September 4th, 2005

New Look

One... last... dance. Sunday.

Those of you that have seen me at a party in the last year or four have probably seen me running amok, grilling like a madman, and cooking amounts of steak that would put most vegetarians into a coma. I've done some pretty epic parties, including six this season where we usually average about 30-40 pounds of steak each party. The new Hawkmobile II was even chosen as bigger car so I could haul the entire party, if necessary, to a site, and I've done it more than a few times.

I've done parties of a hundred or more, cooking steak for them all until I literally pass out in a corner somewhere. A man can only grill so much, no matter how much of a fire he has in his belly.

When I do a party, it takes days to prepare for it, and I have to figure out how to get the cuts of meat, marinate it in time, and pull off the seasoning and grilling of scary amounts of beef. I've picked up chunks of steak that make butchers faint and make the cashier's head spin at the cash register. In 2005, I've probably cooked the better part of a cow. But this last season of parties has wiped me out, and I can no longer keep doing it, both physically and financially.

So after thinking about it long and hard, I've decided to stop for awhile. The upcoming party on Sunday afternoon (in about 11 hours) is the last major steak-out I will cook for this season, and for awhile after that. I'm not sure how long that will be, but I need time to sort things out with my life and heal from the health problems that have cropped up in the last year or two. I'm at a point in my career where I really need to retool and pick up new skills in my transition from Build Engineer to a "Real Software Developer" (TM) and that takes a lot of time to retrain and learn. And I can't do it when I have no time, when I'm fried after doing steak runs, marinating, and grilling all the time.
I do too many things in my life, and need to make more time for taking care of things at home.

For those of you that will be at tomorrow's steak blow-out, we have a great show planned, and have been working on it for several days now buying things for it and setting up grills, tents, lighting, tables, and furniture. I just got back at midnight after working on it tonight and Friday night, and it should be a great setup for the party. Kyreeth has picked up a truly scary amount of steak and this will be a fitting finale.

For those of you that have had a chance to sample my steak in the last few years, I hope you've enjoyed it. I hope I've done my part to bring a little more barbeque knowledge to California and share what I learned from all those years of grilling in Kansas.