Mount Major Trail

Mount Major is a fantastic hike! Their are two options there is a steeper option that I would recommend only if you are comfortable climbing up bald rock that is often found all over New England. The blue trail is much steeper but this is the path that we took to the top. It was a steep climb but not too bad. Make sure as you are climbing to look behind you and see the amazing view of Lake Winipesakee. The hike took us about 2.5 hours and it is about 1.5 miles. The climb down was about 2.5 miles and took 2 hours. The climb down on the yellow trail was amazing a nice gentle slope most of the way down. 

If you are just starting out hiking please do not go down the blue trail it will be challenging. As you can see above it was almost twice as long and took us less time. 

The trip is about 2 hours north of Boston, I use the AllTrails app to navigate to the trail head. The trip did take most of the day after stopping for a post hike burger and a beer. Total hike took us 4.5 hours, we brought a salad for lunch and ate it at the summit. This is the first time we brought a full meal with us and I think it was a great success. It allowed us to spend more time at the summit, usually if I cram a few cliff bars in my stomach it gives me indigestion on the hike down the mountain. That didn’t happen after eating the grilled chicken salad.

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Off to Seattle

So there will not be any weigh ins this week, I will be in Seattle for the week. I didn’t weigh myself before I left mostly because it is 5:00am and I am not thinking clearly. The airport is super busy I was surprised when it was packed! 

Had a lot of fun with my Mom we saw some wildlife. I saw a turtle sunning himself on a stump that was floating down the river.  Only was able to grab one shot.

Anyway next post hopefully will be how great Seattle is.

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Super Bowl BBQing

BBQing for Super Bowl Sunday, a photo journey.

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2014 Investment Results

2014 investment results


As you can see it was another good year, I beat the S&P500 by quite a bit, luckily the plunging in oil helped most of my stocks, I did have LNCO which severely under performed.  I think for 2015 we are going to switch that out for Kinder Morgan (ticker:KMI)

I have not yet updated my stocks for 2015, this year has been crazy.  I think it is important for people to realize that they do not have to pay fees to the finance industry, they can invest in a basket of stocks and stay quite diversified, it is better than investing in something that they do not understand.

I beg if you please understand what you are invested in so that you know what you have, too many people blindly shovel money in their 401k and have no idea what they are invested in.  Please look understand ask questions.  YOUR RETIREMENT IS DEPENDING ON IT!

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First shot at Pastrami!!!!!

So over the past weekend I took my first shot at Pastrami!  I have always loved pastrami, last year over mothers day weekend I dragged my mother and my grandmother and my sister to Katz’s Deli in New York City, NY.  It was magnificent the pastrami was incredibly tender and a perfect smoke balance.  As I was sure to mention this was the fist time that I made pastrami and I forgot one important point.  You start with corned beef, some people cure their own corned beef but I haven’t had time but will be trying that soon.  So when you normally boil corned beef that helps remove some of the salt, if you don’t boil it and in fact add salt to it, it will become very very salty.  So the recipe said that you should soak the corned beef for 8 hours before starting all of this.  By the time I read this piece of information it was a little too late to do anything about it.  So I pressed ahead.

First I looked online for a Pastrami Rub recipe.  I found this one Pastrami Rub Recipe, it said it was close to Katz and looked like it made sense so that’s what I used.  I changed up the recipe below a little bit, I didn’t have any brown sugar at the house, but I did have maple sugar so I substituted.

Pastrami Rub Recipe

4 tablespoons fresh coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder



Add all of the ingredients from the recipe, I go in a row so I don’t forget any of them.  I always like to make these in a seal-able container so that I can shake it to mix the spices.  I have found that is the best way to get an even mix.


After I have mixed everything, one thing to keep in mind is that the pepper is much more coarse than all of the other spices so it was natually move to the top as you are applying the rub.


I have two corned beefs, I always make too much food, and especially for a first run I should have just made one, but my logic is always “If I am going to fire up the smoker I might as well get as much out of it as I can.


After applying the rub this is what the pastrami’s look like (after applying the rub it magically goes from corned beef to pastrami)  I use the foil on the bottom of the pan to help make sure we get all of the rub on the meat.


After 6 hours on the smoker and then a few more hours in the oven to get the temperature up to 185 degrees after that I pulled them out of the oven and let them cool for a few hours before slicing into them.  I have a deli slicer but I think a sharp knife works better because briskets can be hard to slice on a deli slicer, it is important that you slice against the grain to get the most tender product.


Who doesn’t love a big pile of meat.  After slicing it was a little salty due to a lack of soaking.  I will make sure to fix this next time I make pastrami and report back.  Luckily I have some great friends that brought all of the ingredients to make Reubens.


Don’t you just love my pink camping plates?  Luckily once we added the bread sauerkraut and Swiss it really cut the saltiness of the meat.  I have a panani press and it really shines with the Reubens or any traditionally toasted sandwich.  Apply a lot of butter and you have a super delicious sandwich.  Anyone that has access to a smoker needs to try to make this at some point.  Just plan ahead a little better than me and make sure to soak your meat before smoking.  I haven’t tried this but I do believe it will make a better product.  I will post back with the results when I take another crack at this.  It won’t be too long.  Now I have to decide what to make for the SuperBowl!

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Photography and more

I wanted to start this blog to have a place to post my photography.  So prepare for lots of nature pictures, and food I have cooked.  I am starting now from beginner so don’t expect amazing this right off the start.  I hope to do a lot more hiking this summer and snow shoeing this winter.    I will slowly be posting some pictures that I have taken and talk about some hiking and exploring around Somerville I have done.



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