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Not a bad start to a day... - John [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
John

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Not a bad start to a day... [Jul. 22nd, 2006|11:24 am]
John
As I rummaged through my stores of tea, I found myself counting out teabags in a puzzled fashion. Four bags down would leave four more and then two... aha! I realized. The last two times I'd had tea, I'd used five bags for four cups of tea. I would not have three cups, but four... what things could a man accomplish with four cups of Stash's peach flavored black tea? Such a man could conquer the world, though he undoubtedly would feel himself so mellowed by the pleasant experience of peach tea with honey and milk that he would be unable to contemplate the cruelties necessary for world conquest.

On top of that, I had smoked salmon, cream cheese, and my strange varient of Cornell bread, made with whole wheat flour and with amaranth flour mixed in... and yet, that still was not the end of the happiness.

I had two, yes, two healthy sized chunks of smoked salmon. No fears of a need to spread the joys of salmon out, for I had plenty of salmon and some to spare, and a fresh paycheck sitting in my savings account. Why, I could even buy some salmon candy from Whole Foods if I wanted!

(As an aside, can one of my outcompetent friends - you know, outcompetent, the extreme opposite of incompetent - let me know if I'm correct in my understanding that airflow is the key to temperature control with charcoal cooking? I want to try salmon candy again, and I don't think my electric grill has the precision temperature control I need to do it right. I say this because it has *no* temperature control, you see.)

But that still isn't the end. I also have sliced up beef for beef jerky, brining away in my refrigerator, so I'll have plenty of time to dry it out with good hickory smoke tomorrow, and I've ordered some wing sauces from BW3's (http://www.bw3.com). If you don't know how happy that should make a person, I envy you your oppotunity to learn how good BW3's wing sauces are for the first time.

My computer woes are finished, now that I have my laptop set up nicely, and a spare AMD 750mhz desktop set up as a spare computer for guests who might want to play Diablo II over the network, or somesuch. In an interesting reversal, my laptop is actually much faster than my old system was, with only two problems.

1) it only has 256 megs of memory, instead of the 1 gig my desktop has, and
2) it has that stupid speed-stepping technology that slows it down to save power *even when it's connected to an outlet*, meaning I never know if it's a 2.4 gigahertz machine, or a 300mhz machine.

Neither is a big deal, but they are annoyances from time to time, so they'll probably prompt me to be eager to buy a new desktop (or new desktop components) within a month or so. Maybe I'll buy stuff so I can put it together on my birthday....

On top of that, I've paid off my hospital bills (warning: a small cut on your finger can cost a thousand dollars in ER expenses. I did get a tetanus booster out of it... but damn, I'd have insisted on a lollypop after getting the shot, if I'd know they were charging me a thousand bucks! (Then again, maybe I'd see "Lollypop - $25" as a line item on the bill if I had.) If I'd known it would be that bad, I would have treated it myself. Next time I'll recognize that when you have blood dripping to the floor, it's easy to over-estimate how bad the cut is. (It wasn't that bad... total blood loss, probably less than an ounce. Still, pour an ounce of water into some wadded paper towels and you'll recognize how scary it could be when it's blood.)) (Damn, was that a long parenthetical!), paid down my last credit card a bit, and mailed a check to someone who will probably be confused and grateful to receive it.

I kinda like that... confused and grateful. It's the kind of reaction I like people to have when dealing with me. Well... the grateful bit is. The confused seems to happen naturally.

If all goes well, by the end of the day, I should have some writing done, some bread baked, some exercise accomplished, and some beer (delicately seasoned with bourbon) drank.

Yeah, not a bad start to a day.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: kyra_ojosverdes
2006-07-22 07:34 pm (UTC)
Speaking of laptop, did you ever find the surprise I left?
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2006-07-24 02:15 am (UTC)
I don't think so... what should I be looking for? :-)
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[User Picture]From: kyra_ojosverdes
2006-07-24 02:22 am (UTC)
LOL... a bookmark.
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[User Picture]From: kightp
2006-07-22 07:36 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a damned good start to a decent day, darlin', although now you have me hungry for smoked salmon on good bread.

Never mind, I have fresh cherries from the farmers' market, and I'll be making brownies as soon as I get the house cooled off enough for baking.

I'm ridiculously tickled that you've got things set up for Diablo (and that you found the missing disk!). Remind me to put my sorceress' save-game files on the memory stick before I come up next weekend.

-- Grateful (to have you in my life) and hardly confused at all
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2006-07-24 02:24 am (UTC)
Wow... fresh cherries, and brownies... it would have been even nicer if I had been able to see the show again, too.
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[User Picture]From: dandelion_diva
2006-07-23 04:15 am (UTC)
Cool, all the way around. :) This sounds like wonderful stuff.

Gessi
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[User Picture]From: thattallguy201
2006-07-23 08:41 pm (UTC)
Second the recommendation on the wing sauce. Gooooood stuff.

For the laptop speed, if you are running eXtreme Prejudice, have you tried Speedswitch XP?
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2006-07-24 02:25 am (UTC)
No, but now that I know about it, I might give it a shot... Thanks!
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[User Picture]From: wyang
2006-07-24 01:40 pm (UTC)

Outcompetence? Charcoal grilling, anyway...

(As an aside, can one of my outcompetent friends - you know, outcompetent, the extreme opposite of incompetent - let me know if I'm correct in my understanding that airflow is the key to temperature control with charcoal cooking? I want to try salmon candy again, and I don't think my electric grill has the precision temperature control I need to do it right. I say this because it has *no* temperature control, you see.)

As I understand it (and I do a fair amount of outdoor cooking nowadays), airflow is only part of the solution to regulating charcoal temperatures -- coal layout is the other thing you can do. Also, you may want to look at direct versus indirect coal heating (put all the coals on one side, cook on the other) in conjunction with airflow control

There are basically two characteristics in controlling fire-based cooking temperature are fuel and oxygen. It's a lot easier to control the oxygen than it is to control the fuel. Regulating airflow reduces the available oxygen, slowing the burning process and reducing the temperature... Increasing airflow speeds the burning process and increases the temperature accordingly (think blacksmiths, using bellows to increase the fire's temperature). More surface area on the fuel (spread out coals) increases the amount of burning that can go on, as does banging the side of the grill to remove the ash that covers coals as burning.... A quick smack to the side of the grill can dramatically increase grill temperature for a fast sear or creating the properly burnt marshmallow exterior for s'mores. ;-)

-Bill



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