Friday, June 18, 2010
Children came out the door as if ejected by the house; tilted forward, legs and feet churning, trying to catch up to the rest of the child.
Cicadas and crickets come out at this time too, playing their songs of summer, along with lightening bugs to intermittently light the way. I have some crickets singing and lightening bugs blinking in my yard as I write this from my back porch.
I used to chase after lightening bugs, placing them when caught, into a mason jar with holes punch in the lid with a fork, in order to have 'air to breath'. Also some carefully placed grass and a small stick to climb - lightening bugs like to climb, you know. I'm not sure what the purpose of the grass was, but it seemed like a good thing to add to make them feel more at home.
Sometimes little fingers would catch an unfortunate lightening bug in the grips of the lid, and separate the bug's tail from his main body, resulting in a continuous emission of light from the tail. I would watch as the glow, which seemed to pulse slightly, gradually faded away. I didn't like it when this would happen, as even young children understood they had killed the lightening bug. But I was on a mission, and lightening bugs had to be caught, so I would endeavor to be more careful next time.
I have read, but can't ascertain the truthfulness, that only the males light up in an attempt to 'call' a female in to mate. I also read a wonderful story (I think it was in 'Guide Post') that there was a valley in North Carolina, where all of the lightening bugs in the entire field, hundreds, if not thousands of them, would 'strobe' on and off at exactly same time.
I hope this made the females feel they were important and desired!
After pondering about it, I don't believe sticking a light bulb in my rear will result in any females coming my way.....
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
If eight or ten people place their hands on your head and push you down, your knees will buckle no matter how strong you are. The crowd may be stupid, but they are stronger than you. Crowds have the power to create trends. Never buck a trend. If a trend is up, you should only buy or stand aside. Never sell short because “prices are too high” — never argue with the crowd.You do not have to run with the crowd — but you should never run against it.
- Trades I do in the morning don't do well. I do better after 2 PM. This may be because of several influences: - volatility is falling off after the morning's open. - less newsworthy events later in the day. - easier to find today's support and resistance.
- I tend to get in too late on a trend, then wait too long to get out of a bad trade. This may be because: - I don't use any signals, but I'm researching some. - I don't have a clear exit point, and the support or resistance is too far from the entry point.
- I was more careful about where the support and resistance was before I opened a trade.
- I waited until after 2 pm to trade.
- Turn the hotplate on.
- Place the lid on top of the can
- If the temperature stabilizes below your desired temperature (more on this later), then take the lid off and adjust the temperature control knob for higher heat, close the lid and wait. This could take 20 minutes.
- If the temperature rises above your desired temperature, then take the lid off and adjust the temperature control knob for lower heat, close the lid and wait. This could take 20 minutes
- Continue with steps 3 and 4 until the temperature matches your desired value.
- Larger cans require bigger hot plates and more energy to heat to your desired temperature. The highest temperature possible in a large can will be lower then the highest temperature possible in a small can.
- Smaller cans will come to desired temperature quicker.
- Smaller cans will mean flare-ups can become self inducing and cause the temperature to greatly increase, while larger cans will be less affected by this.
- The amount of wood chips will determine the amount of smoke flavor. This is more important at the start then later on. The pan containing the wood chips should be directly on the hotplate. Smaller, thinner wood chips will work better then big chunks, but big chunks will last longer, so you might want to try some of both and experiment. If you have trouble getting the chips to smoke, try a smaller and/or thinner pan. If that still fails, you may need a hotter (more watts) hotplate.
- BBQ is generally cooked at or below 250 degrees. The lower the temperature, the longer it will take to cook the meat, but the meat will contain more moisture. Some smoke their BBQ for 20 - 24 hours at 180 degrees. If you are inexperienced, then a good target to start with is 225.
- You will not be able to sear the sides of the meat in this smoker, so if you desire this, you will have to do it inside on your stove in a pan.
- I don't generally test for how done it is, because I feel that, if I can pull it apart without resistance, then it cooked for long enough and reached a high enough temperature for me. I would recommend the use of a meat thermometer, and obtain proper pork temperatures from the pork association web site. Older cookbooks will contain temperatures that are too high and will result in dried out meat, so you should get the latest from the pork association.
- Generally, this should be considered indirect heat, unless you have the grill surface very close to the hotplate and wood chips, and it is prone to self-sustaining flareups.
- On the show, they show the lid opened slightly on one side to let the smoke out. This also lets heat out and fresh air in, which will drop the temperature, which will cause the hotplate to come on, heating the wood chips more, and new fresh smoke. Keeping the can lid on will mean the temperature stays more uniform, the hotplate won't cycle so much, and once the oxygen is used up by the wood chips, the wood chips won't smoke anymore, since they need oxygen to smoke. However, since the smoke is trapped in the can when the lid is on tight, I don't know that this matters. So experiment!
- Per The Other White Meat site (below), a note on temperature (Note: this information may no longer be current so check directly with their site for the latest temperature recommendations): Pork today is very lean and shouldn’t be overcooked. The best test of doneness is to use an instant-read meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your pork. We recommend cooking pork chops, roasts and tenderloins to 160 degrees F., which leaves the center pink and juicy.* Less tender cuts, like pork shoulder (butt) and ribs can be cooked long and slow, to render them tender. * For larger cuts of pork, such as roasts, cook to 150° F; remove from the oven or grill and allow to set for 10 minutes before slicing. The temperature of the roast will continue to rise to 160° and the pork juices will redistribute throughout the roast before slicing. If marked above by **, the cut should be cooked until tender.
- http://www.theotherwhitemeat.com/Resources/Images/2924.pdf Gives some temperatures to cook at, time to cook estimates and meat temperature. Other useful information at this site as well.
- http://www.altonbrown.com Alton Brown's site.
- A link I found where a trash can smoker was built: http://www.cruftbox.com/cruft/docs/elecsmoker.html
Monday, June 7, 2010
- How much convenience are you wanting to buy?
- Is price a consideration?
- Are you frequently trying to cook traditional pork BBQ, which comes from a tough cut of meat (pork shoulder)? Same for beef brisket.
- Are you going to competition grade pork shoulder BBQ, which means flavor, tender and moist.
- Competition grade BBQ
- Ability to accurately control low-temperature smoking, even on gusty days.
- Convenience for cooking for 24 hours without having to adjust the air-damper controls and replenish charcoal.
- It will allow you to cook any piece of meat you want to cook, at any temperature you want to cook it at (chicken, brisket, steak).
Sunday, June 6, 2010
- BBQ (cooking it, restaurants, and other things related (e.g, smoker designs)
- Bluegrass Music (I'm learning the banjo)
- Scotch Whisky, Cigars, Wine
- Stocks - Investing and trading
- Beach stuff