Archive for December 2010

The Old Apple

The Old Apple

The Old Apple

We are having an old fashioned winter. So I have been spending most of my spare time in the lab where it is nice and warm. My wife wanted the old Apple out of the house as it had been taking up storage space for years. Looking at it again brought back fond memories. I just had to set it up again to see if it would still run. I couldn’t bear to pack it up and hide it away. It was an amazing machine in it’s day.

The year we acquired it, my son Jeremy was in Jr High and was very interested in computers. We had an  Apple II my sister had sold me. He put a lot of hours in on that old machine. The Principle of his school took me aside and told me I really needed to buy a  new Apple GS  for Jeremy. He said it would be an investment in Jeremy’s future.

My son had been talking about how great a machine the GS was, as he had limited access to one in school. I checked on price and was told a little better than two grand. That was a lot of money for the family at that time. Farming hadn’t been going well, I was working part time and had started a small retailing business.

I told Jeremy that if gross receipts exceeded X amount for the coming season we would buy the new GS. What followed was a fabulous summer vending, our sales were well ahead of the year before. I say our sales, because Jeremy was very active in the business. He was a master salesman.

Needless to say we picked that Apple GS up in Willmar that fall. Complete with a color Monitor, extra memory, a 5.25 inch floppy disc drive (remember those), a 3.5 inch disc drive, and  a dot matrix printer. With the tax it was over 3,000 bucks.

We both put in a lot of time on that machine, it was a world ahead of the Apple II. I even started doing books for the business on it. It was a good buy for the time. We put lots of hours on it, so the price per hour wasn’t bad. He even took it to college his first year  but times were changing fast. My son got a Mac lap top and the GS stayed home in my office.

After college my son worked in the computer world, Anderson Enterprises kept growing.  Machines  came out that had hard drives, Internet access ,were faster, bigger and much cheaper. So we moved on.

The GS seems primitive now. Back then it was state of the art. The first home computer with graphic operating system and a mouse. Windows copied much from Apple.

I set it up so my grand kids can see this antique work and play a game or two. I like to look at it too.

Winter vs Summer

This was from my wife she also took all the pictures


We were blessed with plentiful rain in the summer and we are blessed
with plentiful snow this winter. What a difference a season makes!
Hope you enjoy seeing the difference.

The 10 inches today was beautiful and very fluffy, it was also much
warmer today, up in the 20’s.

Have a wonderful Holiday Season.


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EDonna shoveling

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A Bit of the Past is Gone

Down she goes

Down she goes

The end of an era, after standing for over 75 years (maybe 85) the corn silo came down. My Father and Grandfather had it built for the storage of corn silage by the Svea Silo Co. of Svea, Minnesota. It was constructed of pre-stressed concrete blocks called staves. One edge was concave and the opposed edge was convex. They would be set together and steel bands were tightened around the structure to hold it together. A coat of cement was painted on the inside to make it air tight.

Horses and old barnThis old photo shows the barn and silo and the last of Dad’s work horses. This probably dates from early 1940’s. Sadly not many photos were taken of farm operations and fewer survived.

Green corn was chopped, stalk and all, into inch long pieces and blown into the silo from the top. Many tons of this would pack down into the structure and ferment, thereby preserving the nutrients in the corn.
Back then Dad milked 12 cows or so. The 14 by 36 foot silo was enough to take care of the animals all winter. We would dig it out by hand and carry it to the cows in a bushel basket twice a day.
Dad sold his cows in the early 60’s and the silo went unused. The small family farm was no longer financially viable and by the 70’s it became apparent it never would be again.

The unused barn was disassembled for lumber salvage in the 1970’s and it’s cement floor and foundations buried in the early 90’s. At that time the cost of disposal of the silo far exceeded the gain the additional crop land would return. This year, the higher corn prices, plus the danger of the structure collapsing into a growing crop and the difficulty of the larger farm machinery manoeuvring around the structure, made us move forward.

The traditional way of taking a silo down was to take the steel bands off the bottom. Then take a sledge hammer, break the cement staves out till it starts to fall, then run like hell. I just didn’t like that part about running. My son, Jeremy, came up with the idea of shooting the staves out with a high power rifle. When the crop was out we gathered some spectators and the fun began.

Silo_11 Here we are getting ready.

I’m on the left, next is an old friend, Dan Pederson, My sister Margaret (or Peg as I always knew her). Ronna and Dave Gravgard in background.

Jeremy showing his AR15 rifle.


Here is Jeremy with a fresh load of ammunition. Good thing he brought plenty along. It would take many shots to break through. Notice how the staves are shot out more than half way around and the silo is still standing.

Silo_on the groundSilo_all thats left When it went, it went fast and it fell in a different direction than I would have guessed. I’m glad I was clear.

The concrete has gone for recycling. I separated the iron and got it out of the field. next spring I will sell it for scrap Iron, unless I can find someone who needs 5/8 inch steel rod.
I hired a large hoe to bury the foundation. He wasn’t sure when he would get there and I didn’t need to be there. So I just figured I would  listen for him and get some pictures. I was working in my shop when I heard him. He was done and loading up again before I walked down to him, so I failed get pictures. The land has been returned to a level field again. In a few years know one will remember it was ever there.