Nov 232011

For Thanksgiving we smoked a turkey for a pot luck at church and two more for the Thanksgiving outreach. The results were awesome! We will post the follow-up video for the two birds soon as well as add a link for the recipe.


This is the smoker that I used:


Additional external thermometer:

 Posted by at 5:58 pm
Jul 212009

We went shopping on the 21st for some new hiking boots for my nephew. He’s in Cub Scouts and is a Webelos II and should have a need for some good boots and socks.

I’m used to being able to pick between REI, Adventure 16, Sport Chalet, and others for selection price and knowledgeable sales staff.  So I figured that since we’re in one of the most outdoor-inclined states that the task would be simple – just go to Dicks (about like a Sport Chalet) and start the task from there.  Wrong.  Both selection and knowledge was lacking and no recommendation as to where to look.  LL Bean would have been a good bet if we weren’t 200 miles North of Freeport – outside of Freeport, Bean only has outlets, impressive outlets, but without a full Boot Department.

The guy at Foot Locker recommended Epic Sports in Bangor.  On a lark we found some Columbia’s that fit the bill on clearance at Olympia Sports.  Being both an outdoor wonk and a business wonk, in no situation should Olympia out-do Dicks in this area, but that’s just my opinion.  We did wind up visiting Epic after the purchase and found it very Adventure 16-ish (a compliment in my opinion).

There is an market up here that isn’t being serviced very well and I’m cogitating upon the subject.

 Posted by at 8:16 pm
Jul 202009

On day 7/20 (day 6) we hit Baxter State Park – home of Mount Katahdin – for an easy (if a little long) hike for the kids.  Both Shannon and Sean went as well as our nephew. 

John & Tiffany at the trail head

Some of the hike was on the Appalachian Trail and took us by Grassy Pond, Tracy Pond, and Elbow Pond. The hike was 3.7 miles and took about three  hours.

The trip had numerous water crossings – this is the first, the outlet for Grassy Pond.

When going on a hike, even a short one, it is important to take trail food to keep up your energy,

 keep yourself well hydrated,

and it doesn’t hurt to have a good day pack to keep everything in.

There is a wide variety of flora on this hike.  In school, Tiffany did a science fair project where she collected a bunch of different mosses and identified them (I think she said she tied for first).  Can anyone identify this mushroom?

It is nice to be able to take a nap when you get tired and yet still keep moving…

As I said, there were several water crossings.  This one was probably 200 yards long and was interesting on these little balance beams.

You know…. these are the best times with our kids and I cherish the time to spend with them before it becomes unfashionable to spend time with dad.

John & Shannon

It tells me I’m doing something right if they’re still smiling at the end.


 Posted by at 7:21 pm
Jul 192009

At the end of the fourth day we made the trek from the coast to Lincoln, ME.  We got in, got our room and journeyed out to my mother-in-law’s camp on Combolasse Pond.  It may be a pond by Maine standards, but definitely a lake by California standards.

I say this every year, but I could really do with a place up here.  This is my ideal – an adirondack chair on a floating platform that I could swim out to and nobody could get to me.


Two weeks later I could swim in and be at peace with the world.  That, of course, isn’t reality.  What I did do was pull Shannon and a neice in their boat behind a kayak while they were tormented by a nephew in a kayak.

It was a good day.  Tiffany flipped a kayak coming out to join us and then we went later again and I flipped – it just wouldn’t be kayaking if you didn’t get your hair wet once.

 Posted by at 8:11 pm
Jul 182009

Hey Everyone! I continue to be remiss in my blogging. We’re now a week into the trip and enjoying life.

Day 1 was an adventure in itself. We were in line so long at LAX that the cut-off for checked luggage happened in between my golf clubs and the clothing which required a supervisor to approve (taking another ten minutes), or we could re-book the flight. We got the luggage checked finally and did an OJ through the airport (think Hertz rather than Ginsu) and were the last to board the plane. The Avis bus was almost at capacity by the time we got out of the airport in Boston. Sean kept doing laps between Tiffany and I and was really excited to be on a bus. We had about a two hour drive to the Fairfield Inn in Manchester, NH and thus ends the first day.

The second day was going to originally be a golf day for me and Tiffany was going to see other baby wearers in Dover, NH. I have a muscle in spasm or something in my lower back, so I didn’t golf and went with Tiffany. The meeting migrated to a local pizzaria and the kids did laps through the pizza place. That afternoon we meandered over to Nashua, NH which has been on the list of best places to live a few times and has piqued our interest. We had dinner at an Irish pub called Then Fiddler’s Daughter. Good food, good service, good location and the best kethup on the planet.


Day three had us out of NH and in to Southern Maine.  We stopped by a store called Butterfly Baby in Portland and then to Whole Foods, also in Portland.  From ther we headed to Belfast and the Belfast Harbor Inn.  We first went to Belfast last year so Tiffany could go to The Green Store and we went this time for the Celtic Festival happening the next day.  We ate at the Dockside restaurant – excellent food and quite kid tollerent.  We spent a couple hours in the harbor area until it started getting a little chilly.  They have a great skate park in Belfast though.  In the harbor parking lot with the water as a back drop and featuring a half pipe that was about 8 feet, or so, deep.


Day four started with the Celtic Festival parade. and we set off for Acadia National Park.  We did a quick naturn walk type hike on the Ship Harbor Nature Trail.  It was nice and easy for the kids.


 Posted by at 7:21 pm