Saturday, April 11, 2009

I think I am a bad grill cook.

I think it's time to admit that I am not a good gas grill cook. Do you even understand how hard that is to say? Talk about taking a direct hit on your manhood. I wonder if any other men, throughout history, have ever been able to admit such a thing. I might even say my wife is actually a better grill cook than I am, which is an even a harder thing to admit.
(I can hear all you guys cringing and saying "ugh, he didn't just say that" )

It's kind of like golf. Every year I tell myself I am going to practice and learn to improve, but it never really happens. I think I know what the problem is. I don't have the patients to slow cook something, and pay attention to it the whole time it is cooking. Usually I forget to take the meat out of the freezer so it can thaw before cooking. I preheat the grill by turning it all the way up after lighting it. Then I throw the frozen burger on the warming rack in an attempt to thaw it out a little. After a while I will move it down to the grill and close the lid while I go prepare a vegetable or watch a game for a while, then come back and flip it over and repeat. As you can imagine the end result is a hard crusty exterior with a blood red middle.

Now, I am exaggerating a little bit. Obviously, if I did that every time, no one would ever eat my grill cooking. But the fact is my grill cooking never comes out as good as others. I have one friend that is a very good cook. There is an obvious difference when he cooks something than when anyone else does. I actually enjoy watching him cook almost as much as I enjoy eating his cooking. What I have noticed is, the time and effort put forth preparing the food prior to cooking it on the grill is far more important than the actual cooking. As a matter of fact, the time spent cooking at the grill is often the least concerning.

Preparing the non-frozen meat, mixing the proper seasoning, marinade, or sauce, and controlling the temperature at the grill, all play a key role in successful grilling. You would think that knowing this would make me at least a reasonably good grill cook. But, in my opinion, mine just doesn't seem to match up. Although I have received compliments when I did at least try to take my time and do it right.

OK , I take it back. I do not admit to being a bad grill cook. I can do it, if I just prepare ahead of time, take my time, and care about producing a quality end product. I am going to go try again.
Damn the propane ran out again.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I think people on financial news stations like to hear themselves say the word systemic.

Anonymous Asked,
Why do I hear the word Systemic almost everyday lately? I can count on one hand the number of times I've heard it over the previous 30 years. I doubt I have ever even used it in a sentence before today.

Now that you mention it, I must agree, I too seem to hear the word quite a bit lately. But mostly on the news when people are talking about the financial mess we find ourselves in these days. Typically though, the word Systemic is used more in medical terms when describing different systems of the body.
Here is the definition as given on Dictionary.com
sys⋅tem⋅ic 
–adjective
1. of or pertaining to a system.
2. Physiology, Pathology.
a. pertaining to or affecting the body as a whole.
b. pertaining to or affecting a particular body system.
3. (of a pesticide) absorbed and circulated by a plant or other organism so as to be lethal to pests
that feed on it.

I think you are referring to the fact that the word Systemic is heard repeatedly in the financial news. I have heard the word used by the President, several Congressmen and Senators, The Secretary of the Treasury, The Fed Chairman, and several talking heads on CNBC and Fox News. In this case the reference to systemic risk is about how certain things effect the entire economic system. Such as when a company is "To big to fail." The suggestion is, if we allow these monstrous companies to fail then they will bring down the entire financial system. Also known as systemic failure. Hopefully soon we will hear the word when discussing a recovery of the entire economic system, or maybe even a systemic change.

I heard some talk of creating a position for a Systemic Risk Regulator. I wonder if that person would report to the Economic Failure Czar. Check THIS out, and read what Fed Chairman Bernanke said during a March 10 speech. he certainly articulates an explanation of Systemic Risk better than I can.

"Systemic", It's kind of a fun word to say. It certainly sounds like an important word. I doubt I will have much opportunity to use it again after today.

This is what Mack thinks
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