Perfect Day





Beans and chili.



Just When I think I Have Peaked in Life

I do another BRILLIANT thing!

Check it out...a few soon to be stained 2X4s, and the front and rear tailgates now become table tops for the bar. They fit like a glove.

I already had the nice wood top from an old project and now I have this thing covered.

Just pull up a bar stool and chow time.

My brain is like the sun....I just can't shut it down.

New for the Fall Season

Yep, a fire pit right there in the screen room. It is small, mostly eye candy, but it throws off heat too.

Control Freak

Smoking is a little more demanding of equipment and conditions. I noticed that smoke was escaping ever so slightly from the top seam and the firebox seam. This causes infiltrating air to burn fuel at a rate that may not be desired. Ideally BBQ smoking should be at a constant 225 degrees. Extra air raises that temperature.

It became very apparent of extra air flow during my first tailgate of the year when I closed all the dampers, yet enough air was available to keep the fire smoldering. It should have gone out in my humble opinion. Apparently others had this same problem.

They sell kit of high temperature felt and adhesive to block such annoyances. This smoker should now be damn near air tight and under my strict air flow control.

You Knew I Would


I gotta say that as of this morning I am upgrading my back to 85% recovery. 85% may be a bit optimistic but after this week of travel and tailgate I am able to function with minimal pain and discomfort.

I began my usual 2 plus mile walks today and that is the first since April 11th.

In 140 days I will make my St Croix trip and my goal is to be as fit as I can. I have some weight to loose and some exercise ahead of me.

Just maybe my back ordeal will be a distant memory/warning by spring.

Sunday Win Day!

Beat the New York Giants....Big time shut out.

The bar is ready.

My tailgate chuck wagon week II home game ready to serve.

Set up for the crowd and toss on the dogs.

Foot long wieners on the grill...I think maybe there is food dye number 3?

The crowd comes.

Beautiful dog her style.

A happy tailgater.

Custom dog two by Sebastian.

The chow bar...both side were full and I like that.

At last...home to watch the game.

Austin, Texas

From my room. Look at the size of our balcony. Back to North Carolina in the morning and afternoon prep for tailgating Sunday.

Wrapping up a Bidness Trip

A new Corporate gobbility goop term I have learned is , "Down in the weeds". That means you are on the front lines in touch with the dirt of the business. Down in the trenches. Maybe even rubbing elbows with customers.

"Reaching out to you" seems to be waining. I hate that term. Just give me a phone call.

Also, we have our own Magic Negro here at the hotel. He is a distinguished black man in a suit with white hair and goatee. He appeared twice to me yesterday when I had my arms full. He said' "Good morning", with a big smile and pressed the elevator button. Then disappeared.

Traveling Notes

I'm in Austin, TX on business. I am the only American I know who is not beholding or in awe of Texas. It is hot and flat. They have the Dallas Cowboys. It is humid. They don't make good wine here. Their ladies aren't as pretty as my NC ladies.

But the do make a nice looking Bloody Mary.

And yesterday, at the encouragement of one Phfrankie Bondo, I set up the IOS 7 download and drifted off to bed about 9PM.

I awoke to find that Santa did indeed come and left me with all the goodness of a basket of fresh Apples.

My new operating system!

The New Normal

Headed to the airport where I'll squat over a mirror and cough to prove to the feds that I'm okay to fly.

Meanwhile, on any given military base, a confirmed crazy person (or Muslim extremist, the same thing) with a top level security clearance, is plotting the next mass murder.

I'll wade through town amongst the gang bangers and honey boo-boos of the world and grab breakfast.

Then, on the way to the airport I'll listen to the overnight police blotter on the local news radio station.

Did a civilian murder someone, or was it a cop?

I could use a puff of optimism.

Two Great Frenchmen

Sidney Poitier

Pierre Thomas

Mac Mini Surgery

Last week I ordered a solid state hard drive for my 2 year old Mac Mini. A Mac Mini is a compact little computer mad by Apple that is about 2 inches thick and has the foot print of a square coffee saucer. However it has the muscle of any big PC desktop.

Here are the tools and hard drive. The drive has no moving parts, it is faster and will last longer. This is a 125 GB drive and it cost $130.

Here are some of the guts. You can see it is about half the size of a piece of paper.

I laid out parts in order so I could find them in reverse order when I put it back together.

Here is is completely disassembled with the silver case to the left. There was just enough room to fit this second drive in this tight place. The connections and screw were tiny. I needed glasses and a magnifier to see some of these connections.

The results are a faster and more durable computer.

Funny how I can tear one of these down and put it back together, but would freak out over a combustion engine.

We lost

168 to felt that way anyhow.

YouTube Video

I had my Beavis and Butthead PJs on, a beer, and a perfect day for a while.


The picture doesn't do justice. This is slick as a puppy penis. 5 coats and I may do more to impress Kenny.

I Thought So

What Border Collies do when you are gone.

It's Not Just About The Bling

I couldn't resist a spar urethane topping to this. It ain't a Kenny boat job, but some light grit sanding between coats should yield a nice bar top finish.

I need to work my way on the sides too. It should help preserve the untreated wood and look damn good on Sunday mornings.

It was suggested that we hire a midget in a wheelchair to act as a bar tender. I don't think I can say that on the public Internets but that would be cool.

I could see this hitch being a problem with folks mingling and drinking at a tailgate. I just knew this was a busted shin waiting to happen. I painted it red so folks could avoid it.

Last Sunday I took one for the team and burned my calf. I walked right into the side of the smoker. I'll survive.

A week from Sunday will be the New York Giants. Foot long hotdogs baby!

I Need a Break

I feel like the old dog and pony show is getting tired.

Even my bear act isn't hitting the mark.

I've been stressed too. Keeping all the plates spinning can drive you crazy.

I need a vacation.


At any time today, it is exactly 24 hours from yesterday.


Yep, Popeye, and Jack Sparrow with a buzzard on his shoulder.

Just another Sunday in the stadium in Charlotte. These guys were sitting off to our left.

150 Days

To Saint Croix. This is the mental apogee of the year when I only go once a year. Now I am slowly falling back to the island I love and the velocity will only increase.

I need to get fit again. I struggle in the mornings with pain until I get really moving and take a few over the counter pain meds. I want to be pain free as possible before I get there and I need to build up the core muscles.

I can only assume that after 4 1/2 month since surgery that pain is going to be a regular visitor. Don't get me wrong...I am 75% better than I was before surgery...I just don't much care for the gentle and constant reminder in the last 25%.

Good Things Come in Pairs

My new hens started laying.

My new shoes are bright.

North Carolina Pulled Pork

Just look at it. Good enough to eat on its own. I prefer NC sauce which is a concoction of vinegar and spices. Others prefer the store bought Kraft BBQ style. I even throw on some hot sauce.

Left overs can be eaten the same, in a bun, an accompaniment to eggs at breakfast, roll up in a floured taco, dress out on a hot dog for the extreme meat effect, just don't throw any away.

The Beauty of it All

I can just disconnect my mess, throw a tarp over it and clean up at my leisure.

One More Thing

She flew for the first time yesterday.

And look at this picture closely. We here at Extreme Tailgate make projections on attendance so we know how much food to make. My guess was 40 plus. I count 42 in the picture plus one behind the camera. Pretty good huh?

Game One Results

We lost, however it was a defensive battle to the end. I was entertained.

It was hot.

Enough with the bad.

Theoretically I have postulated that I could cook 20 pounds of wings in one session but it had never been done. My computer models insisted it could be done so I tried it. 20 pounds (about 300) cooked in my smoker on a three level modification. All but 16 were consumed and Lord they were good.

The BBQ was off the hook good. I did about 20 pounds and maybe a pint was left.

The chuck wagon was great and a well received novelty. Soon everyone knew where the bottle opener was. It was a place to hang out with the opposing bars.

I threw a few of my home made sausages on the grill and they were fantastic.

Good times.