Welcome to Bill's Blog

About Me

Thoughts and Stuff

> Hello and Welcome

Pardon our dust! I'm new around here and I'm still moving in. Plus, I'm still learning the basics of HTML. It's going to take me a while to unpack. So check back with me periodically see what I've done with the place.

> 2023-06-01 Classic Website of the Day - Brian Bell: Lessons in Lifemanship

As I was spending time searching for and reading personal websites and old style HTML, I remembered a site that I found years ago and was pleased to see that it is still online. Brian Bell is a remarkable human who was incredibly successful in business, served in combat in World War II, and has a servant heart for helping others. He wrote a book called "Lessons in Lifemanship" where he offers his take on how to live a good life and then he put the whole book on the Internet for all the world to read for free. This book is still available in it's basic and classic HTML style for all the world to read. I highly recommend that you check out and learn from "Lessons in Lifemanship".

Source: Brian Bell Website

> 2023-06-01 Man Loses Weight, Feels Great, after 100 Days of McDonalds

Man Loses Weight Eating McDonalds

It seems appropriate to follow up my last post about eating out in Auburn with this story about a man that ate only McDonalds for 100 days, 3 meals a day. The catch? He only ate half of every meal, he substituted water for sodas, and no snacking. "Half a plate to lose the weight" was his mantra. In 100 days, he dropped 58 1/2 pounds. His message is that we should stop vilifying food as "good food" or "bad food" and focus on how much we eat. Not only did he lose weight but his cholesterol and A1c dropped too. Good for him, I say.

Source: MSN Article: 100 Days of McDonalds

> 2023-06-01 Eating Out in Auburn, AL

Normally, the wife and I make food at home and eat out only about once a week, but this week we are spending time with our daughter and son-in-law who live in Opelika, AL (a suburb of Auburn). Here are some of the great places we've eaten this week. Note, the diet resumes on Sunday.

> 2023-05-31 Kenny Log-ins

There's a dad joke that I changed all my passwords to "Kenny". Now I have Kenny Log-ins!


> 2023-05-31 Watching The Blind Side

The Blind Side

Tonight, we watched The Blind Side. I have never seen it before. I didn't realize that Hugh Freeze was Michael Oher's high school football coach. It's a good movie if you haven't seen it.

Here's an article I found about the real Michael Oher.

> 2023-05-31 To Griddle or Not to Griddle: That is the Question

My son-in-law in Alabama is my outdoor cooking influencer. He and his father built a roof to cover his patio and has created an impressive outdoor cooking space with TV, ceiling fan and lighting. He has recently acquired a Blackstone flat top grill (aka griddle).

Flat top grills have not been on my radar because I didn't think I needed another way to cook. We spend a good bit of time at a lake house in East Texas and that's where I do most of the grilling of meat. I bought one of those Traeger pellet smokers (Ironwood 650) a few years ago (after Matt got one). And it has been fun to smoke briskets, pork butt, ribs, etc when family members come to visit us at the lake. Unlike traditional smokers that you have to feed with pieces of wood to manage the temperature, the pellet grill is more of a "set and forget" type of operation. As long as there are enough wood pellets in the hopper (and the hopper holds a lot), it will keep going and maintain the set temperature. It even has wifi and and app that I can use to manage the grill from my phone.

I also have a Weber propane grill that we use for grilling other meats such as burgers, hot dogs (I'm defining meat broadly), sausage, chicken, fish etc.

My wife is typically the driver for new purchases. She became inspired to research flat top grills during our visit to Alabama after Matt cooked us some "smashburgers" on the flat top. She imagines how nice it will be for me to cook up bacon and eggs and pancakes on the griddle so we can have breakfast outdoors at the lake house. The griddle is also good for cooking stuff that would fall through the grates on my propane grill like vegetables, shrimp, hash browns, rice etc.

So, I'm game with expanding my outdoor cooking game. To be honest, it is fun to learn some new skills that get me away from screens. My only issue is that we have limited deck space at the lake house and we aren't planning to replace the existing grill or smoker. Weber has introduced some attachments to their propane grills that may offer an interesting solution.

Weber Grill Inserts

Weber grill inserts

Weber has ways to retrofit existing grills to either completely replace the grill surface with a griddle or replace half of the grill surface with a griddle. I linked to the Weber page above. Some of these attachments are available at big box stores like Lowes and Home Depot and Ace Hardware.

I'm leaning to this solution because it would give me the flexibility of grilling vs. griddling without having to add yet another large free-standing object to my deck. I'll have to report back on how well this works. The reviews sound positive.

For more information check out these youtube videos:

So there in a nutshell is more than you ever wanted to know about flat top grills.

Under Construction! I'm just learning basic HTML so I will be making changes as I learn new stuff.

Contact me at taxman@sdf.org