Wheres U Been

In the two plus weeks that I have ignored the blog I’ve practically killed our first house guests, gotten Taylor on a soccer team, fertilized the lawn, admired some new furniture, power washed the deck, got the dart board hung in the bar, and worked.Let’s start with absolute embarrassment.  I invited a colleague from work over for dinner – a good easy dry run at entertaining at the new pad, I thought, except I didn’t account for the stubborn pig.  I bought ribs.  I placed them in the smoke at 4pm to target a 7-ish sit down.  The temp in the kettle held nicely at 220-250 and the ribs were coming along.  Somewhere around 7:30 I became concerned as I placed some corn in to roast.

At 8pm I tested the ribs and even though they failed, I went beyond reason.  “God these things have been in the smoke for four hours,” I exclaimed to myself.  “How could they not be done?”  I pulled them off and then proceeded to convert corn on the cob into lump charcoal as I rose the temp in the kettle considerably to finish the dinner.

At around 8:30 I took off the second batch of corn (I had six extra ears in the kitchen) and rushed upstairs to get it husked and cut off the cob.  We sat down near 9 and proceeded to chow down.  I noticed the beautiful color and texture of the ribs about the same time I noticed the great red smoke ring.  But as I proceeded to eat I took note of the meat not coming clean off the bone and then realized that the red color was medium-rare rib not smoke.

Go figure.  A man who prides himself on BBQ screws up the ribs.  It turns out that it was only one half of one rack.  Only myself and my colleague’s girlfriend got that half.  I managed to eat two ribs.  She didn’t even get through one but was awfully polite about everything else.  The one person to mess up dinner on and it was her, not him.  Next time they come over, if they come over, I’m asking Tracey to make “chicken stuff.”

Hale told me later that night, “that’s ok Dad.  You were nervous because we had new people in the house.”  Thank God for Hale.

I think the ribs were off (not to make excuses) because I was rather ambitious with my afternoon.  After Taylor’s soccer practice and lunch I decided that the deck needed to be power washed.  I picked up a power washer a couple of weeks ago for the back patio and other projects.  So off I go with washing the deck.  It took a few hours.  When finished I noted that all the crud went down to the patio.  I took another half an hour to wash that off.  The one thing I did right was get the fire right as I washed the deck.  I’m such the multi-tasker!

Taylor is on a soccer team.  We’ve had her on one since she was here but I’ve had my concerns regarding her development and being on the right team with the right club.  There are over 20 competitive clubs here in St. Louis and this place is nuts on youth soccer.  I don’t think Slick Willy could have avoided impeachment if he were a soccer coach in St. Louis.  They would have hung him with tar and feathers while allowing him to kiss their baby while dangling from ol’ maple tree.

To make a long story short I had Taylor working out with another team which I thought would be a better place for her growth.  She handled practice ok and I thought she made some great moves – did enough to make the team.  However the head guy told me although she was good enough she didn’t work hard enough.  I could see that half way but also understand that a 12 year old girl having only three practices with a team she doesn’t know may appear not to work as hard as the others.  Hard to accept at first but understandable, and Taylor knows she needs to work harder.  She was back with her other team this week and is eager to play in her first game 8/12.

I’m starting to read up on the yard.  I have tons of hard work to go in the yard but at least I’m paying some attention to the lawn.  After mowing it last week I felt compelled to research fertilizer and the geography and made a quick trip to Lowe’s.  It’s been about a week and a half since the last cutting and with the recent heat wave here my lawn is standing tall.  And it’s green.

I’ve turned my attention to the trees in the yard.  I have two silver maples, one white maple, one red maple, two ash trees, about five pine somethings, and a crabapple.  The tree man says the crabapple is unsavable.  This is the tree that was crawling with Ivy.  Turns out the Ivy got it.  I was too late.  One pine needs to come down too.  The others just need some pruning.  THere was a major ice storm here back in the winter and some of my trees still are showing damage.

One of the big highlights is the new dartboard.  I was dreaming about this from the moment we decided on this house.  I got it hung last weekend just in time for our company.  Taylor has been throwing darts like crazy.  Hale throws but can get the darts high enough to hit the board.  But I’m happy about Taylor.  If she throws long enough, she’ll wipe any frat boy’s ass with darts her freshman year at Auburn in about six years.

Work is marvelous.  The team is coming together.  I have a total of five folks now on the squad.  We’re working on a new product to be introduced in early October.  Looks like we’ll have some more toys in Q1.  Everything is peachy on that front.  I can’t wait for school to start though – my school.  I’m looking forward to applying applicable knowledge immediately in the work place.

To borrow Panovec’s “On Tap”:  I’m sippin’ on a cold Widmer Hefeweizen and listening to DMB Live Trax Vol. 9 from Vegas.

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