plane dealer
September-October 2015
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Welcome and thank you for viewing McShan Lumber Company's bi-monthly newsletter, the McShan Plane Dealer.    We welcome suggestions and new additions to our mailing list.  If you know of anyone that would be interested in the McShan Plane Dealer please use the "forward to a friend" option at the bottom of the newsletter.
Archived Plane Dealers can be viewed on our website newsletter page:  newsletter archive

Southern Pine Beetles are back!



Outbreaks of the southern pine beetle occur periodically in the southern United States, killing millions of dollars worth of pine timber. The majority of losses in forest productivity and economic value are due to insect and disease damage, of which the southern pine beetle is the most destructive. Good forest management can minimize the risk of southern pine beetle attacks. However, when an outbreak occurs, timely detection is the primary step in the control of the SPB. During this recent outbreak, the use of a drone has been a valuable tool in the detection of SPB infestations. We find an opening in the forest, send the drone up to 400 feet (the maximum height allowed by law) and pan 360 degrees. Click the link below to view a drone video from a recent flight: 
360 degree drone view of a Pickens County, Al landowner's timberland. 8 beetle spots were located. Brown needles are evidence of an infestation.

Ordinarily, unhealthy, weakened pines are the most susceptible to beetle attack, but as the beetle population increases, even healthy, fast-growing pines will be attacked. The activity is identified most often as groups of dead or dying trees otherwise known as beetle spots. The most obvious symptom of a southern pine beetle infestation is the discoloration of the needles in the tree crown. Needles fade from green to dull green, yellow, and finally reddish-brown before falling.

Once a beetle spot is found, various suppression methods can be used. The most common method is cutting and removing the dead trees in addition to a buffer strip of healthy trees.  All of the beetle spots in the video have been cut and a recent drone flight showed no signs of spreading.

Boots theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness

Terry Pratchett, author of the  Discworldseries, co-author of  Good Omens with Neil Gaiman, died March 12, 2015.

The following is the Sam Vimes "Boots" Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness, which Pratchett first wrote in 1993 as part of  Men At Arms, the fifteenth book in his Discworld series:

"The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness."
Southern Pine Rocks!

While we are accustomed to hosting visitors here at the mill (and love having them) they are usually somehow affiliated with the lumber and building products industry.  Things were a little different last month when a group from the guitar industry came by for a plant tour and bit of education about good old sustainable SYP.  Representatives from Martin Guitar and Taylor Guitar along with Pacific Rim Tonewoods were on a tour sponsored by Mississippi State and Oregon State Universities as part of an effort to explore alternatives to the imported and more "exotic" woods favored by these companies that make some of the world's finest musical instruments.  Locally sourced and sustainable materials are much on the minds of the music industry after the Gibson Guitar Company was raided in 2009 and 2011 by federal agents enforcing the Lacey Act.  The Lacey Act was first enacted in 1900 to protect game and wild birds from poaching but was amended in 2008 with provisions that were intended to curtail and vilify illegal logging.  Alleging that Gibson possessed illegal Madagascar ebony and Indian rosewood the company was forced to pay a fine of $300,000.00 and a $50,000.00 community payment. (from Wikipedia).  Our procurement team of Gee and Grover Allgood were quick to field questions the group had about our own Sustainable Forestry Initiative program and were able to assure the group that McShan Lumber Co would be able to more than satisfy any level of certification they might require.  I can't say that Alabama pine will be in the rock and roll hall of fame anytime soon but I can certainly promise to keep the feds out of your wood pile.

Product Spotlight
1X6 #3 S4S                  

View a Virtual Pack Inspection here!


Call Dina Fuller for tally, prices.  1-800 882 3712




Visit us at the 
2015 NAWLA  Traders Market
November 4-6    
Booth 233

Since 1996, NAWLA Traders Market has focused almost exclusively on the lumber supply chain. For over two days, you'll have the opportunity to network with industry-leading manufacturers and wholesalers of lumber and lumber-related products to create business opportunities, grow relationships and hear insights from peers across North America. 

Dog Days of Summer
G.A., II 

The expression "dog days" refers to the hot, sultry days of summer most commonly experienced in the months of July and August. These are typically the hottest of the summer months. The early civilizations of North Africa linked this phrase with the rising of Orion's dog, the dog star Sirius of the constellation Canis Major, and the association of it to the coincidence of very warm temperatures at the same time. Greek poets referenced in their writings that the Greeks believed the heat of late summer was brought on by the appearance of Sirius. Homer, in the Iliad, writes of oncoming heat, fevers, and evil all associated with Sirius. In ancient Rome, the Dog Days ran from July 24 through August 24. Today, the "Old Farmer's Almanac" lists the traditional period of the Dog Days as the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11.

In the southeast, Sirius has dealt us the same heat the Greeks experienced. In conjunction with our high temperatures, we also have extreme humidity. It is the combination of air temperature and relative humidity that is known as the heat index. This is the human perceived equivalent temperature. You may know this as "felt air temperature", "apparent temperature", or "real feel". The human body normally cools itself by perspiration, or sweating. Heat is removed from the body by evaporation of that sweat. However, high humidity reduces the evaporation rate because the higher vapor content of the surrounding air does not allow the maximum amount of evaporation from the body to occur. This results in a lower rate of heat removal from the body and the sensation of being overheated. It also results in a whole lot of sweating.
Sweat is mostly water, with salt and small amounts of minerals. Sweating is the body's way of cooling itself. When the sweat your body releases is evaporated off of your skin, your body heat is reduced.
* The average person has 2.6 million sweat glands in their body
* Most of the sweat glands are concentrated on the bottom of our feet
* Women have more sweat glands than men, but men's sweat glands produce about 40% more sweat than women
* Sweat can be caused from heat, exercise, stress, and eating. Stress sweat smells the worst. The odor is not from the sweat itself, but from the bacteria that breaks down the sweat once it is released onto your skin
* During intense exercise in the heat, athletes can sweat off 2 to 6 percent of their bodyweight. This could be up to 9 pounds for a 150 pound person.
If you like hot temperatures, high humidity, sweating, and lots of hard work, you can find them all during the Dog Days of Summer here at McShan Lumber.

Maple Leaves are falling south
The Great Migration  was the movement of 6 million  African Americans  out of the rural  Southern United States  to the urban  Northeast Midwest , and  West  that occurred between 1910 and 1970.
The lumber industry is witnessing another "great migration", this time from Canada to the southern U.S. 
"Major B.C. producers have bought more than 30 southern U.S. facilities in the last half-decade as they adjust to an immediate future that will include more constrained timber supplies at home thanks to the mountain pine beetle".    read more
New Fork Lifts coming soon

When I emailed my father JT McShan that I had just placed an order for 2 new Taylor X-360 M 36,000lb forklifts he was reminded of the first one we ever had at McShan Lumber Company and replied with the following:
"I paid $7,500.00 for our first one, a Ross in 1951 complete with side shift and slope piling attachment. Shipped by rail flatcar from Benton Harbor, Michigan to Reform, Al where there was a loading platform. I drove it from there to the mill." (6miles)
A quick internet search says that the lift came from the Ross Carrier Company which was acquired by the Clark lift company in 1953. Although I'm sure the Ross was state of the art for its time the features on today's latest and greatest are quite impressive. How about:

Tilt steering wheel
Lighted instrument panel
LED work lights
Hydrostatic power steering
Electric joystick controls  
Tinted glass windows
Air suspension seat with arm rests
7" full color touch screen display
Dual USB ports
Air conditioner
32,000 BTU heater with rear window defroster
Anyone want to apply for a lift operator position?

George Washington's
           rules of
Civility & Decent Behavior

This is the sixth of eleven McShan Plane Dealer newsletters featuring 10 of the 110 rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.
By age sixteen, Washington had copied out by hand, 110  Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation . They are based on a set of rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595. Presumably they were copied out as part of an exercise in penmanship assigned by young Washington's schoolmaster. The first English translation of the French rules appeared in 1640, and are ascribed to Francis Hawkins, the twelve-year-old son of a doctor. 

Today many, if not all of these rules, sound a little fussy if not downright silly. It would be easy to dismiss them as outdated and appropriate to a time of powdered wigs and quills, but they reflect a focus that is increasingly difficult to find. The rules have in common a focus on other people rather than the narrow focus of our own self-interests that we find so prevalent today. Fussy or not, they represent more than just manners. They are the small sacrifices that we should all be willing to make for the good of all and the sake of living together. 

51.  Wear not your Cloths, foul, ripped or Dusty but See they be Brushed once every day at least and take heed that you approach not to any Uncleaness.

52.  In your Apparel be Modest and endeavor to accommodate Nature, rather than to procure Admiration keep to the Fashion of your equals Such as are Civil and orderly with respect to Times and Places.

53.  Run not in the Streets, neither go too slowly nor with Mouth open go not Shaking your Arms kick not the earth with your feet, go not upon the Toes, nor in a Dancing fashion.

54.  Play not the Peacock, looking every where about you, to See if you be well Decked, if your Shoes fit well if your Stockings sit neatly, and Cloths handsomely.

55.   Eat not in the Streets, nor in the House, out of Season.

56.  Associate yourself with Men of good Quality if you Esteem your own Reputation; for 'is better to be alone than in bad Company.

57.  In walking up and Down in a House, only with One in Company if he be Greater than yourself, at the first give him the Right hand and Stop not till he does and be not the first that turns, and when you do turn let it be with your face towards him, if he be a Man of Great Quality, walk not with him Cheek by Joul but Somewhat behind him; but yet in Such a Manner that he may easily Speak to you.

58.  Let your Conversation be without Malice or Envy, for 'is a Sign of a Tractable and Commendable Nature: And in all Causes of Passion admit Reason to Govern.

59.  Never express anything unbecoming, nor Act against the Rules Moral before your inferiors.

60.  Be not immodest in urging your Friends to Discover a Secret. be continued

McShan Lumber product availability


Quotes on Summer

1.  "Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the treehouse; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape; but most of all, summer was Dill." ~ Harper Lee

2.  "Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence.  Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance. Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence. Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance." ~ Yoko Ono

3.   "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." ~ Dr. Seuss

4.  "August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time." ~ Sylvia Plath

5.  "Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability." ~ Sam Keen

6.  "By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer's best of weather And autumn's best of cheer." ~ Helen Hunt Jackson

7.  "What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness." ~ John Steinbeck

8.  "People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy." ~ Anton Chekhov

9. "One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter." ~ Henry David Thoreau

10. "There is something deep within us that sobs at endings.  Why, God, does everything have to end?Why does all nature grow old? Why do spring and summer have to go?" ~ Joe Wheeler

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McShan Lumber Company | |
11180 Hwy 82  P.O. Box 27
Mc Shan, AL 35471