Monday, January 29, 2024

Tuesday Torque: Mall Two Man Chainsaws

 Merle found a new topic for torquing down Tuesdays! I see saws like these at engine shows, but I have never seen one running.  Thank You, Merle!

Valentine Countdown: Blue Eyes, Elton John

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Valentine Countdown: Eighteen Wheels And A Dozen Roses, Kathy Mattea

Trying To Get Graceful

 I had a dance class fifty some years ago and Susan and I try to Fox-Trot and Waltz occasionally. Lately we have been pulling up Tango instruction vids on YouTube. That is real pie-in-the-sky for those of us with stumbly feet, but the music is great. We can dream.

Back To The Old Grind!

Here's how you start!

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Weekend Steam II: Steam Powered Speeders!

 This is one of the neatest ideas we have seen. Every rail/steam fan needs one of these! Thank You, Merle, for the link!

Valentine Countdown: Love At The Five And Dime, Nanci Griffith

Weekend Steam: Plowing At Pinckneyville

 Merle sent a link for a short by Somplace Or Another, so I went to YouTube and found the long version. Thank You, Merle! 

Friday, January 26, 2024

Thursday, January 25, 2024

The Birthday Of Burns...


Some hae meat and canna eat,

And some wad eat that want it,

But we hae meat and we can eat,

Sae let the Lord be Thankit!


Address To A Haggis

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin'-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o'a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill;
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o' need;
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An' cut you up wi' ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin', rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an' strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
"Bethankit!" hums.

Is there that o'er his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad make her spew
Wi' perfect scunner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckles as wither'd rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro' bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed -
The trembling earth resounds his tread!
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll mak it whissle;
An' legs, an' arms, an' heads will sned,
Like taps o' thrissle.

Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o' fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!

Valentine Countdown: Brand New Key, Melanie Safka, February 23, 1947-January 23, 2024

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Valentine Countdown Bonus! Frankie and Johnny, Jimmie Rodgers, 1929

The Wood That Won't Fit In

 Robert Service wrote about men like that: 

"There's a race of men that don't fit in,

A race that can't stay still;

So they break the hearts of kith and kin,

And they roam the world at will.

They break the hearts of their kin. There is always wood that won't fit in, and I usually find it a year later when it is soaked, rotting, and maybe frozen to the ground, breaking my heart. Making firewood is sorta like getting the milk and cereal to come out even in the morning. Well, I am going out tomorrow to look for oyster mushrooms after the rain, fog, and warmth. Should I take one bag and not have enough room for all the mushrooms I find, or take two, which will jinx me and I won't find even one.

Valentine Countdown: Love Nest, John Steel, 1920

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Big Tree Falling Hack

A common sight at log landings, trucks and log yards is an uneven butt log, where the cuts from opposite sides don't quite meet. One cut bypasses the other, and an undercut chunk of wood is left hanging on the end of the log. These chunks can become missiles as they go through the headsaw in a mill, and they can do damage. An easy way to avoid this, and have a smooth bottom on the butt log is to angle the bore cuts slightly behind your hinge. The cuts will intersect, and make a barely convex shape to the butt of the log. It's easy, it's safe, and your butt logs will be beautiful and safe in the mill.

Valentine Countdown Bonus! Frying Pan, John Prine

Valentine Countdown: A Little Kiss Each Morning, Rudy Vallee

Monday, January 22, 2024

Valentine Countdown: I Only Want To Be With You, Dusty Springfield

Tuesday Torque: 80 HP Case, Pulling The Sled

 We usually feature internal combustion for Tuesday, but a steam engine pulling the sled is a torque exhibition. It appears that they stop the weight part way, probably so the engine can pull all the way through, but it is still impressive. The bit 110 Case engines have no trouble pulling all the way through with the weight all the way forward. Thank You, Merle!

80 HP Case Pull Click the link. 

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Valentine Countdown: Stardust, Hoagy Carmichael

 These big rounds are from the lower end of the leaner we cut in a recent video. They are hefty, and we can take them down to easy sizes with the hydraulic splitter. The wood is partially dried from standing dead, and the small splits will burn well in about a month. Black oak dries fast if you let it have air and keep rain off of it. The upper wood is already going up the chimney.

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Weekend Steam II: Plains Railway

Many Thanks to Merle for spotting a railway we haven't visited. Y'all gotta go to New Zealand for this one, or sit by the fire and watch it on your handheld computer.


Valentine Countdown: Your Song, Elton John

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Another Load Of Ash

 The ground is frozen, but the air temp got above freezing today, so off to the woods I went. Amazingly, these ash trees are still solid, and they are ready to burn! We have this little load split and stacked by the house. 

Valentine Countdown: You Are The Song, Arlo Guthrie and the University Of Kentucky Orchestra

Monday, January 15, 2024

Tuesday Torque: 30-60 Mogul Startup

 Thank You, Merle! This is a good looking old tractor! Can you imagine trying to make a living with equipment like this today?

30-60 Mogul Link

But Wait, there's more!

Air Cooled Go-Buggy!  I love the Model T marker light.

Valentine Countdown: That Lovin' Traumerei, Al Jolson

Raggin' classic tunes was Moses' specialty!

This Week's Schedule


Sit By Fire, Enjoy Dogs. 

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Weekend Steam II: Enough Winter For You?

 This is nice, Merle! We hope you are inside and staying warm!

Cold Loco Link

Valentine Countdown!

 Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey! Ada Jones, 1911

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Morning Light And Wildlife Show

 Watching the Belt of Venus is rare for us in the morning. It was good this morning, much better than the camera shows. I won't be standing around over the weekend when the cold weather slides in!

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

A Bit Of Easy Firewood

 Not many ash trees are still alive in Illinois now. Many are still standing, but that won't last long. This is a tree we planted 48 years ago, and it is fascinating to see how the roots decayed and let go of the soil. We drive by an ash a bit bigger than this on the west side of IL Hwy 242, just north of McLeansboro. I hold my breath every time I go by it, because it leans to the road. There is a good chance it will kill or injure someone if IL DOT doesn't take it down soon. Anyway, with cold weather on the way, I want more wood in the stack, and this was an easy one. I cut it and brought one load home, split it and stacked it, and went back in the rain the next day to pick up the rest. It's easy, and it is ready to burn. 


Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Deadly Side-Binds

 You must assess the forces in the wood you are cutting with every stroke of your chainsaw. If you don't, you will wreck logs and get your saw jammed up frequently. Yanking a saw loose out of a pinch can also break your crankshaft. One of the less common forces you will see is the side-bind, and they can be deadly. Here are a couple of videos of side-bind accidents, and one of my own that we did a few years ago. 


Monday, January 8, 2024

Sunday, January 7, 2024

George Called....

 ....just before sunset yesterday while I was over at the farm. "Got him." I got his location and hustled back to Belle Prairie and fired up the Kubota. George and Dusty have been seeing this buck on camera, always at night.  He came by George's stand yesterday while there was still light, just out of range, and kept going. George grunted and stopped him, and with nothing to lose he grunted again and the old guy came back to check him out. George put an arrow straight through his heart.  George can shoot. Congratulations, George!

Monighan 4W Dragline Documentary

 Pack a good lunch. Those levers will build your arms!

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Weekend Steam II: U.S.R.A Light Mikado, B. & O. Railroad Museum, Baltimore

 We missed this historic engine when we visited the museum in 1999. Never enough time. Thank You, Merle!

2-8-2 Light Mikado

 Wiki Light Mikado

Wiki Heavy Mikado

Friday, January 5, 2024

Weekend Steam: Steam Potpourri

 Thank You, Merle! Fbook actually had an embed code available on one of these. 

Link 1

Link 2

Link 3

Anniversary Knee Checkup

 Susan had her right knee replaced one year ago and we went to Effingham yesterday for an evaluation. It's working well and looking good. Her other knee doesn't look too keen in the X-rays, but it isn't causing any trouble, so we are just going to be kind to it. Getting old isn't the same as it used to be. It is a good time to be alive. 

Knee surgery hurts much more than hip replacement. Take good care of your joints. Forget about football and running for your health. I still have good joint space at 72 because I am a lousy runner. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Morning Coffee By The Fire

 Ranger treasures his morning lap time.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

You Can Cut A Leaner...

...without being smashed, or splitting the log. We keep seeing new videos on the YTube showing barber chairs and split trees. Those life-threatening situations are easy to avoid if you will just start bore cutting to make the hinge before you cut the back of the tree. If you aren't bore cutting, you are stuck in the axe and crosscut days with your techniques. 


Tuesday Torque: A Couple Of Rare Ones On Facebook Reels

 Thank You, Merle! We couldn't do this without you!

30-60 Mogul and Pony Motor

Diesel Sure Go, Won't dey!