Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Big Vote

I'm 75 years old, and I can't recall a Presidential Election as challenging to the voters as this one.  But not so challenging for me because I knew early on who I wanted in office. And no, I'm not going to tell you who.  No matter who I voted for, I would lose friends if I told who.

But, trust me; my vote did not come without considerable thought and research regarding the issues. I knew I had to go beyond the endless name-calling and daily 'Gotcha's' as the news media pounced on Wikileaks' documents and endless Congressional Hearings as if they were inconvertible truths, or on charges of personal misconduct, or hundreds of other 'colorizations' of each candidate's qualifications.  

Sadly, more news was given to the 'unimportant' than to the 'important.'  The issues were not worthy news.  Issues didn't gain viewers for the 'talking heads' that seemed to be everywhere fanning the flames of mistruth, doubt and fiction.  But to me, the issues are many, and they are the most important thing at stake, not only for the three generations of us who will vote, but for at least three generations who will have to live with our decision.

I knew going in that the 'Politics' of this election would get nasty.  It seems to be the norm these days.  As much as I don't care for it, I could not do anything about it. But I could ignore the nastiness and focus on what was really important.  

Yet in spite of the nastiness, one thing is for sure, it brought to the surface the frustrations of a lot of concerned American voters.  Both parties were fighting each other at the public's expense over issues that could have been easily resolved if only those in power would just work together to resolve them.  

As Citizens, we've known for years what is wrong with our elected leadership, and finally we stood up and said we've had enough.  Now in the final hours of this administration, we are determined to do what we can to get our government back on course.  And we have the most powerful tool in the world to do it - our vote. 

Judy and I couldn't wait until Election Day.  We wanted to express ourselves as soon as possible, although our vote would not actually count until Election Day.  So we took advantage of Early Voting and happily stood in a long line of people who obviously were also in a hurry to get the election underway.  

It felt really good to move a step closer to exercising our Right and Privilege in the voting booth.  It felt even better as we walked out of the voting booth knowing we did what was necessary to keep our Country on track for at least the next four years.

Now it's a long wait to see if our vote counted.


The election is over, the world is now facing a new leader who promises to fix everything.  I guess we'll see...

Follow-up.  Here's a link to the lies and perfidious statements the new President made in order to get elected.  This does not include all the promises he made to his supporters.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Jefferson Eggfest 2016

"Third time is the charm..."  We've all heard that ancient phrase, and maybe even wondered if its true, but it is most certainly true for the Jefferson Eggfest this year.

This was the third, and possibly last Jefferson Eggfest for some of us if it didn't pick up with larger crowds and better weather.  After all, each of us Cooks have to underwrite all of our own expenses to go help a far off town library survive.  The first two years, attendance was so low that we Cooks could have just donated a portion of what we spent out of pocket and stayed home, and the library would still come out ahead.

But not this year.  The weather was perfect, the mood was right and the word got out.  The official estimate is 'something over 400' paying attendees.  That's because they ran out of attendance bracelets at 400 and had to revert to temporary bracelets.  I'm thinking 500 easy.

Even better, those 500 were very pleased that they came.  There were lots of comments about how good the food was and about their first experience eating food cooked on a Big Green Egg smoker/grill.  Lots of questions, and some actually decided on the spot to buy a Big Green Egg to take home.

Of course, everyone was encouraged and all of us are looking forward to next year.  And, most important, the Library ended up with a sizable chunk of new funding to help them with their many community projects.

I took a number of photos and borrowed some from others who share their photos on social networks, and assembled them into a video which I promptly uploaded to YouTube.  If you would like to take a look at the video, just click here:  Jefferson Eggfest 2016 - The Movie

By the way, next year's event is already scheduled for October 14, 2017.  Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Our Chicken Coop

We're known in Big Green Egg circles as Spring Chicken and Spring Hen.  And the way we tell the story is that we became Spring Chicken and Spring Hen soon after we purchased our first Big Green Egg in November 1999.

We had no clue as to how to cook on it so we just set it up on the deck until we could figure it out.

It was a couple of months before we discovered the Big Green Egg Forum, where "Eggheads" hung out and shared information about the Big Green Egg, recipes, and happily, how to cook on the darn thing.

Well, the first thing the Big Green Egg Forum asked was for me to register.  I did, and then they threw another curve at me: What is my Big Green Egg Handle?  Handle!!!  I don't have one.  So I figured since we live in Spring Texas and the first thing I cooked (not very well) on the Egg was chicken, then I would become Spring Chicken.  And soon afterward, my Sweetie would become Spring Hen.

My first question for my newly found Egghead friends was, "How long does it take knuckle hair to grow back?"  Yes, I learned one of the first lessons of cooking on an Egg - 'burp it first...' meaning, don't suddenly open the dome when the fire is starved for oxygen.  To do so will surely offer up a surprise that can leave a lasting impression, not to mention losing some arm hair and eyebrows.  To the member Eggheads, I had just been baptized by fire and they readily accepted me into the best group of people on the planet - Eggheads...

I wanted to establish myself quickly by showing photos of my cooks.  My first attempt at posting a photo failed miserably, but a fellow Egghead posted it for me and that photo and others clearly established me as a novice at this new way of cooking.  I also learned that I wasn't a 'novice' as much as I was a Newbie.  It's a step up because Newbie means I'm actually asking for help, whereas, novice thinks they already know, or can figure out, how to cook on an Egg.

Anyway, when I did post a photo of me cooking on the Egg, it was suggested that I return to my dealer and get an adjustable damper (aka Daisy Wheel) for the top vent on the Egg.  I had been cooking better and better without one, but I desperately wanted to do it right.  So I bought one.  What a difference that made.  The steps taken when cooking on the Egg all started to make perfect sense.  

More important, it was becoming fun.  In fact, a lot of fun.  And it has remained fun all these years as we both continue to grow our cooking skills.  

And, of course, it didn't take long before we knew we had found a hobby that we thoroughly enjoyed.

Here we are almost seventeen years later with six Big Green Eggs, an outdoor kitchen known around the world, and friends by the thousands whom we would never have met had it not been for the Big Green Egg.

Our outdoor kitchen is now ten years old and continues to be a focal point in our lives.  It has many stories to tell and, rest assured, those stories get told to everyone who will listen.  Even better when they hear the stories while visiting here.

For those who have no idea what our Chicken Coop looks like, I keep updating YouTube videos so they can 'take the tour' so they can see what makes it so special to us.  The Coop is a collection of memories brought to life in a whimsical setting designed to have fun.  We enjoy it every day.

Take the tour and see what I mean...  Coop Tour