We got up a little early this morning so I could start smoking some ribs. They thawed out completely overnight, so we just had to get them to my house, prepped, and on the smoker. We stopped at Walmart first, so I could get some charcoal. I decided to try some Jealous Devil lump charcoal instead of the Kingsford briquettes that I’ve used my whole life. The smoker specifically called for lumps, and that was what a quick Google search for the “best lump charcoal” spat back at me.

It hardly took any time at all to get the grill going and up to temperature. Summer helped me get the dry rub on the ribs, and we got them onto the smoker at 225º for three hours. She left for the gym while I stayed behind to watch the smoker and eventually get a shower. She came back when the first step was done, and we wrapped the ribs up in some foil with some barbecue sauce and apple cider vinegar. I had watched so many tutorials while I was waiting, that I forgot I didn’t need the sauce until the third cook phase, but it didn’t really matter much.

I was really hungry at that point, so we went to Taco Bell to share a meal before going to Walmart to pick up what Summer needed for potato salad and broccoli salad. She kept getting interrupted by calls and texts from work, which frustrated me since she was originally the one hurrying me through the store. We finally got everything and headed up to her house to start cooking.

Autumn had gone to her grandparents’ house for some reason, though she didn’t actually help with any housework like she was supposed to. Eaddie wanted to go to her friend’s house to work on a school project, so I dropped her off before going back to Summer’s to make some hummingbird food. When the two-hour cook phase was over, I headed back to my house to unwrap the ribs and throw them directly on the racks again.

They were still super soft, and the bones wanted to rip right out of the meat. I was worried that they were too tender, but after an hour they firmed up a little bit. I did make a bit of a mess, and some grease got down into a crack that I can’t really clean. I’ll have to see if I can take that one part off to clean it out. When the ribs were done, I wrapped them back up in some foil and loaded them into a big styrofoam cooler, and went back up the mountain to get the girls.

Autumn arrived at my parents’ house just as we did, and we sliced up the first rack of ribs. They turned out pretty good, but I know I can do better. I think they were still just a little bit too tender, and I’d really like to try a coarse pepper base. I could really use a better place to trim them up as well. Dad made peach cobbler for dessert, and everyone got plenty to eat. Then we watched The Music Man, which I had never seen before. Eaddie had been wanting to watch it for a while, but evidently it was a regular for them growing up. Autumn had to be forced to stay and finish the movie, but slept through most of it.

Autumn went back to spend the night with her grandparents, and it was quick to bed for the rest of us when we got back to the house. I’ve got a good amount of cleaning to do tomorrow, so I won’t be able to stick around for long.

Camelot Cousin’s BBQ, Est. 2022

Lawyer Show!

I took the R1 today, and made it to work pretty early. There wasn’t a whole lot going on that early, but I had stuff to pick at. Summer made an appointment to see a nurse about her headaches and numbness in her left side, and wanted me to go along with her. She picked me up from work a little before lunch time, and we went to the Millard-Henry Clinic. I was surprised by how quickly we got in, but unimpressed by our visit. Her nurse seemed to just be reading things off of UpToDate, which kind of sounded like WebMD behind a paywall. She asked a few questions, but it really seemed like she was taking a guided program to diagnose the issue.

In the end, we got some prescriptions called in, but then didn’t actually receive the new ones when we stopped by Rose Drug as we left. Summer decided she would just go back later, and instead we went to Stoby’s for lunch. A couple guys came in after us and seemed a bit rude in the way they spoke to our server. They were definitely not there to chit-chat, and ignored common courtesy to start immediately in on their orders. Summer and I finished up pretty quickly, and then went by her house to get her laptop. She decided she wanted to spend the day with me in my office, working from my couch.

I had to go to Oakland for a few things, but finished them up relatively quickly. Then I came back to the shop for a bit before having to wrap things up and go to the high school for our CPPC training. Summer took off and I ran upstairs to deliver some laptops, and then it was off to the new board room at the high school. I arrived early enough to avoid the traffic, and passed a bunch of administrators as they were leaving their own meeting. As I walked in, Ginni immediately called me out with a big smile and asked rhetorically if I was Autumn’s dad. I quipped back that it was only voluntary, and we went back and forth for a moment before I found a seat.

The training was short, and I think the administrators learned more than I did. The lawyer basically reiterated a bunch of the points I made last year, so at least now they’ll be less likely to break the law. It wasn’t a complete waste of time, but I still think we ultimately just need a committee of more rounded, learned individuals.

I rode back to the shop to finish out the day, but didn’t get into anything else. I made it home a little late and waited for Summer and Eaddie to come over. Then we went to my parents’ house for shrimp noodle soup. Autumn decided to go to the kid’s funeral with some of her friends, which annoyed Summer after Autumn went back and forth on how much any of that affected her. The soup was great, and then Dad made a pear cake that we thought was awesome.

The girls dropped me off back at home for the night since it was so late, and I didn’t want to have to get gas just to make it up to their house. My house was hot, which gave me a bit of a headache, so I didn’t get up to anything. Instead, I watched one more episode of She-Hulk and then went to bed.

Breaking all the walls.

On a Roll

I woke up early and hacked up a bunch of crud, then went back to sleep pretty hard. I heard Summer get around, so I eventually got out of bed and had some leftover biscuits and gravy. Then I went home to work on the garage. It got really hot really early because of the humidity, so I ended up taking really frequent breaks inside, but I felt good about the progress I made. There’s still a lot to do, and a lot of stuff that needs a new home, but today proved just how poorly and inefficiently things were packed into the place.

Summer came over after her workout and helped poke around a bit, but then went home while I finished up. I took one last break and watched an episode of She Hulk, and finally took a shower. Autumn dropped Summer and Eaddie off at the park to play tennis while she went to see her grandparents for a bit. Once I was done, I picked then up to go to my parents’ house for spring rolls for dinner.

Julie was already there to help prep everything, and was sharing stories about her most recent adventure. They set up another table for us in the living room, expecting more than could fit around the dinner table. Autumn didn’t show up until the very end, but the rest of us took turns going to the dining room to make rolls that we carried to the living room to eat.

Autumn showed up to say, “hello,” and then took the others home with her. I helped clean up a little bit and then headed to the house behind them. Summer had been struggling with a headache and half of her face tingling intermittently throughout the weekend, so I finally convinced her to call the doctor in the morning. I doped up myself since my cough was getting a bit worse again, and was going to go to bed early until Eaddie came out and sat down next to me to do some last-minute science homework. I helped her with a few questions, and then it was off to sleep.

You’re welcome.

Getting Things Done

Autumn had a Quiz Bowl tournament today. Summer and I got up and had some leftovers, and we mostly left Eaddie alone. After I ate, I went home and started up the grill to season the griddle top. I forgot to open the vents, so it didn’t start as quickly as it could have, but once it got rolling, the seasoning process went really well. I poked around the garage a bit while that cooked off, but I really need to start making big progress. I think tomorrow I’ll need to clean up the back yard so I can move some things out to the shed.

After a shower, I picked Summer up and we headed up to Justin’s baby shower. I didn’t really know anyone, but eventually some other guys from Superfast showed up so I wasn’t quite as outnumbered by the girls. They had a pretty great spread of finger foods, and it was actually enough that we didn’t eat for the rest of the day.

We left the shower and went straight to my parents’ house to help cover the pool for the year. Then we stopped by my office to get the leftover gravy for breakfast tomorrow. When we got back to the house, Eaddie was about ready to go to the fair. I watched Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog with Summer, and when she was ready, I dropped Eaddie off at the fairgrounds.

The rest of the evening was pretty quiet. Autumn was home when I got back, but she had plans to go to the fair and would bring Eaddie back at the end of it all. They came back a couple hours earlier than they planned, but I guess they didn’t have quite as many friends turn up as they expected.

Stop dawdling.


I took the Grom in today to complete the set. It wasn’t quite as chilly first thing this morning, but it was still nice all day long. It’s too bad I don’t feel like I’m getting to enjoy the weather at all. I went to Oakland first so I could complete a couple things. Then I went on in to the shop where I spent most of the day digging through scripts and following the flow of information to find where things were breaking.

It really was super uneventful aside from leaving the office to install some software for some folks at Support Services. When I got back to the shop, Thomas took Zach, Gary, and me to Morelos for lunch. It was really good, and I’m still confused as to why Greg hates that place so much. We used to go all the time.

The afternoon dragged on forever, and was just more of the same. When I left, I went home to change and then stopped by Walmart to pick up some “fresh” parmesan for Summer’s meal. She was home making some bowtie pasta with chicken, cheese, and spinach. It was awesome, and everyone but Autumn really loved it. If only we could have nuggetized it somehow.

Eaddie was really talkative for most of the night, but after dinner everyone was pretty quick to go to their rooms. I tried not to stay up too late since my cough has been wearing me out at night.

Loads better than cooking it in a cheese wheel.

Home Cooked

It’s getting colder now, and it’s fully dark when I wake up. My CPAP humidifier has been gurgling overnight, and it doesn’t help me sleep any better while I’m sick. I still managed to make it out the door a couple minutes early today, and got a bit of a chill on the way in on the Shadow. My whole day carried on relatively busily between various phone calls and urgent cries for help.

I met Summer at Superfast for lunch, and we ate the bánh mì that Mom made us yesterday. She was dressed up to work in the office there, so we just hung out in the office while we ate. Then I went back to work and had to beckon Josh to come to the office to eat the apple pie that Tammy made for his birthday.

The afternoon was oddly both busy and quiet. There wasn’t much activity in person, but I got several calls from Brody the rest of the day. I figured that Eaddie and I would go to my parents’ house for eggplant soup, but she wouldn’t respond to my text. She finally called when I got home and said she forgot about her private lesson, but by then she was done. Autumn dropped her off at my house and then carried on toward home. Summer didn’t want to go, so it was just the two of us.

Eaddie was thinking she didn’t like the eggplant soup or the tofu so much, but once we got there, she remembered that she actually loved all of it, and she kept going on about how much she liked soups. Dad was fasting, and Mom got home from work a bit late and didn’t eat until after we were done and gone.

On the way to the house, I took Eaddie through Sonic for a churro shake, and it was pretty awesome. It took them about five minutes to fry the churro, and they brought food out to two cars behind us while we waited. Back at the house, Summer was finishing up some work stuff, and then it was a pretty quick night to bed for everyone. I think it just felt a lot later than it really was, but I was exhausted from all the coughing anyway.

Whoop, whoop….


I tried not to sleep in too late today, and got up to some leftovers while Summer made herself breakfast. She still had a bunch of cleaning she wanted to do around the house, so I eventually went home to do some work myself. I originally planned to start my new Gravity grill so I could season it while I started to clean out the garage, but ended up fighting to get the thing connected to Wi-Fi for over an hour. I ended up searching for anyone else that had similar trouble, and found a Reddit thread where someone had to contact support to learn that the SSID and password combined had to be fewer than 15 characters for it to work. Otherwise, it would stall out exactly like I was experiencing for an hour and a half.

I spun up a guest SSID with a shorter password and got the grill connected just before I finished the heating process. Then I thought I shut everything down before going to my parents’ house to get a bánh mì. Mom was asleep while Dad was in Fort Smith, but she got up and made sandwiches for me, another couple to take for Summer and myself, and finally one for herself as I was leaving.

When I got back home, I could hear the fan in my grill going full-blast, because apparently I didn’t press the power button for long enough. It was trying to get the temperature up to 400º, even though I had blocked off the air and heat intakes. I oiled up all the parts I could get to and switched the grill grates out for the griddle top, but didn’t get it started again because I had to meet Summer at Walmart.

We wandered around inefficiently, picking up stuff for Justin’s baby shower, then some brats for dinner. We ended with an annoying lap through clearance as other people kept crowding in around us. The girls were already home, so I started up the grill as soon as we got there.

Dinner was quick and simple. Eaddie had finished up mowing her part of the lawn and had me help her with some science homework. Autumn spent all night in her room. Summer went to bed pretty early, and I wound down as quickly as I could.

Bringing the inconvenience and frustration of the modern world to the centuries-old tradition of smoking food over an open fire!

Mow, Mow, Mow to Boat

I didn’t sleep very well or for very long last night. The girls were supposed to get up early to mow so they could go to their father’s for the weekend, but we beat them out of bed. It took some prying, and neither one was super motivated. Eaddie finally went out to start mowing, but complained that she wanted to go out on the boat with her friends. Summer was kind of in and out and up in her feelings about it, but tried to get Autumn motivated to do some cleaning up herself.

Eventually I got it through to the kids that they didn’t meet our expectations, and that they had to get it done and work together if they wanted to do anything else for the weekend. Autumn eventually started mowing while Eaddie took a break to go out with her friends. Summer went to the gym and I dropped Eaddie off. On the way back, I got some more gas for the mower, then stopped by to see Grant and Robert. They didn’t have any pork pops that I wanted to try, so I got some brisket and headed back to the house.

Autumn had taken a pretty lengthy break while I was gone, but started up again shortly after I got back. Summer got back from her workout, and by that time I figured we didn’t have long before we could go to my house and do some cleaning up there. I didn’t realize she had a bunch more stuff she wanted to get done, so I ended up burning all afternoon and evening doing nothing more than playing Into the Breach.

Eventually Autumn left to get Eaddie and head to Clarksville. Summer wasted the rest of the evening in front of the TV. I ate some leftovers myself after refusing to get some takeout for her. I cleaned a whole bunch of stuff out of the refrigerator, and I’ll clean out some more for breakfast in the morning before going home.

Better just go it alone.

S’putum Up!

Last night was a really rough night for my head cold, and marked the real transition into my chest. I managed to deal with it alright at work through a bunch of hot coffee and tea. We had a brief meeting this morning with the group, and then I was surprised with a meeting of my own with Thomas and Gary to discuss options for fixing Istation. We kind of just got more of what we already knew, but I guess that was what we got for not having a resolution on our own yet.

I picked at a few various other things throughout the morning, but then skipped Fat Daddy’s with the group. I went up to Summer’s instead, and just ate half of my leftover tuna sandwich from Subway in the peace and quiet. The afternoon didn’t have any surprises, and we wrapped up the week pretty quietly.

Summer’s been talking about wanting to see the Eagles, so I picked up a couple tickets and planned a weekend for that when I got home. She wanted to go to the football game to see the girls perform and see Autumn get her quiz bowl state championship ring. I ran trough McDonald’s and Wendy’s for some quick dinner before meeting her at halftime. Then I took the Shadow back home before heading up to her place for the night.

I stopped by Taco Bell for her on the way, and was in the drive-through for about 20 minutes. I was sure she wasn’t going to get any edible food out of it, but she said it was good. The girls got home super late, so Summer was already in bed. I doped up on amphetamines and sat up with Eaddie for a bit until she got up to take a shower. Then it was off to bed.

There’s plenty of room at the Wyndham Riverfront!

Cog no sEnce

As soon as I walked into my office this morning, I got called over to Oakland, because they didn’t test the sound system in the room they wanted to use before they invited a guest speaker. I took care of that and a couple other things quickly, and then went back to the shop to dig into my Cognos reports. That’s all I did for the rest of the day.

Gary took Zach, Thomas, and me to Zaxby’s for lunch, where we met Brody and then had a surprise visit from Wesley. He told us that Cindy planned to retire at the end of the month, which was a bit of a surprise to me at least.

The afternoon was quiet and slow. Dad wanted to borrow my electric mower when his wouldn’t work. Then Eaddie wanted me to get her after school, but decided to walk to the house instead. When I got home after work, she wanted to go home immediately, so I dropped her off and then came back home where Dad had beaten me to return the mower.

I was chomping at the bit to get my new grill assembled and out of the way, so Dad helped me with that. It took us quite a bit longer than I originally expected, and we were surrounded by a cloud of mosquitos the entire time, but it felt good to have that done. We came up with an extra screw somehow though, so I’ll have to go back over the instructions later to make sure we didn’t miss anything. I’m super excited to cook on it though.

I was completely drenched in sweat by the end of that, so I decided to take a shower and then ran a hot straightening brush through my hair really slowly to try and burn off anything that might have taken up residence up there. I was super sore and exhausted after all the bending around the grill, so I doped up and wrapped up my evening as quickly as I could.

It’s teppanyaki time!