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@Lane Anderson - I feel like I'm about 120 some days. Today is one of those days.

I'm kept upright and ambulatory primarily by means of supplements and pharmacology, sheer willpower, and a schoolmarm MD. I'm worth considerably more dead than alive (at least until my life insurance term expires), but my wife assures me that if I die, she'll kill me.

I never had any inkling I'd make it past 30, and am fond of telling myself (and anybody who will listen) that if I'd have had any idea I'd live this long, I might have done things differently.

But I know I probably wouldn't have.

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@MusbJim posted:
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...All this talk about snow-blowers, heavy machinery and farmland injuries reminds me of a time, back to the beginning of this thread, we were talking about convex mirrors!



Jim, like many of our threads, reading through this one has been like working towards a Liberal Arts degree. You spend a lot of time learning a little about a wide variety of unrelated things but, while entertaining, in the end you have nothing useful to show for it.

I do now understand something about antique farm tractors, but probably not enough to drive one. And I'm more confused about threshers and combines than I ever was, growing up in the city.

What surprises me is that no one brought up the difference between concave and convex, or the best way to remember which is which.

That could be the most useful thing I learned in college.

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The next one that popped up was a distant relative of @Michael Pickett, starting a Fordson tractor, which looks a whole lot like a Model T engine.  The reason I think it's a distant relative of Mike's is what he shows us on the opposite side of the engine.  No wonder it started so easily.......

Reminds me of how I modified an early magneto onto the farm's retired 1930 Caterpillar tractor but never did get it to fire up.

BTW.......    What are those rear wheels - Convex or Concave?

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Since we're waaaaay off topic here anyway, I'm gonna ask (probably knowing the answer) what is it about old machines like these that attracts us so much?  They're noisy and inefficient and yet we love 'em, probably for some of the same reasons we love our plastic clown cars - an intimacy with the processes that actually make it go that you just can't find in modern cars.  There's a certain childlike amazement that comes from knowing that your forward progress is due to mixing gas and air and throwing a match in it, causing a continuous sequence of explosions that a bunch of gears, rods, levers, and whatnot convert into motion.  Those tractors are some of the most basic examples of this.  I love it when the local Model-T group shows up at Cars and Coffee, as they're basically tractors with more seats and working suspensions.

Last edited by Lane Anderson

My wife was raised on a farm in NW Illinois. The most fertile soil you'll ever find. Her dad had a feed lot that held about two hundred head of cattle and also raised about 900 head of hog at any given time.

Their 1000 acres provided all the feed for both, plus they grew and sold corn and soy beans.

They had perhaps a dozen vehicles of all vintages, back to the turn of the 20th. century and all but one or two were operable all the time. I was fascinated by them as a city boy. They rigged one old tractor to run backwards. It towed the water tank out to wherever the hog pens were every year. They moved them because the hogs produced all the fertilizer they needed for a given area so each year a different piece of acreage was fertilized for free.

Her brother eventually decided to start a side business and bought the most Rube Goldberg machine you ever saw. Bigger than a 6 by, it was a seed cleaner. Supposedly,  soy beans for replanting did much better if hulls etc. were removed before planting. He started running around that part of the country selling the service to other farmers.

Well this thing had more belts, mostly exposed without safety guards, chains, chutes and plumbing than I've ever seen on a vehicle. You threw the on switch and stepped back. It would work noisely for an hour and a belt would get thrown or a chain would break, or a clog would develop somewhere in the system and then it would take from a half hour to a day to get it back up and running again. It even bagged the beans, if it ran long enough.

Didn't take more than a season or so to decide that the behemoth wasn't going to produce much profit so he sold it off.

That brother was always coming up with dubious, half baked ventures, including a wind farm where there turned out to not be much wind. Proof positive that doing your due diligence and homework might just pay off.

I believe only one farm truck had convex mirrors.

"Jim, like many of our threads, reading through this one has been like working towards a Liberal Arts degree. You spend a lot of time learning a little about a wide variety of unrelated things but, while entertaining, in the end you have nothing useful to show for it." - @Sacto Mitch

Mitch, great description of thread drift on here, or any Internet forum!

Maybe @Theron could streamline the procedure for initiating a new thread by eliminating all the category choices except for "Anything Goes". No need for "Categories" because as a new thread progresses, we'll randomly cover every topic under the sun. While It may take a while to arrive at an answer to a particular "Question" one may have, it probably would take the same time as it currently does to do so.

Either way, it's all still very entertaining and worth whatever money one contributes to maintain this site!

@majorkahuna posted:

I sprang for German convex mirrors sold by SM a few years ago. At the moment they are "out." I bought 3 of them and in all cases the surround seal failed and the glass fell out. They replaced one of them because it was within in a month or so. The others they refused to replace. I try to avoid doing business with them any longer. Greg says he is working on a supplier.

My story is the same as yours. I used the bathroom silicone caulk along with the broken pieces of of the surround plastic to lock the CONVEX mirror into place (see, sometimes I can stay on topic). SM was very responsive the first time. It was just a bad product. I sure hope Greg can find a better one.

@MusbJim posted:

"Jim, like many of our threads, reading through this one has been like working towards a Liberal Arts degree. You spend a lot of time learning a little about a wide variety of unrelated things but, while entertaining, in the end you have nothing useful to show for it." - @Sacto Mitch

Mitch, great description of thread drift on here, or any Internet forum!

Maybe @Theron could streamline the procedure for initiating a new thread by eliminating all the category choices except for "Anything Goes". No need for "Categories" because as a new thread progresses, we'll randomly cover every topic under the sun. While It may take a while to arrive at an answer to a particular "Question" one may have, it probably would take the same time as it currently does to do so.

Either way, it's all still very entertaining and worth whatever money one contributes to maintain this site!

Jim, as I read your thoughts on Mitch's shared wisdom, the image of a million monkeys typing on a million keyboards sprang to mind. We truly can randomly cover every topic under the sun, and I love it.

My wife was raised on a farm in NW Illinois. The most fertile soil you'll ever find. Her dad had a feed lot that held about two hundred head of cattle and also raised about 900 head of hog at any given time.

Their 1000 acres provided all the feed for both, plus they grew and sold corn and soy beans.

They had perhaps a dozen vehicles of all vintages, back to the turn of the 20th. century and all but one or two were operable all the time. I was fascinated by them as a city boy. They rigged one old tractor to run backwards. It towed the water tank out to wherever the hog pens were every year. They moved them because the hogs produced all the fertilizer they needed for a given area so each year a different piece of acreage was fertilized for free.

Her brother eventually decided to start a side business and bought the most Rube Goldberg machine you ever saw. Bigger than a 6 by, it was a seed cleaner. Supposedly,  soy beans for replanting did much better if hulls etc. were removed before planting. He started running around that part of the country selling the service to other farmers.

Well this thing had more belts, mostly exposed without safety guards, chains, chutes and plumbing than I've ever seen on a vehicle. You threw the on switch and stepped back. It would work noisely for an hour and a belt would get thrown or a chain would break, or a clog would develop somewhere in the system and then it would take from a half hour to a day to get it back up and running again. It even bagged the beans, if it ran long enough.

Didn't take more than a season or so to decide that the behemoth wasn't going to produce much profit so he sold it off.

That brother was always coming up with dubious, half baked ventures, including a wind farm where there turned out to not be much wind. Proof positive that doing your due diligence and homework might just pay off.

I believe only one farm truck had convex mirrors.

The last time I saw my Uncle Charley.

He's about to show me the oil in that motor. As you can see from the tank in the front, it’s been converted to run on LPG. He told he the last tine he changed the oil was in the 90’s. It was clean as if he’d just changed it.

That’s in his shed, which is likewise full of mostly running vehicles dating back to the 50’s. I spent a lot of time playing in that shed as a kid. If was a wonderland for a city kid.

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@edsnova, wow, I'd forgotten the RISDIC debacle. Your ex-roomie knocked it out of the park on that one.

So, with all of the mob ties, arm twisting, subtle persuasion and good natured thuggery, do you ever wonder why both you and your ex-housemate both wound up in other cities than Providence? Maybe someone had plans that needed for you to be somewhere else?

Yeah, John and two collaborators won a George Polk Award for that in 1991. For investigative journalists that's probably like #2 to a Pulitzer. I was in Hartford by then, writing about our crooked city manager, who was thereby deposed, before moving on to the county sheriff, who ended up a federal convict. It was an enjoyable time to be a young reporter.

Connecticut, then as now, pretends to be mafia-free. I found that contention dubious, and the myth more dangerous than in neighboring states where the mob's influence was a little more honestly acknowledged.

Same thing in Baltimore City. It was famously deemed to be mob-free about 35 years ago by a literally-blind state investigator (great guy, btw; I got to know him during my time here). But then "organized crime" comes in many forms and flavors, and I'm here to testify, eyes wide open: there's still plenty of it in Mobtown.

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@edsnova posted:
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...Connecticut, then as now, pretends to be mafia-free...

...But then "organized crime" comes in many forms and flavors...

For some of my tenure in New Jersey, I was chief photo dude for a now defunct wire service. Our bureau was right in the State House and I was tasked with following the daily machinations of state government in all of its nuanced complexity.

The people's duly elected representatives and their agents often challenged our more famous card-carrying mafiosi for the boldness and creativity of their criminal exploits.

I remember chasing after the Secretary of State one Friday afternoon as he left his office early for the day. He was reluctant to be photographed, having just been indicted for an elaborate scheme involving kickbacks from construction contractors hired to do work for the state.

At that point though, not many eyebrows shot up, as he was the third consecutive holder of that office to be similarly honored.

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My reporting drove both the public works scandal and the case of Hartford County High Sheriff Al Rioux, the latter of which took four long years to ripen (as I said, when you report the crimes before the feds even start investigating, that's when you're in the groove). I had the great honor of prompting the city's chief of police to sprint away on foot, rather than submit to questions about his officers' side business installing stolen water heaters and such in the homes of certain state senators. And then there was the time the Chief State's Attorney, one John M. Bailey (the namesake son of the late Democratic National Committee Chairman) called me at home on a Sunday morning to yell at me at length to stop writing every week about how he had not yet charged the sheriff.

Told him I certainly intended to as soon as the indictment dropped.

I mean it was good times!

Last edited by edsnova

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