Sunday, September 16, 2012

As The Ribs Crack

Wednesday, I found out I had cracked a couple of ribs during a fall. Yesterday, I found out that they can, start hurting more and more as each day goes by, then suddenly go from hurting pretty friggin bad, to howl inducing, leg crumpling, fall to the floor excruciating pain in the wink of an eye.  

A trip to the emergency room and a new set of pictures revealed that not only were my ribs fractured but that my pleura (a double membrane surrounds the lungs and separates them from the chest wall) had overly filled with fluid by way of Pleural Effusion, or so they told me. Let me just say it was friggin painful. I actually did everything I mentioned above from howling to have my legs crumple, to hitting the floor in pain that went from fairly bad to excruciating in a wink. The excruciating pain and howling lasted a minute or two. Then it was just terrible pain and me being able to get up but remain sort of bent in pain. Then a quick replay of it all. 
All that as my wife watched rather unconcerned by it all. She eventually drove me to the ER and dropped me off. I was home, a few hours later, after having gotten a big shot of something in my rump that apparently helped ease the pain and made it bearable. The symptoms as described by the literature from the hospital are: shortness of breath, rapid breathing, cough or hiccups, sharp chest pain that hurts more with coughing or deep breathing. Well I only had one of the three symptoms and all I can say is thank goodness I did not start coughing or breathing deeply.
Today I heard some gurgling as I breathed. The gurgling subsided after a few minutes and while I heard it the pain did not increase - which was a good thing. I was a bit concerned but since the pain was manageable and steady, I figured I could wait until tomorrow to see my doctor for a follow-up. No more trips to the ER today. ,So far, today, the pain has remained tolerable thanks to the Percocet (oxycodone and acetaminophen) and plain Oxycodone HCL that I have been taking, but that did little to nothing yesterday when my pleura apparently effused. Today though, was another story and I actually had an almost normal day. I was feeling good enough to get out a bit today and to do some things clean-up wise in my basement, to smoke a tenderloin and grill some steaks. What a difference a day (and a big shot full of magic juice in the ER) can make. 
Then there is the coughing. I cough every now and then, like anyone else I suppose, during the course of a day. I have tried to avoid coughing, and phlegm clearing, but it has proven impossible. What a difference a small cough can make, even the smallest cough fills my chest with hammer pounding pain even if only for a moment. Nothing seems to have helped with that, not the Percocet, not the shot at the hospital, not the over the counter muscle relaxant I have also been taking, not the cough medicine I have imbibed, and not all the time that I would think I should have been healing since I cracked my ribs on early Wednesday. I am hopeful the doc can give me more potent drugs tomorrow and that coughing will no longer be a painful by sometime fairly early tomorrow.
All the best,
Glenn B

Whom Should Be Offended?

Sometimes words are all you need to send the message. In other instances, a picture is worth more than a thousand words because no matter how many words one could write on a subject, you could not say it better than the picture alone. Then again, sometimes it is  best said by a picture and some words to go along with it. That way the meaning is unmistakable, as it is in this particular masterpiece of cultural satire.
Hat tip to Deb H.
All the best,
Glenn B

Smoked Pork Tenderloin

Last year, my brother-in-law, the younger, gave me a steel smoker box. Basically a steel box, with holes drilled into it, into which you place wood chips, place the lid on the body of the box and put it into your grill over the flame. I never got around to trying it out until today; the great procrastinator - that's me.  Yesterday, I picked up a nice looking pork tenderloin at Costco. A good layer of fat on the outside and I had hoped it would have a lot of fat inside. I took some Cherry wood chips, that I bought about a week or so ago, threw them into that smoker box, cut the roast in half, put half away, rubbed the other half of the meat down with salt, pepper and garlic powder, put it into the BBQ grill on the top warmer rack, turned the burner on the right side on low, turned the burner on the left side on low, put the smoker box with wet wood chips (I let em soak for about an hour before using them) on the grill over one of the lit burners and went inside. Half an hour later the wood was not even charred so, I moved that little wood chip filled smoker box right onto the burner and left it there.

Over the next 5 hours or so, I  probably had to refill the wood chip box about 6 to 8 times. I also basted the pork with a bottle of Franziskaner Hefe Weiss Bier. As it turned out, it was an excellent decision to baste the meat because it was a terribly lean cut of pork, no fat to be seen inside at all when I later cut it open. I hate dry pork, it needs to be wet to be good (by wet I mean fatty like corned beef or pastrami). When I took it off of the grill, I noted, for the first time, in all the time it was smoking, that it looked to have less juices flowing out of it than it did earlier. Luckily it had not dried too badly. it would have been much better had it been loaded with fat but my wife said it was not too dry. (She likes meat a lot leaner than do I.) In fact, my wife, who does not like most smoked meats, thought it was delicious too. It came out with a mild smoky flavor. I prefer it to have stronger smoked flavor but have to admit, even with a mild smoked flavor, I thought this was pretty good.

I suppose, that for a first attempt, it came out close to excellent even for a picky guy like me. (There is a nice chunk missing off the left end, the wife and I tasted it almost as soon as I brought it inside.) Next time though, I would place the meat closer to the smoker box, maybe right on the grill instead of on the warmer shelf, but still not right over the flames as it has to be in there for hours to absorb the smoke aroma. I will also try to get a fattier cut of meat. Other than that, about the only change I would make is to use hickory wood or mesquite next time, maybe a combination of one of those and cherry. The hickory and mesquite woods throw off a much stronger aroma when charring; heck even when not lit, they have much more of an aroma than does the cherry wood. I am not sure what kind of meat I will use next time. Maybe, I will use a nice chunk of beef or a chicken or even some more pork. I may try two things in the grill at once, it is big enough, that is for sure.

I can see me smoking a lot more things in the future; I always figured it would be a pain in the butt to smoke but it turns out that it really was pretty easy or I just got lucky the first time around. If I get into it enough, I will buy a smoker next year. It also seems like a good way to cook meat on the grill when you don't want to have to constantly watch over it, including during the winter. Sure, you still have to tend to it but certainly not as often as you would if you were grilling something, so you would not be out in the cold too long in the wintertime. Maybe go out once an hour to add more wood chips and to baste the meat and that is about it after you get it initially set up. Then just go out to take it off the grill when done. I think I am going to be cooking a lot more than I have been recently and that cooking is going to be smokin'! And there I was, thinking I had given up smoking just over 24 years ago.

All the best,
Glenn B

Second Best T-Sirt Logo Ever

The T-Shirt logo, pictured here, is in my twisted opinion the second best one I have seen in my lifetime to date. I can say, without a doubt, I have only seen one t-shirt logo that was better and it was much better. I must qualify that by saying that was in my pre-marriage days when I was single. That one was being worn by an extremely hot and beautiful looking young lady. It was the only one I have ever seen with its particular logo of only three words. It was obviously a reply to a T-shirt that was popular with young men at the time that said: Free Mustache Rides. The young lady was wearing one that said:


Yep, the one in the picture in this post only made it to second best; the one the young lady was wearing was the all time best by far.

All the best,
Glenn  B