Slow Cooking with a Cheap Grill

Yesterday in honor of the nice weather we decided to slow-cook a sirloin tip roast on the back deck. My only concern with this endeavor was that our 6 year-old $40 charcoal grill wasn't up to the task of maintaining a 250 degree temperature for 3+ hours. In order to restock the fire with hot coals, you'd have to light them in a chimney starter and dump them in. I'd have to either put the starter on our wooden deck by the grill (obvious fire safety issues) or light the coals on our driveway and carry them 50 feet onto the deck (obvious personal safety issues). I decided to give it a go and was amazed at how well it went. I had a good bed of expired coals left from the last time I grilled and added a full chimney of new embers on top of this. After initially burning at around 350 degrees (I use natural lump charcoal which is jet-engine hot) I was able to adjust the air vents on the grill and hold it at 250 degrees for a full 2.5 hours. It probably could have even gone longer, but at that point the meat smelled too good not to eat. I think a rack of ribs may be in the immediate future.

  

Upgrading

So I'm finally going to get around to upgrading my MacBook to 10.6. I'm going to do a clean install and start from scratch, which is quite frightening. I have my whole computer backed up on an external, and I've even burned my thesis and other important docs to a CD. Still, this is very scary.

  

Stretch Run

A quick post about the remaining schedules for the Red Sox and Yankees. I listed out all the series that the two teams have remaining for the year. Then I canceled out matchups that the two teams had in common, while ignoring home field advantage. For example the Sox have two series with Baltimore remaining and so do the Yanks, so those were canceled out. The remaining series that each team has are:

Boston: White Sox (Winning Percentage = .464), 2 vs. D-Rays (.375), Oakland (.474), Minnesota (.509)

New York: Cleveland (Winning Percentage = .566), 2 vs. Detroit (.563), Seattle (.555), Kansas City (.441)
The teams also play two three game series against each other, one in Boston and one in New York. The bottom line: the Sox have a much easier schedule going forward than the Yankees do.

  

New Mac Users

On Mike's orders, I am setting up a post for everyone to list "must get" applications for a new Macintosh.  Please list any software that you think a new user should have.  I recommend Firefox and Thunderbird for all your web and e-mail needs.