Weekend At The Park

The park, aka my brother’s backyard:

https://bacontime.wordpress.com/2017/09/17/another-day-in-the-park/

https://bacontime.wordpress.com/2016/10/04/sunday-afternoon-in-the-park/

Sadly, this was not a fun day, but a work day.

There is a crick that runs between my brother’s property and our dad’s.

They buried about 500 feet of it and we needed to build a head wall to contain high run off.

Oh, what’s a “crick?”

A crick is a small body of water between the size of a creek and a garden hose.

This crick a hundred years ago had a dam built across it to be able to hold water for making ice for the ice house on the farm.

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My job for the day was just mixing the concrete.  Not a difficult task at all.

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We started at 8 am this is how far we got by about 10 am.  My brother thought we would be done by 11.  My dad had to make a run to the hardware store for more concrete so we are doing a little prep work for the right side wall.

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Mini Ho in action.

My brother works for a plumbing company and has access to all sorts of really cool equipment.

 

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ALL FINISHED !!

But, we were not finished by 11 am. This was a freak weather day for September 23rd in northern Illinois.  It was 90 degrees and 80% humidity by 10 am and none of us could go past noon.  So we started again the next morning at 8 am and we finished up by 10 am.

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A little fine tuning with the tractor.

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Almost done.  Some grass seeding and it will be great.

Story.

I am fairly embarrassed to admit that I failed miserably on that Saturday of work.

By 10:30 am I literally felt like I was going to collapse from fatigue.

One of the problems was that I skipped breakfast.  Another problem is that apparently I’m not 30 years old and in tremendous physical shape.

Going way back to when I was 30.

I used to work construction until I blew my back out and couldn’t do that work anymore.

The center fielder on our softball team was a couple of years older than me and I remember one game night he showed up and said, “Man am I tired.”

His job was being a buyer for a major department store so all he did all day was sit at a desk and make phone calls.

I told him this was my day:

Up at 5 am, physical labor until 3 pm, home by 4 pm,eat, go to the gym and then play two games of softball and I would be glad to play two more games every night.

Man, those days are long gone !!

 

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The Brilliance of President “Not Hillary”

CAVEAT:    I am not a Trump supporter.

Trump’s win  of the Presidency came from two brilliant strategic moves early on:

1  As a third party crackpot candidate, he snuck his way into the Republican primary and was allowed to stay there.

2  He got the tricked MSM into giving him a trillion dollars worth of free airtime.

Brilliant Mr. Trump, brilliant.

He’s doing it again !!!

For no reason, my internet homepage is Yahoo.   Yahoo “News” is truly news for idiots.  At any given time, 50% of the “news” are links to Huffpo, so you already know what kind of crap that is going to be.

But today when I saw the Yahoo page, almost every story was about how everyone in America thinks President “Not Hillary” is wrong about the National Anthem protests.

After several policy misfires (including DACA), Trump is getting the MSM to rally the people that support him !

The dimwits that support the National Anthem protests, are already the dimwits that won’t support Trump.

The MSM and all the other liberals (redundancy noted) don’t understand that only Trump can lose Trump supporters.  As the past Presidential campaign proved, the MSM/Liberals can’t defeat him.

 

Another Day In The Park

Saturday at the park, AKA, my brother’s backyard.  Made quite a few improvements from last year.  Indoor range time in my area is about $20 an hour.  If you only shot once a month or less, that’s really not too bad.  But 2-3 a month, that will add up quick.  Also, it is just a hell of a lot more fun to shoot outdoors.  Convenience is also something that is great.  I can stop by with my four loaded magazines, do some quick shooting and go.

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Still looks a little “Hillbillyish” (no offense).  I pay my range dues by doing most of the grounds keeping around it.  Still have to finish the back and fill in the dirt behind, and have my brother figure out where he wants to move the rest of the logs to.

Just shooting at paper targets for practice.

I did about 220 rounds.  I have 4 magazines that each hold 15 and always have one chambered.  I shot alone this day but reloading is when all the good discussions occur.

I can stand and shoot at paper targets ALL DAY LONG, but when the training is done, it’s nice to turn the “fun factor” up up 11 and shoot things that go boom !!

I have had very inconsistent results with the baking soda and vinegar bottles we shoot at.  Some are really cool and some are complete fizzling duds.

So, enter Mr. Wizard. (science reference from way back if you are of my age group).

Going backwards, earlier this year I tried something to make it easier to mix the vinegar and baking soda.  If you are not quick with the bottle capping, it can be a mess.  So I thought up a way to make baking soda pellets.  I did not photo document that so there is little to show.  I had some plastic trays to use for a mold that could make pellets that were about twice the size of a 45 shell casing.  I knew that just mixing water and baking soda would result in a crumbling pellet so I had the bright idea of also adding white glue.  Well crap, I had no idea that would literally make “Slime.”

I sometimes think I am a genius.   But unfortunately, it’s not the Einstein type, it’s more of the Wily E. Coyote kind.

But the pellets did dry out and they work fine except it takes quite a while for the pellet to dissolve.  Need to have that be quicker, so I have some other ideas to try.

The other more simple idea would be just to go to Aldis and buy a 12 pack of crappy soda to shoot at.

Now, mostly just because it’s cool to watch thing go boom in slow motion, here it is.

The first four bottles were only 1/2 full of vinegar.  That was the type of reaction that I was looking for !!  I was only able to find one of those bottles.  I suspect that the rest blew into the cornfield.

NOTE TO SELF:   Put another bucket under the middle of the plank.  Tired of the first shot knocking down other targets.

The next three shots were a 50/50 mix and the bottle was full.  Two of the bottles were through and throughs with jumpy, fizzy bottles.   Kind of cool, but not as cool as the first four bottles.

Next four were a 25/75 vinegar/water mix and the bottles were full.  3 of the shots were the “Jumpy Fizzy” kind like the previous 4 but the third shot that jumped straight up in the air was kinds cool, still not as cool as the first exploding ones.

The rest of the aluminum beer cans were full with a 50/50 mix.  Almost all of them had a good explosive result.

The results of the experiment?

I haven’t a clue.

If the beer cans weren’t as almost explosive as the first four, I would think having a half full bottle was better.

The good news is that I will get more bottles and blow more stuff up !!!!!

Just wanted to take a little look at the shot placement on the bottles.

Only had one of the first bottles and it went at about the middle of the vinegar level.  Interesting that the round went out the back, but there was damage to the bottom of the bottle.

The number twos had good solid hits.  Can see the two that were jumpy & fizzy.

The number threes were all low shots.  The bottle with the damage on the bottom must have been the one that went sky high up.

 

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Always have to clean up at the end of the day.  My dad’s property is next door and he doesn’t like seeing any messes or having any of the debris blow around.  My brother’s place already has too many hillbilly piles of  “stuff” around.  He’s a hard worker and very industrious so I can’t give him any crap about that.

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I even clean up the brass on the range.  Brass laying around is kind of cool and adds to the ambiance, but I pick it up to take to the scrapyard.  Get a few bucks back to buy more ammo !!  The .22 casings have almost no weight, so it takes a long time to accumulate.

Done shooting the bottles and now going to use my last magazine to try some quick double shots.

I’m going from a low ready and shooting.

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Bottom 3 inch target:

OK, that ain’t too bad for quick shooting !!  I’d like to say that I am just a freaking bad ass spot on shooter, but really, I think a lot of that was luck.

Well, so ends another good, safe day at the range.

Home Ground Beef, A Tasty Burger

 

 

 

We often watch “Cook’s Country” on television.  Their forte is taking well known or classic recipes and try to make them better.  One episode they wanted to recreate the classic greasy spoon, roadside restaurant fried burger that was popular in the late 50’s and early 60’s with people taking long car trips.  The interesting part of the recipe was that they ground their own beef with a food processor and it was something we wanted to try.  Now, my wife had tried it a couple of times and it wasn’t really that good.  The biggest problem was she was using “petite sirloin”.  WAY TOO LEAN and there is too much gristle and other connective tissue left on that cut and the meat was still to chunky.  So, I wanted to try it again, this time using a piece of boneless chuck.

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Starting with a nice piece of boneless chuck.

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Cut them into about 1 inch cubes

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The cubes go into the freezer for about 10 minutes just to give the chunks a slight firmness.  Other wise, when they get run through the food processor, they might just turn to mush.

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I ran the meat through the processor twice.  I first used the slicing attachment.

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Then the meat meets the real chopper blade.

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I did a couple of batches.

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By golly !! Dang if that at least doesn’t look like ground beef!!

Nothing like nice bright pink beef !!

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Now, because the meat is actually small bits and pieces and not long fibers like real ground meat, there is a lot less cohesion and because I do not pack my burgers very tight, these would probably not do well out on the grill.  I only want to have to touch these once when I flip them so the don’t fall apart.  Do you see the dimple in the middle of each burger?  That’s so when they cook, they don’t expand up and end up like meatballs.

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Some tater tots done on the waffle iron.  Mmmmmm, crispy !

There are a whole bunch of websites/blogs that show what can and cannot be cooked on a waffle iron and tater tots was a good one.

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Lightly toasted bun with a little lettuce and some thousand island style condiment.  Another burger tip, toasted buns provide a little buffer so the juices of the burger don’t make the bun soggy as fast.

Despite all of the food nazi warnings about under cooked ground beef, I still LOVE my burgers PINK.  An interesting thing about grinding the meat this way is that because the bits and pieces are small, I think the burger can be cooked a little more closer to medium and it would still be good because there is not a lot of bite resistance.  It doesn’t fall apart like a sloppy joe but it has a good chew.

Lunch for Week XII

UPDATE :

The good news is that lunch is not ruined.  It has a heavy vinegar taste, but will do for this week !

 

The week of leftover lunches were interesting, but it’s nice to get back to some spicy Chinese !!

Now, that looks like a lot of chicken but it isn’t really too much considering there is probably only a total of 6 thighs and it is for 4 lunches.  I did accidentally take more out of the freezer then I wanted to, but decided to cook it all any way !!

There was a very good sale on “Black Friday” at my grocery store and one of the things that I bought was a “name brand” can of baby corn  instead of the cheapest one that I can find.  What a difference it made when I opened the can and emptied the contents into the strainer !!!.  Each ear was the same length and same girth, not just a random bunch of stuff in the can !  It will most likely taste the same and I don’t mind using the stems and stalks in the lunches, but if I were preparing a meal for others, I might have to go with the name brand as presentation is almost as important ast the taste.  And my lunch experience is mostly just about filling my pie hole until dinner.

Despite this looking like a lot of chicken, when I spooned out equal portions into my lunch containers, there wasn’t too much.  My lunch is quite a bit less than what you would buy for take out and a Chinese restaurant.  And I will be keeping the sauce and chicken separate as to keep as mush of the fried, crunchy goodness that I can !

I have ruined a bit of food by “experimenting” or altering a recipe.  Today, I thought I would try adding a little rice wine vinegar into the sauce.  And don’t you know that I dumped too much in !!!.  I tried to compensate by adding another package of sauce.  I did not sample the sauce yet, so on Monday at 11:15 am when my food comes out of the microwave at work, I will find out how it is !