Thursday, May 16, 2013

Smoking Brisket and Camera Research

Friendship is always a sweet responsibility never an opportunity.

__Jwily1Tuesday started out being an absolutely gorgeous day.  As the day wore on a few clouds started coming into the area.  However, that didn’t stop the photography session Jordan and I had planned.  She wanted additional senior pictures to go out with her graduation announcements.  It was off to Lake Sacajawea in Longview and 196 pictures later, we were done.  She stood, leaned or sat on nearly every place we thought might be a good background.  With a little cropping, Photoshop for loose hairs and tone mapping, this is what she liked best.

__Jwily4 1_Jordie_2 _Jordie_4 1_Jordie_3
__Jwily1 __Jwily2 __Jwily3 __Jwily5
Now aren’t you glad I didn’t post 196 of them???

Have you ever received messed up insurance papers?  You know the kind.  They are the ones that you can’t tell where the figures are coming from and it looks like you owe a lot of money.  That’s what’s been going on with my brother and he certainly doesn’t understand why he owes so much. Actually he doesn’t but we spent a good deal of Wednesday trying to get this figured out for him.  He was so upset he had decided he didn’t need his medicine and he wasn’t going to keep all those doctor appointments.  We made a trip into Vancouver.  After going through all his paperwork we also made a trip to the VA.  That's who was billing him.  At least now he has peace of mind.  By the time we were through he was even comfortable picking up his prescriptions from the pharmacy and rescheduling the doctor appointments.  Whee …. another future catastrophe averted!

Another test for our smoker was in the works on Thursday.  This time it was brisket … the true 0brisket1test of a good smoker. At least that’s what I read.  Brisket is the leveling ground.  If you can do a good brisket, you’re just downright GOOD!  We knew it would probably be a full day’s project and it was.  The night before a rub was applied to the brisket.  It was then wrapped in foil and refrigerated.  In the morning the smoker was readied with mesquite wood chips that had been soaked, steaming water in the pan and a temperature of 200F.   The final pre-task was applying a mop of Sweet Rays Barbecue Sauce to the brisket and inserting the wireless thermometer in the meat.   About every 45 minutes we applied another coat of mop, continually trying to maintain a good temperature in the smoker.  


We hadn't tasted brisket until we moved to Texas.  During the family reunions we had in Kerrville, we always had goat.  Brisket can be tough.  It can be very tough but it also can be so  tender it’ll almost fall apart in your hands.  Obviously, we didn’t want tough.  We wanted tender  .  Several hours later …. that’s just what we had.  Wow … we are good!  We have lots of leftovers too.  Of course, they'll be passed around to the kids so they can brag about us too.  Isn't that how it works?

We have so many hummingbirds around here.  I’m sure it also helps to have three hummingbird feeders out too.  Hummingbirds certainly move fast and the males are all dive bombing each other.  It's quite interesting to watch.  I wish they’d just stop long enough for me to get super pictures but they don’t. Getting a good picture has been my challenge.  There is a red one that is very evasive.  I need a tripod, a remote and a faster shutter speed to get him.  Then, I also need to hide.

I love taking pictures of birds and I love looking at the pictures of them that other bloggers post.  It’s not only the birds.  I also love taking pictures of wildlife … well, and landscapes and grandkids.  I guess you could say I just like taking pictures.  


I’ve had great cameras when we did so much traveling.    I used to be a camera addict. That's past tense.  I’ve had the SLRs and DSLRs with all the lenses. It’s just too much to carry … been there, done that and don’t want to do that again.    So, I’ve been researching …. again.   There are just some functions I must have.  Most good point and shoot cameras come with some necessary functions but in addition to fairly common ones, I also would like the following:

Canon, Nikon or Sony only
Ability to bracket
Shutter Speed 1/4000
High ISO
30X + optical zoom with wide angle
Small and Lightweight
RAW Mode  (?)
Canon, Nikon or Sony
Remote  (?)
12 MP +

Even though I would like to have a RAW mode option, I guess I can live without it and the same for the remote.  However, the other items listed above I’m not willing to budge on.  Top choice at the moment is the Sony HX50V which is due to be released the end of May.  So now I just have to decide if I really need another camera or not.  Hmmm…

I’ve mentioned before how our grocery bill has jumped.  Here are a couple other critters we’ve been feeding besides the birds.
Even though we have a deer feeder out front, this deer is after bird seed.
This is our kind of friendly feral cat.  He's smarter than the others.  He comes and waits for a handout.  Then, he relaxes until there's more.

That's it!!

‘Tis life on the road.


  1. Wading through the camera choice mine field can really become a nightmare. Way too many choices. I did like the pictures you posted today.

  2. She is a natural talent for a photo session!

  3. America's next top model, for sure! Nice pictures, you could have posted all 196 of them. You do need a new camera, you wore out your old one during Jordi's modeling session.

    I certainly understand your brother's confusion with the VA. They are the masters of making easy things hard. So nice of you to help him straighten everything out. Now could you help me with my VA stuff? ;c)

  4. Excellent photo session of Jordan>
    Camera choices can be very difficult. I am sure will find the right one for you.
    Me, I like my pocket sized point and shoot, for the convenience of always being ready to go.
    Not the best quality but I am able to get what I want, when I want.

  5. I truly don't think you could take a bad picture of Jordan. Good luck with your camera search. One of the guys here in our park spent all last winter fighting with the VA. They make it so hard on our older military guys. Sure happy you were able to get it straightened out for him.

  6. Looks like you are getting that smoking close to perfection...just in time for our visit when we drive up the coast in August.

    As for cameras, we currently have 5, 2 SLR's and 3 point and shoots plus our 2 IPhones and of course there is always room for one more...

  7. Enjoying your blog and getting ideas for mine... nice photos. And, thanks for suggesting Live Writer, as did Sandie and another friend, Bobbie. Certainly makes it easier... feel like I made some progress with today's post. Love that we can all stay better connected! Hugs to you both! Dianne & Tom


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