Monday, May 30, 2022

Memorial Day 2022

American Flag to Celebrate Memorial Day
Have a Happy and Safe Memorial Day. This day indicates the start of the summer for many, but it is a day to remember those that served in the line of duty for our military and gave their life in doing so. While you enjoy your holiday be sure to remember and understand why we are able to do what we do each day and give thanks to those that gave their lives in active duty. 
Be safe and enjoy the holiday. Until next time, have a great week!

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Cooked Salmon on BGE Using Meater Thermometer to Measure Doneness and When to Remove from the Grill

A few weeks ago while browsing social media, I had an display for me about a new meat thermometer called Meater. One of those ads where I saw it a few times, looked interesting, and then started seeing it on YouTube, FaceBook, etc. as I was browsing other sites as it was detected I was interested in the product. I eventually ended up buying Meater as it looked really cool!
I have now used Meater twice and love it! I have a meat thermometer that I have had for a few years which I use frequently for cooking larger cooks such as turkey, chicken, etc., but my old thermometer uses wires. Meater is wireless and has an option to connect to a block that extends wirelss to be able to use all over the house and still keep track of a cook.
I first used Meater to cook steaks. Straight forward enough but I was excited to use Meater, so I used it with two t-bones we purchased. They turned out great! I likely would have left the meat on past when Meater told me to remove them from heat. The steaks were cooked perfectly and Meater even allows for post cooking time as the meat continues to cook.
Salmon Filets Ready for the GrillOn Sunday, May 22 I used Meater to cook salmon filets. Prepared them straight forward enough with salt, pepper, and some seasoning we had in the cabinet. Inserted the two Meater probes and got the grill ready for cooking. I did the salmon on wood planks we have had for a few years but never used. Set temp for 400 degrees and let it do its thing. All told, it took about 26 minutes for the full cook and food to be ready to eat. Turned out great!
Salmon on BGE Cooking with Meater Monitoring the TempsThe Meater monitors wirelessly which is nice so I can be anywhere in the house and see the temps, alerts, or status of the cook. The picture to the right shows the salmon on the grill with the Meater monitoring the cook. The Meater works not only on charcoal grills, but also on gas, oven, or even air friers. We have only used it so far on the grill. Very happy with the new purchase and the results have been fantastic in terms of the meat being cooked to perfect.
A nice cold bevarage was sipped while the salmon cooked. Having the range of being able to be in another room and know how the meat is cooking is amazing. The Meater monitors not only the internal temperature of the meat but the ambient temp surrouding the meat too which means it can monitor and tell you when to remove the meat from the grill as well as when the meat is ready to eat as it monitors the meat that continues to cook as it is removed from the heat. Again, I have been impressed so far with my use of the Meater.
Finished Product on the PlateThe finished product turned out nicely. Flaky salmon and not overdone at all. Unlike past grilling sessions where I have tried to cook salmon, this turned out done but almost buttery because of the temp of the fish. Both Carrie and I were pleased with the result and I cannot wait to try again with a different cut of meat. I plan to do swordfish at some point and look forward to doing larger items using the Meater to see how those turn out.
Willcott Brewing Company from Holton, KSOn Saturday, we ran errands to various places and one stop was in Holton, Kansas where we visited Willcott Brewing Company. If you have a chance, I recommend stopping by Holton, KS to visit Willcott Brewing Company. I had a wheat and IPA while I was there and ended up taking home a growler of their beer which is what I was drinking on Sunday when I did the salmon. Great weekend!
Until next time, have a great rest of your weekend and I hope to start posting again about my cooks using Meater and drinking some of my favorite beers.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Oliver Was Sad When I Was Away for a Conference Wednesday and Thursday Last Week

Oliver Hanging out with his Big Old LambThis past week, I did some traveling for work to a conference in Wichita. The conference was great! It was fun to be able to see and connect with peers from other Kansas institutions as well as our vendors who sponsor the conference. This post is not about the conference so much, but I wanted to say how great it was to be at a conference again in-person.
While I was gone, my dog missed me. Carrie sent me a few different pictures while I was out. The one to the left was the first night I was gone and he was laying on our sofa with his lamb (that is bigger than him) watching the kitchen door to see when I would return. Carrie shared with me that at night, Oliver would sit on the end of our bed watching our bedroom door to see when I would return. Then at night, he slept in my spot next to my pillow. Poor guy! 
It has been a while since I had been away from Oliver where Carrie was only left with him. Same for Carrie where she has not traveled anywhere without me, so this was a first for Oliver to have one of us gone and him wondering what happened. I think he missed me!
Oliver in Back Yard Watching for People and Keeping an Eye on CarrieOliver loves our back yard to watch for people. Again, while I was out, he was hanging out with Carrie in our back yard watching for people, other dogs, or anything that he could bark at, but he was also keeping an eye on Carrie to make sure she did not leave him too.
Of course Oliver, like humans, he loves routine and when the routine is broken it causes him some anxiety. He will have his normal day broken up next week as he has a day at the vet scheduled for multiple shots and spa day to get him smelling good. We think he likes his spa day at the vet, but he is exhausted when he gets back home in the evening and his whole day has been completely different from what he is used to doing when we are at work. That is to say, he is exhausted because he stayed awake to watch other dogs at the vet. Poor guy has to protect and announce the existence of those dogs to others.
Oliver by the Fence in our Back YardIt was a good week and flew by quickly! Unlike Oliver, it was a busy week with the two day conference in Wichita, KS. It breaks up my routine for the week, but I really have no routine any longer as every day is different which is good. I was able to stop by and see my sister and brother-in-law while I was in Wichita which was fun. Had dinner with them and chatted for an hour or two before I had to get on the road back to Topeka Thursday night. 
Routines are good but it is good to mix it up and have things be different too. Have a great week and we will chat later.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Bally Sports+ Planned Release in Second Quarter for MLB, Soccer, etc. Streaming with a Subscription Required

Bally Sports has finally confirmed that they will be releasing Bally Sports+ here in the second quarter according to an article from The Streamable. How many more things can we have created that are called “+”? This is an aside, but maybe you are wondering the cost to sign up for Bally Sports+. The soft launch will be $19.99 a month or $189.99 a year. Holy crap! $189.99 a year for streaming of sports. This seems rather high to me and not worth the money.
I am already using Bally Sports to watch the Royals allbeit from my Mom’s account who lives in Lawrence. I have YouTube TV which does not have Bally Sports because of contract disagreements, but Sling and Dish Network customers are in the same boat where only Direct TV Stream has Bally Sports. I wil note that the Bally Sports app on my Roku, iPad, and iPhone have worked really well since the start of the season, but lately, the app on Roku does not work at all. On my iPhone and iPad, I can watch for a few minutes and then it locks up and has to be restarted. When I read the announcement from The Streamable regarding Bally Sports+ being released soon, that made me wonder if this is on purpose to force us over to the paid subscription.
On Roku the Bally Sports app starts, I can go to go to Teams and then the Royals, but if I try to play a recorded or live game, the app shuts down and returns to the main Roku window. This has been happening for three or four weeks now. However, if I open the Bally Sports app on Apple TV, the app works fine and I can watch games. Annoying though that the app is broken on Roku.
Just as annoying is that the Bally Sports app on iPad or iPhone simply stops playing video. I have to go out to the main screen of the app and start the feed again. Before long, less than five minutes, it will stop playing stating there is an error. 
If Bally Sports decides to make changes so that I can no longer watch Royals through their app from my a TV provider that subscribes to Bally Sports, like Midco in Lawrence, then I will not be paying for their add-on service to simply watch the Royals. I will rely on video clips from YouTube and listen to the radio broadcast. Paying $20 a month to watch the my team is not worth it let alone paying almost $200 a year to be able to watch. Instead, Bally Sports should re-work their deals with YouTube TV, Sling, Dish, Hulu, etc. so that other streaming options are available and likely do it much better than Bally Sports.
The season for the Royals has not gone very well thus far. Friday night was our first win in what seemed like many weeks… We had won games on Wednesday and Sunday the past week, but still, it seemed like a long time. We are 11 - 20 or 6.5 games out of first in the AL Central. We have not seen production from some we were expecting and some we would like to leave the team. The way social media is discussing, a complete management replacement is needed. I love my Royals and it makes it difficult to watch when we are struggling, but us Royals fans are used to this too. I just hope that I can continue to watch the Royals even if they are not very good, but hoping that turns around too. 

Sunday, May 08, 2022

April Stats for Working Out Went Up Slightly Compared to March

April Peloton Workout History in Review
The month of April, I did much better with my working out each week. Well, at least for the last three weeks of the month, it was much better. I felt good working out during April. I consistently worked out on Sunday mornings. I continue to read while I work out on the Tuesday and Thursday days which is helping me get through my book list and then Sunday is typically spent working to a live instructor. 
As I review the month of April, I know why that first full week is so sparse with working out… that was the week of the NCAA championship game. It occurred on Monday, April 5 and it was a late game. As I recall, I went to bed early on April 6 which is my normal workout day. Then it appears I did not get motivated again to workout until the following Sunday. Not ideal, but I got back into the routine the middle of the month. 
Feels good to keep the routine going and I am seeing a few pounds drop off through the efforts. I still have not done anything about really eating better, but some how I am seeing pounds drop off little by little. Here we are in the early part of May and I still have not started the jogging once a week plan I had mentioned in past updates. I am hoping to start jogging on Saturday mornings. Hopefully in a future post, I will let you know how that goes. I want to use the Peloton app on my phone to do the run and then see where it takes me. Hoping my knees do better this time around with running than when I started it up before Peloton bike arrived.
April Monthly Achievement with Ally Love
The following month I get an email from Peloton to let me know how I did which is where these graphs and information come into play. My normal live workout on Sunday mornings is with Alley Love and varies from 20 - 60 minutes depending on the day. She did recently get married and looking to move to London, so I am not sure what that means for my normal workout at 11 am CDT with her as the instructor. She continues to be my favorite instructor as she keeps the workoug intense, she has stories that help pass the time, and she motivates during the workout. Anything to keep the routine enjoyable is what I am looking for in an instructor. If she does move on or changes time, I am not sure if I will find a new instructor for the Sunday morning spot or change to when she does do her live session.
I am approaching 300 bike riding workouts. In fact, when this update posts on Sunday, I should reach 300 on Sunday, May 5 as I usually write these early in the week. I am hoping to do the live ride with Ally Love on Sunday so I can get a shout out during the ride. She did mention me a few weeks ago in a live ride although she was not sure how to prounce “Havertyj”.
Monthly Stats for April 2022
My monthly stats were down a little from March which is odd as I did not work out much in March with basketball happening. On average, I rode the bike for 25 minutes. I stopped doing the additional cool down rides and instead only focus on however long the ride is scheduled or that I want to ride. I usually do a cooldown but after the session has ended. Miles traveled are down a little too from March, but I hope over the summer I can continue to increase those to higher numbers across the board for monthly stats. We will see what happens...
The important point is that I continue to enjoy bike riding. I enjoy the process and how it makes me feel even when the workout is kicking my butt and I am not sure I will finish that particular ride. I enjoy reading while I workout and often times have classical music playing while I ride and read. Whatever I can do to make the workout enjoyable is what I am looking to do and that helps to pass the time and not even realize I am working out. Well, until I get off of the bike and try to walk down the stairs, then I know I have been working out and I am right back to reality.
What do you do to motivate yourself for working out? Any tips or tricks you can share?
Until next time, enjoy your workouts and strive on for motivation to keep the healthy balance of life.

Happy Mother’s Day

Photo by George Dolgikh @ from Pexels
A beautiful time of year and perfect time to celebrate our Moms! Happy Mother’s Day to Nancy and Joan. Happy Mother’s Day to all.

Celebrate Mother's Day with your mother today. Call your mother and let her know you are thinking about her. Do something special for her and remember all the times she has done so many special things for you. Try not to make this the only time this year that you call her to just talk or say hello. 

Our First Camping Trip of the Season has been Booked

Picture of our Tent in the Back Yard Back in 2021We have our first camping trip of the year scheduled. We thought it would be too late to schedule anything, but we found a spot and it happens to be a spot we have been to twice last year. We have two spots booked as Greg and Erin will be going with us. We had been talking that we need to go camping and do it soon, so that got Carrie to looking and found a great location with spots available right next to one another. We are going to try and convince some other friends to go with us too.

I cannot wait! It is going to be so fun and hoping the weather is good for when we are camping. We are planning to take Oliver with us as the weather is nice and cool, so he should have a fun time. Plus, hoping the ticks are not bad when we go too so he does not get too many ticks… or us for that matter.

A short update to say that a camping post will come in the near future. We are so excited to have this scheduled and I am sure we will be looking at camping sites to find when else we can camp this summer. 

Fun Wedding Weekend on April 30 in Kansas City... Family, Fun, Eating Good Food, and Dancing

Carrie and John at Wedding in KCCarrie and I went to a wedding in Kansas City on Saturday, April 30. My cousin Lindsey married Tyler that day, so it was a chance to go to Kansas City, see family, eat well, and have some fun. We had a great time even though Carrie was having some leg issues that limited her from being able to dance, we did get some dancing in on the slower songs.
Dina, Carrie, and I left Lawrence to head into the wedding Saturday mid-afternoon. The wedding was outside and while it was a bit chilly, the wedding was beautiful. I saw my Uncle Charlie, Aunt Barb, Cousins Susan, Doug, Janet, Jeff, Matt, and Mike. It was fun to all be in one area and talk to one another. My brother Tim made it too so we were able to hang out for a while.
Dina and John at Wedding ReceptionWe estimated there were around 200 people at the reception based on the number of tables. The food was delicious and the wedding cake was good too. I could have had seconds on the wedding cake, but I refrained and only had one slice. They also had a candy bar which was really cool and had some of that too.
Dina, Tim, Carrie, and I were at the table with Mike and his friend Dee. Good conversation and fun watching everyone dance. Yes, we did get on the floor a few times. At one point others came over to join us and talk for a bit. As the night started coming to an end for us and we needed to head back to Lawrence/Topeka, we did a fawewell tour to say bye to our family. 
Dina and Tim at Wedding ReceptionOur sister Jen was supposed to be at the wedding, but was unable to make it. We did see my nephew Spencer that night too which was fun as he was in from New York. Even better was that none of my cousins knew who he was and greeted him like a new person… we had to explain it was Spencer son of Jen and Kent. We all had a good laugh about that as it had been a while since anyone had seen Spencer. 
On the Dance Floor Having FunBefore all the dancing started and before dinner, the DJ did play a Neil Diamond song and got everyone out on the foor. Next to the bride and groom in the picture to the left, you can see my Uncle Charlie on the dance floor talking to Lindsey. That was fun and got a lot of people on the floor before everything started.
What a wonderful evening! Congratulations to Lindsey and Tyler. So happy for them! Their wedding was beautiful and reception was so fun. I am so glad that Dina, Carrie, and I were able to make it on from Lawrence/Topeka. We had a large time and it was great to be able to see family that I had not seen in a few years.
Looking forward to attending another get together in a few weeks with family where cousin Mike turns a big number. He has having a party and we are invited to attend. Carrie and I are planning to attend and I am working to convince Dina and Betsy to go too.
Congrats again to the happy couple!

Sunday, May 01, 2022

Apple Watch and Haptic Time Telling is Great for Meetings

I have had my Apple Watch (series 2, so it is old) for a long time. I wear it all the time and use it often for notifications or working out to track heart rate and exercise. I do not use it a lot to text from it as I find that a little difficult with fat fingers and eye sight that does not work great for seeing the tiny watch face. I use apps on the watch to track sports or see updates on games when I am unable to see my iPhone or computer. So, I use my Apple Watch a lot. 

A few months ago I started thinking how in a meeting I would like to know on the hour that it is the hour. I see it as rude to be in out with someone and look at the time as if it indicates I cannot wait to get away from them. So, I started wondering if there was a way to be able to tell the time without looking at my watch. Sure enough, there was a way to do so. 

If you are interested, here are the steps as outlined from the Apple Support article.

  1. Open the Settings app  on your Apple Watch.

  2. Tap Clock, scroll up, then tap Taptic Time.

  3. Turn on Taptic Time, then choose a setting—Digits, Terse, or Morse Code. Hours and minutes are indicated in the following ways:

    • Digits: Apple Watch long taps for every 10 hours, short taps for each following hour, long taps for every 10 minutes, then short taps for each following minute.

    • Terse: Apple Watch long taps for every five hours, short taps for the remaining hours, then long taps for each quarter hour.

    • Morse Code: Apple Watch taps each digit of the time in Morse code.

  4. To feel a haptic version of the time, touch and hold two fingers on the watch face.

You can also configure Taptic Time on iPhone. Open the Apple Watch app on iPhone, tap My Watch, go to Clock > Taptic Time, then turn it on.

Note: Taptic Time is disabled if Apple Watch is set to always speak the time. To be able to use Taptic Time, first go to Settings  > Clock, then turn on Control With Silent Mode under Speak Time.

I should have figured that Apple had it figured out and it only took me three plus years to check and get the feature enabled. I use the digits feature as I found it to be clear when it is the hour. It is also a different haptics from what other notifications occur on the phone such as texting, calls, etc. I typically leave my Apple Watch on silent, so I rely on haptics to tell me what is happening or when to look at the phone. The nice thing about this setting is that I know when the hour hits and I do not have to look at it to check the time. 

Hopefully this will help someone else who has an Apple Watch and wondered if this was an option to be able to tell time without looking at your watch.

Friday Night Sirens and Video from Sister in Andover, Kansas of Tonrado

Oliver on Friday Late Afternoon Before the Storms
Little Oliver in our back yard on Friday evening as the storms are preparing to move in later in the night. He was having a large time in our back yard running around, barking at people walking, and having a good time. Early in the evening, we could tell he knew something was happening with the weather. Like other animals, he can sense the weather changing even before it changes. Before long as the storms move into the area, he hides behind my chair. The sirens did go off in Topeka, so we all headed to the basement. He was not scared at that point, it did not come until later when the thunder started and that’s when he hid behind my chair. Poor guy!

Friday night taking cover was the first time this year we have had to take cover and I believe the first time in a few years we have had to take cover. It seems this spring is lining up to be a storm heavy season. We have already had a few storms before this one that were intense with a lot of rain, lightening, thunder, and hail. We did have a little hail Friday night but it was only pea size. 

Andover, Kansas was hit by a tornado Friday evening that caused considerable damage to the area. My sister sent me a video that she recorded of the tornado as it went through Andover. The video perfectly shows the formation of the tornado, touch down, and then destruction as debris starts to float around the tornado. Scary night of weather in Kansas.

The predictions the whole week leading up to Friday was that we were going to see intense weather. They were not wrong! Thankfully no one was killed from what I heard about the Andover tornado, but a lot of destruction. So glad everyone is safe! Thoughts and prayers go out to all involved in the path of the weather Friday night.