Do You Even Brine?

Do You Even Brine?It’s that time of year where we all gather together and get fat on turkey.

But before the turkey gets to the table and even before it gets to the oven, it needs to be given a bath.

A salt bath.

A brine bath.

If you cook a turkey, this is a key preparation step that will ensure you end up with a delicious, moist bird that has virtually no dry meat. Even the white meat will be flavorful.

And with 2 days until Thanksgiving, the brining starts now.

So get brining!

Mediocre Championship

Mediocre Championship

What do all of these have in common:

- A heavy metal mariachi band
– Tiny Mr. T
– A self-confessed crazy Indian American taxi driver
– Mediocre golfers

If you somehow guessed things present during the Mediocre Golf Association World Championship (MGAWC) in Las Vegas, then you need to go buy a lottery ticket. Right now.

As featured here countless times (1st time, 2nd time, 3rd time), the MGA Tour is where being mediocre is awarded and being too good gets you disqualified and ridiculed. This past weekend marked the culmination of the 2014 season and the inaugural year of the South Orange County chapter of the MGA Tour. And with 6 members of our chapter present, we were hoping to make an impact among the 144 golfers in the tournament.

After blasting through the welcome party with musical guests Metalachi, we dragged ourselves from the Hawaiian-themed California hotel situated on glorious Fremont Street and right into the 1st round of the MGAWC. During this round, I would have the honor of being 1 of 12 players on the World Team competing for the prestigious Medio Cup versus the San Francisco Team. The Medio Cup is a match play competition between 12 of the best members of the founding MGA chapter (San Francisco) and 12 of the best players not in the SF chapter.

For my fourball match, I was teamed up with the defending MGAWC champion, Jason Smith, versus El Presidente of the whole MGA Tour, Jon Morley, and another SF chapter member. After making our way through the course and going back and forth in our match, the champ and I ended up beating them 4 and 3.

We won a point for the World Team!

Ultimately, after the other matches were concluded and the points tallied up, my World Team ended up winning the Medio Cup. So ridiculously awesome to be able to walk away with the Medio Cup and get into the record books.

With the 1st round complete and the Medio Cup in the bag, the 2nd day and 2nd round would soon follow. And this being the Mediocre Golf Association, I, of course, took a serious dive down the overall rankings.

I ended up being 22 shots from a playoff for the Championship. Not so close.

And with that, my first year on the MGA Tour is complete.

- 3 tournament wins
– Top money winner for the South OC chapter
– 1 Medio Cup

And golfing memories that will last a lifetime — mediocre definitely does not describe it.

A Field of Beans

A Field of Beans

If you have been following along on my Project 52, you may remember week 12 and No Excuses.

Need a refresher?

Go ahead and take a look now.

Unfortunately, there is still the need to feed the hungry in Orange County. So again, I was a part of a team of volunteers from my company who dedicated a few hours of our day to help. This time we were tasked to pick green beans from the fields at the Incredible Edible Farm in the Orange County Great Park. This is where the Second Harvest Food Bank grows fresh produce to help feed the continuous stream of hungry people.

By the end of our time, there were thousands of plucked green beans ready to be loaded and trucked away. Eventually, these beans would be served as part of a fresh meal.

Hopefully, one day, this will be a non-existent service. Until then, I will continue to gladly volunteer my time to help.

Just Hanging Out

Just Hanging Out

Hi Willow!

Gooooooal!

Gooooooal

What you’re looking at is a goal. And not just any goal, but a goal that proved to be elusive when we most needed it.

I recently got together a group of guys to start a team in an arena soccer league. The league has it matches on a smaller than normal field — about a quarter of the size of regulation. The field is surrounded by a wall that is in play. Sort of like hockey, but not. There are only 4 players from each team on the field at once without a mandatory goalie.

On such a small field, the action is super quick and non-stop. Transitioning from offense to defense needs to happen in a split second or you risk giving up an easy goal.

With our team members in place and an appropriate team name created, Rice and Beans, we were ready to storm the league.

After making it through the season relatively unscathed, we ran through the competition in the playoffs and right into the Championship game.

Unfortunately, we were not victorious despite our best efforts.

I’m very proud of what we were able to accomplish as a 1st year team. Nobody expected us to make it to the Final game.

So what’s next for team Rice and Beans?

We’re moving up to the regulation arena soccer field where it becomes 6 on 6 and the competition surely gets tougher on a much larger field. It should be another hell of a season.

Look Out Below

Look Out Below

400 feet up in the air in a balloon that’s tethered to the ground. On a clear day, you can see  Catalina Island and up along the coast.

This is the Great Park Balloon in the Orange County Great Park.

While being secured to the ground with the tether may lessen the riskiness of the ride, that didn’t make it any less of an adventure for Zella. Her emotions ranged from sheer elation to arm-shaking fright. At times she was silent and frozen, and then she would transition to non-stop oohing and aahing and gazing out across the ground below.

Getting on the balloon ride was a huge leap of faith for Zella.

Next: Spitting from the edge of the ride.

103

103

- 103 floors
– 1,353 feet above ground
– 70 second elevator ride
– 1.5 million tourists visit per year
– The highest observation deck in the United States

These describe the Skydeck of the Sears Tower (Willis Tower for the new kids on the block).

- 2 hours
– 5 visitors
– Giordano’s catered pizza dinner
– An amazingly clear Chicago night

These describe our truly unique Skydeck experience. We had the entire observation deck to our ourselves, with an endless view of the city lights. Easily stretching out to the neighboring states.

To experience the glass balcony cubes, AKA The Ledge, without any other people to distract us was awesome. These cubes are literally hanging off the side of the building. Stepping into the cube, there is ultimately only a few inches of glass between you and a freefall 103 floors down.

Amazing.

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