Saturday I did what I love. I watched college football and cooked. Oh, and had copious amounts of beer.

After a 20 hour salt pack with sugar and pepper.

Then a three hour smoke at 160 degrees.

The yield was delicious smoked salmon.

The meat was incorporated in cream cheese, sour cream, dill, horse radish, salt, pepper, and a generous splash of lemon juice and Worcestershire.

Live Bullets

Tonight is opening night for college football. Last night didn't count.

The last of the NFL preseason, college football regular season, two TVs, two iPads, cold beer, and a grill within smelling distance.

It's all for real now. The wait is over.

My Commute to Work

New kicks, my sidearm, a mid morning snack, new boots for my scuba tank, and my man purse.

Retirement Announced

Mental Vacations only editor, Haley Hunnicutt, announced her retirement effective December, 1, 2014.

She plans to spend her retirement sunning on the back deck, with occasional trips to the NC coast.

Sports Injury

A nagging pinky toe from last Sundays tailgate got me to the training room this week. A nice hour of rehab got me on the way to healing. I'll be ready for the first game.

Week in Review


Sweet girl.

Another sweet girl.

Heavenly meat.

A lot of stress in between. Now I'm off.

ALS Videos

You see them everywhere, the ALS videos. We had two recorded at our tailgate. Kind of a public baptism of support really.

What I find creepy is how Facebook videos begin playing videos silently. When I watch silently I can tell everyone is a bit nervous and there is a scripted agenda. It reminds me of the beheading videos of the Iraq War.

I have been called out btw.

The Bad Part of Tailgating is Cleanup


In full dress for game day. Details to follow after I take Tylenol and wake up.


Tis the season for Copperheads, Fa la la la la, la la la la.


Last year, and again this year I'm having nervous butterflies about the first tailgate. Perhaps as last year, it's because I'm still in recovery mode. I plan to be slow and careful moving about to save energy and to prevent injury.

This year because so much equipment is new and different, I plan to spend several days packing and tweaking for quite possibly our largest tailgate event ever.

Paul, Sebastian, and I have been bantering back and forth menu planning. It's all planned.

Equipment is inventoried. Pans need re washing from sitting all winter and summer.

Shopping on Saturday and the pacing and prepping.

This is going fun.

I Hate This Kind of Crap

M is not the basement, and one is not the lobby. Two is the lobby. Idiots.

If Given Enough Pillows

I will use them. That my pillow nest on the right.

Massive Party

The time is soon.

Unspeakable Pain

We are in Plano, TX, to examine Gigi's back, to see just why her surgery has failed to give her pain relief, and why she has such difficulty walking.

Plano houses a nationally respected scoliosis clinic. We personally know two people who have successfully had similar surgeries with great success through this clinic.

Yesterday she had a test where dye is injected in the spinal fluid, and then a series of CT scans produce 3D images.

Two hours later, while she was resting in her room, the surgeon abruptly entered and sat down.

From the very clear images it revealed that all the hardware, 22 screws, two rods, and three artificial discs had never bonded to the bone. They were in fact wobbling in the holes with her every movement causing severe pain. Her inability to walk normally was her body's attempt to take pressure off of the hardware.

My mind wasn't ready to absorb such a disaster, but it was reality.

The fix is a total redo here in Plano, 1,100 miles from home. He said set aside six weeks to two months for the entire procedure.

My big question was, "why do you think your fix will work when the other didn't?"

He gave a long elaborate answer that basically boils down to, they do the fusions very differently here. He did explain the process of harvesting bones from the patient and the making a paste/glue, then injecting proteins, and using growth stimulates.

So, we are planning for a long process, most likely in the early Spring.

Dig This

Good stuff.

Nap time now.

Up and Going

I found out yesterday that my usual post surgery morning routine is not up to standards.

Normally for the past 7 weeks, we wake, I make coffee and we slowly treat aches and pains until I get up, shower and go.

Yesterday I had a plane to catch, so it called for action from the get go. This is something expected from normal folks but it came as a shock to my body.

We ended up in Plano Texas none the less, tired and achy but in good spirits.

Today we are headed to the spinal clinic for second opinions for my bride.

I'm ten days away from it is show time at tailgate and I know it will push me. But the good news I have almost a month until regular season game one to rest and recover.

Reporting from Texas, this is wReggie.

I'm Getting There

Having big fun getting my tailgate stuff tweaked. I bought three smaller cookers instead of one additional large one for my backs sake. But small cooler sometimes walk so I'm marking these.

Take it Up a Knotch

My tailgate buddy from San Jose and die hard 49er fan is allowed to tailgate with us even though his mind must be tormented being a 49er fan.

Yesterday he got a kick as griddle for our tailgate.

The menu will never be the same. Thanks Mr. Kwon.

This is Way Cool

In Calliforney they have the pincher bug. Bad ass for sure.

In the Carolina's on south, we have the flying palmetto bugs. These are giant flying roaches. I've been hit in the chest several times by these nasty creatures and they just cling to ones shirt.

What if we bred these? Scary.

Fresh Paint

In two weeks I'll be busting my ass getting ready for our first tailgate. We must make a good showing.

Mesh is in this year. Both in the front.....

And in the back.

Hopefully this rear section will work as our kitchen counter. It should nicely hold the propane turkey burner and the sink.

Down to the Wire

Two weeks until the first tailgate event.

I decided to give this mesh platform a try instead of the flag. It will fold down and give us a platform/shelf/countertop to cook from.

It is difficult to tell at this parking angle. I think it will be higher off the ground once it is parked on a level surface.