Saturday, February 26, 2005

Horseshoes and Rat-Dogs

I went to Chattanooga this morning to poke around at the American Farriers Association convention, mainly 'cause the bride wanted to go, but I also like to poke and prod and look at tools. Whether they are tools I know how to use or not.

I noticed quite a few folks there of Asian extraction, which I found a little odd until I was told that the Japan Farriers Association (why it isn't the Farriers Association of Japan or the Japanese Farrier Association, I have no clue) was there in force and they were putting on demonstrations, so naturally I had to cruise over and check them out.

There was a Kiwi chap that was their spokesman and he had some interesting tales to tell about how he'd ended up in Japan and became a member of their association. I did not have the presence of mind to take my camera with me. I wish I had, because they had a horse (an extremely well mannered horse at that) that they were shoeing using (from what I can gather) a mix of traditional Japanese techniques side by side with English/American techniques. I did not view enough of the demonstration to see very much of the traditional Japanese techniques, other than to note they do a LOT of work with the foot on the ground (which I think could be very helpful for an injured horse) and the fact that they have an odd way of clinching nails. It looked like they were going around the foot (with it on the ground) and clinching (bending) the nails with a hammer. American farriers have a special tool for doing this, which has evidently just begun to catch on with the younger farriers in Japan.

Why this interest in Farrier tools and techniques? At one time, before I grew fat and lazy, I did all of my own trimming and footwork. I rarely keep my horses shod, but when I did, I would do most of the prep work while my Farrier supervised. Trimming feet to run barefoot and trimming feet to wear shoes are two very different things, which is why I worked under supervision for that. I have actually put shoes on a horse twice (again under supervision). The very first time I did it things went so smoothly I was seriously considering learning how to do it. The second time it didn't go so well, so I lost interest rather quickly. Besides, that's awful damned hard work for a lazy man. At any rate, the fact that I am a cheap bastard is beginning to overide the fat and lazy part of me. I'm thinking of getting some better tools (mine are some ones cast-offs and were probably worn out forty years ago) and trying to do some of our trimming again. My bride doesn't know this and may not be happy about it because she really likes the Farrier she's using now, but I'm becoming a bottom-line kind of guy. She's spending enough on trimming jobs every six weeks to justify me spending a couple of hundred on some better tools. We'll see, I haven't made up my mind just yet.

In other news, the Rat-Dog is living with the vet this weekend. She's somehow managed to hurt her neck or back and needs to be kept pretty much immobile for a couple of days. Since this is a practical impossibility at home, she's staying with the vet until Monday. I just hope this doesn't end up being another deal like our seven hundred dollar cat and seven thousand dollar horse. These dadgum critters are going to bankrupt me. I dread having children. I figure they'll be much, much worse...

Friday, February 25, 2005

Armageddon is nigh

CMT is running a Dukes of Hazzard marathon.

I actually kinda liked the show the first season. It wasn't quite as silly as it was later and the early episodes were actually shot in Georgia. Then they moved it out to California and it all went downhill from there.

Y'had to know something was wrong when the scenery was the same as Little House on the Prairie...

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

My bride went on a jaunt

over to Charleston last weekend, which left me free to go to equipment sales, watch the History channel and Sci-Fi channel to my hearts content and just generally be a bum for two days.

Short and sweet movie review. Remember the Four Feathers remake from a couple of years agone?

It sucked.

Not only was it (wildly) historically inaccurate, the acting wasn't that great either. Even the one they made in the 70s was better. All kinds of whining and touchy feely shit about feelings and cowardice and all that rot. I got news for 'em. Audie Murphy, Bill Mauldin and Arthur Hunnicutt already did that movie. It's called The Red Badge of Courage. It was a helluva lot better than this PC pile of stinking crap.

The only point in their favor would be the weapons. The Brits were using Martini-Henrys and I saw at least one Snider Conversion Enfield rifle. To me, that was about the only saving grace of the movie.

Also watched The Natural, which was good as always. I dunno why, but I could care less about Baseball, but I love Baseball movies. Even the bad ones like Major League and Mr. Baseball. And I watched Tank, a James Garner movie from the early 80's. It's a pretty good little film. Part of it was shot in North Georgia, but I'm sure exactly where.

But, getting back to the Four Feathers, I think the Scorpion King (which I also watched Saturday night) was probably more historically accurate...

Monday, February 21, 2005

While doing a little engineering

job at the barn yesterday I managed to run a driver bit into the underside of my index finger. That smarted just a tad. I was trying to put a galvinzed deck screw (those things don't like to go in too well) into a solid oak 2x12 (why do we always say solid oak? It ain't like there's trees that are half oak and half sweetgum... or half oak and half pine).

Anyway, I'd drilled a pilot hole, but evidently it was too small. The screw got in a bind and broke off and of course I ran the drill into my finger. I didn't hit bone but it came awful close.

Then today sweetie whacked me in the head with a piece of conduit so hard I fell down. She claims it was an accident, but I think it's spousal abuse.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

In other news

I repossessed a bog harrow today that Daddy loaned to Farrell about 25 years ago. It's a long and drawn out and complicated tale that I shan't bore anyone with... I think my usual drivel is quite boring enough.

But that is, once again, beside the point. Whilst I was up there to get the thing, I was looking around in wonder at some of the assorted scrap iron that the new property owner (Farrell sold most of the farm) has drug out of the weeds and I saw an odd little contraption that I first thought was some sort of rock rake. It looked like two scrape blades welded together into a V with some sort of gearbox mounted on top.

I asked the guy that loaded the disc for me what it was and he said "aww, that thar's an old snowblower."

"What in the hell was Farrell doing with a snowblower?" I asked, after my brain had time to process that...

Before I continue, I have to say this has GOT to be the most hare-brained scheme I've ever heard of.

"Wayull, they'uns got that thang 30-40 year ago and wuz atrying to use it to clean the chickenhouses with."

Now, I can see how, in theory, this could work. The V blades would sort of windrow the litter, just like a V rake with hay, while the blower Could be pointed at the manure spreader to load it up without having to resort to the shovel method. But with the blower, there comes the problem...

I had to ask, y'know.

"How well did that work?"

"Not too well... Farrell said they's s'much dust off'n that litter it looked like t'chickenhouse wuz on farrr."

ok, so I've been a slacker lately

I went to an equipment sale this morning... easy to tell that it's wintertime and everybody is bored. Most of what was at the sale was out and out junk, but it brought outrageous (in my mind at least) prices. I went to buy a post-hole digger. It brought nearly as much as a new one sells for.

The only bargain I saw was the Tye No-Till drill that brought 2K. I have never priced a new one, but I'd say they're close to 10k new. TG next door bought a Sunflower Drill last Summer that (I think) set him back about 15k.

I was sorta kinda looking at this big Allis 7045... until I saw the nifty hay twine throttle cable they'd rigged up on it. It wasn't a bad looking tractor if you look past the rust, but although it ran well, first and sixth gear were out in the transmission. I shudder to think how much work it would be to split that thing to fix it.

There was also the issue of my being able to squeeze my fat ass into the cab. Not to mention the fact that I need a 150hp tractor like I need a lobotomy. Although there are some who think I do indeed need one.

Anyhoo, it brought $3200, which isn't bad if you need something like that to pull a big chisel plow or offset harrow, but it was about $2200 more than I'd have paid for it.

Friday, February 18, 2005


as a one legged man at an ass kicking.

I do have some words of wisdom from the Sage of the Southwest, Baxter Black...

One of the greatest feelings in the world is to see a cow loose on the road and know that it ain't yours.

That's not quite verbatim, but that is the gist of it.

Monday, February 14, 2005

I heard a new one today

Called about an 784 IH, 4wd with a loader. $8K. I'm thinking that's awful cheap, 'specially from a dealer. Talk to the salesman, ask him what the story is. He starts off by extolling the virtues of the loader...

I asked him, "well, what about the tractor?"

He replies "Waal, it's mechanically sound, but it's rougher than a night in jail.

That one goes right along with rougher than a cob, ain't much punkin' and looks like hell with the hide knocked off.

And I know that it ain't Blue (Ford/New Holland), but after my little Saturday afternoon jaunt through the swamp with the Deutz (I buried it nearly to the rear axle and had to drag it out with the dozer) I'm much more inclined to look at other colors so long as it's a 4wd.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Dance Brothers

While there are repops of this revolver floating around, this is the very first original I've seen.

They are very similar to a (oversized) Colt Navy in look and feel other than the absence of recoil shields. I seem to recall reading somewhere that this was deliberate so that the percussion caps would simply fall off after being fired without getting stuck between the cylinder and the recoil shields.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Speaking of bleeding Hemorrhoids...

I learned

how to knock down a tree with a dozer today.

It's not as easy as one would think. Especially with a small dozer and a large tree. There is definately an art to it. Trackloaders are better for this sort of thing.

May have located a round baler, a MF 1450 (4x5 bale, made by Vermeer for MF), but I think it's over past Columbia TN. It would be quite a road trip dragging it that far.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The Baby LeMat

I'd never seen one of these before. It has the shotgun barrel just like its bigger brother.

Monday, February 07, 2005

I have a new ambition

Recently I wrote a little bit about Revolving rifles and how I'd like to have a Colt Revolving Rifle. I also stated that no one repoped 'em and no one was likely to.

Well, not for the first time in my life, I find that I was mistaken.

Dixie Gun Works has one now. For $950. Which is much better than $15000. Plus you don't have that guilty conscience that comes with shooting nasty old black powder in an original rifle.

I'm debating seriously on whether to sell a bunch of crap that I have now, or just start saving money. Anybody want to buy an '85 Nissan 4x4? Only $975....

I figure the extra twenty-five bucks ought to cover shipping.

I have hit a way to make my fortune

Everybody likes ribs right? Pig only has so many right?

We crossbreed a pig and a weenie dog. Longer pig = more ribs. It's kinda like the three-legged chicken concept...

See, it's all very simple when you think outside the box.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

CW Show

I went to a Civil War/Relic show this morning. Mainly to look for books, because that's pretty much all I can afford at these things. I took the camera along and although my pik-ture taking abilities leave much to be desired I took a few shots of some of the more interesting things I saw.

A Vandenberg volley gun. (Yes it was for sale)

Several Lemat revolvers.

Carbines, Carbines, Carbines! Burnsides, Sharps, Spencers, Manyards, Joslyns, Gallaghers, Halls, just about anything you can name, it was there.

I have a lot more pictures from the show that I will probably be posting later.

I am also pleased with myself because I showed remarkable restraint in not buying this.

That was probably the only gun at the show I could afford. It is a Uberti repop of the later production Paterson Colt. I have two of the older style Patersons that I used to carry in pommel holsters for an early war Confederate impression, but I always wanted one with the loading lever (the older Patersons lacked a loading lever and had to be partially disassembled to load... ever try to do that on horseback? It ain't easy).

I did get three books, one on the Atlanta Campaign, one on Lepanto and one on Marlborough (as in John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, not the cigarettes).

Happiness is

a dozer that will crank and run without an act of congress.

I've been burning brushpiles and playing in the dirt. I've got a patch of scrub about 50 feet wide by seventy feet long that I'm trying to get rid of. Actually, that's the size it is now. It was a lot bigger yesterday morning. I am very happy with the Case, but really and truly it was easier to knock trees down with the trackloader.

Bigger Brother, along with DR and myself worked on the barn yesterday. We got a fair amount accomplished on the north side, but still not as much as I'd like. Ghee, it's only been a YEAR since I bought the lumber. Maybe by this time next year we'll be finished.

I've also been playing plumber. We have an $80 water bill. It seems that one of the outside faucets decided to blow up, unbeknownst to me. Since I don't know how to sweat copper, I had to go the compression fitting route. I figure if I can fix hydraulic lines, surely I can do water lines?

Well, maybe...

It is fixed now. Sort of. It only took two trips to Lowes. With a third one for tomorrow. On my second trip I did have the presence of mind to buy a plug... just in case. I soon discovered I need about a six inch union in order to connect the new faucet to the water line. Since I wasn't in the mood for a third trip to Lowes, I plugged the line, turned the water back on and guess what? No leaks.

I was rather proud of myself.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Corn FlakesWheaties

Uncle Goob is in his late sixties now, but when he was growing up, a lot of the things we buy at the grocery store were new. Still needing the "bugs" worked out if you will.

Corn flakes and Wheaties and suchlike were a new thing and his mother had bought some because that was a quick way to fix Goob and his older brother breakfast before they'd go to school of a morning.

Now Goobs' brother was involved with some kind of sports, so he'd leave about an hour earlier than Goob in the mornings. One particular morning when Goob was about ten or twelve years old, he came into the kitchen to eat breakfast and his Mama poured him up a bowl of cereal.

Goob took one look at it and said "Mama, I ain't eatin' that."

"Oh yes you WILL!"

"No I ain't."

WHAP! She smacked him in the side of the head.

"You better eat every bite of it!"

"Mama! Look at it!"

It was crawling with weevils. Y'know, them bugs what you find in dry oats and cattle feed on occasion?

His Mama commenced to wailing and crying.

Goob said "Mama, what's wrong?"

"Your brother ate two bowls of that before he went to school!"

I saw Uncle goob tonight and he assured me that it was not Corn Flakes but Wheaties that his brother ate that fateful morning.