Thursday, March 31, 2011

Crankin' It Up



The flip side of last week's selection, this old favorite was recorded by Gene Rodemich's Orchestra in January, 1921.

Nothing To See Here, Folks. Just Move Along.



This Lister Diesel sure does run smoothly, and it sounds great, too. At least it has exposed push rods for the valves; all the other moving parts had been safely tucked inside by 1949.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bea's Carry Class



Bea took the carry class offered by the Washington County Sheriff last fall, and she not only learned a lot, she had a great time. Her shooting buddy, Deb, took the course, too, and Deb shot photos and a segment of video for Mom. Thanks for the great pictures, Deb!

This is a good time to remind everyone that Bea is donating a brand new .45 Convertible Ruger Blackhawk for the raffle at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous in Reno next September. Be sure to click on the GBR logo in the left sidebar once in a while to keep up with Mr. Completely's updates. Start making your travel plans; you must be present to win!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

1911: A Century Of Service!

The United States Military embraced John M. Browning's pistol 100 years ago today.    There are darn few inventions from a century ago that are still being used, in basically the same form as they were introduced.  I grew up watching westerns, and I pretty well got stuck on single action revolvers, lever actions, and single shot rifles.  Engineering Johnson was raised shooting what I had, so he went out in the world without ever having shot a semi-auto of any kind.  He started reading gun blogs while he was away at school, and broadened his firearm horizons a bit.  His first firearm purchase was one of these:






He soon had me educated in the operation of his new beauty, and now when I visit gun stores I spend a good bit of the time checking out the various 1911's behind the glass.  The last time I was at Cabela's in St. Louis, they had a Cimaron 1911 in a polished blue finish, and with a holster correct for WWI; and one of the new Remington 1911's, plus a Taurus, and a host of Kimbers.  While I was visiting Bea last week, we stopped at Fin and Feather in Iowa City, and they had a good variety of 1911's, too.  They had one of the Remingtons priced at $650, and that made me wish that I had been carrying some mad money. 

If you want to learn about Browning's .45 before you go shopping, there is plenty of information (and opinions) on the blogs, and one of the best places to start is Xavier Thoughts.  He has a post up on his front page right now about evaluating used .45's.  At the end of that post you will see a label for '1911 Basics.'
Click on that label to read more of Xavier's thoughts. 

Now let's visit Jeff Quinn from GunBlast.com, and watch him check out one of the newest 1911's to come on the market. 



Click over to The Anarchangel for an educational post about the Colt 1911,  and over to Backwoods Home Magazine for Massad Ayoob's 1911 reminiscing. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Well Balanced e-Postal Shooting

I visited Bea up in Iowa over the weekend, and we celebrated spring by going out to the shooting range with a neighbor who had never shot before.  We spent most of our time teaching him the basics of shooting safety, range procedures, and revolver and pistol shooting.  It was pretty cold, and we froze out before Bea got to shoot Mr. Completely's e-Postal target, so she shot the contest on her basement shooting range with her Crosman pellet pistol before I headed home.  Mr. C calls this target "The Mess," and it's a pretty good name.  Mom stayed on the paper pretty well, and showed good windage control while coordinating her sights and trigger.  Check out her score in the upper left; the negative points equaled her postive points, giving her a very nice score of ZERO!  The first time I shot this target I had a negative score, so this score is nothing to be ashamed of, and it's what we sent in to Mr. C.  Scan your targets no matter what your score to earn your bragging rights, and possibley win a GUNUP T-shirt.  You need to have your entry sent in by Midnight on the thirty-first.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Are You Ready?



Back To The Old Grind!
UPDATE!
Holy Cow, I forgot to hit the Publish key when I set this one up.  Hope you all made it okay without your weekly grinder!

Not My Victrola



Another great old record from Pax41.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Make It An e-Postal Weekend!

This is the last weekend to shoot Mr. Completely's March e-Postal contest, as entries must be sent in by Midnight, March 31.  CLICK HERE to read the rules, and to follow the link to Mr. C's pdf of the target.  You will be shooting with a bunch of nice people, and you will earn incredible bragging rights just by virtue of entering; and you know that you need the practice after a long winter.

In other e-Postal news...


Cheaper Than Dirt is sponsoring their own contest, and this one has real prizes! This target is for their April competition, (CLICK) and you can double your fun by shooting Mr. Completely's and Cheaper Than Dirt's contests during one range outing.

Download and print your targets, pack your range bag, and take the family.

Crankin' It Up



Gene Rodemich's Orchestra recorded this nice dance number in January, 1921.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It Feels Like Winter Again Today In So IL...



...but there is this.  Yesterday we had temps in the 70's; this morning we are in the 30's.  Don't let the fire go out yet.

Continuous Chest Compression CPR



GSC, one of our loyal readers sent the link for this video to me, and it is worth passing on.  Watch it a couple times, and you may save a life.  I have had the training class for regular CPR a few times, and this method is much easier to remember, and to perform. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Gun Tinkering Failure; and Success!

Mom purchased a Ruger Mk III 22/45 Hunter last year to enhance her time at the shooting range.  It's  a great pistol, but she did have one problem with it.  Unlike the all steel Mk III's, you can't slingshot the slide down after a magazine change.  The 22/45's use a detent pin in the slide release button, so the slide release stays put until you push it down.  That button isn't very big, and Mom had trouble operating it; she had to put one thumb on top of the other in order to drop the slide.  We had the bright idea that removing the detent pin and spring would allow her to drop the slide more easily, and that is what we did.  She could pull back and release the slide to drop it, and if you turned the pistol upside down, pulled and released the slide, it would remain open.  The Ruger also became a Jam-O-Matic after this little operation.  Turns out that the slide release bounces around while the pistol is under recoil, and it catches the bolt, sometimes locking it back, and sometimes catching and then dropping it.  I could make the gun shoot by resting my thumb on the release button, but Bea's thumb couldn't make the reach.  We put the detent back in, and came up with another solution to Mom's problem.

A little bit of looking and measuring showed that there is enough space on the slide release button to drill and tap it for an 8-40 cap screw.  We went to a local hardware store and bought the shortest 8-40 screw available, plus some washers for spacers, and did the necessary surgery.  The screw length does have to be adjusted so that it does not interfere with the detent and spring.  This modification worked, making the slide release easy to operate for Bea, and the gun now runs like a sewing machine.  The next time I visit Mom we will see about replacing the stack of washers with a short piece of tubing.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Gravity Wins Again!



Posted by Maxhole2, this video is a great reminder that you must evaluate the forward or backward lean of a tree, and the side lean. You need an open face which will allow the tree to rotate down, and a hinge that is adequate to guide the tree in the right direction, and to hold the tree to the stump until it is nearly to the ground.  The first step in planning your cuts is to go to the spot where you would like the tree to fall, and evaluate side lean and weight of the tree.  You have to adjust your aiming point to allow for side lean; and you also must determine if the side lean is excessive, and whether it will cause your hinge to fail.  Next, you move 90 degrees around the tree and see if it has weight forward or backward.  You can accurately predict which quadrant a tree will fall into if it is severed from the stump after you have looked at it from two vantage points. 

The fellow doing the cutting severed the tree from the stump, leaving it without hinge wood to guide it to the ground.  The spot it fell into could have been easily predicted had the cutter known how to evaluate for lean and weight before he started cutting.

One thing I have to say in favor of this guy is that hollow trees are difficult problems.  You have to put the hinge into a narrow rim of wood, and even if you do everything right, a hollow tree may crash down on top of you; but in this case, I think the results were due to ignorance.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Weekend Steam: What's Happening To Number 9?

The Georgetown Loop will be running Number 9 on their Colorado railroad for the next ten years, and daily tourist runs require that the engine be in top mechanical condition.  Go to the Midwest Central Railroad Blog and read the posts from March 10, and March 7 for a closeup look at the working parts of this Shay, and the crew that is performing a serious overhaul.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Almost Missed This; Not My Victrola Century Special



Victrolaman posted Alexendar today, on the 100th anniversary of this Irving Berlin classic. Victrolaman's Notes: "Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Alexander's Ragtime Band, here is the Ragtime era Comedy Recording Duo of Arthur Collins and Byron Harlan on an original 1911 Victor First Prize Record. The Song was written by Irving Berlin and later published and Copyrighted by the Ted Snyder Co. of 112 West 38th Street, New York City on March 18, 1911. Irving Berlin picked the name Alexander, since it was one of the most common names used in many other Ragtime era "Coon" songs of that era. Although the song was not written to a Ragtime Beat, its immense popularity is considered by many to have stimulated a "Revival" of Ragtime Music Compositions in the United States. According to Berlin: "the greater portion of the song was written in ten minutes" - and then it sat around for months waiting to be finished. And even then his friend and publisher, Ted Snyder, didn't care for it. It was too long (32 bars, twice the length of a traditional 16-bar chorus), too rangey (an octave and four), and the verse and chorus were in different keys - which no popular pop song had ever attempted. Nevertheless, Berlin said that was the way he wanted it: He had concluded, entirely correctly, that the chorus was the most memorable part of a song. Therefore, if you made the chorus longer a song would be even more memorable. And thus did Irving Berlin help effect the biggest-single change in pop music in the early 20th century: the demise of the Victorian-style ballad with short 16-bar choruses and multiple story verses, and the rise of the 32-bar popular song with merely an introductory and entirely optional verse. Thank's to Mark Steyn for providing this historic information about this Irving Berlin Classic on its' 100 Birthday."

Crankin' It Up



Here is the flip side of last week's record;  Frank Crumit performing Moonlight, on April 22, 1921.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Not My Victrola Special! With A Bonus!



FuzzBear uploaded this John McCormack favorite that is perfect for today. It is interesting to note that our Favorite Irish Tenor recorded this song in 1916, well beyond the reach of current US copyright laws, but YouTube is putting ads on this video. That tells us that someone has claimed rights even though the record should be copyright free. I have the same thing happen with YouTube whenever I post an Al Jolson or John McCormack record. Other artists seem to be off of YouTube's radar, up until around 1930.  You do have to be careful to watch your YouTube account if you post old records.  Some of the YouTube channels that share record collections have been cancelled due to copyright infringement complaints.



We posted this old Columbia a couple years ago, and this seems like a good day to haul it out again. Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Emergency Appeal From Patti Patton-Bader at Soldiers' Angels

This came in my e-mail today, and I am passing on, knowing that many readers will want to help.

"Dear Soldiers’ Angel ,


Right now I have 10,000 Soldiers’ Angels Relief Packs designated for the USS Ronald Reagan, the aircraft carrier heading to Japan as part of the U.S. relief efforts following the recent tragic earthquake.

And I’m hoping these 10,000 Relief Packs are the first of many more that we’ll send in a second wave.

Our troops will fly them from the carrier group to shore, to be distributed by our servicemen and women as part of our official “Operation Tomodachi” - - Japanese for “friendship.”

I’m sure your heart was broken, as mine was, at the sight of the terrible ruins, the loss of life, and the hundreds of thousands now without a home.

I’m thankful that our troops are leading the way in the relief efforts, and I’m also thankful that we’ve been asked to be a key part.

I had to act quickly. There was no time to mail a letter and wait for enough response to see if we could help or not. Those poor people are desperate and just can’t wait.

So I had to act first and pray you and my other good friends will help me pay for these first 10,000 Relief Packs and hopefully many more to come.

Please click here to make your tax-deductible donation for the Relief Efforts in Japan.

Each Soldiers’ Angels Relief Pack has a blanket and some basic food and drink supplies for those who have lost almost everything.

Each of these Relief Packs costs about $16, including the cost of getting them out to the USS Ronald Reagan. So I need to raise this $160,000, and I’m hoping we’ll raise enough extra to send even more help.

So now I’m in financial trouble. But wouldn’t you do the same thing I did?

I need to recover the funds I spent, and of course we need to keep all our other worthwhile Soldiers’ Angels projects going.

I didn’t know what else to do but write my most loyal and generous friends and supporters.

This is an emergency appeal for your help.

I am writing to ask you to make your very best tax-deductible contribution for this massive relief effort to Japan while keeping the other Soldiers’Angels programs going.

Please click here to make your tax-deductible donation for the Relief Efforts in Japan.

I realize I’m asking you to make a personal sacrifice.

But I’ve gone out on a limb to get these first 10,000 Relief Packs to Japan, and now I need to pay for them plus future Relief Packs.

I must have your immediate help.

In fact, there is so much more that needs to be done, so much more we could do if we just had the resources.

Please click here to make your tax-deductible donation for the  Relief Efforts in Japan.

The big question on my mind is this: Can we go forward with all we’re doing, and even more?

The answer to this question will be decided by the response I receive to this message, which I’m sending to our most loyal supporters - - friends like you I feel I can count on when the need is truly urgent.

This is certainly one of those times. Please send your best contribution today. We can’t succeed without you.

Please click here to make your tax-deductible donation for the Relief Efforts in Japan.

Thank you so much for attending today to this matter of urgent importance!

Sincerely,

Patti Patton-Bader

Founder, Soldiers' Angels

P.S. Our troops will be distributing the first 10,000 Soldiers’ Angels Relief Packs to the Japanese devastated by the record 8.9 scale earthquake.

I desperately need your help to pay for this first shipment, keep our other programs going, and hopefully send more Relief Packs as we can.

You have been such a loyal friend to the Soldiers’ Angels and me. I am counting on you to come through again. Please help!

Please click here to make your tax-deductible donation for the Relief Efforts in Japan.

Gravity Wins!

This interesting accident was next to IL Highway 15 in Jefferson County, Illinois recently.  I could see as I drove by that the cutter had planned on the tree falling parallel to the fence, but the tree saw things differently and fell 90 degrees the wrong way.
A close look at the stump and the butt end of the tree reveals that the cutter left no hinge when he cut this tree, but he did make an opening in the direction he wanted the tree to fall, and he also angled his back cut, which people often do, thinking that the stump will somehow push the tree in the right direction.  You can see that the tree was severed except for some fibers in the middle, which pulled out of the butt log.  Those fibers are pulled over in the direction the tree fell when it let loose.
The cutter attached a rope to the tree to pull it in the right direction, so he probably recognized that the tree had weight the wrong way.  Ropes and cables are useful to bring a tree over when they are pulling 180 degrees to the lean, but if a tree wants to go 90 degrees to the side, they do no good at all.
At least there was plenty of room for the tree to fall without hurting anything.  As you put your chainsaw skills to use, and push your limits, remember to push those limits only where no harm can come from your plan falling apart. 

Links to posts about your falling plan and making trees go where you want are on the left side, just above the FTC disclosure.




Monday, March 14, 2011

Biathlon Rifles; Courtesy of Ruger Firearms



I don't expect to ever do any shooting while on skis, but it is great to learn about this sport. Note how these competitors use their bones and a sling to support their rifles rather than relying on muscle power. That is an important lesson for all shooters.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Inspiration For The Work Week!



Back To The Old Grind!

Many Thanks to Victrolaman for posting this gem!

GBR Is Coming! Start Planning!



Derek, The Packing Rat is the unofficial photographer for the Gun Blogger Rendezvous every year, and he does a great job documenting the good times in Reno. He graciously allows me to use his photos for slide shows to promote the event, and this collection is from GBR V, which was held last September.  GBR VI will be September 8-11, 2011, and you should mark it in your datebook right now and start making your travel plans.  The Rendezvous gets better every year, and Mr. Completely says that this year is going to be a big one!  Watch for regular updates on his blog, and on the Gun Blogger Rendezvous blog to keep yourself informed. 

As Mr. C says, "You don't have to be a Gun Blogger to attend, or even a blogger at all, but if you enjoy shooting, shooting sports, guns, 2nd. Amendment and Right to Carry issues, or even if you'd just like to meet and hang out for a couple of days with the Gun Bloggers you read regularly, you are more than welcome to attend."

Not My Victrola



This is just too beautiful for words to describe. Shared with us by Pax41.  The artist is Alice Nielsen.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Weekend Steam



Emperor100 posted this nice little video of a roller over in the UK. 

Info from Emperor100's comments:  David & Ritta on their steam roller in North Wales UK. 
... the roller was buried for many years in the playground untill a group decided to restore her and ownership passed on to the Black family in North Wales.

...officially they were 10 ton rollers and had a brass plaque to state this, this could have been a legal weight limit but I understand that with a full load of water and coal they weigh in at 12 tons, imperial tons that is!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Extreme Wedging

If you have been practicing your tree tipping, (See "Drop That Tree Where You Want It" posts on the lower left sidebar.) you have run into a few trees by now that need a little more than the lift you get from two wedges.  There are a couple of easy methods to gain that little bit extra.  I keep several wedges in my kit that have been cut from stumps, so I can stick in a 2"  or larger shim, then add a plastic wedge to it to finish liftting the tree.  Another quick and easy method is illustrated here.

Fire up your saw, and do a bore cut under your wedges, being careful to remove only half the wood under the bottom wedge as you punch in parallel to it.  (Remove too much wood under the wedge, and the tree will clamp down on the bar of your saw.)  Pull out your saw, pound in your wedge, and you will soon have the tree on the ground.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Toopie Stroke Update


We haven't mentioned Toopie for a while, and we sure don't want people worrying about the little guy.  The top photo is Toopie last summer, after we had him shaped up and adjusted to his new home.
He had a stroke on December 1 that paralyzed him, and we thought he was a goner, but our vet pulled him through, and sent him home to us with some easy exercises to use for physical therapy.  A month after his stroke, he was almost walking.  A month after that he was trotting, and now he can run with the big dogs, although his balance and coordination let him take a tumble once in a while.


Toopie has never seen an Occupational Therapist, and the closest he comes to Occupational Therapy is when we tempt him with treats.  However, we judge that his occupational skill recovery is nearly 100%; quite a bit better than his physical recovery.  To date, he has regained the skills of opening kitchen cabinets, bags of flour, packages of almonds, and cocoa mix, plus jumping onto sofas and into vehicles.  The little guy is a joy.

Cast Your Vote!

Slide shows are easier to watch if they have a sound track behind them, and the True Blue Fan Club gets to name their poison with this sequence of our black oak project. The choice is between Ethel Waters singing My Handy Man, or A.C. Eck Robertson performing Sally Johnson and Billy in the Low Ground. Have a listen, then leave a comment to state your preference. Both versions are listed privately on YouTube, so visitors to this blog are the only ones voting. The music was chosen based upon the time these records run in order fit the length of the slide show easily.



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ruger Introduces Us To Biathlon!

We never know what Ruger will post next. I have never been on cross country skis, but I know that I wouldn't be hitting bullseyes very well after a workout like that. I wonder how the e-Postal shooters would do if we required a hearty workout on a Nordic Track machine right before shooting.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Vertical Single Cylinder Deutz Stationary Engine

Let's hop across the pond today and look at one of Bidone1967's gas engine videos. I can't translate Bidone's comments, but it is safe to say that this upside-down beauty was built long, long ago, before sparkplugs were around. Hot-Tube ingition has always fascinated me, and I would love to know the history of this engine, and how it survived through all the upheaval of the Twentieth Century in Germany.



Bidone's comments: "Deutz vertikaler Gasmotor - Stationary Gas Engine
From: Bidone1967 | Feb 24, 2011 | 529 views

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Beim Stationärmotorentreffen in Unterwellenborn waren 2010 sehr viele und teils sehr alte Standmotoren zu sehen.

In diesem Film zeige ich einen vertikalen Deutz Einzylinder Standmotor.

Dieser Film ist ein Ausschnitt aus meiner DVD "Stationärmotorentreffen Unterwellenborn". "

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Weekend Steam: The Swap



Georgetown Loop RR Engine Number 12, a 2-6-2, is the engine coming to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa as the exchange for MCRR's Number 9 Shay locomotive. Start planning now for your trip to Iowa on Labor Day weekend. This year you can take pictures of a "new" engine!



Friday, March 4, 2011

Crankin' It Up



Carl Fenton's Orchestra recorded this dance record on April 16, 1925. Billy Jones and Ernest Hare perform the vocals.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The 2011 e-Postals Have Begun!

Mr. Completely has posted the first of his famous e-Postal matches for this year, and it's a Duzy!  You will need to click over to Mr. C to study the rules and see if you can figure out how to shoot this target, which is described thusly: "None of those boring old concentric circles for us, by golly!"  The target is laid out so you may touch three different scoring areas with the same shot, but some areas have negative points, which, I think will level the playing field for those of us who are not expert pistol shooters.

A link is on Mr. Completely's post to take you to the pdf download.  Print out several targets and make this a family range outing.  More shooting is more better!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What Have We Here?

This old snapshot was probably taken somwhere in SE Iowa, 1920-ish.  The reason it is posted here is because there is a one-lung gas engine with a chain driven pump attached, which may have been used to pump water out of this construction project.  Any gas engine expert out there is invited to comment and let us all know what the brand name of this engine is; and if anyone knows what these guys are doing on this construction project, I would sure like to hear your ideas.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

And There I Was, Without A Chainsaw!

 We visited the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis over the weekend, and this high stump was obviously left there just to taunt old True Blue Sam.  It's the butt end of a ginkgo tree, and it would have made a nice chunk of wood to take home for the collection, and I didn't have a single chainsaw with me.  It just goes to show you, that you should always be properly armed.

I am sure that the Missouri Botanical Gardens has many people on their staff who know lots of intricate details about growing trees, but I am a bit bothered that their cutter does not know how to drop a tree properly.  This tree was severed from the stump while standing, leaving no hinge to guide it in the right direction.  If you are thinking about dropping a tree, and you haven't had instruction in falling methods, go down the left side of this page and read the posts under "Drop That Tree Where You Want It."