Monday, December 31, 2007

SO, I cheated…

on testing out the dump truck/chain combination.

I’m lookin’ out @ 8" of wet schmutz this morning, & think- "Isn’t this what I have a snowblower for"? It is.

The blower is a 5-foot wide unit that fits to the back of my tractor on the 3-point hitch & is powered by the PTO (power take off). The heavy wet crap is where it has the advantage because that stuff is hard to plow without flinging the truck all over the place.

So- hitched up the blower & ran one pass up & one down to remove most of the snow. THEN used the dump & plow (NO traction problems!) to clean things up, & all was drivable again.

Now I get to do it all again tomorrow…

BTW, Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

CHAINS Baby...

Yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about.

Got tire chains for the dump truck rear wheels (well, 2 of them anyway). Tried it out on the luge run I call a road & it was all good, even up the hill.

They're talking 5-10" overnight, but only have about 1" so far.

We'll see "How it goes" tomorry...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Fun With Motor Vehicles…

Inspired by Jay’s entry, I was going to comment, but, hey, this is enough material for MY blog. So-

Back in 1981 or so, I’m driving a 1971 Chevy pickup. Now I don’t know if you’re familiar with the fine products from GM in the early ‘70s, but mine certainly was a POS. The special feature on mine was that the door wouldn’t close, so I tied a rope onto the driver’s side arm rest, & sat on it to keep it closed. Tight right hand turns were a bitch. Nevertheless, it was cheap, & it fit my needs.

So ANYway, I went out for a couple beers after work one night when I was working the 3-11 shift, & started home about 1230 in the am. I was cruising down main street & pass a little car that was hugging the right hand side of the road.

Apparently, the driver of the little car took umbrage at my passing, & proceeded to follow at bumper length for about 3/4 mile over a couple streets.

I’m on my home street, & this bozo is still so close I can’t see his headlights over my tailgate, so I tap the brakes. Hard.


Not surprisingly, the idiot rear ends me & smashes the shit out of his car. I get out, he & his friend get out, his friend takes off running, & this guy starts SWINGING at me. I’m laughing my ass off at this kid, & I hold him by his forehead before he can do anything that might result in my stomping his sorry butt into a curb.

"You did that on purpose you asshole"

"No, a cat ran out in front of me & I didn’t want to hit it" (heh)

"Where’s your buddy gone?"

"He might be holding so I told him to go".

"I’ll tell you what- you get your busted machine out of my sight & I won’t call the cops"


Brand new, that day, Toyota Celica, gift from Daddy. Hood trashed, windshield cracked, headlights gone, barely driveable. It DID take a little paint off a bumper rivet on my truck.
Who says there is no social justice?

PS- the insurance check was just a bonus…

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas...

to all.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Unclear on the Concept...

Go here & check out this guy- he apparently doesn't understand that the l-o-n-g handle on a roof rake is for standing on the ground whilst you remove snow from the roof.
This was in today's Union Leader. Really.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Little More?

Tonight they're talkin' 2-4" around here.

After last week, that's just a plain good day.

'Nuff said...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

GOOD Story & Unique Presentation...

Three excellent wordsmiths have collaborated to present a unique "3 site" story, "Perspectives".

It starts at Lawdog’s place.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

How it goes…

The "new" dump truck worked ok on the last storm, but that snow was the first "real" one on the road, ergo traction was pretty good.

So this morning, w/7" on the ground, I tell the old woman I’m going out to get the paper, & make a pass on the road in the process.

"Old woman, I’m going to get the paper."

Plod down to the truck, start her up, & broom off the snow so’s I can see.

Start plowing down to the low point in the road, all’s good. BUT- starting up the hill I can feel she ain’t gonna make it. Sure enough, at the midpoint of the hill, she’s spinning all wheels.

Start backing down, using the mirrors because I can’t see out the dump box, I overcompensate for the direction (it’s all white on white out there) & go off the road into the stream ditch on the side of the road. Stuck. Stuck good.

Get the tractor, slide again into said ditch, get THAT stuck, get it unstuck, & pull the truck out of the ditch w/the old woman’s help as driver (about 1 hours’ time).

Start up the road w/the truck after preparing the road a bit with the tractor, & I hit a bump while making speed & a roof-load of snow falls on the windshield. Can’t stop.
Start the wipers, one blade falls off, & they stop, dead. Blind.

I’m gonna get me a good shovel & call it a day. Hell, it’s only 1800 feet…

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mr./Ms. 1000... Come on Down!

Someone from Auburndale MA is the lucky ONE THOUSANDTH visitor!

You Sir and/or Madam have WON the LUCKY PRIZE for this distinction!

Unfortunately for THIS particular winner, the BIG PRIZE was a


Gee... I was hoping someone from England would win, or something...

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Somethin’ from Nothin’…

or, the scraps are free.

The woman of the house takes pride in making good stuff to eat from practically nothing. Tonight, gray squirrel kabobs over rock lichen, stuffed w/mushrooms she found growing on the manure pile.

Well no, not really.

What she DID do, was to take some leftover chicken (on the bone), & stewed it into, well, stew, & formed that into a chicken pie. Homemade crust, top & bottom, & baked in the oven.
Beans from the garden on the side.

Oh yeah…

Gotta love that girl…

Friday, December 7, 2007

"A date which will live in infamy."

On this date 66 years ago, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto of the Imperial Japanese Navy led a carrier fleet that attacked our forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

The assault began at 0755 local time, & killed more than 2,350 of our citizens, many of which were servicemen aboard the USS Arizona.

Lest we forget…

Thursday, December 6, 2007


I’m sorry, I just can’t get into the holiday/Christmas spirit anymore. When I was young, of course, it was a magical time. As my son grew up, Christmas remained something to look forward to, as I could behold the holiday through the eyes of my child. Now it has become just another thing to make my Decembers less than jolly.

Vehicle inspections are due on the main ride truck & the old dump truck.

The user truck is not so bad, as it’s fairly newish, but this year in my pre-inspection inspection, I noticed that I’ve got a stuck (rusted) brake drum lever for the E-brake, so that’s got to get fixed before inspection (I never use it so I hadn’t noticed before). I need new tires (they’ll probably pass), & I have a plan there, but time’s sneakin’ away for that to happen before inspection. BTW- here in NH we have to make an appointment for inspection- can’t just drive up when you’re ready!

Most of my auxiliary equipment has been readied for wintah, but there’s a couple still needing attention; the standby generator is high on that list.

We’ve already had plowable snow, & the temp hasn’t reached freezing in over a week, so dealing with the resultant mess has slowed down necessary outdoor activities, like, maybe, fixing trucks & equipment.

My birthday is this month, & while it’s no big deal to me at this stage of the game, I still have to participate in the attendant ceremonial observation of the date.

Christmas shopping is still on the agenda, trying to buy stuff for folks who I love dearly but don’t need anything, & in some cases don’t WANT anything!
AND, if they do need/want something, they just go & buy it.


And yes, I would like some cheese with that whine…

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A Couple Things.

I had no idea how important the stupid computer is in my life. The beast went Tango Uniform on me, & I couldn’t DO anything. Pay bills, transfer money, monitor my checkbook & finances, & of course, email & blog… nope. Not gonna happen.

Thankfully, I have a friend who’s a severe geek, & he likes messing with the things. He came up Saturday, flooged around with it, put in a new power supply, did the magical incantations, & here I am again!

Thanks Steve.

One of my two readers made a comment:

"I've read your post several times now. I'm always tempted to comment.I don't believe you approve of vulgar language on your site, so I won't."

I guess hadn’t noticed it, but I don’t use my normal "speaking" voice when I write. Those that know me can attest that the "wordz what are comin’ out of my mouf" are often less than acceptable at a Sunday service. I suppose that the written word, being etched in cyberspace as it were, can be perceived as reflective of the writer’s education, background, & upbringing. That ‘taint necessarily so, but with the vast alternatives available in our language, there are usually better ways of expressing oneself than resorting to vulgarities.

I still remember the time I asked, at the supper table, what "fuck" meant.
That went over well.

SO, if you feel like using language that you are comfortable with, or desire to make a point, feel free to use whatever vernacular you see fit.

See if I give a fuckin’ rat’s ass.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Here’s one for ya.

The wife works with an older woman, who, at 65 years of age, finds it necessary to sign up w/the Social Security program for her eventual transition into retirement. She had last week off as vacation time, & took the opportunity to begin the process.

Upon arrival at the SS office, she found that all personnel on duty used English only as a second language. She couldn’t make out what the clerks were telling her due to heavy accents, nor could the clerks understand what our lady wanted.

She had to
in a United States Government office.

So now she has to go back for her appointment this week, inconvenienced by a government agency in place to serve the citizens, just because she had the misfortune of speaking the (present) language of this land.

Are there that many retiring Spanish speaking folks? Probably not.

Could it be that the SS office mainly serves folks who are on "disability"? Probably so.

Crap like this make me want to twist someone's head off...

Thursday, November 22, 2007



Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It’s T minus…

Er, no. It’s here! T-DAY!

As Sailor Curt put so well, giving thanks is a regular occurrence, not one you have to wind up (apologies to J. Tull) on Thanksgiving Day.

We’re not big on "sayin’ grace" & such around here, but when family gathers on T-Day, I make an exception:

"Father, we give thanks for the abundance of
food on our table, the company of
family, & the comfort of our Republic.
Please accept our thanks, and prayers
for those who cannot be with us today.
Look upon us & bestow on us your good grace.

Happy Thanksgiving Day all.

Monday, November 19, 2007

ANOTHER Visitor!

The wife finished up her holster project & delivered it to the Colonel (the customer is an Army officer of said grade).

He was pleased with the results, & now she gets to do it again, on another piece.

I’ll get it here tomorrow, but a hint:
this gentleman seems to have an affinity for the .410" hole size.

Any wagers out there?

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Rachel Lucas is suffering over the loss of her long time friend, Digger.
(Go give her some support)

We’ve suffered the same pain, in our loss of Bear, at our homestead.

I’ve lost my Mother, a close cousin or three, & others, human.
The wife has lost her Dad.

These are painful life changing events, as they should be, when viewed in the grand scheme.


But, for the life of me, I don’t understand the feeling of loss for things mechanical.

I had a 1958 Ford tractor, my first, that gave me years of service as a snow mover, skidder, paddock scraper, & general helper. I replaced her with a shiny-new diesel 4WD unit that outworks the Ford in every respect.

When the new owner came to pick her up, I felt a twinge of the loss & sadness that one would feel with the loss of family or pet (family & pet are both the same, actually).

Same deal with my tree-growing, brass-scrounging, yellow-jacket-home of a plow truck. A bud of mine & I brought her to her new owner Saturday, where she’ll be used this winter as is, then parted out for inclusion into another truck.

All this is not to deride the pain of loss of sentient beings, simply an observation of the human condition.

I never considered myself the "sensitive" type- is it a "guy" thing?

Or, as I’ve long suspected, I’m just a loony?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Today I Done My Duty…

in purchasing my Ammo Day rounds.

This time I outfitted the ’03 (Rock Island) Springfield sporter with Remington Core-Lokt 180 grainers & Winchester 150 grain Power Points. After the rebates mentioned in the last post, the cost came to $8.76/box of 20. That’s almost mil-surp prices (if you can still find any).

Go. Buy. Ammo.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ammo Day Rebates- Perfek!

In honor of National Ammo Day (well, no, not really), Winchester & Remington are offering rebates on ammo.

I know ammo is scrotum crushing expensive these days, but $5 back on a box? You can’t beat that w/a stick.

Go here for the Winchester rebate form, & here for the Remington one.

Gotta love ammo on the cheap…

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I had to drive to Bolton, MA today, & all I could think of was

"The palindrome of Bolton is Notlob…"

I crack myself up.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month: Armistice Day

THE CAUSE (1918)
By Paul Scott Mowrer

Poet laureate of New Hampshire

Let but the cause seem beautiful, dear God,
If we must die. Make us believe, in truth,
For all mankind we thus forswear our youth,
To stay till end of time the oppressor's rod;
That but for us, harsh power would ride rough-shod
Through freedom's delicate gardens, and the tooth
Of hatred rend our people without ruth;
So might we sleep contented, under the sod.

For else, who knows what gladness here on earth
Was destined us, what nobly high employ?
Oh, hard it is that youth should cease to be!
For now came love, with a great glad rebirth
To company our way, and now came joy!
Not death we fear, but death's futility.

Thank you to all veterans, past & present, who have sacrificed their time and lives to maintain our freedom.

God Bless America & Those that Keep Her.

Friday, November 9, 2007


It didn't go well today.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


I have a genius blog!

I don’t feel any smahtah; do you feel smahtah reading it?

The .30-30 Will Have to Wait...

until tomorrow, anyway.

I was gonna regale y’all with the short story of how I acquired my very nice 1950 vintage Winchester ’94, but life got in the way today.

We’re in the material acquisition stage of rebuilding the horse stalls in the barn, planned for this weekend, & running around getting wood (for building, not burning, THIS time) & the associated materials has plumb run me out of daylight. I need daylight to take a half-decent picture of anything (probably just because I’m a lousy photographer & don’t know how to use artificial light correctly).

Sure, I could tell the story, but what good would that be without a pic?

If tomorrow goes OK, I’ll have it posted then.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Conservative off the Deep End…

No, not the political kind, although I am one of those as well.

This is the "conservator of stuff" kind, or, save what you’ve got ‘till you REALLY need it.

In April (no bugs, no leaves) of each year, I begin my logging operation, with the prospect of felling, bucking, & splitting all the firewood we will need for the following year. I say following year because I keep two years’ usage on hand; i.e., this year I cut for winter of 2008/9. Logging is fairly dangerous sport, & I figger if I bust an arm or something while doing it, we won’t be screwed for the coming year.

So here we are when "the Whales of November Turn Gloomy", & the temps take a dive. When the c-o-o-l begins, I’ll start a fire in the living room stove just to keep off the chill. The cellar stove will lay dormant a while longer. Here’s where it gets nutty.

I love being out in the woods, so on a nice day like today, I’ll take a modified backpack frame I garagineered to hold wood, a strong bowsaw, & walk out in the woods TO GATHER FIREWOOD!

I’ll find a good place, cut standing dead hardwood to stove length, then pack 40 or so pounds of it back home for the fire.

Eight cord standing stacked & me packing in 40# of deadwood to keep warm.

CAPITAL "C", off the deep end…

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

And the Platform Shoes...

helped make it all PAINFUL to remember, but go check this out.

Funniest damn thing I've read in a while.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

President Thompson

will be on Meet the Press tomorrow @ 1030.

Check it out & see/hear the man.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Health Insurance: That’ll be Fine…

I was talking to a self-employed carpenter today, & he was lamenting the fact that he will soon be fined by the PR of MA for not having health insurance. The fine will equal his normal tax exemption for health care, IF HE HAD IT!

He was a bit irritated as he went into his take on the root cause for the whole issue: a bunch of non-citizens freeloading on the system, requiring the citizen TAXPAYERS to shoulder the bill. I think he’s spot on with that assumption.

I felt bad for the guy- he was probably early 60’s, can’t get on his wife’s med insurance, so he’s paying his own (medical) way as needed.

Then the farging gummint comes along & robs a few more dollars from him.

Remember R. Reagan’s quote of the nine most feared words in the language?
"I’m from the government & I’m here to help".

Whatta state THAT state is in.

But I'm sure Hitlery's plan is much better...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Clearing Brush & Torsion Springs

Two new rock bands?


What I’ve been doing today. Clearing brush (& trees) next to my road, then installing torsion springs that had broken on one of my garage doors.

Now I’m too tired to think, never mind get creative for this beast.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A New Addition to the Vernacular: Garagineer

I’m officially coining a new word today.

For some time now, I’ve been using the term "garage engineer" both as a verb & a noun, to describe my (& others’ like me) tinkering, machining, welding, blacksmithing, & generally havin’ a good time making stuff from whatever.

This term is a natural for combination to "Garagineer"

v. The act of designing & manufacturing a contrivance to meet the needs of the owner.
ex. "I’m goin’ down to the shed to garagineer a Redneck Trap thrower"

n. A person with little or no formal training in engineering who still manages to successfully accomplish the design & manufacture of a contrivance.
ex. "That guy who made that Redneck Trap thrower is one heckava garagineer"

So there ‘tis- you heard it here first folks…

Any other garagineers out there?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Poll Again!- @#^$&*@#

I don’t know why, but the "Blogpoll" poll I had up went Tango Uniform on me. I was getting feedback that the thing had disappeared, but I could see it on my page.

I’ve dumped the other one, & re-created it using a "Blogger" poll.

If you could, please vote even if you had voted before.

This poll only lasts a week, so let’s git ‘er done!

Thanks again…

Saturday, October 27, 2007

And Now for Something Completely Different…

In start contrast to yesterday’s birthday beyotch, today is the 149th anniversary of the birth of one of America’s finest.

A man who vanquished youthful infirmity, strove to be the best he could be in all endeavors, & achieved the highest office in the land, President Theodore Roosevelt.

As one of the greatest presidents this Country has ever seen, sadly, he would not recognize the place today. More’s the pity.

Thank you Mr. President.

I wish we had a "TR" option on the ballot next year...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Someone’s Having a Birthday Today…

(You know the tune…)

Happy Birthday socialist bitch,
Happy Birthday socialist bitch,
Happy Birthday Lenin’s advisor,
Happy Birthday to you.

I hope you, Fidel, Hugo, & the rest have a nice party.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Garden, & BEANS!

This is the time of year when the garden kind of lets go of life, after having faithfully served by feeding us for the entire summer.

The wife, years ago, has taken to blanching & freezing the Kentucky Wonder beans I grow because we can’t find any others that taste sooooo good.

The tomatoes are just about done, just waiting for the final ripening of the ones already on the vine. Cabbages, cukes, summer squash, zucchini, buh-bye. Peppers are still hangin’ in there, but the BEANS…

31 pounds in the freezer,

and, I just picked 6.75 pounds today! It’s the 4th week in October for cripe’s sake.

These plants are indeterminate, which in plant language, means they grow until the frost kills ‘em.

Frost would be good…

Happy 10-22

Following Bruce’s lead- here’s mine:

Friday, October 19, 2007

I KNEW beer was better...

Ben Franklin said: In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom.

In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have demonstrated that if we drink 1 liter of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli, (E. coli) - bacteria found in feces. In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of poop.

However, we do NOT run that risk when drinking wine & beer (or tequila, rum, whiskey or other liquor) because alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and/or fermenting.

Remember: Water = Poop, Beer/Wine = Health. Therefore, it's better to drink beer and talk stupid, than to drink water and be full of shit.

This is presented as a public service.

Today, in 1781…

General Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown.

Damn'd good thing- I don’t think we could have lasted much longer.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I Got Nuthin' to Say...

& I ain't sayin' it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Miss Daisy Driving Herself…

Well, it appears an elderly woman drove her car into a hospital & killed a couple people.

Predictably, talk radio was all over it AGAIN, with wringing of hands, "what will we DO?!?!"

Look, it’s simple.

Everywhere in this USA, I believe, the legal limit for impairment is .08% blood alcohol content. To rephrase, a normal driver with a higher level of BAC is unfit (legally) to drive.
Do we all agree on that? (YMMV)

It is also known that statistically, the incident rate for drivers is an inverted bell curve, i.e. younger & older drivers have more "incidents", per capita. So- while this would take a modest amount of study, a few folks should be chosen from the low incident spread on the above mentioned curve, & tested for motor skills, reaction time, & vision. (I know, they already do vision, but stay with me here). Then they should be re-tested after a controlled introduction to alcohol to bring their BAC to .09, & the results recorded.

Now we have a baseline.

The testing could be done in conjunction with the present vision tests- perhaps hitting the correct button when a light flashes, or some such. I’m not a behavioral scientist, so I’ll leave the details to the pros.

If you fail the test, hey, even give the testee a couple chances, you’re done. In other words, if you can’t perform with the rudimentary skills of a "good" driver while impaired to an illegal limit, buh-bye.

If the law agrees that impaired folks should not be on the road, (& DUI laws are pretty specific about that), & a person tests at an "impaired" level, then that’s where’s the feces hits the rotating device. An additional "benefit" would be that the responsibility of license or vehicle suspension would be removed from immediate family members. I’ve been through that, & it creates a lot of hard feelings.

Testing should be done annually after age 70.

I recognize that no politician wants to get anywhere close to this problem, as us aging boomers are a significant voting block. But what is the alternative?

Understand, I’m heading quickly to the point where this onerous procedure would be inflicted on ME, but I’d rather have my license pulled than live with the knowledge that I had killed or maimed someone.

That would make the rest of my days less than happy.

If anyone’s got a better idea, have at it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Angst of a Parent

The following is an email I received this morning from a friend where I used to work. She’s a Conservative, stuck deep in the heart of the PRM (People’s Republic of MA). While we worked together, she often shared her consternation with the MA school system & their PC bullshit that passes for education down there. On occasion, she has met with the "educators" at her son’s school to express her & her husband’s displeasure with the manner in which the young folks are being molded.

It kinda makes you sick in the gut, & it’s sad.

Hi there,

So Sept 11th came and went at Bill's school without even a whisper, nothing, not even a small moment of silence. OK, fine.

This and any other history lesson that shows kids that AMERICA takes names and kicks ass when messed with are always left out.

The letter I got at home last night from his school stated that Bill's class would be celebrating United Nations Day on October 24th. Followed by paragraphs about how great the UN is as it allows all of us to understand each other and if we could all take this example that the world would be so much more peaceful.......ARRGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!

Then they tie in a note about needing info about your family tree so they could justify it as a history lesson.

Jerry thinks we should send in the story about the time his Uncle Skeeter shot one of his colored workers for stealing :) (Ed note: when Skeeter did his thing, the polite reference was "colored")

Think that would send the teacher through the roof?

Sadly, I think Billy will be very sick on the 24th :)

See Ya.....

What can ya say?

WTF is wrong with those "educators"? I read a poll in the paper on Sunday that indicated that 75+% of Americans disapprove of the UN & it's unregulated "mission".


Monday, October 15, 2007

Ford Shelby Cobra

As stated in these pages before, I’ve always been a bike guy vs. a car guy. There are notable exceptions, of course.

One of my dream cars was/is a Ford GT. When I was a kid & slot cars were the rage, mine was (naturally) a Ford GT body over a hot motor & magnesium frame.

The other car was the original Ford Shelby Cobra. I’ve probably seen a handful of those in my life (the REAL ones, not kit cars), so you might imagine my surprise to find TEN of them parked at a Brit car gathering in PA last Saturday.

Most all were original, a few were modified, but not to the point of losing their original identities.

They were all gorgeous, but then I saw this:

I didn’t think a guy my age could still GET a woodie that quick.


I’m altering my Christmas list this year…

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday Funnies

will resume next week. I haven't had the time since my return home to peruse the stacked up newspapers from last week.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Empathy for the poor...

Ya gotta feel sorry for all the poor people who can't afford the option of


on their vehicle.


Monday, October 8, 2007

I fear for my life…

The picture is of a part of my garden containing my insane tomato plant.

This thing has long ago left it’s stake, crashed over the fence, & is now heading for the house. The green bottle in the pic is a 2-liter soda bottle for size reference. The bent stake is circled, & the arrow points to where the original plant started.

The other plants are normal size- WTF???

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Sunday Funnies

I’m a student of the philosophical/political state of our fellow citizens by way of reading the Letters to the Editor in our paper. The Manchester Union Leader (yes, the "free state" is NH) has what I believe is a unique position in that they publish ALL letters received, unless slanderous or profane. Sometimes there are 3 or 4 full pages of letters.

What is a hoot is the liberal nutballs who continually write in commenting on the eeevil GW, or the equally eeevil "American way".
GW caused Katrina, GW caused the bridge to collapse in Minneapolis, blah, blah, blah.

Case in point, from today’s LthE:

I didn’t get this idea until today, so next week will hopefully have more entries into "who’s the nutballiest letter writer".

This time it’s just the bridge, "unfair" American ways, & Bushie cronies.

Mebbe next time we can have a vote on the biggest nutball.

Until next week… liberal nutballs, start your pencils!

Friday, October 5, 2007

4 July, 2001: It’s Alive!

I wheeled her out about 1000. Bore was spotless, paint was clean. I had calculated the amount of blackpowder that should be good in this size bore, & settled on 2 ounces of 1F, as I was unsure the pine wood carriage would take the larger calculated charge.

It was a proud moment, be sure of that.

I loaded the charge, followed by some damp rags for compression, rammed it home, & lit the fuse to fire.


Boy, that WAS loud.

Please excuse the noise, it’s the sound of Freedom!

AND, I didn’t ‘splode up.

Happy Independence Day to all.


Two months later, I had conflicting thoughts on action. It was 11 Sept., 2001- you know the day. Be quiet, be contemplative, grieve?


Take out the cannon, & commence furious fire. I fired over 3 pounds of 1F, 2 oz. per shot.

I am an American; you will not defeat me.

You sons-of-bitches will NEVER win if America survives, hell, even if only I & others like me remain.

God Bless the United States of America.

Thanks to you all who have followed this narrative.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The final touches

Funny thing about fabrication projects, I’m sure guys like Og will agree.
They consume all your resources & time. And then some.

Metal work, when completed
off the forge & anvil, has a scaly, mottled finish. That just wouldn’t do for me, so I thought about options. Wire brushing would take too long, even on a pedestal grinder.
Ah ha! I realized, in a blinding flash of the obvious-
Sandblasting- the finish would soak up paint & the end result would be what I was looking for. While I’m at it, methinks that same finish would be outstanding under a gloss black on the gun tube, & flat black for the hardware.

Flashback a bit. (Full disclosure here- this sandblasting revelation came to me mid-May, because I’ve worked metal on the anvil before).
So I bought a sandblaster. When I hitched it up to my then current compressor, it went "pthhhhssss…" in other words, I got nuttin’ but a spurt of sand, & then had to wait for the compressor to catch up.
No good.
So I bought a BIG compressor. Now I was cookin’, & my bank account was empty. Like I said, resources…

Back to the present. A few coats of paint, & the assembly begins. I used the plans I had, but mostly I had spent hours looking at cannon in parks & at historical societies all around the region. Details, details.
I had even made prolonge hooks, which I believe is French for "where weel we keep zis stupid peeze of rope?"
Mounted all the parts on the carriage, & had a bud help me drop the tube on the carriage.

Man, I’ll never forget that feeling of accomplishment.

Installed the trunnion caps, & done, 2 July 2001.

Beer drinking & cigar smoking again commenced. With enthusiasm. Friends gathered.

Admiring the work, a sudden bombshell- Uh oh- where’s the ramrod & sponge that should be sitting in the brackets I made for them? Doh! The two biggest pieces other that the carriage & the tube forgotten completely!

Tuesday, July 3, I took ½ vacation day from work. Bought 5/8" dowels, & raced home. Wandered around in the woods looking for a straight maple tree just under 2" diameter. Found it, cut it down, & made the ramrod & sponge (w/the wife’s help on the sewing of the cotton on the sponge). Ran a torch over them both to "age" them 140 years in five minutes. A touch of stain rubbed on with a rag, & there she was.

A ½ scale copy of an 1857 Napoleon cannon that I had created, metal & wood.

2200 hours, 3 July 2001.

Will I ‘splode myself up?

FINALE: It’s alive!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Another blogroll !!!!!!

I've now been linked by three whole blogs!
I'm practically famous!


Thanks to CUG, Jay G, & Sailor Curt... your encouragement is appreciated.

AND your blogrolliness is reciprocated.

Cannon Wood, et al...

Ok, ok, don’t want to PO all the woodworkers out there, but damn, that stuff is nasty. Splinters, knots, splits, glue- the stuff is bad. Gimme steel any day- screw it up? Weld it up. Bad thread? Helicoil. Wrong shape? Heat it & beat it.

So- while cannon carriages are traditionally made of oak, & knowing my limitations, I opted to make the first try out of pine. I figgered when I fluged it up, the $$$ & time loss would be minimal. Pine is a lot softer, so easier to work with, also speeding up completion.
BTW, this was in early June of 2001, & I wanted to have her ready to go on the Fourth- seemed only fitting as a birthday.

With much trepidation, I began the work. I used everything from a chainsaw to a friend’s planer to make it happen. Thanks to my friend Dan, who DOES like wood, we got the carriage looking like it belonged on a cannon. A few coats of deck paint, & damn- it just might work!
Still missing from the cannon were all the small parts & hardware. Time to fire up the forge.

A side note on the forge. Anyone reading this will probably get a mental picture of the country blacksmith, leather aproned, under the spreading chestnut tree as it were, with a carefully fabricated forge & hand cranked or leather bellows.

Lose that thought- while the anvil is indeed from the 19th century, I constructed the forge from an old truck brake drum, scrap piping, some PVC pipe for air intake, a corned beef hash can (really), & an ELECTRIC SQUIRREL CAGE BLOWER! This thing is a real piece of work, but hey- it makes the steel red, & will even weld if'n I keep her hot!

Using scrap steel scavenged from our "recycling center" (read, dump) & the local scrapyard, I fashioned all the straps, hooks, hangers, handles, & plates on the anvil. For the screws, I bought regular hex head lag bolts, heated the heads, & pounded them into square drive units more appropriate for the era.

Phew, I was hustling now to make the deadline- many late nights in the garage breathing coal fumes. Coal fumes give the BEST headache ever.

MMMmmm… coal fumes…

NEXT: Boom?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Drunken Debauchery

I was reminded of an anecdote last night, which I want to recount for y’all (you two readers, I mean).

In the late summer of 2004, my son, a mutual friend, & I went to Ireland. If you’ve never been, understand that the pub is the center of life- political, philosophical, & social. With that knowledge "on us" (as is said there), we frequented as many pubs as conceivably possible.

One night found us in a small pub in Cahir, "The Bell" it was. A finer bunch of folks will not likely come this way again, I’m thinking. Anyway, it had been a long day for our trio, especially for my son who was doing all the wrong side of the road driving. As we settled in to the warm confines of our little pub after our large evening repast, we enjoyed much good Guinness & Jameson’s whiskey.

‘Twasn’t long before my boy’s head hit the table, arm over the head, blissfully snoozing away to the sounds of Irish ditties being played by the house musician. We let him be.

Our bartender, Liam, having observed my boy head down, was a bit concerned. He stopped over to where I was standing, looked to the lad, and asked,

"Does he hurl?"

"No, but he’s pretty good at football".

Monday, October 1, 2007

Cannon Barrels 101

Where was I… oh yeah- I’ve got the wheels.

When we were initially cannon pondering, we were envisioning something like a pipe strapped to a cinder block, or some such. But I, your humble narrator, was a machinist in a former life, & I would have none of that.

Nossir, with wheels in hand, I devised a plan.

Paul, my other bud, had some plans for a little cannon, like tabletop size. Using those plans & my trusty calculator, I scaled everything I’d need to make (which WAS everything) based on the proportional size of the wheels I had.

Jeez- I shoulda paid more attention in algebra class.

Ordered 3 feet of 1026 seamless tubing from a mill, 4" OD x 2" bore. Made up a breech plug (cascable end on the gun) & threaded it 2"-8. Mounted the tube on a big lathe, & machined away everything that didn’t look like a Napoleon. Made trunnions, & welded them on. When I was done with the work, I had a passable copy of a cannon barrel.

But- on what would it sit? I’m a crappy woodworker, I don’t like it, but woodwork was now in my future, like it or not.

NEXT: woodworking sucks

Friday, September 28, 2007

just WAIT a minute...


The cannon story will have to wait a bit.

I got to thinkin’ about some good quotes I’ve heard in my travels, and here is a quote that I had on my office wall for a long time:
"Be warned against a spirit of compromise that is but a cloak to cover the nakedness of irresolution and timidity."

My explanation:
If you’re not strong enough to stand up for what you believe, against all comers, then you’re a wussy, & get he hell out out my way.

Then I read this one tonight:

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences. " (H/T to CUG)

Both quotes from C.S. Lewis, who knew I was such a fan?

What exactly, will that mean for the victims? (I mean the rest of us) It is comparable to the camel nose under the tent?

You want universal health care? Get out you wallet & wait.

Is it better to be robbed by those you know (fedgov) or than by those you don’t?

We. The People.
Will have a opportunity soon of deciding who will speak for us.
Do you know where your loyalties lie?

This is beginning to piss me off…

The cannon fun will resume, I promise.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sexual HARASSMENT!??!?!

Now I've heard everything.

A SIX YEAR OLD kid was busted for sexual harassment because he tugged on a schooolmate's (read little girl's) waistband.

Does a six year old even know what "sexual" is?
Good grief... or, to be more concise, WTF????

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Is "fightin" (/lack of) a mark of societal change?

"You showed amazing restraint back then. It's kind of funny- you younger folk (not disparaging your age- wanna trade?) didn’t "fight" much, it appears. I know my son didn’t, nor did many of his friends. Back in the ‘50s- ‘60s, when I was a yute, it was damn near a daily occurrence. That’s how we settled our differences, mostly. I’m not saying that’s a good thing, but I wonder what happened? Now, of course, you’d have the swat team out @ the first sign of fisticuffs, & an army of lawyers right behind.
An interesting, albeit strange commentary on the "evolution" of civilization, no?"

The above was a comment left on a friend's blog, "MArooned"- good reading.

I guess my hypothesis is:

The rule of law in today’s society sucks. No one takes any responsibility for their actions, leaving it to "the gummint", courts, or other "supervisors" to take care of conflicts.

Back in "the day", we were obliged to show respect to those who required it, the requirements being set down by our parents & teachers. Those people included EVERYONE who was our elders, teachers, firemen, policemen, but curiously, not our peers. We were free to beat the livin’ shit out of anyone who crossed us, & at worst, someone’s mother would get a phone call later. Noone worried about "self esteem".

But the overall society was more "civilized" then, I think.

Does this mean anything that I’m not seeing? There is cause & effect; it is as simple as when kids beat on each other the society at large is a "kinder, gentler" one? In simple terms, I don't think so.

Please discuss, & enlighten me.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Another cranky old bastard gets his voice.