Friday, July 3, 2015

Weekend Steam: Let's Go To The Black Hills And Ride The 1880 Train!

We took this ride many years ago when we hijacked my dad for a trip to South Dakota. We did a trail ride, panned for gold, saw Mt. Rushmore, and brought back a big pile of rocks. We need to do that trip again.

This video begins and ends with the 1880 Train, and has Diesels in between, but it provides some good views of South Dakota landscapes.

Not My Victrola: Add A Little Context To Conflicts Past And Present

Published on Dec 31, 2008 by Pax41written by B. R. Hanby "Darling Nelly Gray" is a 19th c. popular song composed by Benjamin Hanby, and as such, is a pseudo-African-American folksong. Hanby composed the song while attending Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio in 1856, in response to the plight of a runaway slave named Joseph Selby or Shelby. Benjamin Hanby's father, Bishop William Hanby, a United Brethren minister who was active in the Underground Railroad, was attempting to raise money to free Selbys beloved. Although author and origins of the song are known, it may be seen in relation to the blackface genre. In the song, a male slave in Kentucky mourns his beloved, who has been sold South to Georgia. It has been called the saddest song ever written for its conclusion, which is essentially an embrace of death after a life of loss and sorrow.

In a long green, valley on the old Kentucky shore
Sure I've whiled many happy hours away,
Just a sitting and a singing by the little cabin door
Where lived my darling Nellie Gray

When the moon had climbed the mountain, and the stars were shining bright
I'd take my darling Nellie Gray
And we'd float down the river in my little red canoe
While my banjo so sweetly I would play

One night I went to see her, but she's gone the neighbors say
And the white man had bound her with his chain
They have taken her to Georgia for to wear her life away
As she toils in the cotton and the cane

Oh, my darling Nellie Gray, they have taken you away
I'll never see my darling anymore
They have taken you to Georgia for to work your life away
And youre gone from that old Kentucky shore.

Now my canoe is under water, and my banjo is unstrung
I am tired of living, anymore
My eyes shall be cast downward, and my songs will be unsung
While I stay on the old Kentucky shore

Now my eyes are getting dimmer and I cannot see the light
Hark theres someone a-knocking at my door
Oh I hear the angels coming and I see my Nellie Gray
So farewell to the old Kentucky shore

Oh, my darling Nellie Gray, up in heaven, so they say
And they'll never take you from me, anymore
Oh I'm coming, coming, coming, as the angels clear the way
So farewell to the old Kentucky shore

This song came about five years before secession and Fort Sumter, and most recruits from the North would have at least heard this song, if they didn't know it by heart. No matter how many times you hear that the Civil War was about states's rights, you have to include slavery in the equation. 

150 years after the end of that war it seems that there are a whole lotta people wanting to start something all over again. My guess is that the loudest complainers couldn't earn a C if they were given a test that covered the buildup to war, the war itself, and the history of the South after the war.

We don't like to do politics on this little blog, so just enjoy the song and add it to your bag of tools if you are a student of history.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Tree Is Not A Shelter...

I'm always telling people to quit parking under trees around their homesites. The trees that catch my eye have obvious problems, and are disasters just waiting to happen, but sometimes a good one bites the dust, too. This big pin oak was solid, but a little twister reached down and spun the top out and dropped it right on a nice car.

There isn't any defense against tornadoes, but there is for normal storm damage. Don't plant a silver maple or red maple within 100 feet of your house! Those two species are guaranteed to drop major parts in any serious thunderstorm. Prune out branches with steep angles before they become large. Keep your trees pruned so they are balanced away from your house. Take out trees that develop root rot and other serious structural defects from wounds and rot.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fairbanks 208 On A White County Oil Well

One of the joys of my job is seeing oil wells up close, all over my corner of Southern Illinois. This Fairbanks 208 is running great, and if you watch closely you can see the governor operating the throttle. Great engine music, and the pumping unit isn't squeaking too bad!

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

Ruger is offering another chance for you to acquire one of the few U.S. Government MkII pistols that were made in the 1980's under a contract with the Rock Island Arsenal. This one was rejected for a split grip, repaired, and then stored away in the Ruger vault. These pistols feature a 6 7/8" barrel, a burnished chamber, and finer sights, and better accuracy than the run-of-the-mill MkII's. CLICK HERE to read the entire description and to place your bid. This fine, rare pistol will sell mid-day, July1, 2015. 100% of the proceeds of this sale will go to benefit Honored American Veterans Afield.

July Mr. Completely e-Postal Is Up At Billll's Idle Mind!

Billll has designed a great target for July; you can't miss! It's as easy as shooting Fish In A Barrel; in fact, that is the name of his contest. You can score each fish/item only one time, so you must knuckle down and shoot well. You will shoot this one standing, unsupported, so I suggest practicing your breathing as you hold your natural point of aim, and squeeeeezing the trigger very carefully! Click Here to go over to Billll's blog to read the rules and to print your target.  This looks like a great target, Billll, I can hardly wait to get out back of the barn.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Cut Safely When Dealing With Storm Damage!

We have quite a few limbs down from the storm last week, and a few broken trees that will make firewood for next winter.  Here is a relatively easy problem to deal with, if you know how to make your cuts.

Tuesday Turbo Boost

One thing's for certain; there is plenty of Mississippi mud to go around this summer! Get out and start patting your feet on it!

That was Bix with Paul Whiteman; Here's Bix with Bing Crosby!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

All Those Lonely Vegans...

...Makin' rice cakes. What kind of life is that? Oh Well.

I think I will stop by the taco shop and throw caution to the wind. Back To The Old Grind!

Birthday PARTY!

We had a little family reunion in St. Louis yesterday on Pattie's 91st birthday. It was a long day, and a good one.  The weather was beautiful, and we were home right at sunset.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Not My Victrola: Blue Yodel #9

We haven't listened to a Jimmie Rodgers song for a mighty long time, and it's time to fix that! This recording has Louis Armstrong providing the trumpet accompaniment; the only recording where these two legends appear together.

R.I.P., Chimney

June 25, 2015. Nighttime T-storms.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Some People Find Beautiful Arrowheads

I find ancient television burial grounds.

Pattie's Birthday Reminder

Pattie Ann was born in 1924 while the wheat was being harvested for threshing, so it's easy to remember her birthday is coming up. The wheat has been ripe and ready for over a week, but the storms from TS Bill delayed getting in the field with equipment. Susan brought Pattie over to the farm last night so she could see the combine work its magic.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat

Whoa Tillie, Take Your Time and Don't Think You'll Be missed were recorded in October and November, 1922 by Margaret Young. She was born in Detroit, in 1891, and began her career in Detroit. She recorded for Victor in 1920, moved to Brunswick in 1922, and was popular through the Roaring Twenties. She recorded again for Capitol Records in 1949. She passed away in Los Angeles in 1969. I am sure you will enjoy both sides of this classic Brunswick disc.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Coolspring Flame Ignition Expo

Our friend Gary Bahre just got back from Pennsylvania where he attended the big Flame Ignition Expo at the Coolspring Power Museum. There were engine fans there from all over the world, and it was a great show. Many of you have heard about hot tube ignition, which is powered by flame, but before that there were intricate mechanisms built that transferred flame directly into the cylinder, and those engines were the big draw at this show. The Crown engines in Gary's video were used in urban settings to pump water up to holding tanks, providing running water to apartments. They were built in the 1880's, and it is a wonder that any have survived to this day. These are running on a mixture of hydrogen and propane. Originally they would have used illuminating gas, but that is more corrosive than propane, and propane flames are visible, so you can see what the engine is doing.

In the second video, by Reddrryder, pull the slider over to 31 minutes to see his photos of the flame ignition engines on display.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit Honored American Veterans Afield

The firearm of the week from Ruger is a 12 gauge Red Label Over and Under Shotgun made in 1989. This gun features 3" chambers, 28" barrel, and fixed chokes of Improved Cylinder and Modified. 100% of the proceeds of this sale will go to benefit Honored American Veterans Afield, and it will sell mid-day, Wednesday, June24, 2015. CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place your bid.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Wake Up And Smell The Ozone!

This is a good look at an old electric coffee grinder like you would have used in grocery stores some 60 or 70 years ago. Note the sparks in the motor when he fires it up.

Back To The Old Grind!

May e-Postal Scores Are Up!

Thursday nights we go to Pistol League at Carmi if I can get home from work in time. Last week Patty told us before we left and a couple times as we drove that she didn't feel like shooting. She was just going to watch. A new shooter came to the range that night. He had a brand new Mk III Standard Pistol, and he knew nothing about shooting it. With a club member on either side of him, he was coaxed through magazine after magazine. After his first time up (with long times and many misses), Patty announced that she wanted to shoot after all. She shot three rounds on the plates and had her best times ever. On her final turn she got below 5 seconds on the five plate stage. After her first turn she said "I hope I didn't make that guy feel too bad."

Friday, Christoper at The Smallest Conservative blog posted the May Mr. Completely e-Postal scores, and there was Patty at the top of the list! We were all amazed, to say the least. She has to use a rest for target work, but she still has to line up and make a good trigger squeeze. The skills she has learned from Appleseed instructors really come through on her pistol shooting. So, twice in the same week Patty has kicked you know what. Look out, because next she will be taking names. Not bad for a lady who will be celebrating 91 years next Saturday.

You can see the May e-Postal scores Here, at The Smallest Conservative. Thank You, Christopher for hosting the May contest!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Not My Victrola: Advice To The Love Worn By The Red Hot Mama!

I always liked the expression, "Kissin' Don't Last; Cookin' Do! Pancakes, bacon, eggs, brisket, mashed taters, biscuits, gravy and PIE is the strategy I would recommend. But it's a good song! Here's Sophie:

Friday, June 19, 2015

Weekend Steam: Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad

Crankin' It Up With Our Old Buddy Brat

Let Me Call You Sweetheart was published in 1910, and was first recorded by the Peerless Quartet. This recording was made in January 1926, at the end of the acoustic recording era, and it's a good one. This record has been in my collection for over forty years, and as usual, this is the first time I have listened to it.