Snack Time!

I am a big fan of dried meat products. Beef Jerky is one of my favorites, though I have some alligator and wild boar jerky coming, just to try. The outlet mall in Des Moines has a whole store devoted to jerky, and I look forward to traveling there once it’s safe to do so. (Note, I don’t receive any money from any of the following links, these are strictly my personal preferences and discoveries)

The jerky I get from the Stanhope Meat Locker is the best I’ve had anywhere, but isn’t available unless you live in Central Iowa and can make a short drive. I highly recommend it.

The other dried meat I’ve tried recently is something called biltong. Biltong is different from jerky in that it is air dried rather than cooked. The variety I tried had a slight vinegar taste, which wasn’t bad. The big difference I noticed was that it wasn’t as salty as the jerky I’ve had, which isn’t a bad thing. Biltong is much more like eating dried beef rather than shoe leather, which a lot of jerky tends to be like. I will probably order more at some point.

I also receently discovered kamut, which is a toasted wheat product. It has a nutty flavor and can’t be beat for crunch. They have a sea salt and a churro flavor. The churro flavor is great for just grabbing for breakfast or sprinkling in with oatmeal or yogurt. The sea salt flavor is great as a quick snack or to add some extra crunch to a salad.

Small Victories

Assembling anything has been a nemesis of mine since my kids were small and even before that. There is something about following a lengthy set of instructions to the end that drives me absolutely berserk. When I was a kid, I didn’t like putting together models for the same reason. Between that and getting lightheaded from the glue, I wasn’t a big fan.

I did have a small victory this weekend though, as my son and I managed to put together a charcoal grill without either of us getting angry and walking away. I should explain that my son is 19 and still knows everything. I, on the other hand, and at 58 have become firmly convinced I know nothing. Hence the initial disagreement about whether or not it was necessary to read and follow the instructions for building the thing. I was a firm yes vote, and I will admit, I did say “Because I paid for it, that’s why!”

It really wasn’t that difficult, though there were 24 separate steps, which needed to be completed in order, accompanied by a set of diagrams that were apparently designed by someone with MC Escher’s sense of proportion.

This is roughly what I thought I saw.

We managed to only have to redo two steps, one at the beginning when we couldn’t figure out which way the main fire box went together, and at the end when we put the hinges for the lid on inside out. But we did get it put together.

It’s sitting in the garage now, waiting for it to stop raining, so I can christen it with burgers and some very good wieners I bought from our local meat locker. I am somewhat of a purist when it comes to wieners. I want them spicy and with natural casing. Yes, I know what the casing is made of, but you don’t get a good snap any other way. I really like my local meat locker as they make very good wieners and exceptional pork sticks and beef jerky. I have some of it at my desk right now, and my dog is staring at me intently in hopes I will share.

Time to crash. Other things to get done now.


I found a neat little website while looking for pictures of art deco theaters for inspiration for a story. Messy Nessy Chic is a website that features design oriented stories, often about overlooked corners of the art world, and the world in general. Stories that I found particularly interesting:

There are lots of great places to find interesting stories. Here are some of my favorites:

It’s Been One Week…

Well, almost one week. I am keeping to a daily to do list at least:

  1. Wake up
  2. Go back to bed because I didn’t sleep all that well
  3. Get up again
  4. Clean up and wonder who that shaggy guy is in the mirror
  5. Eat breakfast
  6. Check email
  7. Watch the news
  8. Turn off the news because it’s too depressing
  9. Check email
  10. Read Facebook
  11. Write Linked In post
  12. Write blog post
  13. Take a Udemy class
  14. Let the dogs sleep on my lap while taking said Udemy Class
  15. Take phone calls from recruiters
  16. Let dogs outside
  17. Let dogs inside
  18. Eat lunch
  19. Read a book or watch TV
  20. Take more calls from recruiters
  21. Make more phone calls
  22. Let dogs outside
  23. Yell at dogs for barking at squirrel in backyard
  24. Let dogs inside
  25. Take a nap
  26. Work on the Udemy class
  27. Let the dogs in after my son took them out
  28. Play half an hour of XBox
  29. Eat dinner
  30. let the dogs out
  31. Yell at my son to let the dogs in
  32. Watch TV
  33. Evening pre-bed routine
  34. turn on ambient music to go to sleep
  35. Sleep.