Today we went to Eric and Diane's house for lunch/dinner and a new game.  Eric cooked an 11 lb brisket on his big green egg (12 hour cook time) and it turned out really good.  I made fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits.  

I made the fried chicken and buttermilk biscuit recipes from Thomas Keller's book Ad Hoc at Home.  Since I cooked two whole chickens and an additional 2 lbs of chicken breasts with this recipe it took me much longer than expected to finish up and I got over to their house about 1.5 hours late.  So next time I do this fried chicken recipe I will only do the 2 whole chickens and give myself 3 hours to do everything.  Another thing about the implementation this time was that the recipe called for garlic powder but I was out, so instead I went with a slightly smaller amount of granulated garlic.  I also was out of paprika and used cinnamon instead which gave the fried chicken a slight cinammony aftertaste.  

This was my second time making the fried chicken and I think next time it will be even better as long as I remember what I did this time and improve on it.  
Back in February Timber and I went to Death Valley National Park for a few days of camping, hiking, biking, off-roading, and exploring. I put together a trip page about it here. I highly recommend checking out Death Valley when it is not super hot because there is a lot to see and do there, and you generally will not run into crowds. :-)


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Clouds Rest HIke

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Over Labor Day weekend Timber and I did Clouds Rest in Yosemite National Park as a day hike.  It was a lot of fun, and I've posted details of the trip here.

Tioga Pass Ride

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In early June Timber and I finally made a run for Tioga Pass so that we could ride our road bikes over it since we had been talking about doing it for the past few years. We missed the weekend when the road was closed to cars but open to bikes (it was only opened up to Olmstead Point). We left the house really early, and when we got there we debated on where we should start from. I had the thought that we had to do a minimum of 70 miles on the ride but Timber wanted the ride to be as short as possible. After stopping to look at bears a few times we finally decided on a place to start, got our gear set, and rode. We started by going up hill for a while, then finally got a break from the climbing and went down a for a while. The entire ride was a lot of up and down, and by the time we got to Olmstead Point we decided that there was no need to go any further. We sat under a tree and had our lunch in the view of Half Dome and Clouds Rest. After that we turned around and worked our way back to the car. Our total ride was about 27 miles. Luckily for us there were not a lot of cars on the road because there are places where the shoulder is very small. Overall I would recommend the ride because the scenery is beautiful but you should be careful because the road can be narrow at times and drivers may be paying more attention to the scenery than the road. Our photos are posted here.

Donuts for Dessert?

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Over the weekend Timber and I had a nice dinner at the 19 Kitchen Bar at the top of the Harvey's Casino in South Lake Tahoe. After dinner was nearly done, we checked out the dessert menu and saw that it had doughnuts on it. I guess doughnuts is the spelling for fancy places and donuts is the spelling for donut shops. This tells me that donuts/doughnuts are moving up in the world. :-)


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This is a test....
I was just thinking about it, then I checked my blog, and sure enough, there have been no new blog entries in over month.  I think I know why.  It is because when something happens that I want to let other people know about, I've been using twitter for that.  I just checked and I've done about 80 tweets over that period of time.  I wonder if other people have changed their habits similarly after joining twitter?

Carlsbad Half Marathon

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A long time ago, September to be exact, Timber approached me with the idea of doing a half marathon.  I had to think for a minute to remember what distance a half marathon is (13.1 miles), and I did remember all I could do is grunt.  As it turned out Diane was signing up for it and wanted to know if we were interested in doing it too.  I vaguely remembered that doing a half marathon was on my 2010 goals list for the year, so I said "sure".  After that we started planning for it, finding training plans, and started training.

We found Hal Higdon's Half Marathon Training Program and set the timing for the training.  We started the training on November 1st, and it ended on January 20th.  We didn't do all the training that was called for, but I'd say we did a pretty decent job of following the guidelines.

When it came to setting goals my goal was simple, just finish.  Timber was a little bit more ambitious.  She wanted to finish in under 3 hours.

When the race finally started we both felt pretty good and had a pretty good pace for the first few miles.  By mile 5 or so I started feeling like Timber was going to pull away from me.  By mile 7 or so I started my first bit of walking, and by mile 10 I started walking more than I was running.  Every time, however, I was motivated to pick up the pace again so that I could keep up with Timber.  She was a machine, and she ran much faster than I expected.  By the time we were nearly done my right knee was hurting and my legs were starting to stiffen up, but we ran for the last bit and crossed the finish line holding hands.  I hope I can track down a picture of that finish because I think that it will be a metaphor for our future together. 

And by the way, we did finish in just under 3 hours.  Here are the stats:
Total Race Time = 2:58:15
Total Pace =
My ranking for my age group =
M 30-34: 439 out of 453
My ranking for all men =
2540 out of 2711
My overall ranking =
6266 out of 7105

Timber's stats:
Total Race Time = 2:58:16 (not sure why she is 1 s behind me since we held hands as we crossed the line)
Total Pace =
Her ranking for her age group =
734 out of 831
Her ranking for all men = 
3727 out of 4394
Her overall ranking =
6267 out of 7105

Here are my Nike+ stats:
Distance = 12.77 miles (not sure why it didn't give me the full 13.1 miles)
Time = 2:50:45 (this was how long I spent running/walking), the difference between this and the other time is the time I spend stopping for the restroom and stopping to stretch
Pace = 13'22'' mile
Calories = 2208

Yesterday we took the day off from work and flew down to Orange County in preparation for our half marathon.  We met up with Eric and Diane and spent most of the day in Disneyland, and a little bit of time in California Adventure.  It was raining off and on throughout the day, which meant that we didn't have to wait in line for most of the rides.

Rides that we rode:
Star Tours
Space Mountain
Nemo's Ride
Matterhorn Bobsleds
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Splash Mountain
Pirates of the Caribbean
Indiana Jones
CA Adventure - Soarin' Over California
CA Adventure - California Screamin'
CA Adventure - Twighlight Zone Tower of Terror
Space Mountain

May 2011

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Contact Info:
email: tom.carroll[at]
Y! IM: tomcarroll_95123
AOL IM: parb0y77
Skype: troutm8
Campfire: link


Adventure Race
Desolation Wilderness
Eastern Sierras
Half Dome
Hetch Hetchy
John Muir Wilderness
Lost Coast
Mount Shasta[2][3]
Mount Whintey
Prairie Creek Redwoods SP
Skyline to the Sea Trail
White Mountain Peak[1][2]
Clouds Rest