Brisket post-mortem

The brisket from yesterday was well received by the 10 people in attendance. I had six people here that have lived at one point or another in Texas (some as recently as two weeks ago!), and everyone says it tasted authentic.

I cooked it to an internal temp of 170°F, and I actually don’t think it was enough. The thicker part of the brisket was still not well done, so I think I should’ve let it go to 180 or 190. I took it off the egg at 6:30pm, so it cooked for 13.5 hours. The baste that I used was a little mustardy, so I’ll tone down the mustard in the baste next time around. The BBQ sauce I made had a good amount of kick to it — not spicy to me, but to a few others it was. 🙂 I should’ve guessed that it would be spicy: the recipe called for a 1/4 cup of chile powder, some cayenne pepper, and [Tabasco sauce](http://www.tabasco.com/). That should’ve been one tip-off; the other tip-off should’ve been the recipe’s name: Fire and Brimstone BBQ Sauce.

Other than that, it was good times. Lots of beer (thanks [Andrew](http://blogs.msdn.com/andrewj/)/Kipper; Kunaal) , wine (thanks John/Mary), brisket, potato salad (thanks [Jenn](http://www.realmccoy.spaces.live.com)), a few other sides, and lots of friends. Oh, and Muscato cake and chocolate mousse cake!

New Grill! I’m an “egg”head!

After reading several reviews on the web, and getting inspired by a [co-worker](http://www.seanalexander.com/2006/09/05/LaborDayBBQMeetsTechWizardry.aspx), I decided to buy a new grill. And I’ve eschewed the propane tank forever.

I bought a [Big Green Egg](http://www.biggreenegg.com/) from [Thompson’s Hearth & Home](http://www.thompsonshearth.com/bbq.htm) in Issaquah. This thing is a beast! Tips the scales at over 140 pounds, and I can’t wait to get it fired up… Which, will sadly have to wait until next weekend at the earliest. Stupid [wisdom teeth](http://www.marius.org/2007/05/09/a_long_day.php).

At any rate, I outfitted my large green egg with a [BBQ Guru](http://www.thebbqguru.com/) [Competitor](http://www.thebbqguru.com/bbqProductDetail.cfm?prodID=229) kit, complete with a 10CFM blower; and a few other [accessories](http://www.biggreenegg.com/bgeacc.htm): egg nest and egg mate.

The guys at [Thompson’s](http://www.thompsonshearth.com/) were awesome: Les helped me out the day of my purchase (his job was easy — I had done my research), and he noticed my Texas car dealership sticker on the back of the Murano. He asked where in Texas we were from, and, as it turns out, he also went to [Texas A&M](http://www.tamu.edu/). While we loaded up the boxes, we talked about things in Aggieland, food that we miss, and local sites in Bryan/College Station. He threw in (as standard fare) a 20 pound bag of charcoal and some BBQ seasoning, and as we were leaving, threw in another set (“I’ve gotta take care of my fellow College Station people”).

We got home a few hours later, and I realized that we forgot to load the egg nest into the car. I checked their website today, and they’re closed on Sundays, so I figured I’d call and leave a message. The owner ends up answering the phone (I think they forward the phone), and I explain the situation to him and that I’ll come by on Monday to pick it up. He says that he’ll be in Issaquah for a bit, and can go into the store and leave the missing box out in the back of the store. Talk about awesome service.

Ok, back to reading more about the grill.

Hurricanes Katrina & Rita: Fires?

After having been glued to the TV for the last few weeks watching news coverage about Hurricane Katrina, and now started to catch coverage on Rita's landfall, I've gotta wonder where all these fires are coming from. How is it that when people evacuate, things start burning? It's like the presence of a warm human body keeps the flames out. I'm sure there's a law of thermodynamics that can explain this.

Good luck with Round 2, Louisiana. Good luck with Round 1, Texas.

life: an update

Well, it's been a while since my last “real” post (around August 19 or so, neglecting a happy b-day to Diann and a random quote by Trey). And people keep telling me to update this thing… Well, I say people, but I really mean Jeff, who just soloed (yay congrats!)!

At any rate, a lot has happened that most of you out there on that-there Internet know about, but some of you don't. So this long-ish post is my attempt at filling people in.

Well, let's see — to recap — I finished school up this past June. Finally. Graduation (holy crap, where are my pictures of my graduation?! [ note to self: must find them at some point and post them ]) happened in mid-August and all was well.

Well, indeed. Before that, just after school finished up, Diann & I up and moved. We had decided several months before that we were tired of being in College Station, and with us both graduating school and not being firmly attached to the area, we figured we would only have one really good opportunity in life to move. We're young, we're stupid (some people tell us), so the decision was made.

With the both of us having shiny, new college degrees (well, mine wouldn't come until August, but you-know-what-I-mean), we figured it would be difficult for both of us to do ye olde job search across the entire US and hopefully end up with opportunities in the same spot. So we decided to pick a spot that we were both interested in and focus our efforts there. We picked Seattle.

The decision made, we started sending out r{e'}sum{e'}s to tons of places throughout Seattle. We planned on moving, job or no job, and hired movers and put the house on the market in February, hoping for a late summer closing date. Luckily, the house sold in a few weeks and the people who bought it were willing to let us rent it back from them until July, which worked out exceedingly well for us.

So March through May came and went, with school and work keeping us both busy. June blew by, and I took my last three classes during summer school: Tech Writing, Speech, and my last kinesiology — Billiards! Around the end of June, the old “it's not what you know, it's who you know” line came through for me in the form of a job prospect in Seattle by way of an old friend. I did a pair of phone interviews, they flew me up to Seattle on June 30th, and I had the unofficial phone job offer the next day!

With the movers scheduled, July 13th would be the day we drove off of Trace Meadows one last time. With the dog in the car and the car loaded down, we headed northwest.

Our first day's travel took us NNW to Childress, TX, which according to Mapquest is just shy of 400 miles. I think we drove a bit over 6 hours the first day.

Next day's itinerary took us west into New Mexico where we made a brief pit stop at Capulin National Monument (NPS Website, Pictures). We continued north through Colorado and on into Wyoming. We overnighted in Cheyenne, WY, which according to Mapquest is another 651 miles. I think on Day 2 we racked up approximately 11 hours behind the wheel.

Day three took us across the southern part of Wyoming and then north up western Wyoming, and on into Grand Teton National Park (NPS Website, Pictures). We went this route at the urging of Forrest who said that standing at the bottom of Grand Teton was an amazing experience. He definitely did not lie. We stopped for some pictures along the drive through Grand Teton and on up through Yellowstone National Park into West Yellowstone, MT. Another 500 miles down (according to Mapquest, but we went the long route, so it should actually be longer than that. Another 10 hours down the pipe.

No, we didn't drive on. We stopped in Yellowstone National Park (NPS Website, Pictures) for two days. Yellowstone NP is an absolutely amazing place that I can't even begin to put into words. If you've not yet hit Yellowstone, you absolutely must go sometime before you die. I can't explain it more clearly than that.

Enough has been written on the web about Yellowstone, so I'll forego that for the moment. The next day we drove out of Montana and onward, through Idaho and into Washington. We stopped for the night in Cle Elum, WA, another 675 miles behind us.

The last day brought us to Seattle, only a brief 83 mile drive away. We pulled in the morning of July 19th, and began the long process of getting situated in our new apartment. Total amount traveled: 2309 miles according to Mapquest, but in reality it was probably about 2500 miles courtesy of taking the long way in Wyoming. We completed the trek in just over 40 hours of driving time, which gives us an average speed of about 63 MPH.

Maybe I'll follow up to this blog entry later this week with what's happened since we actually got here, but now everyone knows. The cat's out of the bag, so to speak. Off to bed now!

Speeding

So, Diann & I were driving to Houston yesterday via the typical route (South Hwy 6. to 290 East for those of you curious) and we were cruising at about 70-72 MPH. Speed limit was 65 MPH and everyone in the pack of cars around us was doing the same speed as we were.

So, we're driving through Prarie View, and a cop in the center media turns on his lights and honks his horn at me, so I go to pull over, and he pulls in beside me.

Here's the transcript that follows:

Cop: “Reason I pulled you over is because I clocked you at 84.”

Me: “Umm, I was going 70-72 along with everyone else.”

Cop: “Then why'd you pull over?”

Me: “Umm, maybe because you had your lights on and were honking your horn at me?”

Cop: “Can I see your license and proof of insurance, please?”

Me: (hands it over)

Cop: “Well, I'm gonna let you go with a warning today.”

WTF? Either his radar detector was way out of whack, or he's just harassing people. It's fairly obvious he didn't actually clock me at 84 or I definitely would've gotten a ticket.

i hate texas weather!

So, the weather deities are playing cruel, cruel jokes on us here in Texas. Last week, the temperatures during the day were in the 70's and 80's, not so much winter weather. Last Friday, we finally got a cold front, and the temperature during the day was 40's to 50's, which is much nicer than what it was. Night time temps got to the mid 20's. Now, today, I had a sweater on this morning, and it's definitely back up to 72F right now.

I WISH IT WOULD PICK A TEMPERATURE AND STAY THERE.

Thanks for listening to my rant.

so that was fun

Well, that was fun.. Or not. For those of you not in the B/CS area, we just went through a 5 hour power outage. Not just a neighborhood outage, but both cities, as well as Texas A&M. The outage reportedly went all the way to Waco, and east to the Texas/Louisiana border. Crazy stuff. Local news has info about it, as well as more regional coverage. They're now in the process of turning things back up. Yay for having the power back on so I can get my Internet fix.