Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oscar Theodore Bentrup...

O. T. Bentrup was born in St. Joseph, Missouri on June 15, 1920 to Alfred C. and Mary Elizabeth Hermesmeyer Bentrup, and passed away on November 30, 2010, at his home in Belle Prairie, Illinois.  He was preceded in death by his parents and all of his siblings: Raymond, Maurice, Alfred (Dutch), Dorothy, Lloyd, and Donald.  He worked as a brakeman, and then as a conductor on the CB&Q Railroad (later the Burlington Northern) from 1940 to 1982, except for the years during World War II when he served in the Third Marine Division.  During his time in the Pacific he fought in the invasions of Bougainville, Guam, and Iwo Jima. 
He married Patricia Ann DuLany in St. Joseph, Missouri on November 6, 1949 at the Zion United Church of Christ, where both remained members.  Patricia survives, along with daughters Susan Johnson (David N.) of Dahlgren, and Jill Heffernan (James P.) of St. Louis; grandchildren Stephanie Heffernan of Columbia, Missouri, Joshua Heffernan and Cora Heffernan of St. Louis, and Ezekiel Johnson of Brookfield, Illinois.
In the top photo we see O.T. on his final run for the Burlington Northern Railroad.
This photo was taken on Ray's wedding day in 1932.  Ray is the tall one on the left.  Lloyd, in front of Ray, died from wounds received on the USS Colorado during the shelling of Tinian in 1944.
Maurice, who was in the SeaBees visited O.T. on Guadalcanal.  I don't know if this photo was taken before or after the Bougainville campaign.
O.T. with his younger daughter Jill, in 1957.

Daughter Susan, O.T., and Pat, with dogs Teddy and Liza, planting another tree on the farm.

Final Figures Published By Soldiers' Angels!

Soldiers' Angels has posted the final results for the special fundraising competition for Project Valour-IT, and the numbers are impressive!  Project Valour-IT and Soldiers' Angels need contributions year-round, so if you weren't able to contribute during the competitive fundraiser, don't despair!  You can click on the links for Soldiers' Angels or Valour-IT on the left side of this page to make a contribution anytime.  Our servicemen and women are laying their lives on the line for us every day, so please send them a little love once in a while.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ruger's "History of the Gun," Parts 3, 4, and 5

These three videos from RugerFirearms fit very well together and bring firearms up through the muzzleloading era.  I am old enough that during grade school, my teachers read stories to us of people using muzzleloading firearms, with descriptions good enough that you could have gone out and shot one if you had never seen one before.  I can remember one teacher reading to us from Laura Ingalls' books about Pa casting bullets at the fireplace in their cabin because he thought that Indians might attack them.  I don't think teachers are reading stories like these to kids today, if they take the time to read at all in the classroom.  I was lucky; I had four teachers during my grade school years that read every day to the class, and that greatly increased my desire to read books myself...and to shoot muzzleloaders.  Thank You, Ruger, for posting these great videos!





Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tomorrow's Monday, And You Know What That Means...



Back To The Old Grind!

Not My Victrola



EdmundusRex posted this delightful Ben Bernie record for us to enjoy.  How often do you hear "Hollyhocks" used in a rhyme?  The title made this one irresistible to me, and it is an added bonus to listen to a new song from my dad's favorite band.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Weekend Steam



This is nice little slide show of photos taken nearly fifty years ago, and shared with us by Strobx1, the little boy in the pictures.

Here are Strobx1's notes about the photos from his YouTube site:  View a slide show with big band music and see GTW Pacific type 4-6-2 #'s 5627 and 6323 In Muskegon Michigan in 1957 and August of 1961. See the 6323 as it travels east bound along Laketon Avenue towards Simpson Jct. The 6323 will cross Laketon Ave then head south to "Shaw Jct" where it will head East on the Pennsylvania tracks (The GTW used the PRR to gain access to Muskegon) to Marne MIch where it will join the Grand Haven line at "Penn Jct". Then east to Grand Rapids crossing the Grand River and ending up at Durand Mich. The 5627 had a famous sister. Dick Jensen's 5629 which was one of the main steam excursion engines along with steamer off the CB&Q. An unresolved dispute between Metra and Mr Jenson resulted in Metra scrapping the 5629. See the 5629 in service and it's scrapping at the Metra Blue Island (ex Rock Island Yard). I was only three years old at the time the 1957 photos were taken.I do not remember these. But I do remember the 6323 in August of 1961. Liability was NOT an issue and my Dad & I were free to climb all over the engine. My Dad asked permission to do so. He received it. Likely because the GTW guys knew the PM/C&O guys.The whole experience was frightening for a 7 year old child. My dad stepped on a floor pedal and the "Butterfly" firebox doors swung open. He asked me to look inside. The heat was unbearable in this white hot coal fire. I was scared. If that weren't enough, we climbed on the tender. When I got to the rear platform, The engineer blew two LOUD whistle blasts, then started to move with my Dad & I on the tender. Now I was REALLY scared. But he stopped after about 10 feet to blow water out of the cylinder cocks. We lived a 1/2 mile from the Pennsy. So my Dad wanted me to listen, When he heard the 6323 coming he said "Remember this sound because you'll never hear this sound again!" Steam had died on August of 1961 according to my Dad. That was my only experience with steam until we saw the ex Southern Mikado 2-8-2 #4501 in Birmingham Alabama.. This time I wasn't scared!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Crankin' It Up



This is not the song I expected when I pulled it out of the record cabinet. I was thinking that it was "All Alone, By The Telephone" as sung by John McCormack; but this is a delightful novelty song that would have fit well on the Vaudeville stage. It was recorded on April 5, 1911 by Ada Jones (Soprano), and Walter Van Brunt (Tenor). The original owners of this disc dearly loved it, and played it to death with old needles. The old Brunswick was making boiler room noises near the end of the song, but hey, it's authentic, it's educational, and it's free.

Bonus!!! Pax41 has posted the song I was thinking about when I saw the title:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

While You Have The Family Together...

...Print out the rules and a bunch of targets for the Mr. Completely November e-Postal Match, and share some shooting with your brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandkids, and anyone else who shows up for dinner.  This month you are shooting at 25 yards, but it is a big bullseye, and everyone should make some points.  Every entry is a chance to win a $50 gift certificate from Cheaper Than Dirt, a fine store offering superb online service to shooters.  Cheaper Than Dirt is also sponsoring a season long Zombie Shooting Contest, which is listed in the Get Out and Shoot section on the left side of this page. 

This is the last e-Postal shoot of 2010, so be sure you enter; you know you need the practice!

Nobody Has Said It Better...

"Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789." G. Washington

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Got Punctuation?
















The Mrs. noticed this sign while I was gassing up a recently, and asked me if I wanted to win a boatload of candy cigarettes. I wasn't interested, but just in case you want to be a winner, this place is on Broadway in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Odds and Ends



There are lots of video bits that just don't fit anywhere by themselves, and some oddball pictures with the same problem. Time on Monday night was limited, but I managed to string some photos and video together, and put an Eck Robertson song with them so it is worth playing.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ruger's "History Of The Gun" Video Series

This is another fascinating collection of videos by Ruger; I think there are ten of them.  I will start out with two this week, and we will look at more later.



Sunday, November 21, 2010

Another Monday, Coming Right Up

Back To The Old Grind!

I Did, Did You?

I did my part for National Ammo Day; if you forgot, run out today and buy at least 100 rounds!

Not My Victrola



EdmundusRex posted this great record by Ted Lewis, and his notes are copied here for your edification:
"Theodore Leopold Friedman, better known as Ted Lewis (June 6,1892 - Aug.25,1971),

was an American entertainer, bandleader, singer, and musician. He led a band presenting a combination of jazz, hokey comedy, and schmaltzy sentimentality that was a hit with the American public. He was known by the moniker "Mr. Entertainment"

Born in Circleville, Ohio, Lewis was one of the first Northern musicians to start imitating the New Orleans jazz musicians who came up to New York in the teens. He first recorded in 1917 with Earl Fuller's Jass Band, who were making an energetic if somewhat clumsy attempt to copy the sound of the city's newest sensation, the Original Dixieland Jass Band. At the time, Lewis didn't seem to be able to do much on the clarinet other than trill. (Promoting one recording the Victor catalog stated:"The sounds as of a dog in his dying anguish are from Ted Lewis' clarinet"). He improved a bit later, forming his style from the influences of the first New Orleans clarinetists to reside in New York, Larry Shields, Alcide Nunez, and Achille Baquet.

By 1919 Lewis was leading his own band, and had a recording contract with Columbia Records, which marketed him as their answer to the Original Dixieland Jass Band who recorded for Victor records. At the start of the 1920s he was considered by many people without previous knowledge of jazz (that is to say, most of America) to be one of the leading lights of hot jazz. Lewis's clarinet playing never evolved beyond his style of 1919 which in later years would sound increasingly corny, but Lewis certainly knew what good clarinet playing sounded like, for he hired musicians like Benny Goodman, Jimmy Dorsey, and the wonderful (and, unfortunately, largely forgotten) Don Murray to play clarinet in his band. For years his band also included jazz greats Muggsy Spanier on trumpet and George Brunis on trombone. Ted Lewis's band was second only to the Paul Whiteman in popularity during the 1920s, and arguably played more real jazz with less pretension than Whiteman, especially in his recordings of the late 1920s.

Lewis's band got cornier and schmaltzier as the Great Depression wore on, but this seemed to match the general public's taste, as he kept commercially successful during an era when many bands broke up. Through it all he retained his famous catch-phrase "Is everybody happy?". Lewis adopted a battered top hat for sentimental, hard-luck tunes (he called himself "the high-hatted tragedian of song"). Frequently he would stray from song lyrics, improvising chatter around them. This gave the effect of Lewis "speaking" the song spontaneously: "When ma' baby... when ma' baby smiles at me... gee, what a wonderful, wonderful light that comes to her eyes... look at that light, folks..."


Ted Lewis And His Band - Harmonica Harry (1930)"

Here is "When My Baby Smiles," which is refferred to in the notes above. This song was recorded in 1938, and was re-issued on a Decca 45 in the 1950's. Posted on YouTube by boyjohn.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Project Valour-IT Totals

Many thanks to all who contributed to Project-Valour-IT during the Veterans' Day fundraising competition. You can look at the totals raised by the teams HERE. The competition between the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines is all in fun for a noble cause, and more than $94,000 dollars were contributed to help our wounded heroes. Thank You for helping!

Weekend Steam: Sad News



Mrs. True Blue Sam and I did not get to travel to many steam shows and collect raw video for you this year as we normally do, and this is the last steam video that I have to share until next summer. Oh Well; I have pulled out my stash of old Iron Men Album magazines (Which go back into the 1940's), so I will come up with some good still photos to share with you, and there are other YouTubers with good steam video. Weekend Steam will continue, and maybe next year I can come up with more of my own videos.

This video shows a very pretty, homebuilt double-simple engine at Pinckneyvile. The proud owner is a gentleman from Coulterville, Illinois. I wish I knew the significance of Elmer Fudd on the smokebox door.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I Have Been Accused...

...of keeping all the deer out behind the barn, and while that really isn't true, I won't be doing anything to disturb this fellow's happy home while road hunters are circling.

Things To Do Today:

Buy at least 100 rounds!

Crankin' It Up



The Taylor Trio recorded this song on the Columbia label in December, 1915. "Darling Nellie Gray" was written by Benjamin Hanby in 1856, and the song was inspired by the story of an escaped slave who stopped at his father's house, which was part of the Underground Railroad. Mr. Hanby penned eighty songs during his short life, and one of his most well known songs is "Up On The Housetop," which he wrote in 1864. Benjamin Hanby died at age 33 in 1867 from tuberculosis.

Lyrics, from Wikipedia:

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

Chorus:
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 you’re gone from that old Kentucky shore.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Firearm Deer Season: Safety First!

Firearm deer season begins this Friday in Illinois.  Most hunters have been through a hunter safety course that covers basic gun safety and deer stand safety, but there are other hazards out there that most people don't know about.  Much of the good deer habitat in Southern Illinois is abandoned farmland, and in the not-too-distant past, much of Southern Illinois and other parts of the Midwest had a home on every 40 acres.  Every home had at least one well or cistern, and there are still lots of them out there trapping dumb animals that don't know to look out for them.  I have been lucky, because the worst ones I've seen weren't the first ones I saw.  This one, for instance, has a sandstone cap with a hole too small for a human to fall through.  It's the exception to the rule.  Many have water and straight sides, so if you fall in you might climb out.  I have seen many that are bell shaped, deep, and dry.  If you fall in one of those you are a goner.  I was out with a buddy one day, and he stopped suddenly after he had dodged around a tree.  If I had been following too closely I would have run into him, and both of us would have fallen down a 20' deep well with a dry bottom.  Anyway, as you go to your favorite hunting spot in the dark pre-dawn hour, be on the lookout for dark spots that don't seem to have a bottom.  The main trick I use to spot these hazards in my part of the country is to look for walnut trees on upland sites.  Most homes had walnut trees planted around them, and now the descendants of those trees still mark the old homesites.  Your part of the world may have its own signs; learn them and stay safe!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cleopatra In A Former Life

This scene immediately brought to mind Cleopatra on her barge, showing her Rudder Guy where she wanted to go, as the slaves toiled away at the oars.  Ride Like An Egyptian!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fun Fall Activities



This nice little 1 1/2 HP John Deere engine was running a cider press at the fall Pinckneyville show. Lots of fun to watch!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ruger Firearms Begins A New Video Series!



Ruger's newest series will show us many tactical tips using carbines. Dave Spaulding does a great job as a presenter in these videos, and if you like what you see, bring up Ruger's videos on YouTube to leave comments. Even though you see Ruger firearms being used in these videos, I think it is important to note that the instruction given is applicable to all brands. These videos are not advertisements for Ruger's products, but are meant to help shooters no matter whose firearms they are using. Thank You, Sturm-Ruger!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

That Was A Short Weekend!

Back To The Old Grind!

Not My Victrola: Early Jazz Classic



Leona Williams and her Dixie Band - That Teasin', Squeezin' Man Of Mine (1923), posted by EdmundusRex: Leona Williams was born in New Orleans. She was an early jazz singer and she is represented by 16 sides cut for the Columbia label during a series of recording sessions that took place from January 23, 1922 through February 5, 1923. The quintet that backed her, billed as her Dixie Band, also made quite a number of fine recordings under the name of the Original Memphis Five.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Quick Cal Gives Us A Shooting Lesson!

Quick Cal is one of the fastest quick draw artists around, and he graciously donated his time to teach the newbies at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous.  I saw over on Mr. Completely's blog that Cal was injured in a fall, and will have a fairly long recovery because of some broken vertebrae.  You can send Quick Cal your get well wishes at; QuickCal (at) cowboyfastdraw (dot)com.   

Weekend Steam: Commitment

How much are you willing to spend on your hobby?  I figured out long ago that steam traction engines will cost you approximately the same as a nice new car (not a plain Jane).  This has stayed pretty constant for the last forty-five years that I have been watching old engines, and listening for clues to the value.  Showing these old behemoths isn't cheap, either.  This engine belongs to a big farmer, so he would have had the Diesel rig for moving equipment, but this trailer may have been built just for moving steam engines.  These machines sort of get into you blood, and folks pull out all the stops to have a good time with them.

You never know when you may need a boost to get out of a mudhole; that looks like a mighty handy helper to keep in the toolbox.  Models don't come cheap, either.  They must have a coded boiler, and the castings and machine work to build one push the cost up out of reach for most people.  Luckily, steam hobbyists are happy to let the rest of us look for 'no charge.'

Friday, November 12, 2010

Crankin' It Up



Selvin's Novelty Orchestra recorded this lively dance number on May 14, 1920. This was made during the acoustic era, during which you often heard lots of percussion, which recorded well through a megaphone.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How Are We Doing?

Here are the totals for the Project Valour-IT Veterans' Day Fundraiser, as of midnight last night.  So far, a little over $86,000 has been contributed to buy laptops for wounded warriors.  Many Thanks to all who have contributed to help our heroes.


This photo from the Valour-IT website shows  Major Chuck Ziegenfuss using his voice activated laptop while he was recovering from his wounds.  These men and women lay their lives on the line for us every day, so please show them a little love, and make a contribution. Thank You!

Take A Moment At The Eleventh Hour!

Soldiers' Angels Project Valour-IT Fundraising Competition



"WHAT IS VALOUR-IT? (From BLACKFIVE)
Project Valour-IT began when Captain Charles "Chuck" Ziegenfuss was wounded by an IED while serving as commander of a tank company in Iraq in June 2005.

During his deployment he kept a blog (an online personal diary, opinion forum, or news analysis site-called a milblog or military weblog when written by a servicemember or about military subjects). Captivating writing, insightful stories of his experiences, and his self-deprecating humor won him many loyal readers. After he was wounded, his wife continued his blog, keeping his readers informed of his condition.

As he began to recover, CPT Ziegenfuss wanted to return to writing his blog, but serious hand injuries hampered his typing. When a loyal and generous reader gave him a copy of the Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred software, other readers began to realize how important such software could be to CPT Ziegenfuss' fellow wounded soldiers and started cast about for a way to get it to them.

"At that time I had no use of either hand. I know how humbling it is, how humiliating it feels. And I know how much better I felt, how amazingly more functional I felt, after Soldiers' Angels provided me with a laptop and a loyal reader provided me with the software. I can't wait to do the same, to give that feeling to another soldier at Walter Reed." - Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss at TC Override (wounded in Iraq)
Project Valour-IT, in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss (Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss' father), provides voice-controlled software and laptop computers to wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand and arm injuries, amputations, eye or brain injuries, at major military medical centers. Operating laptops by speaking into a microphone, our wounded heroes are able to send and receive messages from friends and loved ones, surf the 'Net, and communicate with buddies still in the field without having to press a key or move a mouse."

learn more

learn more

Project Valour-IT is doing great work helping our wounded warriors, and they need your help. Click the buttons to read more about Soldiers' Angels and Valour-IT, and please make a contribution!

This announcement will be kept at the top of this column until Veterans' Day, so be sure to roll down the page to see the latest posts.

"Peace So Precious...

...must be bought with blood and tears. Let us honor and bless the men who pay..." Robert Service

Be sure to thank a veteran today.




I've posted this old record before, but the sentiment is good, and it is rooted in the Great War and Armistice Day; the origin for Veterans' Day.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Glimpses Of The Marine In My Life


I have mentioned my Father-In-Law before on this blog.  He joined the Marines in 1942 and served in the Pacific.  He has a few pictures tucked away, and I grabbed a few to share with all of you.  The top one is probably taken right after he finished boot camp.  His bunch went to New Zealand for more training, then to Guadalcanal, where they became experienced at hunting down enemy in the jungle.
He landed twice on Bougainville, because he was part of a pre-invasion recon team.  This picture was taken after they finished up on Bougainville; I figured that out by zooming in on the plexiglass grip on the .45.  They still had Kwajelein, Guam, and Iwo ahead of them.
O.T. made it through all of the fighting without a scratch, but he came back to the states with Japanese typhus, and spent quite a bit of time hopitalized.  He looked pretty good by the time he had this photo taken in St. Jo after the war.

He went back to work on the CB&Q, got married, and did his part to help out with the baby boom.  Thanks for making it home safely, O.T.!

Update:
O.T. passed away at 12:21 AM, November 30, 2011 with his wife and daughters by his side.

235 Years Today

Veterans' Day Countdown Continues: Buddies..."ties of great strength"



"My Buddy" has been in my record collection so long that I can't remember when I picked it up.  I didn't understand the significance of this song when I was a kid, but liked it and played it a lot.  Ernie Pyle wrote one of his posts about Sergeant Buck Eversole, a soldier he spent time with in Italy, and if you read the essay to the end you will gain a sense of the bonds that develop between fighting men.  It's well worth reading.
I know that I am plugging the Army Team for Project Valour-IT (My father was in the Second Division.), but I would be remiss if I failed to mention that Novermber 10 is the 235th Birthday of the Marines Corps.  (My Father-In-Law is a Third Marine Division veteran, and he always reminds us what this day is!)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Extremely Rare 1913 Titan Tractor



Very few of these old Titans survive in this condition. This one still has its pony motor, which pumps up compressed air for starting, and the original cooling tank, which is usually gone on other machines. This may be the only tractor in existence that is totally correct, and The American Thresherman Association generously shares it with the public at both of their shows every year. In this video we see it running a threshing machine at the October 2010 Fall Festival Show at Pinckneyville, Illinois.

Listen, Wipe Away A Tear, Make A Contribution!



Project Valour-IT is keeping up the effort to raise money for our wounded vets, and it is easy for you to help. Click on the "Learn More" button above if you don't already know what Valour-IT is all about, then click the "Give Now" button to do your part.

Precious Glimpse Inside The Ruger Factory, Prescott, Arizona

Mr. Completely and Keewee have managed to turn everyone in the gun blogging world green by touring the Ruger factory in Prescott, Arizona.  Companies do not normally let folks go on tours for many good reasons; competition, industrial spying, and market share all come to mind, plus the possibility of visitors being injured.  But they did it!  Two of our gun blogging friends have actually seen the inside of a place that most of us can only dream about.  Click Here, and Here to go read their posts, and to see a few photos.  Thank You Ruger, for letting us all have a peek courtesy of Mr. C and KeeWee!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Veterans' Day Specials: The Countdown Continues



The Marine Team has taken the lead in the Valour-IT Fundraiser, so this would be a good time for you to make a donation to Team Army. Read all about Valour-IT in the top post, and click on the Give Now button to do your part! Thank You!

Check Your Anti-Freeze!

Freezing temps at night can't be too far away, so check the coolant in all of your engines.  This 12 HP Hercules has a seepy crack visible on one side of the cylinder, and it was no doubt, caused by frost many years ago.  Problems like this are easy to prevent, and hard to fix, so get out that old hydrometer and get busy.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Weekend's Over And You Know What You Have To Do!



Back To The Old Grind!

November e-Postal Match Is Up!

Manfred at Armes et tir Passion has posted the Mr. Completely November e-Postal Contest! You will be shooting a big bullseye at twenty five yards this month, so go easy on the caffeine before your trip to the range. Manfred had a little trouble writing the instructions in English, but I think you shoot "any gun" and shoot offhand with both hands, then offhand with one hand.  Watch his post and comments for clarification if you aren't sure.

Cheaper Than Dirt will award a $50 gift certificate to one shooter again this month: you earn a chance for every set of targets you shoot, so take several guns with you to the range along with a stack of targets.

Bill Whittle: The Importance of Gun Rights



Well said, and well worth watching and passing on.

Not My Victrola: Veterans' Day Special



Al Jolson could really connect with his audience, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house when he performed songs like this one. Jolson was one of many celebrities who helped raise money for the war effort, and for wounded soldiers during The Great War. You can help wounded soldiers today by clicking on the "Give Now" button above and making a contribution to help provide voice activatied laptops to seriously injured heroes. Thank You!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Countdown To Veterans' Day



Click on the Hero label, or the banner at the top of the page to see all of the Veterans' Day posts!

Weekend Steam



This pretty Port Huron engine was running at an easy pace on the Baker Fan at Pinckneyville last month. This is a tandem compound engine, so it has a small diameter, high pressure cylinder on the front end of the engine; also, extra petcocks to let the condensation out when the engine is cold.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Veterans' Day Specials



Veterans' Day is just one week away, and True Blue Sam will be posting several records from his WWI collection leading up to that day.  After you enjoy these records and wipe away a tear, be sure to click on the "Give Now" button in the Project Valour-IT post above, and make a contribution to help a wounded warrior.  Thank You!

Click Here to see all of True Blue Sam's Veterans' Day posts!

Crankin' It Up




"Old Man Jazz" is another of my records in pristeen condition, and this is the first and only time I have played this record. It resides in a record album in Fannie Gilbert's Victrola, which resides at our home. I have a difficult time picturing Fannie actually dancing, especially since I know she was a die-hard Baptist. Next week, the flip side: "Dance-O-Mania!"

Fannie, Rose, and their brother George

Thursday, November 4, 2010

October e-Postal Scores Posted!

US Citizen has posted the scores for the October contest.  Click over to Traction Control to have a look, and then go read Danno's post about it on SandCastle Scrolls.  Danno place second overall shooting a stock Crosman pellet pistol in his garage!  No more excuses for not entering these monthly contests!  We all need the practice, so if you can't go to a range every month, you can shoot in your garage or basement with an airgun.  Thanks for the tip, Danno!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What A Difference A County Makes!

I have been following the carry movement in Iowa with considerable interest ever since the topic broke out on the internet.  Iowa has been, and will be a "May Issue" state until the end of December.  Pressure was brought to bear on the state legislature and the governor to pass a "Shall Issue" law so qualified citizens can carry a weapon regardless of the personal opinion of their county sheriff.  The current law allows the sheriff's to control who may and may not be armed, and with 99 counties in Iowa, the citizens there had 99 different policies about carrying weapons.  That will change on January 1, when Sheriffs "Shall Issue" a carry permit to applicants who qualify under the new law.

Not all the sheriffs in Iowa are happy about the coming change, and the sheriff of Linn County (Cedar Rapids) has been very vocal with his whining, and misinformation.  Washington County Sheriff Jerry Dunbar is an inspiration to me in the way he has handled the coming change.  He is getting out in front of the citizens and explaining what the new law's changes will mean, and he is signing up people for carry classes through the County Sheriff's office, insuring that those who take his classes will be well trained in the classroom and the range

Washington County Sheriff's Office instructor, Chad, and Bea.

Sheriff Gardner in Linn County has been very loudly complaining that people will be 'open carrying,' and that is a possibility with the new law.  The new law is a "Carry Law," not a "Concealed Carry Law," and that is actually quite important to folks who wish to carry a weapon.  An accidental exposure of  your weapon in many states can cause your arrest, and in Las Vegas recently, a man was killed by police because he inadvertently exposed his weapon while reaching up in a store while he was shopping. 

Carrying a weapon for self defense places a load of responsibility on the individual, and I thank Sheriff Dunbar for leaping to the forefront in Washington County to be the educational resource that citizens need.  Thanks also go to The Washington Evening Journal for granting permission to link to their fine newspaper, and to Stranded In Iowa for the Linn County news.

MORE:  How important is it for a person to be armed?  Read this article from the Courier-Journal, and be sure to watch the video about Sylvia Hall, in the upper right of the page.

And Now We Come Down To The Wire

If this isn't the Last Rose of Summer at our place, it's awful darn close.  It seems to glow, even in the evening shade.

The Drys Are At It Again

I saw in the news that the do-gooders are saying bad things about alcohol again.  Do-gooders are either wanting you to do everything their way, or they are looking for excuses to tax you so they can spread your money to others more deserving than you.  I am guessing that taxes are the driving force behind the latest reports.  Of course, the researchers will need more government grants to do studies so they can make recommendations...it's almost like global warming.  Anyway, when I saw the news hacks comparing alcohol to the hardest of illicit drugs, I was reminded of one of my favorite poems.


The horse and mule, live 30 years, and know nothing of Wines and Beers…
The goat and sheep, at 20 die, and never taste of Scotch and Rye…
The cow drinks water by the ton, and at 18, is mostly done…
The dog at 15, cashes in, without the aid of Rum and Gin…
The cat in milk and water soaks, and then in 12 short years, he croaks…
The modest, sober, bone-dry hen, lays eggs for nogs, then dies at 10…
All animals are strictly dry, they sinless live, and swiftly die…
But sinful, ginful, rum-soaked men, survive for three score years and ten…

And some of us, tho' mighty few, stay sozzled till we’re 92!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hunting Season Is Upon Us...

 ...and some of the deer hunters invading the timber will be using steps like these to climb to their deer stand.
Sometimes they take their screw-in steps home with them, but I see lots of them left in trees.

Others will be using homemade spikes which obviously will never be removed.  If you hunt from an elevated deer stand, think of the timber owner and the people who may process the trees into products at some time in the future.  Spikes and screw-in steps render a tree worthless, and if the metal evenually is completely grown over, it is dangerous to timber and mill workers.

I never have been a fan of deer stands, and have always hunted on the ground, but of course, I have never been a trophy hunter.  Every year about this time we will hear of hunters in our area who fall out of their deer stands, and the injuries usually wreck them for life.  If you use a deer stand, please follow common sense safety rules and use a safety strap to prevent falls.