Part time job

I have a new part time job – working on the freight team at Home Depot. What’s it like? Well, its not a brutal as I thought it would be. I just finished my first week. My shift is 7-11 pm Monday-Friday. I admit I was nervous the first day, not knowing what I was getting myself into, but everyone was nice and willing to show me and some other new guys the ropes. After unloading a truck, we pretty much are left on our own to stock the shelves. The hardest part of stocking is tracking down the item from the isle and bay number. Using a hand-held custom smartphone helps since it can scan either the upc or HD barcode and tell you the price and location in the store.

Made a brisket today. I decided to try entirely cooking it on the smoker, and not putting it in the oven to finish it. My normal procedure is 3-4 hours on the grill and then seal it up in a pan with a little water in it and put it in the oven for another 3-4 hours.

Well, no surprise, it got lots of smoke, probably overdid it. It tastes good at first and with break or potato salad to knock it down some, but if just eating the meat, its pretty strong.

The other issue was that it never seemed to get tender enough on the smoker, even after 13 hours. I kept checking it with the two-prong meat fork, and I know from past experience how it should fee.  I would up putting it in the over anyway. Checked after an hour in the oven and it wasn’t much better. After another hour, it was passable, some parts are good, some are still tough.

Pulled it anyway and let it sit for 30 minutes. This is an improvement over the past. In the future always wait at least 30 minutes for the meat to rest. When I cut it, hardly any juice ran out.

I left some uncut and wrapped in plastic wrap with an outer later of foil. that should be good to go strait into the oven to reheat and possibly cook some more.

In the future, go back to 3-4 hours on the smoker, and then another 3-4 in the oven. With that amount of time on the smoker, the level of smoke should be OK. Still no need to over-do it.

Pros: Good bark and smoke flavor. Learned to let the meat rest before cutting. Not as dried out as the picture makes it look!

Cons: Did not get tender enough. Smoke is strong. Took all day.




Back to Robotics

Had a nice visit tonight catching up with the robotics team. I had been away for awhile while working on my house foundation project.  I gave the team a “Team 1225” front license plate for the bus I ordered from CafePress. I also talked with a couple of team members about the request for the team to visit the prison the week before Thanksgiving.

Speaking of the home project, going to be backfilling this weekend. Looking forward to having flat yard again.





Robotics 2015

After a fairly successful showing at our first competition at Myrtle Beach, we have three weeks to make spare / new parts for the robot. The robot itself is in a bag and off limits. We are only allowed to work on spare / new parts between competitions. We are working on changing our trash can flipper style loader to a lifter over the exit chute. the lifter will allow us to place a trashcan on top of totes ourselves.  Here is a picture of the robot from the Palmetto Regional at Myrtle Beach.

At Palmetto Regional

At Palmetto Regional

Virginia Creeper Marathon

After a long and cold training period from January to March, my buddy Chris and I ran the Virginia Creeper Marathon today in Abingdon, VA. The race was on the lower end of the Virginia Creeper Trail.  The course was great – all trail except for a couple of miles at the beginning. The weather – not so much. It rained the whole time and temps started out at 38 and climed all the way up to 43. Everything got wet, shoes, shirt, and hat. I ran the race in a rain jacket because it was cold enough. Thinkgs went well until I stopped to change my socks and shirt at mile 18. It was hard to get back in the groove after that and I had to slow down and walk some. All in all, I’m glad I did it (especially now – aftewards). Miles 19-26 were pretty tough. I had to just find a pace I could maintain and just keep going.

Chris and I after the VA Creeper Marathon

Water Pump Installed Wrong

A few weeks ago I finally got around to replacing the water pump on my 2004 Chevy Silverado. It had been slowly loosing coolant from behind the water pump and I assumed it needed a new one. When I got it off, I discovered one of the gaskets had been installed incorrectly from the factory.

Thanks a lot Chevy