Project Appleseed Illinois event at Sparta, IL on 19 April 2014.  At 3 PM there was a volley by all shooters to honor those American Patriots who died on April 19, 1775, the day the American Revolution began.  Find out more about Project Appleseed by clicking this link.


April 19 1775. 237 years ago today ordinary citizens decided to stand their ground and resist the oppression of the British Crown. Before the day was over men on both sides would die but the birth of a nation had began. Our Freedoms and Liberties began today with the blood of men who stood their ground and has been taken away ever since by the words and deeds of politicians who have trampled on that ground.

Men like Isaac Davis, Paul Revere, Samuel Prescott, Samuel Whittemore, Hezekiah Wymann, John Parker and Joseph Warren to name a few made history by standing up to the worlds strongest army.  Dont let their work, their lives and their sacrifice go unrecognized today.  Read about your history and where your freedoms came from.

Get off the couch folks and continue to fight to keep your freedoms that these brave men gave you.  If your not voting, if your not engaged in the political process, if your not speaking out against the injustices that our politicians bring on us then your not keeping up the fight for freedom those brave men started 237 years ago today.


Took Friday off, it ended up raining anyway, and went over to St Louis to the NRA convention.  This is the first convention I have been to. I thought as a new life member I should take it in.  I have to say its the equivalent of the Louisville Farm Show for guns……just LOTS and lots to see and none of it work related.

First off I must apologize for the quality of the photos.  I used my phone because I didn’t want to take my camera and have an extra device to keep track of.  That was a mistake.  First, my phone camera had dust on the lenses from planting on Thursday and second, my battery died about half way through the day.  There were so many thing I wanted to take pictures of that I just couldn’t after the phone died.  Oh well.

So squint a little bit and maybe the pictures will be in focus……….

First I got to meet Frank W. James.  Frank is a now retired farmer and gun writer from northern Indiana.  His blog is one that I frequent pretty much daily and the link to it is here.  Great talking with Frank and making the introduction.

I hit the Rock River booth, makers of AR platforms and my favorate AR platform for a visit and fondling of the new products.

I also hit the Smith and Wesson booth and got to fondle the new (or new to me) M&P .22 pistol.  I am really leaning towards one of these if I can’t get my hands on a Tactical Solutions .22 conversion for my Glock.  I visited with the fine folks at Tactical Solutions on the Glock conversion and got to fondle it as well and I like it.  Trouble it no one has one to sell………….??  Back orders.

A quick stop by the Glock booth to see the Glock 20 10mm hand cannon and I got to see R Lee Ermey or “Gunny”.  The line was long for an autograph and picture so I snuck this one just before my camera went dead.

I grabbed this qucik picture of Ronnie Barrett designer of the infamous Barrett 50 cal rifle just as my phone went dead.

As withe Louisville Farm Show, you can’t see it all in one day or in one sitting.  Plus there are all the “special events” going on at each booth its hard to make it to them all as well.  I got to see bits and pieces of Tom Knaff talking, the boys from Shooting USA talk and sign stuff, Maj John Plaster and the those guys from that swamp people show.  But then again I didn’t get to spend a great deal of time at any one place to see exactly what they were saying or doing either.

All that being said, I enjoyed my first NRA convention thoroughly.  Well worth the worn out back and feet at the end of the day………I will be going back to another on real soon.


When I went to bed last night I remember thinking about all the work I would get done today with one more day of dry weather before the monsoons set in again.  Well at 5 am or so when I rolled over I heard water running and hoped it was the toilet, but it was rain.  We now had a 100% chance of rain and not 20% when I went to bed.

It’s been hard trying to switch to plan B today.

When I grow up I want to be a weather man………


I saw on TV this morning that we have lost another drone aircraft to mechanical malfunction somewhere in the middle east.  Not the one that Iran has, but another one.  Great.  Lets see just how fast we can give away our secrets to the rest of the world.  In my limited reading on the topic they say that the planes are to look for a safe place to land in the event they lose contact with their handlers.  This enables the plane to be recovered.


What genius with a top secret clearance figured that one out?  Your flying a secret plane with secret technology over a hostile battle field or enemy territory and you want to be able to recover the plane.  How about the thing blowing up so the Chinese or Taliban or whomever our enemy of the week is, doesn’t back-engineer it and use it against us?

The funniest thing was that President Obama confirmed that Iran had the first one yesterday, just three days after Iran showed it on TV.   He is a bit slow being from Chicago and such…….yet he and our Government say that they didn’t get anything.  

Well, to me it looks like they got a lot and I am willing to bet that our defense guys are on full damage control right now.  


Here’s a free tip to you Mr President and your staff from a farm boy:  Its call the information age.  News, pictures, video and rumors travel at the speed of light around the world.  If they are showing pictures of it on TV then I think we are all pretty sure they “got one” and we didn’t need you to “confirm” it.

If you all are that slow on a captured plane then that explains your lethargic approach and attitude towards the economy.

I read a story four or five years ago on a message board or magazine somewhere, I can’t remember where, about a guy who picked up every piece of spent brass (the fired brass cartridge casing) he would find.  The story was several pages long and it was funny as it could be, mainly because minus a detail or two, it sounded like me to a great extent.

He talked about picking up brass that his buddies left at the range, at the side of the road, at the bend in the road, that shooting spot in the middle of nowhere or wherever he saw it lying and no one claimed it.  The story also included a funny bit about finding a guy living in a house trailer in the middle of nowhere that had several oil drum barrels of spent .308 or .30-06 and how he tried to trade him out of it and ended up with one drum full.  He then later went back to try to trade or buy the rest of it and to his amazement the man, trailer and everything was gone from the property except the mail box.

I can’t recall a lot of the details of the story other than those, but I remember it was titled “Confessions of a Brass Hound” or “Hoarder” or “Hunter” or something like that.  It was funny.

I think everyone who shoots, picks up brass.  We can’t help it.  We either know someone who reloads and would want it or we reload and want it.  Even the calibers we don’t shoot we will pick up because we “might get a gun that would shoot it” in the future and we would already be a leg-up on components, saving us big bucks!  (Insert smiley face here)

About the time I read the article, I was working down in the southeastern part of the state in some “backroad” places and would be driving down some rock roads and find places where folks had be shooting into a creek bank or off a bridge or whatever, and I would stop and there would be brass everywhere.  I would get out and pickup .38, .45, 9mm, .357, .223, .22-550 and even the occasional .270 or .30-06.  I got to where I even made a loop over to the roads or bridges where I knew there was a good chance to find more brass since my last visit there if I was in the neighborhood.  Some days I would have a plastic grocery sack full of brass.

Needless to say it began to accumulate that summer.  I didn’t have a -06 or .270 or .45 so when I got “enough” I would sell it or trade it at the local gun shops for some components or .22 rim fire.  Everyone wanted brass.  It was worth a pretty penny and worth even more if I ran it through my tumbler before I tried to peddle it.  The other calibers I would keep because I either reloaded those or thought “I might get one” in the near future. Again it accumulated and those calibers that I “never did get” I would sell or trade off when the notion hit me.

Fast forward to this past week.

A buddy of mine got a .308 the other day and wanted to know if I had any brass.  I think he already knew the answer.  I had some “just in case”.  He wanted me to price it to him and after much consideration I did.  He said he would have to think about it.

Then he said no he would pass.

I couldn’t imagine that I had priced it too high, so on one of the days when I was out an about I stopped by a gun shop and was asking about reloading and brass and the guy behind the counter said he was interested in buying brass so I told him I had some .308.   What he said next shocked me.

“Not interested”.


I guess I must have turned white or something and he followed up quickly that “.308 shooters are not reloading these days” and that “they don’t want reloads or reloading components”.

.308 shooters in this area are not interested in shooting reloads or reloading?

I guess I just find that hard to believe but apparently it is true.  At least here “locally” the brass market for big calibers is dead.  I can’t imagine that they are not picking up their brass.  I can’t imagine that the economy is such that shooters are not considering reloading or stocking up on components.    Pistol brass is still a commodity.  .223 brass is a commodity.  But big caliber brass is dead.

I think if I get the chance I will make a loop one of these days back down to those back roads and bridges and see what people are shooting, if anything, by what brass is laying around.  And I will keep picking up brass because someone will want it or I will need it “just in case” despite what .308 shooters are doing here locally.

Monday night and Wednesday nights are my two nights of TV so to speak.  In other words if I want to watch TV anymore, its on these two night because its “gun” night those two nights on Sportsman and Outdoor channels.

I have to admit that “Wednesday Night at the Range” on Outdoor channel is my favorite of the two nights and has my new favorite show “Midways USA’s Gun Stories”.  I really have been enjoying this show.  The production quality is excellent with the use of slow motion capturing the operation of the firearms, the host Joe Mantegna adds not only some class but the acting helps with the presentation of the topics and the experts that are interviewed add many different angles and perspectives to the gun or topic being discussed.

Really the show is, in my opinion, a significant step up in gun/hunting/outdoor show presentation and quality.  Matter of fact, it makes a few of the other shows on these channels look pretty amateurish.  That’s not a put down but just a statement on how much of a leap this show makes in production quality.

To be fair some of the other shows on these two nights are a presentation of technical issues, some are of competitions and some are instructional.  The type of production in Gun Stories would not lend its self well to these shows.  However I think that in the end that Gun Stories will only help to elevate the quality of the other shows.  That makes us that watch gun TV winners in the end.

I also really enjoy Shooting USA which has a very high production quality as well and has a good mix to topics from one week to the next.  I remember watching Shooting USA on the TNN network on Sundays after church many, many years ago now and thought at the time how well it was produced and shot.  Two other shows I enjoy are Guns and Ammo TV and Gallery of Guns.  The other shows are done well but depending on the topic of the night either hold or dont hold my attention long.

One show I miss is Tactical Impact.  Dont know what happened to it but its gone.  I like it better than Tactical Arms and so far thought it was better than the new Tac TV.  To be fair to Tac TV I have not got to see it very regularly but again there was something about the production quality and flow of Tactical Impact that I really liked.


I seems that we are bombarded with experts at every turn anymore.  If there is no one to serve as an expert, someone seems to always self appoint themselves.  In some cases there are gatherings of experts walking all over each other trying to get to the top of the expert pile.  Most of these folks while possibly well meaning or even good hearted generally have no clue what the heck they are talking about or they come across so absorbed in their own self promotion that they are not tolerable.

Case in point #1:  I got a notice that a person to whom I have a very casual knowledge of had passed away.  Upon following a link to read what happened I found a gaggle of experts on a discussion board that not only knew what happened to him and how it happened, but his life story in many details.  The kicker is that the 4 or 5 pages of comments were dominated by three or four people who were telling all the other people they were wrong.  The funniest post was were one person commented on the deceased’s connection with Illinois, to whom the lead expert on this fellow admitted he didn’t know he had any ties to Illinois then wanted proof that the commentator knew what he was talking about.  Funny to me but I can just imagine how sad it might have been for any of the family members who might have happened upon this mess.  I do know the “one”  head expert mentioned above in this discussion, he is an expert on everything he talks about, just ask him.  He is one of the skid-marks in the underwear of life that we, regrettably, cant dispatch in a burlap bag with a concrete block  tied to it over a bridge into the river.

Case in point #2:  While I was trying to find some ballistic information online I came across a discussion on how the .17HMR was not suitable as a coyote round and would not kill anything bigger than a prairie dog.  Having dispatched coyotes, at range, with my .17HMR I thought that I must hurry out into the fields and tell these coyotes go get up and run along, despite the smell and decay, as they must be mistaken that I had killed them.  The expert was using all kinds of “math” and “physics” to show that the .17 lacked the punch and power to take a dog down beyond 50 yards etc so forth at nausea.  Despite testimonials and the comments of a real hunting expert (a person acknowledged as knowing what he was talking about), this fellow held to his guns that you needed a big gun to kill coyotes at range.  Maybe coyotes in Ohio wear bullet proof vest or their fur is like Kevlar due to difference in their winters or something.  Despite this expert, I still dispatch ole wile coyote with a .17HMR at every opportunity.

Case in point #3.  I have been bombarded with propaganda to attend a farmer/consultant field day on growing corn and soybeans like a “high yield expert”.  I do attend field days, when there is something to learn or there is a topic of interest.  Its just part of the learning and educational process that farmers must go through if they are going to compete and stay profitable.  That being said this particular field day is a big JOKE.  Its put on by a couple of self promoted and self proclaimed experts whom I wouldn’t let on my farm.  One half of this Abbot and Costello team I have know and been some what acquainted with for over 10 years through a friend.  They are only about the sale and what they are selling today is better than what they sold yesterday.  Did I say this was a joke already?  What do they know?  NOTHING.  Most of what they are going to present is either stolen from universities, picked from other companies with similar products or services and other field days or is not proven with independent non biased research and is only being used to end up selling a couple of products that they get kick back for.  Yet, with no industry certifications or qualifications, they have set themselves up as experts, and got the backing of people who should know better,  on growing high yield crops and are fleecing attendees for big money when its all said and done.

Case in point #4.  The University of Illinois Extension.  A complete Chinese fire drill of experts who have never “been there or done that” trying to tell the world how much they know about the real world.  Nuff said there.

Yes, I have had my fill of experts this year already.  That is why I wont be going to any more field days, conferences or meetings other than a very select few for the remainder of the year.  That is also why I have assigned junk and spam status to a lot of emails from experts and why I have erased several talk and discussion boards from my internet favorates.

The result of riding myself of so many experts is that my blood pressure is much lower lately.

Trust me, I know what I am talking about…………..


While on the topic of food from yesterday………

Leave it to the military to come up with a specification for brownies and cookies.  Yep I kid you not:   MIL-C-44072C (W/ CHANGE 1), MILITARY SPECIFICATION: COOKIES, OATMEAL; AND BROWNIES; COCOLATE COVERED (12 FEB 2003)., This specification covers chocolate covered oatmeal cookies and chocolate covered brownies inflexible bags for use by the Department of Defense as a component of operational rations.

If you want to read the whole thing, you can down load it here:  EverySpec  I am not sure why you would want to download it unless you like reading military manuals written in quasi legal and clinical talk. 

Kind of takes the fun right out of a good old fashioned brownie doesn’t it…………….


This is a rather long video, but shows the extent that our military is going to train our troops for operations in the Middle East.  Glad I found this and got to see it.  I think the men and the video speak for themselves.

One of the things I am trying to do in my free time at night is transcribe my Great Grandpas diary from World War I. I have scanned it to preserve it and this also allows me to blow it up on the screen to better read it. The diary is very fragile and also faded in some places and hard to read. It also takes a bit to get use to his writing style.

As I noted before in another post, Grandpa was in the Calvary. This helps to explain a lot of the notes in the diary having to do with school in American and French harnesses for hauling equipment on horses and mules. Harness is often referred to as “H” in his entries.

But still yet there is his abbreviations and spellings that don’t make any sense until you either read them several times or just give up knowing that only he will know what they meant. We can guess or infer, but in some cases they make no sense at all to me.

Here is some entries from November 1918. The Armistice was signed on the 11th of November.

Nov 9. School under Corporal from Lex KY on A H. On guard duty in Bonneau. (KR note: AH=American Harness)

Nov 10. Came off guard at Bonneau. Davis and Brown OW for leggings + Kiaser abtco drop out. (KR note: 1. OW ?  unknown meaning to me. 2. abtco =about?)

Nov 11. Monday, School in French Harness, Armistice Signed 5.40 and hostilities ceased. 11 mil D + 11 H (KR note: H = hurt?)

Nov 12.Tuesday School in French Harness

Nov 13.Wed. School again in Amer & French H, Payday 82.50 (KR note:  Payday 82.50 circled with heavy line)

Nov 14.Read letter from home + school

Just a taste of the past, more to come as I get the whole thing done.

This belonged to my Great-Grandpa Evan Neal, presumably from when he was in the Army in 1918.  I scanned it front and back and then merged them together.  There is no date on the Military Script, so I can only assume its age based on when he was in the Army in World War I. 

My Grandma Betty, Evans daughter, gave this to me yesterday along with some other stuff, including his diary from when he was in the war.  I am hoping to scan it in the next day or so to preserve it.  It is very fragile.  Then I will transcribe it into a text file for easier reading.

Here is a picture of Grandpa Neal from April 30, 1918 at Camp Zachary Taylor in Louisville, KY.  He is the fourth one standing from the right.  I have this picture framed in my office above my desk.  It is a beautiful picture, the old sepia colors, about 30 inches long and 8 inches tall. 

Once I get some of the diary scanned and transcribed, I will post it as well.

Say what? Yep that’s right, US Navy SEALs, three to be exact are going to be court-martialed for punching an Iraqi who was one of the most wanted terrorists in connection with death of 4 Blackwater contractors in Iraq in 2004.

The four contractors were burned and hanged from a bridge in Fallajuh. Pictures were broadcast around the world and the mastermind of the incident, oh who really cares about his name, became one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq.

So let me get this straight: We spend lots of money to find, train and develop the best special operations fighting soldiers in the world, send them off on special, secret, classified missions that no one knows about, behind enemy lines to capture, kill or destroy targets that are a threat to America, Americans or American security. And we teach them to use weapons, explosives and things that most people don’t even know exist to get the job done. We teach them to win, to accomplish the mission and protect us. Is this all correct?

And now some do-gooder is worried about prisoner abuse has their panties in a big bunch and wants to court-martial three SEALs because some terrorist got a bloody nose while being captured? GET &^%$#%*& REAL PEOPLE!!! HE WAS A TERRORIST! ONE OF THE BAD GUYS, YOU KNOW THE PEOPLE WERE FIGHTING? PULL YOUR HEADS OUT OF YOU SPHINCTER AND BREATH SOME OXYGEN!

Note to SEALs: Next time you capture a most wanted terrorist, shoot the SOB in the head, dump him in the ditch and tell them you couldn’t find him.

Spent the weekend at Scott AFB attending a ICS 300 class.

While I am wiped out from the intense nature of the class, I passed the exam and am now “compliant” with all the CAP rigamarow check boxes to be a Communications Unit Leader. Or something like that.

I must say that I have heard horror stories of ICS 300 and 400. That was not the case here as our instructors were first class all the way. They brought real world examples into the class that make it understandable. That helped a bunch.

I did learn a little about fire department lingo that I didn’t know, nor will probably ever use, but that is besides the point.

Well done to the instructors and thanks to the Air Guard at Fire Station #3 for their hosting us “civilians” in their house and treating us like brothers.


No, I got the title correct, it is not misspelled.

There is a HBO movie to premier on Feb 21 that I really would like to see. But I don’t have HBO. So I will wait until someone either passes on a tape or it goes to DVD. Anyway I posted this on some of the chat rooms I visit and the response has been overwhelming in some cases.

It is base on a true story.

All fallen service men are escorted home by another. And all proper military honors are rendered at each “exchange”, or when the fallen is transferred between planes or vehicles and buildings etc..

Current Farm Weather


Did a theme update but some features may not be working correctly, please report any issues I have not found. Thanks!