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Food is a totally reasonable topic,, my ribs recipe.

ribsSo last weekend I made my pork ribs. I cook because it’s fun, a great way to be creative-ish, and well,, you get to eat it when you’re all done. Oh yeah, and being coated in hickory smoke is an aphrodisiac (ask my wife!)

(hang on a sec, eating raw chocolate chip cookie dough, don’t tell anyone!) Ok, I’m back,, and no time has passed for you.

Additionally the added bonus to making ribs was that my good buddy and his wife were coming over to share in the ribs and other ridiculously delightful foods. He’s a graphic designer so we swap hilarious design stories and generally find the most ridiculous music to listen to (seriously, if you haven’t found Johnathan Coulton yet, then I weep for you. (oh yeah, and the Dropkick Murphys).

So back to the ribs, I take two recipes I found a while back (Memphis Hogaholics, Best Odds, THANK YOU!) and combine them in a way that will make tears weep from your eyes, (if executed correctly). Then again, it could just burn a hole in your stomach that could sadden you in a way you don’t want to know.

Here’s what I did to 2 racks of pork back ribs (4 of us, each half a rack,, it was the first time I couldn’t finish!!)

Of course, the night before I pulled the membranes off (that weird cover skin stuff, it just gets in the way). Pro rib guys actually cut any of the little meat pieces that hang off,, ummm that’s rib meat, don’t cut it you goobers! Then I stuck each half a rack in a gallon ziplock, tossed in about 2 tablespoons of salt and 2 cups of water, shook vigorously and let em sit for the night (make SURE you seal up those ziplocks!)

Then about 10:00am I got out my rack,, of spices, and went to town.

First, the dry rub:
1 tablespoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground basil
2 tablespoons red pepper
1 tablespoon lemon peel
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika

4 tablespoons salt
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

Dry off your ribs, put em in new ziplocks and toss in a nice coating for each half a rack (if you do it right you might even have some rub left over for another dish!). Then toss your coated ribs into the fridge, you’ll need them later.

I think that’s about right (I’m going off memory and some “reference materials” I used. I typically adjust on the fly for taste at all times.)

For a wet mop, I use a 50:50 mixture of 1.5 cups canola oil and 1.5 cups apple sauce with a tablespoon of rib rub. Some cooks like to add some apple cider vinegar to the mop. I probably shouldn’t be called a cook, but I did add about half a cup of apple cider vinegar.

For the Sauce itself (which I’m still using on various things like,, grapes,, latkes, and anything else I can find that is edible).

5 ounces dark soy sauce (this is the thick stuff that’s hard to find but SO WORTH IT!)

1 small can tomato paste
5 ounces Worcestershire sauce

12 ounces catsup

1 ounce of your favorite bbq sauce (it’s probably got the dash of liquid smoke we’re looking for, you could do that instead)

1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
1 lemon — juice of
1 teaspoon red pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon basil

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 2
hours on your lowest setting in the morning. Then just keep it hot (NOT BOILING FOR GOODNESS SAKES!!) Over the day the sauce will bloom nicely (my wife was blown away at how the flavors changed in the sauce from the morning to the evening, don’t forget to taste it a lot!) mmmmm

To cook I simply tossed em on the ol’ gas grill. I did take some preparations though.

My grill has three grates, so I pulled the far left grate (it’s a gas grill with four burners).

I have a little smoker box that I shoved full of hickory chips and got them going nicely after cleaning and oiling my grill. I cooked at a temp of between 250 and 320 for about four hours I think. I was flipping around every 20 minutes (mopping carefully at each flip with the wet mop). I just used a simple brush for the wet mop, also I have a side burner and to keep my ribs from losing heat, just keep the mop hot and dab it on, it works great and they don’t dry out.

About 2 hours in I dropped in another batch of hickory for more smoke (it isn’t a true smoker, but I got tons of great flavor from a gas grill, something people will often tell you that you can’t really do)

For the last turn of your ribs slather them on the grill with your sauce like they’re the pope naked and you just want him to put some pants on!  Oh yeah, and the BBQ sauce will last you quite a while too!

Have a great day!

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I haven’t made an Open Social connection,, will you still be my friend?

Ahh, yes,,,

oh,, hang on a sec, I’ve got to get my Google phone,,,

No,, wait,, that’s really not here, or there either.

Yes, two things I was kind of excited about from the start, have fallen quickly into the Ho-hum category.

It’s rather sad is it not.

Open Social, does look good, with it’s shiny new name (thanks Social Graph!)

It does look like it will be doing us some good in the coming future. I’m betting four months from now, I’ll look up and be thankful that it’s all connected now. Right now,, I’m not so connected,, you know,, socially, (hint,, subscribe to my RSS).

Will I (and everyone else you know) have connected that which we’ve had, (Friendster), that which we’ve paid (linkedin), that which we play (Myspace) and that which we,,, think we’re coding a world beating app for (Salesforce/Facebook) along with that which we use to refer to our own data (Plaxo/RTM).

Or,,, will Open Social just end up as a beautiful pipe dream,, like the Spruce Goose, or dating 2 supermodels and having our wives be ok with it. Gosh,, it would be cool if it really opens it all up correctly.

One thing I will say,, it’s one hell of a shot, wherever we all end up.

Oh yeah,, I’m still seething about getting a really good, and smart phone. Months ago, my palm pilot died, after the cryin, weeping, then,, thankful realization that most of the data was still backed up on my hard drive and easy to drag to Plaxo, I dreamt of a magical device that’d do all that I’ve been hoping cough! (iPhone)

Sadly, I was quickly priced out of the game, won’t (can’t) switch from Verizon and thus can’t get a Centro, thus I await a Google phone answer, that apparently just fits in any old phone (that I’ll still have to pay full rates to surf from).

Hmmm, seems like I’m right back where I was (along with you). We’ll see where we are in a few months. Till then, I guess I’m still tied to a desk somewhere.

Who are you? You’re not Steve!!!

Get your Steve and I’m not Steve Shirts here!

Click here to get your I’m not Steve shirt!!

You think you’re all that,, but are you Steve enough to get a Steve shirt?

There are two main models, the first, it just says “Steve”. Expected sales, 1 unit (yeah Mr. You Know Who)

For the Rest of us, there’s the “I’m not Steve” Shirt.

Simple, yes,, but let’s face it folks. Sometimes, you’ve gotta know where you stand. Sometimes it’s just on a floor in Cupertino, or it’s just somewhere else.

Click Here to get the shirt!!

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Dear Jeeple and Subarunians

jeeple and subaruniansSome people have noted,, cars can be fun (hint,, I’m one of them).

I love formula 1 (in a nearly inappropriate manner). Check out my buddies Brett and Corey over at Formulapod!

This year I attended the Jeepers Jamboree on possibly the most famous off road trail in the US (go ahead argue about it),, The Rubicon. Heck, I even won a $500 gift certificate there too! (and I didn’t even own the Jeep I was riding in!) Thanks Redneck Concepts!

I have friends that own Subarus as well.

These two cars are known for one thing, enjoyment of outdoor pursuits. These are the vehicles that people who live, work, and play outside love to use. Yet neither of these companies seem to have made much of an effort towards developing alternative fueled vehicles.

I can’t think of two companies that would benefit in terms of sales more than them. They have a dedicated outdoor constituent of people who would definitely be considered “green,” forward thinking, and environmentally concious. Yet they don’t seem to have vehicles that help this (though they are tending to be more efficient, they’re not in the hybrid or full electric game yet).

I’m just saying,, I’ll be in the market before too long, and I would love to get a high efficiency model from either comapny (especially after the jamboree,, jeep’n is a blast!).

That’s my bit for today, go out and have some outdoor fun!

Not Invented Here Syndrome,, what’s the cure?

Mine Mine Mine Mine Mine!!!

This is the whine of many companies, and their innovation strategies. It’s interesting, some companies when approached are more than excited to take a look at new ideas from outside sources (as well as signing simple NDA’s (Non-Disclosure-Agreement) that detail that they won’t share the I.P. independently developed and produced with outside developers own time and money).

It’s surprising that so many places dismiss an outside idea. Especially since many outer opportunities, while not fully able to fit with their company can, at least introduce new ideas, thoughts, and concepts to them. Granted, most that look at outer company’s ideas simply find an intellectual property work-around and knock them off to get in the same product category.

Companies should realize that the level of monetary benefit alone exceeds the simple “cost of signing an NDA” (which, to be sure is the simplicity of writing their name, and faxing or emailing a document back). At that point, they can receive the document, prototype, or presentation, and identify the next action (there you go GTDers).

The real thing that companies need to remember is that if someone truly brings you a good idea,, you will NOT LOSE MONEY ON IT. People are bringing you an idea (protected already by at the very least a provisional patent pending, to prove it is theirs). If someone has brought you a beneficial product design, give it a fair shake. You’re only supporting a small group (those who have brought you their idea), while you’re, likely large company benefits every time from an innovative product. With a new product in a new section of your product portfolio, you can always make more money on a idea that you manufacture in house. While the designer you are licensing to may require money, and a percentage of your profits, the money you will be making will always be more than they are making and can make your efforts more than worth your own time.

I would love some feedback on this, but I feel that I’ve got something here. As an independent developer, this is the only way for myself and others that do this sort of thing to succeed. People like me aren’t looking to “take all your money”. Our overhead is usually a computer, a small shop (think a few hand tools), our cost to live, the cost of patenting, and the time and effort to develop a product that seems to fit your company’s industry. It’s often vastly cheaper than having an independent design house do the work (though I do support them entirely), but more often these are people that are seeking you out, and have a passion to help you and your company. These are people that like what you’re doing and want to be helpful, just give em’ a chance is all I’m saying.

Sign that NDA.

See what they have to say.

At worst, make a friend, you never know when that idea will come up again, and be just what your company needs to get ahead!

Just a little food for thought for the day.

Happy Monday!