7/19/2009

Bizarre Foods II

The crayfish I had caught on our trip to Woods Canyon Lake, had been flash frozen on dry ice. I had brought them back and kept them in my freezer until this weekend. So, after spending an exorbinate amount of money catching these little buggers,
we finally got a chance to cook them up and eat them. Here is what 11 pounds of uncooked crayfish looks like.
I fixed up 2 pots with salt, lemon juice, generic crab boil, hot chili powder and cayenne pepper.
I put 4 pounds in one pot and the rest in the other, boiled the little suckers for 10 minutes and let them sit for 15. I served them up with butter and in small batches so they would stay warm.We all had quite a bit of them, including Sean who really like the tail meat. I even sucked the heads of a couple of them, though I don't know what the big deal is, what you get out of it just taste like the water it was boiled in. It wasn't bad but it wasn't a big thrill either.
These crayfish tasted way better than the frozen ones you used to be able to get from Walmart, not fishy at all. The flavor was closer to actual Lobster than anything else. Plus Woods Canyon Lake is a very clean lake, So I'm not worried about any contamination. My attempts at purging worked very well, but some of the larger ones could have been purged a bit longer. Though the whole meal still only amounted to a lite snack.

7/13/2009

The Man, The Woman, The Lake, and the tiny little water bug things. (Vacation 2009)

07-05-2009 - After many months, Kathi and I finally get a vacation, and a chance to use our trailer for more than a day or two.

After over preparing (and packing everything you could think of) for several weeks, we loaded up the truck and trailer and left for the Aspen campground up on the Mogollon Rim. We left way earlier than we needed so the truck would be less likely to overheat hauling the trailer up the steep grades to get to the Rim (glad I got the towing package).

Kathi slept part of the way up. Since we could not check in at the campground till 2pm, we stopped at the visitors center just up on the Rim. Kathi slept in the car while I sat around and watched the piles and piles of campers leaving from the Woods Canyon lake recreation area. After a while I got board and we drove to Heber to see if my relatives Betty & Russ were at their cabin (they weren't). We stopped by Kathi's cousins cabin which was for sale for $138,000.00.

We checked in at 2pm, setup camp, and crashed for a while.
We went to sleep pretty much when the Sun went down.

07-06-2009 - I was up with the Sun (Kathi was up... and then back down again), and went down to the lake, I set my crayfish trap and also tried catching some using a small fishing pole with a large hunk of chicken on the treble hook. I caught about 5 good ones this way. A couple of hours later I went back to camp and got Kathi. We came back and I did some fishing. I didn't catch any fish but when I pulled in my trap I had 14 crayfish in it. I reset the trap and did more fishing. At one point there was a very young kid on another part of the lake that was trying to catch some minnows. We know this because his parents were trying to get him to come back to the car because they were going home. Brian (we know his name was Brian because his parents kept yelling it across the lake) was wailing and blubbering "I want to catch a minnow". This went on for some time with various family members screaming across the lake that he needed to leave and even promising ice cream, etc. There is nothing more ridiculous than a small child wandering through the mud and water of a lake up to his waist carrying a small bucket and a minnow net, blubbering the whole time that "you hate me", and repeating over and over "I want to catch a minnow". At one point he caught a minnow, then after transferring it to his bucket, he tripped and fell, spilling the minnow, prompting more wailing. Eventually he worked his way out of the lake and left, never realizing his dream of catching a minnow. Around noonish the shade was gone and it got quite warm, so we went back to camp, napped, had dinner, and returned later that day to check the trap. there were only 4 crayfish in it. I baited the trap
and threw it back in the lake.
video
Total crayfish for today 23. I began purging the crayfish at camp using a 5 gallon bucket, and an aerator powered by an inverter and a car battery.

07-07-2009 - Up again with the Sun. Froze the previous days crayfish. Went to the lake and checked the trap and there were 35 crayfish in it plus some minnows. We spent most of the day at the lake. After trying once again to catch a trout using a drop shot, and corn, I decided to try one of the minnows caught in the crayfish trap under a bobber. I finally got some nibbles, and something on the line. I reeled it in and had caught a trout. We checked and baited the trap again that night. there were 3 more in the trap. Total crayfish for today 38. I cleaned and froze the trout in the ice chest full of dry ice.
07-08-2009 - Once more up with the sun. We checked the trap and I had 48 crayfish. I did not reset the trap as it is not productive enough in the daytime. Since I was low on dry ice we drove in to Payson. We stopped at a restaurant called "Tiny's Family Restaurant". where the food was meh. We went on to the Walmart, I picked up some extra shirts, a couple of flashlight bulbs, and some minor fishing supplies. We returned and rented a boat at 10:45 trolled around the lake seeing the sites, and not catching any fish.
Kathi wanted me to take her picture but as the lake was pretty crowded an opportunity did not arise, so she took matters into her own hands.When I went to return the boat, after the first battery died, I connected the second battery. For some reason the boat was reeeeaaaallllly slow. I looked at the battery and noticed the wire on the positive terminal was smoking. It seems the positive lead had worn down to only 2 or 3 little wires. I stripped the insulation and connected the wire again. We were once again on our way at a much higher speed. We got back to camp and I took my daily shower (a trailer with a shower is awesome). I made dinner. For Kathi I cooked up the trout, and I had a Ribeye steak.Kathi also had her daily shower. Back to the lake and set my trap for the night. Although I had been charging the battery for the aerator, the voltage got too low in the middle of the night and the inverters alarm went off. It's a lot of fun freezing crayfish in the middle of the night. The moon was out and high in the sky, so I did not need a flashlight. It was absolutely, totally quite.

07-09-2009 - 4:30 am, up early to take pics..... I SAID 4:30 am up early to take pics.... Come on Robert get your ass up! So I dragged myself out of bed, and woke up Kathi. Those pics are for a later post, here are some pics using Kathi's camera.


Afterwards we checked the trap, and found more than 40 crayfish, but only 32 were keepers.
We returned to camp, charged the battery on the trailer and the one for the inverter (something I did every day). I was a bit bored and so we decided to hike along the side of the lake to the general vicinity of the off limits Eagles nest. On the way we found some very tame chipmunks, and fed them peanuts, pumpkin seeds and raisins (they did not like craisins).
video
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Somewhere along the way we must have brushed up against either some poison ivy. I got a small rash on my right hand and Kathi got rashes above her knees. We returned to camp after picking up some calamine lotion and setting my trap. That night we did some stargazing, and Kathi got to see her first shooting star. I saw 4. We both saw a satellite or possibly the International Space Station. Then to bed.

07-10-2009 - Up with the sun to find that the trap had been pulled in and left in shallow water (by some asshole), but it did have 19 crayfish in it. At 07:40 Kathi rented a boat again and we proceeded to troll around and not catch any fish.
We did however get some pics and video of the eagle and it's nest.
video
We returned to camp for a while, showered and decided to try not catching any fish again. So off to the lake, which was very crowded. I found a shady place next to "Valium dad" and his kids, they may have been the people who messed with my trap as they asked about it. I had not brought any bait. I tried several lures and gave up.
I did catch a minnow with my net and used that as bait. I caught a crayfish accidentally with the minnow, and removed his tale (which continued to flick) and used the meat as bait. I did not even get a nibble. After a while we had to leave as a storm was coming.
We got back to camp and it started to rain. It rained for about a half an hour. So we did some packing, had dinner and went to bed. Sometime in the middle of the night I got a really bad headache. I got up and took a vicodin which helped me get back to sleep. (queue ominous music).

07-11-2009 - Woke up and I still had a really bad headache (not a migraine). I just couldn't do anything. I felt flushed, slightly woozy, but not dizzy. I thought maybe I was slightly dehydrated even though I had drank lots of water all week (in fact almost nothing but water). Kathi did most of the packing. I managed to do some. I drank 2 bottles of water and felt good enough to help complete the packing and get the trailer down, and connected to the truck. We drove to Payson even though I felt miserable. When we got to Payson I followed the signs to an urgent care and saw the doctor there. They checked my blood sugar (120), and did an EKG (normal). They pronounced that nothing was wrong except I was dehydrated or had an electrolyte imbalance. They recommended Gatorade. So we left and picked up some. I drank about a quart and felt better. The drive home was mostly uneventful if not hot, and I did worry about the truck on some of the grades. We got home, unloaded the truck and tried to relax. The total number of crayfish (weighing just under 11 pounds) was about 160 (safely in my freezer), and they only cost me about a couple hundred dollars.

I won't go into what we found in our back room when we got home....

7/07/2009

Jawbone Prime Review

For almost 2 years I have owned one of the original Aliph Jawbones. Recently I thought I had run out of the ear loops. The problem with them is that body oils or sweat causes the rubber to dissolve and the nickle plating to rub off, so you get only about 6 months out of one of them. The other problem with the original Jawbone is that it is very uncomfortable to wear after about 5 hours. So last week I ordered the new Jawbone Prime.

I got it and immediately noticed how small it is (about on half to one third the size). Supposedly you do not need an ear loop to wear one. The buds that come with it are designed to hold it in your ear without them. Well...... That is fantasy. Here is reality.

The only ear bud that would hold the device in my ear was the largest one, but it was so tight it was painful. The other buds would only work (sort of) with the help of one of the loops. I tried wearing it for about a week and gave up. Any movement of my jaw caused it to pop out of my ear. The other major problem is that because I was constantly having to mess with it I was inadvertently hanging up on people and turning the device off. There are 2 hidden buttons on it, both can be pressed accidentally buy just holding the device.

Luckily I found my last ear loop for my original Jawbone. I contacted Aliph for more and they refused to sell me any. I did find some on Amazon.com and other places. I have 2 on order. That should last me at least another year.

Aliph likes to sell the jawbone as some kind of fashion statement or jewelry, instead of selling it based on it's awesome noise canceling abilities. Personally it is not attractive, but that doesn't matter as I couldn't care less if it looked like a wad of gum shoved in my ear as long as it worked and stayed in place. I am not the only one who thinks this. check out their forums for other peoples reactions. I spoke with some people at a local phone retailer and they report that the only people who buy them are those that reasearched them and want them for their noise canceling abilities, everyone else chokes when they see the price.

Maybe in another year I will give them a try, hopefully they will get their act straightened out.