Meathenge Lab’s Moldy Update

Yeah !!! Some of you may remember late last year I was going through some real hell with moisture problems here at the lab, mostly my bedroom. In 1 month I ended up having to gut and scrub my bedroom for mold twice, moisture content out of this world.
This has been an ongoing problem for years, but it has been getting progressively worse. I didn’t have the money or the skills to install a French Drain. I made do with dehumidifiers in several rooms of the house with a mobile hygrometer to see how things progressed day and night. Even with the balmy weather and dry winds, I’d have to start the dehumidifier in my bedroom at 3am and shut it down at 6am. In 2 to 3 days, I would collect 1/2 gallon of water. Just so you know, that’s a lot. Heavy moisture in, around and under a home is not a good thing, it’s bad. Real bad. It’ll destroy a foundation before you can raise a child.
After months and months of saving, I finally got enough pennies to have a French Drain installed along with a sump pump. I live on the flat lands and gravity flow is of no help here. Today the most awesome group of guys started digging. I found Manuel’s company on google a year ago locally for Richmond California and he’s turned out to be the most responsible, skilled and able guy I’ve met in a long time. The trench is not only dug perfectly & properly, but it’s smoothed out as though they were Aztec Gods.
As with previous jobs, I have no doubt that within a few days that Meathenge Labs will be moisture free for years to come. I can finally decorate my bedroom and install clutter as I see fit without worry of moisture that transforms to mold. Ain’t it great? Now I can spend more time sleeping, napping and cooking.
Jaripeo Landscape
Manuel Jasso, owner
New lawns, Fences, Trees, Concrete, Drain Systems, Hauling, Retaining Walls, Stump removal, Sprinkler Systems, probably more.
License #876389, References available
510 620 0998 Office
xo, Biggles

Do you have any idea what’s the life span of meat?

Rarely do I post anything that points to something cool or interesting on the web, figure you got that taken care of by now. But this is so great, and I just know you haven’t read it already, I had to stop by immediately to give you the scoop.
It’s a short story by Terry Bisson and I’ve only known about it for less than 10 minutes. It’s so good (and short, that’s good for you Twitter Heads), I couldn’t resist
Terry Bisson
They’re Made out of Meat.
xo, Biggles

Want to listen to music on your iphone? No earbuds? Meathenge can help.

I spent most of today doing chores, many of the to-do items required driving long distances. By 3pm the boys and I were pretty bushed, we reclined to TV, movies and video games. Z had some homework to deal with and settled on the living room floor for a while. After running a load of laundry I came in and found his iphone in his mouth.
He was listening to the Dead Kennedys, mouth open, volume down a bit. I offered that maybe if he turned it up, and put his teeth (gently) on the iphone that it might improve it.
It did! Said it was running through his skull, sounded like a real speaker or earbuds.
So, if you don’t have the earbuds to support your music habit on your iphone, put it in your mouth and hold it steady. There’s 20 bux saved! Not sure how your friends, family or anyone near you will react when they realize you have an iphone in your mouth. And, not convinced this move would be covered under warranty, so be careful. I have contacted Apple with this method, so maybe it will be approved!
xo, Biggles

File: Bacon and egg sandwish – open face

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Anyone that has read Meathenge for any length of time knows that I love photography or digital capture and food. This has been the case for more than 35 years, a little more. Out of passion and the plea from my friends & family I set up my blog (actually my sister did) so they’d stop getting routine emails from me showing them what I was eating and they were not. This was back in ’03, a young blogger was born. It was tough for me to not give people a hard time about their images, I bit my tongue. More often than not though I ended up sticking my comments where they didn’t belong. Such is life and I learned my lesson, learned the zen of enjoying people for who they were and what they presented. It’s actually pretty peaceful to watch bloggers grow in both craft and voice, I love it.
Earlier today Jlee sent me this Wikipedia entry and I’ve been getting madder and madder as the minutes roll by. It offends me on every level that I hold sacred, food, photography and respect for the internet. What pushed me over the edge was the fact that the author of this post on WikiP actually published what he did to achieve such a wonderful shot. At this point picture me kicking tin cans around the yard hurling obscenities to the universe.
At first, it was the art, the photography that made my bowels erupt. Bite my tongue, but the blast of light from one direction and the fact the author went out of his way to edit out the shadows? Okay, let’s remove any depth or perception. The lone strawberry with red smudges on the plate? This lead me to the store bought sliced bread with uneven toasting and bacon that’s clearly been seared to near black death. My eye then went to the “tablecloth”? Why not just toss your wet dream stained bed sheets for luster, would have been more interesting. Not to me of course, but some people pay a lot of money for such things. Where’s the mayo? Where’s the black pepper and crystals of salt to glisten? Hot sauce? How the hell is one fricken little ‘berry going to add nutrition, happy breakfast or for crissakes Chi !!! GAHHHH !!!
Okay, so sure the fact the author published his editations pushed me further, but why you’re seeing this here to day is the fact he published this hideous monster on Wikipedia. That sealed the deal, he stepped over the line. This instantly went from a friendly food blogger type of situation to a worldwide encyclopedia entry that states this as truth and love both in the culinary arts and digital capture.
Don’t give me, “But the yolk is the perfect color and runny looking”. You know damned well this “human” needs to be drawn and quartered. Oh sure, I can hear your response, “Alright smart guy, if you think you can do better, go ahead.” Charley Manson could do better, don’t mess with Manson pal. In the last 7 years I’ve never, ever seen a food blogger do this poorly. We rule, you suck and I’m here to testify that I can totally kick your ass. Get this shit off the Wiki and leave us alone, hate doesn’t even remotely describe the feelings I’m having at this moment.
Yours truly,
The Good Reverend Doctor Biggles

Daisy – Take Pride. It’s a Daisy.

This post isn’t about food, but I couldn’t hold it any longer. It’s just too wonderful to hold back, am gushing.
Tomorrow I will be attending a best friend’s birthday party for his little girl, she’s just turned 1. I have 2 boys, 9 & 14, so I’ve been through the routine. But what do I get a 1 year old for her first birthday !?! I was thinking a box with crinkly paper.
After many thoughts I figured a gun was the best gift of all. I headed off to my local sporting goods store for such an item. What did I find? A Daisy Red Ryder BB rifle gun!
Easy enough, but what they had blew me away. They had a PINK BB GUN !!!!
That’s right, they had a pink bb gun rifle. A bb gun for girls! It was an easy sell.
xo, Biggles

Slow Oven Pork Chops – or, Playing with Food !

Was pretty much cooking for myself last night, Tiny E’s consumption of food really doesn’t amount to what most of us call a meal. I had time, I had pork chops and if I ruined them it wouldn’t ruin anyone’s evening. I wondered what it’d be like to put the center cut chops in to the oven at 250 degrees until they reach 190 degrees (pully aparty).
I used a glass casserole dish with a chrome rack installed, this would keep the meat up and out with the heat able to get all around. Marinated with kosher salt, preheat oven to 250 degrees.
2 hours later, at 190 degrees internal temperature I had a real piece of shit for dinner. The loin portion of the chop didn’t have enough fat to keep it moist. While I had no temperature spikes, the fat was gone! And, considering the method used, there was no browning, no flavors. It was dry, flat tasting pork that just didn’t deliver.
“But Biggles! I see browning !!!” says you. Heh, just because I ruined dinner doesn’t mean I didn’t have fun. I grabbed the propane torch and browned it myself!
It looks a heck of a lot better than it was. Don’t do it.

M.A.S.H. 4077th – What was Hawkeye, Trapper John & Ferret Face’s abode’s name?

You’re correct! “The Swamp” is the answer and the name of their tent where they spent a few seasons before Winchester showed up. In any case, they lived in a tent named The Swamp and I live IN a swamp.
I’m still dealing with high-moisture content in my home and a pretty nasty mold situation. I’ve got about 90% of it taken care of. I removed the last remaining carpet in the house, it was in the boy’s room. 10 years of little boy use and it was more than time. It wasn’t good and spent more than a week scrubbing furniture and applying an anti-mold growth formula my boss came up with. I bought another dehumidifier (this makes 2 now) and a hygrometer to give me an idea as to what room needs dire attention at what time. It’s been a nightmare to say the least and Tiny E is still suffering.
My only solace has been permitting weather to allow me to grill dinner every night for the last 3 days. The smell of the wood, the hickory, to enjoy the flavors of simple, grilled food. It’s all I have at the moment and I simply do not have any time or inspiration for Meathenge at the moment. Know what I mean, Vern? Yeah, it’s like that.
Hoist a cool one for us, fry some bacon with love. We’ll be back in and online here pretty soon.
xo, Biggles

For Zoomie’s Contest – Martian Food

I dug deep for this one, looked, looked and then searched. I came up with nothing, then searched again. I came home and found it!
It might not come off so quickly as Martian Food, but at third glance seemed to have a lot to do with Penises and Turds. Ick.
Here is my submission, however so late as it might be, Penises and Turds.
I’d send you a direct link to the post, but this is the best I can do for Zoomie of Zoomie’s Station’s Martian Food Contest posted on Feburary 2nd.
xo, Biggles

Mold Patrol !!! Mold Patrol !!!

Where has Biggles been in over a week? I thought I already mentioned that, Mold Patrol!
Downspouts? I’m doing it wrong. That combined with heavy rains, a clogged fan in the bathroom and 55 gallons of fish water in the dining area, spells moisture. Then? It’s mold. And I ain’t talking about a little bit, I’m talking gut the room and clean everything with bleach. What sucks most is the fact I did this a month ago.
Why haven’t I put in a French Drain system? It’s $3200.00 dollars. Oh Biggles, it’s just a hole lined with junk, just dig it yourself! No. Have you ever seen an episode of The Simpsons? Picture Homer putting in a drainage system, I shouldn’t be doing that on yours or my home. Besides, this includes a sump system that physically pumps the water to the street. I’m in the flatlands, no downhill to head to. On a lighter note, I did find my dehumidifier in the garage and it’s working like a charm. In just one night it pulled over a gallon of water out of the air.
So, if anyone has a French Drain system putter inner that they can donate or a 5 quart enamel Dutch Oven, it’d be much appreciated. This is of course, unless Haiti needs it, then send it to them first. They need all the love and support they can get. I, on the other hand, have food and alcohol available to me. I’ll be fine.
xo, Biggles

‘The Settler’s Kitchen Company’ – The New Frontier, ‘a hybrid outdoor kitchen”

For years Meathenge has attracted a very nice collection of human beings. From readers, enthusiasts, families making food products in their basements and not the last of all inventors who bring their product to market on their own. The latest and greatest would be Rolfe of Craycort who sent me a cast iron replacement for the Weber kettle for review.
Well, this time I wasn’t offered free stuff (costs the guy too darned much), but I was so impressed with his creation I wanted to stop by and give you a view in to what’s going on in the world of portable cooking pits, The New Frontier.
Gareth Noble of The Settler’s Kitchen Company stopped by a few weeks ago and asked, “Hey Biggles, what do you think of this?” I grilled him about smoker temps (can it hold it at 200F?), available work surfaces, cooking in decent winds, fuel types, build quality and types of metals used. Gareth knows his business, knows key points of metal designs and execution. And dangit, a very fine fellow indeed.
It’s got a hand-driven spit by jiminy! MmMMM, spit roasted meat. The fire is held in the black portion, more to the left to fire up the smoking chamber. Over this one is able to set fry pans or hang dutch ovens over. You can use pre-burned fireplace sized wood for fuel and the smoking chamber gets hot enough to make bread without a thought. Cook, smoke, grill, bake, rotisserie? Portability? Yup, it’s got it.
Check this out, the black portion of the machine slides underneath the powder-coated smoking chamber, bits and pieces are put in the smoking chamber and the shiny legs are used as handles and you can walk out of camp with it using the rear wheels behind you, pulling it! There’s tons more cool features and would offer you go visit his web site to check out the details. Nice shootin’ there Gareth, good luck.
Gareth Noble
The Settler’s Kitchen Company
Westport, CT

Pictures look great in Photoshop, but when I upload to web, all funky?

Editor’s note: This is a poorly written, almost no real technical specificity, only meant to springboard you in to your own exploration on the subject. But the impact was so impressive, so huge that I have to say for me it’s as big as the actual implementation of the world wide web.
First off, I’ve been digitizing 35mm prints and negs, since 1994. I still consider myself a middle of the road kinda guy when it comes to the “magic” behind the scenes both in hardware and the inner workings of the internets. I can say that I just stumbled head long in to something that really needs bringing to the forefront for us huddled masses.
Have you ever been sitting at your computer, monkeying around in Photoshop or similar, working on your precious images? Getting them just right? Then uploading to your blog or something like Flickr only to view them online and find they’ve lost their luster? Cute little white babies now have grey skin? The reds don’t have the intensity they did only moments ago? I sure have and figured these online photographic web based communities must be compressing them to some degree and they lose their punch. I mean, I have my ICC monitor profile loaded! Heck, have even used a Spyder to calibrate my monitor in the past.
I was wrong. My brother inlaw, Darkleynoone has been voicing this same concern. While in Photoshop, his images are great, but then when he uploads to Flickr, the intensity is gone. Lighter skin tones turn grey, the immense reds are toned down. I’ve noticed the same thing and gave him my best explanation, “I got no idea. Compression and you lose your color bits?”
I was wrong. It occurred to me this morning that really sounds like a color space issue. I spent some time on google and I was on the right track. Then, I read it. I felt like such an idiot, I’d known it all the time and not realized it. I knew the answer and didn’t apply myself. When you’re editing your images in Photoshop, it’s managing your color space, this would be sRGB if you have it correctly. Your DSLR should be set to sRGB if you have it correctly. But you know what? Your goddam browser is showing you some ilk of RGB. That’s right, different programs show you different color profiles. From your image editing software, operating system viewer to your browser, different color profiles even if you have your ICC profile loaded.
After spending all day discussing this with the two brother inlaws I work with Organtitus says, “Firefox prolly has a plug-in for that.”
They do! I did a search for the Firefox plugin by typing in color management. It wasn’t until I got home that I was able to download it, configure it to my i-mac, and restart firefox and go check out Flickr.
I felt as though I’d been punched in the face, kicked in the groin and tossed to the floor. Just using Firefox on my mac, viewing Flicker, it was just like that. Cracky, KuFlup and a Crunch. The ICC embedded images on Flickr jumped out at me like a 3 legged wolverine on acid and a cup of hot joe.
It’s an entirely new world. I’m here to testify!
Of course this is all pretty much fluff here, but supported by web-based fact on solid ground. You’ll need to search for WEB BROWSER COLOR MANAGEMENT or some such in google and do some work on your end. But I’m telling you, you’re missing 30% + of the web’s intensity by NOT doing this for your browser.
Here’s a link regarding Web Browser Color Management that helped a lot on my travels forward. The approximation is maybe 90% of the world wide web cruising community knows nothing of this and they carry on just fine. But if you have the discerning eye, this is critical. It’s changed my life.
This software and technology was tested on a 2 month old i-mac and a PC running XP sportin’ a Viewsonic P810.
xo, Biggles

Merry Gravy Day !!!


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Hi Everyone!
I wanted to stop by and let you know all is well here at Meathenge Labs. We’re hosting today’s meal and yes, it will include gravy! I have my little crockpot all set to sit on the table to keep the “sauce” warm. There’s nothing sadder than cold gravy.
Hugs, Kisses and Warm Thoughts to you all,
Rev. Biggles

The Famous Burro – Marathon Texas – Drinking !!!

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Editor’s Note: OoOOoo, drinking booze in Texas, ain’t that just the best? JLee & Joe Bob head in for some cool refreshing beverages.

This place doesn’t serve food til 6pm. We got here at 5. Decided to drink for an hour. Only a couple other people there, so we got to hog the bartender. Matt, the NICEST bartender in West Texas. (see him at their website) Had a great selection of everything. I had my first Shiner Bock ever. It was frosty goodness. A shot of Macallan 18. Tried some local made pale ale from the tap. Then we ordered food. Hmmm. I had roasted pork, Joe Bob had chicken curry. Maybe it was an off night for the chef, we’ll leave it at that. Back to drinking. A tasty cocktail of vodka, citrus, and some thing I can’t remember. It left a real good taste in my mouth. I’ll go back there, try some other dish next time. Great place to sit and drink for a whole evening.
The Famous Burro
Marathon, TX
(432) 386-4100