Sunday, January 6, 2013

Venison Jerky

This is one of my favorite venison jerky recipes

1 Cup soy sauce
1/8 Cup Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
2-3 fresh Habanero or Serrano peppers - Minced
2-3 fresh Jalapeno peppers - Minced
2-3 dried Chinese red peppers (the long skinny ones) - Minced
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
10 turns course ground pepper
1/2 cup water (I will usually rinse out my mini-chopper and measuring cups and count that as the water)
2 pounds thin sliced venison
1 gallon zip-loc bag

Directions: Trim all fat and sinew off meat. Cut into thin strips approx. 1/4 inch or thinner. Mix all ingredients together in zip-loc bag. I prefer to mix in bag because if you mix in bowl and then pour to bag many of the spices stay in the bowl. Add meat and marinate in refrigerator for 48 hours. Dry 6-8 hours.

Meat in bag ready to refrigerate
In refrigerator for 48 hours.  I turn and mix every 6-12 hours.
The end result after drying 6-8 hours.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Texas Poetry


The devil wanted a place on earth,
A sort of a summer home;
A place to spend vacation,
Whenever he wanted to roam.

So he pondered and picked out Texas,
A place both wretched and rough;
Where the climate was to his liking,
And the cowboys hardened and tough.

He dried up the streams in the canyons,
And he ordered no rain to fall;
He dried up the lakes in the valleys,
Then baked and scorched it all.

When over his barren country,
He transplanted shrubs from hell;
The cactus, thistle and prickly pear,
The climate suited them well.

Now the home was much to his liking,
But animal life, he had none;
So he created crawling creatures,
That all mankind would shun.

First he made the rattlesnake,
With it's forked and poisonous tongue;
Taught it to strike and rattle,
And how to swallow it's young.

Then he made scorpions and lizards,
And the ugly old horned toad;
He placed spiders of every description,
Under rocks by the side of the road.

Then he ordered the sun to shine hotter,
Hotter and hotter still;
Until even the cactus wilted,
And the old horned toad took ill.

Then he gazed on his earthly kingdom,
As any creator would;
He chuckled a little up his sleeve,
And admitted that it was good.

'Twas summer now and Satan lay,
By a prickly pear to rest;
The sweat rolled off his swarthy brow,
So he took off his coat and vest.

"By Golly," he finally panted,
"I did my job too well;
I'm going back where I came from,
'Cause Texas is hotter than Hell."

Author Unknown
I was told an Aggie wrote this. I guess they finally got something right.

Friday, December 21, 2012

How to Build Kayak or Canoe Outriggers Stabilizers

This is a step-by-step of how I made my own canoe/kayak outriggers.  I got the idea for these off ebay.  Cost on ebay is around $155 - $165.  When it was all said and done I probably saved around $75 - $85.  Keep in mind the ones on ebay do not include the Scotty portable clamps which added $47 to my cost.


  • Willapa Marine Shrimp Buoy (2-Pack) - Amazon $17.60
  • PVC Pipe
  • PVC primer and glue
  • PVC caps
  • PVC step down piece to go from large to small pipe
  • Scotty rod holder x 2 - Amazon $18.49 each
  • Scotty portable rod holder clamp mount (gunnel mount) x 2 - Amazon $23.66 each

Step 1.

 Assembled all of my PVC joints and cut PVC into manageable lengths.

Step 2.

With a rubber mallet hammer the PVC pipe though the buoy then turn over and pound on ground until an inch or so is sticking out the end.

Step 3

Glue the buoys into the coupling.  Don't worry about any excess length you can slide to buoy down to close any gap.

Step 4

Cut excess pipe from pointed end of buoy and glue on pvc cap.  Be sure to watch your length here to long and the cap doesn't fit flush

Step 5

Glue larger diameter pvc piece into coupling.  Attach the scotty rod holder with a D-shaped pin and your ready to go.
I used gunnel wall clamps, but I have seen people mount a piece of aluminum or wood across the canoe and mount directly to that.

How to Built Thwarts for a Canoe

One of my canoes is an Old Town Guide/Discovery 119.  I wanted to add rod holders for fishing so I searched the and found a YouTube video of a guy that had put flush mount rod holders behind the seat in the thwart.  Decided to do the same thing and here is how I built them.  I built wider thwarts for both the rear and front.  In the rear I am putting flush mount rod holders and in the front I am mounting Scotty bases for rods, outriggers, gps, etc. Parts 1 piece of ash $16 2 flush mount rod holders $12 ea Planer / Rasp $9 2 bolt sets from Old Town $4 ea (ended up not needing these, but since already on order I will add them later) 60 grit and 220 grit sandpaper 1 can polyurethane $6 Step 1 Remove the old thwart and use it as a template for your length.  Cut out the new thwart.  Rip it to your desired width and start shaping the edges to round them.

Step 2

Make sure the thwart fits properly, this took the most time sanding, trimming, sanding and trimming.  Place the old piece on top of the gunnel and run the bolts through to make sure it is in the right spot.  Then place the new piece under and align for proper placement.

Step 3

Drill new holes and insert bolts.  Now place your template for the rod holders and trace your cutout.  Be sure to also mark the angle the cut needs to be made at.  If you drill straight down you will be starting over from scratch.

Step 4

Remove thwart and cut the holes.  Don't forget they have to get cut at an angle so the rod holder will sit flush.

Step 5

Hang and polyurethane the new piece.

Step 6

Even though these rod holders have caps I still drilled two small holes in the low side of the rod holder just in case any water get in.

Now just install the thwart and rod holders and your ready to go.

I also added a pad eye to the center of the thwart to attach a bungie so the seat won't fold down all the time.

Guatemala Medical Mission Summer 2012

May 7, 2012 - Day one - Our first full day in Guatemala City.  To familiarize us with the environment we took in a few sights.  Not tourist sights, but missionary sights.  We first went to another mission where George runs a program called Only A Child.  His mission is to help get children off the streets.  While this is a small program he has had some amazing results.  One of his true success stories is that one of his kids is now in law school. From there we went to a cemetery that overlooked one of the city dumps.  Now I knew going into this trip that people worked in the dump, but I was not prepared for what I saw.  I have heard it said that a picture is worth a 1000 words so take a look at this. As the yellow garbage trucks come down the road the people rush to the truck and place their hand on the side to save their place.  When the garbage dumps out the people rush to find anything of value.  Large bags are filled with recyclables or anything that they might be able to sell.  Then the long walk out of the dump. After the dump we visited a family of seven.  All of them lived in a one room shack.  No running water, one light, no stove, dishwasher, microwave or any other of the comforts I am used to seeing.  It is hard to put into the words the rough condition of this place.  The room was about 20' x 15',  three beds, and one table.  The roof was tin and light shown through numerous holes. After the house visit we returned to the mission for dinner, devotion, and some much needed rest. May 8, 2012 - Day Two- 8am devotion led by the Guatemalan missionaries.  9am we pile into the van for our first day of medical service.  Our destination was a small village just outside of Amatitlan.  When we arrive there are already over 40 people waiting to be seen by our medical team.  We get set up and start seeing patients very quickly.  Today I worked in the "pharmacy" with one of the nurse practitioners.  I put pharmacy in quotes because to even call it that is laughable.  Basically we had a table with medications in boxes ready to hand out to the patients.  I would guess that we saw well over 100 patients that day.  Two interesting cases were a suspected deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and a stage IV pressure ulcer.  If you are unfamiliar with pressure ulcers stage IV is bad; "full thickness tissue loss with exposed bone, tendon, or muscle.  Slough or eschar may be present on some parts of the wound bed.  Often include undermining and tunneling" (  One of the hardest things to wrap my head around it that there are not a lot of options for medical care for these people.  Countless times we recommended someone to see a doctor or go to the hospital and they just looked at us like we were crazy.  Other common reasons for coming to the clinic were headaches, worms, diarrhea,  dehydration, and malnutrition. Day 3 - Wednesday May 9, 2012 Today we saw the beauty of Guatemala.  The village of Buena Vista is located about 2 hours outside of Guatemala City and it's like being on a whole other plant.  Sugar cane fields stretched out across the landscape and large trees sprung up and appeared to never stop.  Think about any movie that shows South or Central American jungle and that's the feeling you have driving in this area.  Dogs, pigs, chickens, and ducks wonder freely around the village.  The people are welcoming and happy.  We all quickly realized the elevation change from the 5000 ft above sea level to maybe 200' above sea level.  It was hot and humid, bugs were everywhere, and we were already sweating through our scrubs. After arriving we set up out tents and tables and began to see patients.   Over the next four hours we saw over 75 patients.  Most symptoms were that of colds, pain, diarrhea, and a few high blood sugars.  There were a surprising amount of birth defects in this small village.  We saw a cleft pallet, deafness, a skin disorder, and a deformed ear.  For those of you that might be thinking about a medical mission don't worry it's not all work and no play.  After the clinic was over Kevin, the leader of Groundwork Guatemala, took us on a hike through the jungle down to the river.  We stopped along the way to see the rubber trees and then proceeded to the river.  The walk was down and back up a pretty steep hill.  On arrival at the river there was a woman washing clothes on a rock, she said she does this every day.  I can't imaging having to walk up and down that hill every time I needed water, sure makes you appreciate your sink at home. Day 4 - Thursday May 10, 2012 Back to the city.  We spent the day in Amatitlan at Gonzales Park.  Now when I think of a park I imagine tress, grass, maybe water.   Not in this case; Gonzales Park is a concrete slab between two buildings.  We set up our tents and away we went.   Again we probably saw around 150 patients.  The entire area seemed to be infested with lice.  Almost every patient had easily visible knits in their hair.  We saw 2 cases of Viracella Zoster Virus a.k.a. chickenpox and one case of hand, foot and mouth disease.  Today was also the day of high blood sugars.  Two patients reading in the 400-500 range and one that just read "HI".  A "HI" reading indicates that the blood sugar is over 600.  Amazingly enough when I told the patient she needed to go to the hospital right away she informed me she had just been released from the hospital yesterday.  It is unbelievable that you can be released from a hospital with a 600+ blood sugar having never been treated with insulin. The VBS was a big hit as usual, but today was special.  May 10th is Mother's Day in Guatemala.  So for a special treat the mission arranged to have clown come to paint faces and entertain the kids. Day 5 - Friday May 11, 2012 Hard to believe it's our last day of medical care.  Another early morning leaving the house by 7am.  A 2+ hour drive has us near the area of Buena Vista again.  We are at a small town called XaYa.  Unfortunately this town only receives medical care from Groundwork Guatemala once or twice a year when they have medical missionaries.  The mayor of the town was very gracious and helpful, he really appeared to have a true concern for his  people.  He opened his home to us to provide medical care and helped organize the people waiting to be seen.  Again most of the cases we saw were malnutrition, pain, colds, and water born disease.  There was one severe case of Varicella Zoster Virus that will most likely leave the young girl scarred for life.  For some reason today the act of telling these poor people they needed to see a doctor and it would never happen really hit me hard.  I am used to being able to get what care I need and knew coming here that not everyone was so lucky, but seeing it first hand has truly given me an appreciation for what we have here. After the clinic was over the mayor took us behind his house to a tall coconut tree.  A young boy climbed up and started chopping down coconuts.  They then opened them up for us and we all sat around sweating and drinking coconut milk.  Today was a good day, back in the beauty of Guatemala helping those who needed our help.        I grew up in the Lutheran Church.  My family regularly attended a local Austin church and like most kids I went along for the ride.  Elementary school was at a private Baptist school where I attend through the 6th grade.  I was given a good foundation to grow my faith. Somewhere along the way between junior high and high school I lost my faith in the church.  I never lost sight of God, but my shadow rarely darkened the threshold of a church.  As I grew older and my distance with the church increased my faith decreased.  I questioned even the existence of God. One of my problems with organized religion is that everyone feels their way is the only way.  I am a believer that it does not matter to God if you are Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, etc.  A believe in and love for God is what is important!  I truly believe that there is only one God and we all worship him in our own way.  It is not for one man to decide how another man worships. My first medical mission trip was through Concordia University to Guatemala.  The missionaries we stayed with run a mission called Groundwork Guatemala.  I went on this trip because it was required and I figured it would be a fun vacation.  Both of those things were true, but it was so much more.  I will get into the actual medical side of the trip in a later post, but for now I want to focus on the spiritual part. Along on the trip with us were four students studying various Christian faith majors and one of their professors.  Richard, Morgan, Kasey, Allison, and the professor Pat all played a major role in my life.  Keep in mind these kids are just that, kids; their ages ranged from 19-24.  The mission had morning devotion at 8am and the Concordia group had another devotion in the evening.  To put it mildly I was not happy about this and resented every time I had to go. Now I don't know exactly when or how it happened, but little by little my attitude began to change.  Maybe it was to old saying fake it till you make it, but soon I almost looked forward to our evening devotion time.  Richard and I had several conversations about the church, God, and the bible.  I challenged his beliefs and he never swayed.  He may not have had answers or rebuttel to all of my questions, but he made a good attempt.  Morgan has the most amazing personality, just bubbly and happy all the time.  At first it made me sick.  Soon it made me want to be more like her.  Morgan has an infectious smile and every time she smiled I did too.  Allison, Kasey, and Pat all influenced me throughout the trip, by showing me that I didn't need to be afraid to love God.  It's ok to say "I Love God" The Guatemalan people that we worked with all showed me their faith in and love for God.  These people were so poor; they had nothing, no food, few clothes, a shack with leaky a roof for shelter, little or no money, but still everyone of them seemed rich with faith.  I on the other hand had everything compared to these people, but am lacking in the one thing that is important...spirituality. At the end of our trip I felt an amazing sense of something I don't know what, but it felt good.  I was also full of fear, fear that I am going to lose this good feeling what I got home and returned to my daily routine.  I am trying to do at least one thing a day to remind myself of that feeling.  This journal is one of those things.  The night I returned home when I put my daughter to bed and read her a story we stopped and prayed together.  I don't recall the last time I had said a prayer prior to that night.