Monday, July 31, 2006
Pat was a very caring and friendly person. He liked music and spending time with his friends. For a few years, we saw each other regularly. As time would have it, our journeys led us down different paths, and we fell out of contact. I'd venture to guess that I might have seen Pat just a few times in the past year or two. Last Wednesday, Hunter told me that Pat had taken his own life. He had taken the time to plan the event before hand - the time, the place, the method. He said goodbye to his friends at work and gave them hugs. Pat had written four letters - to his parents, his sister, his wife, and one of his friends.
Pat was the second "local" that I met while attending SU, and he quickly became a great friend. When I arrived at the funeral home, I looked around and saw so many people who have been close friends at one point or another in my life. It was a shame that it would take an event like this to bring this group of people together. We gathered to remember Pat, we cried, and we grieved together.
I can't imagine being in a place so desparate that life had so little meaning. He had his problems, but who doesn't? As I write this, I have really begun to contemplate life and what may lie beyond. Pat did not want his death to be a burden on his family and friends, so in the spirit of his last wishes, I'll give an update as to what my long lost friends are up to.
Graham, an extraordinary guitarist, has continued to pursue his dreams of playing music. He's played several local shows lately - I can't wait to go see one soon. He is engaged to a lovely girl who lived down the street from us while I was in college.
Bart has gotten his act together, and he works for the Worcester County Health Department. He recently purchased a house in Ocean Pines with his Girlfriend.
Ted was recently living with Pat. He received one of the letters. I introduced the two of them a few years ago, and lost touch with both of them.
Sara, whom I have known for years, is a year away from graduating with a Philosophy degree. She's still working at Papa Johns. She will be getting married in September to Rob. I worked with Rob about 6 years ago at Pizza Hut. He was a shift manager, having just graduated from high school.
I didn't get to speak much with Amy, Pat's wife. She was understandably receiving much attention from everybody in attendance. I passed along my condolences and gave her a big hug. I also wrote her a note about Pat, and the day that I met the two of them.
When the service was over, I visited the box of Pat's ashes to say my last goodbye. I placed my hand on the box, and said a prayer for him, his family, and his friends.
Patrick's life affected so many people. There were so many people in attendance, they had to open up the room across the hall. I don't know if Pat realized how many people cared so much for him, but I do know that everybody there considered themselves blessed to have Pat in their lives, if only for a brief moment.
Rest in peace, my friend. I'll carry memories of you forever.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
We have a huge cabling job going on for a pharmaceutical company. It's had us hemmed up for a while now, and that week of severe thunderstorms have given us plenty of infrastructure and telephone work to do.
Everybody with a spare hand has been chipping in to get this job done. Here I am wearing a buffaunt and lab coat. We're in the production area, which necessitates special clothing and extra care to keep dust to a minimum.
Monday, July 10, 2006
Sunday, July 09, 2006
I'm about half an hour way from finishing a rack of ribs. My last try was very dissappointing, so I thought I should give another go at it.
Yesterday I bought a rack of spareribs from Giant. Today I cut a slit in that tough membrane on the back and pulled it off using a paper towel. Many people choose to cut the extra flap of meat away and clean up the bottom of the rib - I didn't bother, because I'm just trying to impress myself. I covered the ribs with Texas Rib Rangers Spicey BBQ Seasoning this morning, and let them marinate in the fridge for about 2 hours. I used this rub to make pulled pork once, and it was really good.
I set the ribs on top of my ghetto rack, which is a wire rack from a toaster oven that fits perfectly on top of a heavy duty aluminum food pan. Inside the pan, I added about 1.5 inches of liquid - 3 parts water 1 part cider vinegar. The Big Green Egg has been holding steady at about 250 for 4.5 hours now. The ribs are very juicy looking, and starting to get very tender. I just added two ears of corn to the rack - I peeled back the husk, removed the stringy stuff, put the husk back, and dunked 'em in water. The plan is to have them in the BGE for about an hour or so.
I also made some mustard bbq sauce for dipping. It's based upon the recipe at bbq.about.com, but I was out of brown sugar and a few other things. You can search Derrick's site for the exact link, or find it posted earlier on my blog. Here's the recipe that I made up:
Chesapeake Mustard BBQ Sauce
1 cup French's Yellow Mustard
1/2 cup Cider Vinegar
1/3 cup Honey
1 T Melinda's Habenero Hot sauce
1 T Lea & Perrins Worchestershire Sauce
1 t Old Bay Seasoning
2 T Butter
Pepper to Taste
Combine all the ingredients, and let them simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring ocasionally. Let it sit, covered, for at least half an hour. The heavy mustard taste will diminish and the time to sit will ensure that all of the flavors get to mingle together.
Overall, I think it's a worthy recipe. I might add a bit more hot sauce to the mix for my personal love of all things spicy. The Melinda's is probably the most mild Habenero sauce that I've ever tasted. Feel free to substitute your own favorite hot sauce or change the quantity that you plan to use. Cayenne pepper or chipotle chile powder would also make for a great substitute.
If you use any of these ideas for your own barbequeing, let me know how it turns out!
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Joanne and I are working the salisbury jaycees fireworks. Right now there is a severe storm raining down on us. It should be ending soon.
UPDATE: The show went on, only a few minutes late. Not a lot of damage was done, although it appears our VIP tent took a little beating. The fireworks were awesome!