Saturday, June 30, 2012

Redneckery- Cooler Upgrades

Igloo made the asinine decision a while ago to make their coolers with hinges and latches that were basically a thin piece of plastic.  What this means is after, oh lets say, FIVE opening and closings- the hinges would fail and leave you with something like this
It was real hard to get a picture of the failed hinges, but here was an attempt with the latch where the plastic was tearing
white on white in bright sun = bad picture
Like any good redneck, I was loathe to throw it away, so I made a trip to Home Depot and Harbor Freight and got a bunch of parts.

End result:
Window latches and a lift kit.  Word.

Now I have a cooler that will roll over rough terrain, stay latched, and keep things cool for a long time.  Not shown are the 1/4 turn ball valve to drain it, and the weather stripping that is compressed by the latches to give a tight and insulated seal.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer is here

7:30 in the evening. Dang

Pressure Cooker Carnitas

I love Carnitas.  For those that have never been exposed to this wonderful dish, it is sort of the Mexican equivilent to pulled pork, except not smoked.  Pork shoulder ('butt') that is braised until it is falling apart, then fried or roasted to get a little bit of crispy added into the fall apart tender texture.  Properly done carnitas are just plain wonderful.

But the problem is how long it takes to do it right.  Braising a pork butt until it falls apart can take up to ten HOURS, depending on which recipe you believe.  Being a hardware nerd, I started the search to find a way to make it faster with technology.

Enter the Digital Pressure Cooker
Pressure.... pushing down on me...
This little box of magic can get awesome carnitas on the table in under 2 hours.  If I add the extra flavor step of smoking the pork fist, it's 3 hours from raw ingredients to awesome food.

If you do a search for carnitas recipes online, you will find a bunch that use pressure cookers to make it.  I found several of those, and blended them to make a recipe that works for me.  Most of the recipes also say to buy a pork butt and cube it.  Living this close to Mexico, the local markets have pork shoulder trimmed and packaged to make carnitas, and labeled as such.

3 pounds boneless pork shoulder or pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice (from about 2 to 3 limes)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste

Optional step: Before I cubed up the pork, I put it in the smoker and gave it 1 hour of low temp Apple wood smoke just to add some smoke to the final product. That worked really well, and I suggest it, but it is not necessary.
That reflection of me is probably the best picture I have of myself.
 Cube the pork.
Throw all the ingredients into the pressure cooker (mine is an electric version), bring up to a boil.

Lock on the lid, and cook at high pressure (15 psi) for 1 hr.
Release pressure, remove lid. The pork should be very tender, tasty, and just falling apart. (If you taste it at this point, it will seem bland.  DON'T ADD SALT YET!  Let it reduce down)

Bring the heat back up to a boil, and reduce the liquid down to just the pork fat, and basically fry the pork in it's fat to crisp up the edges. Be careful that you don't completely shred the meat.
(Now you can adjust salt to taste.  If you do it earlier, the final product will be VERY salty. )

Serve on a Tortilla with a squeeze of lime.
Serve with Beer.  Garnish with cilantro and or fresh salsa.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bad Beer Friday

Bought this beer on a whim. It's from Rochester, NY and since I just spent a week in that area, and had some great beers... I thought it might be good.

Roscoe's Hop House Pale Ale

I was wrong. This is just bad. Bitter in a bad way, not the pleasing IPA hoppy piney bitter, but a more medicinal bitter on the backend. The initial flavors are weak mass market beer. Like Pearl or Black Label. It pours a strong "I ate asparagus" yellow with no head and no lacing.

What makes me mad is that Southern Tier Brewery is in that area, and is possibly one of the best brew houses in the US. Southern Tier does not have nationwide distribution, but this crap does.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy...

Sorry for the light blogging.  Real Life intrudes, gets in the way of the super-happy-funtime stuff.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday Metal

So, the following song came up on my random playlist while driving That Kid (3 years old) around for some errands.  He seriously asked me to play something else that was "more upbeat".  More upbeat than Frank Bello acting like a spider monkey on crack with a bass guitar?

Since then, that bass line has been stuck in my head.  So I decided to share

Friday, June 15, 2012

Pictures from the road

Had a business trip this week.  Spent 4 days on the road going through some beautiful countryside and some really depressing a sketchy areas of some big cities.  Here are some random images from the road (sorry for the crappy iPhone pics):

I laughed at this, then got sad at the poor group they made.
This was like 1 mile away from the deer crossing sign
Two things I need more of.
Need this for the hunting blind.
This was an unexpected gem.  The "Austin" from Cole and Parks
If you have to ask... yes- you probably are gone.
Now, just to find some redemption.
Not just any wings, but wings where they were invented
I see they invented that Canoe Magnet.
The Man-  The Greatest Geek That Ever Lived

Saturday, June 9, 2012

DPMS 'Oracle' .308Win/ 7.62NATO- Gun Porn

I got my Father's Day gift early this year.  I had been planning on getting an AR-10 of some stripe as my next gun, and when my family and I where in Cabela's last Saturday, they had this one for a great price.  That Wife told me to just go ahead and get it, since I would be getting it soon anyway.  This is pretty much exactly what I was looking for- DPMS 'Oracle' in bone stock configuration.  When I got it home, I was going through my Box-o-scopes-and-mounts trying to get a good combo.  That Wife suprised me again by just telling me to order a new scope and mount.  Before she could change her mind, I was on and ordered the new Redfield Revolution 3-9x40 with the Ballistic-Plex reticule thingie.

I also ordered a Mako bottom rail for the hand guards, mostly for an easy way to mount a forward sling swivel- maybe to mount my Harris Bipod.  It's inexpensive, solid, and most of all- unobtrusive.  

I took a selection of ammo to the range with 45er while he was here last week, and on the second ammo choice, I got the required 1 MOA (off of a crappy rest, with no rear bag, and the stock trigger is... sub-optimal):
That'll work
So I dialed it in at 100 yards (all the indoor range has to offer), and will stretch it's legs out at long range soon.  I really want to see if the holdovers on the scope reticule really will work to any known ranges with the .308.

As for the scope, I am very impresed with it so far.  Clear, bright, no obvious distortion in the FOV, and it was very easy to use.  The turrets are finger click adjustable, and the magnification ring is very easy to move, and only has to move a 1/4 turn to go from 3x-9x.  It appears to be as bright and clear as my old Leupold Vari-X II that I have on my NEF.  The finish perfectly matched the DPMS as well.

Also, the Burris PEPR mount is rock solid and mounted up super easy.  I can definitely recomend all three of these pieces of hardware- the rife, scope and mount all work just like I wanted them to.

The ammo that gave me MOA accuracy was Hornady's 155gr A-Max that I noticed, after I was done shooting, said "Not for Semi Automatic firearms" on the box.  Any one know WHY it would say that?  Is it soft primers?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

New shooty thing

Details to follow. For now, here is a pic of 45er shooting it.