Friday, February 29, 2008


This is a test of the email publishing system!

If this had been an actual emergency, your power would be out and
therefore you wouldn't be reading this right now.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

MOZY, free backups!

I recently discovered MOZY a free, online (and therefore offsite) computer backup service. Absolutely free, you get 2GB of backup space. While that might not sound like much to you media hogs with several Gigs of movies, pictures, and music on your hardrives, 2GB could mean the difference between heartbreak and a minor inconvenience if you make judicious use of the space.

To use MOZY, follow the link and download a small bit of software to your pc. Your first backup could take several hours but if you schedule your backups to run overnight (or whenever you are usually not online) they are not intrusive. I schedule mine to run after Midnight, a couple times a week.

  • Online

  • Offsite

  • Simple to use

  • FREE!

  • What's not to like? That's a pretty good price for a little peace of mind.

    Also, if you do subscribe to the service and refer others, MOZY will increase your alloted space with each referral.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Coffee-Crusted Pork Tenderloins with Redeye BBQ Sauce!

This past weekend I decided to try something a little different and cooked Coffee-Crusted Pork Tenderloins with Redeye BBQ Sauce. This recipe came from a book by Steve Raichlen called BBQ USA: 425 Fiery Recipes from All Across America.
It's a basic BBQ rub with the addition of freshly ground coffee beans and a dash of cocoa. The flavors blend in with the rest of the rub and don't overpower but give the meat a nice little zing. The Redeye BBQ Sauce however does stand out with a BIG zing that makes the pork -- and whatever else it comes in contact with -- stand up and bark! Spicy, flavorful crust on the outside and not enough E's in tEnderloin to describe the inside.

Steve Raichlen has several books on BBQ and one dedicated entirely to Beer in the Butt style Chicken. I am particulary fond of his book, Barbecue! Bible : Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades, Bastes, Butters, and Glazes.You can spend several days traveling the world without ever leaving your kitchen (or back deck actually since it's BBQ) and I have.

I apologize for the picture quality of the finished plate. Once again in our enthusiasm, we ate most of it before I remembered to take a picture.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Did I bite off more than I can cue?

Hell no! Turns out I bit off just as much as I could cue, and if I really tried I could probably have fit a little more. Yes, that's 30 (well 29 1/2 actually) pounds of smoky, porky goodness!

Back story: Starting last September, I promised all the SpecialEd siblings I would BBQ or gill them something for their birthdays. SpecialEd sisters, 3 and 7's birthdays fall two days apart and they both decided on pulled pork. Once the rest of the gang heard there would be some pork shoulders cooking (an overnight process) I started getting feelers about "do you have room for another?" etc. Since it basically takes the same amount of time and charcoal to cook two three or even four as it does one, I decided to "fill the grill."

So I wheel myself down to my local Costco (the only "Big Box" store that matters) and check out their double-packed pork shoulders. Great horny toads, they only have one in the meat case... (a total of 12.5 lbs.) Fortunately they found me another that was 16.5 lbs.

Once I get home I'm staring at 29 lbs. of boneless pork shoulder thinking, "What have I done?" There's no way I can manage all this! Once my initial panic subsides we get down to business. I say "we" because it became a family affair. SpecialEd Boy #1 and SpecialEd, Auxiliary Backup Boy#2 love to play with the Cajun Injector and the spicy rubs and Mrs. SpecialEd did a bangup job tying the roasts up so they would stay together and fit mo better on the grills. (that is her lovely hand covered in "Slap Ya Mama" rub and giving the thumbs up sign).

SpEd Boy#1 and I fired up the grill around 2PM on Saturday afternoon. Mrs. SpEd and I loaded the grills up with meat and let the Grilldome do it's thing.

The pork was done around 11am Sunday morning. We wrapped those babies up in foil and towels and put them in a cooler for "resting"

I drove them over to my childhood home where SpEd Sisters 5 and 7 live and sat back. SpEd Sister #3 showed up and grabbed her birthday roast, SpEd Sister #7 started pulling hers, then the rest of the gang came out of the woodwork and descended on the remaining two roasts. Thank goodness for Ziploc bags! It was all over so fast, nothing left but the smell of hickory smoke and dirty dishes... until next time that is!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Car for sale!

Though it has served me well, just shy of 15 years, it is time for my 1993 Saturn SL2 to go. Sometime last summer I reached that critical mass where I couldn't comfortably lift my tired, old, body out of the low slung Saturn anymore and into my wheelchair. In September I acquired a van, a behemoth, a gasoline pig, (you getting the picture?) that allows me to ride a lift at my seeming leisure while the hydraulics do all the work.

The Saturn (or as SpecialEd boy #1 refers to it, "The Handi-Wagon.") has served me well. It wasn't perfect but Saturn always stood behind it and I had few problems over the years. The Braun ChairTopper along with the adapted hand-controls got me where I needed to go whether it was work everyday, the supermarket (it seemed like everyday sometimes), classes at night, road trips to Virginia, to visit my parents, or to take the boys to school. As long as I took care of it -- well me and Monkey Man Mark that is -- it took care of me.

It runs great, gets great mileage, has a 6 CD changer, AC that kicks, power windows and locks and a Knight Rider like personality.

There's got to be someone out there who has the upper body strength that can use it!