Bag of Randomness for Monday, November 30, 2015

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  • My closest friend in the neighborhood was kind enough to give me his old smoker after he got a new one.  I used it to smoke our Thanksgiving turkey, and for a first timer, I thought it turned out better than expected.  The biggest challenge was trying to figure out how to keep the heat consistent as it fell to the cool side a few times.  I’m sure it’s a combination of adding coal and wood, but I don’t think I should have to adjust it every hour and a half, but maybe I do.
  • WifeGeeding got sick again over the weekend and woke me up telling me she was about to take a pregnancy test.  It was negative.
  • I finished ‘Jessica Jones’ on Netflix with a binge-watch.  Man, I really enjoyed that show and loved how they showed the possibility of mind control.
  • I also watched Ant ManMr. Holmes, and a Billy Joel documentary about his concert in Russia, which was pretty darn interesting.  Mr. Holmes was tediously slow, even for this Sherlock Holmes fan, but Ant Man was better than expected.
  • Oh, I also watched about three episodes of ‘Fantasy Island’.  One line from Mr. Roarke stuck with me, “There is a gravestone in Germany which bears the final statement of the man that lies beneath, ‘Now I know more than the wisest among you.’ I think that’s the way it should remain.”
  • I’m suffering from some kind of PTSD from the Cowboys Thanksgiving halftime performance.
  • The Dallas Morning News had a Thanksgiving day article about the long and storied rivalry of Baylor and TCU.  The article convinced me that it’s a rivalry in the sense they have played each other for a long time, but it lacked any real details that it’s a storied rivalry other than the years Patterson and Briles have coached against one another.
  • How sad is it that the best college football rivalry in Texas is between two private schools full of rich snobby kids.
  • There was no excuse for TCU not to win that game.  They were playing at home, the weather slowed Baylor’s offense, and Baylor was starting their third string quarterback.
  • Last year Baylor would not let TCU forget about their win all year long with a string of antics, more so than I can remember of other rivalries.  I’m curious to see what TCU does all year long, if anything. I think a TCU win means more to Patterson than their fans, but I think a Baylor win means more to their fans than it does to their head coach.
  • I do miss the Texas and Texas A&M game, but I can’t argue against what A&M did by joining the SEC.  A&M did what’s best for them when they jettisoned to the SEC and they’ve been better off.  The Big XII is a weak conference full of teams either begging for respect or just mediocre.  In most cases, their non-conference schedules are laughable and in-conference play isn’t impressive, which gives the CFP committee little to go on.  I think of the Big XII a the Burger King, Pepsi, or Gobots of college football.
  • It’s not every day you see the quarterback block, especially one that puts an opponent on his back, but the Sooner QB impressively did that on Saturday.
  • An American woman spent $2,000 on U2 tickets for the Dublin concert using the Ticketmaster marketplace GetMeIn, but was informed that the tickets were not available after she had arrived in Dublin.  What’s worst, she later saw the tickets advertised on the same site.
  • Price of hotel rooms in Dublin during U2 homecoming gigs rockets by 65%
  • Vanity Fair – The Cast of Fargo Reacts to This Season’s Most Bonkers Plot
  • GIF – Cool party trick with a pet hawk
  • President Obama Signs Bill Recognizing Asteroid Resource Property Rights into Law  – This law recognizes the right of U.S. citizens to own asteroid resources they obtain and encourages the commercial exploration and utilization of resources from asteroids.
  • Is this what they mean when they talk about bringing a knife to a gunfight?
  • The first story on ‘CBS Sunday Morning’ involved police being able to extract DNA from a twenty-year-old envelope flap to help identify a missing person.  I had no idea that was possible.
  • The Dallas Morning News has a nice and somewhat interesting article about Jerry Jones’ longtime secretary.  She’s now 74 but has worked as Jerry’s secretary since 1979, lives a little more than two miles from Valley Ranch, and is usually the first one in and last one out.  Former players like Pacman Jones still texts her, and she has Roger Goodell’s phone number memorized.  Her daughter has been the head coach assistant since the Dave Campo era.  There’s also a touching piece in there about how Jerry loaned her his personal jet to get family members to her son’s funeral, which he paid for.  As much fun as it is to pile on Jerry, you hear many, many stories, especially from members of the media that have skewered him, about his generosity and the loaning of his jet.
  • Dallas Observer – Freddie Jones is the Trumpet Player Behind Every Dallas Cowboys National Anthem
  • The Heartwarming Story Behind R2-KT, And How She Joined Star Wars Canon
  • The CBS11 traffic girl was recently attacked by a wasp while on the cameras were rolling .  Without a doubt, she’s the most attractive news personality in town.
  • Suspected Burglar Dies In Chimney After Homeowner Lights Fireplace
  • “We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior.”
  • The New York Times has an article about real estate in DFW being bought up by Chinese investors.  In some cases, houses are being built for Chinese families, “The homes here in Corinth will feature two master suites, one for the buyers, the other for aging parents. A concierge service will help new arrivals from overseas order Internet service and pay electric bills. Chauffeurs will ferry homeowners until they learn to navigate the loops and spurs of Texas freeways.
  • Saturday evening I stumbled upon Showtime’s documentary ‘The Spymasters — CIA in the Crosshairs’ and couldn’t pull myself away.  All 12 living CIA directors, some featured predominantly more than others, and a handful of their high-level colleagues, were asked questions about terrorism, tragedy, interrogation, espionage, and their interactions with other departments and presidential administrations.  The airing of this was quite timely considering the Paris attacks.  It was very similar to a Discovery channel documentary in which all living former Chiefs of Staff of the president did a two-part series, and it turns out it was done by the same people.  To add a little flair to it, it was narrated by Homeland’s Mandy Patinkin, which also airs on Showtime and is about the CIA and terrorism.  You realize that there are no easy answers for these men, but all their answers are well thought out.  The most entertaining part for me was when they were asked about “signature strikes” and they all immediately denied any knowledge or existence of it saying they couldn’t comment on it if there even was such a thing.
  • I thought I found a really good deal in an electronic device I bought online because I found a special promotional code that gave me $70 off; however, the next day I saw the item on sale for the discounted price without the need to use the promo code.
  • My definition of financial success is having the ability to purchase anything at Pottery Barn and not having to worry about the price.
  • I love what Dever Broncos QB Brock Osweiler had to say in his first on-camera interview after beating the Patriots last night, “I’m not two and ‘O’, this team is two and ‘O’ in the past two games.”
  • Random tidbit from Osweiler’s Wikipedia page – During the Week 12 overtime loss in the 2013 season, Osweiler was put into the line in an attempt to block the Patriots game-winning field-goal, as he is the tallest member of the team at 6’8″ (203 cm).
  • Man, that was some great football to watch last night, and when you add snow on a natural grass field, it makes it magical.
  • Random fact about the Bronco’s home field, it’s Kentucky Bluegrass.
  • @ESPNStatsInfoPatriots lose in OT on a TD for the first time since Week 10 of 1987 when Herschel Walker ran for a 60-yard TD for Cowboys
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9 Responses to Bag of Randomness for Monday, November 30, 2015

  1. Jason Truitt says:

    You need to control the air more than anything. And in the winter, you’ll definitely need to stay on top of it.

    Not a nice comment about Baylor kids. Just ask your wife.

    The Baylor TCU rivalry is much better than the current jerks running either program.

    And the Big12 is full of mediocre teams? Really? With TCU, Baylor, OU, and OSU all being ranked and at times even fighting for playoff spots?

  2. Showing Blitz says:

    " Man, that was some great football to watch last night, and when you add snow on a natural grass field, it makes it magical."

    As the game wore on I was wondering how the Denver ground crew was able to keep those yard-line numbers constantly cleaned off and clearly visible and then i learned that they were electronically superimposed by the broadcaster.

  3. warren says:

    About half of the MLB parks are Kentucky Bluegrass. http://www.baseballpilgrimages.com/grass-at-major…

  4. Triple Fake says:

    I also watched Mr. Holmes over the weekend. I disagree with your assessment. You're missing the entire purpose of the movie complaining about the pacing.
    Ian McKellen played a great elderly Holmes, and the story itself held my interest. The plot had everything to do with your typical verry British acting – no chases, no 'splosions (not that there's anything wrong with that. I love a good action flick).
    My only problem with the film was that they used Laura Linney instead of an English actress. She did okay with the dialect (Bristol, I think), but I would prefer to hear a native Brit really put some teeth into it

  5. @solmidog says:

    I tend my smoker too much. I start the initial fire with charcoal, but after that, it's all wood. The turkey this year was with hickory. It was good. You'll get a feel fo how long chunks of wood will hold the temp you want (mine 225-250) I soak my wood before I start, but they are damp when I use it, not wet. I also have a pan of water in the smoker to help keep things moist. For the turkey I used the brining liquid instead of water. (Waste not want not) I really hope you enjoy smoking things, I usually smoke several things at once, if you have the space, start with the biggest thing, and add the smaller things (chickens, ribs, sausage) as the day goes on, so that they all come off the fire about the same time.

  6. John Mackovic says:

    Chelsey Davis? No love for Elizabeth Dinh?

    /DF Sigmund Freud

  7. Mr. Mike Honcho says:

    Congrats on the "new" smoker. Yes, it's very common to monitor and check on a "stick burner" at least every hour. Some quick tips I would pass on…

    1.) Use lump charcoal for heat, and a bag of wood chunks for smoke. An 85/15 mixture is plenty. An offset smoker is just a big oven that you can add smoke to. The heat is low and slow to break down all the fat and connective tissue. Lump Charcoal is great to help keep a dependable amount of heat. Hickory is my preferred wood to add smoke. A little smoke is all you need. Thin, Blue Smoke coming out of the smoker is perfect.

    2.) Take the guesswork out of how long to smoke something by using a reliable meat probe thermometer. I like the Maverick brand. There are many charts that show you what internal temperature is needed for different cuts of meat. They work like a champ.

  8. Mr. Mike Honcho says:

    3.) Meat stops taking on smoke flavor inside the tissues at about 140deg. After that, further smoke just soots up the outside of your meat. After that you drop the wood chips and just use charcoal for heat only. Or even, (GASP!), let the fire cool down and finish it in your oven. Yeah, I know some are going to freak out about that last one. Trust me, my brisket is incredible.

    4.) the exhaust of the smoker should be wide open. Use the incoming air damper to "throttle" the heat. Typically, after my fire is going good, I cut the damper to almost completely closed. Then I open it slowly over the next hour or so, feeding more oxygen into the firebox to keep the temp up. Dump more charcoal, add some wood chunks, close damper, repeat. My target temp for the smoker is 225-250 deg for everything.

    5.) www.smokingmeatforums.com – there is more than you will every want to read there. Great resource.

    • Triple Fake says:

      I can vouch for Honcho's brisket. In fact, all the meat products from his smoker are great! I've stuffed my gut many times at Casa de Honcho

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