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Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas

Good as always, spent with friends and family. The weather mostly co-operated although the temp dropped way down to a little below normal. -22F here tonight. We have been spoiled by above normal for the past few weeks so this is a sudden shock. No wind, lots of hoar frost for fantastic scenery. The huge full moon tonight that looked so impressive that I stopped in the -22F cold to take a photo on the way home. Unfortunately the old Canon failed miserably at capturing the image.
It did a lot better the day before in the brilliant sunlight and hoar frost when I shot a few around the old homestead.
Managed to get a shot of this coyote earlier that morning as I was feeding cattle. Obviously they never heard me coming or they'd have been gone. In the struggle to get the faulty zipper of my jacket undone and the camera out of my pocket I took a few pictures and video of the ground as well as this fair pic of one of the coyotes before it saw me.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Over 20,000 Views

I was surprised to see my 2013 hay cutting video has over 20,000 views as of today. Maybe I should monetize the videos and live off the proceeds of the ads on youtube?
It is interesting watching it now and seeing places I cut hay through in 2013 that are now under water deep enough to pretty much submerge the haybine. Wonder if we will ever get back to normal water levels here in Sask. ?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Tunes

I blame Coca Cola's latest commercial for the fact that this tune has been rattling around my brain all day. It has that good old Phil Spector "wall of sound" about it and for good reason. First performed by Darlene Love in 1963. Mariah Carey does a nice job of it too.
Of course one thing leads to another .....

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Mercury in Winter

No doubt inquiring minds are wondering just how the rusty old 52 Merc is coming along. So I did a walk around video of it yesterday when I had it out for a winter drive. Just a short run up and down the driveway in the morning before the temperatures got high enough to make the ground wet. Those big old well worn Michelins on the back don't have much traction on the little bit of snow we have.
I cheat a little at starting and use 12 volts to the solenoid by passing the rest of the electrical system. The old six volt system is a little weak on a cold morning after it has sat for a week and the carburetor has drained. I need to work on that but am reluctant to start on it and maybe make it worse.
Anyway, it is light years ahead of where it was this time last year. Sitting out in the snow with a trash filled interior and a non running engine. It starts and drives and that straight piped flathead V8 exhaust sound is music to my ears.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Most Unusual

Any time I can sit on an open tractor and cut grass, bulrushes, willows, etc. on the last day of November without freezing, it qualifies as an unusual day. The weather has been amazingly warm and what little snow we had is gradually disappearing. I figured it was a good chance to cut those pesky willows that are trying to re-establish themselves.
The ground was frozen solid to support the weight of the tractor, most of the time, and I never got stuck. Although it was a bit surprising when once in a while the tractor  wheel would suddenly drop as it hit a patch where the ground was  little less frozen.
And that is ice in the background. The sloughs are frozen with a thick enough layer of ice to support "light traffic". Fun place to do some sliding around on the trike. Kids, wear your helmets if you try this! Check the thickness of the ice too.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

St Anne's Reel

It is the name of an old fiddle tune that I thought made a good soundtrack for one of my videos on youtube. Old Gits might remember it from the Don Messer show  Depending on what history you choose to believe the tune is either Irish or French Canadian origin. 
The video I shot on  Christmas day, 2014. I missed out on some of the nicest hoar frost scenery when I edited the video down to fit the average human's attention span. It was a cold and frosty day but some of the family got out and had fun in the snow for a while. 
The music has a family connection too as it is being played by my uncles (Don and Roy) and a few of their friends one winter night in 1955. Sound quality is not great as it is a copy of a copy. Originally recorded on a reel to reel tape recorder, which must have been quite a sensation back in 1955. I don't know for sure but suspect this would have been in the days just before rural electrification hit the area so the tape recorder likely ran on batteries. Coal oil (kerosene) lamps supplied the light, no doubt, and the  wood stove would be keeping the house warm. Good times long ago in the land of ice and snow.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

44 Years Apart


Two photos of the same car in the same location 44 years apart. The large one taken this past weekend. The small inset was in the winter of 1970-71. The old Mercury sat in retirement as Dad had been unable to start it no matter what he tried. Burnt valves, low compression and a weak six volt starting system were a bad combination. The exterior and interior were pretty nice but the engine was showing it's age. In the background sits the old shack, grandfather's homestead cabin built in 1903. Beside it the chassis of the 1946 Ford truck being gradually stripped down to the frame to eventually be converted into a very excellent single axle trailer.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

It Ain't Over

...til its over. To quote the legendary baseball player, Yogi Berra . Although I think it might be over for me as far as harvest 2015 goes. Even though the sun shone well today it was not enough to melt the layer of snow we had last night. The next few days forecast to be warm and sunny will melt that snow and actually make the swaths wetter. Freeze drying overnight will help a little if we get enough days. It is unlikely there will be enough drying days though.
Here is some video of the harvest so far. Picking up wheat swath with the Case IH 1660 combine and flax swath with the John Deere 7721 on some of the few days when the weather and crop were both ready. Up til this year I could usually straight cut all the wheat and leave the flax stand til ready and then swath right ahead of the combine. This year the crops just did not ripen or dry off as normal. Climate change? Global cooling? Whatever, in hindsight I should have swathed everything at least a couple of weeks earlier than I did. The straight cut header never came out of the shed for the first time since I bought it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Remembrance Day 2015

Nice sized crowd showed up for the Remembrance Day service today. Every year they read off the list of veterans and legion members who have passed on and it grows a little longer every time. Here is a photo of 4 who have been on that list for a while. My dad, Les Goff at left was a veteran of WWII and his experiences as a gunner in the 18th anti tank battery of the Canadian army have been written about on the blog previously. Memories of WWII
Next, a good neighbour, Phil Fisher, also a veteran of WWII. Next, my grandfather , Horace Nevard, who served in the Canadian Army in WWI.
His experiences have been mentioned on the "Nevardblog" more than a few times.

Finally , at extreme right is Caleb Fisher who served in the Boer war as well as WWI. They all got together for this photo sometime in the mid 1960s.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Good Fences

Make good neighbours , quoting from an old Robert Frost poem. And it is true. Sometimes it seems I spend as much time fencing things out of my property as I do fencing my own cattle in. Funny how big farmers sometimes want to get bigger by working up the borders right up to the fence line to the point of  breaking off posts. Fence posts cost money and time to set up. Maybe it is an outdated concept about having to leave an eight foot uncultivated border along the fence line.
The latest annoyance is irresponsible "@$##s" who treat some of our property as a public amusement park/hunting range/mud bog to play with their four wheel drive trucks. What used to be a reasonably good prairie trail was recently turned into a rutted, torn up mud patch in places. The recent wet weather co-incided with a whole lot of unauthorized traffic on this trail and , big surprise folks, the trail is trashed in places. Barely passable for a 2 wheel drive pickup anymore. Nothing that a few hundred dollars worth of gravel won't fix, for a while.
So up goes the gate and locked chain. I'm pretty tolerant but I do have my limits.


Monday, November 2, 2015

Snow

A mix of rain and light snow is falling this morning. A pre-cursor of the 5 to 10 mil snow we are expecting tomorrow. On top of the who knows how much rain fell the last few days. About the only positive thing I can say is that the crop left in the field can't get any wetter. Having nothing else , here is an entertaining page from the vintage "Song of The Lazy Farmer" series.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Its Been A Year

As of tomorrow, the 29th, its a year since I resurrected the 52 Merc out of the woods where it sat for the previous 30 some years.
It was none too encouraging bumping along on 3 flat tires behind the tractor towards the yard.
Parked outside the shop all winter it was too cold to do much serious work but I did get it sitting up straight on 4 tires that held air, for a while anyway. 
By March I had compression on all cylinders and soon running and moving under it's own power. It made it's first trip down the driveway and back in April. 
A pair of new shock absorbers got the front end stabilized and more driveable. A set of new water pumps kept the anti freeze in the cooling system from self draining when it was parked. 
What paint was left shined up pretty well with steel wool and diesel fuel followed up with some Turtle wax rubbing compound.

The rusted out fuel tank was way beyond repair and a new plastic marine tank in the trunk solved that problem. 
A seat from a newer vehicle was a nice replacement for the raccoon ravaged original seat in front. 
It was almost a miracle that most of the lights still worked, inside and out!
It still has only a parking brake to provide some limited stopping action. It will of course require frequent driving to assure the valves do not stick from lack of movement again. 
It has quite a presence on youtube ..



Sunday, October 25, 2015

Not That I'm Complaining

But it rained again. Out of a clear blue sky last night, somehow it just rained early before sunrise thereby knocking on the head my great plans for finally getting to combine flax today.  I've been going to the field the past few days and hand threshing a sample to test the moisture. It takes a lot of time and work but better than a five mile drive with the combine to test it. Saturday afternoon's hand threshed test was 12.1% moisture which is about 2 percent above dry. I figured if the weather continued drying I'd just go ahead today and combine and hopefully fall somewhere in the 11 to 12 percent range. Safe enough if it is not too warm or left in the bin too long before it is sold.
Every passing day now is shorter with less drying time for the crop. Overnight frost melts in the morning sun adding a little more moisture so the mid day  sun has to work a little harder to dry the swaths. The bushes block the wind that would help dry the swaths.
On the positive side we did get the straw baled on the first flax field that I have combined.
So I sit and wait. Well not actually sitting for long as I have plenty of other jobs needing doing. Still on beaver patrol with no luck eliminating the pesky rodents. The municipality spent some of the tax payer's dollar clearing the dam on the creek through my land earlier this week but no beavers showed up to shoot, unfortunately. So I guess the dams will be back and I will be out there with the pick or grubhoe opening them.
Still got a few potatoes in the garden. More than I will ever need but I hate to see them freeze in the ground and go to waste so I dug another seven pails today.
I did get all the hay bales hauled home from the hundred acre woods this week.
Here is a picture of what I might look like if I was sitting back relaxing listening to my favourite CBC radio programs on a Sunday morning out in the workshop.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Good news, bad news

The good news first. I got in 3 or more good days harvesting and finished the cereal grains.The bad news, I still have 130 or so acres flax swaths waiting to be harvested. And both combines incapacitated and an eighty percent chance of rain tomorrow. Yes, the flax tested dry (9.7 percent moisture) this afternoon. When I finished the oats I tried a sample of flax. The IH is a fantastic combine on cereals and canola but an absolute failure on flax. It wrapped up tight with flax straw on the beater within the first minute of picking up swath. That means a laborious session with hooks and hack saw blades to get it unplugged. At least I got enough flax in the hopper for a moisture test.  Headed for the five mile drive  home to park the flax wrapped IH and figured I'd head back with the JD pull type and at least get an hour of combining flax before dark. Already 4:30 with darkening skies and the wind dropped to nothing so I knew it would be a short run.
Far shorter than I expected though. The JD never even got out of the shed. Turned the key and the Magnum barely cranked the engine. Those 15 year old batteries finally failed. I'd been expecting that for the past year or so. That is about double the life most get out of a  set of tractor batteries and I guess they don't owe me anything. Luckily they held out for the weekend and I got one flax field done at least.
That John Deere 7721 pull type just eats up flax swaths but even it has a few spots I have to watch and check frequently for flax straw wrapping. I came very close to burning it down last harvest when flax wrapped so tight on a rotating shaft that it started to smoke and burnt the paint off the cylinder housing.

First flax field was not great yielding due to excess moisture and weed re-growth. The next two look much better . The last wheat field was excellent . Clean and heavy. Unfortunately bleached by weather and laying in the swath through rains. The moose crap in the sample is a little worrisome and will almost surely down grade it to feed status. Laying swaths in moose/deer country has it's drawbacks.
The wheat at 15.7 percent moisture was a point above dry but considering the forecast of rain there was no way I was going to wait any longer. Got in my best and longest harvest day of the season yesterday cleaning off a good 80 acres of wheat. Pushed the old IH pretty hard on those heavy wheat swaths but it never plugged or broke anything even working late into the night when the straw got so damp and wet that it would hardly feed off the pickup.
Really nice sunset yesterday and I took a picture of it through the window as I was combining Figured it would make a good one for the Sask Scenery facebook page but it turned out pretty unimpressive on the screen.

I even got a chance to vote in the federal election late today. I'd decided earlier in the day that no way was I going to waste at least an hour of harvesting time driving to town and back to vote. Figured I'd exercise my right not to vote.  But, seeing as I was shut down my mechanical problems late in the day I decided I needed my mail and groceries anyway so it made the trip to town worth while.
Oh well, if it does rain and I can't harvest for the next few days there is always this ......

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving weekend and plenty to be thankful for. The big hydraulic oil leak on the swather turned  out to be only a blown sending unit. Not expensive or difficult to fix.  No major damage to crops or buildings after the insane wild winds of Sunday. Only 3 tenths of rain to soak the swaths still in the field. Nice sunshine and blue sky that will hopefully , eventually dry the swaths enough to harvest this fall. I hate spring combining.
Great thanksgiving/birthday gathering with family and friends. Plus another vintage truck rescue. Not that I needed another project but this old truck needed a little attention and with a little help we got it safely home for a major clean up. Full length video to follow when I get more time to edit.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Greener Pastures

It does not look all that green but these cows always like to get out into the harvested oat field to explore and eat.
Not that they are short of feed but I had harvested this field almost two weeks ago and they knew it so were patiently waiting for me to open the gate. Still some good fall colours out there. Fences to check before the cows find a weak spot. 
Fallen trees to cut and drag away off the field edges and fences. Thanks to the beavers in some cases. Gave the old Poulan chain saw a good workout. Me too. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

All The Leaves Are Gone

.......and the sky is grey. Yes, its like a an old song from the sixties looking at today's scenery. Not a lot of rain fell but after the first few tenths it does not matter much as far as the crops in the field. Wheat will be damp and tough for quite some time now until we get (hopefully) some drying weather.
It gives a break from harvest and time to take it easy. Maybe dig potatoes,, haul some bales or repair fence so I can let the cattle out in the harvested oat field.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Exhausting Work

Well not really. I refer to the "new" exhaust system I recently installed on the 52 Mercury on one of the many days it was either too wet to harvest or the crop wasn't ready. And there have been a lot of them. This video shows a detailed account of the installation of some new pipe and follows with a road test of course. Nice to have the exhaust exit at the rear bumper instead of under the passenger seat and sending fumes up into the driving compartment. The old V8 sounds better than ever breathing through an unrestricted straight pipe and idles so nice and smooth.
In other news harvest has come to a standstill due to crops not being quite ready on this farm anyway. Got a field of wheat swath laying , hopefully ripening. Although it is going to get a little damp if the forecast is right. I'm gambling on us getting another spell of drying weather after this weekend's rain so I can harvest it dry. Time may prove me wrong and I'll regret not harvesting it tough when I had the chance. By the end of October that 16 percent moisture wheat might look pretty good. 
Flax swaths usually dry quicker than cereal grain and the standing flax should be fine. Just need to get it swathed as soon as the weather permits. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

So Much For The Super Moon

And the lunar eclipse. I guess I missed it. Nice and clear and sunny all day til about 5:30 when clouds started building. Sure enough, just after the moon rose on the horizon it was obscured by clouds. It was big and I did take a quick photo while swathing wheat but then the clouds took over the view. Oh well, no big deal as I guess there will be thousands (millions?) of others who did see it and take pictures.

Swathing going well but I can't believe this wheat is not ready to combine. The straw is dry and heads breaking off as I swath. Yet the sample I tried with the combine this morning tested 17.5% which is 3 percent above the dry mark. And that is after laying in the swath since last Tuesday. What little I did combined nice, straw going through and breaking up to nothing. Yet when I stepped into the grain in the tank to get a sample I could tell right away it was not quite dry.
I could go ahead and combine it at this high moisture level and risk it heating in the bin but I'll gamble on another day or two of drying. Theres plenty of chance and time to combine it tough in late October.
A photo from this afternoon when the sun shone and there was 360 degrees of great scenery around me.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Down But Not Out

Yes, my swather was down in the mud again today. Eventually I got out with the help of a tractor pulling. It is a real challenge trying to decide where it is safe to drive. I have not missed too much crop yet  but eventually had to give up on this little patch.
I really miss the days when we never had to worry about getting stuck in the mud at harvest time.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

While The Sun Shines

An old expression of my dad's, "you've got to make hay while the sun shines" often comes to mind. Like today swathing wheat, making good time taking advantage of the nice sunny day. Unfortunately it did not last and clouds rolled in from the West by the time I finished.
No rain yet but there is a chance of showers predicted.

I took the opportunity to roll up a few oat hay bales since it was sundown and not worth heading out to another field with the swather. I baled the outside rounds around the beaver infested part of the field where they have been raiding the oat crop carrying bundles of oats off into the water to do what I don't know. Were there but world enough and time I would make a lot of them disappear.
Impressive sunset that looked a lot better than this poor photo I took of it through the tractor window as I was baling.


Canola harvest is complete as of yesterday. Good yield and all dry. No major breakdowns although I did have to replace a worn out shaker arm bushing.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

3 Days of Harvest

Followed by three days of damp and rainy weather which will probably mean no further harvesting this week. We did not need that extra 3/4 inch of rain last night but it does keep the grass green and the cattle happy.
No matter how much green stuff they eat they will never refuse a pail of oat chop. The photo shows the sun is trying to break through the clouds this morning .
Harvesting canola went well for three days. The crop was a good average yield so far. Extreme weed regrowth in the stubble in spite of a double application of Roundup through the growing season.
I had some company come to visit in the field on Saturday.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

56 Years Ago

Yes, rainy weather gave me a chance to do some video editing, photo scanning, etc. Couple of vintage Austrian letters to send for translation . Just the usual stuff.
Oh, btw., my rain gauge is showing close to 4 inches for the weekend. It will do more harm than good at this time of the year but I won't complain. Reading the news of the world makes my problems seem pretty insignificant.
The 56 years in the title refers to this 1959 photo from one of the family albums I scanned. Only two of the subjects in the photo are still living (that I know of) , and I am one of them.

The indoor temperature is down to 64 degrees here this evening. If it was winter I'd be turning up the furnace. So here is a video I shot back in June when it was 85 degrees and I was probably complaining about the heat.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Harvest Rain

Typical harvest weather. It is raining in Sask. (inch and two tenths) and is forecast to continue all weekend. At least today I know the combine stays in the shed. Yesterday I came close to getting it out of the shed and trying a sample of grain. Every time I climbed up on the combine I could hear a few spots of rain hit the roof. Never amounted to anything but threatening enough that I thought it not advisable to start  the half day of work moving everything that was in the way of getting the combine out.
Nothing was overly ready here anyway since I don't desiccate my crops to speed up harvest. It seems that most around me do so that gives quite an advantage in speeding up crop ripening. As long as you are ok with a little glyphosate residue on your wheat flour I guess it  works.
I had to turn the radio off one day when they kept reporting on the percentage of harvest completion in Sask. I am at zero percent complete  and don't need to be reminded how far behind normal I am.
An old saying my dad used to quote, "when you think your wheat is ready to combine, go out and work your summerfallow first". Meaning that wheat often looks good and ready to cut quite a while before the sample actually tests dry so give it  few more days and work on something else.
Or something.

Monday, August 31, 2015

September Song

First of September already. As the old song says, "the days grow short when we reach September". And we can see it for sure as the sun sets a little earlier every evening.
Heavy smoke in the air last week. Supposed to be drifting in from fires in the Northwest U.S. they say.
Harvesting has begun in  a few fields but not mine just yet.
A new beaver dam has appeared in a bad place. The creek is carrying away water that the municipal pumps are pushing across my land but the beavers seem to want to keep the water on my field. The location is in the trees where heavy equipment can't get at it to tear the dam apart so it means I have to create an opening by grubhoe every day. Not the kind of exercise I need or want but I don't need that extra water either. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

New Water Pumps

It was a long and arduous task but the new water pumps are finally installed and the Merc is back on the road as of about an hour ago. I need to polarize the gen as it is not charging. Temperature stays down on normal and no more coolant leakage now. Except for the hose connections on the bottom rad outlets that needed a little tightening.
What now? Brakes maybe? New gas tank?

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Rainy Day Jobs

Yes, it rained. At least two inches, maybe two and a half overnight and all this morning. And only a few days ago I complained about the heat, today it is barely 50 degrees and I need extra clothes to keep warm. Not quite ready to turn on the gas heater just yet.
Although weather statisticians are saying we have had the hottest July on record, I refuse to believe it.
A good day to keep busy on "rainy day jobs" that I don't always have time for when the weather is good. More peas and beans picked, cooked and thrown in the freezer today for the winter. Plenty more beans to pick in the garden and maybe I should. The weather guys say a risk of frost for tonight. Lots of partially ripened tomatoes out there too so maybe I'll pick a few of them.
The canola is all swathed and the rain soaked swaths should be well anchored against the high winds we are getting.
I even managed to get in a few minutes here and there to work on the "rusty car project". New water pumps for the 52 Mercury so it will hold coolant and not leak it all out around the shafts.
Trying to stay current on youtube so here is a new "how to" video I just edited on the water pump job.
Here is a scene from canola swathing a couple of days ago. I posted this one on the Saskatchewan Scenery page of facebook which is a really busy page. So far they haven't booted me off the page for my photos, which often feature more old iron than scenery. :-)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Canola Swathing Etc.


Day 3 of swathing canola. Its going well. Fields much better than last year with no risk of getting stuck in mud. The crop is looking pretty fair but at no time could I say whether I am too early or too late with the swathing. One minute the crop is as green as grass and should not be cut. Next minute it is dry and shelling out so bad on the reel that I wonder why I wasn't swathing last week.
Bugs are everywhere including the ubiquitous cabbage butterflies. At times the swallows dive down almost touching the swather reel to catch the bugs stirred up by the swather movement through the crop. The air screens of the engine are coated with living and dead mosquitos and other bugs at the end of the day.
Heres a few seconds of video from inside the cab. 180 degrees of scenery out there all day long. Not a bad place to work.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Swathing In The Rain

Not something I planned to do but the rain hit when I was at the far end of the field with the swather and I tried to work my way back to where the truck was parked. It actually worked quite well but I figured by 7:30 and with a headache I was ready to quit. Just as well because more rain hit as I drove home. Good thing the new road construction was gravelled or I'd have had problems. Four tenths in the gauge when I got home.
The canola was like most years. In places over ripe but in others so green that it could have stood another week or two before being ready. Always a compromise with this crop.
Some interesting cloud scenery on the way home if I'd only had a better camera or at least got this one focused properly.
The terrible heat of last week has ended and it is positively cool out there this evening at 52 degrees.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

I Hate To Complain

I know I complain a bit about the -30 and worse weather we get in winter but this overpowering August heat we have had lately is just too much. It is making winter look pretty good right now. And the relentless hordes of ravenous mosquitos that make life outside miserable are just about the last straw. On the positive side, I hear that only a few of them carry the West Nile Virus!
I probably should not have done it but I shoveled out two bins of wheat yesterday in the 30 something (near 90) degree heat. I usually try to pick my jobs according to the conditions but this time it did not work out. Anyway, the grain is moved and I survived without heat stroke.
It must be the summer of bugs. We have more wasps than I can remember. Been stung twice already and I still haven't finished vacuuming the last of the wasps out of the eaves of the house. The nest I tried to destroy on  a grain bin last week appears to be under repair by the survivors. Time for another night raid.
The aforementioned mosquitos are thriving and multiplying thanks to high rainfall and heat.
Hordes of what appear to be cabbage butterflies are everywhere. I had to stop and clean off the tractor grille this afternoon as it was nearly covered by butterflies.
Time to get the swather out of the shed too as this intense heat will really push the canola ripening. Seems like mine usually goes from not quite ready to past ready in about 24 hours or less sometimes.
I put in a little time as a "turkey vulture wrangler" on Tuesday morning when the bird tagger came out to put wing tags on the young vultures in one of the old houses on my land. They were getting pretty big, just about ready to fly. Not hard to catch or hold but they are not the most attractive wildlife to have to handle.
You can read a little more details on tagging turkey vultures in Jared Clarke's blog

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Museum Car Show

It has become an annual event. The antique cars on display at the local museum really help bring out a crowd. Even better when the weather co-operates, as it did yesterday. Although small in numbers by some standards, it takes a long time to make the circuit and view all the cars. So many people to talk to and discuss the various vehicles.
I shot some video. Including some views of the ground taken while I was walking around forgetting the camera was on. I might get around to an edited version for youtube.
Not too hot or windy. Roads had dried up from the rain to the point that I could avoid what few mud puddles remained and get the Chevy II parked along with the rest of the "antiques". At just over 80,000 miles it has less mileage on it that some much newer vehicles. Got a few compliments on the car and a few on the original owners of the Chevy from the older folks that remembered them.
Next year? Maybe the Mercury?

Friday, July 31, 2015

Cruising Up And Down The Road

A line from one of my favourite Alan Jackson songs,"Mercury Blues". This video shows I did a little of that earlier this week. It gets a bit technical when I go on and on describing the various carburetor adjustments I made trying to improve the throttle response but hopefully will be of interest to some. Working on and adjusting carburetors will soon become a lost art as everything is fuel injected on more modern vehicles. And lets not even bother mentioning points and condensers. Might as well talk about steam engines and boilers.
In other news I repaired one side of the roof on the century farm homestead shack. Used some 70 year old corrugated steel I salvaged from an old barn whose roof had blown off some years ago. I guess those boards had not seen the light of day since my grandfather shingled that roof in the fall of 1903. With a life span like that I guess there is a reason that cedar shingles are so expensive.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Summer Days

The  summer is moving by so fast, as it always does lately. I took this shot of the garden this morning. Tremendous top growth on the beans and potatoes and they are starting to produce good already. I'm still hand picking potato bugs every morning but am definitely ahead of them.
Garden "selfie" from today. 
In other news, well here I am with an old former farmer neighbour today out on the wildlife land. First time I have been on a horse in probably fifty years. 


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Heavy Rain

I don't know but I'm calling it four and a half inches. The accurate gauge blew down in the wind yesterday morning  but last night it had re-filled with just about 4 inches in it. Not what I needed at all. The excellent hay crop I cut on the weekend will be as soaked as it can be. I can only hope it dries enough to bale without getting moldy.
I sure didn't need to be pailing water last night at midnight but I was. I had heard the rain beating down on the roof, probably much the same as Noah heard as he was loading the last of the animals on his ark. I figured I better check and sure enough, the sound of water hitting basement floor was the first thing I heard from the basement. The rain was pouring into the cistern from the roof so fast that the overflow pipe could not take it away so it took the next easiest path, in around the hose to the basement. I was dumping a pail a minute into the floor drain there for a while until I got the hose set up from the cistern pump and let it pump out the excess down the floor drain.
On the positive side my basement floor is now a lot cleaner and I have found a lot of junk I think I can throw away now and gain a little more free space in the basement.
Crops will likely be lodging some from the heavy rain and wind which is not a good thing but nothing we can do about that. I have not had time to look. Plus it is still lightly raining and misting with more in the forecast. Seems like we are always either wishing for more rain or wishing it would just stop. At least we missed the tornadoes
This is the view from the Roosty6 Restoration Garage this morning.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Big Slough

When I was a kid the largest body of water near the yard was known to us as "the big slough" and it was a favourite place to visit and look for frogs, throw rocks in the water and whatever else a kid can dream up to mess about in the mud and water.
Today the big slough is probably twice the size as when I was a kid. Overflowing into the neighbour's field actually and it has water killed most of the trees that used to grow around it. I took this picture of it earlier this week while cutting silverleaf and thistle patches in the pasture. This pasture is one of the few remaining pieces of untouched original prairie wool in the area.
In 
other news, the flax is blooming and looking good although the usual lot of re growth weeds is starting to show up. Typical for flax. The canola is nearly finished blooming except for a few late emerging patches. We have had some good rains lately to help fill out the crop. I took this shot on the driveway about 9 days ago when the bloom was pretty impressive on the canola. Out for a drive in the rusty Merc. Outstanding sky that day and the Gopro camera does a great job of capturing it.


Saturday, July 18, 2015

CO2 and EMPs

Been running my old CO2 spewing vehicle again yesterday. The 52 Merc needed a road test to see if the timing adjustment and points gap widening helped. I don't think so as it made it almost impossible to start without resorting to a 12 volt battery. I did a re-set  which helped. Drives pretty nice once its running, almost like its 1952 again. Except for the the yellow fields of canola all around.
Apparently old vehicles like the Mercury will survive and operate just fine in the event of an EMP (electro magnetic pulse) that would disable all computer controlled devices. Better get the tin foil helmet too , just in case. More EMP stuff
On the positive side I am helping to reduce my carbon footprint as this week I bought a new energy efficient freezer. After 40 some years the old Gilson was still freezing but running continuous and producing so much heat on the outside that it literally warmed up the room. Fine in winter maybe but a waste of energy and fire hazard in the summer.
Here is the new Frigidaire still sitting in the back of my truck this week.
That flax in the background is starting to bloom nicely. It might turn out pretty well if the hail and frost don't get it. Another inch+ of rain overnight. More than we needed.. I've had the sprayer sitting full of water for a week waiting for suitable conditions to spray the last of the chem fallow. Looks like I waited too long. Cutting hay? Forget about it. Glad its still standing at this point.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Further Adventures With The Mercury

After a 35 mm rainfall last night it was too wet for much else but to work on the new seat installation in the 52 Merc today. Since I know readers are hungry  for more details of resurrecting this rusty relic I will bring you up to date. The "new to me" seat is from another much newer vehicle. It took a lot of measuring and hunting up scrap iron to fashion a sturdy base for the new seat. Plus a little backing so it did not fall through the rusty floor. I exaggerate, but only a little.
Way more comfortable seat now and I can retire the "Winston Wolf" seat cover. I am no great colour co-ordinator but I'd say the new seat grey is a pretty good match for the rest of the remaining original interior of the car.
Today's test run went well. I had a (actually 3) co-pilots ride along for some stills and video which might eventually make it to my youtube channel.
You really need to hear this video on a tv with a good sound system. The sound of that old straight piped flathead V8 is absolutely awesome, at least to my somewhat biased ears. The car has a lot of sound and fury but not a whole lot of go power. At a factory rating of 125 horsepower when new I guess we can't expect neck snapping acceleration.
My brother, the real mechanic in the family did a little fine tuning on the ignition system after today's run and I'm thinking the next test run should prove more impressive performance. A little advance on the "loadatmatic" distributor timing plus increasing the points gap certainly improved the low end performance but I think another road test is in order to see just how much it has improved.
Today's "drive by". 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Heat

I know its nothing compared to what they get in India or Australia but today felt way too hot at 90F. That is about 34C for those that speak metric only. Not so bad if you can work in an air conditioned cab but this morning I was out in the open air on the 730 Case. Leveling some of last year's combine ruts left in the field. Pushing a beaver dam off the edge of the field and doing a little road grading where the municipality left it way too rough for my liking.
If provincial crop reports are right, we are officially in a drought now. The media do love to make a good story better but there are some areas that are truly suffering. This heat won't help.
Spent part of the afternoon in the relative comfort of 80 degrees in the workshop adapting the new seat to the Merc. Got it set in place but not bolted down. Maybe it was just the result of a long hot work day but that seat sure felt comfortable when I gave it a test before shutting down for the day.