Sunday, October 12, 2008

On top of ol' smokey

I thought I would share a couple of pictures with you. And believe it or not, there are no pictures of the dogs. Nope, I take it back, Sadie is in the background of the 1st picture.

A couple of weeks ago I finally got a smoker. I went with the gas variety thinking that it would be the easiest way to maintain a steady temperature. I think I was right. I found one at Albertsons in BR. When I first saw it it was marked down to $99. I was gonna go back and get it. I happened to be there again a week or 2 later and saw that it was marked down for final clearance, $69. I think the original price was $149, so I am very pleased with the deal I got.

I decided that my first experiment would have to be spare ribs, my favorite. But, since this thing has such a high capacity I also threw in a salmon filet. I did my prep work on the ribs the night before, created a rub from the "stuff" I could find in the cabinet, and let time, heat, and hickory smoke do their thing. The result: pretty good, not yet great but pretty good. Even K-Love, who is not a ribs person, said she thought they were good and had a second helping. I plan to make ribs my specialty, I've still got lots of work to do. The salmon was good also but he ribs, mmmm, the ribs!

In an unrelated story. I find my neighborhood to be very nice and the people seem pretty friendly. EXCEPT for my neighbor. I have tried several times to wave and say hi but she doesn't seem to want return the effort. Now, I'm from the kind of place where one neighbor coaches the other neighbors kids in Little League or one neighbor brings former New York Mets first basemen and Alabama Alum Dave Magadan over to say hello and sign an autograph (true, I wasn't home but our neighbor did bring him over, pretty freakin' cool, I know). So I'm really not used to having stand-offish neighbors. She also has an LSU flag hanging on her carport, like most people here in Capital City. But, come Saturday she unleashes her giant inflatable LSU helmet.

Now, I have no problem with school spirit, in fact, I love school spirit. As my loyal readers may recall, I have even decided to stop saying negative things about LSU. BUT, this lady has waged war with her incivility and giant purple and yellow dirigible. So, I went on-line and ordered my self an Alabama banner to hang outside. I think of my self as a pretty classy guy so I only fly it on Saturday, I fly my American flag the other 6(as you might expect from a civics teacher).

I don't plan to buy anything inflatable for the yard at this point, but I have scoped a few things out on the net. Just in case. Maybe K and I should invite her over for some BBQ ribs on November 8Th* so that we can "make peace". Just a thought

*Nov 8, LSU vs. Alabama

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Me? A morning person?

Anyone who knows me well, and has known me for a while can tell you some sort of story about my "dis-agreement" with mornings. My sister could tell you about the time when she was 6 and tried to wake me up on a Saturday morning and I kicked her in the head. No, it wasn't on purpose, she tickled my foot to wake me, I never opened my eyes, shook my leg to stop her and WHAM! little kid crying on the floor.

My Dad could tell you about me stumbling out of bed on the weekends just in time for breakfast, or lunch as they called it.

My mom can tell you that during my college years she learned to never, ever, ever, call before 10 AM. If I did answer the phone, it was like talking to a wall. If!

But that was a long time ago. Since moving back to Louisiana in 2003 I have found reasons to wake up before the Sun.

First, My job at Abita Springs Water. Up at 5:30, to work at 6. Hauling water by 6:30.

Second, Raytheon-warehouse support. Up at 5:30, commute 50 minutes, at work by 6:30.

Third, living in BR, commuting to school in NOLA. 8:00 classes so I woke up at 5:30, left the house by 5:45. Catch major traffic in Kenner, get to class 10 minutes before 8.

Fourth, Teaching. School starts at 7:20. Teachers must report by 7:05. It takes me 30 minutes to get there. So, I usually get up between 5:30 and 6.

I say all that to say this(that's for you biddy). My running has been suffering lately. I feel very tired when I get home everyday. That makes my workout runs very un-enjoyable. Thus, I have shortened and skipped several runs lately. I usually get up at 6:30 on Sundays to do my long runs. That got me to thinking that maybe I should do my runs in the morning before work. The problem is that I would have to get up at 4AM. I am not really happy with that idea. But, I have a half marathon in late November and a full marathon February 1st. They are not gonna run themselves.

My eating habits have also been out of control lately. Basically I eat whatever whenever. This does not help the workout program at all.

So, Wednesday night I decided to set my alarm for 4:30 AM. I figured that I would make the decision to run or not when the alarm went off. The alarm never went off. Instead, Sadie decided that she wanted to wake up and start her day at 4AM. I tried briefly to get her to go back to sleep. But, I know her so well that I knew it wasn't gonna happen. I realized that I wasn't going back to sleep anytime soon so I might as well get up and run. I got up, got dressed(white shirt and white shorts), Put on my miners headlamp flashlight, and turned one of Sadie's reflective collars into a reflective belt.

After a sip of go-go juice(gatorade) and half a granola bar I turn on my headlight(singular) and I'm on my way. The goal for the day is 3 miles, just to see if I can get up and see how I feel later in the day. The run itself is pretty uneventful. My body woke up pretty quickly. But, given the early hour I found myself in an unexpected race. A race againt the little white light. Though the street lights did a good job of lighting the way I found mysel running in and out of darkness. As I ran into the dark spots the light from my headlamp, a small circle about 6 feet ahead of me showed me the way. It was the first time in several months that I have run without my MP3 player. For all my precautions I was passed by not a single car and saw no one. Not a single dog bark. It's an odd feeling to be out in the middle of the city and feel so alone. It's also odd to run without seeing the road beneath you. You quickly learn to trust your bodies natural abilities and instincts. My feet and ankles, legs and joints adjusted to each foot fall, my body finding its natural rhythm and seeming to float through the miles. It was a beautiful experience. Knowing what I know now makes me wonder if I should do it again. It's never as beautiful the second time.

But, I know that I feel better when I run. I know that I run better in the morning. So, on Tuesday's and Thursdays I will be, or at least attempt to be, getting up at four to go running. I felt fine during the day on Thursday but a bit sluggish on Friday. I'm gonna have to figure out a sleep pattern.

So now, not only do I wake up before mother nature, but I will be going to sleep at supper time. What's next? taking K-love to get the Denny's early-bird special at 3pm, then to bed after Entertainment Tonight.?

I don't know how this is gonna turn out, I'll keep you posted.