Monday, March 31, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
That is a fascinating glimpse of the good old days. This engine would have produced about 50 horsepower on the belt, and would have been marginal for pulling a sawmill on large logs, but its performance would have also depended on the sawyer's skill in sharpening, and sawmill setup and maintenance. I have been debating the species of the logs being processed in the photo. The warty appearance of the bark has me thinking hackberry, but the prominent grain exposed on the log has me thinking that ash is a possibility. Comments from anyone familiar with bark patterns in the Springfield, MO area are welcome.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
During the 1850's he and a brother went to Kansas as part of the anti-slavery movement in Kansas. He enlisted in the Tenth Illinois Infantry in 1861, and left his wife, Mary, to manage their farm and care for their two babies while he helped put down the rebellion. Most of the travel in the Infantry was by foot, and the Tenth Illinois went from Southern Illinois, through Tennesee, Georgia, the Carolinas, and ended up at Wahington, D.C to be mustered out.
He returned to farming after the war, but packed up and homesteaded in Nebraska during the 1880's. Mary died in 1911, and he moved to Oklahoma to live with his son Clarence, then later moved back to Oquawka to stay with his son, Moses. He died on this date in 1925, and he was shipped by rail to be buried next to Mary in Bassett, Nebraska.
I am always amazed by amount of traveling that went on Before Cars (B.C.). People used to travel great distances on foot or on horseback, and they did not have cushy hiking shoes. William Tweed: a real Travelin' Man.
I teach forestry basics to FFA students from several schools and use a simple setup for them to learn how to pace a chain (66') and to measure with the hypsometer. We set up three stakes with 16' between two of them, 66' away from the third one. Pacing is just normal and consistent walking and counting every other step. We always start with the left foot and count on the right foot. A few trips back and forth establish the number of paces each student uses to cover one chain. Note the spot that you call one chain, turn around and place your eye above the one chain mark.
The stick is designed to be held 25" from your eye. We check everyone's reach with a tape. If a student cannot adjust their reach to 25", they will need to make a custom stick. With your eye at a distance of 66' feet from the stakes spaced 16' apart, hold your stick at your 25" reach, line up the bottom of the stick with one stake, and holding your head motionless, rotate your eye to the second stake. It should be lined up with the 1 log mark on the hypsometer. You are ready to measure the number of logs in trees when you can do this consistently.
Merchantable height measurement goes like this:
1. Size up the tree from a distance to determine the upper cutoff point.
2. Go up to the tree and measure the diameter.
3. Select a clear horizontal path away from the tree so you can pace one chain.
4. Pace out one chain, turn around and check to see if both the bottom of the tree
and the upper cutoff point are visible. Lateral moves are often necessary at this step.
5. Extend your arm with the stick to your 25" reach
6. Tilt your head back, roll your eye to the stump height on the tree,
line up the bottom of the stick with the stump.
7. Hold your head motionless and roll your eye upward to the cutoff point on the tree.
Read the number of logs on the stick. Estimate to the nearest 1/2 log. Don't round up.
Tilting your head back before measuring is important. If you don't do this, you will find that you can't roll your eye up far enough to reach the upper cutoff point.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
I have a Schnauzer at my feet
And as I try to get my Z's
The dog is biting at his fleas
And barking at imagined foes.
I have a Schnauzer at my feet;
I have a hell-hound at my toes.
Perhaps tonight he'll let me sleep
And fall off into slumber deep,
And rested, I'll the morning greet.
But no, the dog cannot be still.
I have a Schnauzer at my feet;
This puppy has the stronger will.
He'll be licking me upon an ear
When the sun's first golden rays appear.
God knows 'twould be better to be sound
Asleep than tortured by this pup
I'd like to cart off to the pound,
For every night he keeps me up.
A moment's rest would be so dear...
But I've a Schnauzer at my feet.
If I had sense I would get up
And kick him out upon his ear,
But no, I just admit defeat
To that darn dog that's at my feet.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
This doomed pecan was in the third planting project of one of my clients a few years ago. He killed pecans by the hundreds. Pecan seems to be the most difficult for landowners to separate the root from the top. I inspected a project yesterday, and every pecan was planted high; some as much as six inches high. It seems so simple to me--identify the top of the root; put all of the root in the ground. Oh Well, or words to that effect.
Another problem you are likely to encounter with sparkplugs is removing the boots. Soon after you acquire a car, and every 30,000 to 40,000 miles after that, ease the boots off the plugs and give them a generous shot of silicone spray inside and out. This will keep them pliable, and allow easy removal. If you do not do this, you are likely to tear them to pieces when you try to remove them at your 100,000 mile service interval.
Cheap sparkplugs may tempt you when you are looking at the selection in Wal-Mart. Plugs for your car may come in cheap, better, and platinum. The cheap ones are fine, but they will start missing somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000 miles. I prefer the platinum, because I know they will stand up to hard driving, and they really will last for 100,000 miles in a good engine. If you drive an oil burner that fouls plugs, then you definitely will want to buy the cheaper grades since you will be changing plugs often.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
...the harps of spring
are in the air
i do not care a darn if school
the jonquil says
all work is rot
has hours to spare
let us rejoice
and from us tear
and let us
and let us
the harps of spring....
excerpted from spring, the lives and times of archy and mehitabel, by don marquis, doubleday doran & co. inc, garden city, new york, 1935
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
This is a record which was loved to death, so here are the lyrics to help you enjoy Annie Laurie.
Maxwellton braes are bonnie where early fa's the dew
And it's there that Annie Laurie gied me her promise true
Gied me her promise true and n'er forgot will be
And for bonnie Annie Laurie I'd lay me doon an' dee
Like dew on the gowan lying is the fa' of her fairy feet
And like winds in summer sighing her voice is low and sweet
Her voice is low and sweet and she's a' the worls tae me
And for bonnie Annie Laurie I'd lay me doon and dee
How many of you have spotted the problem here? Sure, John McCormack is a Genuine Irish Tenor, but the song Annie Laurie is a Scottish song. I have listened to this record many times, but it wasn't until I looked up the lyrics that the light went on. I also have a record of him singing Marcheta, a Spanish love song. You have to wonder if there is a Mariachi band somewhere performing the Irish Washerwoman. Part of my ancestral line is Scotch-Irish, so both these songs work for me.
Ever since that little lesson, I have used a trailer. You have a wider footprint on the road, you have lights on the back of the load for moving in the dark, and you have those all important springs. It is easy to load with a come-along as pictured above, or with an electric winch which I have in the back of the truck.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
Sunday, March 9, 2008
While I am emulating Keats
My brother fabrics toilet seats,
The which, they say, are works of art,
Aesthetic features of the mart;
So exquisitely are they made
With plastic of a pastel shade,
Of topaz, ivory or rose,
Inviting to serene repose.
Rajahs I'm told have seats of gold,--
(They must, I fear, be very cold).
But Tom's have thermostatic heat,
With sympathy your grace to greet.
Like silver they are neon lit,
Making a halo as you sit:
Then lo! they play with dulcet tone
A melody by Mendelssohn.
Oh were I lyrical as Yeats
I would not sing of toilet seats,
But rather serenade a star,--
Yet I must take things as they are.
For even kings must coyly own
Them as essential as a throne:
So as I tug the Muse's teats
I envy Tom his toilet seats.
From: Rhymes For My Rags by Robert W Service 1956
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Here is the handy dandy answer for the woman who needs a discreet way out of a dead-end marriage.
It hasn't been too many years ago that the average housewife was constantly fighting flies from the horses, cows, and pigs around the homestead. This product would raise no eyebrows when purchased at the general store, and if it happened to be dipped in the old boy's coffee while he was out doing the morning milking, no-one would be the wiser. This sample was in a box of plunder we bought at a farm auction years ago. It is behind glass, and I check it every morning when I pour my coffee.
Monday, March 3, 2008
Sunday, March 2, 2008
archy on this and that
an old stomach
reforms more whiskey drinkers
than a new resolve
and the sexton
stops more than either
a man who is so dull
that he can learn only by personal experience
is too dull to learn
anything important by experience
a great many people
who spend their time mourning
over the brevity of life
could make it seem longer
if they did a little more work
judging by the number and variety
of pills and religions in the world
the chief preoccupation of man
has been the state of his digestion
and the condition of his soul
and just look at both of them
From: the lives and times of archy & mehitabel by don marquis; doubleday doran & co. inc. garden city, new york, 1933