Archive for November, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , , , , on November 26, 2011 by brianestover

I love Thanksgiving weekend. This is the best holiday of the year. It’s four days off work, there is no pressure like some holidays. You always get Thursday and Friday off. The holiday never falls on a Tuesday like 4th of July. It’s a weekend filled with food, fun, fires, friends, family, dogs and beer. Can’t forget the beer. A case of Guinness never disappears as fast as it does over this weekend. It’s best to have a backup case or two.

This Thanksgiving was the first that I’ve held at my house. My Dad is in town, Sarah and her Mom came over as well as the KGB’s. I fired up the smoker and put on the bird a bit later. I had to make some modifications to the R2D2 smoker to get it fully functional. Nothing a little ingenuity won’t fix. A few bricks here and few bricks there and presto, the smoker is smoking, the bird is cooking and deliciousness will have to wait for five hours or so.

Smoker + bricks = Super Smoker

I may be a bit biased, but that bird tasted damn good. The breast meat was juicy thanks to the brine I soaked it in. The dark meat melted in your mouth. A hint of smoke flavor in every bite. Maybe it was the beer I poured in the turkey, maybe it was the apple juice in the drip pan. Maybe I’m just one bad ass turkey cooker. What ever it was, it was some rather tasty turkey.

Even the dogs had a great time. Sarah brought Sam over and the KGB’s brought Katie over. Chloe had her first big sleep over. By 7pm the dogs were wiped out. I guess when you’re a dog, running around the yard, playing frisbee and tug of war for 7 hours can be tiring. These dogs didn’t move all night long. They just curled up on the dog beds in front of the fire and slept.

Dog Tired

The fire was warm, the leftovers plenty and it was time to play games in front of the fire. I got crushed in Yahtzee…by an eight year old.

Thanksgiving Fire

Before dinner we filled out things that we are thankful for and hung them on the Thanksgiving tree that one of the kids made. Most of us take our health, fitness and well being for granted. Over the past 10 days I’ve been reminded not once, but twice that life is a pretty precious thing. Actually now that I think about it, I’ve been reminded five times this year that life is precious and not to be taken for granted. Just over a week ago in the Philly Marathon, Chris Gleason passed away while racing with about a quarter mile to go. About that same time, Darrell Maxey passed away from complications during heart surgery.

I never met Chris, we’ve only chatted in emails a few times about triathlon stuff and the fact that he looked like my old roommate. Darrell and I used to train and race together some way back when. Here are two guys, really fit, in great shape, healthier then the above average healthy person and now they have both passed away due to heart issues.

Needless to say, it was pretty easy to write what I was thankful for on the Thanksgiving tree.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend.

Thanksgiving Tree

Help a Dog Out

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , , , on November 21, 2011 by brianestover

Everyone needs good karma points now and then. You can gain some good karma by by reposting this to your FB page if you are in Tucson. Better yet you can score the good karma jackpot for the week and adopt this fella.

I'm one good looking mofo

Yesterday while walking my dog and chatting with my neighbors, we managed to capture this little guy. He has been hanging out in the neighborhood for about a week or so. He managed to eluded capture until yesterday. Of course every stray dog sees a sucker a mile away, this dog was no different. He came right up to me and practically begged to be put on a leash. Once I got Chloe and he in the backyard, they commenced to play for over 90 minutes. The two dogs went scampering all over the yard, stopping long enough to empty the water dish once or twice.

He’s a good dog, knows basic commands, gets along well with other dogs, isn’t aggressive and didn’t bother my cat. Better yet he got along with my friend’s young kids. His teeth are in great shape, he does well on the leash and has a ton of energy. He is a bit lean, and is pretty ripped.

During lunch he and I went to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona. My goal is to have him adopted by Thanksgiving Day. I earned my good karma by getting him off the street so he doesn’t get hit by a car. I’m asking you if you live in Tucson or know people who do, to please post him to your FB page or alert them to post him to their FB page. Or better yet, go down to the Humane Society and adopt him or convince one of your friends to adopt him.

Adopt me

I can sit

I'm so cute

New Dog!

Posted in Stuff with tags , , , , on November 6, 2011 by brianestover

Meet the new dog! A female boxer named Chloe. After putting down my two other dogs a few years ago, I knew eventually I’d end up with a dog. There were two prerequisites, female and named Chloe.

Meet Chloe

About the same time I was putting Bridgette down I was talking with my Mom. She wanted to get a second dog since her dog was getting old. She realized a guy down the street was abusing his new puppy. My Mom swooped in a rescued a slightly undersized female boxer. Mom also named her Chloe. She blatantly stole the name I was going to use and almost admitted to as much. I could go on about the Dodge Caravan, Honda Civic, and the house my sister and I bought in college but I won’t. They were my ideas first though damn it!

Fast forward a few years, Mom gets a brain tumor and I inherit a female dog named Chloe. Unbelievable how somethings work out.

A few weeks ago, I went back to NC to wrap up part of the estate and brought Chloe back.

It’s a bit weird having a dog. I forgot how much time two 25 to 45 minute walks each day take. She is on the model diet and prefers not to eat too often. Her food has been out for over an hour, the only nugget missing is due to the cat sneaking a bite. She freaks out about going out the back door sometimes. Sometimes you have to leash her to get her out the door. She also doesn’t get tired. In addition to the walks, we play frisbee or with the rope out in the yard for half an hour. Yeah, my boxer plays frisbee, it’s totally bad ass! I toss, she runs after it, then runs back and forth playing keep away from me.

I want to say thank you to my good friends at Drowning Creek Gun Dogs. My long time friend and his son train hunting and family dogs there. She has lived up to their unofficial motto, “No fat dogs”. Chloe also now has some useful skills, like being able to tree raccoons. Woe is the raccoon that goes through my trash. She has learned to chase prey effectively. The family of rabbits that hung out in the backyard have moved to the front. And some birds of a feather no longer flock together. Well their flock has been reduced by one anyway. She can also walk off leash although the HOA frowns upon that, will stop chasing rabbits on command and ignores birds when told to.

The only thing she won’t do is run/jog on the leash. Unfreaking believable. I was (almost) hoping that this would give me an excuse to run more then 15 miles per month. 5 houses is her running record. Sure she’ll run back and forth in the yard for 30-45 minutes but leash her up and go for a run? Not happening.

Where's the rabbit?

Family Portrait