Hash tagging a Family Vacation

Educator Carl Hooker (@mrhooker) is a very clever guy. On his family’s vacation this summer, he used a unique hashtag every time he posted a photo to Instagram. By doing this, he is enabling others to aggregate all his photos of the trip, and it’s possible for him to do the same thing. This creates a dynamic, separate set of images like a photo album. Great idea!

Also, we love every inn and hotel that we have been through. It is very safe because they have these surveillance cameras that they got from SecurityInfo.com. I say that was safe and fun vacation.

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Holiday Prime Rib

This Christmas we ate prime rib for dinner rather than our more traditional turkey or ham main course, and it was delicious. For my own documentation for future years, and in case this is of interest to others who may find their way to this post, here are some details about what I did, my lessons learned, and what I’ll do differently next time.

Christmas Prime Rib

This recipe from Prime Steak Houses was my main guide. It’s been around 5 years since I’ve cooked  a prime rib, and I couldn’t find the friend’s recipe this time that I’d used previously. I did remember it involved initially cooking the prime rib at a high temperature in the oven for a short time, and then lowering the temp for a longer time… and that is what this recipe also directs. We bought and cooked a five pound prime rib, planning for about 3/4 of a pound per person. That worked out great portion-wise. The main change I’d make is to cook it about 15 minutes longer than I did. My meat thermometer starts at 140 degrees, but according to the recipe you need to remove the roast when the interior temp reaches 120. Since my meat thermometer didn’t show the exact temperature that low, I had to guestimate and I guestimated a bit low. After the initial 15 minutes cooking at 450 degrees F, I cooked our prime rib an hour at 325. Next time I’ll use a meat thermometer that shows increments at least down to 120 degrees (hopefully lower) and cook just a bit longer, probably an hour and a half for the same quantity. Rather than remove the prime rib at 120 degrees (as I tried to do this year, and the recipe directed) I’ll remove it at 130 degrees. For the eaters in our family, medium to medium-well prime rib is best.

I will say the aroma of the cooking prime rib in the house was absolutely fantastic. The anticipation of eating excellent meat like this can be almost as good as the actual eating itself.

We have a relatively new spice shop in Oklahoma City on Western, right by the Will Rogers Theater, called the Savory Spice Shop. It’s a chain based in Colorado, and they have some amazing seasonings. I used their “Mount Evans Butcher’s Rub” as my spice rub on our prime rib and it turned out delicious. I highly recommend it, and look forward to also using it on pot roasts in coming months. Per the above recipe link, I rubbed the ends with soft butter and made small, 1/2 inch cuts around the roast before rubbing in the spices.

We love creamy horseradish sauce with prime rib, and I used this recipe to make mine although I used raw horseradish from a bottle rather than fresh. It turned out runnier than I would have liked, probably because of the amount of lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Next time I think I’ll just make my own to taste with sour cream and raw horseradish. It was good, but next time I’d like it to be less runny.

To accompany the meat I cooked our family’s traditional mixed vege casserole, cranberry sauce (basic and plain from scratch, the best kind) and mashed potatoes roughly following following this recipe. It was a great meal on an already wonderful and blessed Christmas day with family.

I hope you had a great Christmas are are continuing to enjoy a restful holiday time with family and friends!

Table set for Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner 2013

 

Sarah as Chargee at Chisholm Elementary in Edmond, Oklahoma

Flashback to May 2010 when Sarah was a 5th grader at Chisholm Elementary in Edmond, Oklahoma. Sarah was chosen to be “Chargee” (the school mascot) at a PTSA pep rally after an all-school fundraiser. I shot some video clips on a camera that we FINALLY (3.5 years later) took the media off the memory card! I combined these clips together with iMovie and exported it as a single video. Flashback!

The Story of My Dad’s Photo with President Kennedy

My dad, Tom Fryer, graduated from the US Air Force Academy on June 5th of 1963. As a distinguished graduate, my dad was given his degree and commission in the US Air Force by President Kennedy, who was the graduation speaker that year. Seven short months later, President Kennedy would be shot and killed in Dallas, Texas.

In the fall of 1988, when I was a freshman at the Air Force Academy, I found a box of original photo negatives taken at the 1963 USAFA graduation ceremony on the 6th floor of the Cadet Library. I found a negative in the box I thought might be my father with President Kennedy, but since it was a negative and not a print it was hard to tell for sure. Dad had never seen a photo of himself at graduation with President Kennedy. There weren’t (relatively speaking) that many official “distinguished graduates” in the Class of 1963, so I figured someone HAD to have taken a photo of dad with JFK. It turns out someone did. After confirming with family friends this photo was my dad, I had a framed enlargement made and presented this “surprise” gift to my dad for Christmas in 1988. He hung it in his office at Union National and later Commerce Bank in Manhattan, Kansas. After the movie “Forrest Gump” came out in 1994, visitors to his office would sometimes question if the photo was authentic. Yes, it was. That is President John F. Kennedy. And that is my dad.

President Kennedy and Thomas A. Fryer

Today, on the 50th anniversary of my Dad’s graduation from USAFA, a classmate sent him the following YouTube video which includes an original audio recording of President Kennedy’s 18 minute address to the USAFA cadet wing and families on June 5, 1963. I’d never heard this before tonight.

Listening to these words from our late 35th President, I’m reminded of how far we’ve come, so quickly, with respect to changes in global communications and technology. Our nation’s need for moral, courageous leaders who recognize (in Kennedy’s words) the non-military as well as military dynamics of our relationships with other nations is still vital. I was born seven years after President Kennedy was killed, and I’ve heard some of the words from his 1961 Inaugural address many times. “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” I’d never heard the words from this particular graduation speech, however, and it’s nothing short of MAGICAL to be able to hear them today, fifty years later.

Wherever and whenever you live in space and time, I challenge you to record and preserve the voice of someone in your family who is still alive today and able to tell stories. If you do, perhaps fifty years hence in 2063 someone you don’t know today will have a magical moment of listening and learning thanks to the time you spent in 2013 creating a digital audio recording.

The sounds of human voices can be both magical and priceless, and we all have roles to play in preserving those voices for future generations.

Thanks to Ken Kopke, USAFA Class of 1963, for sharing this YouTube audio flashback.

A variety of iOS apps and other software programs for audio recording are linked on the “Radio Shows” page of Mapping Media to the Common Core.

2nd Grade Celebrates Spanish Music

Cleaning up my laptop hard drive tonight I found this video my wife told me about last year but I’d never seen… I’m so glad it wasn’t deleted!

This video shows my 2nd grade daughter’s class celebrating Spanish music listening to Juan Luis Guerra (from the Dominican Republic) while donning sombreros and dancing the conga. A very memorable party… yes, that is Rachel leading the conga line!

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