Episode-2004- Listener Feedback for 5-15-17 — 25 Comments

  1. Starting charcoal is easy – use a weed burner with a 1lb propane cylinder (which you also keep in preps for your Mr Heater units).
    Works like a charm with no need to pile/spread, just make final layer thickness and hold for 10-12 seconds all over while drinking a beer.

    Got nothing against lighter fluid, but it’s my quiet time with the wild birds and rabbits while starting coal.

    A quality hearth set like the Amish one Lehman’s used to sell is indispensable for grill work with the soot scraper for moving coals, and the shovel for cleanout.

  2. I’d be interested is a charcoal grilling show. I do most of my grilling on the Weber Genesis 330, but recently was gifted a Weber kettle. I purchased a slow and sear as well. I’ve only smoked one pork shoulder that turned out ok, but I encountered issues.

    I used a chimney starter and it worked great. I sprayed the brown paper bag w/ cooking oil and let it do its thing. I’ll never use lighter fluid again. My chimney starter is also used to get the coals going for when I start our stoker coal stove.

  3. Also, if anyone is looking for a grill I highly recommend the Assassin

    It is less expensive than the dinky erector set propane grills, better built than any charcoal grill, is made in Georgia by a family owned company, and will EASILY last several lifetimes.
    We use it about 5 times a week, and have smoked with it too – using both charcoal and wood.

    The grilling surface is huge but the best part is the bottom rack is about 40″ off the ground, which is nice for those of us with bad backs.

    Mine has been outside for a year uncovered (don’t cover any grill… it keeps moisture in and rusts it), been through a hurricane, and still looks like new.
    When the ice storm hit in January we used the weed burner to melt an inch of ice off so we could open it, and grilled steaks in the snow while the power was out.

  4. On the certification front: my wife is an Architect. After her 5 year program at a well regarded architecture school (normally you need a bachelors and masters degree), she had to take 7 exams (6 hours each) and complete an independent study program (now Architectural Experience Program, AXP) of nearly 400 hours spread out across multiple disciplines.
    She’s often commented on how what she learned at school was of minimal help in the real world. Sure the basics of drafting software, theory, aspects of the discipline, and the like were helpful to provide a foundation, but it likely could have been done in half the time or less. She learned more by doing, as part of the AXP program, than she ever did at school.
    One of the surprising benefits of college, though, was her involvement in the campus theater troupe. She managed budgets and teams as part of the troupe’s “executive committee”, and credits that experience with her getting to where she is: managing projects and teams of engineers and architects on larger projects.

  5. I have children , one in the middle of college, transfering to university next fall, 2 that are just out of that age and still under 30, and have heard from friends kids, my kids friends, etc….

    First, college is not that expensive right now. What costs alot more than it should is books and living expenses, so having private cooperative networks to house young people less expensively near a university is very important and could easily be done. Also, one of my childrens math texts was developed by an initiative in Washington state by community college teachers, not a big publishing company, and so was a great book and cost almost nothing. That book could be read online for free or downloaded or bought as an inprint softcover from a print on demand private company for $20. It causes alot of eye strain to try and read books on a computer screen for most people. Some can do it. Similar textbooks from a publishing house cost a few hundred dollars. It is crazy given that algebra and calculus are the same as they ever were. Same for most subjects at the lower classmen, freshman sophmore level. The whole educational publishing world is a money making scam.

    The other thing is that a taped (video, or computer) lecture is not at all the same as taking a college course, and neither are the “discussions” online, where you have to log on at a certain time and have typed group discussions. Mush is lost trying to communicate that way vs. in person. Questions are asked in real time, discussions happen during a lecture,etc… in a classroom. The teacher sees by looking at the room that she has lost the audience, etc…

    Now, going to community college first to save money is great ! It not only saves money, but the classes are often way better as they are small class sizes. The reason community college classes cost less isnt just taxpayer subsidies, because the universities get more subsidies, but the professors have masters instead of doctorates, and so cost less. The facilities cost less. Less money wasted on things that have nothing to do with teaching the lower classmen. There are opportunities to save alot more. At all colleges, community colleges too, there is alot of wasted money on things having nothing to do with the education, alot goes to special interest groups and to pretty new buildings for administrators. Also, all the colleges are top heavy, look at the statistics, too many employees that have nothing to do with providing and education, and too many administrators.

    • “First, college is not that expensive right now.” – That really depends on the school. A state or community college may not be that expensive, but my college is now one of the most expensive in the country: A 4 year degree will set you back almost $200k. I started out in community college and worked my way up to graduate from a “new ivy”, and the quality of the education that I got was definitely better from the latter. To some extent, you get what you pay for.

      “The other thing is that a taped (video, or computer) lecture is not at all the same as taking a college course” – Depends on the course. I was in many lecture halls with 100+ students for classes like intro to computer programming. There is little difference between that and watching a pre-recorded lecture. I think you’re spot on with specialty and lab courses where you need hands on or group work. I really don’t agree with it when it comes to all the intro/basic course load though.

      “and neither are the ‘discussions’ online, where you have to log on at a certain time and have typed group discussions.” – This is an antiquated view of what is currently possible with online discussions. Both real time video (like google hangouts) and real time text (like slack) are easily accessible to individuals and colleges alike. It’s not the same as being right next to someone, but it’s what I use in a geographically distributed company today, and it’s honestly damned close.

      Also, don’t forget how far webex and curated web meetings have come. I routinely get on sales calls with 1-100 people and have a great experience. It’s very much the equivalent of a lecture, with slides/video, with an active Q&A panel. It’s how business is done now, so why can’t schools leverage the technology?

      Finally, I don’t think anyone was saying schools *had* to close down and everything *had* to go online. It was more commentary on how the government school option will start looking worse and worse as compared to the myriad of new options that the market will provide. You’ll still have boutique private schools and government schools (for a while) as you do now. You’ll also get a whole bunch of smaller groups that form to share resources and educate smaller groups of kids, as well as online schools that actually develop good reputations. It’s an exciting time for education, imho. Not exciting if you’re an existing teacher/administrator that like the current system though…

      • Thanks for saving me the time of rebutting this Derek!

        The original post is made largely with a lack of knowledge of what is available and possible with technology. Very simple software allows for actually more interaction across the net then in a class room. Imagine a lecture hall and you want to split 250 students into groups of 10 for a collaboration. GOOD LUCK WITH THAT NOT LOOKING LIKE A MONKEY DOING SEXUAL THINGS TO A FOOTBALL.

        With the same software we used at permaethos you push a button and it is done.

        People cling to the old because they don’t and don’t want to understand the new.

        As to the opening line, “college is not that expensive right now” I can’t even begin to discuss that because it is nonsense. First there is the COST vs. what the individual is billed for, but I won’t even bother, too much work to do today to go into that in text.

      • I am merely stating what is done currently for online courses, there are better ways. I actually took a “remote” course from Stanford about 30 years ago, live with video and audio feed both directions, so that we could ask questions, etc, and this was fine, not as good, but closer than what they get now… Alot is possible, but it is not what is being done. The students who have done both will testify on how useless the online course was, excepting to get the check mark checked off on a graduation requirement.

        Community college is good in they are having classes of 60 for math and science, then labs of 20. I have heard of nighmarishly large lectures in state colleges in the first 2 years, so that is not worth it at all. If it is not functioning as a class, might as well watch a taped lecture.

        I am sure we agree on COST vs billed for, I have looked at all the add-ons on the college bill, seen the waste, seen the salaries of the UC head who does nothing but get photo ops, have meetings, and her underlings do all the work ! I have friends who work at the local UC. I would bet that if we took out the fluff, and the taxpayer subsidies, it would even out and cost the same

        Private colleges generally have better instruction in our experience too. And, they also are wasting alot of money lately. My youngest is about to go to a UC in the fall, since she wants to go to Vet school after, there is financial consideration at the bachelors level. But, she did all first 2 years math science in the small classes and small labs at the community college, so should be ok for last 2 years there.

        I think it is good to have options, so an option fo rthe online now for the working person at least motivates them to self learn, so that is great, as they otherwise might not make a class. More options in the future is good, too.

        What I have seen though, is the opposite, where kids in this area college, high school, younger, are pushed to try and learn off a computer screen, and this is fine for some, and for others, it causes extreme eye strain and tiredness, my youngest will be lucky to make it thru with her vision issues.

        • I am just done, don’t even bother with

          1. Defending an outdated archaic system that is built on false promises and make believe authority.

          2. Telling anyone who can do math that it isn’t expensive relative to the value of product you are buying.

          Eye strain and tiredness? Oy vey!

          Some can’t do well with it? Most in college can’t do well there and don’t belong there.

        • I’ll add you didn’t get what I meant by cost vs. billed at all, not even close.

          Why is community college so “affordable”?


  6. As I live in a county without a community college district of its own (they partner with a neighboring county to have campuses in our county) but since everyone isn’t taxed on it I have to pay out of area rate no matter where I go. I’d rather pay more now than have it on my tax bill for a lifetime, but I get funny looks from my coworkers taking classes in the county they live in wheb they’re griping about the cost and I tell them my classes cost double what theirs do.

    • Most of them likely don’t understand that half of their way is being paid for with theft.

  7. Man Jack I can’t believe you’re not a charcoal chimney guy! I always looked at lighter fluid as the grilling equivalent of diesel exhaust fluid: One more thing to always be buying that you don’t really need! Hell, I doubt I paid much more than $10 or $15 for mine a decade ago, and there’s something satisfying about burning the never-ending supply of junk mail the USPS won’t stop delivering to cook some dinner.

    On the San Francisco front, there’s a little more going on with the insanity of that city than most people outside of the tech world don’t realize. I’ve found that most of the companies in the Bay Area are fueled by investor money, and for whatever reason the people behind that money have very traditional outlooks on how companies should operate, even if their product is something that is otherwise innovative or disruptive. They expect to be able to go to the office they’re funding, and see the people at work that they’re paying for, etc.

    The fact that it’s way cheaper to set up shop outside the city, or have employees telecommute from far cheaper areas of the country is irrelevant because the people perpetuating this have so much money that they don’t even care. All they want to do is give your startup millions of dollars, then be able to turn around and sell your company to someone else for many more millions of dollars, and repeat that process as many times as possible.

    The cost of employee salary, housing, and everyone else is completely irrelevant to the people pulling the strings because they have so much cash they just want to be able to spread it around easily- Sort of like how you might bet on a bunch of numbers at a roulette table and win big if one hits. I’d say this seems unsustainable, but at the same time, the amount of investor money coming from Asia right now seems never-ending, and at a scale that’s hard for just a normal working guy to even begin to grasp.

    They pay so much out there because there’s so much money being spread around, and because these companies are so highly funded if they DON’T pay people well, your employees will just leave for the next startup overpaying people. Then of course the rest of the costs across the city scale in line, leading to people living in one-bedroom apartments with three other guys and two sets of bunk beds while paying thousands of dollars a month for the privilege.

    It’s crazy from top to bottom, but, that’s the case with most things in California.

    • Lighter fluid works, it works every time with no bullshit. A huge bottle is about a dollar if you buy generic stuff. Diesel fuel, just going to say it is all fucking bullshit. None of the BBQ purists could pick a steak cooked over coals from a chimney vs. coals started with fluid. None. It is total utter nonsense.

      • To the bulk of the post:
        This is a direct parallel to what is going on in college and university towns all over the country. The only difference is that it is a lot of much smaller investors (students) throwing around money that, as far as they are concerned right now, is free and the ones with the traditional outlooks are the school administrators and the gimmiment.

        Artificial market manipulation by any other name still smells like shit.

  8. “What does calling for warning labels on Avocados say about our society?”

    I’m at a loss for words. Opening an avocado is dangerous enough to even discuss? All I can say is that there are times when Darwinism should be allowed to function. There would be many more very serious injuries to Mexican kids that open avocados for their mother every day due to their uncontrollable laughter if they heard about this.

    Please Jack, don’t do a video on how to safely open an avocado, that would just be fostering the insanity. A video on knife skills for kids, sure, one showing the proper way of riding a french knife across your knuckles with your fingers tucked under, great, but this just leads to having to point out the dangers of buttering your toast.

  9. Chimney starter, yo…Deal of the “Doi” (my best redneck phonetic spelling!) You can absolutely taste that lighter fluid crap

  10. As for starting charcoal in a chimney. It is cheaper than using lighter fluid. I paid $20 for a chimney and have had it a few years now.

    I wanted to point out, though, that newspaper is not required. You can either light the coals with a weed flamer or by setting it on top of a gas grill but the way I normally do it is by actually using the bag the coal came in. This is perfect because the ratio between bag and coal is perfect. By the time you’ve used your last coal, you are using the last of the bag.

    I actually would be interested in a charcoal cooking show because I am not great on charcoal. I usually either smoke with my sidebox or cook on my gas grill when cooking outside. I am ok with charcoal, but I’d like to improve.

    Thanks, Jack!

  11. I’m not for mandating labels, but all fruit already have labels. If, instead of putting the sales barcode on that label, you could put a QR code to a video of how to cut – AND the benefits of this particular fruit AND that particular brand. Then simply put the sales code in numeric as they currently do (4046 – I think for avocados, 4011 for banana, etc.)

    So, there ya go. This does not even have to be mandated, simply suggested. If suggested, and benefits explained, such as able to better directly market your product to the consumer with instructions, companies will VOLUNTARILY comply.

  12. Missed the launch of World of Warcraft in games this year. It makes blizzard billions annually. Not all that important but seems noteworthy. BILLIONS!