Sunday, June 30, 2024

Susan's Garden Update

 Susan's work goes on every day.

Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Weekend Steam II: Steam Powered Line Shaft Machine Shop

 Great topic, Merle!  This shop in Dubuque, Iowa is amazing! Thank You!

Friday, June 28, 2024

Weekend Steam: Steam Motorcycles Get Better And Better!

 Many Thanks, Merle for spotting this great machine!

Busy Week-New Fosters!

We have a couple of new-to-us Schipperkes in our foster dog yard, both are owner surrenders. Both are spayed females. One is easy, and the other needs extensive socialization. Both are beautiful and healthy.


Monday, June 24, 2024

Tuesday Torque: A Few IHCs


Thanks for the inspiration, Merle! 

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Gardening Every Day!

                                  Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Weekend Steam II: More "Surprise" Burrell!


Surprise is a real beauty, Merle!

Weekend Steam: "Surprise" Burrell Traction Engine

This is a beautiful engine Merle. Many Thanks for spotting it!


Friday, June 21, 2024

Buster Is Sixteen!

 Buster has been with us nearly a year, and his birthday is today, June 21. The old boy is sixteen now, a ripe old age, but not unusual among Schipperkes. He sleeps a lot, and stays in bed about half an hour longer every morning than the other dogs. He is mostly blind, and profoundly deaf, but he gets around the house and dog yard OK, and he gets along well with the other dogs. Susan made some special treats for him, and she will type those up so we can share here and on YouTube. The ice cream is great. It is yogurt, banana, and peanut butter. I stole one of his servings!

FROZEN PUP ICE CREAM 1 ripe banana mashed 32 oz of sugar free Greek yogurt 1 cup no sugar ( no xylitol) peanut butter or food process peanuts until smooth Real bacon crumbles Mix all above ingredients together and freeze in parchment paper or non stick foil Freeze at least 4 hours or overnight. Let thaw a little and scoop out. I refroze the scoops to make it easy to serve. Sprinkle bacon crumbles on top. DOGGIE CAKE (more or less ingredients according to pet size) ½ pound 90 % lean ground beef 1 egg beaten ½ cup quick oats ¼ cup finely shredded cheddar cheese Mix together and form 2 “1” thick cake layers Bake in the oven on low heat about 225 for 2 hours or more to done (use parchment paper so they do not stick) Remove from the oven, press them down evenly (make slightly flatten) FROSTING 1-2 orange sweet potatoes peeled and cooked until soft Whip the cooked sweet potatoes using broth or water if needed to make smooth Frost in-between meat layers, then frost the entire cake with the remainder of the sweet potatoes. Decorate with fruit if desired We had no digestive problems but as always you know your pet and serve accordingly

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Heavy Hackberry

 This hackberry had grown over the barn roof, and when I measured it I found that the back weight and lean was more than my self imposed limits for wedging. It would have taken three thicknesses of wedges to tip over, and that is not practical, and it may have failed. Lift too much back weight with wedges and you might pop your hinge. That would be a bad thing! The tractor came to the rescue. I checked whether the tractor could move the crown, and it could, so I used the tractor, plus wedges for stabilization while setting it up. We will chunk this tree down and then cut the others that are too close to the barn.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Tuesday Torque II: LaCrosse Rein Drive Tractor

 Someplace Or Another, on YouTube has been posting from all over, and this short video is from Old Threshers at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. I know this tractor well, having seen it more times than I can count since I was a kid. Back in the 1960s, it was the only one known of this model, but now there is another one that has surfaced on YouTube. Here is Someplace's video, and then a brief narration by Yours Truly. 

Time For Turtles

 Red-eared sliders are on the march this week. These cute little critters do this hike every summer, getting away from the pond, where the raccoons are going to find every cache of eggs. We usually find a few nests dug out and pilfered by the raccoons, but the turtle population seems to be thriving, so they don't find many. 

Sunday, June 16, 2024

One Patch That The Deer Haven't Eaten

Susan's daylilies have been hammered for the last few years, but this year the deer are leaving the flowers be along the garden path. I had forgotten how pretty they are. 

 The heat is on now, so get out early and do your outdoor chores early. Back To The Old Grind!

Weekend Steam II: Parade Of Steam 2024, Cass Scenic Railroad

 Another great pick by Merle! Thank You!

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Weekend Steam: Paddle Steamer Uri

 A beautiful boat, a beautiful engine! Many Thanks to Merle for spotting!

Friday, June 14, 2024

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Bradycardia Blues Update

 Remember Holter Monitors? They have changed! (Image from CardiacMonitoring(dot)com.

They would stick those electrodes all over your hairy body, to be removed several days later, and that is a very unpleasant task. Plus, you are carrying the recorder on your body the whole time, and you are supposed to sleep on your back every night. There have been improvements. 

Holter monitors now are the size of a coat button and the kit comes with two razors so your technician can shave you before sticking down the electrodes. There are very few restrictions in wearing this little device. The most important one is to not get sweaty for the first 24 hours while the adhesive is taking hold. Click that little button when you have an event, and write it down with the time. Take it off after five days and mail it in to the lab. 

We have good news about the heart issues. The cardiologist we were referred to dropped the ball on checking me out for electrical issues, so our primary doctor ordered the Holter monitor as soon as we told him about it. He stepped his game right up after the specialist let us down. We went to Ferrell Hospital in Eldorado and had first class treatment there getting the device. We have heard good things about this little regional hospital, and those good things were confirmed. We mail the monitor next Monday, and I am to go about life as I normally would, so they can see what my heart is doing.

Wheat Harvest 2024

 Susan got her annual ride in a big John Deere combine yesterday! All those new joints allow her to climb up into the beast with ease. We always remember Patti's birthday when the wheat is being cut. She was born in June, 1924 when the wheat was being threshed, so the wheat harvest was always an event for her. It still is for us, too.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Sauerkraut Party!

 Susan harvested eight heads of cabbage from our garden the other day and we had a sauerkraut party. It is a quick and easy process. Clean the crock and rock, cut the cabbage, add a heaping teaspoon of salt for each pound of cabbage, punch and crunch the cut cabbage to bring out the moisture, put a plate on top, with a rock to press it down, cover and place the crock in a cool place.

Monday, June 10, 2024

1885 Daimler Reitwagen Motorcycle....

 ...the very first gasoline powered motorcycle! Thank You, Merle!

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Not Sitting Around!

 Buy good tools and they usually will last a long time. This Red Max reciprocater still has the original carburetor. I put fresh gas in it today, pumped the primer bulb, choked, and started. It is a joy! This machine works much better than a line trimmer for big weeds. When I finished this little weed patch, I moved over to the bean rows and used the Red Max to "hoe" between the rows. I ran the blades just under the surface, cutting the weeds off in short order, and saving Susan a bunch of time using her hoe.

Back To The Old Grind!

Vicarious Vacationing With SUV Rving

 Tristan takes us on a challenging hike. Heebie-Jeebies, no extra charge!

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Slippery Dave!...(A Timely Re-post; I have firearms to clean!)

...Make your own Slippery Dave gun cleaner/lube! and start saving money when you clean and lube your guns. I've tried many of the gun oils on the market, and when you study them you will figure out that there is no magical spout in the refinery that spits out gun oil. Gun cleaners and gun oils are basically solvents and oils in varying combinations, and if you know what you want, you can come up with a good combo yourself.  Ballistol, one of the favorite old-time gun cleaner/oils will mix with water for cleaning black powder residue, and will clean your action while leaving a coat of oil. That's easy to figure out. It will clean black powder fouling and mix with water because of alcohol in the mix, and it has hydrocarbon solvents, too, to clean and to thin the oil. Here's all you need to make your own version of that gun cleaner/oil.

Sea Foam is a mix of alcohol (smells like isopropyl), naphtha, (Coleman fuel) and kerosene. Marvel Mystery Oil is a light oil with oil-of-wintergreen added, which eats corrosion and is a degreaser. It has paraffin, which provides a protective coating to metal, and it smells good, too. Mix these together and you have a darn good gun cleaner/oil. I add about half an ounce of chainsaw bar lube to the mix, because it clings to metal really well. I keep a pump oil can in my cleaning kit for shooting this mix down the barrel, and it makes the bore shine. You can also put it on your barrel cleaning snake for a quick pull-through.  Instead of paying $16 a pint for a name brand cleaner, you will have about $6 or $8 in a quart. You can use any oil you prefer; some folks like 5W-30 synthetic, some like ATF.  Rather than buying Seafoam, you can substitute mineral spirits and isopropyl alcohol. You can get pure isopropyl in Iso-Heet gas line antifreeze from the car care section of popular stores or at an auto parts store.

Keep your mix in an airtight bottle, because the solvents will evaporate if given the chance. Don't use any gun cleaning product or solvent around an ignition source; and don't smoke while cleaning your guns. Beware of oily cloths from cleaning.

Friday, June 7, 2024

Weekend Steam: James Valley Threshing Show, and the Case 150!

 The James Valley Threshing Show is coming up September 6, 7, and 8. It is a long drive to get there, so start making your travel plans. This is the place to see the only Case 150 Horsepower engine. It is a 12 inch to the foot, scale model of the originals, built by Kory Anderson, family, and friends from the original factory blueprints. You really deserve to see this engine in person. Thanks for the reminder, Merle!

Bradycardia Blues

 The cardiologist at Deaconess was a disappointment. He wasn't interested in the ekgs and notes from the family doc and the ER doc. He said they must be wrong. He told me to slow down and get help for doing my outdoor chores. It was a real bum's rush, or GOMER. Get Out of My Examination Room.  He took my pulse at my right wrist for 30 seconds, gave a quick listen to my chest, and that was the extent of my exam.

My personal EKG machine is showing VPB Bigeminy...Ventricular Premature Beats, Bradycardia and Arrythmia. You can feel it beating in your chest, irregular and palpitations.  Not good. Deaconess will be getting a review from me about their guy.   My rate jumps around from the 30s to the 40s, but it drops to 28 regularly with palpitations. I will have to talk to another doctor.... Oh Well, or words to that effect. 

I am going to return to normal activities and take my own ekgs throughout the day to document what the heart is doing. Thank goodness for the Internet. A person has to be their own doctor nowadays. 

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Eighty Years...

 Ernie Pyle Walked The Beach 80 Years Ago

I took a walk along the historic coast of Normandy in the country of France. It was a lovely day for strolling along the seashore. Men were sleeping on the sand, some of them sleeping forever. Men were floating in the water, but they didn't know they were in the water, for they were dead.
The water was full of squishy little jellyfish about the size of a man's hand. Millions of them. In the center of each of them was green design exactly like a four-leafed clover. The good-luck emblem. Sure. Hell, yes.
I walked for a mile and a half along the water's edge of our many-miled beach. I walked slowly, for the detail on the beach was infinite.
The wreckage was vast and startling. The awful waste and destruction of war, even aside from the loss of human life, has always been one of its outstanding features to those who are in it. Anything and everything is expendable. And we did expend on our beachhead in Normandy during those first few hours.
For a mile out from the beach there were scores of tanks and trucks and boats that were not visible, for they were at the bottom of the water-swamped by overloading, or hit by shells, or sunk by mines. Most of their crews were lost.
There were trucks tipped half over and swamped, partly sunken barges, and the angled-up corners of jeeps, and small landing craft half submerged. And at low tide you could still see those vicious six-pronged iron snares that helped snag and wreck them.
On the beach itself, high and dry, were all kinds of wrecked vehicles. There were tanks that had only just made the beach before being knocked out. There were jeeps that had burned to a dull gray. There were big derricks on caterpillar treads that didn't quite make it. There were half-tracks carrying office equipment that had been made into a shambles by single shell hit, their interiors still holding the useless equipage of smashed typewriters, telephones, office files.
There were LCTs turned completely upside down, and lying on their backs, and how they got that way I don't know. There were boats stacked on top of each other, their sides caved in, their suspension doors knocked off.
In this shore-line museum of carnage there were abandoned rolls of barbed wire and smashed bulldozers and big stacks of thrown-away life belts and piles of shells still waiting to be moved. In the water floated empty life rafts and soldiers' packs and ration boxes, and myserious oranges. On the beach lay snarled rolls of telephone wire and big rolls of steel matting and stacks of broken, rusting rifles.
On the beach lay, expended, sufficient men and mechanism for a small war. They were gone forever now. And yet we could afford it.
We could afford it because we were on, we had our toe hold, and behind us there were such enormous replacements for this wreckage on the beach that you could hardly conceive of the sum total. Men and equipment were flowing from England in such a gigantic stream that it made the waste on the beachhead seem like nothing it all, really nothing at all.
But there was another and more human litter. It extended in a thin little line, just like a high-water mark, for miles along the beach. This was the strewn personal gear, gear that would never be needed again by those who fought and died to give us our entrance into Europe.
There in a jumbled row for mile on mile were soldiers' packs. There were socks and shoe polish, sewing kits, diaries, Bibles, hand grenades. There were the latest letters from home, with the address on each one neatly razored out-one of the security precautions enforced before the boys embarked.
There were toothbrushes and razors, and snapshots of families back home staring up at you from the sand. There were pocketbooks, metal mirrors, extra trousers, and bloody, abandoned shoes. There were broken-handled shovels, and portable radios smashed almost beyond recognition, and mine detectors twisted and ruined.
There were torn pistol belts and canvas water buckets, first-aid kits, and jumbled heaps of life belts. I picked up a pocket Bible with a soldier's name in it, and put it in my jacket. I carried it half a mile or so and then put it back down on the beach. I don't know why I picked it up, or why I put it down again.
Soldiers carry strange things ashore with them. In every invasion there is at least one soldier hitting the beach at H-hour with a banjo slung over his shoulder. The most ironic piece of equipment marking our beach-this beach first of despair, then of victory-was a tennis racket that some soldier had brought along. It lay lonesomely on the sand, clamped in its press, not a string broken.
Two of the most dominant items in the beach refuse were cigarettes and writing paper. Each soldier was issued a carton of cigarettes just before he started. That day those cartons by the thousand, water-soaked and spilled out, marked the line of our first savage blow.
Writing paper and air-mail envelopes came second. The boys had intended to do a lot of writing in France. The letters-now forever incapable of being written-that might have filled those blank abandoned pages!
Always there are dogs in every invasion. There was a dog still on the beach, still pitifully looking for his masters. He stayed at the water's edge, near a boat that lay twisted and half sunk at the waterline. He barked appealingly to every soldier who approached, trotted eagerly along with him for a few feet, and then, sensing himself unwanted in all the haste, he would run back to wait in vain for his own people at his own empty boat.
Over and around this long thin line of personal anguish, fresh men were rushing vast supplies to keep our armies pushing on into France. Other squads of men picked amidst the wreckage to salvage ammunition and equipment that was still usable.
Men worked and slept on the beach for days before the last D-day victim was taken away for burial.
I stepped over the form of one youngster whom I thought dead, But when I looked down I saw he was only sleeping. He was very young, and very tired. He lay on one elbow, his hand suspended in the air about six inches from the ground. And in the palm of his hand he held a large, smooth rock.
I stood and looked at him a long time. He seemed in his sleep to hold that rock lovingly, as though it were his last link with a vanishing world. I have no idea at all why he went to sleep with the rock in his hand, or what kept him from dropping it once he was asleep. It was just one of those little things without explanation that a person remembers for a long time.
The strong, swirling tides of the Normandy coast line shifted the contours of the sandy beach as they moved in and out. They carried soldiers' bodies out to sea, and later they returned them. They covered the corpses of heroes with sand, and then in their whims they uncovered them.
As I plowed out over the wet sand, I walked around what seemed to be a couple of pieces of driftwood sticking out of the sand. But they weren't driftwood. They were a soldier's two feet. He was completely covered except for his feet; the toes of his GI shoes pointed toward the land he had come so far to see, and which he saw so briefly.
From "Brave Men" by Ernie Pyle

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

The Kraut Rock Is In Play!

Susan picked eight heads of cabbage today, and this evening they went into the kraut crock. Our genuine Rio Grande kraut rock will hold down the juicy mix while the magic occurs.


Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Atlas, Schipperke

 Atlas is one of the fosters we are currently keeping. He and Sophie have moved upstairs and have been welcomed into the pack. They now have kennels in our bedroom and sleep peacefully through the night. They both respond to their names and are strong on their housebreaking.  It is time to find permanent homes for them so they can get on with their lives. Life is short. It is much too short for a dog, so we must move them along. 

Tuesday Torque II: Sears Motor Buggy

Here is another great topic, courtesy of Merle! Sears sold these motor buggies for only a few years, and when you consider they began in 1908 you will understand. Henry Ford began producing the 1909 Model T in late 1908, and that created shockwaves through the young auto industry. With real automobiles on the market, a gas powered buggy didn't stand a chance. Fun to watch, though.


The last video provides a good look at the transmission. Old tractor fans will recognize that it is the same system that was used in Heider tractors. 

Monday, June 3, 2024

Shortly Before The Storm...


Dramatic Little Thunder Boomer This Evening!

We had some lightning pop right overhead, followed by roof rattling thunder a few times. We saw it coming and had the dogs walked and back in again before it hit. 


Taking It Easy

 I will see a cardiologist later this week, and I am behaving myself. Low blood pressure, highly variable pulse, palpitations, and weak legs remind me to not do anything stupid while I wait to see the doctor. No Grinding for a while!

Tuesday Torque: 1901 Royal Enfield Quadricycle

 Thank You, Merle! 

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Weekend Steam: A Maine Two-Footer!

 This is not one that Merle sent. He sent a link to a video and while looking at that page, a Maine two-footer video showed up. I couldn't resist. Thanks for the rabbit hole, Merle!

If you want to know some fascinating history, The Maine Two-Footers, by Linwood Moody, 1959, is an excellent resource. I bought this book way back when I was in high school, and my dad kept it next to his easy chair. He never tired of looking at the photos and reading the stories of these tiny narrow gauge trains.  Here Is Where You Can Get Yours!Here Is Where You Can Get Yours!