Saturday, December 30, 2023

Weekend Steam II: Steam Shovel Action!

You will see some familiar machines in this video, because part of it was made at Rollag. We never get enough of steam shovels! Thanks to Merle for the link!


Friday, December 29, 2023

Weekend Steam: Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad Willamette Shay #2

 Plenty of good Shay engine action and whistle talk! Thank You, Merle, for the link!

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Pull Off Your Shoes If That Helps... count. I've been aggravated lately from a logging site on Fbook. People, (Trolls, I think.) keep posting photos of trees and saying ridiculous ages for them, like 500 year old oak trees that are obviously a fraction of that. I doubt any of them have ever counted tree rings. I've counted a bunch over the years, and it is important for foresters to do that whenever they encounter stumps in the timber they are walking. You have to know what sites will do, and stumps will tell you. This black oak in the photo was dying, and I cut in in 2009. It counted out 90 years. O.T. is the guy behind me with the walking stick. He was 89 at the time, and he made it to 90, too.

Rest In Peace, Otto

 Little Otto, a min pin, came to us in August 2008, after being dumped just down the road from the farm. Susan's sister took him in, but he stayed with us frequently when my sister in law and her family traveled. Otto moved in with us permanently about a year ago as his health deteriorated. His heart and kidneys were failing, and today we made that final trip to the vet with him. He went easy, and we are thankful for that. He was a good little friend.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Tuesday Torque: Eagle Tractors

 Another great suggestion from Merle! One of these vids was over at Boonville, IN. Thanks, Merle!

Friday, December 22, 2023

Weekend Steam: Old Petrie Town

 Merle found another place we've never heard of: Old Petrie Town in Queensland. Thank You, Merle! There are several videos available about activities here, so we will probably return. 

Facebook Reel

Christmas 2023: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, John Prine

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Christmas 2023: Lo, How A Rose E're Blooming

Maybe It Will Be Mild Until The Equinox...

The Ballad of Blasphemous Bill

I took a contract to bury the body of blasphemous Bill MacKie,
Whenever, wherever or whatsoever the manner of death he die --
Whether he die in the light o' day or under the peak-faced moon;
In cabin or dance-hall, camp or dive, mucklucks or patent shoon;
On velvet tundra or virgin peak, by glacier, drift or draw;
In muskeg hollow or canyon gloom, by avalanche, fang or claw;
By battle, murder or sudden wealth, by pestilence, hooch or lead --
I swore on the Book I would follow and look till I found my tombless dead.

For Bill was a dainty kind of cuss, and his mind was mighty sot
On a dinky patch with flowers and grass in a civilized bone-yard lot.
And where he died or how he died, it didn't matter a damn
So long as he had a grave with frills and a tombstone "epigram".
So I promised him, and he paid the price in good cheechako coin
(Which the same I blowed in that very night down in the Tenderloin).
Then I painted a three-foot slab of pine: "Here lies poor Bill MacKie",
And I hung it up on my cabin wall and I waited for Bill to die.

Years passed away, and at last one day came a squaw with a story strange,
Of a long-deserted line of traps 'way back of the Bighorn range;
Of a little hut by the great divide, and a white man stiff and still,
Lying there by his lonesome self, and I figured it must be Bill.
So I thought of the contract I'd made with him, and I took down from the shelf
The swell black box with the silver plate he'd picked out for hisself;
And I packed it full of grub and "hooch", and I slung it on the sleigh;
Then I harnessed up my team of dogs and was off at dawn of day.

You know what it's like in the Yukon wild when it's sixty-nine below;
When the ice-worms wriggle their purple heads through the crust of the pale blue snow;
When the pine-trees crack like little guns in the silence of the wood,
And the icicles hang down like tusks under the parka hood;
When the stove-pipe smoke breaks sudden off, and the sky is weirdly lit,
And the careless feel of a bit of steel burns like a red-hot spit;
When the mercury is a frozen ball, and the frost-fiend stalks to kill --
Well, it was just like that that day when I set out to look for Bill.

Oh, the awful hush that seemed to crush me down on every hand,
As I blundered blind with a trail to find through that blank and bitter land;
Half dazed, half crazed in the winter wild, with its grim heart-breaking woes,
And the ruthless strife for a grip on life that only the sourdough knows!
North by the compass, North I pressed; river and peak and plain
Passed like a dream I slept to lose and I waked to dream again.

River and plain and mighty peak -- and who could stand unawed?
As their summits blazed, he could stand undazed at the foot of the throne of God.
North, aye, North, through a land accurst, shunned by the scouring brutes,
And all I heard was my own harsh word and the whine of the malamutes,
Till at last I came to a cabin squat, built in the side of a hill,
And I burst in the door, and there on the floor, frozen to death, lay Bill.

Ice, white ice, like a winding-sheet, sheathing each smoke-grimed wall;
Ice on the stove-pipe, ice on the bed, ice gleaming over all;
Sparkling ice on the dead man's chest, glittering ice in his hair,
Ice on his fingers, ice in his heart, ice in his glassy stare;
Hard as a log and trussed like a frog, with his arms and legs outspread.
I gazed at the coffin I'd brought for him, and I gazed at the gruesome dead,
And at last I spoke: "Bill liked his joke; but still, goldarn his eyes,
A man had ought to consider his mates in the way he goes and dies."

Have you ever stood in an Arctic hut in the shadow of the Pole,
With a little coffin six by three and a grief you can't control?
Have you ever sat by a frozen corpse that looks at you with a grin,
And that seems to say: "You may try all day, but you'll never jam me in"?
I'm not a man of the quitting kind, but I never felt so blue
As I sat there gazing at that stiff and studying what I'd do.
Then I rose and I kicked off the husky dogs that were nosing round about,
And I lit a roaring fire in the stove, and I started to thaw Bill out.

Well, I thawed and thawed for thirteen days, but it didn't seem no good;
His arms and legs stuck out like pegs, as if they was made of wood.
Till at last I said: "It ain't no use -- he's froze too hard to thaw;
He's obstinate, and he won't lie straight, so I guess I got to -- saw."
So I sawed off poor Bill's arms and legs, and I laid him snug and straight
In the little coffin he picked hisself, with the dinky silver plate;
And I came nigh near to shedding a tear as I nailed him safely down;
Then I stowed him away in my Yukon sleigh, and I started back to town.

So I buried him as the contract was in a narrow grave and deep,
And there he's waiting the Great Clean-up, when the Judgment sluice-heads sweep;
And I smoke my pipe and I meditate in the light of the Midnight Sun,
And sometimes I wonder if they was, the awful things I done.
And as I sit and the parson talks, expounding of the Law,
I often think of poor old Bill -- and how hard he was to saw.

from BALLADS OF A CHEECHAKO by Robert Service

Well, I need to get wood. Happy Solstice!

Tuesday, December 19, 2023


 ...Coyotes are showing up in the driveway at night. I bet I find a carcass in the edge of the woods if I go looking.

Ranger Likes To Ride!

He's always ready if we go to the tractor or utility vehicle.

Christmas 2023: It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year, Andy Williams

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Merry Christmas From The Family, Robert Earl Keene

Weekend Steam II: Garratt Locomotives Down Under

 Great recommendation, Merle. Many Thanks!

Weekend Steam: Mercer Locomotive Works

Follow this LINK to see video.

Cash in all of your retirement accounts and get in line. Many Thanks, Merle, for spotting!

Friday, December 15, 2023

Christmas 2023: Away In A Manger, Emmylou Harris

Taking Down A Lodged Tree That Is Torqued

This is one of the cherrybark oaks we dropped in the thinning project last summer, from a segment of a longer video we uploaded in July 2023. The tree we drop lodges in another, but only on one side, creating torque that is wanting to roll the tree to the right. This throws compression on the right side of the hinge and tension on the left side. Carefully nipping out the hinge from left to right allows the tree to roll as the hinge is removed without pinching the bar, but be careful. Stand to one side as you do this in case the tree breaks loose and shoots back. Cutting the hinge on lodged trees commonly ends with the saw stuck between the butt of the tree and the stump, so analyze the situation carefully before you try this. If this tree was being harvested for a log, you would have your skidder available to dislodge it. If you are cutting it for firewood, you could take it down by cutting segments about four feet long, starting with the tree attached to the stump. We have covered that technique in other videos...LINK. That method is time consuming, but safe if you plan each step.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Christmas 2023: Silent Night All Day Long, John Prine


Hefty Hickory

 Here's another blowdown to work on. I think the compression coming back down the stem is greater on top, so we will start there and watch the kerf carefully, with wedges at hand to keep it open. I will work on the side with the first tree against it and we will see how it goes.

Back To The Old Grind!

Friday, December 8, 2023

Weekend Steam: Lapping A Steam Engine Slide Valve

 Here is something you won't see every day, and you even get to see the grit selection used for the process. Many Thanks to Merle for spotting this one!

Christmas 2023: It's A Marshmallow World, Dean Martin

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Christmas 2023: Carol Of The Bells, Christmas Piano Cover

Well, Children, What Are We Going To Do?

 Decisions, Decisions. This is good wood, but I will have to carry all of it up that ravine bank to get it out. Can I do it? Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

We Don't Need No...

 ...storebought deer blinds!

Christmas 2023: Deck The Halls, Mannheim Steamroller

December 7 Changed Everything,

and touched everyone. I've known lots of veterans from WWII, and it's true that most of them didn't talk much about their experiences. Usually you can glean only a little bit at a time, even with those you know well. Today, we really can't fathom the changes to everyone's life, as the entire country became focused on fighting a war, with the iron will to win it.

 How many parents felt their hearts sink when they received one of these?

Men from every corner of the country, all part of a team.  These guys even had a couple of Code Talkers with them.

"This guy got killed on Guam, this guy died on Iwo, this guy got shot all to hell, this guy went nuts.  I got tired of seeing the guy next to me get it." It's a wonder that any vets go to reunions.  The memories need to be kept under control.  Good things and bad come out when your vet opens up and talks a bit.  "Navy guys would trade booze for souvenirs."  "I always picked up the first BAR I could find after landing."  "When you came off, you would fill an ammo box with oil, put your .45 in it, and bury it under your bunk so you would have it next time."  "On Iwo, you would go hole to hole, and you always had either your .45 or your Ka-Bar in your hand when you went into a hole....I sure got tired of sticking that Ka-Bar in Japs."

Re-post from ten years ago.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Christmas 2023: You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch!

 From the 1966 TV cartoon, How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The Clydesdales Came To Town!

Actually, they came to Marion, an hour down the road. It was worth the trip to see them, and to learn a bit.

                                  Click the photo to enlarge it.

                                             Rocco, one of the Wheel Horses.


Each horse had his specs and stats listed. 

A question on my mind was how these big guys are shod so they can navigate paved roads without slipping. The shoes have Borium brazed on the bottom. Borium saves wear on the shoes and it is grippier on pavement than steel. The Clydesdales cannot go on polished concrete, so the arena they were in had Astroturf where the horses needed to walk. Smooth, decorative brick streets are dangerous, but navigable if care is used. 

It was a good time. We went to Walt's Pizza afterward. 

Christmas 2023: Jingle Bells, Barking Dogs

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Hillbilly Gin Pole: How Would You Plant A Pole?

 This was our first time planting a new pole in the ground, and it went according to plan. The light and guy line go up next. 

Walking In A Winter Wonderland, Dean Martin

Tuesday Torque: 1925 Dodge Brothers 4 Cylinder Flathead

 It does sound pretty, doesn't it? Thank You, Merle!

Monday, November 27, 2023

Camille Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1, 1872

We featured the Dance Macabre by Saint-Saens by several artists during October. Saint-Saens wrote much more, and this one is a good sample. Grab a cup of coffee. 


Christmas 2023: Christmas In Prison, John Prine

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Aluminum Beverage Cans From Beginning To End

 There are no college classes on how to do all this. You have to learn it at SHK. A glaring gap in this video is the making of the beverage end, but it's a good vid. Back To The Old Grind!

Christmas 2023: White Christmas, Bing Crosby

Weekend Steam II: Loading And Moving A Locomotive

Pretty neat, Merle. This Facebook post actually came with an embed code option! Thank You!

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Christmas 2023: No Place Like Home For The Holidays, Perry Como

Travels With Tristan: A Big Leap!

 This one is guaranteed to give you a modicum of vertigo. I don't know how he does this. I would have to belly crawl if I found myself up there.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Christmas 2023: Charlie Brown Christmas

 Let's start out with the Charlie Brown Christmas Album. Grab a cup of coffee and CLICK HERE.

Weekend Steam: Steam Motorcycle

 I really like the looks of this one, Merle! Many Thanks!

Thursday, November 23, 2023

How And Why Did Conductors And Engineers Get Their Outfits?

 Polyester is a bad idea if you are around heat. I was on many fires in Kentucky while wearing the KDF uniform, with poly in the trousers and shirts. The bosses did not want anyone wearing blue jeans because that would not look professional. They eventually let us wear Carhartt pants, and they issued a small number of Nomex pants for fire fighting. I think the overalls are a great idea because you don't have to hitch up your pants all day long, and a trainman needs his watch within easy reach. Those upper pockets are handy. 

Perfect Shot!

 Dusty has been hunting on our farm for many years, and he never fails to make a good shot. We appreciate that! He stuck this nice buck at the base of the neck on the right side, sliced through the aorta, and out the back of the left lung. The deer ran only about fifty feet. 

Photo is Dusty's.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Tuesday Torque: 1919 25 HP Best Crawler Goes Flying!

 Merle found a great one for us, and it is a remarkable recovery of less-than-barn-fresh tractor find. Thank You, Merle!

Home Fires Are Burning

 It is cool enough now that we keep a little fire going through the day now. Life is good.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Weekend Steam II: 1920 Minneapolis

 This is a link to a Facebook post: Click Try as I might, I cannot figure out how to embed a Facebook video on Blogger. Anyhow, Merle found a good one, and the owner says the boiler is in very good shape. 

A video on YouTube provides details.  Thank You, Merle for spotting!

Cherrybark Oaks Grow Like Weeds

This photo of Susan and a cherrybark oak in the front yard was taken in 2000. We planted this tree as a twelve inch seedling in 1991 or 1992.

Look at it now! Cherrybark oak prefers 109 Raccoon soil here in Southern Illinois. Raccoon is a bottomland soil, but is not as tight as Bonnie and other bottomland soils. It functions like a transitional soil between slopes and the flattest bottoms. Cherrybark will grow well on Bonnie and also on many upland sites, so we used cherrybark seedlings in tree planting projects whenever they were available.

 I always think of Mel Gerardo when I see a planting project. Mel Gerado was the first district forester at Fairfield, IL in the 1950s, and later ran the state nursery at Anna, IL. He did a marvelous job of cranking out a huge variety and number of seedlings for the big Conservation Reserve planting years. Mel was a Marine and fought at the Chosin Reservoir. The thousands of acres of successful tree plantings in Illinois are a testament to his professionalism. If your third grader in Illinois brought home a seedling for Arbor Day, you may have a reminder of Mel at your house, too.

Friday, November 17, 2023

Weekend Steam: Firing Up!

 Thank You, Merle! I really like little engines like this one.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Saartje, Schipperke, October 19, 2023

 Eric Janssen, Arnhem, Netherlands is one of our Facebook friends. His faithful companion for more than fifteen years is Saartje, and now she has passed away, in Wallonia, Belgium. Eric and his friends around the world are heartbroken. Eric has started his first trip without Saartje with him on the Valer. The wheelhouse is empty and lonely.  Visit his Facebook page and get to know him and his Schipperke. Eric has posted about their travels for many years.  "Her little body had gotten so tired, that rest is here now. The loss is huge, it's terribly empty on board."

"I wonder why it is a dog don't get to live too long, but he still has to die old."  Jim Stafford, Mr. Bojangles

Same Old, Same Old


The Ugliness Of Poachers

 I pass this spot frequently when I am going back and forth through the country. Last year, and again this year, poachers are dumping deer carcasses along the road. (Six in one spot this year.) These deer had only the best cuts taken out of them and they were not field dressed or skinned. It is maddening to know we have people of such low morals nearby.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

I Can't Even Spell Operating Engineer,

 but we put the replacement pole in the ground without any trouble. We used the old pole, steadied up with guy ropes and the loader, and lifted the new one with the RTV. Got it tamped in and next we move the hardware.

Monday, November 13, 2023

The Colors Are Fading

 Hickories were golden, but now they are brown and dry. There is still color out there, but it is fading fast. 

Sunday, November 12, 2023

20,000 Phone Calls Home

 We got Mom (Bea Johnson to the Blog World) a cell phone more than twenty years ago. With unlimited minutes we could talk whenever we wanted, and Mom enjoyed calling her brother Chuck every week and talking as long as they wanted. After Dad passed away we never failed to talk at least three times a day, morning, after work, and before turning in. Our last call was Thursday afternoon last week, and we could tell that it was the end. Mom passed at 9:29 Friday morning, November 10, 2023. 

When she was living alone in her house, she got nervous about being able to protect herself, so she took up shooting. We would go out to the local range every time I went to Iowa to see her, and she went to Reno a couple times to attend Mike Gallion's Gun Blogger Rendezvous. She took the Iowa concealed carry class and qualified with her .45 Blackhawk because that was her house gun, and the big cartridges were easier for her to handle than stuffing .22s into a magazine. I put together a small collection of photos for those who remember Bea here on our little blog. 

Habits die hard. Every time I look at the time, I think it is time to call Mom. 

Riding With Ranger

 We took a great timber tour with Ranger this morning. The dog sure does love going out for adventures. 

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Remembering Vincent Speranza On This Veterans' Day

 Vincent Speranza passed this year on August 2. What a fine example of an American hero.

Friday, November 10, 2023

Weekend Steam: Scott-Carver Threshers, Jordan, Minnesota

 We've never been to this show, and it looks like a good one. Merle spotted it for us, and be sure to admire the big Vilter Corliss engine. Most of these big industrial engines were or are being scrapped, and we should rejoice for every one of them that is saved in the engine shows around the country. It takes knowledgeable, dedicated volunteers to move and restore these giants to running condition. Many Thanks, Merle!

Thursday, November 9, 2023

No-Fear Deer

 This is just the latest example I have seen of deer wandering in close to running equipment. Yesterday Susan and I were running the log splitter, and Mama Deer and Baby came out and eyeballed us. Back in 1989 when we were prepping the Bull Springs field to plant, deer stood around watching while I drove the John Deere B back and forth across the field. They make all the fancy hunting gear seem a bit silly.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Dead Pin Oak Firewood

 These trees have been dead just one year, but the sapwood is already going punky, so the hinge must be deep enough to get into the heartwood. If wedging is needed, make your falling cuts up the stem a foot or more from your girdling cuts.

Monday, November 6, 2023

Tuesday Torque: Bulls Eye Gas Engines

 Great selection, Merle! Many Thanks!

Including a Sears bonus!

Sunday, November 5, 2023

How To Make Cowboy Coffee With Kent Rollins


Back To The Old Grind!

Headaches In The Woods

 Watch your topknot. Forked trees make a couple problems for forest landowners. A forked tree has less merchantable volume than a well formed, straight tree, and they are prone to breaking up in storms, or from ice. Any time a forked tree is up against a better one, it is good to take out the forked one and let the good tree grow faster. The hackberry in this photo has provided me with yet another widow maker to watch for. Always be watching overhead when you are in timber.

Revisiting Our Log Landing And The Headsaw Pit

I took a little hike through the woods and stopped by the site of the sawmill that was here in 1940. The photos at the end were shot during the harvest we did in 2012. We are still amazed at the speed of our black oaks after we thinned out hickories. They grew like weeds after that treatment, and now the white oaks appear to be turning on after the woods was thinned by the harvest.

Friday, November 3, 2023

Weekend Steam: The First Locomotive

Replaying an old favorite.

Merle's pick is  a brief video of a re-creation of Peter Trevithick's little loco, which was the first one. Think about the inventions and upgrades that had to come along after this 1802 invention.  Boilers were notorious for failing in the early years.  There are very few steam engines of any kind from before the late Nineteenth Century that survive. Boilers are a big reason for that. Of course, stopping these machines was harder than making them go.  During the mid-Nineteenth Century train wrecks that killed scores of people were common.  Wrecks were caused by bad rails, inadequate brakes, poor communication, telescoping cars in wrecks, stoves in the cars that ignited wrecked cars, and bad bridges. Travel by rail was not for the faint of heart.  It all started with Trevithick's little engine.  Thank You, Merle!

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Who Is In Charge Of Axe Handles?

 Remember when you were a kid, you were taught to always put the trademark up on a bat so you wouldn't break it? The trademark is oriented so the growth rings in the bat are horizontal and in line with your swing. Turn it 90 degrees and you really can break your bat. The same rule on growth rings applies to wooden tool handles, too. Internet sellers of tool handles are not paying attention to that. I was about to order a couple axe handles, and saw this photo on the page I was on.

So, we went to town to one of the big hardware/lumber yard stores and I looked at handles there. Here is what we found.

At least you get to inspect and choose when you are in a store. Also check the grain along the length of the handle. If it runs out either side it is also prone to breaking. We bought the one on the right.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Samsung Clothes Dryer Repair Hack

 Instructions for changing the heating element are to lift the drum out to access the element assembly. I had limited space, and I found a better way. Less disassembly = less chance of screwing up. Watch for sharp edges on sheet metal components.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

The Sun Was Bright, The Water Was Cold

Our hunter friend was on the other side of the pond today and saw more than twenty deer go by, including one he would have liked to bag, but no good shots were presented. Every time I looked across the pond I saw deer moving.


Another Halloween Musical Treat: Spike Jones And His Orchestra!

 Ghost Riders In The Sky. Cowbells!

Monday, October 30, 2023

Tuesday Torque: Two Stroking

 Big one (Lanz Bulldog), and a little one (Fairmont section car engine) Thanks to Merle for the Lanz link!

Dance Macabre: One More, Recorded By Horowitz, About 1928, On Duo Art Reproducing Piano

 Read the words as the song plays. Guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye. 

Electric Cider Press!

 No hand cranking for this bunch. The folks who run Greenfield Grocery have a modern cider press with a hydraulic ram that gets every bit of juice from the apples.

Back To The Old Grind!

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Friday, October 27, 2023

Dance Macabre

Putting The Garden To Bed

 Susan and I both worked in the garden most of the day to make it ready for next Spring. Susan pulled plants and vines, I pulled fence posts and stakes. We pulled and stacked the cardboard that we used to control weeds, burned it, and then tilled. After we finished videoing we spread mushroom compost and tilled it in.

Gears In The Woods, Shay Locomotives At Cass

 Thank You, Merle!

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Daylight Buck

 This beautiful guy was out in late afternoon, and he was being a bit too visible for a critter with nice antlers. We had the dogs out in the yard and conversed while he poked along the edge of the pond. The bucks with bigger antlers coveted by trophy hunters don't make themselves so available. Know your hunting places, and understand the animals you hunt. This deer knew we were there, at 200 yards, and was not alarmed. At 100 yards deer become alerted, and a wrong move will alarm them. Bowhunters are out now, but they don't alarm the deer herd to any great degree. Nighttime road hunters educate the deer to react and run. Illinois' first firearm season begins in three weeks, and deer behavior will change markedly when that happens. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Next-Door Soybean Harvest

 The neighbor across the road harvested this soybean field this evening and was finishing up at dusk. Ranger and I went out to watch and boy was it dusty. You could feel the grit on your eyeballs. It takes a lot of acres to pay for machines like this big, tracked, John Deere.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Morning Show


Dance Macabre

Illinois' Gun, Magazine, Parts, And Accessory Ban Update

 Valinda Rowe of Illinois Carry provides some information on the status of heinous legislation that was dropped on Illinois residents in January. When she talks about vagueness, you must read and understand the law to see just what that means. Semi-autos with a barrel shroud are outlawed. The definition the law uses is any covering of the barrel that would protect your hand from being burned if the barrel is hot, so any stock that covers part of the barrel forward of the receiver makes the gun illegal, and the stock would then be an illegal assault weapon attachment. Any attachment you can grasp with your support hand is an illegal assault weapon attachment, so a bipod or rifle sling are both outlawed if the IL State Police take the law at its word. It is a mighty big can of worms. Here's Valinda:

Monday, October 23, 2023

Tuesday Torque: First Start In Forty Years

 And it appears to be running a bit rich. I am sure they have it sorted out by now. Thank You, Merle!

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Missouri Meerschaum Pipes

 The famous corncob pipe company celebrated their 150th year four years ago and opened up the factory for tours. I used to see these pipes in stores, and in use while I was growing up. Not so much anymore, but seeing this reminded me of a little excerpt from a poem: 

There's nothing like Nickyteen, me boys,

Be it pipes or snipes or cigars;
So be sure that a bloke
Has plenty to smoke,
If you wants him to fight your wars.

Back To The Old Grind!

Weekend Steam III: Largest Curved Wooden Structure In The World!

 And you cannot go there. Oh Well. You would have to visit California to see it.

Friday, October 20, 2023

Weekend Steam: Saving A Big Old Steam Engine

 There are still some machines out in the wild that need to be saved. That is remarkable because collectors have been working for many decades to get engines. You would think that the ones stuck away in buildings would all have come out by now, but surprises keep popping up. Many Thanks to Merle for spotting this one for us!

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Bungee Rain And A Dramatic Sunset

We love watching the sky every day. I think living in the mountains out east enhanced our desire to watch the sky, because we seldom saw a sunrise or sunset while we lived in Eastern Kentucky. Today we had a couple of nice treats. There was a layer of stratus all day that you can see moving off to the east, then a clear band, then a second layer of stratus with the cold front pushing through. The sunset at the end was spectacular.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Little Hercules At Boonville

Gas engines are more fun if they are running something. Water pumps are popular for that at engine shows. This one has a water meter with the little spinner going round and round.