Sunday, July 30, 2006

Bethie is sick

Christine and I are exhausted today.
Bethie isn't running a fever, but she was throwing up all night, and is having real trouble eating anything. I don't think it's serious, but I wouldn't recommend company today.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


With the temperatures being what they are, it's just too dang hot to cook indoors. When it hit 113 earlier this week, our AC couldn't keep up, and the temp in the house got up to almost 90. So, lately we've been doing a lot of barbequeing.

And when I say Barbeque, I'm not talking about what most Californians pass off for BBQ. I call that "grilling." BBQ is done without putting the meat directly over the coals. Indirect heating is the technical term, and it makes for really tasty meat.

Here's what I use:

<---This is what's called an "Offset Smoker." The coals and wood go in the small box on the left. Raw food goes in the bigger container on the right, and comes out cooked to smoky perfection in about an hour or two. There's a baffle on the side of the firebox for adjusting temperature.

I've been playing with different types of wood. So far, I've used mesquite, hickory, and cherry wood. Mesquite and hickory give a really strong flavor. Cherry wood is much more mild.

The greatest thing about cooking with this thing is it requires little-to-no attention while the meat is cooking. It's really difficult to overcook anything either. I typically check on the meat about every 15 or 30 minutes, depending on what I'm cooking. Tonight, I cooked hamburgers, hot dogs, and apple chicken sausage with cherry wood. Absolutely fantastic.

I'm looking for other types of wood now, like pecan wood, almond wood, and apple wood. Any tree that bears a fruit or nut makes good cooking wood.

My favorite right now is tri-tip, especially the day after I cook it. I stick it in the fridge, and the next day I slice it up into thin pieces. Get a little cup of BBQ dipping sauce to go with it, and MMMM. Instant heaven.

The only down side is that after I'm done with cooking, I smell smoky the rest of the day and night. :p

Sunday, July 23, 2006

How I Spent My weekend in 109 degree heat...

I spent yesterday and today helping my friend Alan move. It was hot, but I actually enjoyed the exercise. As long as I kept drinking water and Gatorade, I was fine.

Alan is currently looking for a duplex in the greater Sacramento area that will accept him and his 2 dogs. If anyone has any leads, please let me know.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

So, this post isn't so much as a family update, as much as it is an explanation. Someone in the family recently caught me saying, "MOP!" as an exclamation, and asked what exactly that meant.

It's a long story.

Many years ago, I worked for a high-tech video company, and we would often get sent to various trade shows. This story took place in Los Angeles, at a show called SigGraph.

At the last minute, the powers that be decided that we would have a user group meeting at a local club. In order to facilitate this, it meant ripping out tons of equipment at the trade show booth, setting it up at the event, and then tearing down and setting it all back up at the booth before the show opened the following morning.

It was about 4am by the time that we finished setting everything back up at the booth, and we were exhausted. Two of my coworkers had to make a quick pit stop before we sleepwalked back to the hotel room. As Mike turned the corner into the rest room, he appeared to slip. Casey ran in after him, yelling, "Mike! Are you okaaaaaaaaaaaiiiah...!" and slipped on the same wet bathroom floor. As Mike was holding his bruised head, and yelling, "Where's the #%$$# Sign," the woman cleaning the floor (who Mike described as a "generic cleaning droid") looked up at the two of them, pointed at the implement in her hands, and timidly said, "MM...MOP!"

And thus, any time something bad happens that should never have happened in the first place, I utter the single word, "MOP!"