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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Much Ado About Nothing

That is my opinion about the much heralded upcoming solar eclipse. People are traveling many miles and buying special glasses to watch the eclipse of the sun. I seem to be one of the few that feel no inclination to do either. We are well out of the path of totality here in Sask. but even if we were in it, I would not be risking my eyesight by looking directly at the sun. Even with special glasses or a welding helmet.
In other news, I've been busy swathing a rather Poor Crop Of Canola. No big surprise considering the lack of rain we have had through the growing season. Maybe I should be surprised it as good as it is.
No doubt the rains will start once I swath my oats. Rain now is too late to help this year's crop but it might help next year's. Be nice to green up the grass for the cattle too.
Currently editing and saving a video of last week's mud bogs and classic car shows and hoping the old laptop does not crash again before the save is complete.

Monday, August 14, 2017

2 Cars, 2 Car Shows, 2 Towns in one day

The title is almost the whole story. As usual I am short on time and doing this in a hurry. Wouldn't you know that the only car shows within my rather limited range for  the old Merc would be on the same day. So with a little help from a trusted family member to drive the Chevy II support vehicle, I set out on the longest journey the old Merc has made since the summer of 69.
What a change, driving on paved highway without the road noise of gravel and the dust coating  the interior and all who ride in it.
We made it to the first show in the morning. Not a lot of competition there. Watched the side show  of mud bogs enjoying all  the sound and fury of 4 wheel drive trucks tearing through deep mud at full throttle with mud flying in all directions.  The smell of  racing gas, or was it nitrous oxide,  was in the air. I did a little drone video but with too many distractions  and poor visibility in the bright sun I ended up missing the scenes I really wanted to shoot.
It was an all day show but if we were going to make the second show it meant leaving by early afternoon. Just another 8-9 miles down  the smooth highway to the next town to park alongside the real classics.  Nobody had anything bad  to  say about the rusty old Merc with it's faded paint and  rust holes.  I guess I'm lucky they even let me park there.
No problems until we went  to leave and the old Merc stalled within the first  ten feet. A little inspection and testing revealed the fuel pump bowl gasket was leaking allowing  air to enter  the system. Its the kind of fix I like. Easily done and making me look like I actually know something about fixing old cars.
Made it home safe and still plenty of gas left in the 5 gallon fuel tank. Video to follow when I get around to editing.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Cockshutt 50 In the Parade

Dad's old Cockshutt 50 tractor had it's first drive through town in probably 40 years this past weekend. The thing about actually being in the parade is that you don't get to see much of it. I could see several ahead of me and a few behind me but not a lot of chance to look around as there are things to watch out for. Like not running into the vehicle in front. Or people.

So, for something completely different, here is the parade view from the inside. I had the Gopro camera mounted on the fender mirror of the tractor

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Parade And Threshing

Continuing hot and dry in Sask. so what better to do than take the day off , take a vintage tractor to a parade and run a threshing machine. Surprisingly the heat didn't bother me much. Not seeing a thermometer I can only guess it was 90 degrees or better. Keeping busy sometimes helps me to ignore the heat. The old Cockshutt 50 handled it ok without boiling over or running out of oil. Parade was easy enough but requires a lot of attention to not run into the vehicle in front or the people running out to pick up the treats thrown out by the leading vehicles.
In contrast to my usual parade videos, this one will be a view of the crowds sitting and parked along the way, watching us go by. Different anyway. One drawback, you don't get to see much of what else is in the parade when you are driving in it yourself.
Threshing demo right after dinner and that was what the old 50 had been requested for. Few tractors have a belt pulley anymore and you can't run a threshing machine without one. I'd never run a thresher before but no problem. Being the "engineer" I only had to line up and tighten the tractor into the belt , keeping an eye on the gauges and making sure my end of the operation is ok. They had a thresher man or two watching the separator (thresher) and they had to signal me to shut down once when the grain elevator belt threw off.
Then I initiated a brief shut down when I remembered I had not checked the engine oil in the tractor. Knowing the 50's appetite for oil and leakage problem I figured it would be good insurance to throw in a litre of engine oil.
There were enough interested by standers to man the pitchforks and feed the sheaves into the separator.
That starter drive on the tractor took a beating. Always temperamental, it takes quite a few tries (and grinding) before the starter actually engages. Although it only takes a turn or two to start the engine.
I had a few comments on how smooth and quiet the 50 was but in reality it has a rough idle and top end speed that I can't iron out to my satisfaction.
The sheaves had been in storage in a barn for about 13 years so were well aged. The wheat looked surprisingly good for colour although a little frost damage (2004 crop).
Video coming up when I get it edited and uploaded.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Messing About With Old Tractors

Reminded me of a quote from the Wind In The Willows although I think water rat was talking about boats when he said, "Believe me my young friend, there is nothing half so much worth doing as messing about in boats".

There was a purpose to this recent activity with old tractors. The Ford tractor way in the back of the shed was going on it's last long ride and the Massey Harris was in the way so they both needed starting. After maybe 14 years of rest it took a bit of persuasion but it was not long and they were running. The old Ford moved under it's own power onto the trailer.

And no, the tractor is not going to China as scrap iron as to much of our old iron does these days.. It is headed to the U.K.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Baling with the 2090 Case

It was too hot to bale or work this afternoon at 90 degrees but I went out about 5:30 and gave it a try. It worked well so I went on over to the hundred acre woods and baled up all the hay swaths I had turned this morning with the rake. Bouncing around the rough old yard of Winstanley Grove. No buildings remain but the collapsed walls of the  house can be seen  down in what was the cellar of the house. The concrete footing of the barn sticking just high enough out of  the grass to give a  real jolt to any wheels that  pass  over  it. Grass  sure grows thick and  tall there even in this dry summer.
Its nice to get dry hay but the wheat and canola is  starting to show the stress of this heat and  lack  of rain. Hilltops are turning light (burning) and probably won't have much grain in  them.

It looked promising  this evening at  sundown as I baled. Clouds in the West. Radar showed some measurable rain to the West and North of me but it eventually split up and went all around us. Its like this area  has some kind  of rain  repellent lately.

Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Wheat Crop July 16

About time for  a blog update but its late in the day so I'll just post this video of one of my wheat fields from the weekend.

Crops still looking pretty good in spite of the continuing dry weather and lack of rain. Complete turn around from last year when we couldn't miss a rain and wished it would stop.

I went out with the haybine today and cut a few more patches of hay as my normal hay patches did not yield what they normally do.