Saturday, April 30, 2022

Friday, April 29, 2022

Weekend Steam: Big Boy 4014 Accelerating And Sanding The Flues

Supercut of the two best pacing shots from this date. Accelerating out of Walnut Ridge, AR and sanding the flues just south of Knobel, AR. Speed towards the end of the video is approaching 45 MPH. Enjoy =) FAQ (READ): Oil burning locomotives must have their flues and tubes "sanded" every few dozen miles because any oil that does not fully combust in the firebox will end up coating said tubes and flues and hinder heat transfer to the boiler. When the locomotive is working hard, a heavy draft is induced from the firebox, through the tubes and flues to the smokebox and out the stack. The sand that is poured through the firebox peep hole in the cab is sucked through the tubes and flues and scours them clean of the oil deposits, hence the short periods of black exhaust. The diesel locomotive accompanies UP Steam power to provide a measure of security and flexibility in operations. The diesel can hold or slow the train speed down using dynamic braking, thus saving the cost of new brake shoes and the time needed to install them. Additionally, the diesel can be used to assist when necessary, and to extended the fuel and water supply, allowing for longer operating distances and days. Finally, as of 2021, the diesel is an integral part of the PTC system required for FRA compliance. The water overflow from just in front of the rear cylinder on the fireman's side is the exhaust steam injector overflow port. Discharge from this port is normal when starting and stopping the injector.

Many Thanks for spotting, Merle! This is a great one!

Thursday, April 28, 2022

A Little Load

  We had a double stemmed shingle oak to take out, and now it is cut and split. This is the second batch of firewood we have taken off that root. They grow fast!

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Thinning By Double Girdling

 Double girdling is an effective method for thinning in hardwood tree plantations. Big advantages of this method are that the crop trees you are releasing will extend their branches over the cut trees in a few years, suppressing them if they sprout, and you don't have to dodge falling trees while you are working. I like not handling herbicides as I work, too. The trees you kill will dry in a year or two and then you can cut them for firewood. Disadvantage? After a few tanks of gas, old men like me have trouble bending and standing. Leg cramps are not fun. You can single girdle with a chainsaw if you apply a suitable herbicide to kill the trees you girdle. Check with your local forester for recommendations, because some herbicides will kill non-targeted trees. Yellow-poplar is a tree that is very sensitive to herbicides, so be careful.

Hey Booms asked a good question: 
Hey Booms said...

I used to use this method as I liked that the tree would dry on the stump but I found that often after girdling like that, the tree might blow or fall over and if I couldn't get back into that location soon enough particularly if only one or two trees fell, I would lose the wood. Now I just take them down. Not saying I don't do this at all now but not so much for thinning but more so for a tree I just want to get later.
Do you mind mentioning what state you are in?

April 28, 2022 at 3:02 AM

Blogger David aka True Blue Sam said...

Hey Booms, We are in Southern Illinois, it the Clay Pan region. Lots of fragipan soils. The Illinoisan Glacier went through here, to the Shawnee hills. The Wisconsinin Glacier stopped north of us, and we have glacial lake beds. We have glacial till with loess over the top. The prairie soils are north of me, and the thick loess is south, on the Shawnee Hills. Out in the glacial lake beds, you can make clay marbles from the topsoil!

Largest Family Owned O-Gauge Train Layout In America!

 It's right there in NE Ohio. Hit the road! Thank You Merle!

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Monday, April 25, 2022

Tuesday Torque: Snow Trains At Skykomish, Washington,

 Steven's Pass. Winter should be gone, but I keep hearing about snow. This ought to be the end of snow scenes until late this year.

Another History Changing Raid, Eighty Years Ago...

 The St. Nazaire Raid rendered the German battleship Tirpitz impotent. This raid was planned hurriedly, and was made just three weeks before the Doolittle raid on Tokyo.

Doolittle Raid On Tokyo, Eighty Years Ago

 We missed this anniversary by just a week. The raid was done on April 18, 1942. This documentary, narrated by Gary Sinise, breaks it all down for us.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Working Ahead


80% kraut kit is progressing nicely.

Taters are coming up!

We'll be lighting up again in less than six months.

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Weekend Steam II: A Real Train Wreck Of An Event!

 I have heard of this event many times through the years. I think the first time was in one of L.M. Boyd's columns, and that was wayback. The planners should have known better, because anyone working with steam was well aware of the hazards of boilers when they let go. Many Thanks for the pick Merle!

Friday, April 22, 2022

Weekend Steam: More Steam Powered Flight

It seems that many people around the world still have no idea what makes an airplane controllable. Many experimenters crashed and some died because they did not know what they were doing. The narrator fails to mention that Langley's invention was launched from a boat and went right into the drink. One of the best parts of aircraft history to me is when Glenn Curtis walked around a Wright Flyer and understood what the various controls accomplished. He went home and invented ailerons. The Wrights did not like that. It got much like a soap opera at that point. Entertaining video pick, Merle! Thank You!


Thursday, April 21, 2022

Dedicated Hobbyists...

 ...preserve machines and let the rest of us enjoy seeing their treasures. Go to any engine show and for a few dollars you can see nearly priceless treasures operating. You may even be invited to climb on, maybe even get a little ride. I hear people complain about the prices being driven up, but I am thankful that there are people who will pay the price to preserve these old beasts. There are lower priced opportunities with more common engines, and the old engine hobby is a friendly place with many who are willing to help new collectors, so don't let these high prices send you running. 

Photo credit: Aumann Auctions, Pre-30 Auction, April 21, 2022
Gas Engines Sell April 22!

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Buds Are Popping!

Shagbark hickory buds. They will be throwing shade in a few more days.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Over Our Heads,

 or, Don't stand there when the wind blows! I was reminded of the reliability of gravity yesterday when cutting an ash tree in a young stand. The limbs tangled, as is usual in young trees, and a hefty limb came loose and beaned me on the hard hat. You don't need old, decadent trees to have wood drop from the sky on your head. Gravity likes to win.

Not Just Merely Dud,

 It's really most sincerely dud!

Monday, April 18, 2022

Tuesday Torque: Five Successful Locomotives That Should Not Have Been

This is a bit of a switch, looking at railroads for Tuesday, but it mostly is about Diesels! Thanks, Merle!

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Busy Road!

 We'll be running in and out with chainsaws and lawnmowers starting this week!

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Friday, April 15, 2022

Weekend Steam: Boiler Explosions!

 Boiler explosions are a recurring topic in my old Iron Men Album magazines, and if you step into the steam hobby, you will learn all of the things you must do to avoid them. One that stuck in my head was a young man whose final words were, "I was above the trees." Serious stuff.  Thanks for the pick, Merle!

Thursday, April 14, 2022

We Waited A Long Time For This Visit!

We have been admiring this old cannon just off I-57 at Arcola, Illinois for many years, but never took the time to exit and take a look, until today. When dedicated in 1906, there would have been Civil War veterans alive and in attendance. 

It is an iron tube, evidenced by rust where the paint is broken. It is planted upside down on its pedestal, and that is a good idea, making it difficult for pranksters to load and fire it. It was made by Cyrus Alger & Co, Boston. 

The government inspector's initials are J.W.R, probably James W. Reilly, who was an inspector from 1863 to 1888.

Someone knocked off the cascabel. There is a special place for such vandals. The serial number is 1510.

 I measured my reach when we returned home, and it appears to be a 24 pounder, with a 5.82 inch bore, placing this gun in the siege gun category rather than field artillery. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Stormy Day

We had rain all day, and then a wide line of thunderstorms trained over us. The deer were relieved when it was all over. Tonight the wind is blowing and cold air is moving in again. Sunny day tomorrow, though!

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Raindrops Falling On My Head!

The redbuds are going to be in full bloom at the end of this week. The deer are enjoying the greening up of our yard

Here comes the rain! They start to scatter.

A raindrop must have hit her in the eye!


Monday, April 11, 2022

Tuesday Torque: RRVT Coming Down The Hill!

 A bit more quiet than our usual picks for Tuesday, and quite charming! From one of the comments on YouTube: "The RRVT is a 24 inch gauge private railway located in northern Illinois. It was started in 1951 by a group of traction fans and railway employees and has continued to evolve throughout the years. It has 3,500 feet of track, all under catenary which is energized by 240 volts of alternating current." Thank You, Merle, for the pick!

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Tater Time!

 Easter is two weeks later than last year, and we have rain predicted this week, so we jumped the gun and planted potatoes on Palm Sunday. The ground was a bit wet to our liking, but it worked up OK. We dug potatoes on July 25 last year, so this year they should be ready around August 1. We must tighten up the bottom of the fence to exclude rabbits, and then we need to put the bean trellis up.

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Weekend Steam II: Firing Up C&S 2-6-0 No. 10 at Joshua Tree & Southern

 I've been fascinated by miniature steam locomotives since I was a kid. The best way to get a locomotive is to be a machinist and build one yourself, and that is what most locomotive hobbyists do. Thanks for finding this video, Merle!

Friday, April 8, 2022

R.I.P. Bill Fries, aka C.W. McCall 11/15/1928-4/1/2022

I remember hearing Old Home Fill 'er Up And Keep On Truckin' Cafe on WHO of DesMoines, many years ago, and they played it hard for a while. That song came about because of a successful advertising campaign made by Bill Fries, featuring a trucker, a diner, and a waitress named Mavis.

Those ads led to a regional hit song, and that led to a record contract in Nashville. Click for the Billboard obit and story.

Here are a few of my favorites by C.W. McCall.

Weekend Steam: Besler Steam Airplane

 Merle found a good one for us; old newsreel footage of the Besler Steam Airplane, along with some good photos of the machinery at the end of the video. Thank You, Merle!

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

A Sure Sign Of Spring

We lit the brush pile and had our first wienie roast of  the year, 

and ate outdoors. It was cloudy, but

 we had a beautiful sunset the next day. We've had some thunderstorms, too, so it sure is spring.

Saddening, Maddening

 Below are a couple of bucks on our place. The first one was road kill, just past our driveway. He was hit in a curve that slows traffic a bit, so most people are able to hit the brakes and miss a deer, but one gets it occasionally. The deer herd moves around the house regularly, so young bucks like this one are practically family. We have hit our share of wildlife on the road, and we always hate it. Squirrels, birds, rabbits, and a few deer; I think I remember every one of them.

The second one is an aggravation. We have good habitat where we live, and there is habitat around us, but it all is an island surrounded by ag fields. The deer, turkey, and coyotes attract hunters all out of proportion to the size of the resource, and we have to turn away hunters and trespassers regularly.  We always have hunters that hug our lines, and this buck is from one of those. Whoever shot it should have come to our door and asked about retrieving it. We actually go out and help find deer for hunters who ask, and we are glad to retrieve them with the tractor and loader. So, I wonder if this was done by an inept hunter, or a poacher.  Line hunters are an aggravation, as are poor shooters, and any hunter who doesn't track down and retrieve game.

Thank You for the photo, GW!

And So It Goes

 Back around 1930, Don Marquis, writing as archy the cockroach wrote,"...incidentally i wonder why europe of today is always referred to by highbrow writers as post war europe they seem to think that the war which started in nineteen fourteen is over with whereas there have been merely a few brief truces that war is merely worrying through its first half century and will only cease permanently when a generation comes along which has forgotten all the old feuds archy the cockroach"

Monday, April 4, 2022

Tuesday Torque: 1927 John Deere D

 This video was made in 2017 at Rollag, Minnesota. David Sall's freshly restored Johny Popper. Thank You, Merle! We all love an old John Deere!

Of course, John Deeres sound best when they are working, so here are two D's plowing for your pleasure!

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Re-Making The Garden Fence

 We are re-doing the garden fence to at least try to exclude the deer, and hopefully the bunny rabbits. We are even going to have TWO real garden gates.

Back To The Old Grind!

Weekend Steam II: Glouchestershire Steam & Vintage Extravaganza 2013

 It's good to look at those engines from across the pond. Thank You, Merle!

Friday, April 1, 2022

Weekend Steam: Avery Steam Traction Engine...

 ...pulling the plow at the Old Buckley Engine Show, 2007. Great pick, Merle! Thank You!

Wake Up And Talk To The Owls!

 Both of our barred owls were out to visit with us this morning. Jack did not like them watching him.