No Thanks Necessary

You’ll thank me for this clever discovery.

Beats eating alive animal over the sink.  This from a guy that is grossed out by relish and chili. Jeez.


© 2011 wReggie’s I’m Always Mentally on Vacation. These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to you when you view, access or otherwise use the blog located at www.wreggie.com (the “blog”). Terms and Conditions can be found at http://reghunnicutt.com/terms.html.

Here’s How it Went Down, or a Bachelors Supper

My chili on a classic Oscar Mayer bun length dog….mustard with fresh onions.

The chili was good…a lot of flavors. The dog was okay….really just a delivery vehicle.  The bread needed steaming and was stale even thought it was bought today.

The chili deserved better bread and wiener.  


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And Now.....

With Gigi gone for now, the animals are acting very goofy and clingy. They are all dancing under my feet for affection and I have reached a point where it has become annoying.

I, on the other hand, just realized last night as I was grocery shopping, that I now live alone. It is a very strange feeling not going home to someone after 3 decades of going home to a spouse.

It is important that I consume my spare time constructively lest I go feral.

Last night I turned to cooking therapy and made about a gallon of hot dog chili from the old recipe from Durham. It had directions like, “a handful of this”, “cook a while”, “use a number 3 can of”, etc.

What turned out is a very nice chili that I shall consume tonight with some hotdogs. If it passes this test I will retain a few quarts in the freezer for future tailgate consumption.     

Strangely the recipe has as much vegetable content as it does beef.  It has three different chili spices along with salt and pepper. It is not greasy orange like a lot of hot dog chili. It has a distinct flavor and aroma that I recall, with layers of flavors, playing off acidic against sweetness, and a good overall consistency.   

Today I go back to the office for the first time this week. Gigi is in a regular room now with TV and a phone so we can talk whenever she feels up to it. 


© 2011 wReggie’s I’m Always Mentally on Vacation. These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to you when you view, access or otherwise use the blog located at www.wreggie.com (the “blog”). Terms and Conditions can be found at http://reghunnicutt.com/terms.html.

This Will Change Your Life

How to Peel a Head of Garlic in Less Than 10 Seconds from SAVEUR.com on Vimeo.


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Long Story Short

I just awoke from 12 hours of deep and restful sleep.

On Monday the day of the surgery I waited to see Gigi after an 8 hour successful repair of Gigi’s lower spine. They replaced 3 discs, shaved off bone spurs and arthritis from her spine, then wrapped it all in a wire cage and braced it all with a metal rod. They said there was bone on bone in three places.

We were told it would be 90 minutes in recovery and then I could see her. It was soon 2 hours, then 3, 4, and then we were told that things were not going well and if they couldn’t correct this she would not make it.

I was sent home and they were instructed to call me when she was moved.

Millions of thoughts and emotions came pouring through over the next 12 hours. It was 4 AM and still no call so I called. She had just bee moved to ICU and was stable now.

Tuesday morning at 9 AM I saw her swollen face with a respirator but responsive to me looking out through the slits of her eyes.  I sat by her side and saw her gain strength every hour. The big deal was removing the breathing help so she could breathe on her own.

By afternoon she was drinking and making a few joke but in a great deal of pain. Her incision runs from her shoulder blades to the bottom of her back.

I am so thankful she made it past Monday.  

© 2011 wReggie’s I’m Always Mentally on Vacation. These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to you when you view, access or otherwise use the blog located at www.wreggie.com (the “blog”). Terms and Conditions can be found at http://reghunnicutt.com/terms.html.

Gigi

Gigi’s good surgery turned very bad yesterday when she slipped off into very critical condition. It was late into the night before they could get her responsive. Keep her in your prayers please. Hopefully she is on a path to recovery. I have not been allowed to see her yet.

© 2011 wReggie’s I’m Always Mentally on Vacation. These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to you when you view, access or otherwise use the blog located at www.wreggie.com (the “blog”). Terms and Conditions can be found at http://reghunnicutt.com/terms.html.

The Day Has Arrived

Today is the big day of Gigi's surgery. We both arrived early full of fear and doubt. But I guess this is human to feel this way.

I'll post comments in the comment area when I know of her condition.

Meanwhile we could use your prayers and good thoughts and vibes.



Today the Revelation

Today I shall gaze upon the ancient and sacred text that reveals the Amos and Andy hot dog chili recipe.

I am told it has many ingredients described as old school and very Southern. Sounds like a lot of animal fat perhaps.

My guess was a simple recipe of meat, salt, pepper and chili powder…. but it is not so.

The key to it all after the flavors is rendering the classic hot dog chili texture. I believe I have found a way to do this if it is not discussed in the ancient texts. 


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My Tailgate Grilled Wings

My wings were off the hook last weekend. I had veteran wing eaters coming to me declaring these were the best wing ever. Most folks ate them naked without wing sauce.

So, I wanted to share my recipe with the blogosphere.

Take however many wings you want and wash them. Mine were jointed and there were 120 of them for $16 at Costco.

Then I coat the wings in olive oil and packed them in zip lock bags for the tailgate.

On a Weber 22 inch charcoal grill, build a fire that will cover ½ of the cooking surface. This will create a hot zone and a cool zone.

Now I lay out the wings on a tray and coat both sides lightly with seasoning salt.

What you want to do now is sear the wings all over in the hot zone. It only takes a few minutes in the hot zone to brown the wings.

Next set the wings in the cool zone off of the direct fire and add a few chunks of hickory for some smoke flavor.  I use chunks instead of chips and I do not soak them.

Set them this way for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes they look done now but the aren’t. Rearrange them for even heat and add one more chunk of wood and cook them another 20 minutes.    

Remove them after 40 minutes and let them rest.

The sauce was simple. One stick of better and a few cups of Franks Hot Wing Sauce along with a generous portion of honey and some crushed garlic.

Enjoy. They are lean, tasty, seasoned, not hot but can be with sauce, smokey and there are so many variation possibilities. 


© 2011 wReggie’s I’m Always Mentally on Vacation. These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to you when you view, access or otherwise use the blog located at www.wreggie.com (the “blog”). Terms and Conditions can be found at http://reghunnicutt.com/terms.html.

A Happy Worm Hole

I dreamed I was cutting through Belk’s Department store on the way to the Apple Store here at Southpark Mall in Charlotte.

In the store was a kiosk for St Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventures, (SCUBA), which happens to be my go to favorite dive shop on St Croix.

I jokingly asked if I could book a couple of dives on their boat for this afternoon. She said “absolutely” and I scoffed.

“No, all you have to do is go through that door and down the hall and you’ll come out on Strand Lane in Christiansted”.

“No Shit?”

“Yes.”

I did and she was right. I found a worm hole.  

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It's Friday Tanner!





Flank Steak




I never promise to make something that I haven't tried. Flank steak on Sunday lads.

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Great News

An agent in Durham has confirmed this morning that the coveted Amos N Andy hot dog chili recipe has been secured, and will be delivered to me Sunday.

I can’t wait to get my eyes on the sacred and ancient hot dog scrolls. Apparently there were hot dog scribes and scholars back in what I guess would be the late 1930’s. They not only studied the hot dog sciences, they recorded what I thought was a lost recipe.   

Amos N Andy was a well known and old establishment back in the early 1960’s, so I guess the recipe goes back prior to WWII.

The discovery to me is about as exciting as finding an ant in a chunk of amber is to a scientist.  

I plan to study the recipe and will try and resurrect the flavors of my childhood that I thought was lost for the ages.

This will be fun. 


© 2011 wReggie’s I’m Always Mentally on Vacation. These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to you when you view, access or otherwise use the blog located at www.wreggie.com (the “blog”). Terms and Conditions can be found at http://reghunnicutt.com/terms.html.

One Pet That I Have Never Disclosed...

This brine shrimp lives in my office. I have had him/her about 8 years and he/she is about 10 years old. I give him/her fresh water about every other Thanksgiving because I start to feel sorry for him/her having to spend the holidays alone in my office. 

So there you have it. I am out of the closet.    

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4 Things

I have had two panic attacks in my life and they could best be described as uncontrolled terror. They were early in my career about 3 years apart. I remember them vividly.

My mother asked me to be her friend last night on Facebook. How cool is that? She is 86 and I am so fortunate to have such an independent mother who keeps up with the times.

It is so exciting to actually be at a Monday Night Football game knowing all of football America is watching. They play “Are you ready for some Football?” on the big screen just before kickoff. Man that is a rush.

Lastly….sometimes you just have to toss in an ear or corn to make a crowd happy.

video



© 2011 wReggie’s I’m Always Mentally on Vacation. These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to you when you view, access or otherwise use the blog located at www.wreggie.com (the “blog”). Terms and Conditions can be found at http://reghunnicutt.com/terms.html.

2 for 1 Blog Monday

Good news keeps pouring in. I may get my hands on the coveted Amos N Andy Hot dog chili recipe.  This has been one of my lifelong ambitions….be able to make perfect hot dog chili like I used to get at Amos N Andy in Durham.

One step closer to the Hot Dog Cart…..


The picture reminded me of something my father told me. Back in Durham we all drank Pepsi because it was a North Carolina pharmacist in New Bern that invested it.

Coke was the creation of a pharmacist in Atlanta, GA.

My grand father was a pharmacist and my father told me we could have been rich. He said his father was working on a drink and stopped at 6Up. Then he gave up the idea.

The next guy came along and invented 7Up.

The moral of the story was never give up.   


© 2011 wReggie’s I’m Always Mentally on Vacation. These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to you when you view, access or otherwise use the blog located at www.wreggie.com (the “blog”). Terms and Conditions can be found at http://reghunnicutt.com/terms.html.

One more time...

Sunday was actually a bit cold and windy. It made for perfect football weather. 

Fixing my bride a hot dog. 

The Cam Newton jersey was a big hit.



© 2011 wReggie’s I’m Always Mentally on Vacation. These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to you when you view, access or otherwise use the blog located at www.wreggie.com (the “blog”). Terms and Conditions can be found at http://reghunnicutt.com/terms.html.

Home Opener


Derm Dogs 2011 style.


The gang. We had about 30 folks show up. Even Gigi!

© 2011 wReggie’s I’m Always Mentally on Vacation. These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to you when you view, access or otherwise use the blog located at www.wreggie.com (the “blog”). Terms and Conditions can be found at http://reghunnicutt.com/terms.html.

NFL Stadiums

Our Stadium was built in 1995. It is open air and has real grass. This is the way God intended a football stadium to be and this is what I like.


It is nice to see old stadiums that are kept up and honored for their place in history. I was admiring The Rose Bowl yesterday on TV while UCLA played.

I do not covet domed stadiums with all their fancy trappings. There are places in my stadium that are sterile with posh seating, bars, controlled climate and other things to do besides watch football. They can have it.

I think this guy says it best….




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A Breakthrough!

I may have cracked my pizza crust dilemma. As you recall, I was making pizzas that were fantastic tasting, looked great,  but the crust left something to be desired. Plus it was a hell of a lot of trouble making dough that turned out substandard. And darn time consuming and messy too.

I like pizza crust, but I don’t want the crust to define the pizza. I simply want my crust to be a delivery agent for the stuff on top. It needs a few characteristics, good mouth feel, thin and not over powering, eye appeal, able to roll for the maximum mouth shove.

For the pizza perfectionists out there my solution for now may be the “instant grits” of fixes, but I was surprised how good this was.

I bought a couple of premade Boboli pizza crusts and the results were very good. It allowed me to get beyond my stumbling block and get on with a good pizza.

They slide nicely on and off the pizza stone and browned up evenly. I made one last week and Gigi and I went all Hoover on it. I still have burns healing on the roof of my mouth.

The crusts were a bit pricey at $5 each but I found another source at Costco for 5 for $5.

So I think now the technology will allow me to take this pizza show on the road and maybe tailgating on Sunday. 


© 2011 wReggie’s I’m Always Mentally on Vacation. These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to you when you view, access or otherwise use the blog located at www.wreggie.com (the “blog”). Terms and Conditions can be found at http://reghunnicutt.com/terms.html.

Bits and Pieces

Well sports fans it’s the home opener here this Sunday against The Green Bay Packers. The weather is going to be perfect with temperatures around 70 and partly cloudy skies.  

We have a good size crowd coming to tailgate. This will be fun and I expect a good game.

Today Gigi and I go and pick up our 3rd renewal of our concealed carry permits. Ten years of packing heat and ain’t shot anyone yet.

And now for a musical interlude….




Oh what the heck....


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Jersey Conversion


Got a new favorite player but not ready to commit $100 for the jersey? Try a little duck tape and bam! A Cam Newton jersey.


© 2011 wReggie’s I’m Always Mentally on Vacation. These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to you when you view, access or otherwise use the blog located at www.wreggie.com (the “blog”). Terms and Conditions can be found at http://reghunnicutt.com/terms.html.

Two Jobs with no Government Help

A few days ago I saw this posted by reader Phfrankie on another blog regarding jobs:

“No one is entitled to a job. One does not have a right to a job. You need a job? Don't look for anyone to give you one. MAKE your own job. BE the job.”

Last week I downloaded the free Xcode which is the developer code for writing apps for the iPhone and iPad.

I like a challenge and I like to code. Maybe a St Croix app is in the works?   

I am a software developer and will make an app. Maybe I can sell it and make $. Who knows, but I am willing to invest my time and learn. Cause I know folks are buying apps like pan cakes.

Gigi is schedule for her surgery again on the 26. Yesterday while in a pre-op office visit I noticed the pattern in the floor. Someone designed that and got paid for designing it.

Physician floor pattern designer. 


© 2011 wReggie’s I’m Always Mentally on Vacation. These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to you when you view, access or otherwise use the blog located at www.wreggie.com (the “blog”). Terms and Conditions can be found at http://reghunnicutt.com/terms.html.

Rejoice

Today I will rejoice and kill the fatted lamb. Actually, I am just happy and thawed some pork BBQ I froze a month ago.

My cup runneth over. I’m having a nice glass of wine but not wasting it buy letting the cup run over.

For it is fall…and the weather is fine…my bride found her keys and I made progress with my banker.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.

But now, I need to feed the chickens and horses. Amen.


© 2011 wReggie’s I’m Always Mentally on Vacation. These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to you when you view, access or otherwise use the blog located at www.wreggie.com (the “blog”). Terms and Conditions can be found at http://reghunnicutt.com/terms.html.

Denim Snow in the Land of Cotton

For those of you who have never seen a field of cotton.....you have now. Soon this cotton will be harvested and baled in giant blocks for shipping.  

Beautiful, isn't it?


video




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Saturday Dive

Diving didn't turn out as expected. The weather was nice but the swells from an offshore hurricane had the seas churned up.

We met at the dive shop in Wilmington and I soon learned I was the elder diver. On board were two model pretty woman that didn't have an ounce of body fat between them. Next a few steroid weight lifter guys, typical studly crew, then me. I felt like I was on CBS Survivor and I was the old dude.

We arrived at the first wreck and the visibility was nearly zero. We moved to the wreck The Hyde and the visibility was about 4 feet. Worse than quarry diving.

We went in the water and descended down on the wreck. It was surreal. School fish were thick in the water and it was so dark we had to use lights. Sharks hang out at this wreck so we knew we may bump into one at any turn.

We felt our way along the wreck and followed a wreck line that was laid out for conditions like this.

As bad as it sounds it was peaceful. The wreck was covered in coral. Fish were thick as fog and I enjoyed watching them in the beam of my light.

My dive buddy and I lost the wreck line so we lost the ability to know where to surface. We decided to send up a safety sausage which is an inflatable brightly colored dive marker to let the crew above know our location and intensions of surfacing.

We spend the next few minutes coming up from 70 feet suspended in murky water and thousands of schooling fish.

Surprisingly we surfaced 20 yards from the boat.

The rest of the weekend was cancelled because of conditions. We enjoyed an hour long boat ride back to port in Wrightsville beach.

Overall it was an enjoyable dive in spite of the conditions.

The Way I See It


Let's see...he wants to take another half a trillion to save his job from the half of the country that pays taxes, and give it to the half of the country that doesn't pay taxes. This ensures a 50 percent vote for him, and a 50 vote against him. Brilliant!







Back at the Shack East

Pulling in from Wilmington, NC. The city is left, Cape Fear river in the middle, and the USS North Carolina at dock to the right.




Winner Gets a Free Hot Dog...just pay shipping and handling!

Can you recite the refrain of “Smokey the Bear” PSA song of the 60’s? No cheating….and yes it was Smokey the Bear and not Smokey Bear.


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I Know What I Like and Don't Like

I like old dogs even if they do sleep a lot, stink a bit, leak, have more accidents, stumble when they walk, cost more in drugs used, and can’t keep up like they used too. I have two of them now and they are entrusting their well being and old age to me and my wife. They are very worth the trouble.

I can’t stand Flo on the progressive commercials and any of the progressive commercials in general yet, I have Progressive Insurance. I swear I’m going to switch to The Lizard insurance company.


© 2011 wReggie’s I’m Always Mentally on Vacation. These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to you when you view, access or otherwise use the blog located at www.wreggie.com (the “blog”). Terms and Conditions can be found at http://reghunnicutt.com/terms.html.

Fall

Fall can be quality time if no one rains on my parade. I mean football, tailgating, outdoors stuff, perfect weather, freaky beautiful trees, bright sun, pumpkins, evening fires, clean air, the list goes on.

My calendar fills up with fun events and work which I like.

Fall is perfect for camping and road trips. It doesn't last long so there is urgency in my enjoyment. After all, I am not promised another day.

Let the fun begin.

My Autumn Retreat Awaits

Over the past few trips I have managed to carve out a nice little slice of paradise by tweaking my surroundings.



For starters I needed some turf, so I went out to Lowes and bought some real grass. The dogs love it.


I needed a social gathering place to talk, eat, drink and laugh.


I needed a place to rest my bones so I used my hammock.


Finally, I have some cultivation going on in my herb garden. Currently, fresh rosemary and mint. Tanner waters it daily.

I will be here hopefully next week to do some diving offshore, and watch opening week of the NFL.

International Bacon Day

International bacon day came and passed as usual without a hitch. I was really worried with 9/11 so close.

What I ended up doing is watching Appalachian State get thrashed by Virginia tech, and it had to be the longest football game ever. I watched the first half with friends at a sports bar and the second half back home on my newly set up HD dish.

Now the rest of this post is kind of technical and uses big word like telemetry and gymnasium, but try and hang in there if you will.

For years I have carried a satellite dish on the road when traveling in the RV. Back in the day, I would point my dish to one satellite (101) and I could bring in digital tv with all the channels I subscribed to back home.

Later when we upgraded to TIVI and then a DVR it became necessary to upgrade the dish and install another line in the RV to accommodate the extra feed. Pointing was still easy and fast.

Now I have 100% HDTV back home so it became necessary to upgrade so I could point at five satellites at once.

All the equipment came in last week, a new dish, new LMB, new multi-switch, an amplifier, all in separate boxes. I assembled this at home to install at another location.

When it came time to put it all together I realized that the mast the dish was to be mounted on was a half inch too small. It was an inch and a half and I needed a two inch pole.

This was as embarrassing as launching the first Hubble telescope with bad lens. I mean all this effort and upgrade cost to be stopped by a simple but essential mast.






Without being able to find a substitute, I went to the Home Depot plumbing department and began to MacGyver a solution.

I came away with a modification that worked well and I was able to add my mighty dish to the antenna farm and watch ASU get their ass whipping in HD.

I am so thankful for a brain and opposable thumbs.....and International Bacon Day.

Week in Review








WTF?


I like one blood sport and that is boxing. I mean traditional prize fighting, old school boxing, glitz and glamour, with a touch of gangsters and the mob, all culminating in a sudden concussion.

Yes I like this…..especially a title fight on HBO at some Vegas casino.

I have my heroes too like old school Mohammed Ali, George Forman, Ray Mancini, and the more recent crop of fighter super stars like Manny Pacquiao and Oscar de la Hoya.

All of these guys were journeyman fighters who became masters in their field and I respect that.  

I personally like to have a good time too. But one of these guys crossed the line recently and got caught in a “David Carradine” moment all complete with diamond panty hose and body stocking so I’m going to have to publically withdraw my hero worship.

Oscar….what were you thinking?     

© 2011 wReggie’s I’m Always Mentally on Vacation. These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to you when you view, access or otherwise use the blog located at www.wreggie.com (the “blog”). Terms and Conditions can be found at http://reghunnicutt.com/terms.html.

Turkey Wings II



© 2011 wReggie’s I’m Always Mentally on Vacation. These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to you when you view, access or otherwise use the blog located at www.wreggie.com (the “blog”). Terms and Conditions can be found at http://reghunnicutt.com/terms.html.