Monday, August 25, 2014

Rhett's First "Mutt Strut"

This isn't a "real" post, it's basically just me showing off Rhett ... and that's ok.

So lets begin. Dawn signed us up for the "Mutt Strut". It's a race/event to help raise money for the local Greenville Humane Society. It's $25 a person to enter, but you get a free shirt and pizza so it's not all bad. The race is a 2 mile course and they have vendors set up at the finish line with dog treats and all kinds of mess. The event raised $48,675 per their website.

We were going to all wear Carolina jerseys, but couldn't find one for the little man, so we oped to just go to the t-shirt route.

Just before we started.

Rhett refused to have his picture taken.

We walk about a mile around the house, so we weren't too sure how he'd do with the extra mile. Well, he completed the entire 2 mile course only stopping for a few water breaks. 

He got his treats, so on the way home mommy and daddy stopped by Krispy Kreme and got a doughnut each. (It's ok, we just walked 2 miles, that totally worked off half a bite)

Friday, August 22, 2014

That Chicken Is Some "Good Sh!t"

My best friend growing up, TQ (or Tim as he chooses to go by these days), gave me a call the other day to see if we were home and to say he was coming over with my birthday present. Of course my initial reaction was "Dude, you don't have to get me crap. We're too old for that."

He walks in with his little girl and a container in a brown bag. At that point I said to myself, "Hmm, brown bag, ok I'm fine with a gift." (for the ladies out there thinking "he couldn't have at least put it in a bag?" NO! We're men, we don't need some bag that we're going to throw in the trash or under the bed til the end of time.)

He hands it over and says "I don't know if it's any good, but it was funny so I got it for you." Now, TQ is the kind of guy that uses a lot of big words, so read that quote and add in a couple of 5 syllable words and then it'd be more accurate to what he actually said.

I open the bag and what do I see ...

We had some plain chicken in the freezer, so we thawed it and then got some zucchini, pepper, and basil from our new garden.

Had grilled Good Sh!t chicken with zucchini chips and roasted potatoes with the basil, peppers and other seasonings.

Friday, August 15, 2014

First Attempt At Beef Wellingtons

As Dawn and I looked through my new Nolan Ryan cookbook, we came across the "Southern Beef Wellington With Red Wine Sauce". We watch Hell's Kitchen and of course one of Gordon Ramsey's signature dishes is a Beef Wellington. We always comment on how amazing that must be, but I don't think we're getting a Chef Ramsey Beef Wellington anytime soon, so we decided to make our own.

We get fancy every now and then, but this wasn't one of those times. We went to the grocery store and picked up some frozen puff pastry.

The recipe calls for scallions, cheddar cheese, and bacon to go inside the pastry with the meat.

It also suggests beef tenderloin, but we went with a filet mignon that we had in the freezer.

Seasoned the filets with just salt a pepper and then seared them off in the bacon fat. After that we let them rest in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Combined the scallions, cheese, and bacon in a pill on top of the puff pastry.

Placed the filet on top and folded it up inside the puff pastry giving it a coated of  egg wash on top to help it reach "the most stunning" golden brown exterior. (You have to read "the most stunning" in Gordon Ramsey's accent. Go ahead and go back and re-read it, I'll wait.)

And ... TAAA-DAAAA!!!!!

We did a side of mashed potatoes, and drizzled the red wine sauce on top of the wellingtons.

They were a little closer to the medium well side than medium rare to medium that I prefer, but there is still some pinkness in there. The lighting just wasn't good enough to pick it up.

For a first time attempt, these were off the charts. As soon as we finished dinner, we both looked at each other and said, "We're doing these again."

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Movie Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been one of my favorite stories, ideas, whatever you want to call it, for as long as I can remember. When I was little, if I was at home sick, I would watch the first 2 original movies, in order, and that would get me through the day. Even when I had my surgeries, I still made my wife sit through them. We'll call it a happy place of mine.

Needless to say, I was a bit skeptical when I heard they were redoing them in this world of remakes and no originality that we live in now. I was like most of the other avid TMNT fans, and I was furious when it came out that they were going to alter the story of them being mutants and having them as aliens. I mean, they're called Teenage MUTANT Ninja Turtles. That's just something you can't really change. My favorite line of the movie has to be the nod to that whole situation. April O'Neil's camera guy looks at her and asks, "So, they're aliens?" and she looks at him and replies, "No, that's just stupid. They're turtles."

Leading up to us going to see the movie, I checked out the reviews and saw what people were saying. I kept reading comments about how certain parts were so over the top and just not believable. All of that had me confused to be honest. One mentioned that it was just completely impossible for an 18 wheeler to slide down a mountain like it does. Ok, so let me get this straight. An 18 wheeler sliding down a mountain is unbelievable. However, 4 human sized, English speaking, ninja fighting turtles makes sense? All of the reviews basically are against this movie because it's different than the originals. Yes, this is a completely different movie, but that doesn't make it a bad movie because it's not the original.

Heck, one review even dogged this movie because Leonardo was the leader, Donatello is the techy nerd, Raphael was the angry one, and Michelangelo was the goof ball. Umm, I'm pretty sure that's exactly how they're supposed to be. I mean, that is the basic description of the characters.

If I had to nit pick, I didn't really like Whoopi Goldberg in her role, I don't like Splinter's voice (I'm just used to the old raspy voice of the original, not a normal sounding voice), and I really don't like the changing of the voices of the turtles. I don't understand why you need 2 voices for Leonardo...?

I feel like it's the "cool" thing to do to not want to like this movie, but I've never worried about what was cool or not. I really enjoyed the movie, and think they did a really good job with it. Are there little details here and that that I would change if I could? Yeah, but I could say that about every movie we see. Ok, rant about all the other reviews over.

I really liked the movie, and Dawn even made the comment about how she really liked it too. Everyone that I over heard talking as we left really enjoyed it. All of the kids loved it, all of the people around our age (20s-30s) loved it, and even the older crowd said they loved it.

I've been asked if it's kid friendly. There were tons of kinds in the theater starting anywhere from 3-4 years old and up. I can't really think of a single time during the movie that I thought "I can't believe they have kids in here seeing and hearing this." I'm guessing the PG-13 rating is because of the "violence", but they're fighting crime so fights have to be expected, right?

If you like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I recommend you going to see the movie. Don't go see it all pissed off a the world because they're remaking another movie they shouldn't and you're just not going to like it no matter what. Go see it as a new movie based about a group of 4 butt kicking teenagers that we all have loved for so long.

Friday, August 8, 2014

First Ever Catering Event/Corporate Event At The Range

I work for an IT solutions provider (NWN, if you need anything, let me know), so we're always having some type of corporate event. I was having a casual conversation with one of our vendor reps and made the comment that we needed to have a gun range event. He used to do pyrotechnics for Hollywood, so he responded with "get the information together and I'll pay for it."

As I was speaking to our marketing director she asked what were we going to do for food? Word has gotten around through our corporation that I do BBQ, so she then asked "would this be something you could cook for?" We guesstimated around 30-40 people, so I said sure, I can do the BBQ and have Dawn do some baked beans and mac 'n' cheese. 

Dawn's super amazingly awesome top secret baked beans in the making.

I did 3 butts totaling around 30lbs pre-cook. Everything really kind of worked out perfectly. The pork, mac, and beans each filled 2 trays. We threw in some chips on the side in case someone may not like beans or mac (I would say who wouldn't like either of those, but one of the customers didn't eat BBQ ...?)

We even threw together a home-made sweet sauce to go with our hot sauce we had. 

I had nearly every customer, vendor rep, and coworker approach me at some point during the event to tell me thanks and how great the food was. Dawn doesn't believe me, but I told each and every one that my wife was the one that made the sides.

Ok, so now to good stuff. We set up the event so everyone could bring their own personal guns and fire a couple down range. Little did we know that some of our customers had some rather nice weapons.

There were a couple of AR's in the house ... 

But my absolute favorite was the SCAR. Back in my younger (non-married) days, I used to really be into Call of Duty. I had my clan that I would play with nearly every night, and not to brag but ... we were pretty daggum good. I had fairly good accuracy, so I didn't need a gun that had rapid fire. I needed a gun that had stopping power, and the SCAR definitely had that. Since then, I've wanted to shoot one for real to see what it really was like.

I was in my lane sending a couple rounds with my Glock and all of a sudden I hear a BOOM ... BOOM ... BOOM!!!!! Everyone in the entire range stops what they're doing to walk over to see what in the heck was making that sound. Once he finished, he turns around and I look at him like a 12 year old girl at a teeny bopper concert and say "Is that a SCAR?" He looks back with a grin like a 12 year old boy that just saw his first dirty magazine and said "Yeah, it just came in yesterday. That was the first time I've ever shot it." After we both giggled for a second he looks back and says, "You want to give it a turn?"

What followed was an absolute dream come true (if you couldn't tell from the cheesy smile in the picture below).

Call of Duty had some installments that were based in the World War II area. One of the guns that I used and owned fools in those games was the MP40. After putting a couple of mags through my Glock 19 (and a round or 2 with the SCAR, I walked over to the bay that the range had set up for us with some of their guns they have for rent. I went to the very last lane, look down, look up at the instructor and ask, "Is that a fully auto MP40?" He smirked a little and simply said, "Yeah, want to shoot it?"

I definitely didn't miss my chance at that.

As the event died down a little, the vendor that funded it also brought his personal custom FNS-40 with holographic sight. FNH also manufactures the SCAR, and has a huge plant in Columbia, SC. We had a little competition between myself, him, my boss, and a 2 others with the zombie splatter targets. I don't know if we really determined a winner, but you see that big missing piece in the side of the zombie's head? That's 5 consecutive rounds fired in a very tight cluster.

All in all, I'd say it was one of the best corporate events EVAR!!!!!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Loaded Landsharks

In honor of International Beer Day, I thought it'd be fitting to do a beer post.

A few years ago, Dawn and I went to Margaritaville in Myrtle Beach, SC. The waiter came by and asked what we'd like to drink so I ordered a Landshark. I'd never had a Landshark before, but they're made by the Margaritaville Brewing Co. so I thought I'd give it a shot. The waiter then asked "Do you want a regular Landshark or a Loaded Landshark?" I said, well I don't know, what's the difference.

Well, if you'll sit back for just a moment, I'll tell you what a Loaded Landshark is and I'll even show you how to make one.

First, you need a Landshark .. DUH! (you can actually do this with a Corona as well, but it's not as good). Then you need a lime flavored tequila (Margaritaville's is the best. Hornito's is pretty good too)

Once you have those 2 things, you need to remove the lids.

Take your tequila and pour it into the bottle stopping around the bottom of the head of the bottle. 

Cap the bottle with your hand a flip. Now, if you're feeling brave, you can flip it, turn it back over, and then take it to the face before it explodes. If you're too old for all that crap, flip it a time or two (keep a good seal with your hand or you'll spray the whole kitchen ... don't ask me how I know this), and then put it down on a counter with your hand still on it and allow everything time to settle down. This only takes a few seconds, but you need to let it settle or ... you'll spray everything in the kitchen.

Once everything has settled comes the most important part of ... you grab the bottle on the side, pull it towards your face, once you get the bottle to your mouth you tip the bottle up and enjoy.

Happy Friday everyone, have a great International Beer Day!