Sunday, October 31, 2004

Sunbelt, part 2

On the way back from the junkyard, we ran across some guys in a orchard harvesting pecans, so we stopped to watch for a while. I think this is when TH got the idea he'd buy a bunch to take home with him.

This little contraption is used to shake the trees so the nuts will fall to the ground to be picked up some other specialty contraptions which I will post pictures of later.

After all of our ramblings around Wednesday morning, we decided to go grab a bit of lunch. TC recommended this little BBQ place in Moultrie where he and Uncle Gene had eaten the night before. I was all for this as I love nothing better than sampling BBQ. I was not dissapointed. These folks have a sliced pork that is unreal and three very different sauces to go with it. A hot, a mild and a sweet sauce (I brought home a pint of sweet and a pint of hot sauce, it was that good).

By this time I was ready to head to the expo. TC, TH and Uncle Gene wanted to ride around a bit more, so they dropped MH and I off at the back gate so that I could run around and find a few people. I procured a map showing where all of the different exhibitors were set up and headed off in search of my wick applicator, but not before cruising through the antique tractor area to see what-all was there this year.

This lovely little McCormick-Deering had trees growing through it before the current owner found it and brought it back to near original condition

I'm not a big Deere fan, but it is neat to see an orchard tractor still dressed in it's original sheet metal. From what I understand, the first time someone had to work on one they took all the sheet metal off and promptly ran over it with the tractor...numerous times.

I found the gentleman with my applicator, which he had indeed remembered to bring and learned he was doing a rather brisk business with the stock he'd brought with him. It seems that everybody in the Southeast had Johnsongrass problems this year.

MH was getting bored by this time, but that changed pretty quick when he found a guy selling bows and arrows made out of PVC pipe. I didn't think that TH would care, so I told him to go ahead and get one if he was sure his mother wouldn't mind. We got out away from everybody so that he could try it out and he learned it's not as easy as it looks on TV. I'm no great shakes with a bow, but I showed him how to use it and pretty soon he was actually able to hit what he was aiming at with it. I wasn't too concerned about him hurting himself or anyone else because his "arrows" had the old fashioned pencil eraser heads (plus that bow isn't exactly what I'd want to go hunting Wooly Mammoth with). I bought a new pair of work boots (saved about forty bucks) and put all but one of his arrows in my boot box so that he wouldn't lose him. After admonishing him not to shoot anybody with the damn thing, we went on our way.

Which reminds me, I asked the little heathen whether he was tring to be a wild injun or one of Henry V's bowmen at Agincourt and he asked me "what's an Agincourt?" So we sat on a bench and he got a quick lesson in medieval military history. I would take this opportunity to complain about our education system, but the boy is only nine or ten, so it's not like this is something he's had to study before. And by the way, after learning about the English longbowmen whaling the tar out of the frogs, he decided he'd rather be one of Henry's happy few than be a wild injun.

I headed over to the Agco tent to see if any of their marketing people where there, but unfortunately it turned out to be mostly sales reps.

Our ride arrived to pick us up around 5 and we went back to the BBQ pit to eat once again (I told you it was good BBQ). It was slightly less crowded than it had been at lunchtime, but there were still quite a few people there. MH plays ball, so the first thing he noticed were several large photos on the wall of a young man in a Pittsburgh Pirates uniform. It turns out that the husband of the lady who owns the place played ball back in the sixties. Uncle Gene remembered him when she told us his name (I've never heard of him, but then, I don't follow baseball). So that was sort of a neat thing. I keep trying to remember the fellows name, but my mind blanked out on me. I tried looking it up on the web, only to find that there were several baseball players from Moultrie over the years and I think two of them played for the Pirates. Rankin' Rob probably knows off the top of his head who I'm talking about (for that matter, he's probably eaten at the BBQ Pit too).

And this concludes part two, I'll see what I can do about part three tomorrow night.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

I have a confession to make. I'm not as well read as I'd like to be. This was driven home to me a few weeks ago when I saw a list of a hundred classic books on someone's blog (I think it was Suburban Blight, but I won't swear to it) and in going down the list, I had only read maybe four out of all of them. That set me to thinking that maybe I should broaden my horizons a little.

Now I read all the time, but I will admit that what I read is a bit limited in scope. I read history, primarily Civil War, but there's a good bit of world history in my library as well. I have quite a few books on agriculture and a few books on machinery and tractors. I also have a good selection of equine related books.

In my ficton I'm a bit more diverse. As far as "classics" go, I'm a bit shy other than Sir Walter Scott. I read everything from Tony Hillerman to George MacDonald Fraser to Bernard Cornwell and Patrick O'Brian. That's my "normal" fiction if you will. Hmmp, I just realized that with the exception of Tony Hillerman, almost all of my ficton is historical. My other favorite reading is Sci-Fi and Fantasy. Robert E. Howard to Harry Turtledove and Jerry Pournelle. That's the sort of thing I read for pure escapism when I want to just lose myself for a while.

I decided to try an experiment.

Sweetie and I went to a local used bookstore tonight and I found myself in the "classics" section, so I gathered up a few at random to try and expand my mind a little. Well, not quite at random, but still a departure from my normal reading.

I came home with some different reading material tonight.

The Reivers, by Faulkner. Other than the odd short story in school, I'm ashamed to admit I've never read Faulkner.

The Innocents Abroad, by Mark Twain. I have read quite a bit of Twain, but only the "mainstream." This seemed a bit "off the beaten path" so I thought it would be a good one.

The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. I have read exactly one Hemingway story in my 37 years of life.

The General, by C.S. Forester. Ok, I've got other Forester books... Rifleman Dodd probably being my favorite.

I also picked up a volume of Kipling poetry. I realize Kipling is out of fashion in this day, but I still think he was one of the greatest writers of the nineteenth century and I thoroughly enjoy reading him.

And of course, I had to find some non-fiction. I ran across an interesting history of the U.S. Army remount service. I never even cracked in open. I just tucked it under my arm and didn't even look at it until I got home. That's the sort of thing that may or may not be good reading, but it's fine reference material even if the writing is atrocious. The other non-fiction book I found was a reprint of an older book about warfare during the Crusades. The Crusades, particularly the Templars, have always fascinated me, even more than the Civil War in some ways.

And I almost forgot the best part of my plunder... Everything I know About Women I learned From My Tractor by Roger Welsch. Roger is a semi-retired professor from Nebraska who fell in love with Allis Chalmers tractors late in life and has written several hilarious tomes on the joys of antique tractor restoration.

I have enough reading material now to keep me busy for a least a week or so now. Since the time changes this weekend, I expect to be reading more now that I won't be outside as much. Actually, I'm probably set on reading material until the holidays, because I'm still working my way through Shelby Foote's Civil War narrative.

Friday, October 29, 2004


Well, where to begin. I 'spose the beginning would be the best place.

We got a late start going down. I rode down with TH and his grandson MH. TC and JE and most everybody else from up here left the day before. TC went the back way down to Lagrange to pick up his uncle Gene. Uncle Gene is retired, but he putters around with antique tractors. He always takes his little Allis B down every year to show it off.

This actually a shot taken last year during the parade of antique tractors. I realize this isn't the best picture, but I never claimed to be a photographer

Anyway, we stopped in Cordele and ate dinner at a place named Cutters. An odd place that we ate at last year... they have fatback on the buffet. No, that's not a joke. Fatback, sowbelly, streakedy meat, streakalean... whatever you call it, it's a heart attack waiting to happen and its on the buffet (that's pronounced booo-faay, by the way).

We arrived at Norman park a little after dark and found TC and Uncle Gene sitting on the porch in rocking chairs waiting on us. The place we stay at is the site of a former Baptist college and it's a pretty good place to stay. The rooms are about what you'd pay at the average roach motel and the rooms are a bit nicer... and they lay out a good breakfast starting at 5:45am. Grits, bacon, sausage, biscuits, eggs (aigs), pear preserves, fruit, hashbrowns, gravy... you name it and it was there. All a body could want to eat and then some.

Wednesday morning we decided to ride around instead of going to the expo. We went down to the little town of Pavo, which is home to the biggest tractor junkyard I've ever seen in my life. I've been to some yards in the midwest that don't have a tenth of what's sitting in the weeds down there. I got a call from work on the way down, but then we got out of range and I didn't have to worry about that until we got back to Moultrie that afternoon. I think I got about five calls that day. I should've turned the damn phone off.

I realize these shots are not that great, but this is just to give the idea... there where rows upon rows of junked machines like this

Decent looking D model JD, note the missing seat. Either someone lifted it for another tractor or the owner drove it standing up. Good possibility either way

And I saw a few odd things, well, odd things to find in the South at least.

A Massey-Harris 55... sort of an odd sight to find in the deep south. This one belonged to a road department somewhere down yonder at one time.

A 50-something model JD cotton picker that somehow escaped the scrap heap. Notice it has no cab. This thing was built in the days of manly men who'd never heard of skin cancer... but I bet it still beat the heck out of picking it by hand.

We spent most of the morning crawling around down there. They have several different lots, one of which is nearly thirty acres of every kind of tractor, combine and cotton picker you can imagine.

On their lot where they keep the running equipment that is for sale they had something else you rarely see in the deep South. Three 70hp Olivers, a 1655, a 1650 (with cultivators, that's the largest tractor I've ever seen with front mounted cultivators) and a 1650 High Crop.

They were a bit shy on Fords, which is a shame because I was looking for a part. I did find a set of front weights for the Deutz, but they were a mite too proud of 'em.

And did I mention cats? All I heard the whole time I was gone all I heard were jokes about that damn frozen cat. From people I don't even know. It was funny at times, but damn... four days of cat jokes will wear on you. I may have to to dig the damn thing up and have it mounted. Then people would KNOW I've got a screw loose and leave me the hell alone.

whew! Enough blather for one day. I'll continue this tomorrow. Or not. Depends on how I feel when I finish mowing.

Well that wasn't so bad after all

I got lucky with the truck. It turned out to be a busted hose. Cost me twenty bucks and wrecker bill. If it hadn't been dark when this happened, I might have figured that out, but it beats hell out of buying a new motor... I know that one from experience.

%$#^! waterpump went out on my truck last night. I am afoot once again. This #$@& is getting old.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


I am busier than a one legged man at an ass kicking contest. I will get around to my adventures at Sunbelt whenever I get caught up with work.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Remind me never to go on vacation again.

It's a good thing I took my days off when I did. We are snowed under at the Saltmine. I feel really bad for hanging my buddy Mo with all of my work while I was gone. He got stuck with a major project from hell in my absense.

heh. The good thing is that he finished it, so I don't have to screw with it.

Sunday, October 24, 2004


Actually I've been home since about 10:30 Friday night, but I've not been in the mood to write anything.

I've got quite a few pictures to post when I get around to scanning them, but in the meantime my forthcoming topics will be: The best BBQ in Moultrie, adventures in pecan huntin', the Aviation museum in Warner Robbins, TC vs. Gehl, buying used aircraft tires, the aquisition of my wick applicator, blisters on my heels (never try to break in new boots at a trade show, it ain't smart), turnip greens and last but not least, the biggest tractor junkyard I've ever seen.

On another note entirely, after three weeks, DR has sent his sweetie packing. This time it was his idea rather than hers, which is a step in the right direction. And of course, once again, she cleaned him out. I think he has learned his lesson this time... of course, a sensible person would have learned after the first time.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Went to the Doctor this afternoon, things aren't quite as bad as I thought. I do have high blood pressure (but not as high as I thought), a mild hernia and of course, Bells Palsy. He cleared me to go to Sunbelt, but I do have two appointments next week. I get the impression I'm fixing to go on a diet, mainly cutting my fifth food group... Salt.

Anyhow, no posting til' Friday night when I return from South Georgia. I will hopefully have lots of pictures of sh^t I can't afford, plus pictures of old and nifty stuff they don't make anymore.

For some odd reason I feel like I'm drunk today. Actually I've felt this way all weekend, which is odd because I'm not taking anything that should have this effect on me. I slept most of the weekend, which really stinks because the weather was lovely and there were lots of things I needed to do.

The most annoying thing about this is trying to sit in front of a computer all day with an eye that won't close. That is giving me a headache. Luckily, I won't be doing that after today, because we're heading out tomorrow to go to Sunbelt. This could be scary... I have a little bit of money this year, there is no telling what I may drag home. I know I will be bringing home a wick applicator to mount on one of the tractors. I've already called and ordered it and they are bringing it to me. This will hopefully go a long way towards solving my Johnsongrass problems next year.

Bigger brother and I went Saturday (I briefly escaped from my bride) over to Tunnel Hill and looked at a Case 450 dozer. We are going to buy it because the price is right and it doesn't take an act of congress to get it started. It will do most of the work we need to do and I can make money on it when we're finished. Provided I don't blow the motor up like I did with the 933.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Thanks to everyone for your concern

I'd like to express my thanks to everyone who has written me and or left comments. This whole thing has been a wakeup call of sorts for me. I am very thankful that this has turned out to be a relatively minor thing rather than something life-threatening. My darling bride loves to watch ER, so of course the only thing running through my mind was the episode where Dr. Green realizes this brain tumor is back...

The biggest problem I'm having with this is trying to sit in front of computer with an eye that doesn't blink. I've got an eyepatch, which helps, but it doesn't work too well with my glasses. I haven't worn contacts in years (that little bit of vanity went away quite some time ago), but I may have to get some for my left eye just so that I can work, if this condition persists more than a few days.

One thing about it... I'll probably lose some weight, 'cause it's hard to eat like pig when your mouth don't work right.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I spent a couple of hours at the ER today

I may write about it in detail when I feel better. This was pretty scary to me because I do not go to the doctor very often. In fact it's been nearly 7 years since I last went to a doctor. Long story short, I thought I was having a stroke, but what I actually have is a condition known as Bells Palsy. For all intents and purposes, I have no muscle control over the right side of my face, coupled with a sore jaw and a dull ache behind my ear. The doctor thinks I will recover in a few days. My weekend plans are in a tailspin right now, but hey, it could have been a lot worse. I was afraid it was something a lot worse.

Suffice to say I've had the living sh~t scared out of me.

Monday, October 11, 2004

300th post

And it's a shame I don't have anything important to write about.

We're going to pass on the 336. Bigger brother looked at it Friday and said it needed a LOT of work to get it where it needs to be as far as making the kind of bales I want goes. There is an auction in Carrolton this Saturday that I may try to attend. There are all kinds of goodies going up on the block.

We spent Saturday afternoon looking at the TD14, which is a story itself, complete with billowing clouds of smoke and copius cursing.

No, we couldn't get it to start. He's ran it out of fuel and it has air in the lines. That's bad with any diesel, with a fifty year old diesel it's a major headache. We may go back up there this weekend and see what we can do. If it runs halfway decent, I'll probably buy it. It's big enough to push around anything I need it to. Plus it had a nice cage around the operator's station, so I don't have to worry about trees falling on me. I've had that happen, so that's a minor concern...

Sunday, October 10, 2004

I will admit

that I can be downright lecherous, but somehow a black thong under white riding breeches just doesn't seem like fitting attire for a dressage show. Not that there was anything wrong with the view, it just seemed a bit out of place.

This is especially odd considering that the young lady in question called my bride last night in panic mode over what to wear. Somehow I doubt that sweetie told her to wear that, but I could be wrong. One never knows with the female of the species.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

I think we may end up buying the 336. Bigger Brother and I are going to go Saturday morning and take another look and will probably drag it home. Of course this means I'll have to do hay one more time this year, just to try it out.

At some point in time after we look at the baler, we're heading in the other direction to look at a bulldozer. It's older than dirt, an IH TD-14A(1956-58), but what can I say? it's cheeeeeeep. And I could sure use it right now. If it will hold together for a year, I can clean up everything and sell it for what I've got in it. Plus, if it do tear up, I know where there is another one with a bad engine sitting in the weeds (probably with a tree growing through it by now). The guy says it runs good (the one I'm looking at, not the one with the tree growing through it), but he doesn't need it anymore. We'll see.

It looks like we may have some rain moving in Saturday, which means I've probably lost the little bit of hay I've got on the ground down the road, simply because I haven't had time to get to it. We've been a touch busy at the saltmine and I can't seem to get away from there. This has been such as lousy year for hay I'm tempted to throw up my hands and say to heck with it, but I know that, come next spring, I'll be ready to go again.

I'm sure Sunbelt will be either put in the mood again or depress hell out of me.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Since I have little to post about right now

My buddy Cecil sent this to me.

Once upon a time, there was a little boy who lived out in the sticks. His family was rather poor and they did not have indoor plumbing, they had to use an outhouse, and the little boy hated it because it was hot in the summer, cold in the winter and stank all the time.

The outhouse was sitting right on the bank of a creek and the boy determined that one day he would push that outhouse into the creek.

One day after a spring rain, the creek was swollen so the little boy decided today was the day to push the outhouse into the creek. So he got a 2x4 and a concrete block and tipped the outhouse over into the creek, where it floated away.

That night his daddy told him they were going to the woodshed after supper. Knowing that meant a spanking, the little boy asked why. His daddy replied, "Someone pushed the outhouse into the creek today. It was you, wasn't it,son?"

The boy answered yes. Then he thought a moment and said, "Daddy, I read in school today that George Washington chopped down a cherry tree and didn't get into trouble because he told the truth."

His daddy replied, "Well, son, George Washington's father wasn't in that cherry tree when he cut it down."