Thursday, February 29, 2024

Enough Winter Already!

February was supposed to be mild according to the Groundhog, but it bit us a few times. The last couple days have been chilling and we are keeping the stove hot. Let's hope for a decent March. Spring is just three weeks away!

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Brushpile Getaway

 Pick your day, and stay with your fire. This one was doing great, and we broke at 1:00 for a snack and water. Susan had errands to run and I went back to the fire. Then the wind came up, a solid 15 mph with gusts. I busted the fire up with the tractor and got a four gallon backpack sprayer. I started putting out wood, coals, and hot ash. I refilled three times before Susan got back, and then she stirred ashes while I put on more water. We used 20 gallons total, through a backpack weed sprayer, and the fire did not get away.

Tuesday Torque! Let's Go To Albany, Minnesota For Pioneer Days!

 Merle found a fascinating marine engine on a Facebook reel, which I will Link Here. Unfortunately, I cannot figure out how to embed Facebook reels. Then I went looking for the guy who posted it, and I think his Facebook channel is all video segments that he copied from YouTube. I cannot find him on YT. I did find many videos other people have posted of Albany, Minnesota, and I wonder why I never noticed that show before. Kenny Kizzle shows the same engine, but he walks on by it without any discussion. Oh Well, or words to that effect. It shows up at 28:40.

And a few more. Thank You, Merle, for guiding us around the engine web!

Sunday, February 25, 2024

The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out...

Whether you are a soft-bodied mammal or a hard-hearted hickory, there is something waiting for you at your demise. We do our part to send them up the chimney to heaven, and avoid all the munchiness.

The wood seasons quickly if the tree is dead for a while, so long as it is vertical so rain runs off rather than soaking in through the bark. Those seasoning cracks in hickory in less than a week are amazing and gratifying. Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Weekend Steam II: Link Picks By Merle

 These brief Facebook reels are good ones. I wish FBook made embedding an option with these. Anyhow, click the links. Thanks, Merle!

Case Pulls A Planer

Port Huron Tandem Compound

Friday, February 23, 2024

Weekend Steam: Durango And Silverton

 It's always good to visit the Durangon and Silverton. Thanks, Merle!

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Overhauling The Liftmaster Gate Opener

Our Liftmaster gate opener quit last week, and we overhauled it with parts from a damaged actuator that we stashed years ago. It is a relief to have it working again without having to buy parts and pay for service calls. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Hard Hat Reminder

 Also, that Escape Rule should not be ignored. The hickory tree's fibers slipped, and I stayed in place to get my video. A tap on the head is always a reminder that you should have been somewhere else.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Nice Sunset

 It's like we live in a resort.

Little Six-Point Carcass


                                                                                                          Dusty Photo

Our friend Dusty was out in the timber looking for shed antlers and found this little buck that has been cleaned by coyotes and other varmints. We have a lot of hunting pressure around us. There are two outfitters selling hunts, and deer hunters are all around our timber  through the deer seasons. We saw more than a dozen impressive sets of  antlers on social media that were harvested around us. This deer was probably killed by one of those hunters. The shooter should have contacted us and collected it, but did not. Maybe the shooter was not competent to track a wounded deer, maybe the shooter wasn't brave enough to contact us and ask permission to retrieve it. Maybe he shot this deer, saw a better one, and then shot and tagged the second one. Maybe he shot when this little deer was in line with the one he was aiming at. Who knows? It's an aggravation. The outfitters charge well up into four figures for a successful deer hunt, and there have been many trophy quality racks taken around us. This little guy will not mature to be one of those trophies in the future, so sloppy hunting is not just bothering us, it will be hurting the outfitters. The heavy pressure* around our island of habitat for trophy bucks is not sustainable, and I am sure we will be seeing fewer big racks in the next few years.

*We are skeptical about the ethics of some of the hunting that goes on around us. We commonly hear rifle shots at night during both bow and gun seasons while we are out with the dogs. Deer carcasses discarded off of bridges are big red flags. 

Monday, February 19, 2024

Tuesday Torque: Poor People Have Poor Ways....

 ...But, it does work! Sort of like pop starting a stick shift car. Thanks, Merle!

Tuesday Bonus! Fairbanks Pulling Rod Lines (Link)

Case 20-40 Pulling A Plow (Link)

Sunday, February 18, 2024

It Was A Sunny Day...

 ...with temps in the mid 40s, and the snow was going fast. It looks like a good week ahead. Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Snow And Cold

 We got about 3 inches of snow, along with some sleet and snow pellets, then cold last night, all day, and again tonight. It's going to warm up tomorrow, though.

Indoors tasks seemed a good choice. We took the oven door apart and cleaned the glass.

Weekend Steam II: B.R. 92134 Rescues B.R. 80136


 B.R 9F '92134' Comes To The Rescue to retrieve the failed B.R 80136 after the Standard Tank comes to a stand at Moorgates on The North Yorkshire Moors Annual Steam gala. As of the now the reports were of a failed water pump/injector issue and from the information I have it looks like the loco was out of water.

Thank You, Merle!

Friday, February 16, 2024

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Warning: Danger Dead Ash On IL Hwy 242

 We have been watching this tree for a long time. It tips to the highway, and has been dead for a couple of years. That's long enough the the root hairs are long gone and it may tip over without even a push by the wind. We look for it every time we go to McLeansboro and are always glad to get by unscathed. 

Valentine Countdown Finale! I Can't Help Falling In Love With You, Elvis Presley

Valentine Countdown, Extra Credit! Whispering, Comedian Harmonists

Valentine Countdown! These Foolish Things, Rudy Vallee

Monday, February 12, 2024

Third Great Grandfather William Tweed....

 .... was born 190 years ago today. Just missed him by 26 years. I sure would like to have a visit with him....

Valentine Countdown: Love Is Like A Butterfly, Dolly Parton

Tuesday Torque: Starting A 50 HP Fairbanks At Coolspring

 Air start, pretty neat! Old dynamite box, also pretty neat! Thanks, Merle!

Sunday, February 11, 2024

The Case Of The Exploding Fronius

We had a solar panel system installed in 2020 by a contractor out of Marion, Illinois and it produces a touch over 10,000 watts on a sunny day. It greatly reduced our power bill. This is the front of the Fronius inverter, that coordinates the power we produce, along with the power coming from our electric co-op.

We can cut off the power from the panels by switching the handle down to Off.
You open this box only when you have a problem...
...with the time delay fuses. They have a life, and when one fails, you cut off the power, open the box, check the fuses for continuity, and replace them if one is bad.  Turn the switch on, and the Fronius should soon be showing your wattage being produced. The net-meter off to the left will show if you are sending out or taking in power. 
Last week we saw that we weren't making any power, so I checked the fuses. Both of them were bad, and that is not good. That meant that something had occurred to make them blow. I replaced them, turned the power on, and nothing happened. No juice, just an error message. 
We made a call to the contractor who sold us the system, and the next morning we had help. He opened up the Fronius and found an exploded capacitor.
It blew off its base and caused a bit of collateral damage.
The repairman called Fronius, sent them some photos, and did some diagnostic checks on the wiring behind this panel, and they said they will send a new panel right away to install in the case. It is still in warranty! I just hope that they have parts in the country and we won't have to wait on a boat to cross the Pacific. 

Enough Excitement. Back To The Old Grind!

Valentine Countdown Bonus! Toot Toot Tootsie, Goodbye! Al Jolson, 1922

Valentine Countdown! That's Amore, Dean Martin

Weekend Steam II: Beautiful Burrell Cross Compound

 Here are a couple of short Facebook videos of a Burrell cross compound engine. Click the links to watch. You only hear one cylinder exhaust on compound engines, because the high pressure cylinder passes its steam to the low pressure cylinder. From there, it goes up the stack. Many thanks, Merle!

Link 1   Link 2

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Turkeys In The Mist

 We had a foggy morning the other day, and also a bunch of wild turkeys on the other side of the pond. They look like bugs running around in the woods from 200 yards away. Our surviving deer herd is hanging around the house, too. A couple of good looking bucks visited, and it was good to see they survived all of the deer seasons.

Valentine Countdown! She's Always A Woman, Billy Joel

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

The Need For Thinning

One of my landowners planted these white pines in 1989. He used a planting machine, did a fine job, and had good survival. The spacing is 10' x 10', for 436 trees per acre. He sold the ground and this photo was taken in 2015, when the new owner was harvesting trees and sawing lumber. Note that the crowns are crowded and the live crowns are quite short because of overcrowding. 

I looked it up on Google Earth the other day, and it was flown last October. Only part of the project was cleared, and a home now sits where the portable sawmill was located. The new owner has not thinned the trees, and you can see that they are hanging on. White pine is fairly tolerant of overcrowding, and if you plant a stand of pure white pine you must thin to maintain a good growth rate. 

I planted a shelter belt of white pine around 1990 alongside one of our hardwood plantings, and planned on being lazy. I mixed red pine in the rows, because red pine gets pine wilt disease at our latitude, and they passed out of the picture after 15 years. If you have a tree planting project that is older than 15 years, contact your forester, get out there with a chainsaw, and do your thinning. 

Valentine Countdown! Love Potion Number 9, The Searchers

Monday, February 5, 2024

Tuesday Torque: Two IHCs, A Titan and a Famous

 Merle found a good channel with some nice engines. The Iron Works "Teaching The Future About The Past" has a rare Titan throttle governed hopper cooled engine. The rarity is that it is on a factory sub-base. Followers of this channel will remember that a tank cooled 6 HP Titan used to reside in one of our outbuildings, and it was restored by Gary Bahre. Many Thanks, Merle, for spotting this one!

Valentine Countdown! You're Nobody 'til Somebody Loves You, Dean Martin

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Friday, February 2, 2024

Weekend Steam: 101 Year Old Steam Shovel At Rollag

 Even a little shovel like this one will build your arms. There is no power assist for pulling the levers on these machines. Thank You, Merle, for spotting!

Valentine Countdown! Love Me Tender, Elvis Presley

Did We?

Use your own judgment!