Sunday, February 18, 2018

Meat Smokin' Time, again.

Trying some beef back ribs this time.
Used a light plain mustard rub to get dry rub seasonings to stick to the meat. And just used a generic grocery store rub mix. (Not that sophisticated here yet with smoking recipes).
Rib rack went in bone side down. Barely fit in this smallish smoker.
Trying to keep the temperature around 220 -230.
Not that difficult with a propane fueled smoker. But still hafta pay attention to it. I used Mesquite woodchips this time for smoke.
The wireless temp and timer monitor really helps to keep an eye on it.
At the 3 hour mark, I pulled the ribs out, added some soy sauce and other ingredients to drizzle over the bone side up, wrapped it in foil, and back into the smoker for another 2 hours. Bone side up. (Forgot to take pics).

Done....5 hours total.
Pretty damn tasty.....But I prefer pork ribs myself. More meat, and better flavor.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Multifamily Construction ...Memory Lane

Being retired, I admit I often wish I was still involved in building apartment projects. I have dreams about being in meetings, or walking around a project underway, and working on solving some sort of problem. Guess it takes awhile to get it out of your blood. (after 36 years)

This is one project that I happened to find some old aerial pics of. I've got more around here somewhere of other projects. (Mostly in TX, but also in MS, FL, KS, TN, GA...and Tx jobs were in Houston, Austin, Round Rock, Mesquite, Bryan/College Station, Dallas, Longview, Fort Worth, North Richland Hills, Hurst, Allen, McKinney, etc)

This was about 220 units, three story, Senior Living units located in Fort Worth, TX. The company I worked for pretty much left me alone and didn't try to micro-manage  me (can't stand that).  The economy was still a tad slow in 2003, and I was able to hire some top notch subs at fair prices. I called it the "dream team" of subs and suppliers. My field staff was very capable too. AND it was a nice flat open site, easy to get a quick start on sitework and slab pours.

Construction began the week between Christmas 2002 and New Years 2003 - not a great start time of the calendar for fast production. All these pics were taken around the 15th to 20th of each month.

Jan 2003 excavation completed with utility work and plumbing underway

March 2003. slab pours nearly complete. Paving next.

April 2003. paving almost done. Framing started.

May 2003. rough framing nearly complete. Roofing started.

Aug 2003. Roofs complete, exterior paint in progress. Fine grading started.

Oct 2003. Landscape in progress. Pool completed.

Jan 2004. Substantially complete.

Finished 2 months early on the schedule and doubled the expected profit on the job. My boss was happy, and the client we built it for was happy as well.... Me? I just got a paycheck and a decent bonus at the end. Then went on to other projects.

It would be fun to do another project. But I've moved too far from the DFW area to get involved in this again.


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Learning to smoke meat.

I got tired of paying jacked up prices for BBQ brisket at our local BBQ eatery ($15 per lb),  so I got online, did a little research, and bought a propane powered meat smoker. Propane smokers allow for very even temp control, and I have always liked propane as an energy source. Propane never gets old, or stale. NEVER. (I even have a propane powered GMC pickup that I drive often, and a propane generator for emergency needs). Gasoline goes bad very quickly (thanks US Gov Ethanol laws), and ruins many lawn mowers, weedeaters, chainsaws, every winter. Small engine repair shop biz has been booming the last few years. (Tangent over).

$170 and free shipping... Amazon

Instructions said 20 minute assembly, but I stretched it out to an hour, or so.

Had to erect an OSB plywood windwall.  (And I'm sending the bill to Mexico.) It was breezy today.

Big Ol'  brisket at 13 lbs.($2.50/lb)... And then trimmed a lot of useless hard fat off. 
This thing measured 21" tip to tip. My grill grate is only 14". Chop Chop.
Just ignore those Ron Rico half pints.... another blog story. (About how I quit booze, almost)

I smoked the bigger half for exactly 11 hours at around 220 degrees. Got up at midnight to check water and chips, then back to bed. The wireless internal temp probe monitor woke me up at 7am, when it hit my 202 degree target.

Brought inside, wrapped it in foil and a bath towel. Left to "rest" for an hour or so on countertop.
It kinda falls apart when slicing (need better, sharper knife). And outside "bark" is a tad dry and too crusty on edges. But overall, for first try... not bad at all.
I will try wrapping with foil at halfway point, as some of the several YouTube vids I watched recommended. That might alleviate the extra crusty bark.
Also I went a tad heavy on the kosher salt.

I won't be able to figure starting weight vs final cooked weight until I smoke the other smaller piece of brisket. But I did trim off about 3.5 lbs of useless fat from whole brisket. This larger piece weighed in at 3.5 lbs cooked.

I'm not The Galloping Gourmet, for those who remember him from early 1970s TV...I'm just the Stumbling Gourmet.

See y'all.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

A few pics from a trip out west. Deck replacement, etc

Took a trailer load of composite deck lumber down to our place in South Brewster County. The old deck had lasted 10 years but was sagging. Turns out I didn't do the greatest job of framing the supports where they attached to the main tin shack joists. That and a porch roof leak that dribbles onto these boards did add to the failure. But it's fixed correctly now, and composite decking is supposed to last many years. Even had to use special screws to attach to joists. Nice and smooth now, without warping, cracking and nail heads sticking up.
I took a helper along to assist, just had to keep several beers in an ice chest during all waking hours and keep him fed.

Pics not in exact order.


And finally locking the gate as we left. Hate to leave the place... but needed to get home and needed a break from my helper's constant chatter and moodiness.


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Trailer Trash Make Over....and my Barbie Dolls..!!!

Metal skirting and fresh paint makes a huge improvement.

Now we are lacking handrail paint and fencing for a few ankle biter dogs.

Yesterday was my grandson's birthday whoop-de-doo. My wife cranked out another fabulous birthday cake. Shark themed party, obviously.
I had to donate one of my prized Barbie Dolls, and ripped two limbs off for cake decorations.

 I have a box full of Barbies from my wife's garage sale purchase years ago. I'm planning an elaborate art project using them.
Maybe while I'm stuck inside on a cold rainy winter day I'll get started. Hobby Lobby... here I come!!

There must be 30 or more dolls, never counted them.
Only see one Ken doll.... no wonder he's grinning like a Possum.

Trying to get free from things that keep popping up here and make a trip out west in a couple of weeks.


Friday, September 8, 2017

Our Blue Box of Misery

Well, summer is winding down, temps unusually cool for early Sept in North TX now. The mobile home next door is now occupied by my Mom-in-Law. Just buttoning up a few loose ends now. It's been a long summer of fixing EVERYTHING on this old mobile home. New roof, floor deck fixes, New hot water heater, replacing all the ductwork for the AC, etc, etc.

Rear covered porch, and small front porch (with ramp) is built...lacks painting.

She had her two portable sheds hauled out 35 miles to this location.

One of them (a Lowe's product..very cheaply made), kinda fell apart on the drive out here.
But we got it patched back together, since they picked up the sidewall that blew off.

Propane tank setup, pressure tested, and after a couple of parts replaced, was filled up for winter at $1.80 per gallon.

The other, older, and much better constructed shed, made the trip with no issues.
Trailer skirting begins today...then exterior painting on the blue box of Misery.

Me and 2 of my 3 grandkids. 
My third grankiddo.

And my ever faithful sidekick.."Mojo"
That's all for now.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Trip to Brewster County recently

Now we're back home dealing with the misery of getting this mobile home set up and ready to occupy soon. Newly discovered plumbing leaks, AC duct system needs further repairs, or total replacement.  Soft floor deck where prior roof leaks had been covered up and painted over by the pious "Good Christian" seller. (I thought I had learned better... to not deal with a Bible-thumper in a transaction. Been screwed every time in the past.)