Friday, December 31, 2021

Out With a Whimper

This has been a year of setbacks and injury.  Not sad to see it go.  Not even a little.

I had hoped to do 100 posts this year, but I didn't make it.  I still have room to improve next year.
I had hoped to be closer to setting a date for retirement, but it looks like that may have been decided for me.
I had planned to be doing marriage counseling this year, instead I have a lawyer.

I didn't plan on being a cripple, but at this point, I am.  Not done healing yet so there is hope.  Miracles do happen as well.
My Mentor, Mr. Marvin went home this year.  I will miss him.  I have never met a more Godly man.

My sister lost an elderly customer today, 12-31.  He passed on, leaving his wife.  Pray for both of these fine ladies, they are grieving pretty hard.
Kind of a downer year for me.


I have met some interesting and intelligent folks this year.  Glen Filthie, the rabid Canukistanian.  And TB, the man whose name I cannot pronounce, but is a friend, no doubt.  Cedarq, Leigh, John in Philly, ExTex, ERJ and others...  

I have had people I respect and admire give me encouragement and advice:  The Amazing Atomic Fungus of Lee Roy Brown's neck of the woods, Juvat the Courageous Pitot Checker, OAFS, Beans, Phil, Leigh, Glen, TB  

You have helped me through this slough (pronounced slew) of despair.  I'm planning and preparing for the future.  I didn't know if I even had one at times this year.  But I've come to realize, there are no guarantees in life.  And God only promised to walk through this with me, not make every wish and whim of mine come true.  I can see now He has used you to make a difference in my life. You have helped me make sense out of some senseless things.

To all that took the time to advise, cajole, kid, and insult me this year.  I know you wouldn't have taken the time if you didn't care.

Thank you.  

I hope next year runs at normal speed.  This year feels like it's only been a few weeks long.


Friday, December 24, 2021

Music YT

 Remember MTV?  When it had music?  I found something really cool on the UToob.

My kind of music TV.  I was listening to this last night and it brought back a ton of memories.  And look at the THUDS!!!

Remember California Dreamin by the Mommas and the Poppas?

And another of my favourite aeroplanes....  With an unkown tune.  Really cool.

Check out this channel.  It's really cool.  At least to me.  Loads of memories....


Happy Christmas! 

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Super Redneck Toobox!

 Two New Tools for The Redneck Toolbox


Potential Dismemberment Device

I have two new tools for the toolbox.  I traded some unused stuff for a new motor and 5 speed trans for Zoomie the Ford.  Unfortunately, they were attached to a scrap pickup!  One ruined flat on the ground to boot.  How to push this into place for the eventual motor removal and disassembly of all that is still serviceable??  Even in my prime I couldn't push a flat up a rise.

You ever seen anything like this??  It ain't much of a tow bar, but it's a decent enough PUSH bar.  Caution, it'll jack knife if you get too far out of alignment.  Keep your tail lights fairly lined up.

Almost to the jack knife!

Utterly amazing.  It worked a treat first time!  And those couplers.... I've never seen anything like them either.  Pins and not a lever?  Worked fine.  And only 15 bucks each for Class 3(?).  Little scrap of 3 inch channel worked perfectly.

Hinge Die


I don't know if you've seen this guy on YT.  But he is pretty sharp.  Very detailed, and makes quality stuff.  He posted this today, and you can bet, I'll be making one for my toolbox soon.  Take a gander at this.


Bonus Round 


I found a device to make gunsmith or cabinet maker screw driver on ebay once.  I drew it up and made a few.  I'll dig for it, and post pictures in a while.

Have a good day.  I sure am!

Monday, December 20, 2021

District Football

 Story time, I guess.

When the district playoffs start, it's usually pushing into winter weather.  It can get really cold in the panhandle of Texas.  My tuba would be frozen stiff in the fourth quarter after our third quarter run to Allsups for egg nog.  All that spit from half time I'd reckon.  I'd have only one note until I warmed it back up.

Sound out there carries for miles on those cold nights. I remember train horns carrying over 2.5 miles easy, as did the rumble when they passed by.

Dateline: Spur, Texas, 1950's or 60's

An old guy told this long years ago.  He was quarterback of his football team in high school, and got injured.  They let him announce the game as he wasn't going to be healed up in time for the end of the season.  Spur, Texas was in our district.  I've played them there.  Neat place.

Off the caprock, there are some hills.  Nothing like playing in the snow on green grass.

Near the press box

It is a freezing cold, clear night.  They are in the district playoff, and it's almost time to start. The QB said the old PA system had a short in it.  As long as you don't pick it up off the metal table it's okay.  If you do it'll zap you.  The multiple drops after that hadn't helped it any.  He starts the run down, then introduces the pastor of their local church who is to give the invocation.  Before he can warn the pastor to not touch the mic, he grabs it and lifts it off the table.  "GoddddddD--n!!!!" rolls through the night like thunder......  and it is deathly silent after.....  Everyone is looking at the press box.  The pastor is pacing back and forth.  All eyes in the press box are on him.  He makes no move for the mic laying on the table.   THAT was the invocation?!?!?!?!    The QB tilts the mic up and introduces the girl singing the National Anthem.  And it's a football game.  

During a touchdown when every one was cheering, the pastor scooted out of a back door.  The cultural faux pas  was tiny compared to the spiritual one.  When the deacons went to visit the pastor the next day, he had moved out!  Gone!  Disappeared!  No forwarding address.

Pastoral Misconduct Part 2  

Dad was music director at a small west Texas Baptist church when I was turned loose on creation.  


I bet it looks exactly like it did back then

Story goes, the pastor's birthday was coming, and the congregation decided a surprise party was in order.  After Sunday evening services, folks snuck over to the pastor's house and let themselves in.  Lights are off, furniture got moved a bit by the crowd, and here he comes!!!!  sh  shhhh shh.   As he stumbles around in the living room, a curse is uttered in the dark, under his breath.  The lights come on, and the true believers are standing there, in shock. Surprise for EVERYONE.

Deacons met the next day and fired him.  Done, just like that. 

The old days were tough on folks.  Not much forgiveness if you broke the written or unwritten rules.  I don't really like the "anything goes" mentality of today,  but it is a more lenient place than the "nothing slips by" of the past.  It always seemed that to be seen as righteous you had to be merciless, too.

The character of the Master Shepherd

Thank God, He isn't like that.  Don't ever forget that Christmas is remembering God's gift to you.  He knew you couldn't live a good enough life to make it to heaven on your own.  So He sent the Perfect, Eternal Gift.  Ultimately, a sacrifice.  The One that could live a perfect life and impart that perfection to your account.  Because you and I aren't even able to do righteousness without fouling it up.  As you give gifts this year, remember God's Greatest Gift, and that It is yours for the asking.

My favorite artist

 Best wishes for your Christmas

Is all you get from me.

Cause I ain't no Santa Claus -

Don't own no Christmas tree.

But if wishes was health and money,

I'd fill your buckskin poke.

Your doctor would go hungry

An' you never would be broke.


Happy Christmas yall.  I hope we get what we need, and not what we deserve! 

Truly I remain, 

Your friend,



Sunday, December 12, 2021

Life Comes At You Fast...

 Quick Update

Life has been relentless:

Got a court date after asking a question about timing.  I wanted information, I got a deadline.  😑

Health improvements are so slow as to be unquantifiable.  Still get winded after walking to the bathroom too fast. 

I have more stamina.  Able to bounce back after a hard day in less than eight days now.  (hard day = 10 mins light work, 20 mins rest, repeated for a several hours, usually about an hour of work max) That's nice and appreciated.

A project that took me almost a year to finish ends tomorrow.  I hope I never see another one of those things again.  Unless there is major money tied to it.

Fighting with a doctor's office manager to just get the blasted paperwork that I submitted two weeks early and is now 2 weeks late faxed where it belongs.

File This Under If You Need It, Nothing Else Will Work

Had to thread a rod that was oversize, already welded out, and needed to be done yesterday!  So, chuck it in the tailstock drill chuck, gently tighten the four jaw to hold it and provide twist, but not support, set it in the most magical of attachments to the lathe, and get it turned down to size and threaded.

Behold the majesty of the STEADY REST!!

four jaw can hold odd sized stuff, even off center

The steady rest holds long whipy stuff steady way out from the chuck


It is so nice when something goes semi okay.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

What are the odds?

Over at Phil's place I see a YT vidya about a Ford. However, I think there were more Eff's in there than just Ford. Is he looking over my shoulder now or what?  I mean, what are the odds of that showing up right now??

 I recently traded this wonderful engineering marvel I bought from a buddy.  He found under a tree, in a pasture out near Kerrville, TX:


Goodbye old friend.

He shot some clear on it, and fixed the interior up.  Nice little get around truck.  I put new skins on it, a rear bumper and a new battery.  Besides oil changes, it never needed anything else.  Everything was Armstrong: steering, windows, 5 speed trans....  It didn't even have a/c, and I live a few miles from the sun during the summer (April to October down here).  All in all, one of the best horses I've ever had.  Got it with 100K, and traded it away with 120K after 10 years or so.  Just my Little Roller Skate, or the Green Hornet. I never settled on a name....

 Traded for this one:

The Hyena

The old bed was junk, so the welder put a nifty farm bed on it.  Insurance deemed it 'commercial' so it's a couple bux more a month than the Roller Skate.  Thinking about white wash on the sides of the bed, and Rhino Liner on the top.  It needs bed drains, that four inch square tubing makes a great swimming pool.  Planning a tow truck flat front bumper and a few aerials for the two-ways.  Mount them like the Aussies do.  Might as well be rilly-rilly differnt.

I think it resembles a hyena, what with the tucked butt.  Maybe a zoomie dog.  It's got potential.  I have plans for it.  I hope to get that done over the next several months.  My uncle used to narrate the arrival of his sister's beau back in the long distant past when the theater of the mind still ruled the airwaves:  "...a white truck, a  cloud of dust, hi-yo Silver!!!"

Hyena Silver!

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Well, of course you'd do that....

 Finally getting back on track to work on the taper attachment.   Got some 12L14 for additional nuts to replace the missing ones, and the three jaw chuck on the Logan clanks up.  Not sure why, but it's got a couple stiff spots in it, then it seized.  So past time to service it. 

Mr. Garcia had this on the Logan


At some point in it's life, it hit the ground right in line with a bolt on the back.  That seized the bolt up, and boy it is tight..... too tight to move.  And someone tried to move it.  Argh......


Those neat little cracks are where I gently, ever so gently tapped on the inside of the hole to move the bent spot out a touch.  And it cracked.  sigh.....  That socket is sure nasty isn't it?  I have a 3/8 left hand bit coming tomorrow.  I'll probably mill this down a little, so I don't catch the drill on the mess and break it.  Hopefully after the head is milled down, the shank will unscrew itself while I'm drilling it.

After I get it apart, it'll be cleaning time and reassembly.  Nothing special there.  But it's always something to break up the monotony around here.  Oh, and I already have the next job lined up....

I was running a quickie job and zonked out the quick change gear box with a very minor crash.  Stabbed a boring bar into a piece of delrin and it seized up the box.  It's made noise on the slowest feeds since I purchased it....  I was on borrowed time anyway.  I have a bit of review to do so I'll be ready to tackle that little project.


 Review Topic:  Quick Change Gear Box

    Gear Box part 1

Gear Box part 2

A bit of extra credit if you want to learn from the master

Scroll Chuck Operation

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Story Time with an assist from Phil


True confessions time:

Heading out to White Deer, TX from the San Antonio area many many moons ago (Pre-windmill farm in White Deer).  West on I10 to Junction, then north on 83.  Stopped in Junction for lunch, big new BBQ place on the left.  Got a nice BBQ turkey sandwich with fixins.  Rest of the trip to Amarillo was uneventful...  Until about 0200.


Woke up feeling woozy, and sat up.  Cold spit running around my back teeth, and that is the tell.  I'd rather nearly die than puke, but today wasn't that day.  Got up and eased into the bathroom, and took the plastic bag out of the trash can....  Gut started really rumbling....  Like an old, cold diesel engine that is just barely loping on a couple cylinders on a freezing cold morning.   This isn't gonna be pretty.  

When I barf, it sounds like I'm being squeezed in half.  It's a lower pitch or register than bagpipes, but it's loud and it hurts like blazes.  Que the conductor in 3, 2, 1.....  For 20 minutes I'm blowing out both ends and it sounds horrible to me.  Smells worse.  Finally get to bed and sort of to sleep about 0330.  Passing thoughts about waking up the neighbors....

Next day, out to White Deer on 60.  I drove from spot to spot.  "I can make that bush..... okay passed it.  Can I make that sign?  Yep."  I figured I'd have seconds to stop, get out, and shuck my pants to dump out if I had to. Gut malfunction. rumbling idle like a Ford 427 with a full race cam.   Made it to the tower I was looking for near Skellytown.  Whew, didn't think I would without a stop.

Cow pasture tower site

 Ease open the pasture gate, and up to the tower base and repeater shelter.  Unload and start the tune up..... when the flag went up.  Ran to the front of the truck, shucked the pants, cows all around looking at me like "WHAT IS THAT???"  And the valve went to full open.  Gut cramps, smells, sounds, and me just happy I made it the 20 feet to the front of the truck.  After a few minutes of making sure I didn't slip and fall into the offal, I looked up and there wasn't a cow in sight.  I didn't realize you could offend a cow's olfactories.  

That device in the picture would have been too slow to deploy that day.  I guess for scheduled maintenance, it might work.  But for an emergency blow, any port in the storm.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

History Lesson

 I have been battling with everything lately it seems.  Noting is going easy.  I am growing weary of it, but I can't quit.  Sorry for the long pauses, but it is wearing me down.

History Lesson today:


Freedom or Death

 I never hear of Oxi Day.  Until just now.  Read this.  It is eye opening.  Who knew why Germany waited so long to invade Russia, that winter stopped the advance?  Why did that happen?

Read this article.  It's very interesting.

Here is a quote that made me stop up short:

"When my father became a U.S. citizen, the federal judge administering the oath asked him if he would take up arms again, against Greece if America needed him to do so."

WOW.  I had no idea.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Chapter Two

I cut my teeth right here

There are some things that you don't want to interrupt.  A good belch, a sneeze, great conversation with good friends.  That OAFS story is still squeezing stuff out of my head.  I don't want to stop it yet...


I grew up in the past.  The past is a different world, they do EVERYTHING different there.  A lot of what I learned then and did then predates safety.  Some of that will be in my stories.  Like those flares.  We used to do that for grins on Friday or Saturday nights.  Back when orange, leaded gas was still available for washing bearings and oily hands.  When Miracle Whip came in quart glass jars....  It's pretty and fun... from a distance.

When my buddy Lurch thought to use a PLASTIC five gallon jug to try the fireball with, and shot it with his new pump shotgun, he blew out the little flare on top.  Not to be robbed of the spectacle he intended, he lurched in with a zippo before we could stop him, and whoooshed himself.  All the hair grew back, but if there was any doubt about his lack of common sense, it went up in smoke like his eyebrows and arm hair...

I've tried some, most or all of what I write about. I've been everywhere I write about, too.  I find it easier to write about what I know.  And if you need any definitions of obscure words, I'll be happy to oblige.   I figure at some point soon, I'll be back to documenting the Logan  lathe.  But this dang story is keeping me awake at night, and wringing out rusty memories....  They will probably continue for a bit, but will jump all over the place.  Just like my normal thought process....

Friday, September 24, 2021

Story Time with OAFS

Do you know about the Chant?  He's on the side bar.  He started a series this week, might be short, might go awhile, who knows.  But it struck a chord with me.  It's a subject I was intensely interested in back in the late 70's early 80's.  It started a life long search for information and skill.  It is as much a driver for my desire to be competent at all the mechanical things I know as anything else.   

 It was a MAJOR milepost when I saw Red Dawn at the theater.  I was already reading the paper every day, watching the invasion of Afghanistan by the USSR.  The premise of the movie seemed entirely possible. It opened my eyes to where I lived as a possible battle field.


The US military at that time were barely coming out of the deep depression of the abandoned victory in VietNam that the Nixon resignation had precipitated.  The abandonment of our treaty with South VietNam upended the victory after Linebaker II demonstrated our ability and prowess.  11 days to cripple an enemy the previous administration just farted around with.  Prowess that at least, once an utterly corrupt president quit micromanaging the war for the benefit of his patrons.  It also showed how ignorant AF brass had become with the political task masters they had previously.  It should be pretty familiar reading as it mirrors the same political party's latest international abandonment / terrorist resupply mission.  I wish we could just look back and learn something from the past once in a while.

 The Hunt

OAFS story sparked some thing in me, and I had to write it down, so it would leave me alone.  It's below the fold if you care to sample it.  It may be some lumpy oatmeal, it might pique your interest.  Let me know either way.  It's hard work.  And what OAFS did with the D-DAY serial was some real hard work.  Just the amount of effort that went into this little short story proved that to me.


Edit:  Potentially Disturbing Content Below the Fold.   To the combat vet that this hit too close to home too: I am terribly sorry that I didn't think to post a warning.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Brain Dump

This is the brain dump. The place where what I learn will be catagorized, recorded, or just blurbed out so's I can 'memeber it.  

Have you ever found something interesting or intelligent? Then forgot what it was, just that you knew something about something a while back? And all you could do was stutter out a Gumpian sounding, "Well Jenny, I knew it yesterday!"  

If you need something placed here, send it along.  After the editor reviews it, it will assimilated and any evidence of ownership will be removed so that intellectual theft will be complete and untraceable.   Just following the Washington D.C. School of Journalistic Integrity here.  It will be pinned on the bottom of the page.

I give you: Conspiracy Theory, uh....  

 Brain Dump Mod 1.01 Mk 1

Heuristics: replacing the mental model - This post revealed a more accurate understanding of an issue.


Sunday, September 19, 2021

Starman Jones

I wasn't much of a scifi geek in school.  I mean, I had a subscription to OMNI magazine, and talked about all the movies and tv shows back then, but I was always a practical type.  "How could I leverage that to help me now?"  Well, John Carter of Mars notwithstanding, everything else was basically neglected.

Later on, a friend loaned me Armor by John Steakly and I found Starman Jones on my own.  There is a part in Starman Jones where he explains to his love interest that space is like a folded handkerchief.  If you follow it across it's length it takes years to go from A to B.  But since A and B are almost touching because of the fold in space, you just punch up to light speed for an instant at A and you pop out at B.   Very interesting concept.  

I last posted 3 weeks ago, and BANG! here it is 19 Sept 2021.  The ensuing days passed so quickly.... almost like they didn't exist.  This is the weirdest headspace I've ever encountered.


Recipe Time

Falling back on my Rules for Normal Operational Capability¹, I remembered some wisdom from a past comment thread.  Do something you enjoy doing.  So I cooked up a roast, with a different spice set than normal.  I've always like to experiment with flavors.  Found out the offlimits stuff that way.

I made a few changes to the recipe though.  I had 9 pounds of pork roast, so I tripled everything.  

I always try and sear the roast before I cook it.  That brings out some really good flavor.  Then I put it fat side up and sliced into it about an inch in a few places.

No ground cumin, so I took the cumin seeds (cominos) and placed them in the mortar and pestle (molcajete) with some red pepper flakes.  Ground them down to dust.  A little warm water to make slurry and sloshed it on the roast.  No limes, so I used lemon juice and plain old cider vinegar substituted for the fancy stuff.

Slow cook for 8 hours, then warmed overnight.  It's falling apart and nicely spicy.  Probably gonna make some rice for it this afternoon.  And I have food to freeze for several days of yum.

Might as well learn to cook for my new neighbors....


Machine Shop Projects

The old taper attachment has been languishing.  
Thankfully, it doesn't mind waiting for me

My emergency bathtub replacement part lathe project exposed a weakness in the Logan quick change gear box that needs immediate attention.
One step forward, two steps back


When I get a little wind up, I have cleaning and cooking to do.  Then I'm down for a few days.  It's a cycle.  Look up long haul syndormeThen check this out.  It's a year old and I've not heard another thing about it.  I don't think I have this though.  What I have concluded is the muscles I built with a 100% operating lung capacity are able to remove O2 from my blood faster than the damaged lungs can replace.  I'm trying to drive cross country on a drag racer fuel tank.  I think of a thing needs doing, start in on it, and suddenly have to stop and rest.  Everything has slowed down to operate in that limited arena.  If I push on to complete it, it'll be days of rest, not hours.

I do like visual imagery that fully explains what I am attempting to convey


39 years ago today, I pledged my life and sacred honor to one woman.  I have remained true to that promise.  I meant it then, I've lived it ever since.  I had no "Plan B".  It's been 531 days on the island.  I no longer feel the pathological loneliness.  I am more comfortable in my skin than I ever remember before.  But I do know what Momma meant when she said, 'if you pour salt and sugar together, it's impossible to separate them again."  There are things that have become a part of me.  I know my way around a molcajete for instance.  And I know I can endue more than I have to date.  But enduring isn't a freeman's fate.  I aim to flourish.

All the trees where I grew up lean like this.  They were in the wind from the beginning.  That southwesterly wind caused them to lean to the northeast.  Every one of them that grew out by themselves look like this.  They were marked by their hardship, but they fought right on. 

I was raised probably less than 15 miles from here

I'm taking notes...


I'm gonna have to start a page to keep my brain dumps on, the glossary, and rules for whatever

[¹] Rules for Normal Operational Capability: 

In no particular order

Hang around people more intelligent than I am.  Listen, learn, apply, asses, repeat.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Getting Comfortable


My maternal grandmother had overlapping toes.  I remember seeing some white canvas shoes with holes cut into the top so there was room for her toes to do what they did.  It was kinda cool to remember that, and realize we didn't even notice it was strange, unusual or different.  That was just the way it was.  I don't think she ever wore them in public, but they worked just fine with the custom modifications around the house. 

Exactly like this but with holes on top

I was thinking about that today, as I move things around getting the place to more suit to my needs.  Kinda of my own cutting holes in the shoes.  Do people do that anymore?  Do they make adjustments to things so they are more comfortable or do they go to the professionals for a consult?  Then order a custom fit from the professional maker of the whozit.  Self reliance is something I grew up with, and didn't even realize.  It's pretty cool to see that now.  And realize that I am almost perfectly capable of making what I need.

It's not about people anymore


When the repair guy ordered the part for the fridge, it showed arrival on 28 September.  Fully a month away.  What the actual heck is that?  So, I decided that feeding ice to the icebox wasn't gonna work long term.  So I picked up a 7 cubic foot chest freezer and one of these:  
Set the on temp at 35, and off at 30.  It cycles the freezer perfectly. Makes a dandy fridge that doesn't dump all the cold air out when I open it.  And it's small, doesn't take up the whole room like a full size fridge would.  ( I have fevered dreams gutting the freezer and using the cooling system in that beautiful old icebox....)

Found out the lightning took out my natural gas alarm, too.  So I ordered 2 to replace the one.  And I did that because this freezer uses ISOBUTANE for refrigerant?!?!?!?!?!??!  R600a.  Here's some comforting information:  
"As a refrigerant, isobutane poses a fire and explosion risk in addition to the hazards associated with non-flammable CFC refrigerants."   Oh thank you Uncle Sugar.  You so sweet!
So, in order to protect mother Gaia, the druids that infect our regulatory agencies decided an explosive would be more earth friendly.  Since natural gas rises when it leaks, and the heavier gasses like propane and butane sink, I got one for the old ceiling location and one for the floor, under the durn BS I just bought.  Remember Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd??  Yeah that exact B--- S-------!!!!!  I'll pass, too.

Move along "citizen"

I remember the last days of DDT.  Read stories of how innocuous it was to humans.  Just killed insects.  I think you could eat it without any problem.  Pour it under the house, mix it with paint, blow it into cracks for DECADES of deterrence.  Back in WW2, they blew that stuff all over folks to delouse them.  You can see old films of concentration camp inmates being dusted with it.  Some dingbat shows up with bad science and slick packaging... pffft! it's gone.  Replaced with things that are much more dangerous to humans.  And have a shorter lifespan than the insects they are supposed to control.  Oh, and sorry about all those dead malaria victims in Africa and Asia.  I guess those people don't matter to the druids.

Back when I was much younger and just starting out, we lived in a duplex.  They would spray for bugs on our side, wait a few weeks and spray the other side.  Waves of bugs every couple months came to visit.  I took a replacement ballast for a sodium vapor street light back to the house from work.  Boss said it was useless, sure take it.  I wired it up like an electric fence.  Ran a ground around the bottom and a low hot wire.    So I figure this hot wire is gonna help a few million bugs go to bug heaven.  Baited it, went to bed....  Lightning erupts in the kitchen, a healthy bzzzzaaaaap! and then....
BZZZZZZ....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...... zap!  
Then the smell of high voltage fried bug guts wafts through the air....  I hoofed it in there, unplugged it and threw it out the front door.  Good grief that was poorly thought out.  Great lesson on how smoke can provide an ionized path for arcs to follow.  That's about the only reason I don't assemble tiny laser turrets to encircle the house and go after those big palmetto bugs...  I figure I'd catch one on fire and it would run into the grass an burn the neighborhood down.  
DDT didn't do that.  R22 didn't do that.  But ISOBUTANE??  Really???  
Thanks Uncle Sugar.  You numbah ten.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021


Beauty is in The Eye of the Beholder

This is what the man that sold me the taper parts a year or so ago does. He's an old machinist and has several shops on his spot. Look at this beautiful work. Some may think it's putting lipstick on a pig, but in 1954 a Logan 200 cost about $410.00  Today that works out to $4,161.01 if you figure 3.5% inflation each year.  So this man basically made the Logan brand new, plus it has a lot of tooling.  It is normal to spend more on tooling than you spent on your machine.  He's only asking $500 over the adjusted original price for a lot bells and whistles to go with it.


She is basically new.  I saw it when it was in process.  He does really nice work.


Memories of Mountain Home and DAG

Mountain Home, TX is where the gunsmith that Dean Grennell recommended for building the .45 Super used to live.  The gunsmith is probably gone, and so is Dean.  Dean was a great guy.  Just read his stuff.  We corresponded for a couple years when I was reading his work to learn how to do what I needed to do back then.  He was class, front, back, clear through the middle. 


Dean Grennell

My favorite book

The 45 Super - Dean's baby

Monday, August 23, 2021

Logan Taper Attachment

The Last NOS Part

You know, I always wonder about the last part, or the last piece.   There is this character on YT that looks for civil war relics.  Aquachigger.  I find myself thinking at times, I wonder when the last dropped miniball will be found?  When will the last artillery shell come up out of the ground?  Kind of strange I guess, but no one knows how many were made, used or still exist.

I do the same thing with parts.  Finding this part that I needed was fortuitous.  I wonder how much NOS is out there for a Logan 200, or a LeBlond?  How do you find it, and how would you know that was the last piece?  Inquiring minds want to know...



First load in the soak went well. Got the small parts and the compound rest done. They came out pretty. No wear to speak of on this. I guess it got misplaced in it's youth.  No complaints!  It is truly NOS (new old stock).   I need to make a trough for the cross slide.  It will be soaked today.  May even have pictures tonight.  I did not expect the paint to fail like that.  Usually, Evaporust® won't pull paint.

The screw, escutcheons and gib look like new, too.  Hand wheel looks okay.  It'll shine up with use.

Do you see those VEE shaped marks on the left?  Are those the original scrapes or machining marks??  WOW, they are clear and crisp.  So are the markings on the dial.  No real wear to speak of.  Brand new.

Even a blind hog can root up an acorn once in a while

New Tool Alert!

 I found this rusty bucket on the auction site, and got it for a decent price.  Especially compared to every one else's idea of decent.  She cleaned up nice.  I need to dig out the buffing wheel and give her a shine.  But she is usable as is....

This side was up and rusty, not the dull finish on the barrel

This side was down and came out a bit shiny compared to the other side

Cross slide is soaking.  Got a bit more to go before I haul it out and start the hot water scrub on it.  Then the drying and oiling.....  Fun times.

Ya'll have a good evening!

Sunday, August 22, 2021

What a year! (this last month was)

Man, I don't even know where to begin... I wound up in the hospital back in July.  Son wound up in the hospital in August.  A couple days after that, lightning took out the network (ups, surge protector, modem, router), a laptop (yeah, the one I blog on, but I saved the data on the HD!), another pc, and my new fridge. Service call for the fridge is sked late next week. Almost a month after the hit. Son is out of the hospital doing way better.  I figure the mess throughout June pulled us down.  Loads of stress in the family, then BAM!  Have some pneumonia.  The unproductive, constant coughing is driving me nuts. And the sore muscles/rib/lung on one side is gravy on the cake.  Rest of the stress is on the back burner.... for now.

 Appliance Update:

I've been using this beauty until the fridge gets fixed. Glad I had this old girl waiting in the wings.  Else, I'd be scorching milk, and toasting flour to keep the germs at bay.  I'm already smoking meat to keep it fresh...  Hello 1900, I really didn't miss you. The old cloth seals were worn out, so I put on some new weather stripping. It works pretty well. 1920's vintage. Thankfully, my upright freezer didn't eat it during the storm, so I can make my own ice. About 20 lbs will last about about 30 hours. 

Upgraded and working, listen to it.. sit there quietly

I picked this up from craigslist last year when the old fridge died.  I got tired of digging in the soupy Coleman camp box. The wait was months on a new fridge back then.  I finally found one to order online at a big box store and waited a month for delivery, three months total using ice in 2020.  Progress.   Strategy side note:   I told the young lady that I had money in hand, she said it was already sold.  I told her when they flake out on you, call me back.  She did a few days later. I picked it up that night.  Heh.

Medical Update:

Doctor's appointment last week was eye opening. 30-40% lung capacity after 6 weeks convalescence. The test wore me out for two days. I guess the mechanism is called a cytokine storm. Same thing that killed all those young, fit folks during the Spanish Flu in 1919. Seems it causes the immune system to attack healthy lung tissue. I have baby lungs trying to feed adult muscles. I can burn through all the O2 in my blood with very little effort. If you remember holding your breath underwater until you felt panic, that's exactly how I work now. It is maddening. 



 Gratuitous Shop Porn:

So, off work due to sickness, short term disability dontcha know.  I've been "working" (read: stagger then wheeze then sit down) around the house. Cleaning up and out.  But there has to be some iron in the fire for the shop, and I found a beauty.   A year or so ago, I bought most of a taper attachment for the old Logan lathe.  

The parts that clamp on the bed ways and the long bar with the sliding shoe are all I had

 Mr. Garcia had started on a home built one, but never finished it.  All I needed was the extended cross slide for it.  And thanks to the auction site we all love to hate, I found one.  Watched it for a month, made an offer, nothing doing.  So, I saved up and bought it full price.  (Made the old Scot in me some upset)  But here it is!!  And it appears unused!!!  75 years old and minty fresh, sort of.

Very well packed!

I got it apart, no little effort, I'm telling you.  Only two tiny curls of swarf under the compound.  

She's a bit dirty, but unused


Had to make the collar removal device on the Logan so I could get the nut loose (LB-137).  Making parts for the lathe with the lathe.  Sweet sweet music. 


Bit of a burr on the screw, collar is not sliding past that.... yet

The little pins (LA-744) that hold the compound base dovetail are still in there and won't release.  I tried to suck them out with a magnet, but it looks like a bath in Evaporust is first, then, hopefully, I can remove them.

Logan 200 Series Compound Rest with part numbers

There that little guy is, hiding in the bottom of the hole

Gotta do some degreasing, then derusting.  I'm missing one gib. Plan is to make one soon.

S, I'm still among the living, and just above ground level.... for now.  What a year.



I'm sure you know about this site. His documentation efforts have saved me countless hours working on these old beauties I have.  Thank you Mr. Rucker. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

I Aplogize, Most Humbly

 When I was a kid, we played cowboys and indians.  I had my hat, vest, chaps, a belt with 2 silver cap guns...  I was born wearing jeans and boots (sorry about that mom). My sister said I was a self proclaimed "do dun dowdoy".  I've always had an admiration for the folks that settled the west, and those that were the best light cavalry on this continent.  I know I have at least one side represented in my lineage.  I have pictures on my walls right now that hung in my parent's room growing up.  Cowboys, Indians, western subjects,  old farm houses... I still consider my self a DOT (danged ol' Texan) that is riding line and looking for strays.
If this were me, I'd have my left leg hooked around the saddle horn too.

I don't hit the office much, and my area to cover is south Texas.  So I a wound up being a cowboy, well, sort of anyway...

----Non PC Content Below The Fold----

----content that was perfectly fine in 1977---- 

Monday, July 26, 2021


Not catching many breaks around here....

Morton Salt....  Remember the rest?

Saturday, July 24, 2021


I've always had books.  Dad had a full set of Zane Grey novels, tan with a red stripe, and WW2 coffee table books full of black and white real history photos.  True West and Frontier Times came every month.  He had paper backs scattered all over the place.  War stories, westerns, I had a few Tom Swifts and my sister got Nancy Drew books in the mail all the time.  The newspaper...

There was a shelf with red books (one had the first poem I learned, Eletelephony) grey encyclopedias from the early 50's, a dictionary, thesaurus and mom's Gregg shorthand manuals.  I remember hardbound Reader's Digest condensed books, all kinds of books.

The Little Golden Books were really neat though.  They had brilliant colors and amazingly detailed, in depth articles of tremendous importance and  scientific value...  Like this one:

ad for a sold book
My First Medical Reference Journal

That breathtaking beauty was drug all over creation by Doctor Dan the bandage man, and his side kick Tom the four barrel V8.  Did you see the keen cans on the wagon?  What style, what grace, and I bet you could see those flashing cans for miles!!!!

When she applied the band aid (fair use, I swear), the world was made right and the victim was saved.

Now, I'm not equating any of you with her, that would make me yak on the floor.  No, maybe Tom the V8, or Doctor Dan...  Or really, just a great league of folks...

The very pointed request I made for INPUT was answered.  It was amazingly consistent and pointed generally in the same direction.  If that isn't confirmation I don't know what is.

 How to Fool Yourself Into Doing Something Smart

 I have the smartest daughter in creation.  I know both her parents and they could not possible have had anything to do with her development.  Yet, I remember being there for all of it.  She knows my desire for autodidactism.  She knows how to reach my logic, such as it is, too.

When I started to glom onto the change in mental state when on the "stamina" med, we talked about how to find out if there really was an issue.  She said, "you never seem to have a problem paying tuition for quality education.  Why not consider an evaluation and therapy as tuition?  To get a quality education about yourself."  That hit like a Skin Bracer slap.  I could accept that.  It worked out well, too.

In all the sand blowing into my eyes the last two months, I lost sight of that concept.  How in the heck I ever thought I could navigate this new territory on my own, with my ignorance fully intact and at max smoke, I will never understand.  I guess I was overwhelmed and started the squirrel's final pirouette in the middle of the road.  You know, where they are running like mad, almost make it then double back to find safe refuge under your tires...  But the light began to dawn when you started to respond. 


yeah, like that

This little jack russell thought started popping up in the back window.  It just kept popping up and distracting me from what I was reading...  Only after the last reread of the emails yesterday did I stop and pay attention.  "Hey, why not pay some tuition for a quality education."


Oh fer garden seed....


Standing too close to the problem limits your view

What an ignorant zipperhead I have been.  Duly noted.  I wonder how much prayer it took to slide that thought into my mind?  Thank you.

I have a friend that knows an experienced barrister.   And now, pending a consult, so do I.  I did talk a while to the paralegal...

Hey, did you know that I didn't count days correctly and I didn't miss that deadline?  Hey, did you know that other date isn't the finish line but actually the starting line?  Me either.  Filed the paperwork a day early.  No need to rush.  How about taking some time to heal up and rest?  How about a massive reduction in pressure?  Yeah, I'm up for all that.

Simple.  So simple. 

You will always have a place by my fire.... anytime

I cannot thank you enough.  

 clarity, sweet clarity....

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

It just keeps getting better...

I have always known I'm an odd duck.  I wasn't wired up like anyone else I knew.  My head worked different than anyone in my family, except maybe my dad.  He was the benevolent dictator at times, other wise, inscrutable and ornery. 

One thing that I crave is clarity.  That usually comes through discussion with those I admire and trust.  Trust and admiration only happens after time and observation.  I sent out the first newsletter to those who asked, that I knew from our interactions.  No newbies allowed, I guess.

I haven't gleaned much if any new info as a result of NL1, so I feel it was just a whine-fest.  Not what I was interested in doing.  I need intel.



Working up a second newsletter.  I may not continue this after number 2.  But I am amazed at what has been happening.

Here is the deal.  If you want to catch up, fine by me.  But I expect feedback.  I'm not giving info for no purpose.  I desire direction, encouragement, a stern talking to, something to learn or do or avoid.  You folks are a wealth of lifetime wisdom. I have developed trust through our conversations, even if we haven't shanken hands or slapped backs. If it seems like Ned and First Reader stuff, send it anyway.  I need it.  Otherwise, we can wait for Friday at the The Irishman's Lair.

If this is a waste of time, then I'll drop it, and just try and keep up to date with the piddly goings on around here as this chapter ends and the next unfolds.

But if you are interested in meat, ask for NL2.  And be prepared to advise.  This isn't an unveiling, this is a request for intel in an area I am completely unfamiliar with.  


STxAR sends.