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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.
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


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.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Supper at 10:30

A little late for supper on a normal day. But considering I didn't have dinner til 4:30 I guess it is not too bad. Hay raking this morning took a little longer than I expected. After a quick stop for some sandwiches and a pill for my aching head I headed back to the field with the baler. This time working in the cool comfortable cab of the 2090 Case.
In and out of the cab numerous times for the first few bales as the twine arm would not start the wrap on the bale. Apparently some damage was done during last week's plug up. After a while it seemed to work ok and I rolled along putting up 43 bales finishing all that was cut.
The last few bales might be a little damp as the tires were showing moisture after the sun went down.
It was interesting to see this old horse mower gradually emerging as the water levels continue to drop in the little creek. No doubt it was dry ground when the mower was parked there many years ago.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Cow Feeding In The Summer Time

I guess most of the cattle videos I have made are in the snow and cold of our Sask. winters. So here is something  a little different shot in  the heat of summer They grow nice and fat on the grass but a little chopped oats is a nice additive and keeps them coming back to the yard every day so I can see how they are all doing. Plus lately I have been trying to entice those four freeloaders in so the corral area so I can get them trucked out of here. They are pretty stand-offish but once they get used to a helping of chop every day I think I can get them where I want them.
In other news, the smoke cleared for a few hours yesterday after a nice 3/4 inch rain but it soon drifted back in the late afternoon. As it is a lot worse up North I will not complain too much about what we have here.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Good News, Bad News

First the good news. There is a fine crop of hay in some parts of the Hundred Acre Woods. The bad news,,, I broke the haybine within the first hour of cutting. Bounced over a huge subterranean boulder that I must have been cutting over for the past dozen years without previous injuries. Today it put a nasty bend in two guards and broke a couple of sickles. I could have struggled with it and the few rudimentary tools I had with me but opted to take the easy, but long way, and drive the 5 miles home. A workshop full of tools and most of the spare parts I need makes any repair job less stressful. Probably less mosquitos and wood ticks to deal with too.
Nice crop of Saskatoons in places and ready to pick. A little earlier than some years.
Smoke hangs heavy over the "hundred acre woods" for the third day in a row. Forest fires in Northern Sask. are responsible. Some experts claim climate change is responsible for it. Whatever the case, it seems to be keeping our temperatures down which is beneficial to the crops right now. Since we can't seem to get a good rain anymore.