Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Relics of my youth

Yes, I'm still playing with my camera.

Left to right: 1860 Officers Sabre (original), Uberti Colt Walker, Uberti Second Model Dragoon. Notice how the loading lever of the Walker is "hanging" down a bit? Every time I shoot that thing with a heavy load, the recoil makes it drop, which is why the Dragoons and all the later revolvers have that little latch on the end of the barrel. The reason these guns are carried in pommel holsters is because they are heavy, over four pounds each...empty. No one in their right mind carries these things as a belt gun (except for 18 year old kids who don't have any better sense... and as Forrest Gump would say that's all I have to say about that.) This is the reason most people refer to them as "Horse" pistols... or boat anchors.

Note: I actually made these pommel holsters (some folks call 'em saddle holsters) myself... and I will never, ever make another pair.

Closeup of the other side of the grip of the Dragoon.

And to maybe, just maybe follow Big Daddy Possum's lead, I may, or may not, be in this picture. Most likely not, but one can never tell.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Testing new toys

I have a couple of shots of my humble little home office that I took with my new handy-dandy el cheapo digital camera.

Just because I have books doesn't make me literate.

And just because I have pointy things doesn't mean I'm an axe murderer.

I'm rather suprised with this camera. It's a little ninety-seven dollar Kodak CX7300, but the color and detail aren't that bad. I had to do very little in the way of tweaking on these shots. I would very much like to have one of those Nikon D70's, but for what I'm doing this should do quite nicely for a while.

Now if I can just bring myself to buy a DVD writer I'll be in fair shape equipment-wise.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Bloggus Interruptus

Or something like that.

My inlaws are coming to visit (this is a good thing, not a bad thing) and I have a honey-do list a mile long or thereabouts.

Sweetie actually has asked me to do very little... but I didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday. There are lots of things that I have to do whether she's asked me to or not. I guess you could say I have a premptive honey-do list. This way, she won't be asking me afterwards why I didn't do this or that.

Anyhow, be back later in the week. Maybe.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

It's officially a neighborhood scandal.

I have a new machine that doesn't require an act of congress to start. Nothing is broken on it and it runs....

As of today we are the proud owners of a 450 Case bulldozer. 650 original hours, good undercarriage, good drivetrain, good engine, hot batteries... I need to break something on it so the shock of operating a functional piece of machinery isn't too much of a jolt to my system.

Pictures will be forthcoming someday...

I really need to get a digital camera.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Of Skunks and Dogs

I think everybody who lives out in the sticks has ran into this problem before. Now I shall tell a story of how one man dealt with it. Whether this story is true I cannot say, but suffice to say, if it ain't true, it could be .

This ole boy from up in the hills came into the local general store one day and asked the man behind the counter for a box of Tide. The proprietor was somewhat taken aback, because this fellow wasn't the sort to do much in the way of household chores. His curiosity was roused, so he asked "Whatcha need a box of Tide fer?"

"My ole hound dawg has done went and got in a fight wit' a polecat and I gots to do sumthin' with him."

"I ain't so sure that's a good idee... I don't thank you need to use that there laundry detergent on a dog."

"Well, I gots to do sumthin with 'im. He's about t' stink me out of t'house."

The man took his box of Tide and left. A couple of weeks later, he came back to the store and the storekeeper asked him if that Tide did the trick on cleaning up his dog.

"Naw, he died."

"Died! Now, I tried t'tell you not to wash that dog in Tide!"

"I don't thank it war the Tide that kilt 'im, I thank it was the spin cycle."

Big Daddy Possum is a yard mowin' fool

Now, do we really think Terry would mow his yard dressed like this?

Note: This image has been modified on the advice of Chef Tony. It's more authentic now, dontcha think?

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Carry Guns

After the incident a few days ago, that set me to thinking I need to renew my carry permit that I very foolishly let expire a few years ago. I have been too lazy to take a Wednesday (they only do that on Wednesdays here) off to go to the courthouse and get a new one. And this of course led me to another train of thought.

I've gotten rid of all my good carry guns. All I have left are blackpowders and a couple of Colt SAA repops.

Over the years I've owned a 70 series 1911 (all tricked out with three-dot sights, flat mainspring housing, extended slide stop, etc.), a compact 1911 Officers model (my favorite, even though I couldn't hit anything with it past thirty feet), a Security-Six snubbie, a 6" Redhawk in .44 magnum (not that gawdawfully huge Super Redhawk, just a regular Redhawk), two GP-100's, a couple of Blackhawks in .375 and a Ruger Bisley in .41 magnum (got rid of that one quick).

I don't have any of these critters anymore.

When I do carry anything, it's a Uberti SAA in .45 Long Colt, which has become my favorite caliber. Great big honkin' bullet like a .44 magnum, but very little recoil. I wish I could find a S&W model 25-5, which is, as far as I know, the only double action revolver available in .45 Long Colt. Baring that, I'd like to find a Redhawk in .357. The .44 I owned the slickest action of any double action revolver I've ever handled and that includes the Colt Python that DR used to own.

I've had other stuff, but my brain leaks anymore and I have CRS really bad these days. I think a big part of it is the fact I'm more interested in farm equipment than firearms now.

Wonder if I need a permit to carry a Dragoon?

Monday, November 15, 2004

I missed my blogversary a couple of weeks ago and didn't even realize it. Who'da thunk I'd still be selling verbal fertilizer a year after beginning this foolishness?

Friday, November 12, 2004


More vandalism at Chickamauga Battlefield.

They will get caught. And it will be ugly. For the idiots who did it and for their parents, because there is no doubt in my mind that this is the work of a bunch of high school kids.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Posted without comment


by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)


I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Reason # 23,859 to hate Wally-World

Meant to say this week before last and it plumb slipped my mind.

I went to Wal-Mart three days before Halloween and they had their Christmas crap out. And I could be wrong, but I swear I heard Christmas songs being played while I was in there.

This is interesting

This here Ruski feller thinks they hi-jacked an F-111 and copied it during the Vietnam war. The article is a bit confusing. I think there was a question over what kind of plane it was. The author seems to think that the SU-27 was based on technology from the stolen F-111. Interesting. I'm looking forward to reading the next three parts of the story.

Now, I know about the B-29s they impounded and reverse engineered during WWII, but I've never heard any hint of something like this.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

When I were a ver' small child

I used to eat cigarette butts. Or so I've been told. I hope it wasn't the filtered ones, although if they were that would explain why I was constipated until about age 23.

Just kidding. About the constipation part at least. The cigarette butts are another story. I also apparently chewed up my grandfather's pipes. Evidently my tobacco fetish started early eh?

When I was a bit older, four or five prehaps, having been weaned off the curse of the great god nick-o'-teen, I developed an odd habit of eating fish sticks.

Odd? Odd in what way one might ask?

Only odd in the fact that I would sneak them from the big chest-freezer and eat them still frozen. Just like popsicles.

Yes indeed, I were a strange child. Which probably explains a great deal about how I became such a strange adult.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Silently I glided through the woods like an Iroquois on the warpath

Ok, we'll go for truth now.

I spent this morning clumping through the woods like a fat rhino, looking for a some jackasses that have been slipping on to my back forty deer hunting. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with people hunting, in fact I have given eight people permission to hunt this place. The problem is, these idiots, whoever they are, have not asked for permission. The only reason that I found out is because BR, a guy I used to work with, was hunting down here a couple of weeks ago and these lowlifes came crashing through the woods on top of BR and his brother-in-law. BR didn't know any better and assumed it was someone I'd given permission to. To be honest, it took me two weeks to figure out it wasn't one of my regulars.

This shit needs to stop. Now.

So I went back there this morning to see if I could either find them, or at least find where they are coming in at. I found the place where they've been hunting, but found no holes in the fence and really, no tracks or sign at all other than the little hollow under a tree they'd cleared out to hunt from.

Now, I'm not completely stupid, I had my cell phone in my hand and DR on my flank when I went to the woods. I now know exactly where they are hunting at and they're going to get caught before it's over with, either by me or the game warden. Either way they're going to get charges filed against them. Since I know where they are setting up, I can bring the game warden in and show him where to look for 'em now. I have avoided getting the property posted, but I guess I will have to now.

okay, bizarre incident story time.

Driving down the road yesterday morning going to the tractor place (which is less than three miles from my house) I drive past a neighbors house and glance over and see a girl with long, dark hair running across the yard. Didn't think much of it until I got past. Just happened to look in my mirror and see that she is waving wildly at me with both arms.

The matriarch of the family has been poorly lately, so, thinking something must be wrong, I turned at the road going to the tractor place (it was only about a hundred yards or so away) and went back. I saw a pickup sitting by the road near the entrance to the tractor place and thought "hmm TH must be working on fence this morning."

As I drove back up the road, I saw the girl jump the chainlink fence and come running out in the road. I rolled down my window to ask what was wrong and she didn't even slow down. She ran around my truck and got in it. That's when I first realized she was not one of the neighbor girls. She was wearing flannel pj bottoms and a t-shirt... and her mouth was bleeding (I thought it was a seriously bad zit at first). She said "can you please give me a ride." I'm trying to think of something smartass to say when she continues "I ran off from my boyfriend, he's threatening to kill me." I'm think "oh great, this is all I need right now." She looked scared, but it's hard to say. She wasn't in the truck that long.

I'm wondering who in the hell she is and trying to fish my cellphone out of the bibb of my overalls to call the police with when she says "Did you see a truck parked on _______ road? My boyfriend ran out of gas and I ran while he was gone to get gas." I'm still trying to process this in my feeble little mind when I realized that I had just seen a truck pull out from _______ road heading south (I was pointed north) My first thought is "Oh shit" So I drove. I'm trying to figure what do about now. I'm thinking of heading straight for the Sheriffs office.

She then tells me that she's called a friend to come pick her up and that we will probably meet them shortly. About the time I start to ask her why she didn't call the police we top the hill about half a mile from where she got in my truck and meet her friend coming over the next hill about 200 yards away. I'm got my phone in hand by now, but she's opening the door before I can slow down. I pulled a bit to the middle of the road and her friend stopped. She said thank you (or something along those lines) and jumped out of my truck and ran over and got in the back of her friends car (two more girls and a young guy). They did not have a window rolled down but I leaned out of mine and told them to turn around NOW and go back north. The driver nodded her head in understanding and they turned around in a driveway I'd just passed while I turned around in the next one.

Yes, I probably should have called the police, but she was in my truck for less than three minutes, tops. And I doubt it was that long, how long does it take to drive a mile on a state highway?

I went back to the tractor place, thinking I could ask TH what the heck was going on (since the boyfriend had apparently ran out of gas in his front yard, I thought he might know something). Pulled in, he wasn't there. Y'see, there is a long driveway (which is only wide enough for one vehicle) back to the office and sometimes it's hard to tell whether he'd open or not. As I started out, I saw a truck pulling in. And yes it was the truck I'd seen earlier.

I'm in full oh shit mode again (partly because I stupidly let my carrying permit expire several years ago and I rarely carry anymore). I think ok, I'll just play the yokel since I'm pretty good at that.

I rolled my window down as the guy approached and he pulled up right beside and I said "He ain't here, I reckon he's closed." I saw the guy was young and noticed he was wearing camos (not military style, more like deer hunting style) and he said "I'm looking for a girl. Have you seen a girl come running down through here?"

"Nope, I ain't seen no girl down here a'tall." See? I didn't even lie to the little shit, because I had NOT seen a girl down there. Not that it mattered anyway, it's not like I would have told him a damn thing to start with.

I pulled out and headed over to TC's. I was still toying with the idea of calling the Sheriff, but I didn't think it would do any good. For one thing, the girl was scared, but if she was really and truly in fear for her life, why didn't she call the police instead of her friend from my neighbors house? I asked TC what he thought and he agreed with my initial thought. I had nothing to tell the police, no names, no tag numbers and not much in the way of descriptions either.

Had we not met her friend when we did, I guess I wouldn't have taken her back to the barn, where my bride was and let her talk to the girl while I called the sheriff, but as it happened we met up with them before I got back to the farm. I guess that's a good thing, but this is something I will probably always wonder what the whole story was.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

I accomplished very little today other than tightening up the front wheel bearings on the Ferguson. I did have a very bizarre thing happen on the way to the tractor place this morning, which I may write more about later.

I did hear a lot of good stories today, most of which I'm afraid to write about because it's like Waylon Jennings once said, "they's too many people still alive that'd git killed or divorced if I told all I knew."
And boy did I here some good ones today. It's a damn shame I didn't have a tape recorder with me...

Sadly, since my darling bride has discovered my foolishness, she has told everybody and their brother about it, so now I am no longer semi-anonymous like Big Daddy Possum (but I am still semi-annoying) and I find that I have to be even more careful about what I say here.

DR came by late this afternoon and he was wound up. He let loose with so much stuff I couldn't keep track of it, but I was able to file away one little gem that I will try to tell in his own words (or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof).

"Y'remember them little chickens all the store used't have 'round Easter 'ever year? Y'know, the ones what was dyed blue or green or red? Well, most people'd buy 'em for there kids without ever realizing that them cute lil' baby chicks grew up to be big ole ugly white chickens."

"Back when I was a kid, mama had some little banty chickens. She loved them thangs. Well, somebody gave her a bunch of them big ugly white chickens, they was all hens 'cepting for this one ole ugly rooster. Mama was in the kitchen one day and looked out the screen door to see that ole rooster chasing one of her bantys around. She watched 'em run all the way around the house twice. And she got mad 'cause that big ole rooster was picking on her little banty, so when they was coming back around on their third trip when she picked up a 2x2 that was standing by the back door and waited fer 'em to come back by."

"The banty come running by and she drawed back with that stick and when that rooster come by she knocked the far out of it with that 2x2. T'tell the truth she's tryin' to kill it, but all it did was make it turn about three flips. That thang got up thinkin' it'd got hit by a truck and the first thang it seed was that banty chicken standing there lookin' at it."

"It never did bother mama's bantys ater that."

That was not verbatim, but it was as close as my feeble memory can come to it.

Ever notice whenever I saw I'm taking a break from this I then proceed to write (type?) up a storm?

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Sunbelt, part 3, or TC vs Gehl

We got started early Thursday morning. I ambled around and talked to lot of people, including one of the regional sales guys for Ferguson that I happen to know. This was the first news I've heard about Agco buying Valtra (wonder if they're going to shut them down and move operations to France like they've done with everybody else?) and he told me to come on out to the field and drive one. I agreed to collect TC and come out there whilst he was there (he and TC had went to school together back in the day).

I located TC and we rode the shuttle out to the field and spent some time driving around a couple of different machines out there (tooooooo many electronic gizmos on these new ones. Don't get me wrong, they are nice, but I am so accustomed to crap I have to work on all the time I worry about maintenance on this new stuff).

Gehl was set up right across the road from Agco. After we finished test driving the Valtras, TC made a beeline for that tent. We looked around for a minute and a fellow with Gehl came up to us and started talking to us.

Now, TC is having a bit of a parts problem right now. He ordered parts for his round baler about three months ago and has had a time getting 'em. Now, all it is, is a little plastic gear that costs eight dollars, but for some reason his dealer can't seem to get this particular part. Probably because he wants to sell TC an entire assembly for $475 instead of a gear for $8. The dealer has never bothered to call TC one way or another to let him know what his order status is either. TC is not happy with Gehl or this particular dealer right now.

I'm not sure exactly what the fellow said to TC (probably, asked TC how he liked his baler upon finding out that we both owned Gehl balers) and TC just sort of came off the hip with "I like the baler fine, but I don't like like your parts warehouse worth a sh%t." Those were his exact words to man who was some sort of muckety-muck with Gehl. Then TC said the dreaded words that make most everybody else in the implement bidness cringe.

"I had to borry a baler to finish my hay this year and I'm a-fixin' to trade my baler in on a new John Deere."

About this time an older gentleman (also with Gehl, probably the first guys boss) who had been listening, came up and touched TC on the shoulder and said "That's how you get their attention."

The Gehl reprsenative asked "who is your dealer?" TC told him and he reached in his pocket, pulled a cellphone and called the dealer and told him "I'm at the expo right now and I have one of your customers in front of me and he is not very happy right now. What seems to be the problem?"

Naturally the dealer blamed the parts warehouse (and of course the parts warehouse blamed the dealer).

The rep proceeded to ream the dealer out good, (I could tell he was pissed) then, for good measure, he called the parts warehouse and raised hell with them for a good thirty minutes. I'm sure no one, no matter what business they are in, likes to be confronted at a trade show about screwups they have no control over.

Unfortunately, so far, this doesn't seem to have helped. This has been over two weeks ago, still no part. I think he will end up getting his parts, but unless it happens soon, when the time comes he won't buy another Gehl baler, despite the efforts of the company rep.

Now, why on earth would this guy take the time to help out somebody over an $8 part? Because word of mouth can kill you with this stuff. Unless the buyer is a commercial operator who trades machines every other year, a buyer who makes a 10k-20k investment on a baler plans on keeping it and using it for many years to come. And if this buyer hears any hint that there may be problems getting spare parts, he will more than likely opt to do what TC threatened to do and buy Green, because he knows that he can parts and service from Deere, come hell or high water.

Big Daddy Possum says I'm insane.


He's right, but I'm also evil.

Reckon James Lileks will sue me?


Actually this be old news (pre-election) but for various reasons I have declined to write of it until now.

Some of the old hens in my brides horse club are trying to kick her out.


They have no clue what kind of a nest of rattlesnakes they've got into.


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I actually had to wait this morning when I went to vote.

For a whole three minutes.

Believe it or not, but that's the biggest crowd I've ever seen there. From the way the poll workers talked, it's been brisk all morning.

That's a good thing. I'm hoping that voter apathy of the past twenty years or so is a thing of the past.

Monday, November 01, 2004


Remember a while back when I said I may need some character witnesses for my dee-vorce proceedings?

My bride has discovered this nonsense.

Actually it was never hidden from her, she'd just never bothered to read it.

Until this weekend.

Oddly enough, she finds it rather funny, so I'm safe... for now.

I think my saving grace is the fact that I rarely write about her, except of course in the context of her horsey foolishness (and her cat freezings). Which reminds me, I'm thinking of taking up the hobby of taxidermy, I figure if I do that I shan't have anymore cat problems in the future...