Various things I’ve been thinking about or doing:

  • There comes a time in each married man’s life when he must step forward and proclaim his rightful place as … the Grillmaster. That time has come for me. Soon, I will purchase a new grill, a family man’s grill, and upon it much meat will be cooked and feasted upon by my family. And it will be this grill, the Weber Performer Charcoal Grill.

    There are two kinds of grill: propane and charcoal, and with apologies to Hank Hill, I have decided that I will be a charcoal man. Propane is quick starting but it is difficult to control for zone cooking and because propane is a liquid and releases a tiny bit of moisture when combusted, it isn’t good for dry heat cooking.

    With the use of a charcoal chimney, it can be quick lighting, and with hardwood charcoal, it will be darn tootin’ good eats.

  • So I used to be the proud owner of a Palm Tungsten E2. I say, “Used to,” because not five months after buying it, I cracked the screen. Oh I had it in a nice leather case, but that doesn’t do you any good if you have it in your coat pocket and you lean against the corner of a table.

    Of course, you know what I had to do: Upgrade! Having spent five months with the E2, I was aware of its limitations and decided that instead of replacing it I would get the next model up the product scale: a Palm TX. It has a huge screen that allows the handwriting area to slide away, the screen can be rotated to landscape mode, it has built-in WiFi in addition to Bluetooth.

    Don’t let it be said that I don’t learn from my mistakes. I also bought a hard metal case to protect it, which came in handy today when I dropped it on the floor. D’oh!

    Incidentally, anyone want to buy a slightly used Palm Tungsten E2?

  • My cell phone is a Motorola V551. It’s a nice little phone with Bluetooth, a camera, web connectivity and so on. The only problem is that in combination with my service provider Cingular it does a terrible job in my house. Outside the house, I’ve never had a problem anywhere, but at home I have to stand near the window in the back bedroom or on the front porch in order to have a conversation.

    Well, I used to have to do that, until I got the new extendable antenna from Now I can get excellent connections right from my desk and when I leave the house I can just retract the antenna and no problems. Sweet.

  • I know the old saying is that if you don’t like the weather in New England just wait 15 minutes, but this is ridiculous. Last Friday it was mid-70s, warm enough for even my Texan wife to walk outside without a coat (albeit she is pregnant with a portable space heater). But today it was snowing!

    Are we going to pay for our mild winter with a wooly spring? I hope not.

Okay, now that I’ve cleared out the my mental garage, back to my usual carping on the news, including something about Massachusetts’ new universal health coverage. Now we can have health care as good as they have in Britain and Canada! Yay!

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • You’ll love the Weber Performer.  Last year, Crate and Barrel had a kiwi green model that I bought dh for his birthday. Too cool.  Sadly this year they only have “dove grey.”  Because I don’t always have the patience to wait for dh to use the Performer, he also has the Weber Genesis Silver “C”

      Yep – he’s definitely the grill master here, although ds has been a worthy apprentice.  He inherited dh’s previous grill when we bought the Webers for our new home, and now grills for his sister during the school year.

  • Dom, Before you buy the Weber, I would suggest that you check out the Big Green Egg.

    I just finished smoking 32 pounds of pork shoulder one day, while searing a steak at 850 degrees the next day.  You can read about it on any serious bbq blog.

  • Grilling is definitely man’s work.  My husband has nearly worn out the third gas grill, and there were the charcoal grills before gas (which I don’t miss for a moment).

    Periodically he offers to show me how to light the thing, and periodically I go into my dumb wife act. 

    Grilling is definitely man’s work.

  • I have been a charcoal guy forever, but I’m going gas this year.  Weber.  I visited a friend’s house last year and he was done cooking by the time I would be dumping the coals from the chimney into the bottom of my Weber bbq.

    Plus, the coals burn out too quickly, so if you have to put something back on the grill, you’re stuck.

    One griller’s opinion.

  • Use a Big Green Egg with Natural Lump Charcoal…it lights faster and easier and burns hotter than regular charcoal.  I have mine ready to cook in about 12 minutes, which is about how long most people heat up their gas grills and you don’t get the good flavor.  But perhaps real wood cooking is only for those who recognize that the word “bar-b-que” is a noun. grin

  • Dom, you can also make some seriously good wood fired pizzas in the egg…try that on a gas grill or a weber.  I’m trying to appeal to the Italian in you.

  • Actually for smoking meat, Alton Brown recommends a terracotta planter. He used the cardboard box for smoking fish. (My wife says my three favorite words in the kitchen are “Alton Brown says…”)

  • Dom—you really should opt for the Treo 650—it’s Palm based, has a nice big full-color screen, and the best part is it combines your PDA and phone in one piece of hardware.  I’ve had it for about 3 months now, and it’s awesome.  Fits easily in your pocket.  Not sure if Cingular offers it, but I have Verizon and rarely does it drop a call.

    Just my two cents’ worth.

  • Ah yes, I meant to mention the Treo and other smartphones because I knew someone would mention them. I decided not to go that route because I just don’t like the shape. You can’t really hold it to your ear like a regular phone (and if you want to access the info on it while your on a call…).

    So why not get a headset, you ask? Because headsets are inconvenient. If you get a wired one, the wire gets tangled in your pocket and then when you get a call you have to wrestle with it. A wireless one? I’ve broken two so far. See my post about the broken Palm Tungsten. grin

    I’m all for multitasking, but sometimes you need to separate different functions into different tools.

  • Dom – you’ve gotten me thinking about a PDA. Does anyone have an opinion on the Palm LifeDrive?

  • Mike,

    I didn’t really look too closely at the LifeDrive because it just seemed like a more expensive TX with a 4GB hard drive. I don’t need an MP3 player or a mobile photo viewer. And if you’re going to be dealing with lots of documents on the go, you really need a keyboard.

    But if you don’t want to lug around even a subnotebook, don’t want a smartphone, but want a mini computer, it might be the way to go.