Friday, March 31, 2023

Weekend Steam: Cass Scenic Railroad

 Well worth any railfan's time! Thank You, Merle!

Monday, March 27, 2023

Hey Kids, How Many Buzzards Can You Find?

 I see three! This Spring we have two nesting pairs of turkey vultures in our outbuildings. Good Times!

We are really pleased to see our red-headed friends come back from the Rio Grande. 

Here You Go! (Click the picture.)

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Illinois Is A Cluster Migraine

 Illinois passed an "assault weapon" law in January, and multiple lawsuits are being used to fight it. We will have to wait and see what happens. This video shows one of the effects of the law. Even a basic Ruger 10/22 is illegal. (and much, much more) Click it over to YouTube to read the comments. Many here in Illinois have not studied the law enough to understand the consequences. Most County Sheriffs say that they will not enforce this law, but the IL State Police are forging ahead, and are targeting small gun shops around the state. Pritzker drove half of the FFLs out of business a couple years ago and now he is going after the rest. 

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Weekend Steam II: Steamers Pull The Sled!

 This is a great one Merle! A repro Holt crawler, and I have never heard of it! Holt and Best are California brands, and a long way from the brands I grew up around. Click The Screen Shot for the video on YouTube.

Weekend Steam: Sir Nigel Gresley

 Recently overhauled, there are some great videos of this beautiful engine. Many Thanks to Merle for spotting it!

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

New Foster

We picked up Rufus yesterday. His owner passed away a couple weeks ago. Midwest Schipperke Rescue made arrangements to take over Rufus' care and placement to a new home. He is still traumatized. He was taken from his familiar surroundings and was neutered, vaccinated, and had a dental done with eight extractions. His unkempt toenails were trimmed while he was out for his surgery. He is well housebroken, and sleeps through the night. He has several cushy beds to choose from and his own private dog yard for his frequent walks. He will be seeing our vet for some bloodwork and evaluation. He is at least eight years old, probably more. He is a sweet little boy. 

One of Midwest's volunteers picked him up in northern Indiana and brought him to Illinois. Dog rescue cannot happen without good volunteers. 


Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Cleaning Iron Skillets And Pots

I saw my dad do this many years ago to clean iron that was too crusted to scrub. We accumulated a bunch of skillets, Dutch ovens and pots over the years and decided it was time to do something with them. A good bed of coals does most of the work, so this is a job to do during the day when you can let the fire burn down a bit. Put in some iron, open the draft, and ignore it for an hour or two. We like to scrub the pots with stainless chain mail and dish soap, then Susan rubs them with lard and seasons them in a warm oven.  

Daffodils Just Keep Going!

 This has been a stellar early spring for the daffodils. They have stayed pretty for weeks; much longer than usual. 

Monday, March 20, 2023

Tuesday Torque: Iowa-80 Trucking Museum

 Merle found a good place....Many Thanks, Merle! There are many videos of this museum at Walcott, Iowa. They are also on Facebook.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Widowmakers From The Road

 I am seeing lots of widowmakers along the road. Emerald ash borer is the cause of many, and I have started taking photos. They are everywhere, and going into McLeansboro we look at an entire ash tree that is set to fall into Highway 242. Carry your chainsaw with you.

Back To The Old Grind!

Had Enough Winter?

 Forty Two feet of snow up there in the Sierras this winter. Makes our Arctic breezes and flurries seem kinda pitiful. We really should be seeing morels now instead of snow pellets! Thanks, Merle, for telling us about the Donner Pass videos!

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

What I Think Of.... Patti putting all of these daffodils in the ground one fall. I was making holes, Patti was planting, while sitting on the ground, and Susan was finishing and firming each bulb. The ground was dry and almost brick-hard. This was Patti's project, and it made the World a brighter place. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

They Are Keeping An Eye On Us!

If we make too much noise with the dogs the owls will fly off the nest, but they stay close and wait for us to leave.


Monday, March 13, 2023

Tuesday Torque: Two Nice Moguls At Rollag

 These two IHC Moguls were on display September 2022 at the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers' Reunion.  These are high-end engines, and most farmers opted for less expensive options to power machines around the farm. 

Well Dang.

 We did not handle the time change well. Maybe this will make up for it with you.

Back To The Old Grind!

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Weekend Steam II: Narrow Gauge Steam In Latvia

 Many Thanks to Merle, who sent this link for us to enjoy!

Friday, March 10, 2023

Weekend Steam: Slipping In The Snow

 Winter doesn't want to quit for some reason. Thank You, Merle. Nice stack talk.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Bucking Badly


The big rule of thumb for bucking cuts is to cut into the compressed side first, and finish on the tensioned side. We cut one wrong here to show what happens. You can split a log easily by bucking badly. Dope out each cut you make to avoid being stuck or splitting a good log.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Barred Owls Coo!

 We have a great time hooting and doing howler monkey calls with our barred owls, and now they are also cooing to each other in our back yard. We have been hearing this talk for some time, and we suspected it was the owls. Now we have confirmed it. It is fun to have the birds around!

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Work Easier With Wedges

 Take a load off your arms and back when bucking a big log that is compressed on top. It's not laziness; it saves wear and tear on the body, and keeps you working safely and effectively.

Please pardon the fur hanging into the top of the screen when the camera is zoomed wide. We got a new microphone and a wind sock that looks like it is made from a possum. We will fix the problem for sure! The new mike does sound good!

Monday, March 6, 2023

Tuesday Torque: Two Nice Ones At Alapahoochee Engine Show, Georgia

Mike's Engines posted this nice video of two of his engines The Peerless side shaft and Gade 2 HP are both desirable old engines for any collection.  Thanks for spotting this one, Merle!

Today, Clean And Lube!

 I helped at a concealed carry class this past weekend. We had eight students, many whom had never handled a pistol. At the end of the class they have to shoot thirty rounds total from 15, 20, and 30 feet. Five of students scored 299 out of 300 possible on their targets.  Pretty darned good!

                                                                  Back To The Old Grind!

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Weekend Steam II: Take A Ride On The Little Puffer Railroad

Thank You, Merle! Nice Ride! It says SF Zoo, so we can probably locate this one with a few Googles. 

Friday, March 3, 2023

Weekend Steam: Steam In Brazil!

 Still working for a living! Great Pick, Merle! Thank You!

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Had A Big Wind...

 It blew down a lot of wood, and a few dead trees. This ash is dead, of course, and it also had a low fork that had died and introduced rot into the stump area. You can't see it in the photo, but that wood is softer than normal; a bit punky. Thinking back to Forest Patholgy, there are two main types of wood rotting fungi; brown rot, and white rot. I guess this one is white, because you can't see it in the white wood. You can see a couple of bud scales from red maple on the stump. Everything is getting ready to pop!

Revisiting A Wounded Pecan Tree

 Going back a few years, one of our hunter friends nailed a sapling pecan tree in our woods in December 2014. I left a target for him to use and he found that his sights were WAY off. No venison for him! I stopped the other day and took a couple photos of that tree, and it has closed up the wound. It is overtopped by a cypress and a silver maple, so those are going to exit stage left. By the time this tree is a sawlog, you won't be able to tell that the cobb has a hole in it!