Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cookin' Chili Tonight!

Tomorrow is the MAST Chili Dump at the McKinley Marina pavilion. Since I have never made "real" chili before, I went to the Internet to find a suitable recipe. I browsed around for 15 minutes or so until I came across a very interesting recipe. Many of the ingredients I would never think to put in chili, but it smells delicious. Here are the ingredients:

2 teaspoons (olive) oil
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb lean ground beef
3/4 lb beef sirloin, cubed
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes (I used hot salsa instead)
1 can dark beer (PBR of course!)
1 cup strong coffee
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
1 can beef broth
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons chili sauce
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon salt
4 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans
4 chili peppers, chopped

1. Heat oil.
2. Cook onions, garlic and meat until brown.
3. Add tomatoes, beer, coffee, tomato paste and beef broth.
4. Add spices Stir in 2 cans of kidney beans and peppers.
5. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
6. Add 2 remaining cans of kidney beans and simmer for another 30 minutes.

As I was making this, I couldn't help but picture the Swedish Chef from The Muppets. I had strong urges to just start throwing crap everywhere, but I like my kitchen and didn't feel like cleaning.

I had never heard of a "Chili Dump" before, so I asked John Norman (s/v Corvus) what this whole deal was all about. Evidently, a "Chili Dump" is exactly what it sounds like. Everyone brings about as much home-made chili as they expect to eat (perhaps a little more). You then 'dump' it all together in a Nesco or two, mix it all together, warm it up and then we all share the results. Then we drink beer and talk about sailing. Sounds like a plan! I'll post an update on how the chili was in a couple days.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Congratulations Jeff and Molly!!

While this blog is dedicated to sailing, it's hard not to inject some tid-bits from my non-sailing life. This past weekend (Saturday, October 17th), my best friend of 23 years got married and I was honored to be the best man. We had an absolute blast! It was great to see everyone and meet some new faces!

Photo from left to right: me, Jeff, Molly, Robin, Todd. This picture was taken aboard s/v Blue Pearl (Beneteau First 405) in Muskegon, Michigan after the Queens Cup on June 27, 2009. Since Jeff and Molly live on the other side of the pond, they came up to visit from Grand Haven on Todd's boat while I was in town. I had been awake for 34 hours when this picture was taken. This picture also made the wedding slide show!

Jeff: I drank the Michigan Brewing Company Pale Ale while writing this post. Quite tasty!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dorking around tonight

Tonight I'm being a loser and staying in. Please note it's a Friday and 2 years ago this would NEVER happen. Most people would assume this is a sign of getting older. Not so fast. Going out would be a use of cash and I'm saving that cash for sailboat crap (i.e. capital expendature - can you tell I analyze cash flow for a living?)! This stuff ain't cheap!

Anyway, with a cold Miller Lite in hand (I know, I know, it should be a PBR), I had a little brainstorming session on how I am going to set up my deck this coming season so that all important lines are coming back to the cockpit. Bear in mind, I was using Microsoft Paint when I made my diagram, so it won't knock your socks off. This is in no way final - just trying to visualize. If you have suggestions, please don't hesitate to shoot me an email. I've got all winter to plan my rig!

To complete this project, I'll need the following:
-Small Mast Step Plate (3 1/2" x 5")
-Ronstan Series 40 Deck Organizer with 2 Sheaves (2)
-Harken Carbo-Cam® Cleat, 1-3/32"H (2)
-Harken Wire Fairlead, 1-1/4"H for Cam Cleat (2)

Of course, I'll need the appropriate line, but the hardware listed should work great. There are currently 2 Harken cam cleats on the boat, so I only need 2 more. I'm planning on buying all new halyards. I haven't chosen a line yet but I'm leaning towards New England Ropes VPC™ Line.

Time to break out the single malt! Cheers!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Jep is resting peacefully for the winter

Today was the most dreaded day of the season. Yep, It's Jep got put away for a long winter slumber.

I woke up this morning around 8:30 and got all of my cleaning supplies and such loaded into my car. I had to make a quick stop at Pick'n'Save to pick up some booze for Chad since he's been such a tremendous help this season. I made my way over to EZ-Storage thinking to myself, "Thank God this is the last time I ever have to come here!" As I rolled my window down to punch in the code to open the gate, the terrible smell of the WE Energies coal plant hit me like a bag of oranges. It took me a few attempts to get the trailer hooked up since I was alone. After I checked the trailer lights and did a final inspection of the rig, it was time to roll.

The drive from Milwaukee to Mukwonago is roughly 40 minutes. Luckily traffic was light. I'm not overly confident in my trailer tires so I try and take it as easy as I can down the highway. The boat pulled well. I made it to Chad's without any problems around 1030.

Chad and I got down to business right away. We finished sanding my hull as prep work for the bottom painting job that will be completed this spring. That took us approximated 45 minutes, then it was on to power washing the deck. Since that is one man job, Chad winterized his motorcycles as I cleaned.

While I was starting to clean the port side of the deck, I looked up and saw two of Chad's neighbors. These clowns were driving their riding mowers over while drinking some delicious beverages. I couldn't help but laugh. Like Harley's, they lined their riding mowers up in Chad's driveway and came to visit for 45 minutes or so. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to take a break and have a couple brewskis. After some talk of sports and politics, Brian and Paul headed back on their "hogs" as Chad and I folded my sails. If I have neighbors like that, I anticipate my transition from city-slicker to suburban delinquent will be quite smooth!

After I washed the hull, Chad got the wood on top of the companionway off. The previous owner must have used a two sided tape or some sort of glue to adhere the wood to the deck. Neither of us could see the logic as all you need to do is put marine silicone in the holes to keep the deck water tight. Nevertheless, Chad got both pieces off. We next used a shop vac to suck out all excess water from the bilge compartment. Finished! We cleaned up and I got on the road over to my storage location.

Once I got to the pole barn, James, the owner, pulled up and helped me get the boat into the barn with his tractor. I pulled off all of the exterior wood so I could again refinish and make look new again.

I pulled away from the barn and sat in silence for a good 10 minutes. Can't wait for spring!