Friday, October 30, 2009

1958 Allis Chalmers D-14

The big city life just wasn't meant to be for 'Spooky Ol Allis' but she came back from the tractor beauty parlor looking pretty good.

This tractor was purchased new by my father back in 1959. Here it is pictured a long way from home in the parking lot of Morrow Collision Center in Lincoln, NE. My son's own and operate this shop.

The tractor spent most of it's years on the farm hooked to a feed wagon. Most years it was busy feeding cattle from October to the following May when the fattened cattle were usually sold. It has always spent it's summers mowing weeds in and around the farm.

Here she has been dismantled a bit and is in the early stages of sandblasting.

Here they have moved it inside to begin the process of replacing several seals that were leaking. "Dad, you can't put a nice paint job on a tractor that is going to be leaking oil all over." Point taken.
They've moved it into the paint booth for the beginning of the painting process. They first applied an epoxy primer to ensure good adhesion of the final coats.
The gauge cluster was one of the first things to be finished. They obtained many new OEM gauges to make the old tractor look as it did when it was new. They ordered new, custom wiring for the tractor and installed it, making allowances for the alternator that had been installed by me years earlier. It originally came out with a generator.
They've brought it back into the booth and taken off the wheels for the main frames' two coats of paint. It was a single stage urethane. Very costly paint but my son guaranteed it would outlast me, and him and his children.
A picture of son Tom after finishing one of the final coats. They did apply three coats to the seat and running boards for extra protection in high wear areas. Tom is in the space suit.
Here I'm seen making good use of visiting hours. Son Dan on the right.

The tractor is completed here and secured to their trailer. My two sons pose for a nice photo before it leaves the big city for it's life back on the farm.
The first driver back on the farm is Colton, our grandson who lives here on the same farm. He is now the fourth generation of Morrow's to operate this tractor.

Daughter Juli and I pose with the Allis. Juli uses the tractor now for mowing road ditches. Or at least will when the goody wears off of the restoration.

Marilyn was impressed with my 'like new' tractor. I thought she looked a bit excited like she wanted a kiss or something.
I guess not.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hold Up

Lovely day. Steady light to moderate rain. Forty degrees. North wind @ 35 to 40 mph. We are at 2" of rain and counting.
The lower fields were already too wet. We'll likely have to wait for the ground to freeze to finish harvest. After Christmas. But look at the bright side... okay, there isn't one.
This all reminds me of the two farmers talking: "If it keeps raining so we can't harvest, I'm going to need to rob a bank."
The other farmer replies: " If it keeps raining, I've already robbed a bank."

All I can say is "Put your hands up!"

Monday, October 19, 2009


Midwest Producer
October 23rd Edition

I’ve found new ways to offend people without leaving my computer. It started about three weeks ago. It began the day I feared that my eyesight was failing me on a permanent basis. I sat down to check email. I did get some email. I get a lot of email because I have just two options on filtering email through my service provider. I had the choice of Option A: Don’t allow anything to get through to your inbox, or Option B: Allow absolutely everything. I apparently clicked on the everything option.
The day in question I couldn’t focus on the email, everything was blurry. No matter how many times I held my readers up to the light and re-cleaned my left lens, I couldn’t get it clean. The right one was fine. Clean as a whistle. I cleaned the left lens over and over and looked at the computer between each attempt. It was still very blurred. I began to think of the diseases that suddenly take your eyesight when you near 60 years of age. Was this the end of my visual years? Was I destined to look at life as one big impressionist painting? No by golly! I got up from my desk and stepped on something. It was the right lens from my glasses, problem solved.
I found a different pair of glasses and things were better. I then started deleting email as is my habit but found a couple of letters from a computer at a company called Facebook telling me that certain people, people I knew, wanted to be my friends. All I had to do was confirm by clicking here and I’d be on my way to Facebook.
I decided not to click on these letters from friends for the same reason I won’t click on the ones from Xynana and Carlah and Bob W offering to take me off their list if I’ll just click here. Or the folks with stranger names offering good times in faraway places with Tonya. The two Viagra ads I get everyday get deleted. Don’t tell him but I do that without asking my Doctor if I’m healthy enough to delete them. My wife says I am healthy enough to delete them.
No, these new emails are from the new friends at Facebook that I didn’t even know I had. After asking, I found that my wife had signed us up on Facebook in order to look at pictures on Facebook that her brother from Texas had published. So I therefore, did indeed, have a Facebook account.
What does that mean? As far as I know, without my knowledge or consent, I now have about thirty friends waiting for me to confirm that I’m their friend. I’m getting more friends daily. I guess I should call these friends of mine but I don’t have the phone numbers I’m going to need to call and tell them that I like them too. I must be hurting their feelings.
I called my son in Lincoln for help. He owns a body shop and has hundreds of friends and customers on Facebook. Turns out he doesn’t need his Dad as a friend. “It’s just wouldn’t seem right Dad, but you should learn how to use the account.”
I said, “Dan, I’m on the county board, I wouldn’t feel right about telling everyone what I’m up to every minute of the day.” He said, “You’re in the phone book Dad, everyone knows where you live, you’ve been there for almost 60 years now.” “Get over it and get on with the future.”
Well I feel guilty about all of these folks wanting to be my friend and me not responding. If I do learn to do this, what would I say? What could I write? Let me practice. Let’s see, I would write:
Me: I’m writing my column for the Midwest Producer.
You: What are your columns about?
See! I was afraid someone would ask me something I couldn’t answer.
I liked computers better when I only had the one lens.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Societal Insanity

You've all probably heard about the New York Eagle Scout who has been suspended for first 5 days and then an additional 15 days for having a 2" pocket knife locked in his survival kit which was locked in the trunk of his car which was parked on school property.
The same people who made this hard and fast rule against weapons of any kind, would be defending his rights if he had been attempting to perform late term abortions with it in the backseat of that same car. At least he would have had the ACLU to help him in court.
Every good parent knows that judgement, discretion, and common sense must govern the administration of every hard and fast rule.
Hopefully this kid will achieve his goal of attending a US Military academy. I would follow him into battle at any time and trust him with the future of this country.
As for the Superintendent and his school board...I wouldn't follow any of them to a restroom.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Great Article

If you have two extra minutes I would encourage you to read this article written by my boss, Terry Anderson at the Midwest Producer.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Nobel Peace Prize

President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize.
He says he was surprised.
I'll bet he was.

When the President travels to Oslo to accept the prize, I'm guessing the Secret Service will have Kanye West under observation.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Eating The Bait

Midwest Producer
9-11-2009 Edition

September is my favorite month of the year; that is until October arrives on the scene. The farm sort of goes into a holding pattern while we wait for crop maturity to get here. It affords the opportunity to do things you’ve put off all summer, like fishing. We wanted to go fishing this afternoon so after church we hustled home and hooked the boat onto to the Chevy and headed for the levee. (Sorry, I just about broke into song there) The pontoon boat that we purchased last winter didn’t have a depth finder and that explains why we hadn’t caught any fish the first few times we had the boat in the water. Any self respecting fisherman is aware that you must know the depth of the water before making a good presentation of the bait. Presentation in food is everything, right? I know I heard Julia Childs say that back in her days and I’m sure it also applies to catfish.
We had zero fish to show for our first two times out and that only served to validate my need for a trip to Cabelas for a depth finder. I didn’t need anything fancy. I just wanted to know the depth and I wasn’t planning on trying to find sunken treasure boats or the Titanic. “The cheapest one you’ve got will do me just fine, I already know how to fish.” I said smugly. The man wanted to sell me one with GPS and mapping capabilities so I could easily return to a new found hot spot any time I needed to. “Nope,” I told him “I’ll just paint an X in the bottom of the boat if I have a need to mark the spot. No sense of humor for this guy. I bought the cheap one.
Well I must say it was a pretty nifty installation I performed yesterday and it worked flawlessly. I proudly pronounced that we had eight feet of water right behind the boat as we pulled away from the dock. We hit 18 feet and I shut the motor down and gave the command to drop anchor. As Marilyn sighed she said, “I suppose you want me to do that” as she went to the front to ease the anchor down into the water, she asked if this was the depth we were looking for. “Yep this should be perfect.” I was confident, I am the Captain after all.
I repeated those same words over and over throughout the afternoon as we tried 12 feet and 22 and eight and everything in between. We used worms and chicken livers as well as commercial prepared bait and not to mention a feather covered varmint from the bottom of my tackle box. We anchored some. We drifted some. Not a nibble.
Before long I had yielded to the temptation of that big couch across the back of the boat. I stretched out and before falling asleep in that crisp autumn air; I explained the big mistake we had made to my still eagerly fishing wife. “Catfish will bite on chicken livers and night crawlers but we should have brought bait shrimp along too, they love shrimp.
“But we didn’t have any bait shrimp at home,” she replied. I said, “No but we have that two pound package of ‘people shrimp’ in the freezer, the ones we’ve been saving for something special.” “We could have dipped one of those shrimp in the lake to find out that the catfish weren’t biting and dipped the rest of them in cocktail sauce.”
We now have a plan for next time and I’ll bet we won’t care how deep the water is.