Saturday, July 29, 2006

Casino Gambling As Entertainment

Occasionally, my spouse and I endulge in a sin known as gambling. Indian casinos abound in Mich., and we can reach one in less than 2 hrs from our home. The experience is more than placing a bet. By observation, you can see why these places draw thousands of people from all walks of life. Most are older, as older people have more discretionary money, and old people don't need marathon fitness levels to push a button. They as humans however, still have a need to compete and hopefully win! Risk is always exciting, because even if you don't win-you were in the game. We keep it to a recreational level, tracking the win/loss so it doesn't get painful. If you can't do this, DO NOT GO. Enjoy your week end! Oh, and if I don't post a blog on how we did-quess what happened!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Working Poor

Today, myself and a couple other fellow workers went over to one of our customers, set up a big grill, and proceeded to feed about 50-60 people. This is a form of customer appreciation we use to thank the customer for his business, at a level all their employees get something too. Manufacturing in West Mich. has suffered the last 6 years, with many going out of business, or downsizing. Alot of those jobs don't pay much anymore, and it gets your attention when you see some of these people eat. They were grateful, and thanked us for our efforts, but I felt like I was feeding people at the local Mission. Try not to look down on someone who doesn't have the brains, or education to get a better job. Some of those people can't do any better, and still get up everyday and try to do the best that they can with what they've got.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Tee Shirts-We Pay To Advertise ForThem!

Just for grins sometime, count the tee shirts you have gathered over the years. Dozens, I bet! It was either funny, or a momento from a trip, or someone gave it to you when they went somewhere. Regardless, this has to be a huge industry based on our need as humans to show everyone WE ARE INDIVIDUALS with opinions on obscure subjects. I have been responsible for a semi obscene one that states; "Buffalo Dick Makes Good Chili" illustrated with a scared cartoon buffalo standing on his hind hooves, covering his groin with his front hooves.(I cook in chili cookoffs, my name is Richard, and we use buffalo in the recipe. Get it?). Over 400 of them out there as far away as Japan.
Wear a nutty tee shirt soon to somewhere- it's a great conversation starter!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Results of BBQ Cookoff......

It went about like always- a few categories done well, most of the rest were middle of the pack, with one really low. We didn't get skunked though, as we finished 4th place in a major category-Brisket! The hard part was that it is the last event they announce before the overall winner, so we sat there not getting anything until the last moment. Very nerve racking after lugging,cooking, and cleaning for the last 30hrs! Not to whine, but the judging seemed a little strange this year- most categories posted lower scores than normal, with a couple of judges being quite a bit tougher than average. Oh well, done til next year!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Next Battle: Michigan State BBQ Cookoff!

Ever since it's inception(big word of day), myself and two friends have participated in this event. We are not professional cooks. We only do one BBQ contest each year, and this is it. We are not sponsored, nor do we have those big rig BBQ cookers you see on the Food Channel. We do all 10 catagories(dessert,potato,beans,veggie,Open class,sausage,chicken,pork,beef brisket, and ribs). In seven years we have taken our share of ribbons, and placed in the top ten of some catagories. It is alot of work, but we come back every year, with new strategies on how we can improve. We will never win with this level of commitment, but we can drive some of the "Big Dogs" crazy with our ability to jump up and take a ribbon or two! People have asked us if we have a restaurant, as most of the competitors make a living from cooking. Our answer is this: No! Too much work for too little money! Alot of the family owned places in W. Mich have gone out of business, mainly from chain restaurants getting so much better. I still seek out the "little guy" when traveling(or at home!) and patronize them. Let's not lose another neat part of Americana.