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Monday, October 29, 2018

Another Look At The 49 Merc



I can hardly believe it has taken so long to make so little progress. 3 years already since I hauled this old Merc home and the engine is still seized up solid in spite of the various mixtures I have poured down the carburetor and into the spark plug holes. I'm not giving up yet though.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Old Tires and Tools

What more appropriate then using a 40+ year old tire changer to change a cracked and ancient tire on an equally old cultivator. And of course the tire I replaced it with was a somewhat newer and less cracked "recycled tire" off the IH Scout II. Probably close to 40 years old now I think about it.
That Coates tire changer was one my dad bought in the 1970s after it had served many tire changes and years of service in the local Co-op. Prior to that we had a set of tire irons and hammers with whatever other home made levers we could get to change tires here on the farm. Bent rims and damaged tire beads were not uncommon with this method. That tire changer has saved a lot of trips to town over the past 40 some years. I expect it will still be changing tires after I am gone.
I recorded some video of the job for those not familiar with how it works.
That reclaimed farm land  video I  posted a few days earlier did not stir up controversy but the picture of burning cat tails sure did. I guess some view us farmers as destroyers of wildlife habitat and the earth in general. The pic I posted on a scenery page of facebook drew a few of those comments. The ensuing defense by those on the other side of the fence eventually got the picture and thread deleted. The moderators there do not tolerate controversial comments.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Post Harvest Work

Now that the big important job of harvesting is done I can try to catch up on other things needing to be done before winter. I finished the engine oil change on the IH combine but did not get the dust blown off it yet. I did get the pull type John Deere cleaned up and parked in the shed for winter. Also the air seeder tank and the swather. That little John Deere tractor with its super smooth power steering is sure the real thing for backing machinery into tight corners (without hitting anything).
I also got the last of the hay bales hauled home from Nevardland. Driving an open tractor I knew I needed to get that job done before the real cold weather set in. The ten mile round trip on a cold day is not something I want to do. Today was nice enough. I even took the time to check out this old 2 wheeled harrow cart that has emerged now that the high waters have receded in the creek.
At the end of the day, or at least sundown, the moon rose so clear and big that I had to get a picture of it as I was parking the Merc back in the shed for the night. Reminded me of a song from the "Doo-wap era"

Finished Harvest and...

Finally finished harvest 2018 yesterday. We finally got "first nations summer" this past week and combines were rolling all over the province for long hours as we took advantage of the lucky break in weather. I really did not think we were going to get this crop after all the miserable cold and snow of late September and October.
The "vintage" machinery held together with only minor glitches and my always reliable "harvest crew" was always right there when help was needed. They are worth a lot more than I pay them.
Now to catch up on the many jobs that I wanted to get done before real winter sets in.
Important stuff like editing video for the Roosty6 youtube channel :-)
This latest one has no harvesting in it but more of the old iron around here that collects dust.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

59 Years Ago

This week in 1959, my dad brought the "new to him" 52 Mercury home. Wish I could say I remember the day but I was just a kid and a car was just a means of dad getting us from point a to point b. It took a few years for me to get hooked on flathead Fords and just anything with wheels in general.
That old Merc took us everywhere we needed to go for the next ten years. Seemed like a long time in those days but really ten years does not seem like much now.
By the fall of 69 the old flathead V8 became inpossible to start and it was relegated to retirement. After about ten years rest it got a new lease on life when my brother removed and rebuilt the engine. Then it had another even longer retirement until the fall of 2014 when I got inspired to see if it would still run. 30+ years of outdoor storage took their toll on the body but the old flathead was soon running smooth as ever. And I was hooked on flatheads all over again.
The original bill of sale.


Friday, October 12, 2018

That Was Close

I nearly had to go back to harvesting but right on cue, as the swaths were almost dry enough to sample, the clouds rolled in and light rain started. Turning to snow tonight they say. Why not? The swaths can't get any wetter. Every day gets a little shorter at this time of year. And with the unseasonable cold temps there is a very slow drying process happening. We need several good drying days to get the seed dry enough to store. I don't own a dryer or I'd be finished likely. Big dryers are expensive. Old small ones can take a lot of fixing and expensive repairs. And they all burn propane. Except the ones that burn natural gas. Carbon tax? Sorry folks, I'd really like to burn less fossil fuel (and money) but the only way to do that is to stop growing crops.
Picture from a few years ago in a more normal year of good weather.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Hope Deferred

...maketh the heart sick. I think its an old biblical quotation (Arthur Nevard?) that I have used before here. But its very appropriate for our dismal harvest conditions over the past almost month. Last dry grain harvested here was September 11. There is a huge amount of money laying out in the fields in unharvested canola and not looking like much chance of it getting harvested this fall. And spring harvested canola is basically chicken feed and a salvage operation. Every day we look at the forecast with hope of improvement and all we get is cloud, fog, frost, snow or rain. And cold? Propane use is up 2 1/1 times normal in Sask. mainly due to grain dryers running.
In some ways it will be a relief when real winter snow settles in and we lose all hope, park the combines in the shed for winter and get on with other concerns.
Almost dry enough to cut some of the frozen dead grass around the machinery yesterday so I was doing a little of that with the JD lawn tractor at maximum height so it would not plug the mower. Cleaning up the mower later I managed to bash my head on the sharp angle iron of the welding table. Did not knock myself unconscious but oh man, the blood? Head wounds seem to bleed the worst but eventually with lots of cold water and paper towels I was left with just a large lump on the forehead. Seems like I need to wear a helmet whenever I leave the house.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

And Then It Rained Again

And now its snowing again. Combines safely parked in the shed out of the rain and snow. 1/3 of the crop laying out in the field getting soaked again. I could be shoveling snow before the day is over. October won't likely give us enough sun and heat to ever dry those swaths. Spring harvest? The wildlife will wreak havoc on the swaths. I'll be ok but for many this will be devastating. Things can always be worse but this is a bit depressing.
Oh well, head to the workshop and maybe turn on the furnace and work on the Merc. Or design a snow blower attachment for the combine.