Fire and Smoke, Awesome Edition

Yesterday I blogged about my day of awesome. There was one little thing I left out — the family bought me a combination early Father’s Day and birthday gift in the form of an awesome grill!

If you think an awesome grill would have propane fire, quite frankly you don’t know the awesomeness that is charcoal. Here you can see me with my ninja cooking utensils and my chimney starter full of burning briquettes. (If you don’t have a chimney starter, go buy one. You’ll be thankful you did.)

Just out of frame is a bowl of soaking hickory chips. I debated whether to use hickory or mesquite, but since it’s the beginning of summer, I figure I can alternate all year. Because really there’s no wrong answer. Mmmmmm…

I hope your weekend is half as good as mine. I’d wish it to be as awesome, but I fear you might explode. 🙂

My New Year’s Resolutions

I figure, if I make them publicly, I’ll have slightly more motivation to keep them. In the end, it won’t likely matter, because let’s face it — you aren’t the boss of me. (Well, not true, a few of you might actually be the boss of me. Your powers are limited to the ability of adding a new resolution to my list that looks something like “get a job” though…)

Anyway, in no particular order, here’s what I hope to do in 2010:

1) Finish the project I’m horribly behind on.

Unfortunately, it’s a time sensitive project, and the time has long since passed the sensitive zone. The people I’m working with on this project are incredibly wonderful to work with, and beyond understanding when it comes to my crazy schedule — but I gotta be honest, they deserve better. I’d like to get this particular resolution done in January.

2) Learn to use a Linux video editor.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a zealot when it comes to Linux. I’m really not. Here’s the deal though, I’d really like to make the videos I do for Linux Journal on a Linux machine. It just seems like the right thing to do. My lack of motivation for switching has been because I can already edit video really efficiently on OSX, and it took me a long time to learn Final Cut. Still, I’d like to use Linux as my primary system, so this is a goal. (Kris Occhipinti has been a huge motivation on this front. Thanks Kris.)

3) Change the way I eat.

Note: This is not a, “Lose Weight” resolution. This is an, “Eat Better” resolution. There are two major problems with my current eating lifestyle: Quantity & Quality. Once I finish resolution #1, hopefully I can take some of that time to actually cook food. I still eat at restaurants way too often.

4) Exercise.

I’ll be honest, this is the least likely resolution I’ll be able to accomplish. Donna convinced me to go into the local gym every morning and work out with her for a month. Since I’ll have to pay for the membership, I’ll do my best to accomplish it. Perhaps walking on a treadmill next to Donna will make it less horrifying. Man, I really hate exercise…

5) Write a Book.

I don’t care if it’s a little all year, or a cram session in November (NaNoWriMo), I really want to write a book. I’m not sure if I’ll start with fiction or technology — but I must write a book. Really.

So that’s it. It’s a lot, but I purposefully didn’t put anything on there I don’t think I can accomplish. If all you’re lacking for your New Year’s Resolutions is the commitment to make them, feel free to do so in the comment section. If you slip up, we’ll know. Well, ok, only if you tell us. But still, feel free to commit below. 🙂

Happy New Year’s!!!!

Tofu: The Other, Other, OTHER White Meat

Yes, I like to eat this stuff plain.  But only *real* tofu, not that weird, jiggly Silken stuff.  Bleh.In my attempt to de-fattify myself, I find that cooking is a must. You see, it’s just too easy to buy fast food. And, it’s like, fast and stuff. When I cook, I tend to cook vegan, or at least very vegetarian. I think it takes a REALLY good cook to make something delicious when you don’t have meat as a flavoring ingredient. Plus, veggies are absurdly expensive to buy fresh, and if you add meat to the budget, well, the restaurant starts to look reasonably priced…

Yesterday we bought tofu. I really love tofu. I can eat hunks of tofu cold, and think it’s a great snack. (My family vehemently disagrees with me, but whatever) Seriously though, tofu is often thought of as a way to cram protein into a vegetarian dish — honestly, I just think it’s cool how versatile it is. I mean really, it’s a blank slate flavor-wise. That means you can make it taste any way you like. Heck, I’ve even seen people cook tofu in lard, so it takes like meat, but I’ve never really understood such a procedure. (Just buy meat!)

Anyway, this tofu is going into a huge pot of miso soup. So yes, it’s basically soybeans in soybean soup. But I’ve added veggies, so it’s not all soybeans. 🙂 I make miso soup with spinach instead of wakame, because my family DOES NOT like seaweed. Oh well, they eat tofu. I suppose I can’t complain!

Losing Weight

It’s very difficult. However, both Donna and I really need to lose weight. I need to lose about 40 pounds, and Donna needs to lose some too. (I’m not going to say how much she wants to lose — I’m transparent, but I’m not stupid) Donna paid for a month at the local “gym”, which is really a physical therapy place that has aerobic classes and such. She LOVES going there, and the exercise is great for her.

I still hate exercise.

I’ve put a lot of thought into this, and it’s not physical activity that bothers me, it’s the lack of accomplishing anything. If we had a woodstove, I would happily chop wood for hours. If I had to crank start our car every morning, I would do so without complaint. Heck, I think if I had to ride an exercise bike in order to generate electricity to watch TV — I would do it. I just hate exercise for exercise’s sake. And no, “getting healthy” doesn’t count as a productive activity. I’m too short sighted for such a thing. 🙂

If it wasn’t for the ice and snow 6 months out of the year, I would buy a bicycle and ride to work every day. But that gets REALLY unpleasant around this time of year. Also, it makes hauling equipment difficult. It also makes it hard to take the kids to school and such. I don’t know what I’ll do on the exercise front, but for now I’m concentrating on food.

Food. I really like food. I’m going to try taking this opportunity to cook more at home, and cook healthier than we’ve been eating. Most of my “specialty” dishes are vegan, and very healthy. (Vegan and healthy are not automatically inclusive) I’m hoping to rekindle my love of cooking, and in turn eat foods that make me skinny instead of fat.

Wish us luck!