Friday, September 29, 2023

Tajin On Corn

I wrote about the Tajin Mexican spice in an earlier blog, and one of the best uses for me is corn on the cob. I spread a little butter on the corn first, and then liberally shake the Tajin on top. The chili pepper-salt-lime combination goes great on the corn that was soaked in water and put on the gas grill for 15 minutes to steam. More recipes featuring Tajin can be found at the link below.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Cocktail Smoker Kit

Adding a little smoke to your favorite cocktail or liquor is a snap with the smoker shown below. You add some of the provided ground wood chips (apple, cherry, pecan, or whiskey oak), place the base on top of the glass, and light it ablaze with the butane torch. The smoke descends into the glass, and the magic happens in seconds. Too much flame and too much contact will lead to an overly smoky result, so it's going to take experimentation to get just the right amount of smoke.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Sunday Bags

Chef Elaine and I recently bought the Sunday Bags shown below, basically a very light (~2 lbs) golf bag that holds about a half-dozen clubs.  We plan to use them to walk the golf course when the temperatures fall into the 50s and 60s and riding in a golf cart becomes a chilly adventure.  Extending the golf season and getting some extra exercise while enjoying the scenery will be an autumn win-win.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Biltmore House

We made a stop in Asheville, NC on a recent trip south and toured the Biltmore mansion and gardens.  Pictured below, the house is the largest privately owned house in the U.S., at 178,926 square feet.  It was built by George Washington Vanderbilt II as a summer house with construction beginning in 1889 and lasting six years.  The self-guided walking tour includes a handset to listen to details on one splendid room after another, including the servants' working areas and bedrooms.  The outdoor flower gardens were past their seasonal peak but the plants and flowers in the conservatory were stunning.

Monday, September 25, 2023


We all know that the three-dimensional version of a square is a cube, but what's it called when it looks like the shape shown below?  It's a special case of a cuboid called a rectangular cuboid.  A cuboid is a hexahedron, a six-faced solid, and its faces are quadrilaterals.  So the familiar cube is a special case of a cuboid where all six sides are identical squares.  All this takes me back to being a sophomore in high school and it's no wonder geometry was not my favorite subject.

Maybe it would be simpler to call it a brick...

Friday, September 22, 2023

Cutting Corn

Chef Elaine uses a Bundt pan to both steady the ear of corn and catch the kernels as they succumb to the edge of her knife, making the whole process safer and with much less cleanup.  As the corn-growing season wraps up, it's a great idea to get an extra dozen (or two), strip them, and freeze them for winter soups and stews.  

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Santo Tequila

Celebrities are big into marketing their various beverages and rocker Sammy Hagar and chef Guy Fieri have Santo tequila.   There is the Blanco shown below, an oak-aged Reposado, and a Mezquila that features some smokiness like you would find in a Mezcal (hence the name).  Tequila is not everyone's idea of a good sipping drink, but for those who do like Chef Elaine and me, this one is worth checking out.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023


I recently received an email from Hilton Honors that I had points that would expire soon but it wasn't enough to get a free night so I looked for options to donate those points to charity.  That led me to the PointWorthy service and I was able to convert those points into a $76 donation to our local St. Vincent de Paul social services program.  PointWorthy's mission is to unlock billions of dollars of value in loyalty points for charitable donations which you can learn more about at the link below.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Dougherty 156

The sign below marked our primo parking spot at the season opener of the University of Indianapolis (UIndy) Greyhounds football team.  These passes are distributed by the football team's coaches and players and it makes a great way to tailgate before the game since you're surrounded by the team's friends and family.  It might not be the heated box seat that Chef Elaine yearns for, but nonetheless, it was greatly appreciated. 

Monday, September 18, 2023


Combine over a hundred gas pumps, the cleanest restrooms we've ever seen, and a large store full of food and merchandise that never closes, and that's a Buc-ee's.  Started in Texas, the chain is expanding and Ohio will see its first store at the intersection of I-70 and SR-235 sometime in the future.  The recently opened Sevierville, TN store (off I-40) holds the world record for the largest convenience store in the world at 74,707 square feet.  We visited that store and the store in Richmond, KY (just south of Lexington off I-75) during a recent trip south and enjoyed both the store's experience as well as BBQ brisket sandwiches and beaver chips.  

Friday, September 15, 2023


I love breakfasts but rarely eat breakfast, so I'm always pumped when Chef Elaine makes breakfast for dinner, better known as brinner.  The delicious combo below featured an egg, mushroom, chopped bacon, cheddar cheese, jalapeno omelet served with avocados.  A list of other brinner ideas can be found at the link below.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Java House Coffee Bar

Chef Elaine walked a couple of down the bikeway in Broad Ripple, Indiana to the Java House coffee shop for our morning pickup.  As the picture below shows, they have an unusual series of taps for their various coffees achieving a large set of options.  Knowing my love of darker blends, she bought me an Americano and it delivered a flavorful kick.  Move over Starbucks...

Wednesday, September 13, 2023


Founded in 1878, Spanker is an Unincorporated Place in Montgomery County, Ohio around the intersection of Little York Road and Dog Leg Road.  A post office was established there in 1860 and Branston Hutchins opened a carriage shop and manufactured his "Spanker" wagons, hence the name of the town.  The sign shown below still stands and uses the name "Spankertown", which is also listed on the map at the link below.

Big shout out to my son for snapping the photo!

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Backyard Beautification

The backyard of our neighbor to the north used to be filled with gnarly bushes and unkept shrubbery, but this spring and summer they did a most fabulous job of redoing the entire yard.  After ripping up the old mess they planted hundreds of flowers, put in a new fence, and planted grass along the fence lines.  It's almost a shame that Chef Elaine and I get to stare out at this beautiful sight more than the owners do.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Killing The Killers

I thought today, 9/11, would be an appropriate day to tell you about the most recent audiobook we listened to in the car.  Killing The Killers details the search and elimination of some of the world's most notorious terrorists including Osama bin Laden, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and Qasim Al-Raymi.  This is not a book for the faint-hearted as the details get pretty gruesome, but it paints exactly what this enemy is about and what amazing technology we have to take them out.

Friday, September 8, 2023

Turkey Rachel

Chef Elaine put her own spin on this classic Turkey Rachel (aka Turkey Rueben) using home-fashioned Thousand Island dressing in place of the recipe's (see link below) Russian dressing.  She opted for the recipe's cole slaw while placating me with sauerkraut instead.  The key to this is using the flattop to cook the components separately and then assembling them together at the end.  Bring a big appetite, as a single sandwich is more than a meal full.

Thursday, September 7, 2023


Ohio Liquor's website (at the link below) makes it easy to find your favorite adult beverage including the categories seen in the first image below.  That's particularly true for those products that are on allocation in the state, which in my case is Buffalo Trace bourbon.  I recently used the website to locate the nearest store where it was in stock and found Belmont Party Supply said they had some (second image below).  A quick trip to the store proved the website was accurate, allowing me to snag a bottle.  It appears the website's inventory gets updated maybe twice a day, so it's no guarantee, but arriving when the store opens if they're showing your favorite in stock should help you get yours.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

The Smell Of Rain

We've been runners for many, many years, and with all those miles comes getting caught in some crazy weather.  You can tell the rain is headed towards you by your nose and that sweet and pungent smell.  That aroma is the ozone that is driven down from higher elevations.  The origin of the word "ozone" comes from the Greek word, “ozein” which means “smell".  There are two other aromas you can pick up as the rain continues, petrichor and geosmin, which you can read about at the link below.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Day To Never Clever

We were sipping on a beer at the downtown Dayton Beer Company and noticed the sayings painted on the Wright Brothers Institute building.  The creative use of "Dayton" in "This is the Day to Never Give Up" was particularly clever and if they had not colored it in blue I'm sure I would have never seen it.

More information on the Wright Brothers Institute can be found at the link below.

Monday, September 4, 2023

Al Johnson's Flying Field

In the mid-1920s, the land area shown below was Al Johnson's Flying Field in Vandalia, Ohio.  Al needed a larger place and moved his operation from an area on Wilmington Pike.  That land would later become the Gentile Air Force Station better known as a Defense Electronics Supply Center (DESC), and currently the Kettering Business Park.  He operated his business until 1934 when the government canceled the "Civilian Air Mail" service, 

More details and a fascinating timeline can be found at the following link.

Friday, September 1, 2023

Bacon-Ranch Pasta Salad

Here's a treat if you're looking for a side dish to take to a Labor Day weekend party and we all know bacon makes everything better.  Start by cooking the bacon (we like it baked), cooking the pasta, and allowing both to cool.  In a large bowl mix together the sour cream, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, ranch seasoning, and garlic powder.  Add the bacon, pasta, Parmesan cheese, cherry tomatoes, and dill, and mix it all up.  Find all the fine details at the link below.

Chef Elaine does it again!