Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tractor Porn! With Bonus Aircraft Porn!

I went to an equipment auction Saturday, first one I've been to in a while. I really had no business going, as there is not exactly an excess of cash around the ole homestead these days, but I wanted to go do something besides work for a change.

My only purchase was a drill press, which was one of those deals that was too good to pass up.

Anyway, on to my usual bad photos of rusty junk....

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I thought this was a pretty nice looking little Avery, it sure sounded good when they fired it up. No idea what it brought as I had went with TC to get a hamburger before it sold.

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The little A brought $1800 and was a no-sale. I think the fellow that owned it wanted $2000. Really and truly, you can't buy a decent riding mower for that.

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Rows of rusty junk...

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Some model of Massey Harris, no idea what it was, no tags and no decals left on it.

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It did have an interesting example of redneck engineering in the homemade wide front end. This is actually a heavier built front axle than one from the factory.

Now, for some non-farm related antiques...
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This is not something you see a typical farm equipment sale....

Actually this was the wasn't first plane I saw, the first one was a jet that came whizzing overhead with the landing gear down. I knew it was an F-80 or a T-33 or an F-94 (wasn't sure which of the three, but knew it had to be one of 'em), so after the sale we went down to the airport to see what was going on.

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It did turn out to be a T-33.

As it turns out they were having a fly-in at the local airport, but we had missed most of it by the time we got there, but there were still a few interesting things to see...

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And finally, the one that got me all hot and bothered.

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The first thing that struck me was how tiny it was. You can read specifications all day long, but until you are standing beside it, it don't really register.

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This machine is a repop, there are none of the real ones left in existence. The Germans did have one of Von Richthofen's triplanes in a museum, but it disappeared during the latter days of the Second World War. From what I understand, there were only about three hundred of them built.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Reinforcing the stereotype™, Volume MCXVII

I'm working on a large project right now that was started by another agency. This is a typical thing, as some clients will often change agencies in the middle of things. What makes this job a little more aggravating than normal is because it was laid out in Adobe Indesign. If this were a small project, it wouldn't be an issue, as I know my way around Indesign fairly well, but I am by no means an expert in it. This project is a large document of a couple hundred pages, which is a different kettle of fish from an ad or something of that nature.

This is in part because of my luddite tendencies, of which I have written of before (I clung to OS9 long after the rest of the free world went to OSX it seems). I stuck with Quark until I because so fed up with all the bugs and foreign tech support that I'd had enough, but six months after buying Indesign, I still use quark for 75% of my work.

Ok now, will all the boring, silly background out of the way, here's my reinforcing the stereotype™ story.

I have a buddy who is a designer who happened to be an early adopter of Indesign, when I run into a problem, rather than wasting my time looking something up in the manual, I call him.

So today, I am trying to figure how to do something with master pages and hit a snag. I call Reed on his cell, no answer, so I keep working. A little while later I call again, this time he answers the phone.

"Hello" he says in a whisper.

He, being the great smartass that he is, is playing some kind of joke I'm thinking. Me, being the great smartass that I am answer him back in a whisper.

"whatchew whispering for, sh*t-for-brains?"

Still in a whisper, he replies

"I'm huntin, whatchew need?"

"I got an Indesign question, but I'll call you later."

"Naw,that'ss alright, whats the problem?"

Tech support from a tree stand, where else but in the South?

* Reinforcing the Stereotype™ is not to be confused with Big Daddy Possum's "Perpetuating the Stereotype®."

Sunday, September 03, 2006

I have decided that I have new ambition

I want to be a weatherman. Why? Because that has got to be the only freaking job in the world where you can be wrong over half the time and not get fired.

In other news I have broken the drought that has afflicted the Southeast the past couple of months. I was able to accomplish this, not by black magic or mysterious alchemy, but simply by mowing some hay.

Wonder if I can get the Gub-mint to give me some money for ending the drought?

Saturday, September 02, 2006

An observation in passing

I am mowing hay a neighbors right now. He is retired Army, a Colonel if I'm not mistaken. Interesting guy, when I go down there to mow, he'll ride his little Ford tractor down to the field I'm in and we will sit in the shade and talk for a hour or so about books, guns, current events and local politics, all time sitting on our tractors...

I know several guys who are or have been serving officers, but he is the only West P'inter of the lot.

A couple of weeks ago, there was a discussion at Chaos Manor about Infantry and the role of airpower in modern warfare and how the Air Force is still of a WWII/Cold War strategic bombing mindset. Since I am not in the service and never have been, I cannot speak from personal experience, but Ray (my neighbor) did say something earlier this Summer which stuck with me, although at the time I will confess I didn't think much about it.

We were talking about the current military situation and the march to Bagdad in '03 when something was said (I have no recollection of what started it) about close air support for Infantry actions. I was reminded of our conversation when the topic came up at Chaos Manor.

Ray commanded a rifle company and later on was a battalion commander in Vietnam. He doesn't talk a lot about his experiences there, but when he does talk about it I listen. The thing he said that struck me was that he never liked to call (his words) the God-D-d Air Force flyboys for close air support. He said they would never come down close enough to see what the hell they were dropping bombs on. He went on to say he always preferred to call in helicopter gun-ships or (get this) the South Vietnamese Air Force, (his words again)because they would get down on the deck and do the job right.

I have no idea if this is still the case, or even if that was the way the Air Force operated during that era, but I am curious as to whether the Marines, having their own built-in Air Support, had/have the same problems?

Friday, September 01, 2006

I just realized

that I have not posted any drivel in over a month, so I decided to remedy that.

This has been one of the most... interesting years of my life so far. I got involved in a new business venture back in May (right about the time I had to start mowing hay) and that has pretty much taken all of my free time this summer. Things are starting to calm down a little now, which is a good thing, because it's time to start mowing hay again. Matter of fact, I will probably start mowing tomorrow and hopefully get all of it laid down by late tomorrow evening. If I can ted it Sunday, some of it may bale Monday. Have to wait and see on that.

We finally got the Gehl to where is making good rolls, but I still wonder if I shouldn't have sprung for the 435 JD that I ran up on right before I bought the Gehl. The 275 is still chugging away (bigger brother used it last weekend to bale 200+ on some deal he got roped into). but I don't know how much longer it will keep going on account of that baaaaad case of leprosy it's got in it's innards. I'd like to get an inline, but that is probably going to be out of the question for a couple of years. I think another tractor would be a better investment.

Speaking of which, I can't remember whether I mentioned the 285 having such bad blow-by back in the spring that there was more smoke coming out the bottom of the motor than out of the exhaust. But whether I did or not, that seems to have stopped back when I was running it hard mowing the big field. TC thinks I may have had a stuck ring that has since came loose. I have no idee. The inner workings of engines are much like womens makeup to me...voodoo magic.

Anyhoo, I figure that's enough drivel for now, I'll likely have more later.