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.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Tuesday Torque: Baldwin Centipede, Diesel Locomotive Teething Problems

Well, Merle, I had never heard of this one. Fascinating, painful history! Thank You!

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.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

A Hundred's Not Enough!

 Habanero Jelly, put a little cream cheese on a cracker and top it with this golden treat. Heaven!

Jack Wants That Squirrel!


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.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Saturday, August 13, 2022

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. 

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Salt Mining, Anyone?

 Back To The Old Grind!  We have it pretty good.

Weekend Steam II: Boating In Style!

 Thank You for spotting this one, Merle! What a joy to watch!

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

Surprise Lilies

 It's officially August! We love seeing these every year.

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!