littletractorguy· The Admin from... Nowhere!
Please give a big hand to our August Featured Member of the Month....
Where did your screen name come from?
The Steamguy thing came about due to my love and respect of steam power, which was kindled (pun intended) by my Grandpa. He was a Rear Brakeman on the Northern Pacific, and he took plenty of opportunities to get me around the equipment. Then I married a wonderful girl whose father turned out to have been a Stationary Steam Engineer. He even owned a Reeves Cross-Compound traction engine back when he lived in Minnesota. So steam has been a part of my life from the beginning. And then when the Internet came along, I was looking for a unique name for the 'chat boards'.
What city, and state, do you live in?
Well, I don't live IN the city; I live a ways out of town on the side of a mountain. Although I have a Washougal (WA) address, I live about a mile from the Skamania County border.
Are you married?
Very happily, to Lisa, for 40 years!
Do you have any children?
No, but we have lots and lots of nieces and nephews!
What do you do to earn a living?
I'm a Senior Technical Writer, but I do a lot more than just that: I do industrial photography for our company, shoot and edit video; and work on marketing materials for trade shows and our company website.
How old are you?
62... on the outside. :sidelaugh
No. Due to an accident when I was in High School, I was physically unable to serve.
How did you come to join MTF?
I had a JD 345 at the time, and thought 'ya know, I ought to be able to find some help for it somewhere on the Internet', and so came across MTF. I was hooked - it really was the friendliest forum. No flame wars, no politics, and no bashing. And thanks to the Mods for keeping it that way...!
What are your favorite forums and why?
Well of course MTF, right?
The Boiler Room - hey, with a screen-name like mine, did you have any doubt?
CUT: Kubota - great to pick up some tips and ask questions
LGT: Deere - always fun to see how the 345s are aging, plus read about these guys restoring round fender tractors
Off-Topic - because we can always use a laugh!
Outside of MTF, I'm on a couple RV forums, one specific to the manufacturer of my trailer, and because I'm going to be buying a new truck in the next couple years, a number of pickup truck forums.
What do you like most about MTF?
Like I said above, the friendly atmosphere, the lack of political stuff and brand bashing; it's just a great place to come and get advice, or to offer some when you have something to contribute.
Please list your tractors and/or equipment:
Sold my old 345 and all its attachments (tiller, powerflow & carts, roller) a couple years ago for the down payment on a Kubota BX2370;
currently I just have a back blade for it.
That's the heavy stuff, otherwise I just have a direct-drive Craftsman trimmer. I tend to rent the other stuff like a gas hedge trimmer and so on, because I just don't need that kind of stuff all that often.
What is your favorite tractor or piece of equipment and why?
I'm really enjoying working with the Kubota. The ride is so much better than my old tractor. Mowing is the #1 chore I have for the tractor, and I'm done with the mowing in about half the time. It's truly a joy to have 'enough machine' for the job.
(here it is, in its very own home! )
Is there a tractor or piece of equipment you'd love to own someday?
I really don't know where I'd put it or how I'd manage to keep the boiler inspections up on it, but an 8HP Case would be a fun thing to fiddle with.
But on the more practical side, I'm still dreaming of an FEL and a box blade for this tractor.
Tell us some of the tasks you use your tractors and/or equipment for?
I have an upper meadow that's about an acre or so, and I leave that area to go wild for 10 months out of the year. The wildlife seem to appreciate it - in past years we've had wild turkeys, one year we had a batch of Sharp-Shinned Hawks up there, these last couple years we've had Cooper's Hawks living up there. And then there's always the deer and the occasional elk. But it has to be mowed a few times in summer to keep the blackberries and the tansy in check.
The last couple years, the back blade has come in handy for leveling the front and back meadows. They're not really a lawn, because the area here is old 'high pasture-land' and the pasture grass is persistent and aggressively took back all the work I'd done to put in a lawn. And the back blade is really helping take some of the bumps out of the meadows, although it's turning out to be a gradual change.
Could you describe your property for us?
Aside from what I covered above, there's nowhere that's level. I have about 5 acres, and it's in more of a long, narrow rectangle. It slopes toward the ravine at about a 7% grade until you get to the area above the main road which runs below us, there the land slopes at about 40%.
The great thing is the view I have of the mountains in the distance, but it comes at a price of high winds in the winter. My nephew is a glazier, and he says "they really should contact you about testing windows up here!"
This ^^^^ shows how severe our winds can be. The table (that's out in the grass) was held down by the umbrella weight. I guess this is why they call it "Lawn Furniture" :sidelaugh
Is there something you'd love to build or restore someday?
Absolutely! a 1965 Plymouth Barracuda, if I remember right, the order code was "H" for the big 2-barrel, the 4-speed, and the track-lok differential. I had one when I was a kid, and it was one of the most fun cars I'd ever had. First thing I'd do is change it to disk brakes - those drum brakes gave me a number of scares!
Most memorable tractor moment?
A couple years after we built our house (which would have been about 22 years ago now) I owned a JD 120 H2, with an angling blade, a 'finger-buster' mechanical tiller, and a good-sized deck. I was out mowing about this time of year, and the meadow grass was tall and waving in the wind. Truly an 'amber waves of grain' moment. I was mowing uphill and was in the middle of what would become my upper meadow. I had a good machine, a beautiful day, and nothing to do but enjoy running the tractor. I thought to myself then, "It doesn't get any better than this..."
Earliest tractor memories?
When I was about eight, a neighbor had a banged-up Ford 8N and gave me a ride. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world.
Do you have any other hobbies or interests that you'd like to share with us?
I'm a frustrated model railroader - the model railroad is halfway apart in the interest of rebuilding it, but I just don't have the time lately. Lately life seems to be full of small and necessary projects.
Camping - we love to go winter-camping, getting out there in God's creation no matter what the weather. It's only a few hours to the coast or the mountains, and it doesn't matter to us if it's raining and blowing!
What do the other people in your life think of your "tractor" hobby?
My wife is patient with it, as long as it serves the purpose of keeping up the land. My nephews (and nieces too!) think it's great fun to drive the tractor, but trying to get them to do some mowing doesn't go very far...