Tuesday, November 29, 2005

More rusty junk

Why? Because I'm not in the humor to write.

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This is an Oliver Hart-Parr 18-27 (I think) dating from the 1930's. The "18" was the drawbar horsepower (in other words, how much it could pull), whereas the "27" was "Belt" horsepower, as in how large a belt driven implement it could run.

This was down at Weeks Auction in Moultrie. Olivers of any model are not common in South Georgia, one this old is a very odd find... unless of course, someone has brought it in recently to restore, which is always a possibility.

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Speaking of odd finds in the South, we have a Silver King that I saw at the Cleveland auction recently. I have read (somewhere) that Henry Ford considered the Silver King the best machine on the market in the 30's and had his engineers take one apart to study before Ford began building the N series tractors.

Sorry, that's it for now.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

As if I don't have troubles enough

Heard from a friend yesterday. He'd just fielded a call from the local political Mafia. They're trying to get him to run for school board. He has no interest in it at all, but they don't seem to be taking no for an answer. The people ragging him about it are his friends, whom he does not wish to offend, but he's afraid he's going to make someone mad. So he calls asking me how to extricate himself from this mess without causing a lot of hard feelings.

I told him I gots no idea.

Said he'd called his older brother for advice and he laughed at him... for twenty minutes.

And then had the gall to tell him that maybe they were on to something and he should run. Don't you hate asking for advice and getting a response like that?

Personally, I don't know what to tell him, other than change his cell phone number, not answer the phone at home and just generally lay low for six or eight months.

Sooooo, anyone have any thoughts on this? I'd like to be able to give him some good advice if I can. The problem is that he should have asked someone with a little sense to start with instead of calling me.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Stopped and looked at four Ferguson tractors sitting by the road today with for sale signs on 'em. Dr, who was with me, pointed this out to me and asked (jokingly) if this ball was welded on the front bumper so people could take their tractors on vacation with 'em.

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And of course, I'm never going to turn down the chance to put more $hitty photography out on the web!

Speaking of which, I have a few from South Georgia, mostly consisting of tractors I wish I had the wherewithal to buy.

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A well worn Ferguson 1100 that was at Weeks Auction in Moultrie. It might actually be in my price range (cheap!) because of its age and condition. The folks who come to the auction to buy are generally looking for newer machines.

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An International Harvester 5488. I need it like I need another hole in my head. If I'm not mistaken, that thing has a DT-466 under the hood, generating 160hp at the pto. That's a teensy weensy bit of overkill for me. Still, it's different. Not many of them were made (compared to other IH models) and the are the last of the real IH tractors to come off the assembly line at the Farmall plant.

After having a conversation with TC's Uncle Pierce yesterday, I had an idea for a really good post, but I need to do some thinking before I try to write it. Ya'll may still have more rusty junk pictures to look at before I get that far.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Armistice Day

The Last of the Light Brigade
There were thirty million English who talked of England's might,
There were twenty broken troopers who lacked a bed for the night.
They had neither food nor money, they had neither service nor trade;
They were only shiftless soldiers, the last of the Light Brigade.

They felt that life was fleeting; they knew not that art was long,
That though they were dying of famine, they lived in deathless song.
They asked for a little money to keep the wolf from the door;
And the thirty million English sent twenty pounds and four!

They laid their heads together that were scarred and lined and grey;
Keen were the Russian sabres, but want was keener than they;
And an old Troop-Sergeant muttered, "Let us go to the man who writes
The things on Balaclava the kiddies at school recites."

They went without bands or colours, a regiment ten-file strong,
To look for the Master-singer who had crowned them all in his song;
And, waiting his servant's order, by the garden gate they stayed,
A desolate little cluster, the last of the Light Brigade.

They strove to stand to attention, to straighten the toil-bowed back;
They drilled on an empty stomach, the loose-knit files fell slack;
With stooping of weary shoulders, in garments tattered and frayed,
They shambled into his presence, the last of the Light Brigade.

The old Troop-Sergeant was spokesman, and "Beggin' your pardon," he said,
"You wrote o' the Light Brigade, sir. Here's all that isn't dead.
An' it's all come true what you wrote, sir, regardin' the mouth of hell;
For we're all of us nigh to the workhouse, an, we thought we'd call an' tell.

"No, thank you, we don't want food, sir; but couldn't you take an' write
A sort of 'to be continued' and 'see next page' o' the fight?
We think that someone has blundered, an' couldn't you tell 'em how?
You wrote we were heroes once, sir. Please, write we are starving now."

The poor little army departed, limping and lean and forlorn.
And the heart of the Master-singer grew hot with "the scorn of scorn."
And he wrote for them wonderful verses that swept the land like flame,
Till the fatted souls of the English were scourged with the thing called Shame.

O thirty million English that babble of England's might,
Behold there are twenty heroes who lack their food to-night;
Our children's children are lisping to "honour the charge they made-"
And we leave to the streets and the workhouse the charge of the Light Brigade!

-- Rudyard Kipling

I would like to think we don't treat our veterans like this, but there are times I fear we do.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Gratuitous Tractor pics

Since I'm too lazy to write, I have some shots from an antique tractor auction a couple of weeks ago in Cleveland Tennessee. I have no idea what anything brought, didn't stay that long. I did get the impression that there were a lot of no-sales though.

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Here we have a detail shot of the engine of a beautifully restored Case SC. Someone put some serious time and money into this little jewel. Note the Eagle logo on the sheetmetal. That is the likeness of Old Abe the battle eagle, mascot of the 8th Wisconsin Infantry. If you go to the Cyclorama in Atlanta, Abe is in the painting, flying high above the death and destruction below. Abe was part of the J.I. Case plow company logo for many years. I'm not sure when they dropped him, but I think it was probably in the sixties or seventies.

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And here is one of the few machines I saw up there that I'd have liked to brought home.

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I have no idea why, but I love the small old cultivating tractors. Doesn't matter what color they are, I think they're all neat.

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This one was used this year I'd say. Most likely in someones garden or truck patch.

And finally we have an example of way too much time on someones hands...

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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Tempers, rocks and rusty nails

One of my neighbors told me an interesting little tale of his youth here while back, which I found vastly amusing. The story that follows is based upon that and is more or less true, but what's true and what's exaggeration is up to the imagination of the reader.

We were talking about Old Jack, a fellow who used to live up the road. Now Jack passed away many years ago, but when he was alive he had a pretty big operation. He had cattle, four chicken houses and a row-crop operation. He handled the row-crop part of the farm and the cattle and chickens were tended to by his boys, Andy and Woodrow.

This worked well until Andy got drafted into the Army, so that left Woodrow to take care of the cattle and the chickens, so Wayne, one of their neighbors and the source of this tale, would come over to help Woodrow quite a bit.

What got Wayne started on this story was Old Jack's temper, which was well known. This was a man you simply did not want mad at you. That's all there was to it. His boys, who were both strapping big fellers, walked mighty softly when their daddy was on the warpath.

Woodrow had a cousin named Robert who was visiting. Now, this Robert was kind of a thug and something of a smartass. He was also a city boy and had little knowledge and even less interest in farming.

Woodrow had gathered up a bunch of cows and had 'em in the pens so he could doctor 'em for pinkeye or blackleg or some such. Since it's hard to handle cattle by yourself, even with a good corral, Wayne had came over to help.

Cousin Robert was supposed to be helping too, but his version of help was to throw rocks at the cows, usually right about the time Woodrow was trying to catch one. Woodrow kept telling Robert to stop, Robert ignored him.

Now, you're probably thinking that Robert was being pretty obnoxious right? Well, truth be known, what he was doing was also pretty dangerous... Not to him, but to Woodrow, who was after all, the one in the pen with the cows.

The rock throwin' went on for a while and Woodrow was getting madder by the minute, when Robert got tired of throwing rocks at the cows and started throwin' em at Woodrow.

Woodrow tried to ignore him, knowing by then that to argue would only encourage him, when Robert picked up a rock about the size of his fist and chunked it at Woodrows' head.

The rock connected and Woodrow nearly fell down. He stood there shaking his head like an angry bull while Robert stood across the fence and laughed at him.

"Now that by Gawd is enough!" He roared and charged the fence. Robert was too busy laughing to try to escape.

Truth to tell he was probably hoping for a fight. Robert liked to fight. He was a big boy and played football and a lot of folks was scared of him.

Not Woodrow. He was a good sized feller himself. He grabbed Robert by the scruff of the neck and the back of his belt and dragged him, kicking and punching all the while, over to the barn. There on the side of barn, driven into one of the posts, was a forty-penny nail about five feet off the ground.

Woodrow hung the protesting Robert by the belt on that rusty nail and walked off and left him there. He walked back over to the cattle pens and went back to doctoring cows. Robert thought he'd get lose but he wasn't able to. He begged and pleaded to be let down and was ignored by Woodrow.

A couple of hours later, Old Jack came in from the fields. He saw Robert hanging up there and asked what in the devil was going on, so of course Robert told him that Woodrow had hung him out on that nail, naturally leaving out the reason why he'd been hung up on that nail.

Old Jack got him down and while Robert stood there and snickered, Jack took off his belt and headed over to the cattle pens. He was planning on giving Woodrow the whuppin' of his life... I've probably failed to mention that Woodrow was a grown man by this time, with a wife and a young'un. Didn't matter to Jack. He was going to teach Woodrow a lesson.

He got in the pen with Woodrow and they commenced with a shouting match until Woodrow finally made Jack understand why he'd hung Robert on the side of the barn. Old Jack turned his baleful glare towards Robert, who realized right quickly he was in deep shit if Jack caught him, took off for the house at a dead run. He climbed into his old jalopy and left a cloud of dust as he headed back to town.

He spent the next several months avoiding Woodrow and Old Jack and didn't set foot on the farm again until after Jack had passed away. He may have been a thug and a bully, but he wasn't stupid...

Yes, I am actually planning to write something


I admit I have been in the grip of a most peculair lethargy for the past month or so. Most likely stress, but it could very well be simple laziness. It has even carried over into my reading. I recently obtained a Regimental History of the Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry (of whom I've heard rumors of an actual sabre charge at Chickamauga, of all places. I can't think of another battlefield I've been on that is more ill-suited to Cavalry operations than Chickamauga, Kennesaw and Petersburg excepted of course).

Boy! That was a tangent wasn't it?

At any rate, I've not even cracked it open. I have a biography of Billy Mitchell half-finished, Hemmingway's short stories half-finished, bogged down with Shelby Foote in mid-1862... You get the picture.

The only non-fiction book I've made any headway with in the past month is book called Cotton Fields No More: Southern Agriculture, 1865-1980, which I've found extremely interesting.

What might one ask am I reading, since after all, I read all the time?

Louis L'Amour and H. Beam Piper, with Jerry Pournelles' Janissaries thrown in for good measure. All books that I have read before. Strange. Some of them I've read several times. Nothing else seems to hold for interest for very long right and that may be the explanation, I can zip through a L'Amour book in an afternoon.

My subconscious may not want to invest the time in reading anything lengthier than that.

I will hopefully have a story posted tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Move along

These aren't the droids you're looking for.