Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
We got lucky and saw this old gem out idling around at Old Threshers this year. This engine is a rare old one, and it was on static display at Mt. Pleasant for many years because of a bad boiler. It now sports a welded boiler of modern steel and is in operation annually. There goes that man in the hat again!
Friday, September 26, 2008
Here's a little trivia question for you. What are the names of the two characters in the song 'School Days?' Not too many will know; most adults my age don't even know the words to the chorus. I first heard this song at the tender age of four, performed in the one room school that I would soon attend.
This acoustic recording was made on February 26, 1907, and the record is in pretty good shape. I played it on the old Brunswick and added some photos for a nice slide show.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
During our first winter driving this car we found that the anti-lock brakes kicked in sooner than we liked, and that it was hard to stop on any mildly slick surface. Pumping the brakes like I did when I drove a '51 Hudson made stopping possible, and soon, Dear Wife was able to stop the old fashioned way, too. Stopping quickly on gravel required the same technique, and we figured that it was just the nature of the anti-lock brake system on this car.
Recently we both noticed a change in the feel of the brake pedal, (165,000 plus miles) so I installed a rebuilt master cylinder. Dear Wife helped me bleed the system, and then we went out on the gravel to test it. HOLY COW! We could stop fast on gravel! No aggravating anti-lock kick in! What we have figured out is that, when we hit that Stratus, with the brakes engaged to the max, we blew the cup for the front brakes, and have been driving with only rear brakes for over 150,000 miles. Henry Ford would be proud of us, even if it was a Chevy.
Moral? I'm still learning how to get around under the car, and if I ever take a bad hit with my foot on the brakes I will rebuild or change the master cylinder; or get a new car.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
You make it in your mess-tin by the brazier's rosy gleam;
Since I came out to fight in France, which ain't the other day,
I think them lazy lumps o' gods wot kips on asphodel
If you have ever clicked on the poetry label you know that I am a big fan of Robert Service. This particular poem is one I skipped over for years, because I did not like tea. When I finally did take the time to study A Pot of Tea, the realization dawned on me that I had never had good tea. Tea where I grew up came in a tea bag from the local grocery store, and it was probably made from what was left on the warehouse floor. I started looking for good tea, and I was soon hooked on Oolong and Souchong. I find that tea keeps me going without the jitters I get from endless cups of coffee. I still have coffee in the morning, and usually again at noon, but in between-times I keep a travel mug close by with a hot Robert Service approved beverage. I am somewhat puzzled by the lack of popularity of Souchong among foresters; it smells just like a forest fire, with the leaves having been cured over a pine fire.
I always travel with a camp stove and everything I need to make espresso or tea. Here's a pleasant little break along the highway.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
This is one of the many historical photos on display in the museum building at Old Threshers. No information was provided, but I think this Case engine would be a 75 HP. The barn sure does stand straight and proud. I wonder if Grandpa Whiskers was a Civil War veteran.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Can you believe this is the last weekend of summer? It's time to think about barn dances, so here are a couple of good fiddle tunes to dance to after you have your corn shucked and you invite the neighborhood over to celebrate.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
The sound of these old engines is irresistible to me, and I love to watch the exposed rocker arms and push rods. Wood processing is pretty appealing, too. This was at Midwest Old Threshers, but you probably had that one figured out already.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
In observance of the sacrifices made by our servicemen ninety years ago, this month we are posting "We Don't Want The Bacon," performed by the Peerless Quartet. They sound pretty sure of themselves; of course they weren't being sent to France.
I had to record this one with the microphone right in front of the phongraph horn, so you will hear the spring in the motor grumble a few times.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Here is my final Harry Lauder post; yes, this is the last one of my Harry Lauder discs. Roamin' In The Gloamin' was my favorite of all these, but this one is not bad.
It is generally accepted that Eck Robertson recorded the first country record in 1922 when he cut Sallie Gooden. This record is obviously a country record, and it was recorded in 1916 by Don Robinson, a fiddler born in North Carolina who taught and played in New York City. He recorded Arkansas Traveler in 1914, so Mr. Robinson may be the first recorded country musician. Whatever your opinion, this record was well liked and played nearly to death in its younger days. The flip side is Mrs. McLeod's Reel, and I will post it next Friday.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Lee Morse recorded 'Yes Sir, That's My Baby' in 1925. What is really remarkable in this song is her level of performance with brand new microphone technology. Up until this time, singers had to shout into a megaphone, and as I listened to this song, I wondered how many great performances we have missed from early Twentieth Century singers who needed better recording methods to reach the audience. A good case to study is Al Jolson. When his career revived in the 1940's he remade several of his earlier hits. You can hear genuine excitement in his later recordings that you don't hear in many of his acoustically recorded originals.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
This one-of-a-kind traction engine is steaming at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. It was recovered from the Missouri River after being buried for forty years. It was built in the 1880's, and is the only engine in existence with the smokestack going through the steam dome. It uses a chain drive from the flywheel for road travel.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Harry Lauder could really belt one out to the old megaphone. I looked this disc up on Victor Discography, and Side B was recorded in 1910. This side was probably recorded about the same time. The volume was maxing out my microphone, so I had to use a soft tone needle to record both sides of this record. Side A is 'I Love To Be A Sailor,' and it is a testament to the changes in humor and entertainment over a century. The flip side is 'We Parted On The Shore.' I will post it next week, and that will finish our series of Harry Lauder records.
This snappy little dance record has lyrics so sentimental that I think they have crossed the line to Corny. I have always liked it anyway, and now that the golden rod is blooming, it is time to share it with you.
I still have a couple of Harry Lauders, but I am having trouble making a good capture from the microphone. I will try a different type of needle in the tonehead and should have one up by Friday night. In the meantime, Fox Trot to this post.