2016 Well, Bye.

What a shitty year. Put a fork in it. Welcome 2017. 

Russian Hackers

The after election blame game. It's not longer a vast right wing conspiracy. 



Max getting his sleep on in his new bed. 

Most Moving Photos of 2016 Number Nine

I love the lines and simple setting. 

I Don't Much Care For...

Conch fritters. I'd rather eat a hush puppy.

Fried onion rings. I think I should like them but I don't. One day I may like them. 

Here's a big one. Ice cream. I can take it or leave it. 

Mac and cheese.....not really. 

Avocados, no. You can keep them. 

Most Moving Photos of 2016 - Number Ten

Bacon in all its glory.  

Weekend Comfort Food

Homemade Seafood bisque. Shrimp with crab.

This is our first attempt and it is fantastic. 

Beat Up Monday

I woke at 2am Monday morning with a pounding pain in my jaw. 

The one in the middle was abscess.  After a while the funk rolled up in my mouth like a shrimp boat in summer that collided with a septic tank truck. He found the first root. 

The second hit came an hour later. Then he quit.

I'll have to get back in the chair December 12 to finish. Oh boy!

Three More Reasons Not to go into Space

The toilet. It complicated and breaks often. You've got to float with your pants off and hit a plastic bag. It requires further processing manually. It's all state of the art. No thanks.

The food. This is the food now and this is good compared to what is coming. Here the astronaut shows off Thanksgiving turkey and dressing. 

Deep space long duration mission food turns out to be wild bird protein bars. Enough calories and nutrients to keep you alive with minimal body waste excreted. Yum yum!  I think I'll pass. 

The water. Scientists are excited because "they think" this is an area of frozen water under the surface of Mars.  Imagine if you get there and it's just dried dirt like it appears to be? Again, no. 

This is a Grand Old Church

Rocky River Presbyterian Church

Ready for Christmas.

A lovely place. 



Never underestimate succotash. It goes especially well dredged through mashed potatoes.


How To Spin A Turkey



The annual hype is upon us. I'm referring to the faux panic written every season about cooking one damn meal consisting of a baked turkey. I will do his herb encrusted rotisserie turkey. 

A few weeks ago I spun this turkey on Jekyll Island with just salt and pepper. 

I have some great herbs to cut and blend with salt and butter. 

Fresh Eggs?

The May chicks are cranking out the eggs. Young hens eggs are the best by far. So rich. 

Not sure who doodled this on the carton. It's been recycled many times. 


One Last Summer Tomato

My wife randomly stopped by a roadside farmers market this past week. She recognized one vendor that stops at our church on Wednesdays. His goods are usually the highest quality and locally grown in his own garden. He doesn't sell from boxes of produce grown in Florida or Mexico and claim it to be his own. 

She noticed two very small and very red tomatoes all alone in a box. Those two small tomatoes were the very last two of the season and she bought them. She brought them home and insisted they were mine. 

I did what any southern man would do. I began construction of a BLT. Look at that ripe juicy fruit. Bacon, lettuce, and sour dough in the toaster. 

Oh baby. A slice down the center and every bite was heaven. My last real summer BLT until next June, 2017. You can't buy tomatoes this good off season. 

I Launch Rockets

I love a rocket launch....always have. This one last night is a new generation weather satellite on an Atlas rocket. 

Command Center in Midland, NC. 
By far SpaceX has the best coverage. SpaceX shows live video through the second stage.  

Keep an eye out when SpaceX finally launches their heavy lift rocket. It's years over due but it will be a monster when it goes off. 

And So It Begins

Chafing dishes, stock pots, and heaters. It all must go. I'm liquidating the ability to cook for large crowds. If I could just get my wife to let me sell the Weber Ranch Kettle.   

Bygone Days

Just look at this picture. It is a picture of an old school friends grandmother on Thanksgiving morning. I would guess in the 1960s. Quintessential American Thanksgiving as I remember as a child. Alas, just a memory. Good memories. Warm family childlike memories full of excitement. 

This woman is proud. She should be proud. Look at this spread! The coffee percolator is on already for the cake and pie desserts that sit on the counter. 

The table is covered in Southern food, the stuff I grew up on. Biscuits on each corner, ham and turkey, peas, yams, potatoes and gravy. A feast fit for heaven. 

Her kitchen is meager by today's standards. Modern homes have the finest cooking gadgets yet no one cooks, preferring the preparations of corporate menus. 

This feast is the product of love, a good cook, a stove top, and an oven and sink. 

The table waits for a blessing and then a plate and the joy. 

I miss this. 

The Holidays

Thanksgiving approaches and with it comes a warm fuzzy. A four day weekend, good food, football, cool weather, and time with my wife. Thanksgiving is my demarcation line ushering in winter. 

Normally winter gradually decays into dark depression and by February all hope is lost. Then a refreshing trip to the Virgin Islands always primes me for Spring. 
coconut husk
This year however we will attempt to weather the winter forgoing the usual trip for a spring trip to Europe. 

Back to the present for now. Enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday. I'll keep my fingers crossed that I can make it to March. 

My First Birdie

February 2004, age 49, hole 3 par 3 at the Buccaneer Golf Club on St. Croix I got my first birdie. The first shot was downhill for 88 yards. Then a 6 foot putt birdie.  

Brunswick Stew

This is the Rocky River Brunswick Stew Recipe given orally by Walt Burr October 8, 2016. Walt keeps a copy in his bible at home. The Recipe is over 60 years old. The current cooking kettle was acquired by Jay Lee Pharr in the 1990s. It replaced a kettle borrowed annually from the Mable Blume family. Howard Love used to have a metal cup he used to sample and monitor the cook. On the stirring paddle you will see notches to measure the stew reduction. - Reggie Hunnicutt




12 large hens

25 pounds of beef

Broth from chickens

Broth from beef

2 Gallon cans of creamed corn

8 Gallons of tomatoes

6 Gallons of Lima beans

2 pounds of butter

1 ½ handfuls of black pepper

2 handfuls of salt


Yield about 25 Gallons The current cooker could make up to 50 gallons.


The chickens are stewed until tender. Several hours plus. The skin is removed, the meat is removed and chopped. Store until needed.


Combine the broth from all cooking pots and reduce to concentrate the flavor. Cool and store one large container of reduced broth until the cook.


Use stew beef or chuck whichever is less expensive. Boil until tender. Several hours plus. Cool the meat. Chop or cube then grind the meat in a processor or finely chop.


Process the both the same way as the chicken and reserve a large container.


Store the canned goods close to the cooking and staging area.


Assemble dry kindling and split dry cook wood.


Remove the cooker and frame and hand truck each to the selected cooking area. Secure the wooden stirring paddle.


Wash the inside of the cooker with soap and water. Rinse well.


Start a small fire in the center of the frame and gradually establish hot coals.


Begin cooking the stew about noon for a 6 pm supper.


Set the cooker in the frame over the fire level as possible. Elevate the frame with blocks if necessary to get the fire under the cooker. Begin by pouring in all the canned food into the cooker. Pour low to keep from splashing. Stir constantly.


Slowly bring up the temperature stirring constantly. Take shifts stirring. Gradually bring the mixture up to a simmer over the next few hours. Add the beef and chicken broth. You are looking for the tomatoes to break down.


Take time to remove any food build up on the side of the cooker. Scrape any buildup with the paddle and back into the pot like you would for cake batter.


About 3 1/2 hours into the cook add the beef and chicken. The goal now is to beat down the meat fibers.


After about 4 ½ hours add the butter, salt and pepper. Continue to simmer and reduce. Toward the end spread out the coals to reduce heat and let the fire die down.


After 5 hours ladle out to transport to the kitchen.


Extinguish the fire, clean, dry, and oil the kettle and store inside for next year.


Firewood consumption is minimal with dry seasoned hardwood. Several large armloads is sufficient.


Fun Weekend So Far





My QB in GQ


Our Churrins

Georgie and Beans

Keeping cool in the hot summer. Nothing like leather.


I Did It

The week is done.

Tricep Tuesday

Machine bench(use the grip that makes your thumbs up) x12

Tri-cep pull x 12

dips Start with 15 then add 10 each each set after

Dumbbell incline press x10

Over head tri-cep press x 12

dumb bell kick backs x10

Narrow hand position push ups 10-15

Dumbbell shoulder press x 20

Dips until failure

Leg extension Wednesday

To be done together

one does one exercise there other does the other

Stability ball squats x12

Leg extension (lightweight) x20

do this 4 times

lunge x16 (walking)

calf raises till other is done with lunges

both do 20 ab exercises your choice

leg extensions(heavier weight) x10

squat and press x 5 each side

side step squats x 10 each

treadmill steps x 6 each

Thursday thursday

lat pull wide x 10 narrow over hand grip x 10 narrow under hand grip x10

Bent over row x8

side lat raises x20

open hand bicep curlsx 10

upright row x20

hammer curl x10

trx pull x 20


Being Accountable

I've been with my trainer Bill Metts for 17 months, and it has produced remarkable results for an old man. If I miss even one week, it sets me back.

Even the trainer has to take time off so I've been working out on my own. Pretty brutal to myself.

I text pictures to him to prove I'm doing it and for self accountability.

Tomorrow is the last day of the week fitness wise. Guns day.


Baby Back Ribs

Happy Independence Day. For the occasion I've decided to cook baby back ribs. Usually I'm a spare rib or St Louis style guy, but these baby backs were 1/3 off. I never like to pay more than $10 a rack.

Baby backs will cook faster than the bigger racks and they don't require as much babying such as foil wrapping to make them tender.

The ribs:

A clean work surface:

Removal of the silver skin. Use a dull knife to lift the skin and a paper towel to peel the skin:


A light rub of kosher salt:

Then a light rub of any pork rub:


Now off to the refrigerator for a few hours to absorb some of the salt.

I'm cooking this on the regular Weber. The fire will be to the right, wood smoke on top, with water pan to the left below the ribs. Lower dampers wide open with the electric probe checking the temperature. 275 is the goal.

Study and memorize this chart while the ribs cook. There will be a test.

Trying to balance the temperature to the mid 200s. It's easier in a smoker but I didn't want to dirty up the smoker for one rack of ribs.

They are pulled to rest after 3 hours and 40 minutes.

Turned out that I over cooked them should have stopped at 30 minutes earlier. Can't undo that.

However they were damn good. Max helped me cook them and watched baseball with me.