Monday, January 30, 2012

AZ Weekend

 Because Southwest is awesome and we missed our connecting flight I have time to do this blog post in the airport. (No offense, I love Southwest but the other plane seriously couldn't wait SEVEN minutes?!?)

Because we missed a lot of the family time last summer Scott and I decided to make a special trip to Arizona and see my brother's family. We had such an awesome time! I have about 500 pictures I'd love to share but my blog will only let me upload a few at a time so I'll make this trip 2 posts!

Scott and his cuties! They haven't really been a fan of him in the past but this weekend they LOVED him. Macey, the youngest, even wanted him to hold her and play with her quite a few times. I was really surprised. Maren was also a fan.

This is how we got from one place to the other. If Maren wasn't sleeping then Macey was. 

On Saturday we went minature golfing and it was really fun to see how they did. 9 holes would have been plenty but we played 18 anyway... Macey was really cute because she was very intent on playing correctly. She really did try to put the ball into the hole.

Maren on the other hand didn't have much use for the putter. She much preferred to just place the ball in the hole. Good thing she's so cute!

Both Caleb and Parker did a great job! Parker even got a Hole in One!!!

Showing their tough faces. "Is it going to be this noisy the entire time?" - Caleb

More tough faces.

Racing past the speed of sound.

Trying to catch flies in their mouths.
(Don't you love their faces?!)

With our coupon we got to golf AND pick an activity so the boys did race cars and the girls went with the water tubes. We had a great time except for some punk pre-teens who had a tough time directing their spray AWAY from us.


Maren and Macey had a great time directing our sprays towards the boys.

Sleeping proof that we had a great day!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Friday night we got a last minute invite to be Young Makers at the Exploratorium. We weren't exactly in the target age group but for free admission we were happy to look a bit creepy. (It's hard to look natural at a kid's activity when you don't have kids...)
It took tremendous concentration for Scott to make the biggest bubbles around. He beat out all the other kids!

Scott and Rush worked very well together.

Stepping into the bubble proved to be a bit difficult.

Just 2 boys workin' together.

The future Dr. Spurlock.

Hailey just chilled the whole time and was happy. She's such a good baby!

Scott made an awesome drawing to put up near his desk at school.

And Rushton helped me with mine. I tried to explain about putting your pen in the hole and going around the circle but he had bigger plans.

Working together.

Scott and Melissa were very proud of their arch.

What better way to end the afternoon then soaking yourself in bubbly water!
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Thanks Spurlocks for inviting us! I guess this is going on once a month until April so if you have Young Makers and want to have fun then come check it out.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wooden Wheel

My friend Joel is a certified arborist. For his day job, he works for a tree care company and manages several crews. When they cut down a tree that Joel likes, he takes the wood home and makes them into really cool bowls. This gives him access to many types of woods and gives him a way to recycle. I have joined him a few times to try making a bowl myself. The past few times I have gone to his shop, he has been trying to fix the flat tire from his wheelbarrow. He has tried a handful of solutions from tire repair kits to filling the tire with foam. These solutions never worked too well, so he resorted to what he knows best: spinning wood on his lathe. He started with a very thick piece of plywood and cut it into a circle with his trusty band saw. He then put it on his lathe and lathed away.

As you can see, it always ends up with a huge pile of woodshavings. You can really see them flying off.

The wheel is almost finished. We then drilled a hole in it and put the axle back in...

and voila! The wheelbarrow is as good as new with a wheel that won't be going flat anytime soon.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Christmas 2011

My memories of Christmas stockings are running out one year only to find them still empty. They were just left off the mantle the following years. Scott's family still has them though and his mom outfitted us with cute new stockings and the filling too! (Speaking of his mom, she came out just after Scott's surgery and was a HUGE help. She brought Christmas gifts and all kinds of treats. Thanks Kay!)

Here's Laura with her fancy new iPad.

Dad with his steal-of-a-deal headlight.

My fancy new heating pad that I love.

Mom and her fancy new camera.

Scott and his fancy new camera! He decided on it this summer but I told him that it was too expensive and I didn't want to buy one. He was pretty bummed but I promised to think about it for his birthday. We had many conversations and I sufficiently dashed all his hopes. However, I had purchased it in August and was just trying to throw him off. He was sufficiently surprised with Christmas!

Someone's crazy house.

Here is the first picture with Scott's camera. It's Joel and Julie and they spent Christmas with us. We're so excited for Baby Girl to come in March!

I am documenting the exciting game of cards Christmas night.

We met Melissa's family at the Chabot Space and Science Center. Hailey could hardly wait to see the displays and watch a show in the planetarium. 

My dad however, was more excited for the kids room. Luckily we brought Rushton so we could go in under the pretense of keeping an eye on him. 

OK, so he really did need double supervision. He would look at each station for about 30 seconds before running onto another thing. He was one sad boy when we had to go!

A great picture of my parents.

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Catchin' Up

Alright, so I'll save the excuses for another time but I am way behind on keeping our thousands of followers updated on our awesome lives. (Not to mention the fact that besides the holidays we've just been working and studying.)

I've always wanted to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge so we finally went in November.

Since we rented a tandam bike this was my view...  
However, Scott not know if I was pedaling was also a treat.

Now you see us, the bridge, and the coats we bought in China!

And on a random note this is Scott getting around in Costco. He tore his ACL in Sept but waited until Dec to get it fixed so his mobility has been limited. When he showed up with crutches the door lady offered him a scooter. Let's just say that no future trip to Costco will be able to top his enjoyment.

We spent Thanksgiving down in LA with Scott's family and had such a good time that we didn't take any pictures! We played games, ate good food, and lounged around. We also went to the La Brea Tar Pits and saw where the dinosaurs roamed. It was a fun trip from beginning to end since we car pooled down there with some friends. Scott got a fancy new camera for Christmas so I'll post soon with pictures!
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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sous Vide New Years!

For all of you negative people out there who hate emergency preparedness post (I'm talking to Melissa and Laura specifically), here is something else.

Jake Spurlock and I have been experimenting with sous vide cooking this year. We made a temperature controller box based on a design from Make magazine. We have made a number of things from eggs to steak to fish to chicken. One of my favorites was a mahi mahi with a delicious buttery mango sauce. I take pictures occasionally but I have always wanted to do a better job taking pictures. Here are some details on a chuck roast that I cooked for 2 days.

First, we season the meat by coating it with delicious ingredients from my inlaws cupboard including Montreal steak seasoning, garlic salt, and cracked black peppercorns.

Next, I put it in the sous vide bags from ziploc. They are really cool vacuum bags where you pump out the air with a little vacuum pump. The whole kit with bags and a pump only costs a few bucks.

With the bag all set, we now place it in the sous vide bath. We hit a debate about whether to go medium-rare (55C) or medium(60C) so we split the difference and set the controller to 57.5C. The temperature controller we made is in the right of the picture. It is really flexible because you just plug in whatever heat source you are interested in and then you control it.

In fact, it is so flexible that we needed to use the slow cooker for something else so we switched to a hotplate and a metal pot halfway through cooking the meat.

Here is the meat after cooking it for about 35 hours. There is juicy goodness coming out of it. We probably should have gone for the medium rare temperature so that more of the juice would stay in the meat.

We then took the meat out to a super hot grill and pan seared the outside.

This is the finished product. So delicious.

Here is the cross section of the deliciousness. The pan searing wasn't too important for this one. All those yummy spices were really infused into the meat.

Those pieces of meat disappeared pretty quickly.