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Monday, December 31, 2018

End Of The Year

Only 11 hours left in 2018 so this will likely be my last post of the year. It is a nice sunny day with no wind. At least not here in my tree sheltered yard. Temp has warmed up to -15F so it is headed the right way. The cattle are actually standing out in the pasture soaking up the sun as it is warm. I guess when you fill up on hay and chopped oats it keeps a lot of cold out.
I'm posting a link to a video I just found. A fellow old car guy on youtube put it up and it is a fascinating account of some behind the scenes stuff that went on in England during WWII. As told by his father who was there. Definitely worth a look.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

53 Gas Tank Removal

This might be my last youtube video for 2018. I had it in mind to do a year end review of sorts but so far it has not got past the idea stage. And time is running out. I took advantage of the relatively mild (+20F) temps to do a little work on the 53 Merc parts car. The gas tank has been badly dented on the bottom from I don't know what. Maybe a rock? Or somebody tried to move the car with a fork lift? Anyway, its off and I'll see if it is possible (or worth the trouble) to try and straighten. At least now I can get at the trunk floor to beat the dents out.

Winter continues to have below normal snow and mostly above normal temps which helps.

Cattle are having it easy, still able to forage a bit in the pasture and field although they get plenty to eat at the feeders. I've put out over 20 hay bales for them since starting feeding in November. The deer seem to like the oat bales judging by all the tracks around them. So I better start feeding the oat bales to the cows before the deer decide to eat them.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Radiator Switch

It sounds simple enough but this radiator swap on the 52 Merc is testing my patience and endurance. The only thing that saved me today was that the temp was just above the  freezing point so I could work with bare hands. Even  though the 2 cars and radiators are identical, the mounting holes are just a shade off lining up and  required some persuasion. Then the top hoses would not seal up. Even tightening  the clamps to the point of twisting off, there is still anti-freeze seeping out. Chipping off corrosion  and emery cloth on the outlets has not cured it yet.
It would have been a nice day for a test drive but I did not get to that point.
Worst of all is tightening the fan and generator belts. I remembered from the spring of 2015 it was a miserable job that involved some loss of blood and many curse words. At least this time there was no blood loss, but then I am not finished either. I finally threw down  the tools and shut off the lights a half hour past supper time. Better luck tomorrow.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Overheating In Winter

Someone commented many years ago that if you can keep a Ford cool in summer and warm in winter you are doing good. The old 52 Merc did ok on the  hot summer days I drove it recently but today it boiled the radiator with the temp in the teens and snow on the ground. Of course I had covered the radiator to help bring it up to normal operating temp. The heat gauge was starting to show a bit above normal but when I felt the hoses on the engine it did not seem too hot so I continued driving. It did ok until I got a bit stuck in snow and was doing some forward/reverse rocking to get moving again. Steam from under the hood told me it was time to shut down. Anti freeze was spraying like a fountain from a previously undetected hole in the radiator top tank. This soaked the distributor and coil, further complicating re-starting. I had to "macgyver" up a replacement coil wire after I damaged the original trying pull it out of the coil.
So I got a little exercise walking home for the Massey to pull the Merc out of the slightly stuck situation. Then walk back to bring the tractor home after getting the Merc safely back in it's shed. The sun was down but not fully dark by the time I closed the doors for the day. Overall a pretty good day.
Oh yes, I also became a great uncle for the second time as of early this morning.

Friday, December 7, 2018

I Am A Selfish Braggart

At least according to a "troll" on youtube. And it might be at least a little bit true. But no more so than the average video poster  who puts their content on youtube. I know we shouldn't feed the trolls but I couldn't resist making a couple of replies before deciding this guy was just in it for the argument and life is too short to argue against a closed mind.
It was on the "Mail From Coldwarmotors" video and that one has turned out to be more popular than my average videos having over double the usual views. If my channel was actually monetized it would mean extra money for me but I'm not making a cent from youtube. Partly because I have refused to jump through all the hoops that youtube requires before they will pay anything. Plus I really hate having to look at ads on other's channels so am reluctant to become one of those annoying channels.
So I'm just in it for fun and the favourable comments that 99.9% of the viewers have given so far. Old Roosty6 will continue to crow on youtube for a while yet. 

Friday, November 30, 2018

Some Frost Scenery Nov 30

I think this month of November will set a record for the least amount of sunshine in years. I was hoping for some sunshine and blue sky for some scenery pictures and video. All this fog and hoar frost makes for some great scenic shots but it is so much better if the sun comes out. The fog never cleared all day here. I got busy with the camera today and uploaded some video to youtube.

In other news, I installed some "atmosphere" in the shed beside the old Ford. It is a metal parts (P&D) cabinet, probably from the 1970s. I am storing it here for somebody and figured it might as well be up on the wall where it will add a little ambience from the old service station days. I'll likely fill it up with more junk.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

My psychological sickness

News flash. Apparently I have a psychological sickness. At least that term came up in a comment on an old tractor forum after I posted a link to a video I made of a walking tour through some of my old iron that has accumulated  over  the years. The majority liked the video just fine but one individual obviously has a whole different view of keeping anything old around. Apparently a "normal person" would scrap, burn, or bury anything old that is no longer producing a profit or serving a useful purpose.
Of course this is the land of the somewhat free and I guess as long as I am paying the taxes on the land I will populate it with whatever old iron strikes my fancy. In fact , I'm planning to add to it! Sick? Maybe. But I'm enjoying  it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Hours and Hours

Uploading video to youtube. I think I am at 4 hours and still only 59% uploaded. No, its not a 6 hour mini series, just a 14 minute home video that should not take more than an hour normally. Its a fact of life that internet speed varies out here in the country. Depending on how many people are watching netflix I guess. Or maybe its a youtube problem. Anyway, I'm obviously multi tasking as I can't sit here for endless hours watching nothing happen. Stay tuned for a new Roosty 6 movie later today, maybe.
While waiting , this news item caught my attention. Guess the next time you see somebody out in the cold needing a warm up, better just leave them out in the cold.
The farm yard in the summer of 59.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Fencing In November

No, not fencing with swords but pliers, crowbar and sledge hammer. With receding water levels some of the fence that runs through sloughs is starting to re-appear. Or rather, the lack of fence. It has mostly disappeared under the water and willow growth and its a bit of a miracle the cattle did not find their way out of the pasture . Pretty much impossible to get out there to rebuild until the water freezes over as it has now. I was able to chain saw the dead growth away, string out some "new" wire and punch holes in the ice for a few fence posts. Needs the extra long ones because there is still close to 3 feet of water under the ice in places so the posts don't stick up very far once I hammer them down with the big sledge.
That second  hand barbed wire was a bit of a nightmare to untangle and string out but I got it done. There was no wind and it was plenty warm working with temps in the high 30s but still better than summer when there are mosquitos, wood ticks and real hot weather to work in.
And in other news, there are changes coming to the hundred acre woods. I took a drive through there today to shoot some video of whats new there.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Remembrance Day 2018

 This was the hundredth anniversary of the end of the first World War. As is often the case, November 11th 2018 was a cold and winter like day. During today's service, at the eleventh hour, we rang the bell 11 times. This is the former Church bell from Lipton's St. Michael and all angels Anglican Church. The Church is long gone and the bell now stands on a new tower. The brass bell is inscribed and dedicated to the first world war soldiers. Dated 1919.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Early Start To Winter

We were lucky to get the brief window of Indian Summer in mid October to finish the harvest but now its November and more winter than summer. Cold winds and trying to snow make it miserable out there. Down in the teens for a day time high.
Grass froze off pretty bad in the pasture so the cattle are complaining as they always do this time of year. I took pity on them and put out the first hay bale of winter. Almost a month early compared to most years so its going to be a long winter of feeding til May. Once I start there is no stopping. Got a load of oats through the old hammer mill last week so they have plenty of oat chop to build up a little energy and insulation against the winter cold. I think cattle burn up a lot of their feed just keeping warm in this winter we get  here.
Field work is done. The ground has frozen. There might still be a field or two of unharvested crops around but they will likely wait til spring now.

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.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

And Then It Snowed

Some video shot while I was hauling hay bales home from the hundred acre woods last week. The last really nice day before it snowed on the weekend. I still have one more trip to make but I'll wait til it warms up a little more. 5 miles on the road with an open tractor you don't want to be doing if its cold.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Carbon Tax

I'm familiar with the concept you have to spend money to make money in this farming business. But a news interview this morning suggested that by paying the liberal's proposed carbon tax, we will actually get more money back than what we paid in. ?? How is that possible? If I'm going to have to pay more for the fuel I burn farming, heating my home and transporting my product to market, how is that good for me?
The proposed carbon tax starting next January will be $20 a tonne. So many tonnes of carbon do I have? Or produce? Just how do they figure out this magical formula that will make some of us rich by spending our money on a carbon tax? It sounds like one of those schemes where you just hand over your money and trust the government to take care of it.
Link to the National Post article.
Carbon Tax Will Pay?

Monday, September 17, 2018

Speedometer switch final

Well its too wet to harvest and we will be shut down for the rest of September if the forecast is right. So a good time to do some upgrading on the Merc before the weather gets too cold. The speedometer quit working many years ago and was beyond my skills to repair. Turns out the 53 parts car has a fully functional speedometer. All I had to do was a transfer it from one car to the other without losing any parts or breaking anything. I managed to do that and now have a working speedometer. Also took a few miles off the car in the process. Its original speedometer had just over 82,000 miles on it. The replacement is something over 78,000.

Friday, September 14, 2018

September Birthday

Finally  back at harvest yesterday and thinking about September 13th being Grandpa Nevard's birthday. I guess he would be about 133 years old if he were still living. I remember the day he died back in 1979. We were in a harvest hiatus due to damp weather as was not uncommon here.
This photo from 1910 shows him (far left on the load of sheaves)  hard at work pitching sheaves in to the thresher on the Goff/Nevard threshing syndicate. He was just five years out of Essex, U.K. and working hard to improve his new homestead. He took a little break in 1916 to go back and fight for the "old country" in the first world war.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Car Driving And Cattle Feeding

Out for a short drive in the 52 Merc. Checking out the sunset and the autumn leaves. The cattle stopped by to see if there was any oat chop in the feed troughs so of course I gave them some to keep them happy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

2018 Wheat harvest

Its been a busy few weeks with lots of time spent in the combine and or IH grain truck. About the highest yielding wheat crop I have ever harvested.  Slow going at times due to breakdowns, and various holdups. Running out of grain space and having to make a few alternate arrangements for storage. But thats a good problem to have. Down to the last 50 acres of wheat now and after that the canola. Still early at September 12 but if the weather does not give us a break it could get late.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Swathing Oats 2018

Riding along with me in the John Deere 2360 swather while I swath oats. Or windrow if you prefer. They turned out pretty good considering what little rain we got this year. I still don't have the IH combine back together but then the crop is not ready to combine for a while either.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Combine Fixin part 2

Too late in the day and too tired to do a serious blog so here is a video I just uploaded to youtube showing some of the details of the combine repair in progress. Its slow going but there is some hope it might be back together in time to do some harvesting this year.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Combine Fixing 2018

I'm getting a little slack at keeping up with this blog but here is a short video of some of the stuff that keeps me busy. Its a job I've not been looking forward to. Would have been a lot nicer in the cooler weather too. Its turning into a bigger and more expensive job that I expected. Hoping to have it ready by harvest time but at this point I really don't know.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Flax Still Haunts Me

Although this is the second year in a row that I have not grown any flax, it has come back to haunt me. The latest damage flax straw has done showed up on my swather this week. While getting it ready to swath this year's canola I looked into fixing the oil leak from the "wobble box" knife drive that had kept me busy adding oil every day last harvest. On disassembly we found a tightly wrapped band of flax straw around the drive shaft against the oil seal which had damaged the seal causing it to leak. Almost unbelievable but it is just another episode in the trail of destruction caused by trying to harvest flax.
Just off the top of my head there was the time straw wrapped around the drive shaft of the tractor almost starting a fire. The time it wrapped around the truck drive shaft to the point that it tore off the hydraulic hoses for the lift. The time it wrapped around the return drive shaft of the John Deere combine causing a small fire we were lucky to catch in time. The time it wrapped on the rear beater shaft of the John Deere damaging the beater and the body of the combine. Not to mention the hours of torture I spent laying on the straw walkers sawing straw off the beater (Twice!). The straw chopper wraps that burned the drive belt. And thats just the John Deere, the one that I bought to replace the International that absolutely could not handle flax straw. The countless hours we spent cutting flax straw off the International I could not even guess at. The modifications tried in a vain effort to improve straw handling.
Yes, any fool can grow a crop but harvesting it is a whole new ball game and I'm out.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Calves, Checking Crops and Fixing

The title almost says it all. Just discovered the last of the 2018 calf crop arrived this evening. The cattle had not been back to the yard in a few days but did turn up this evening when they saw me out there with a pail of oat chop for them. Surprisingly a little new born calf was galloping along with the other bigger calves. I had almost given up on that last red cow having a calf this year.
I finished putting around $300 worth of new parts into the 41 year old haybine to get it working again. A few new sprockets and a bearing should (hopefully) be all it needs to cut the rest of the hay crop. Nine head of cattle don't need a lot of hay for the winter but they do need some.
Crops are looking pretty good and really advancing. We've been getting some "just in time" rains to keep them growing.
Here is some video of a crop tour from last week as seen from the top of the 52 Mercury. Driving by oats, canola and wheat.
Here is another photo from the weekend activities. It was quite a workout but many hands make light work as they say. Thats about all I can say about it for now. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Hot Day In July

Yes, by our standards today was a hot one. I saw mid to high 90s for the first time this year. Humidity was high too and a hot wind blowing. Not good for flowering canola but it did bring on a good old thunderstorm which left me with 6 tenths rain, if I can believe the gauge. It looks wetter. A few hail stones too just to scare us.
Its no use me complaining about the heat over on the ag forums as the guys from Southern U.S. always have me beat for heat and humidity. But they can't figure how I function on the farm in our winters extreme temps either.
I took the drone up for a short flight mid day. Showing the canola which is fading fast in the heat. Some blossom fall-off is normal at this stage but the heat and wind will accentuate it and is hard on the crop.
Still sitting with a broken down haybine and more hay to cut.  I could (and might) use the swather to cut what hay is left but it is a little weak in the wobble box and I don't want to stress it out too bad as it has a couple of hundred acres of canola waiting on it in a few weeks. Combine needs some major disassembly and repair as well. Or do I keep pouring oil through it for another year? Seems lately that everything I own leaks oil. Or anti-freeze.

Monday, July 9, 2018

So Close But So Far

I guess I should look on the bright side and be thankful I didn't get soaked riding home on the open tractor. It was threatening thunder storms most of the afternoon while I was raking hay but I figured why wait. I've done that before and nothing happened. There were empty grain bins I could go inside if it did start to rain heavy so I kept on til the job was done. And it didn't rain.
I even dared hope I might make it home, hitch up to the baler and come back to bale the hay. It wouldn't take long. Hay looks nice and green having had no rain at all on it.
But I guess not. I had barely parked the Massey in the quonset and I was hearing raindrops on the metal roof. It didn't amount to much but it might not be over yet. And I guess I'm done as far as baling for today. Once again I'm a day late. If it rains much I can use the time to work on repairing a major breakdown on the haybine. Just one big bearing destroyed  but a big job to take apart just to see if the roller shaft is ruined or not. If so, maybe its time to part it out and look for a replacement. This cattle hobby is getting expensive.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Canada Day, Drone, Slow youtube

WE had our now traditional trail ride on Canada day again. The weather mostly co-operated although a wild wind blowing. One of many pictures shown here. j
I made good use of the drone today searching  for a missing cow. I had a good idea where she was as I'd seen her  going  into a forest of cat tails yesterday evening. Walking in there was like a 7 foot wall of jungle. I could have spent a lot of time and energy and  maybe found her, or not. I sent  the drone  up from about a quarter mile away and did a slow scan above the slough maybe 50 feet up. Spotted her pretty easy. It was still hard enough to find the exact location on foot but by afternoon I found she was not alone having a new born calf.

After four months waiting to hear  from youtube re: monetizing my videos, they e mail today and  say they still need  more information. Just stalling  for time I guess. I've already met their specs for channel  views and  subscribers so I don't know what  more they need. Good thing I am not in it for the money.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

If I'm Here It Must Be Raining

And it is raining pretty good today. I've been busy as usual trying to keep up but its a struggle. One job not finished and the next one needing to be done.  This was a week of grain hauling. I'd built up quite an inventory and suddenly decided it was time for it to go. With the uncertainty of grain markets due to tariff wars, GMOs, etc and other excuses, I was pretty sure prices were headed even lower. Thanks to the 108 horsepower vacuum cleaner we loaded a good many semi loads from Monday to Thursday and emptied at least 12 bins if I recall right. No grain dust to breathe and less back strain compared to the old fashioned  way of moving grain.
Crops looking pretty good thanks to the rain that finally showed up just in time. Patchy canola fields due to some poor emergence but they are filling  in and will make a decent  crop.
I need to be hitched onto the haybine cutting hay as it matured a bit early due to lack of spring rains. Although with today's soaker it is just as well to be still standing and not rotting in the swath.
Weed spraying is late of course. My canola will only get one application of Roundup but it was not bad for weeds compared to some years. Still got a field or two of oats need spraying for broad leaf weeds but that won't likely happen for a couple of days now as it is mud everywhere. I saw 20 mm in the gauge this morning but have not checked it since this afternoon's downpour. Got to be well over an inch now I'd guess.
Somehow I managed to work in a short crop tour to the hundred acre woods with the Merc last weekend. Got a bit of drone video of it.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Wind And Rain

Its been a challenge, as usual, trying to get crops sprayed on time. Well no chance of being on time any more but I'll get them done eventually. Wind blows like a hurricane some days so nobody in their right mind will run a sprayer and blow herbicide all across the country (and his neighbour's crops). We finally got a decent day yesterday and I got all of two tanks of heribiced sprayed on wheat. Might have made three but a front tractor tire developed a bulge that threatened to leave me stranded if I kept driving. Thanks to my "pit crew" we had a new tire on and rolling again about 3 hours later. Not easy changing a big 11.00x16 tire on the farm without benefit of proper tire changing equipment but we got it done.
Today, clouds and threatening rain means the sprayer gets a rest and I get to catch up on a few jobs that I haven't had time to do. As usual time flies when you are trying to do too much. I did take time to take this photo of a nice sunset last night. Actually I didn't take any time as I kept rolling right along as I took the picture.. Talk about distracted driving!
Wheat looks good from the ground but a drone view from last Saturday makes it look a bit patchy.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Body Work etc.

When its too windy to be running the sprayer (frequently), to avoid going crazy watching and waiting on the weather,  I spent some time trying out the spot weld cutter. Up til a few weeks ago I never even knew what spot weld cutters were. Its almost a necessity for repairing old car bodies. In the learning process I managed to break all the teeth off the first one before I got all the spot welds drilled out. Second attempt with new cutters went better. Or maybe I was more careful or learned the right technique.
Its not a "how to" video. More of a "how I did it".
Then a little, or a lot, of work with body hammer and dolly and the badly dented hood on the 52 Merc is starting to look a little more presentable. No, the truck in the picture is not the 52 Merc but it looked so good that I had to use it in the video.
Actually a lot better but still far from body shop standards. The price was right though. To be continued.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Wood Ticks, Seeding, Etc.

Been a while. Been busy, as usual. I did finish seeding this past weekend which is pretty much right on time historically for my farm. I was amazed how quick the canola fields germinated and started to emerge. 8 days is really good considering we have next to no rain all spring. Being seeded on chem fallow helps as it has all last year's moisture waiting beneath the surface to help get the plants growing. We even reclaimed an extra 13 acres on one quarter now that the water levels dropped enough to allow access with farm machinery. You can see some of that in this video.

Its not quite a replay of 1988 (driest year in my farming experience) but the continuing absence of rain was cause for concern. Up until yesterday. A real old fashioned rain/thunder/lightning storm hit in the late afternoon that gave a real boost to the soil moisture. I was not optimistic enough to have a rain gauge out so can only go by guess and other reports of anywhere from 4 tenths to maybe twice that. Its still muddy driving around the fields on the trike this morning. More to come tomorrow.
Gorges Smyth liked the photo I took of the Western sky as the clouds passed by and the sun was emerging. It shows you how dry its been when I actually have to take a picture of a rain storm.
I have to say it is the worst year yet for wood ticks. I never used to be a "tick magnet" as others seemed to be until this year. The past week or so I'm picking ticks off several times a day. And those preaching about wearing long  clothes and staying out of the grass, its all rubbish. I'm never out of the house without coveralls and work boots and yet the ticks are on me. From what I've read our ticks don't carry Lyme's Disease but their bites do raise a nasty red bump that itches for a  day or so.
More by good luck than good management I have two new calves in the past few weeks.
Picture here of one as she meets her father for the first time. Some difference in size.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Roosty 6 Plants Wheat

Its been a busy week planting crops between the times I'm fixing stuff or driving from one farm to another. Finally the first rain of spring fell last night and a little more today so I've had a chance to edit some video I shot earlier this week while loading the truck and air seeder.

Surprisingly I am about half finished and only started last Friday.
On the positive side the leaking fluid from a tractor tire seems to have slowed down to almost a stop. The strange and disturbing noise the tractor made intermittently, and finally steadily, turned out to be a worn out alternator. Luckily I had one "in stock". The same alternator fits tractor and combine. Still a lot of time lost diagnosing, remove and replace, with the necessary driving back and forth between farms. A leaking radiator on the big truck, and now one on the old GMC pickup. Both still on the job but needing work. I also drove over my tool box (for the second time). This time with the grain truck. First time was with a tractor. It gave me some practice at metal shaping and straightening.
Record breaking high temps a few days combined with incessant wind and no rain had it looking pretty bleak. This little sprinkle of rain will alleviate the situation for a while.
Several of the early planted potatoes are up and I planted a few more today.
Grass is growing enough that the cattle are getting a little to eat. They still like the hay in the feeders though so I guess I'm lucky to have some left.
Due to the continuing dry conditions a total fire ban is on this area which is fine by me. Some people get a little careless lighting fires and disaster results.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

A Little Surprise

This little calf showed up this afternoon when I went to give the cows a pail of oat chop. Earlier this week I was convinced I had lost the cow and calf as well. She was missing Monday morning and I spent a few hours and miles driving around on the trike searching the entire quarter. Round and round the bushes looking in to all the likely spots. Walked through a good many of them with no sign of the missing cow. I even sent the drone up for an overhead view but could not see a sign of her. I figured she must have had trouble calving and likely dead. Searched some more a couple of days later when I was convinced I had heard a cow bawling. Sat out in the pasture listening for a repeat but nothing. Must have been a goose, moose, or my imagination.
Couple of days ago the heifer showed up with the rest of the herd at the chop trough. It was good to see that she had survived but no sign of a calf anywhere so I figured it was laying dead somewhere. She didn't seem too concerned but I did hear her bawling for her missing calf some time later. Normal I guess. She will get over it.
So today the calf is here with the others looking normal enough. Just amazes me I did all that searching and never was able to find them until they decided to come back to the yard.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Some Welding

All this talk of wire welding and now, finally, I have some video showing the results. It turned out pretty well for an amateur I think.
Now that I have one solid corner on the body maybe I can use that as a base to continue along the entire rocker panel. And then the floor?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Changing Fast

The weather. Last week this time we were fully covered with the winter's snow. A few warm and windy days has us down to just a few drifts on the fence lines left. Not a lot of water to show considering how fast it melted. I guess I need to be making preparations for field work. In fact I did a little work on the smallest field of all today. Fired up the old roto tiller and worked the garden. Might get a few potatoes planted in April yet. Got the air seeder tank pulled out of the shed. Fixed a leaking valve stem on the John Deere without losing a lot of calcium chloride. Washed a couple of trucks. Probably a few other things I've forgotten already. This farming is cutting into my time for working on old rusty cars.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Summer fun 2017

Not my video but I was there as an "extra" in some of the scenes from last summer. Nice weather and scenery. Might do it again this summer.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Fort San

Or more accurately, the Fort Qu'appelle Tuberculosis Sanatorium. I put together a few minutes of old still shots and some  video . Its not much but all I've got of this interesting piece of local history that affected so many lives of this area. It features prominently in the Nevardblog as this was where Bill and Dick Nevard worked for years after they left the farm. The area is now privately owned and  the buildings that have survived wrecking are gradually falling into ruin.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Engine Lift

Yes, just another boring update on the engine lift I'm trying out on the Mercury flathead engine. Going against the advice and recommendations of the folks on the ford barn forum, I just had to try it out. I can see where the 3 wheel design could be a little unstable compared to 4. So I very carefully attached it and kept the chain hoist attached as well just in case disaster should strike and the whole thing tip over causing injury to myself or wreck a valuable engine.
It reminds me of years ago when most ATV manufacturers were selling three wheeled vehicles. After a few people were injured when these dangerous three wheelers tipped over, mostly due to operator inexperience or careless driving, the 3 wheel design was dropped. And 4 wheelers replaced them. Safer? A bit, yet we still hear of accidents and injuries involving 4 wheelers.
I've been driving one of those dangerous and unpredictable 3 wheelers for maybe 15 years now without incident. In most cases it seems to be the nut that holds the wheel, or in this case, the handlebars, that is the weak link. I'm hoping my luck holds out with the engine lift. So far it looks good.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year.

Seeing the date, and the cold and snow we still have this April second I was reminded of this old tune, Spring Will Be...
I think it was 2012 on the first of April I was roto tilling the garden already. This year, what ground is showing is still frozen solid. Everything else covered in snow. It has been a long winter.
Its even cold working in the "Roosty6 Restoration Shop" unless I want to turn on the furnace and increase my carbon footprint even further.
I'm making a few small steps forward on the old rusty cars. Learning how to take a few dents out using real body shaping tools.
I almost made a "how not to do it" video today while trying out an engine lift. I deleted all the scenes of me using the wrong methods. Would not want to lead impressionable minds astray.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Old 730

I think it was 1965 my uncle Don bought the 730 Case tractor. It was close to new, at least as close as we had ever got to a new tractor except for the ones on the dealer's lot. At 57 horsepower it was a good sized tractor around here for the time.
I learned a lot about working summerfallow in the summer of 1970 when I went to work for him. Somehow the old 730 survived that episode with only a few scratches and dents. And the summerfallow got worked, sort of.
The 730 is in semi retirement now getting occasional exercise on the rotary mower or some blade work. I was going to do  a little snow pushing with it this morning until I realized that the dozer blade itself was buried under a snowbank. I wasn't about to start digging it out so the tractor got a rest and the snow remains.
And Roosty6 made another video :-)

Sunday, March 11, 2018

March 11 53 Merc Update

No big news here but I thought it was time for an update in case anybody was curious. The cold weather limits my ambition and endurance for working in the shop. I don't want to increase my carbon footprint too much by running the oil furnace and actually working in comfort. The world is warming up though. Snow was melting at the south doors of the shop in the bright sunshine.

I actually got the new brake shoes installed on one wheel. Then did it over again twice when I found some little detail I had left out. At this point I think I will need to remove them again, at least partially. The old wheel cylinders are seized and won't allow enough clearance for the drums to slide on over the new shoes. Getting lots of practice anyway.

Did I mention we had a lot of snow recently? Of course, you have seen the videos. Just in case you missed them, here is a drone shot from a few days ago. Looks like ideal snowmobile conditions, if I still had a working snowmobile.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Snowblower On The John Deere

Never too old to learn, or change I guess. After running the McKee snowblower on the Cockshutt 40 for probably 40 years I decided to try it on the "new to me" John Deere 2140. It took a few adjustments and modifications but I finally got it attached and working.
Last week I would have never expected to be installing the snow blower the first week in March but this recent record high snowstorm has made it necessary. There are places I can't get in with the blade and big tractor and I'd rather avoid shoveling if possible so the little six foot snowblower is the best choice. Beautiful sunny day with blue sky and no wind. You guessed, there is video.

Monday, March 5, 2018

More Snow

After a below normal snowfall all winter we are finally getting closer to normal. Last night and today's snowfall was the biggest yet this winter. I'd guess ten inches on top of what we had before. Its heavy walking and almost knee deep some places. Some highways were closed as well as some schools. I didn't move any more than necessary as it hadn't finished yet. Maybe get the blade working tomorrow to make a few trails.
Some video of the old Massey getting around in the snow with a bale of hay. It does surprisingly well for two wheel drive and no tire chains.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Moose And snow

Scared up a resting moose as I drove into the hundred acre woods yesterday to check on the grain bins. It was laying on the sheltered and sunny side of the bush enjoying the sun. It jumped up and ran around the bush which happened to be the same direction I was traveling so I used my phone to take a video and picture or two. Nothing too impressive as the zoom is fairly limited on the I phone.

Next day a major storm is predicted but I doubt it will amount to much. We are in a continuing drought here since last winter. In a normal winter there is no way in the world that even a four wheel drive vehicle could drive into the places I drove yesterday. Maybe after an hour's work with tractor and blade to clear a trail.

Today about 5:00 it is coming down pretty good and is looking like it might give us a little snow.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Carbon Tax

I probably should not even comment on the carbon tax that will eventually be imposed on us in spite of our premier refusing to sign on. But CBC keeps bringing on the experts telling us how beneficial it is going to be for us. Apparently all the money we pay as a carbon tax will be given back to us in some other yet to be defined form.
They are talking a tax of $20 a ton for now and increasing to $50 a ton by 2022. First of all how do you measure a ton of carbon? How do I know when I have produced a ton of carbon to be taxed on? How do I slow down my production of carbon and thereby save myself money? Stop driving? Stop farming my land thereby reducing fuel and tax? There are way more questions than answers so far.
If they really want to sell us on this wonderful new tax that is going to save the planet, they need to give us a little more information. At this point it sounds like more smoke and mirrors designed to squeeze more tax dollars out of us.
I guess I am part of the problem. Now I have to get back to work producing more carbon as I feed my cattle.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Firewood Cutting 2018

We got together for a short spell of firewood cutting on the weekend. Only had about an hour to spare but we got through a fair bit of poplar firewood with our 4 man, 2 women (and one dog) crew. The old Wisconsin V4 was a bit reluctant start after a night of sub zero temps but eventually it came to life and ran just fine. Unfortunately the saw blade got dulled shortly after starting when it hit a bullet lodged in one of the logs. Theres a rare and random occurrence.
Temp was up around the +8 F degree mark which is great for the job as the snow on the logs is not wet enough to soak  your clothes as you handle the logs.
Its been a yearly event for as long as I can remember. We used to help my uncles cut a veritable mountain of poplar logs as they burned wood in the cook stove year round. And it was more than a one day job.
We helped dad as soon as we were old enough to hold up the end of a log. Learned to stand and hold the log straight so it did not pinch the blade and throw the belt off. I eventually learned to wear ear plugs,  hopefully before I lost too much of my hearing.
Sometime in the early 1940s. My dad at far left and Uncle Sandy at far right. 
Firewood sawing at Hobetzeders in the early 1950s. John Hepting far left. 

Dad at the saw in 1987. This photo was published in the Western Producer magazine.
So here we were.......

Sunday, February 11, 2018

More Old Car Stuff

Just cleaning up some video off the camera file and I put this one onto youtube. Its another project I started and never finished. I have a few of those. I started too late in the year and the weather turned against me. Hopefully the old car comes home in the spring. Been sitting for probably sixty years so its about time. If it happens, there will be video.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Cold Morning At The Century Shack

I call it the "century shack" but in fact it will be 115 years old this summer. My grandfather, T. Goff and his brother , Alf, cousin Jack all spent their first winter in Canada in this little log shack. No, not the red barn at the beginning of the vido. About 10x12 feet built of vertical poplar logs. It must have been "cool" but maybe if they kept the wood burning stove well fed it would be ok. Jack was reported to have stated that he would be "back in Dorset for next Christmas" although he never did go back. Saskatchewan winter must have been a shock for these Dorset lads who likely didn't see a lot of snow before.
It had warmed up to about -15F when I did this latest Roosty6 video tour this morning. Made me appreciate the modern gas heat even more.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Today's History

February 2, 1870 was the birth date of Uncle Alf (great uncle to me) Goff in Dorset, U.K.  Not much is  known  of  his early days but at some point in the 1890s he spent some time in Queensland, Australia working on a sheep ranch. For a fellow named Quick according to my memory.
No information as to how long he was there but he returned to England briefly and then traveled with his brother Tom to North America. Not sure of the route but they worked some on the Canadian railway in the mountains. Alf spoke of being very sick at one point with cold or flu and he claimed the only thing that saved him was "Jamaica rum". In later years he was known to make some very fine wine of his own from rhubarb.
Alf and Tom also put in some time working on threshing crews eventually making  their way back to England in 1902.
Attracted by the advertising campaign of free  homestead  land in the district of Assiniboia,  (later Saskatchewan),  Alf, Tom, and cousin Jack all headed to Canada in the spring of 1903 to claim their "free" land. Many years of hard work eventually turned the homesteads into productive farm land.
From that point on Alf mostly lived his  life  on his homestead in  his log cabin.  He died there on the homestead in 1942 at the age of 72.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Today In Family History

January 30, 1971, my grandmother, Mary Goff (Lane) died. Aged 85 (we think). I know there was some question as to her actual year of birth. Along with pretty well everything else about her prior to coming to Canada in 1911. We do know she worked at various locations along the south coast of England such as the Railway Hotel at Broadstairs, Kent.
This is the only existing photo of her before leaving England. 

Grandma in work uniform on the right
With her first two children, Doris and Tom.
Working hard on the farm through some hard times. 
Grandma and Grandpa about 1951.
With her first grandson in 1954. 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Out With The Dogs

I shot this video while "dog sitting" for a few days last summer. A hot morning in July but those two dogs were always eager to go for a walk, or run, to explore their territory.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

A Decade On Youtube

According to their records I have been on youtube as Roosty6 for ten years on Jan. 26. It does not seem like that long but considering there are 382 videos on my channel I guess it has been a while. I like to think the videos have improved a little since the very first one I put on. It was a short clip of converted VHS video from 1989. Fuzzy focus and grainy video of my old 72 IH Scout and me taking a little spin down the driveway. I don't recall how long it took to upload on dial up internet in those days but it would have been a long while I think. So much faster these days on wireless internet.
I've learned a lot and met some interesting people on the channel.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

53 Merc Door and Drum

Took a break from the floors today and decided to investigate the source of the disturbing grinding noise coming from the back wheels of the car. I was afraid it was from the differential but hoped it might just be in the brake drum. A broken differential would relegate the car back to parts car status. Good used diffs are likely few and far between for a 64 year old car. New repairs likely very expensive.

So its good news and bad news. The good news, the noise was just a loose rivet head inside the brake drum and that differential is just fine. The bad news, the drum was so hard to get off that I cracked a couple of chips out of the flange around the outside of the drum. It won't affect the braking surface and might be "fixable" with JB weld. Also the brake shoes are worn beyond redemption.

I was able to discern the numbers on the diff. Its not the "stump puller" 4.10 ratio. Just the standard 3.90. Seems fairly tight and smooth operating, better than the 52 in fact.

I was also able to fix the left rear door that was originally bolted shut by a previous owner. It just would not stay shut otherwise. I was able to loosen up and adjust the hinges as well as the door catch. Result, the door now opens and shuts as it was meant to.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Working The Floors

Making a little progress replacing the rusted floors on the 53 Merc Not a "how to" video. Just my crude methods of low budget floor patching.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Rust Assessment

Shot some video yesterday showing the worst of the rust on the "new" 53 Merc. There is not much good steel left under the front floor mats. Nothing that I can't patch up though. Not many years ago a car this rusty would have been designated as a "parts car" and stripped down to pieces for other restorers. But as the supply of fifties Mercs dries up even an old sedan like this one is worth keeping intact I think.. No, its not going to be a restoration show car. Just patched up good enough to look good and keep my feet from hitting the ground as I drive. (Assuming I ever get the engine unseized and running.) Really, from the rocker panels up the car is pretty much rust free. Its just 3 years ago that I was working on the same problem on the 52 Merc. In fact it had worse rust than this one. And now its a driver! Amazing what some stove pipe metal and sheet metal screws can do. It gives me hope for this one.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Looking Back At Summer Driving

-18 F here this morning with a wind chill factor in the minus 30s. So I put together a few clips of driving the 52 Merc in the summers of 2015-16. With a little extra help and outside camera views.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Cool Drink On A Cold Day

While the truck was warming up for a quick trip to town on the coldest day of the winter (so far) I ran up to the barn to run some water for the cattle. They seemed to be handling the cold well. Out in the sunshine in the shelter of the trees it was not bad. The cats did not venture out of the barn where they had been holed up for at least a week.

I've picked up several new subscribers to the youtube channel since being mentioned on R Peek's channel. He is an interesting guy that keeps a steady stream of videos uploading to youtube. Messing about with old vehicles, clearing snow, playing banjo, etc. Check him out on youtube sometime.

I shot this with the Gopro on the chest mount harness so I could work hands free.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Almost A Month

Just another entry in the ongoing 53 flathead project. It was a bit of a challenge finding those last two bolts on the oil pan but with a little help from facebook flathead guys I got it done. Other than a few spider webs I found nothing too concerning inside so far. The pan was cleaner than expected. Some old flatheads accumulate a lot of sludge over the years (no pcv) but not so much on this one. No serious rust either. Now a little more soaking with penetrating oil in the cylinders, this time from the inside, and maybe it will break free (without breaking anything else).

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Lifting The Flatty

Its been a while since I removed an engine from a car/truck so at times it was like re-inventing the wheel. Though I 'd have to say it went pretty well so far. No self inflicted injuries or collateral damage to the vehicle. Got the old flathead V8 out of the 53 Merc and hanging on the hoist so I can clean off some of the past 65 years accumulation of baked on oil and dirt. The little three speed manual transmission does not look very heavy as it hangs supported on the steering rod. I think I can lift it out myself if I have to but no hurry on that. It is either very low or completely empty as no oil came out the back when the drive shaft pulled out.
Some video of the operation here for those that are interested in this sort of stuff.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

New Year, New Post

As we are three days into the new year (2018), this will be the first blog post. We have just come out of the approximately ten days of below normal temperatures finally getting above zero farenheit for the first time yesterday. A noticeable improvement. We survived the extreme cold but I had a couple of incidents with frozen water lines needing thawing.
Had the traditional family gathering for supper here on New Year's day. It is the one day of the year when this old house is almost too small but we made it work.

Now that the weather has warmed up I felt inspired to do some serious work on the "new" Merc. Got the seized up flathead almost out of the car but I had to leave it hanging on the hoist as I ran into a little problem and didn't want to work overtime. Seems I forgot to support the front of the transmission or disconnect the speedometer cable. No harm done but I need to find a chain to hang up the front of the transmission before I can push the car away from the hoist. Tomorrow is another day and I have a plan.
Thought I flipped this pic but it appears upside down here. 

Engine hanging on the hoist for now.