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!

Scheduled for 2022

I got up this morning and got the okay to make breakfast, so I got the grill out and started heating up the griddle. I’ve been wanting to cook breakfast on it for so long just to try cooking on a flat-top to see how I would like it. The cast iron was a new adventure too, but I thought it turned out pretty well. I had some garlic and herb French bread in the freezer that I threw onto the top rack to heat up while I cooked a bunch of bacon. The bacon cooked a bit slower than I expected, but I think bacon always does. I’m so used to just cooking an entire package in a pot now that I forget what it’s like cooking a single layer. After that was done, I could set it on the grill grate to drain, and then fry up some eggs.

Summer enjoyed her sandwich, but Eaddie took one bite of hers and complained that the bread was too hard, and then said she was leaving to go out to eat with her father. He showed up moments later to pick her up, so I just sat in a computer chair with my ghetto fan box as a table, and ate by myself after Summer ate in bed.

We laid around for a while, and I kept trying to drift back to sleep, but couldn’t without my CPAP. I finally got up with a pretty bad headache when it was time for Summer to leave for her employee’s baby shower. I got around to clean up a bit, and missed a delivery confirmation call from Lowe’s while I was in the shower. We’ll finally get our new refrigerator tomorrow.

Summer and Eaddie came back over in the evening so we could go to my parents’ house for Mom’s birthday. I loaded up my old Denon receiver to set up for them since they haven’t been able to use the speakers I brought them after their receiver blew a component. On the drive over, I got another call from Lowe’s. This time it was an automated call confirming my delivery was scheduled for between 10AM and 2PM on Monday, April 11th, 2022. At this point I was just glad it wasn’t going to be 2023.

When we got to my parents’ house, we chatted for a while about housing. I explained my plan to build a workshop to house everything while we renovate, and finally got some traction. For some reason, Mom still thinks it’ll be cheaper to buy land and build somewhere, but that just sounds like too much for me. I would literally spend the rest of my entire life trying to plan out the perfect layout, and would never build anything. I can handle a simple workshop. What I can’t handle is my need to over-design and wire a custom home with too many custom rooms with a fully climate-controlled data closet, solar, house batteries, home theater wiring, storage, and anything else I think up along the way.

Autumn got off work a little late, and we had her pick up some Pizza Hut on the way over. We ate, and then she took Eaddie home. Summer was stuck with me while I set up the home theater receiver again. The power and input controls never work like I want them to, but I think I got it set up well enough for Mom to figure out. We headed back to my house after that, and Summer helped me move some stuff before she left. Then I did some last minute cleaning before the big delivery day.

Taxes, taxes, taxes. Taxes are next.

Super Cheesy

It was a crisp sort of frosty this morning, lugging my cheeses back home for smoking in the evening. I made it in to work without event, but Gary messaged to say he would be out for a few days after slipping on ice and breaking his arm. It was pretty quiet, otherwise. Thomas sounded significantly better, and said he was finally nearing normal.

I spent a large portion of the day finishing up some work for CPPC, between helping Brody with random things. I thought I’d make it to Oakland at some point, but I never did.

Zach, Thomas, and I went to Arby’s for lunch. I had thought to myself recently that it had been a while since we’d eaten there, so it was a treat. Their new Brisket, Bacon, ‘n Beef Dip was awesome, and then Zach bought us all turnovers for dessert.

When we got back, I printed off some copies of the CPPC email and changed policies, and walked them over to Transportation, as well as all the way out to the bus barn for the drivers less likely to read their email. The rest of the afternoon just got quieter and quieter until quitting time.

As soon as I got home, I rushed to get things ready to smoke my cheese. I did some quick research, sliced up all of my big blocks, and loaded them onto a metal rack to stick in the grill. My A-Maze-N Tube Smoker lit off like a champ, and we were off to the races.

I stuck around for about an hour and flipped the cheeses, then went to Taco Bell to pick up dinner. I video called Summer while I waited in line, and then made it home to eat. I flipped the cheese some more, then did a couple miles on the treadmill before coming back in to finish things up.

It took me a bit to get the vacuum sealing right, but I was pretty pleased with the results. All of the cheeses looked pretty good, but I won’t know until at least the end of the week how good they really turned out. They’ve got to rest a bit while they’re all wrapped up, so the smokey flavor mellows out. I did sneak a couple pinches of the shredded cheese though, and it was pretty good.

Sucks to suck.