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Gettin’ Up In My Grill May 28, 2010

Posted by Mitchell in Food, Home.
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Another thing I bought last weekend was my very first grill!  Yes, it’s a bit odd that I’m 40 and only now own a grill, but I don’t like to cook in general so I just never got around to it.  I guess it goes back to being a cook in my younger days and I generally hated those jobs but I didn’t have any other marketable skill so that’s what I did.  Anyway, my new way of eating dictates that I avoid pre-cooked, pre-packaged foods and most white-flour carb-type stuff which eliminates, ohhh about 90% of the stuff available in the typical grocery store.  My idea is to grill up a bunch of fresh animal things on the weekend that I can dole out through the week for lunch and dinner.  This lets me avoid doing a lot of cooking and yet makes it easier to stay on the diet.  That’s the plan anyway.  But enough jibber-jabber – let’s meet the meatcooker!

Behold!


This is the Char-Broil Quantum Infrared grill. One of the guys at work raved about his infrared grill and couldn’t recommend it high enough. I looked at several at Lowe’s and Home Depot and was considering a somewhat less expensive, yet bigger conventional grill.  But there’s just me and I don’t really need a big, four-burner grill so I went with this one instead.  Interestingly, Home Depot and Lowe’s sell similar yet slightly different versions of this grill at the exact same price.  I went with the Lowe’s version because the store was a bit closer.  The Big Thing about IR grills is that the heat is indirect so it’s supposedly more even heating while protecting against overcooking but it’s still really hot.  So far I’ve only used it once for a bunch of chicken breasts and they turned out very good.  Here’s a close-up of the business end of the thing:

I didn’t do a bunch of research on grills before I went out and got this one and the reviews I’ve read since then are a bit of a mixed bag.  It seems that Char-Broil grills are a bit prone to rusting.  Fortunately since I live in the driest desert in North America I don’t see that being too big of a problem :-).  Another complaint I read about this is how the holes get clogged easily and then it stops working right.  But then there are a bunch of others that absolutely love this thing.  I guess I’ll find out on which side I’ll be on soon enough.

So, since I’m new at this grilling thing, any suggestions from the Peanut Gallery?  Any advise and/or recipes are welcome!

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Home Improvement Cont’d May 25, 2010

Posted by Mitchell in Home.
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Phase II – Maid Service

Last week I finally followed through and arranged for a maid service to come out and give me an estimate.  The price was reasonable at $175 each for the first two visits to give the place a good once-over and then 90 bucks every other week to keep the place up.  Today’s the first day so I’m keen to see how they did when I get home tonight.  Yah, they’re gonna work when I’m not there.  I don’t like to watch other people working and I figured no maid service is going to be in business very long if stuff went missing from their customers’ homes.  I do wonder what kind of stuff they say about the homes they clean to others.  “I can’t believe people actually live this way – they’re such pigs!”  I bet they have interesting stories though.  What do y’all think?  Will my place become a source of Interesting Stories?  I also wonder how many of their customers clean like mad the days before they show up so they won’t become an Interesting Story?  I know I sure did.  Oh don’t worry, I left them plenty of work still to do.

More to come…

Okay, so I went home after hitting the gym and found the place pretty well cleaned up.  I was particularly pleased at the dusting done.  I hate dusting so I rarely do it and I’d built up a pretty thick layer.  All gone!  They also neatened up some of the clutter piles around.  I was amused by some of the clever towel folding like what you see in hotels and they even arranged the soap and shampoo bottles in the shower in a neat little pattern.  Hell, they even cleaned my toaster oven!  I wasn’t expecting that actually.  Yes indeedy – I can get used to this pretty quick.

Home Improvement May 24, 2010

Posted by Mitchell in Home.
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Stand Back!  He’s Spending Money Again!

A few weeks ago I looked at my checking account and saw that it had waaay too much money in it and I decided it was time to do something about it (yeah I know – y’all wish you had my problems).  A big chunk of it I threw into savings but held a fair chunk in to pay for some new goodies and improvements to the Casa Del Yorl.  The last couple weeks it all started happening.  🙂

Phase 1:  The Living Room

Actually this part didn’t really use any money, since I was the beneficiary of my Parental Units’ decision to get new stuff and I got the hand-me-downs.  Remember a few months ago when they got they got the fancy frog-table?  I started laying the groundwork by placing notions in their heads about them considering other upgrades and my evil plans paid off even better than I expected.  Not only did they get other new tables they got a new couch, chair and rugs too!  Check out my new living room (clicky to embiggen):

This is living!

It’s not that I had bad stuff before – it’s just that it was too much furniture, too big and just not as nice as this. First I had to get rid of my couch and chairs and I lucked out by selling it all to someone at the office just a couple of days before my parents got theirs delivered.  They even went in half for the u-haul so we had an easy time to get this over to my place.  Well, the couch and chair anyway.  The tables I actually got a few weeks before.  Can you see them?  They’re actualy big ol’ gnarly massive root balls of (I think) manzanita.  They were fairly ‘$pen$ive when they originally bought them and it’s very difficult to find anything like them.  I’ll get some closeups posted soon.

Everybody Draw Mohammed Day May 20, 2010

Posted by Mitchell in Art, Meh.
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The Original Islamic Rage Boy

Here’s my entry:

Not one of my best drawings, but I didn’t spend a lot of time on it either.  Appropriate for the subject matter and it’s sufficient for this purpose.  I don’t know if this is insulting enough though.  As far as I can tell, Mohammedians don’t actually seem to mind being compared to nazis and are big fans of their work, while on the other hand completely denying the Holocaust even happened.  They get to eat their camel and have it too I guess.

Anyway, if’n any fans of Big Mo show up and have a problem with this, you be sure to drop me a note and tell me all about it m’kay?  Oh, and please do tell me why you guys all like to grow those shitty beards will ya?  I’ve always wondered about that.

No More Pencils, No More Books… May 11, 2010

Posted by Mitchell in Art, Home.
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No More Classmates’ Dirty Looks

School’s out!  Well, there’s one more class next Friday but we just go in to pick up our portfolios and find out our grade for the class.  Last week was a busy time for me as I was making up for some stuff that I’d missed when my sister was in town and general slackitude.  I thought I was going to still be one drawing short but it turned out that we didn’t need to turn in one of the ones I was missing so that turned out ok.  Here’s the last one I did:

Ehhh.  I really need to work on my portrait skills, but hopefully good enough to get me a ok grade.  The goal of this project was to draw something realistic and incorporate forms from stencils we made into the composition.  My original idea was to use the violin stencils to form notes swirling around the figure and her violin, but that was waaaaaaay too complicated for something that needed to be cranked out fairly quickly so I scaled back to this and got it done in about three to four hours.  I’m curious as to how the final grade will turn out.

I have to say that this was the oddest art classes I’ve ever had.  We never did a single critique and the teacher did almost no demonstrations whatsoever and had very few examples on hand to show how other students approached the subjects.  She explained some of this in part due to recent changes in the class parameters and her digital picture archive getting accidentally wiped.  Sure, it’s ART 101 – the most beginning of “Beginner” classes but still I expected more substance to it.  Oh well.  I’m sure I passed and now at least I have ART101 on the books at this school so I won’t have that pesky prerequisite blocking classes I might want to take later.

The Blogsuckage To Continue… May 5, 2010

Posted by Mitchell in Home.
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Sorry, busy y’all.  I’ve been slacking (WoW) so now I have to play catch up on my meatspace obligations.  CUL8er!