Sunday, October 28, 2012


I talk once in awhile about tailing (also called tailboarding) tanks. That is where two separate lifting machines hook up to the ends of the tanks, lift it from the trailer, gradually stand it without touching the ground, and when the device hooked to the bottom releases, the main device (crane) can swing it over to it's new home and set it.

This is a crane and a skytrack working together. It's a ton of pictures, so they'll be under the fold.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Saga Continues

Bob knows when I'm back, and was waiting for me to haul my stuff in the house.

Proof that yes, I can pet him. Costs me some treats, but I think that will gradually ease off.

Some info on Bob that y'all probably didn't know - he's been Road Pig's outdoor cat for some time. RP and his lovely wife Tracy used to live two houses west from the current abode - they bought a different place and moved. At any rate, Bob and several other cats have been part of their household or outside. Bob is one of their outside cats - he was feral and they tamed him. His sister was and his mother is basically feral, even after trying to civilize 'em. Bob is also "fixed." RP reports that was a severe blow to the cat/human relationship, but Bob finally got over it.

Tracy can actually pick him up and hold him, RP not so much. He does have an endearing trait - when he's happy he sort of barrel rolls and sometimes stays on his back, flailing his legs. RP can tell when he's about to do that - he says Bob sort of leans over in a certain way, then he rolls right over.

RP has been and ever shall be a prankster. One of Alleah's boyfriends was, shall we say, somewhat naive. He and RP were talking outside when Bob came along, and RP started telling the impressionable young man about how he had trained this cat. When Bob started his trademark lean, RP told him to roll over.


So, I have discovered that when I step outside, I'm likely to have a cat out there hoping for a handout, but also really starting to like being petted. Went out a few minutes ago, and there he was. No treats necessary - I could pet him.

He has also shown an interest when I open the front door to go in. He seems to be checking it out, wanting to come in. He has shown an interest in open doors with my pickup - but I'd think he'd probably freak if I shut him in at this stage in our "relationship." At any rate, he'd just be a visitor - the Poor Farm Relocated is not equipped for extended cat stays, If You Know What I Mean And I Think That You Do.

Also, I must be a legend among the local cats now. Several yards away on my last trip outside was a black cat with a partial white face and chest - keep in mind it was completely dark out there - it looked black anyways. He/she was meowing piteously while I rubbed on ol' Bob. It just wasn't fair, it seemed to be saying. Bob was soaking up the attention, being a typical cat. So much the better for him, that this other cat was afraid of me.

Apparently that is my mission in life now, winning over the hearts and minds of the neighborhood cat community.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Mr. Confirmed Internet Addict headed out the door at o dark thirty this morning without his laptop charge cord, it would seem. At least I hope it's at home, if it is not, guess I'll be buying a new one. So, I'm on a three day trip, so y'all probably won't see much outta me unless I do it on my phone. Which I don't care for - smartphones are marvelous things, but In My Humble Opinion, they are just not ready for prime time juuuuuuust yet.

Cya around campus, fellow internet denizens!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


With considerable bribery, I was able to pet Bob today. Just like I figured, my best strategy was to just hang out on Road Pig's office porch with a bit of treats beside me.

I sat and waited. Bob climbed to the top step and the porch, looking down. He stepped down to the ground. He looked all over. Finally, he eased up to the treats, and I was able to pet him. He even leaned into me a bit.

I also embarrassed myself - Road Pig, coming back from running an errand, caught me trying to keep from bawling. Petting Bob just brought back a rush of memories of petting Rooster.

Bob was pretty tickled to see RP, so I left him alone.

Fast forward to this evening. I step out. Bob is in the yard, obviously wanting some treats. I put some where I had in the past, but he was not coming in. No dice. So, I went back inside, knowing I'd still be able to work on him some more.

Then after supper, I stepped out, and he was there again. So, I sat down on the sidewalk, put the treats beside me and waited. Eventually he came, and I petted him for ten or fifteen minutes, even without treats.

No pictures cuz my hands were full and the later events were after dark.

It sure seems like this is about the extent of cat involvement I'm capable of handling just yet.

Monday, October 22, 2012

I'm Workin' On Him

Meet Bob. Bob is my best friend/landlord/office next door's cat. Bob is a city cat, which is very similar to a city dog. City pets are generally very wary of unknown humans like myself, because it's been their bitter experience that the average human is an asshole and is out to f*(k with them in some way, perhaps hurt or maim them. Farm pets are, as a rule, far more trusting and open. This is Bob's home turf - the front porch of the office next door, and this is as close to him as I've been allowed.

Bob knows about me, and is curious, particularly since I've started trying to bribe him with some dried cat treats. He notices when I come home now, and my pickup attracts his attention. When I'm hauling groceries inside and leave the door open because I have more to fetch, often I'll startle Bob and he dives out of the front seat. On a cool day, if I step outside suddenly, he'll dive out of the warm engine compartment.

He has learned his lesson. He is called Bob for the obvious reason, and his love for warm engines was the cause. His sister died from that attraction. But any kind of noise, and he's outta there.

I actually got him to come towards me and the goodies the other day.

This was after much chirring and purring calls on my part and a his answering meows. I'm for thinking my best strategy is to go to the office porch and just sit on the steps with the food at my feet.

I enjoy challenges like this - it really bothers me that this cat (and so many other domesticated animals) don't trust humans and that there are far too many assholes out there. I want to show this cat it ain't always so.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Been Pretty Busy

And purty tahrd at the end of the day, so posting went right outta der winder.

Went on a trip to Ohio this week and didn't start until Tuesday. Eight of us went to a little burg just southeast of Springfield.

This is half the crew parked at Kingdom City, MO the first evening. The other half was across the street at a truck stop - they all slept in their sleepers. Guess that's why they lug 'em around, eh?

The leaves were certainly changing.

These were all taken eastbound on I70 in Illinois. The bugs on the windshield were from Kansas and Missouri.

Leaving Ohio on westbound I70.

Somewhere west of Indy on I70 - when we weren't stopped for traffic jams in the road construction. We even got to stop and trickle by a state trooper parked facing traffic in the left lane about ten or so miles from the next construction site. I suppose he was out there cutting back on the traffic that would end up getting jammed up in the construction area. This is where a GPS with traffic updates would be handy. One of our compadres behind us caught wind of the jam and went around it on US 40 to the north. We were familiar with it since that was how the State of Indiana had us routed since we were wider than their eleven foot limit on I70. Oh well, just that much later to bed that night.

What one can see of Ft. Riley, home of the Big Red 1, from I70. The top picture shows a bunch of Chinook choppers, and the last has a bunch of their stockpiled equipment both in sand and green colors. This place has really grown - back when I went to K-State, there were nowhere near the buildings there - nor the apartment complexes on to the west, or the businesses and so on.

And I was a moron and missed this picture, so I ripped it off the web.

Pic from here:
And just to give y'all an idea of how flat Kansas is in the Flint Hills:

Photo from here:
Oh, wait, that actually shows a hill or two! Truly, only parts of western Kansas are notably flat. Most areas have a few rolling hills - perhaps with hills not so high nor valleys so deep as other places, but hills nonetheless!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Stay Myopic, NYT!

As Massachusetts Governor, Romney Was Often Away

BOSTON — When the ceiling collapsed in the Big Dig tunnel here, Gov. Mitt Romney was at his vacation home in New Hampshire. When the Bush administration warned that the nation was at high risk of a terror attack in December 2003, he was at his Utah retreat. And for much of the time the legislature was negotiating changes to his landmark health care bill, he was on the road.

And so the vaunted New York Times examines just how derelict Governor Romney was as governor of Massechusetts.

I'm sure Mitt was gone when they say he was.

But excuse me, just what in the wide wide world of sports has our current President been doing for the past year or so? Besides all the vacations, golfing, and so on. Where is the equal and fair outrage?

Some of the liberal press have noticed that Teh Won really slipped in the first debate with Mitt. The Times, though, still has him walking on water.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Works for Me

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Lots of pink stuff - NASCAR painting their curbs pink, pink cars and drivers in pink driving suits, among other shows of support for the Susan B. Komen Foundation. Is this legit or someone trying to cash in, hoping to set some breasts free for his/ her enjoyment?

Well, you know me - always in favor of keeping our Nation's supply of boobies safe. I'm so easy I'm sleazy.


All joking aside, ladies: Take care of your assets. You know the drill. If I can suffer through a doctor probing where no man has gone before to check the ol' bowels and prostate for the big "C," you can get yer boobies mashed in a machine to make sure you don't have it, either.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Nope, Won't Work

Man, it seems like this blog has been besieged with spam lately. Fifty or sixty spam comments are usually waiting in the ol' folder after twenty four hours. I don't think Feedjit or Site Meter are tracking them, but they do show up on TraceMyIP. Most are just the generic blast a bunch of drug names and a link, presumably where I can get fleeced thinking I'll be able to buy Ambien. Or maybe I'll really be buying Abmien or however they misspell it. Wonder what it does...

This kind of comment always makes me laugh:
You have made some good points there. I checked on the net for more info about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site. Here is my web page : pall mall cigarette
Oh yeah, butter me up with sweet talk, and slip that link in there. Only you forgot the link. And it ain't workin.' All the hard work your bot did is getting flushed.

Ha ha, mother*&^%r.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Check This Out!

From GunsAmerica
I seem to be on an expensive toy kick lately. Like my Daddy used to say, champagne taste on a beer budget. While this may look like a Browning BAR, it is actually the Colt Monitor variant.

This puppy is in 7.62 Argentine and the asking price is $18,000. Some years ago, my local Merchant of Death and I ordered a couple BAR semi auto clones in 30.06, expecting the order to be processed within several months. Well over a year later, we got notice that they were ready to ship, but I was out of bucks. Just as well, I'd have ended up selling it later as I did so many other toys that go bang. I'd still like to shoot one, though. My MOD has his hanging in his gun shop looking ever so fine.

Would I buy this gun for $18k? Probably not - that kind of money can purchase a lot of expensive toys that would be of more value to me. I'm not that obsessive when it comes to collecting - I'd be afraid to shoot it in case it broke and devalued. I've had wall hangers before (John Wayne Winchester, anyone?), and got rid of 'em because I want things that go bang rather than just look at.

Still, cool meter is off the max peg.

I've Seen The Battle, and I've Seen The War

That would be some of the lyrics from Devil's Waiting by the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Until this song was used in the season finale of season two of Hell on Wheels - I'd never heard of 'em. Shows what I know, I guess. Really, really like this haunting tune.

Here is a "live" version:


If you want to hear the album version, which is the one used in the finale, go here.

And finally, this is the last minutes of the season finale, where the song was used:


I'm not too sure this video will last - I'd bet AMC has it pulled. You can watch the episodes online - but that is mostly to rub it in Dish's face, because of the ongoing dispute they are having over programming pricing. AMC is "generously" allowing the shows to be seen so Dish customers can watch, too.

At any rate, just to explain (what I'm saying will be Greek to anyone who hasn't seen any episodes) - The Swede killed Lily, who by now is Cullen's squeeze. As you can see, the Swede wasn't shown dead, so my money is on him coming back next season. Great villain. Durant is in custody for fraud, Mr. Toole shot himself so now Eva is "free" to hook back up with Elam, who is the father of her unborn child. The encampment is destroyed and the population pretty well killed off. The Sioux won their battle, but at a severe cost. The episode was called "Blood Moon" and it was appropriately named. Things got mighty bloody.

If you have not seen any episodes, I highly recommend trying to catch some repeats or rent 'em. They're on iTunes and other similar sites, and Netflix has 'em as well. If you are close to me, I've even got season one on DVD as well. The series is very well written with some completely unexpected plot twists, and the acting is superb. The attention to detail seems authentic to the time period to me - the clothes, the tech, the language all seem authentic. It's good stuff.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Be Still, My Beating Heart!

Pic by Darin Schnabel/RM Auctions via the NYT
This fine example of American auto engineering from the early days of the car is up for auction. The backstory on this puppy was that it was the winner in a famous (for it's day) race with this car, a 1928 Mercedes-Benz S 26/180 Boattail Speedster:
Madness at Muroc references a duel in 1932 between a 1928 Mercedes-Benz S 26/180 Boattail Speedster and a 1931 Duesenberg Model J Phaeton, run at Muroc Dry Lake in Southern California, for a purse that by current conversions would equate to roughly $425,000. The Mercedes, missing for decades and recently discovered, was sold at auction in 2010 for $3.74 million.
Zeppo and Chico Marx, of the Marx Brothers comedy act, had to pool their resources to buy the cream-color, Murphy-bodied Mercedes-Benz S. It probably cost a bit less than the Duesenberg, but it was nearly as rare and revered by sportsmen; Model S cars had been raced with unparalleled success in Europe by Rudolf Caracciola.
The brothers challenged Phil Berg, a Hollywood agent who owned the Duesenberg, to a winner-take-all match race for $25,000, essentially the value of each car. This was during the Great Depression, and the prize money represented a staggering sum. Busloads of news crews and Hollywood glitterati came to the high desert for the big race.

Griffith Borgeson, the motorsports historian, described the event as “sort of an automotive gunfight at the O.K. Corral, a showdown between two of the biggest, baddest glamour wagons of all time.”

Berg had hired a ringer to drive his Duesenberg: Eddie Miller, a veteran of the Indianapolis 500. The heavy, LeBaron-bodied phaeton was stripped to racing trim, losing fenders, bumpers, running boards, headlights, top, trunk, windshield and any other extraneous equipment. Miller also tuned the 8-cylinder, 265-horsepower engine to racing specifications.

The Marx team hired Joe Reindl, a Mercedes specialist based in Hollywood, to drive for them. The brothers also ordered the car’s fenders and other equipment removed.

At 6:30 a.m., on the day of the race, the two cars lined up on a circular track at Muroc, a portion of which is now on Edwards Air Force Base. At the green flag, the Mercedes sprinted into the early lead. But Miller built up speed gradually and passed Reindl in minutes. It might be tempting to say Miller never looked back, but he did.

“As I came by the pole, where the people were waving and cheering, I looked back but could see no sign of my competition, swallowed up somewhere in my dust cloud,” he told interviews afterward. Miller estimated he was traveling at 108 miles per hour, “really pouring on the coals.”

“We had the muffler off, of course, and you can believe that that thing roared,” he added. “They must have heard it in Barstow.”

Despite great expectations, it was not a great race. The Mercedes slowed with mechanical trouble, and the Duesenberg cruised to an easy payday.
Well, even if it was a bad race, it still would have been very, very cool to see.

I have, for some reason, a particular passion for Duesenbergs. The long hood, the custom coachwork, and the immense amount of power. Sure, Cadillac had a V-16, but it wasn't supercharged, as some Duesy models, commonly referred to as SJs, were. The Duesy straight 8 was capable of 400hp, during the time when the ubiquitous Model T ran about 20hp. Some critics said it was the most expensive truck ever made for it's day, and there is truth to that. Before power steering, before power brakes,before syncromesh trannies, on skinny tires and primitive leaf suspensions - it was basically a truck. In fact, many old Dueseys were cut up and made into haulers after the bottom fell out of their value.

But so were all the other big cars of the day, so they weren't alone. And the styling - the various custom made bodies are just breathtaking. The luxury and excessive opulence they represented was very much over the top. And that long hood with a low cabin? How many cars have been chopped and channelled to get that "look" over the years? How many long hooded conventional trucks been sold, and dolled up to look lower? It's a primal design that still appeals.

I've only seen some in person twice - both at the Imperial Palace's Car Collection in Vegas. I went to Vegas twice, both times I made it a point to go here. I don't know if they still have it, because their current website says nothing about it, but they had a Duesenberg Room with ten or fifteen Dueseys in it. They also had a bar that had been salvaged from Front Street in Dodge City in the sixties. DC went through and urban renewal phase where they tore out most of the original downtown, including some landmark bars from the rowdy days. This bar was from one of them.

While that was cool too, that ain't why I was there. I got yelled at for leaning on the velvet rope too far to get a better angle at my favorite - a maroon French bodied sedan with no running boards, and no side mounted spares. They were mounted at the rear. It was also right hand drive.

Without those running boards, it was a very sleek looking car - very different than all the "standard" Murphy bodied cars that surrounded it. Of course, all those pics are gone now, just realized that while writing this....

I'd die a happy man if Jay Leno gave me a ride in one of his Dueseys and gave 'er hell.

Whew! Close Call!

From USA Today

Stunning Plymouth Barracuda droptop saved from junkers

Talk about rising from the grave: One of the cars expected to fetch big money at Barrett-Jackson's Scottsdale auction in January will be a 1971 Plymouth Barracuda that had been abandoned, covered in weeds and just days from being shredded at the scrappers.

This particular 'Cuda convertible was one of only 11 made, painted in that famous "Plum Crazy" purple. It has been restored and was part of Barrett-Jackson's own display in Scottsdale.

A "Hemi 'Cuda hunter," Harold Sullivan, is the one who found it neglected on New Year's Eve in 2001, five days before it was headed to a scrapyard, Barrett-Jackson says. It underwent a two-year restoration. It has a 426-cubic-inch Hemi V-8 with two four-barrel carburetors, an automatic transmission and was the only model year that Barracudas had four headlights and fender gills.

"It is a true automotive milestone and extraordinary example of 'American Muscle' at its finest," said Craig Jackson, CEO of Barrett-Jackson.
I'd love to drive this baby, fer sure. Too bad I'd have to be some kind of multi millionaire to afford it!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

You Can Take Me From The Farm

But you'll never get the farm outta this fat farm boy.

And us fat farm boys kinda like what lots think is way outta the mainstream, like organ meats, for instance.

Yep, this is liver and onions, only with mushrooms and a little bit of green bell pepper.

Normally I like to cut the liver in strips, but I was lazy tonight. I dredged the slices in some flour with some garlic powder and black pepper mixed in, and dropped them into hot oil. I kept a close watch, because overcooking will make this stuff tougher than boiled owl. In fact, I just browned the second side enough to fix the flour in place, more or less. I then added about a half large yellow onion, the tip of a green bell pepper, and a handful of mushrooms. I prefer some sort of red wine or cooking sherry for a sauce, but all I had was a Bock beer. I poured the whole bottle in, and mixed in some beef bouillon granules and more black pepper. I also turned the heat way down and put a lid on it to simmer.

It was a little thin, so I mixed up a bit of flour and cold water in a coffee cup and tossed that in. Thickened nicely.

Turned out really tender, so I did it right. I was kinda wondering how the beer would work - I think I like wine better as it makes the dish taste "richer" if that makes any sense. It seems to have a more complex flavor - maybe that is a better way of describing using wine.

But, hey, it worked out fine. Some brussel sprouts with butter and ReaLemon on the side - yum! I didn't get to involved with side dishes because trying to cook that while keeping track of how tough the liver can get just don't mix well for me. Normally good at multitasking in the kitchen - but you gotta be on your toes with this stuff.


Waiting for the crane operators to show up yesterday morning. Snow. And that temp is actually a tad high, since the sensor is located under the hood. You know, where that 550hp heat pump is.

I detest snow.

I hate the cold. I hate driving through it, when I'm empty. I hate how my wipers freeze up and I have to stop to clean them and the windshield off every half hour or so. I hate chaining up. I hate that I have to be parked when I'm loaded due to laws for adverse weather conditions for oversized loads. I hate when I have to work out in it, and how wet I get in a big hurry. I hate how I have to have two or three pairs of gloves so when one pair gets so wet my hands are freezing, I at least have another ready to go. I hate how long it takes those gloves to dry out, and how crusty and nasty they are when they do. I hate how slippery everything is and how unsafe the working conditions become during a snowstorm - the tanks are slippery, the cardboard we use for cushioning and to protect the paint from our straps gets wet and sloppy, ladders like to slip, walking on the trailer decks is unsafe, and the hydraulics on the crane don't like the cold so much, either.

Did I mention that I detest snow?

I like it fine when I'm sitting at home, warm in my recliner in front of the tv, with no danger of losing power or the internet (which is a concern during a blizzard), and a well stocked fridge and pantry. I'm never home like that, though.

And, while I'm cranky, I tried to post this picture on this blog yesterday from that site, but Android's browser isn't up to Windows standards yet. If you are familiar with Blogger, you know what your posting toolbar looks like - where you can choose your fonts, the size, the color, some common HTML stuff like italics, bolding and underlining, for instance. That is also where you can upload movies, pictures, make hyperlinks, put in folds, and some other goodies. The Droid browser only allows you to use the hyperlink function - anywhere you click on the toolbar brings up the hyperlink popup box. No matter what button you push.

So, I downloaded Firefox - figured I'd give it a try.

When I got to the same stage, it informed me I had to download a Google + plugin and I'd have to upload my pics to there to make it work. About that time the cell signal went from three 3G bars to one or two 2G bars, which was simply not working.

So, as far as I'm concerned, the internet on phones still has a ways to go yet. It's a lot better than when I had my Blackberry, but it still needs improvement in a lot of areas.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

She's Pretty Scared

And rightly so.

Tamara Keel, the proprietress of View From the Porch, may or may not be suffering from skin cancer.

You may (or may not, which is why I mention this) remember she is pretty big in the Second Amendment blogger community, and when she linked my troubles after the fire at the farm, I received a chunk of money from donations thanks to the traffic she sent to my blog. She even made a donation.

I am forever in her (and her roomie's, and other bloggers, and my friends at home, relatives, and people I've never met) debt. Which is why I am asking y'all who may not know her to at least give her some words of encouragement or promise of prayer, or whatever. She has no health insurance, so a donation to her PayPal link would also be apropos.

As for me, I've got to wait until my electronically deposited paycheck clears sometime tomorrow morning before I will be able to do a damn thing. I will then make a deposit for sure.

Paying it forward is more than just a concept - it requires input beyond just talking. As far as I'm concerned, she is an excellent example of someone who deserves having some of the karma she has sent out returned.

So I ask of you to do what you can.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

I Seen It!

At the motel in Faith, SD - guarding the ice machine. When they don't want you to take more than your fair share, they get serious 'round hyar!

This is a decidedly different style pump jack. An enclosed vertical roller system raises and lowers that wide flat belt seen at the top, with the drill stem hooked to it. It's supposed to be a more efficient design, I guess. I can't remember what it's called, either. To the left is a conventional pump jack - some up here are a modified form of that style with a scissors action.

This is where bee barf comes from.

I know I've got a better view of the bugs on the windshield than that truck ahead, but there are several serious safety violations going on there. Try to see what they are, answers under the fold.

Monday, October 01, 2012

To Everything There Is A Season


 I've been hearing this song in my head all day long. Guess why?

The leaves are changing in the North country - I first noticed it between Oberlin KS and McCook, NE on US83. These two pics were taken on the bridge over the Niobrara River just south of Valentine, NE. This particular basin is a sportsman's paradise - hunting and fishing are very good here, they say. Plus, it's purty as all get out.

These pics were taken in a little valley just south of White River, SD in a reservation area.

If you look closely, there are the remains of a foundation. Supposedly, that was a bar (upstairs) and a cathouse (downstairs) until the day all the local wimminfolk got PO's and burned it to the ground. This allegedly happened in the sixties - not so long ago.

I am NOT looking forward to winter, nor coming up thisaway during that time. It is, however, lookin' good in the fall duds.