Stan Matthews brought Number 6 locomotive to Mt. Pleasant in 1960, and that year they ran it on a short track with chairs on flat cars, so this video was shot a year or two after that. Stan would be the guy at the throttle. You can ride behind Number 6 if you get yourself to Mt. Pleasant, Thursday through Labor Day.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Tuesday Torque: 2022 Pinckneyville Engine Show,

 by Someplace or Another. We did not go to Pinckneyville this year, so this video is great for us, to see familiar faces and engines. 

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Don't Miss This One!

 This auction is for a fine collection of primitives, and you could even go into the corn meal business!


Bob Smith sharing his milling knowledge, 2017.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Weekend Steam II: Your Chance To Buy An Engine!

 This auction is ending in two days and you might pick it up for around 50 grand. Read the description and be ready to do some boiler work. Many thanks to Merle for sending this one to us! CLICK HERE for the auction site. 

Friday, August 26, 2022

Weekend Steam: Lake Lucerne Paddle Wheeler "Schiller" Engine Room

 I should have included this video a few weeks back with the Lake Lucerne paddle wheeler, but it is well worth watching all by itself! Thank You, Merle!

Most Profitable Tree?

 I visit Quora every day and answer a few questions if I have something good to say. Someone asked recently, "What is the most profitable tree to grow?" Susan and I have had quite a bit of experience in growing trees, and we are heating with trees we planted, plus we have had a few timber sales on our ground. Trees that we planted are now sawlog size, and it causes a feeling of wonder to go out and walk through them. Anyhow, here is my answer to that question. It has had more than 50,000 views in a few months, and that is better than any audience I have on this blog!

This question could take a lot of writing, but I will compress it down. Find land with pole-size timber of good quality already established, and buy it for a reasonable price. Timber buyers don’t want it yet, and hunters don’t realize the potential, either. Work with the advice of a forester to thin your timber and turn those poles into sawlogs. Work with your forester to establish advance regeneration before you harvest. This can work if you will. I have seen dedicated landowners turn young white oak timber into valuable logs in 40 years, or about 1/3 of the total rotation. If you want to start from scratch, planting your trees, again, you must talk to your forester and plant trees that will work well on your site. A two layer approach can give you return on your investment if you start at a young enough age. I have seen people plant black walnuts and cottonwood on the same site. The cottonwoods jump up and make logs fast without hurting the walnuts. Harvest the cottonwoods when they are ready, and then continue working with the walnuts to turn them into valuable logs. Black oak and red oak make sawlogs in about 2/3 of the time of white oaks, so they can be used to double-crop your timber land. Talk To Your Forester! Have a good time!

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Fun, Like Mountain Climbing

 Ultralights, powered parachutes, and powered para-gliders are popular, and they look like a good time, but I make myself remember the old saying about mountain climbers. They get way up there, where they can hear the wind whistle through the holes in their head. I don't like ladders, either, but they are a necessary evil. Anyhow, this powered parachute has been flying from a neighbor's place, and yesterday there was a friend flying another machine as they toured the the neighborhood.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Hornet Emergency!

 We had a hornet emergency. We had to set up a dog pen under the back porch, and hornets had built a nest a few feet away. No time to be nice, or wait for winter, those critters had to be dealt with before they attacked a dog, or Susan or myself. You do what you gotta do.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Sooper Dooper Dog Yard Scooper!

I was holding the camera in my left hand, along with a dog on leash, so I was a bit awkward videoing this one.

These lightweight collapsible rakes probably would not handle all the leaf raking that we do, but they work great for cleaning up after our dogs. They work great for picking up the hickory nuts that fall in our yard, too. Check your local Dollar General Store. Back To The Old Grind!

Friday, August 19, 2022

Weekend Steam: Let's Take A Trip In A Side-Wheeler!

 This is another great one, Merle! Many Thanks!

The Mk IV Is Running!

I think the problems with my Mk IV are solved. When I first got it, it would stovepipe about every third round. I spotted a rough place that was grabbing lead and brass in the chamber, polished that out with valve grinding compound, and then it would stovepipe once or twice per magazine. 

I looked it over again and spotted another problem. The boss on the front end of the guide rod assembly is a stamped steel piece, and it was rough. A spot on it was making a drag mark at the top of the receiver tube, straight back from the bore. I took the spot off with a fine file, then worked it with a diamond hone, and finished with a 1200 grit diamond hone. I took it to Pistol League this week and ran two turns with it (50 plates) and it ran like a champ with no malfunctions.

Monday, August 15, 2022

Pick Your Sumac Berries Now!

                                                     Bringing Home The Berries!

Tuesday Torque: Real Power!

 Thank You, Merle! Winter will be here before you know it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Digital Canner Is A Game Changer!

 It does not hold as much as our old canner, but this summer the digital canner is a life saver. Susan has kept it busy while she recovers from hip surgeries, and the smaller batches fit the garden produce this year. She punches in the pressure and time, and then just has to listen for the beeps when the machine is done. Someone has to stay with the old one continually from start to finish. Susan has nearly filled all the available jars, and I have had to scrounge in the barn for more.

Babies Are Growing Up


Monday, August 8, 2022

Tuesday Torque: No Hydraulics Track Loader

 T7 Traxcavator, says the description. Many Thanks, Merle! Seems like old times watching the winch raise that bucket. 

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Grasshopper Mower Problems, Diagnosis And Repair!

Susan has already been mowing this evening with our Grasshopper. I think we got lucky fixing this. It would have cost us a pretty penny to have it trucked to the shop for diagnosis and repair.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Weekend Steam: Ivor Peters Steam In Scotland

 This one is great, Merle! Many Thanks!

Explain Situational Awareness Without Saying Situational Awareness!

 From Fox 11, Los Angeles, this interview shows us that Craig Cope, the gentleman who successfully defended his life against an armed robber, obviously has good situational awareness skills. Those skills kept him Left Of Bang. We should all do so well. 

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Planting Zucchini...

 We tore out the bush beans, tilled, and Susan is double cropping for zucchini and beets there. The turnips are in and they just got a nice rain shower. Those are peppers behind Susan, and okra by the fence.

This short video is a little shower that came over us the other day. We had threatening storms coming at us tonight, but they settled down and gave us a nice 3/10" with very little wind and only a bit of lightning.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Tater Harvest

 We dug the last of the potatoes, and now we have a total of three bushels from our little patch, all put away in the basement. Today I raked off all the vegetation, tilled it, and Susan sowed turnip seeds. Our rattlesnake pole beans are done. They all went down quickly, evidently with a mosaic virus. Susan is busy making tomato juice and salsa. The peppers are really coming on now. The varmint is still eating tomatoes every night. I should go out with a light before bed...but do not want to meet a skunk.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Tuesday Torque: Wood Burning Model A!

 Here's something I have heard of, but never seen. This is real green energy; we can always grow more wood! Thanks for finding this one, Merle!

Sunday, July 31, 2022


 We use short sections of rebar to tie up plants in the garden, and we use aluminum cans, plastic bottles and plastic cups on top to keep from poking out an eye. Red wasps like to build whenever we provide cover, so we have to think about that when working in the garden.


Back To The Old Grind!

Weekend Steam II: A Couple Of Fricks, One Steam And One Gasoline

 Thank You, Merle! The steam engine is done at about 50 seconds, and then pull the slider over to 4:45 for the gas tractor.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Weekend Steam: V-2 Marine Engine

 Al Berry's V-2 marine engine. This is a really neat little engine. It's reversible and has a feedwater pump! Nice pick, Merle!  Thank You!

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Ruger Mk IV, Thrill, Disappointment, And A Fix

I won this Mk IV Target model in a drawing and picked it up at a local gun store last week. I tried it out with ammo that has been running in my other Rugers and it stovepipe jammed every third round. I gave it a good brush out and cleaning with no improvement, so I took a close look in the chamber. There was some obvious metal buildup at the top of the chamber. I used a tight, oily patch with some valve grinding compound to smooth it, and tried it again. In three magazines I had only two stovepipes. I just polished it some more, and took it out again. After the second polishing with valve grinding compound, that spot is smooth, and I just ran three magazines of CCI Mini Mags with no malfunctions. The trigger pull from the factory is 3 3/4 lb, and the takedown is much easier than my Mk IIIs.


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Carnage In The Tomato Patch!

We have critters! We have seen a rabbit in the garden, but some little Baggins is eating tomatoes more than a foot off the ground, so we think the culprit is a squirrel. We have a lot of 'maters coming on, so we are OK, but we hope the rest of the family doesn't show up.

 In other garden news, our Rattlesnake beans are done for. They have what appears to be a mosaic virus, and they all died over a few days, in spite of rain and watering.  Aphids, leafhoppers, and stinkbugs all have piercing/sucking mouthparts, so it could be any or all of those pests. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Environmental Heroism

 If we're not certifiably green, we are at least certifiable. We were working down in the basement today and Susan asked for a longer pull chain on one of the lights, because she couldn't reach it. I had just changed the flapper valve on the basement toilet, so I fished the old flapper out of the trash, removed the plastic chain and metal hook, and put that back to use as a pull chain. Reduce, Recycle, Reuse. 

Monday, July 25, 2022

Tuesday Torque: 18 HP Olds Hit And Miss...

 ...from 1904! It looks like an easy starter, but I think it took some work to become that familiar. Thank You for the link, Merle!

Busy, Hot Weekend

It was hot, and the garden was really drying up. The beans were hurting, and we watered peppers, cucumbers, okra, beans, eggplants, and tomatoes. We picked a bunch of tomatoes, and Susan canned 15 quarts of juice. We also dug another row of potatoes, and there is one more row to go, then we will plant turnips. We had a couple of nice cells go over us between 1 and 2 this morning and got an inch of rain.  Back To The Old Grind!


Thursday, July 21, 2022

Mama Deer

 We've let our yard go this summer, what with fuel prices and Susan's surgeries. We have up close wildlife shows every day because of that. A couple days ago, two hen turkeys and their poults cleaned all the berries next to the garden, so we learned something. I think this doe is the same one who raise twins last year, only this time she is right up by the house.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Susan's Tater Patch

 Susan keeps telling me that nobody is going to watch fifteen minutes of digging potatoes, and I keep telling her that it isn't like paint drying... I don't expect a whole lot of views, but I think you will enjoy seeing the taters come out of the ground. It's like Christmas, or an Easter egg hunt to us.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Tuesday Torque: 1916 Galloway Engine

 Our friend Merle, who picks most of our engine videos has been in the hospital and is having a rough time. Your prayers for our friend are very much appreciated.

Progressing Nicely

 Susan keeps plugging along. She went grocery shopping Friday. It tired her out, but we enjoy naps. Back to the old grind!

She is out three weeks from her emergency surgery now.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Weekend Steam: Steamwagon Spectacular!

 Growing up, the engines on the other side of the pond were pretty much a mystery to me. No More! Merle keeps finding great videos of engines over there, and I am loving it. Thank You, Merle!

Thursday, July 14, 2022

We Have Peppers,

 onions, and right now we are going out to pick tomatoes. You can probably guess where this is leading.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Plunket Junior Engine

 Our friend Gary Bahre had this little jewel of an engine with him when he went to the Evansville show last month. It was obviously meant to do light work around the home or shop, as evidenced by hte groove for running a round leather belt like you would see on a treadle sewing machine. Pretty Neat!

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Forty-Seven Is Bacon!

 Special Day, July 13!

Phoebes Have Fledged!

 We have two families of Phoebes this year, one on the east side of the house, and the other on the west side. The ones outside our bedroom window fledged yesterday, so we can use our lights again. They are cute little birds.

Susan's Staples Are Out!

 She has been cleared to drive again, just two weeks after the revision surgery on the right hip. Here is the quick rundown of her hip surgeries. The left hip was replaced on May 2, and she went home the next day, had her staples out at two weeks, and had an easy recovery, going to physical therapy twice a week. June 15 was the date of her right hip replacement, and again, she went home the next day. It did not feel as good as the left hip did after surgery. It just seemed off a bit to her, but there were no problems she could point to. On June 26 the right hip dislocated. She dropped and had terrible pain. We got her to an emergency room, and after some extremely painful manipulations they got her hip back in the socket, but she could not move her leg, and the pain was unbearable. She was transported back to Sara Bush Lincoln hospital at Mattoon where she was operated on Monday, June 27. The liner (cup, or socket) placed in her pelvis had rotated, and that caused the ball to pop loose. The surgical team removed the liner, reamed the pocket in her pelvis a bit larger, and replaced the liner, using a screw to insure that it would not move. Recovery has been slower this time, with more pain than the first time, but she is doing well. 

Susan does not like to look at the X-rays, but they are sure worth looking at. The first one is the dislocated hip, the next one is after the ball was manipulated back in place, and you can see that the liner is rotated out of place. The third picture is the repaired hip, with the screw visible. If I ever have this type of surgery, I will ask for a screw to anchor it!

Friday, July 8, 2022

Junior, July 7, 2022

 Junior came to us in December 2015. He had been abandoned by his family, and was in an animal shelter in Peoria, and was ten years old. He was a sweet, good natured dog, and he was a perfect gentleman as a house dog. When he needed out, he would go to the door and tell you telepathically that he needed out. We rarely heard his voice. We found that if he had the chance, he would run. He even tried a getaway after he went blind. That is not unusual for  a Schipperke. Junior had become deaf and blind, and I carried him in and out for a long time, but he still enjoyed being around the other dogs and he had a healthy appetite. A couple of strokes crippled him in the last week, and we could tell he was hurting, so we made the final trip to the vet with him. The video was shot the first day he was with us.

Weekend Steam: Bonfire Steam Party 2021

North Wales?Shropshire. Thank You, Merle!


Thursday, July 7, 2022

Vinnie Says...

 A. The mole must die!

B. I climbed Pike's Peak!

C. AROOOO! Werewolves in Dahlgren!

Right Back On The Street

 This is small town Fairfield, Iowa, home invasion, assault on the homeowner to rob him accomplices still at large, and he is bonded out to rob again. How is the homeowner going to be safe? Will this perp show up for his court appearance? Why should he? He's a free man now, and he can hop over to Illinois and continue to live a life of crime. Click the mug shot for the news story on KCII.