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Everything posted by aowells

  1. Randolph is correct that the institutional objectives of schools are different and the focus of the education is different. He is being a bit ridiculous to state that nothing of any value can come from an A&M education. It's hard to offer the following without sounding like a total dink, but: I went to an "elite" graduate school and I can assure you that I've heard the same type of arguments about how lesser/public institutions (specifically including UT) don't teach one to be a true leader/supreme court justice/master of the universe and that while it may be okay for lesser folks, a school like UT can never compare to those that turns out presidents and nobel prize winners. The whole thing is a lot of pissing on the person below you. Yes there is a pecking order. UT is higher up the mountain than A&M but it isn't the pinnacle. Is A&M still a good school? I don't want to send my kids there, but I have hired an A&M grad before who clearly learned something other than cow milking in CS. Agmaniac - You guys are definitely in the upper half of the SEC academically (for what little that's worth). So feel free to piss all over Mississippi State and let's see if you can crack the top half of the SEC West on the football field.
  2. I like dry, but my daughters prefer them wet so I usually do a couple racks with sauce (their idea of perfection is so sweet it's really a cross between meat and candy - yuck!). Never hurts to do some wet just for variety. Baby backs are the favorite of most non-bbq people and probably your safest best. Pretty and uniform, with nice white meat and very little to trim.
  3. I think that approach mostly works because a 12 hour brisket cook requires a couple dozen beers - which makes the final product largely inconsequential. If we were talking ribs or pork butt, I'd agree that it's that simple. But brisket ain't exactly microwave popcorn. Maybe I just need to practice more...
  4. I concur with lump over briquettes and investing in a good digital thermometer - wireless if you can so that you can keep the lid closed. I've got the same Weber you do and I'm willing to bet the temp on your lid is off by at least 25 degrees, although high or low is an even money bet. Otherwise, it's a great smoker to start on, and is relatively easy to keep at temp. Make sure you get wood chunks and not chips or pellets. The smaller stuff burns up much too quickly - and unless you're really confident that it's dry, don't go picking up branches in your backyard or you can end up with a very acrid taste. Is your smoker the normal size Weber (18.5") or the big one (22.5")? A full brisket is pretty tight on the 18.5". Is this your first time cooking anything on that smoker, or just your first brisket? If it's your first time using the pit, start a couple hours early. Even just getting the fire going can be tough on your first attempt and put you behind schedule (Whatever you do, don't panic and reach for the lighter fluid!). The brisket will keep pretty well in a cooler if it's done early, but you really don't want to explain to your guests that "we'll be ready in a couple hours" and then miss the target. Especially late in the cook, your temperature will rise very, very slowly. It sort of plateaus and sometimes even drops a bit past 160 degrees and can stay there for hours. If you have guests waiting, it can be a disaster. If this happens and you can always foil it to speed things up (the texas crutch) but it kind of ruins your bark. Better to have extra time just in case. If you can justify $70, I also highly recommend a Looftlighter. It's like a hair dryer on steroids that will start your fire inside of a couple minutes. It beats the heck out of stuffing newspaper in a chimney and is a helpful crutch during the cook if you're losing temp and need to recover quickly. (http://www.amazon.com/Looftlighter-70018-Fire-Lighting-Tool/dp/B000WYY65Y) Here's a good scientific explanation of why temp plateaus if you're curious, or if you need to check your sanity when it happens (http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/the_stall.html). Good luck and don't forget to post the pictures. We'll need a shot of the whole brisket and a close-up of the slices and smoke ring.
  5. Damn, I've gone nearly 30 years without trying to spit a loogie and catch it in my mouth. Now I'm thinking about trying it again. Thanks a lot castlebravo!
  6. Good luck. Brisket is tough (or can be if you're not careful). It's about the only thing that still makes me a bit nervous coming off the smoker. If it's your first, don't invite anyone for dinner that you're desperately trying to impress...
  7. Avatar should have been labled "Ferngully, The Last Rainforest: 2149". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104254/plotsummary
  8. Fully agree on Harrison Ford. We all know he can play the over the top blockbuster title character, but it's nice to see that he can also make a more subtle impression from just outside the spotlight.
  9. Dumb and greedy may be too strong. But it seems that many of these kids are not maximizing their expectation when they forfeit eligibility for a long shot at being drafted or possibly making a team. Of course they're entitled to make whatever choice they think is best, it just seems that the choice many are making doesn't seem to give them the best possible shot. So what I'm really wondering is: Is there pressure coming from any direction in particular? Are players consiously trading off a lower probability of making the NFL, for the ability to do it one year sooner (avoid chance of injury and get one more pro year in before the body gives out)? Are the players significantly overestimating their value, and if so why? Or is there another reason I haven't thought of? As I mentioned previously, there are some good reasons a player might declare early even if they're borderline, but I don't think those situation specific reasons explain the number of kids that declare early and end up working at the local dealership.
  10. I liked Ender's Game too. I had read the book ten or more years ago and when I didn't hear much buzz about the movie I just assumed it wasn't very good and didn't bother to go see it. However I recently watched it at home and was very pleasantly surprised. It's based on good sci-fi writing and was well executed. My only caveat is that part of my pleasure could have been based on going in with low expectations. It's no Blade Runner or Alien, but it's definitely worth a watch if you're into sci-fi. Also, is it just me or has hollywood stopped making much real science fiction? By real, I'm excluding anything based on toys, comic books, chick lit and/or movies that have so many sequels that they're more pop-culture parody than real sci-fi (ie. JJ Abrams doing a 7th Star Wars, or a 12th Star Trek). In addition to re-hashes, there now tends to be a lot of space based disaster/horror movies that aren't very well written or thought provoking.
  11. I still can't quite figure out why kids who are unlikely to get drafted declare. Are they just dumb and greedy, or is someone pressuring them into it? Yes everyone wants to think they're exceptional and there may be some incentive for a few shady agents to try and push a bunch of kids to the draft and hope a couple hit, but it just doesn't seem like it should be a problem, yet obviously it is. The only logical reason I can see for a borderline kid declaring, is that he knows he'll never be a top pick and he's coming off an exceptional year that he won't be able to beat because of a major team change, like his QB or coach is leaving and next year looks dreadful. But that should be a handful of kids, not hundreds. Can anybody tell me what the root of the problem is???
  12. King of Kong Wordplay Short Game on Netflix was only okay, but everyone should watch the first half hour to put your golf game in perspective. I believe there's also a DKR documentary from a few years ago on Netflix that was narrated by a recent best actor recipient.
  13. You know there's a hay seed out of frame confused as to which one he needs to milk.
  14. Expelled??? I believe it's a serious area of study at TAMU - agricultural sexual research. I'm sure A&M researchers are the Masters and Johnson of animal-human relations. I'm not sure coach Sumlin has had the course converted to on-line yet though, so it may not be available to the football team...
  15. I'm normally a traditionalisy and I want to get upset at the idea of changing the rules, but PATs really are a waste of everyone's time. During the Superbowl I go to the fridge during PATs and stay put for the commercials, so that tells you something. Maybe not quite to the 25, but I'd be okay with the 15 or the 20. I think you'd ideally like a great kicker to make 95%+, a mediocre one to make 80% and a weak kicker to miss as many as a third. That's just enough to make it worth watching, without totally screwing up the game dynamics.
  16. Another reason Sandra shouldn't have been nominated for best actress: There was only one really emotional scene and I'm pretty sure they just put Sandra in front of the green screen and said: "Imagine you're a rich and successful actress who inexplicably married a philandering douchebag grease monkey. Now imagine that the dirt bag just left you for a tattoo artist with fake boobs and your mother is calling to say I told you so. Now react...and action!" Being constantly close to despair isn't really the same thing as acting.
  17. I can't wait Isampson. It wasn't even the best sci-fi movie George Clooney or Sandra Bullock have been in. At times I had to suspend my disbelief in the way you do when watching Armageddon. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't great and somehow it collected rave reviews. I was quite upset everytime it won an Oscar. Best director??? Seriously, he had two actors on a green screen who gave very mediocre performances and a whole lot of digital effects. Is that really the best work a director did this year?
  18. If they play like the '85 Bears they can show up in nighties and opponents will still be scared.
  19. If they were going to go that funky with the numbers, they should have just used bones.
  20. I'm fine with that as long as they don't send any of the current administration down to Austin to be a "special advisor" to the program.
  21. Huge kudos to DBC, it was a great movie. McConaughey's speech started and ended great, but in the middle it come off as awkwardly lacking in humility. My hero is always myself...??? Anyway, another Oscar for UT!
  22. I read most of it and your initial assessment was predictably accurate. It's definitely not heart warming stuff, but nothing in there completely shocked me. It's really an unfortunate combination of a guy who is accustomed to acting like a complete a$$hole, coming into contact with a kid who took it a lot harder than most football players would. You can't help but feel terrible for Martin, but I didn't see anything in there that led me to believe that Incognito was actually trying to destroy the kid. He's just a stupid ma and in his own mind he probably thought he was toughening Martin up. So yes, Incognito is a deplorable prick, but on the NFL sliding scale of bad behavior, I'm not even sure that puts him anywhere near the top of the list. I'm actually most disappointed that nobody on the team ever stepped up to put Incognito in his place with some of the more blatent stuff. Let's be honest, he may have been the ringmaster of the o-line, but he wasn't the most important or influential leader on the team. Somebody on that team should have put his a$$ down when he started dropping n-bombs (-er, not -a) on the kid and claiming ownership of him. The whole situation is just very disappointing.
  23. This really needs to be probed further. The rest of us need to learn how football success can be achieved through bigotry. Inquiring minds want to know: Is a gay black qb better than a straight white qb? How about a qb who deals cocain? Are rapists a problem on the team? How about someone who shoots their teammates? I guess it's just white skined qbs that you really need to steer clear of. And I think he's actually trying to seem less racist by saying he'd take a white QB if the kid was raised by black parents. WTF??? What a jackass!
  24. I just had a flashback to my last Hawaiian vacation and it occured to me that we might be dead in the water. If he was really serious about making the NFL, he wouldn't be looking at Hawaii - and if he's looking at Hawaii, well, there are some things Austin just can't offer... Hopefully he's really serious about ball and is just enjoying a free vacation, I certainly wouldn't begrudge him that.

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