Friday, June 8, 2012


That's right...  Fred Flintstone Beef Ribs!

Industrial man --a sentient reciprocating engine having a fluctuating output, coupled to an iron wheel revolving with uniform velocity. And then we wonder why this should be the golden age of revolution and mental derangement. -- Aldous Huxley

We live in a digital age, but the earth and humanity are analog, with our diurnal rhythms, ebbing and flowing and our refusal to conform to theoretical models.

Smoking meat, like most things in life has a science, but the process can only be perfected by art, that maddeningly unquantifiable pinnacle of human accomplishment.

The biggest mistake is taking them off too early.  Don't do that.

The charts will give you temperatures.  The charts will give you times.  But only a human being using subjective stimuli and atavistic judgment can tell when the ribs are done.  

Basic BBQ Rub from The Big Green Egg Cookbook:

3 Tbsp  sweet paprika
1 1/2 tsp celery seed
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp sage (the book says cloves, but I don't like them)
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
Combine all ingredients and mix well

How to prepare the ribs:

* Remove the membrane from the underside of the ribs and discard
* Brine them for 12-24 hours in a mixture flavored with the BBQ rub or seasoning of your choice
* Rinse them after brining to get all the salt water off, then apply the rub
* I smoke 'em at around 200 degrees, usually 5 hours or more.  Pecan, Oak, Apple and Cherry are all good woods to smoke these with

* Take 'em off, eat 'em, maybe with some corn on the cob (cooked on the grill still in the husk for 15 minutes after soaking them in water), and wash 'em down with a good microbrew of your choice.


Bunkerville said...

Looks good to me! I will give it a try,

Thersites said...

Cookery was an "art"? But what "class" of art?

Jowett intro to Plato's "Gorgias"

'What is the art of Rhetoric?' says Polus. Not an art at all, replies Socrates, but a thing which in your book you affirm to have created art. Polus asks, 'What thing?' and Socrates answers, An experience or routine of making a sort of delight or gratification. 'But is not rhetoric a fine thing?' I have not yet told you what rhetoric is. Will you ask me another question—What is cookery? 'What is cookery?' An experience or routine of making a sort of delight or gratification. Then they are the same, or rather fall under the same class, and rhetoric has still to be distinguished from cookery. 'What is rhetoric?' asks Polus once more. A part of a not very creditable whole, which may be termed flattery, is the reply. 'But what part?' A shadow of a part of politics. This, as might be expected, is wholly unintelligible, both to Gorgias and Polus; and, in order to explain his meaning to them, Socrates draws a distinction between shadows or appearances and realities; e.g. there is real health of body or soul, and the appearance of them; real arts and sciences, and the simulations of them. Now the soul and body have two arts waiting upon them, first the art of politics, which attends on the soul, having a legislative part and a judicial part; and another art attending on the body, which has no generic name, but may also be described as having two divisions, one of which is medicine and the other gymnastic. Corresponding with these four arts or sciences there are four shams or simulations of them, mere experiences, as they may be termed, because they give no reason of their own existence. The art of dressing up is the sham or simulation of gymnastic, the art of cookery, of medicine; rhetoric is the simulation of justice, and sophistic of legislation. They may be summed up in an arithmetical formula:—

Attiring: gymnastic:: cookery: medicine:: sophistic: legislation.


Cookery: medicine:: rhetoric: the art of justice.

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but it isn't going to cure you of any diseases.

Cookery simulates the disguise of medicine, and pretends to know what food is the best for the body; and if the physician and the cook had to enter into a competition in which children were the judges, or men who had no more sense than children, as to which of them best understands the goodness or badness of food, the physician would be starved to death.

...but burn me a few ribs, anyway!

Thersites said...

There is an ancient Sufi parable about coffee: "He who tastes, knows; he who tastes not, knows not."

Hmmm, perhaps there's a "meaniningful" epistemology in all this. ;)

Thersites said...

from the Jowett intro to Plato's "Meno"

'Figure is the limit of form.' Meno imperiously insists that he must still have a definition of colour. Some raillery follows; and at length Socrates is induced to reply, 'that colour is the effluence of form, sensible, and in due proportion to the sight.'

Although the blackened ribs had a pleasing visual form, their effluence left something to the desired.... I must be imagining some "surplus" enjoyment from the absent objet petit 'a'.

Never mind.

Always On Watch said...

Damn, I can't have ribs or prime rib on this diet.

But I CAN have certain steaks. And do.

Will the recipe work for steaks as well? The only thing I'd have to leave out is the brown sugar.

Unknown said...

DAMN! Printed this one for future reference!
Looks great!

Anonymous said...

The best I can do here in Venezuela is to go to Tony Romas. Good, but not the same at all.

Silverfiddle said...

I like to keep steaks simple. Pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and a little salt. Cook at 600 degrees, flipping every 2-3 minutes.

I enjoy the flavor of a t-bone or ribeye, so for my own taste I don't think they need a lot of improvement.

The trick to beef ribs is to cook them slow. Otherwise they are extremely tough.

Silverfiddle said...

Ah, good ol' Tony Roma's, a little slice of American grilling in the heart of Latin America. They also have them (or had them) in Colombia and Panama.

I knew I had reached the pinnacle when my wife declared my smoked baby backs "better than Tony Roma's."

Fredd said...

Only Texans eat beef ribs, Silver, and I don't see no kinda big ol' gnarly belt buckle on you nowheres.

The rest of the civilized world outside of Texas has a hankerin' only for pork ribs.

Silverfiddle said...

But pork ribs are too easy, Fredd. Good BBQ'ers love a challenge, hence the urge to take tough, inedible pieces of shoe leather like beef ribs or beef brisket and turn them into tasty, tender, smoky goodness.

98ZJUSMC said...

Always On Watch said...
Damn, I can't have ribs or prime rib on this diet.

But I CAN have certain steaks. And do.

Will the recipe work for steaks as well? The only thing I'd have to leave out is the brown sugar.

Well, that sucks.....

Brown sugar or buttery maple syrup is one of the prime ingedients of my triple-top-super secret, homemade BBQ sauce™*.

*-Ingredients subject to change without notice or if I forget exactly what I put in last time.

98ZJUSMC said...

has a hankerin' only for pork ribs.

Yes. Yes, I do.

98ZJUSMC said...

Cook at 600 degrees

Good Lord, man. You use thermite grenades, SF?

I just picked up a gas/charcoal side by side this spring. I can get 425.

Downhill, with a breeze.

98ZJUSMC said...

Maybe I can rig it with Oxy/Acetelyne?


Let me go talk to my neighbor :-)

KP said...

<< But pork ribs are too easy, Fredd. Good BBQ'ers love a challenge >>


Ducky's here said...

How about a veggie burger and a couple baked potatoes? Give a guy a break,

Silverfiddle said...

@ 98ZJUSMC: Cook at 600 degrees

Good Lord, man. You use thermite grenades, SF?

You didn't get the willie pete attachment with your grill?

Seriously, I have a Big Green Egg, and I can actually get it up to a little over 700 if I light a lot of the coals at once.

Silverfiddle said...

Ducky: I'm not one of those red meat snobs. I've had people bring over veggie burgers, tofu burgers, and I grill them. I also do a veggie stirfry in my veggie basket as well as do asparagus directly on the grill.

A few of my daughter's friends are vegetarians, so I'll do up those big Portobello mushrooms for them.

I've even grilled fruit.

Z said...

Grilled fruit is fabulous.
SO are Portabellos..the texture is so meat-like.

Have you ever boiled ribs before barbecuing? Just for a little plumps them up and then they don't dry out during grilling.

I LOVE bbq'd veggies, particularly eggplant and artichoke..mmm.

your ribs look great, SF. Send some here!

Finntann said...

Hey Ducky, try this:

3/4 cup warm water
2 heaping tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1 cup vital wheat gluten (Whole Foods carries it)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
16 6-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
1/2 cup hickory wood chips, soaked in warm water for at least 30 minutes, then drained
1 cup prepared or homemade barbecue sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly oil an 8-inch square baking dish.

In a small bowl, mix the water, tahini and tamari; stir mixture until blended and smooth.

In a medium bowl, mix the wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and pepper; whisk to thoroughly combine.

Add the wet mixture to the dry, stirring to combine, and then knead for a couple of minutes until elastic strands of gluten form. Press and stretch dough into pan, cut into 8 strips, turn pan and cut strips in half to form 16 strips total.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, then remove and allow the strips to cool enough to handle by hand. Recut strips, as they may have stuck together during the baking.

Meanwhile, prepare a gas or charcoal grill to medium-hot.

Thread each strip on a wooden skewer and brush lightly with barbecue sauce, reserving extra sauce to brush on while grilling.

If using a gas grill, add soaked hickory chips to the smoker box. If using charcoal, place soaked chips in a foil pouch, crimping the ends to seal. Place foil pouch directly on prepared coals a minute or two before grilling.

Add "rib" strips to the grill directly over coals and cover, allowing them to smoke until the surface has nice grill marks and light surface char, about 8 to 10 minutes, turning once or twice to rearrange skewers and brush liberally with remaining barbecue sauce. Serve immediately.

Might I suggest washing it down with a Guinness Black Lager... I know, I know... Guinness and Lager, Blasphemy!

Now, so long as I don't get accused of being a member of some vast communist conspiracy to eliminate meat, it should be a good weekend.


Finntann said...

I was going to ask that very question before I got distracted by meatless ribs.

To Boil or Not to Boil?

The question that has been haunting man and ribs since the dawn of time.

Silverfiddle said...

Have you ever boiled ribs before barbecuing?

Heaven forbid! That will get you kicked out of the BBQ Club! And it robs them of their flavor.

Anonymous said...

You don't have to go to universities
To know what you should when you are Thersites
Quote Plato.
First-Rate Oh!
Plato is the finest when you're Thersites!

My profuse apologies to the Hoffman Beverage Corporation. I just couldn't resist.

Happy Barbecuing! It all sounds deelish, but dammit you've made me hungry, and I'm trying to drop a few pounds.

If anybody cares, by the way, I prefer my grilled chicken and pork crispy, dry and chewy -- except for good quality beef which should always be rare as rare can be without being raw, buteven that should be blackened and crisp around the edges.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

If you like London Broil -- or -- Flank Steak, try this incredibly easy recipe:

1. Salt all sides of the meat thoroughly.
2. Shake a lot of Lemon Pepper over the entire surface
3. Follow with a heathy dusting of Garlic Powder on all sides.

That's it. You can start grilling right away.

Grill over white hot charcoal or -- the gas-fired equivalent -- turning at least twice -- until "done."

I can't tell you exactly long this should be, but the meat should be reddish towards the center and crisp -- almost blackened -- on the surface.

Cut the meat on the diagonal. Slice thinly.

If it's grayish in color, you've left it on the fire too long. It should be pink and still juicy. But it's still edible even when overdone.

Just be sure to serve plenty of "Long Island Iced Tea" or Gin and Tonic, Vodka Gimlets, Bloody Marys, or ice cold beer, and your guests really won't care if the meat isn't cooked quite perfectly anyway. };-)>

I make vegetarians eat carrot and celery sticks, cut up radishes, scallions, and olives. They are given access to jars of peanut butter and jelly with plenty of bread or crackers available.

I don't believe in coddling self-righteous eccentrics who like to make a holy show of themselves by acting "different."

I was taught to eat whatever was put in front of me, whether I liked it or not. If we were eating at someone else's house, I was taught to PRETEND I liked it regardless of how I really felt.

This was done for the sake of POLITENESS. Politeness is NOT the same as hypocrisy. Most 'modern" people don't seem to realize that.

~ FreeThinke

Ducky's here said...

Only the power of grilling can bring this group together.

Kid said...

Sounds Real Good SF. You ever watch the food channel? Triple D (Diners Drive-in and Dives) was on tonight with a re-run of Kansas City BBQ. Lots of good ideas and details on that show.

Teresa said...

Those ribs look delicious Silverfiddle. Kevin and I are definitely going to have to try that recipe.

viburnum said...

SF: " Good BBQ'ers love a challenge, hence the urge to take tough, inedible pieces of shoe leather like beef ribs or beef brisket and turn them into tasty, tender, smoky goodness.

I'm fortunate in having a friend who's brisket is positively sublime!!! He and his brother placed high out in Sparks a few years running, and 'smoked' Bobby Flay on one of his Throwdown shows. His brothers ribs were great, but his brisket's to die for !!!

Z said... you think I'd DO it if it robbed it of its flavor? :) It just plumps them don't let them COOK in it, just plumpen! !

I'm with you on steak sauce, no barbecue sauce. My grandfather owned butcher shops so there was NO WAY he'd even let us have steak sauce in the house because "great meat doesn't need it"
I love ribeyes.

Finntann...what the heck IS that recipe? It sounds like you make a tasty DOUGH and form it like ribs and then barbecue it? Is that right !!?

viburnum said...

Z: "Finntann...what the heck IS that recipe?

Sounds like a communist plot to eliminate meat from the American diet. It's bad enough they're putting fluoride in our drinking water and sapping our essence. Now this!


Kid said...

viburnum, That's exactly right. They are sapping and impurifying All of our Precious Bodily Fluids !

That's the way your hard core commie works !

Z said...

Viburnum...right! Bread ribs and fluoride! :-)
"sapping our essence?" :-)

Finntann said...

Yeah, I guess basically it's BBQ'd bread. LOL

I had a coworker who didn't eat meat and she used to bring all sorts of interesting things into work.

I've always held that we're omnivores, not herbivores, not carnivores. But honestly, most of us eat too much meat, and I'm as guilty as the next. We try to mix it up though, and a garden burger isn't bad if you're not expecting ground sirloin.

As far as steaks go though, I'm a purist... meat, fire, and smoke, but it's gotta be a good cut of meat.


Always On Watch said...

Do we eat too much meat? I don't think so.

The human body requires a certain amount of protein so as to preserve muscle mass, particularly as we grow older. The body will burn muscle before it burns fat if the circumstances allow.

Everybody I know who cut back on animal protein during the mid-life weight gain packed on the pounds around the middle. That horror happened to me, and I was consuming too little animal protein -- although I WAS getting plenty of protein from nuts and seeds.

If I've learned one thing from this damn diet that I've been on since May 5, it is that consuming more animal protein and limited carbs (including fruit, for God's sake) results is weight loss of the good kind. Here I am, 60 years old, and I'm getting back the body that I had over 20 years ago -- without exercising (at this point, during Phase 1 of this eating regimen). I will admit that I had plenty of muscle mass (this, according to my neurologist) before going onto this diet as I was extremely physically fit until (1) that "stage" of life and (2) a disabling car accident that occurred at the same time as that "stage" was going on and (3) my husband's illness, which pretty much shuts me in as I'm the caregiver.

And here's something else I've learned on the diet: We NEED a certain amount of sodium so as to avoid dehydration and muscle cramps. For the first time in my life, I'm actually salting my food! The diet's products contain so little salt, and we don't realize just how much salt we consume inadvertently by eating certain foods. For example, a bran muffin contains more sodium than 15 potato chips. We're shoveling in sodium all the time -- and without even tasting it. No wonder there's an epidemic of hypertension in this country!

Always On Watch said...

Well, I must have all animal protein thoroughly cooked. I grew up on a farmette and participated in the slaughter of animals for food; if animal flesh isn't thoroughly cooked, to this day I can smell the slaughterhouse while I eat. There's more to it, but it's too nasty to put on someone else's web site.

Thersites said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alligator said...

Fredd said: "Only Texans eat beef ribs"

No, no, no, no Fredd!!! You obviously have never been to Missouri.

-FJ the Dangerous and Extreme MAGA Jew said...

They say that most wise men are terse
so pretenders oft set down their wisdoms in verse
the form creates a condition
which shams erudition
and descends on the listener as curse. ;)

Z said...

Finntann, I have to agree with you; a lot of folks do eat too much meat, I think. But, I also believe we are omnivores! Everything balanced.

SF, I'm not sure, but since I haven't done ribs in a long time, I think my boiling them had to do with pork ribs instead of beef. The more I think about it, the more I think I'm right. Those less meaty pork ribs perk up and plump up in a little hot water before barbecuing.

AOW, I agree with you about the diet thing; limiting carbs is very effective. I'm so glad you're having such success.

(((Thought Criminal))) said...

I don't know about y'all, but I fervently believe God intended man to grill mass quantities of both beef and pork ribs, otherwise he would not have made their seared, burning flesh so palatable.

Oh, and some tater salad and cole slaw.

(((Thought Criminal))) said...

Fredd said: "Only Texans eat beef ribs"

Alligator said: "No, no, no, no Fredd!!! You obviously have never been to Missouri."

Precisely. Missouri is a pork rib state, but we'll take the beef ribs when they're on sale. Grill both at the same time!

I got just enough Alabama in me to turn it into a fish fry too if enough people show up.

Z said...

Beamish, there is nothing that good fried fish..mmm

As for RIBS, I was right...PORK RIBS.. I'm watching Triple D on the Food Channel and an expert guy with a restaurant just boiled PORK RIBS for 45 minutes "it puts the flavor back into them" before barbecuing.

SF...You're right. I think boiling beef for barbecue wouldn't work; plus, they're usually meaty enough. Sometimes, Pork ribs need a little fluffin'!

Silverfiddle said...

Z: Lots of controversy on the subject of boiling.

I don' understand "it puts the flavor back into them."

What took the flavor out? Boiling takes some of the flavor out of the rips and imparts it to the water. Same principle as soup.

Some will boil them in a flavored water to give them a certain taste, so I could see where that makes sense even though I would never do it. The flavor they get is the seasoning, and there's nothing wrong with that it that's what you're shooting for, but a non-boiled rib will always have more "rib" flavor and smell.

I was googling and found this. Hilarious headline and it sums up just how heated the controversy is!

If you boil ribs the terrorists win.

I also like the Ugly Brothers

But its all part of the fun and artistry of cooking.

Always On Watch said...

I agree with you about the diet thing; limiting carbs is very effective. I'm so glad you're having such success.

The weight loss has slowed to a crawl, but the inches are still coming off.

I'm actually well within proper weight and BMI, so the next 8 pounds or so will be a tough loss. Oh, well. I'm loving the food that this particular diet offers and have learned to tweak the products: chocolate lava cake, berry cake, cappuccino cake -- all guilt free.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Finnann,

Why not tell us how to pronounce Sláinte!?

I looked it up (of course), and heard two Irish males and one Irish female pronounce it similarly, but not uniformly.

Slahn-tuh is the closest I can come to approximating the one I heard that sounded the most euphonious to my musical ear.

The female made it sound more like Sline-tuh but not quite.

Anyway, Cheers, a votre sante, Prosit, cin cin, L'Chaim, Salude and Ugga Wugga Wigwam to you!

And thanks for introducing -- what-was-to-me -- a new word.

I noticed it is Scottish as well as Irish. Should we call it Celtic?

~ FT

KP said...

I am writing a book called "The Save Your Life Diet."

Here's how it works:

1) You exercise. A lot. Naturally, a lot, when you've been doing none whatsoever, might be very little. At least attempt to work up a sweat. In order to exercise, you must "find the time". But this is the thing: the time is there, all right. And if it isn't, your time will run out that much sooner.

2) When you're hungry, you eat. But! There's a catch! You're only allowed to ingest real food. "Real food" is food that was recently _alive_ and was available only to our caveman brethren: vegetables, meats, eggs, fish, fruit, nuts and seeds. Don't be a weak willed monstrous maggot.

3) When you're not hungry; don’t eat! Hunger is a signal that you should probably eat. Appetite, on the other hand, is not. Requiring and desiring are two very different things.

4) You are to drink lots of water, and only water. No soda pops, another animal's milk, soy "milk", smoothies, shakes, teas, alcohol, juices and other liquids should not replace your daily water requirements. Your body is nearly two thirds water and you need to maintain this balance.

That’s the book I just saved you $39.95 and maybe your life.

Anonymous said...

NOTE: You've never really lived until you've had a good three-in-inch-thick Porterhouse Steak, cut into stew meat sized chunks, then heated in a doubled boiler with a 1/2 cup of Heather Honey flown in directly from Scotland, a 1/2 cup of poppy seeds to add a certain je ne sais quoi, a cup of ginger-peach- cranberry-pine-nut chutney with a cup of Laphroaig. Turn into a cast iron skillet and toss over a charcoal fire till it all dries out and crisps up. Leftovers (and there should be plenty!) taste incredible mixed in with the next morning's pot of oatmeal. The left over oatmeal may be chilled, formed into a loaf, sliced and fried for lunch or dinner. If that fails to get rid of it, the raccoons in your wood, or the alley cats in your 'hood ought love it. One thing you ought to know: The older it gets the worse it tastes.

~ FT

Z said...

SF, I'm personally not sure about "putting the flavor back"..I don't get that, but my husband boiled them 2 or 3 times (pork ribs) and the meat about doubled in size with the plumping and took the sauce beautifully. We loved it.
I think food controversies are fun...thanks for the links, too.

Finntann said...

Do we eat too much meat? I don't think so.

Well the recommended portion size is 4-6 ounces... which is about the size of the face of your fist.

Kind of small for a steak for most of us.

On carbs, I think the problem is more about refined carbs than carbs. Most of the stuff we eat is highly processed.

And KP makes a good point about exercise. Biologically we weren't designed to be sedentary and most of us are. Honestly we're designed to be on the move 14-16 hours a day. 30 minutes of exercise might be good for you, but it certainly isn't enough.

Sláinte (Slahn-cha)

Silverfiddle said...

KP: Thank you for the advice. You put a 39.95 price tag on it, but it is much more valuable than that!

My wife has been into that kind of eating for years, and she has slowly converted the kids and me as well. Nuts have replaced chips and fruit supplants candy.

She's a living testament to healthy living and exercise. She moved 10 tons of river rock to relandscape our yard when I was deployed to the Middle East and she's the women's pull-up and dip champion at the Y.

She's a 5'4" 100 pound dynamo.

Anonymous said...


From your picture it's obvious you're a great champion and practitioner of physical fitness. God bless you and may you keep healthy and happy for several more decades of successful living.

I have to say, however, that some of us are better equipped by our genetic makeup to excel at sports and other kinds of vigorous physical activity, but many of us, Alas! are not.

My two grandfathers both lived to age 90. I assure they were both working class men, gainfully employed at humdrum jobs till they reached age 65, but neither were especially aware of -- or interested in -- physical fitness.

All my aunts on both sides, except one, lived well into their eighties and nineties. One lived to 101, two others to 99, another to 97, another to 96.

All of them were city dwellers, and worked hard at the tasks reserved for women in their time -- "Kinder, Kirche und Kueche." ;-)

I don't believe any of them followed a regimen we would recognize today as a "Physical Fitness Program." As far as eating was concerned, food was almost too plentiful, invariably rich and conducive to producing strokes, heart attacks and cancer -- by today's standards. It was also delicious, and made life at the table an almost continuous, daily celebration -- something we all looked forward to with great eagerness.

That was more than half the family. The others lived more frugally, less self-indulgently out in the suburbs on large plots of ground, took fifteen to twenty-mile walks on Sunday afternoons after church just for fun in good weather, were avid gardeners, did all their own home maintenance -- a list of annual, seasonal "duties" that sound today as though they might fell an ox.

The amount of energy those people put into their homes and domestic pursuits (including home canning from their beautifully tended vegetable gardens and the apple, peach, plum and cherry trees that grew at the bottom of their gardens!) would be almost incomprehensible today -- at least I don't know anyone who lives that way anymore.

All their food was home made. If they went out to eat, at all, it was an "Event" -- something they did maybe two or three times a year at most.

Anyway, these frugal, super-industrious, highly moral, physically active people all died in their early seventies, while many of the more sedentary city types lived to great old age.

Go figger!

Not trying to gainsay you, KP -- just presenting a little anecdotal evidence that "The Rules" don't always work.

I neglected to tell you both my grandmothers died at age 63, and neither of my parents reached age 70. All of them were afflicted with serious cardiovascular problems. Cancer seems to have bypassed our family for the most part, thank God, although my 90-year-old paternal grandfather was supposed to have died of prostate cancer, but hell he was NINETY when he passed.

I'm not going to tell you about me, but having spent my entire life developing and enjoying skills at keyboard instruments and as a versifier and writer of newspapers and published journals should give you a pretty clear picture of how physically fit I am not.

I'll be 72 next birthday, and hope for eight or ten more years, but who knows? Despite the depressing state of World Politics and mounting anxiety over our domestic policies, I enjoy life a great deal.

I suspect keeping mentally active, exercising whatever talent for creativity we may possess, and making a constant effort to see the good in others and give them the benefit of every doubt MAY have a favorable influence on our capacity for longevity.

I can't be sure, because I've known a few bitter, cynical, depressingly hyper-critical individuals who lived well into their nineties.

It may be a cop out, but I suspect much is pre-determined by our genes.

Take care, and enjoy the coming week.

~ FreeThinke

Silverfiddle said...

Genetics does play a large role in muscular build and overall health attributes like heart disease, cholesterol and high blood pressure.

But we can mitigate them with exercise and eating right.

FTs ancestors "exercised" by doing their strenuous daily duties, and although they ate heartily, it was "real" food, not prepackaged crap.

What do you think, KP?

Finntann said...

Beating carpets, scrubbing floors, hand washing, wringing, and hanging out clothes, push-mowing, polishing wood. Who said they didn't have a physical fitness regime?

We take for granted much of the labor done for us by technology. while a boon in time and convenience it does little for our physical fitness.

What's the difference in grining 2 pounds of meat in a food processor vs. a hand cranked grinder I wonder. My mother still had many of my grandmothers 'mechanical contraptions' when I was growing up.

Anonymous said...

Now you can add grilling to your most popular post, hint.
Stick with what you know, otherwise you sound like an idiot

viburnum said...

So, do you think Anonymouse is the return of Ema, Lib-Mann incognito, or just a passing troll?

Finntann said...

Who Cares? LOL

It's like listening to the adults in a Peanut cartoon.

Waah waah waah waah waah!


Silverfiddle said...

Viburnum and Finntann: Who knows who it is. Obviously he/she is a liberal Obama voter because he/she thinks calling someone and idiot is a debating point.

Stogie said...

Dang, that pic really makes me hungry!

KP said...

SF and FT, most of us can influence life span. Folks who say different are released of responsibility and in turn avoid difficult choices. It's true that some people have superior longevity genes; but we can close the gap by doing things others won’t do.

I was 43 years old when I decided that I should make an all-out effort to outlive my dad, who had died suddenly at 49 of a heart attack. I was 40lbs overweight, had cholesterol of about 300, drank heavily on a daily basis and did no exercise. My internist told me there was a good chance I would have a major heart attack in the next five years. By altering diet and exercise I lowered my cholesterol to 145, dropped 40 lbs and lowered blood pressure to 110/56 in about three years.

When I turned 50 I went through a series of tests to establish my physiological age. I knew what my chronological age was; what I wanted to know was “how things were working.” I did blood work, cardiac function test, lung capacity, complete physical examination, sigmoidoscopy, and a 64-Slice CT angiography of my heart and was pleased to find out that my internist placed my physiological age at 36. So, some of us can do a lot to turn back the clock.

I understand life is short and being obsessive can look strange; each of make choices. I am now 57 in a couple months and have slid backward a bit. I gained a few pounds, slowed the exercise program and eased up on nutrition. Sure enough cholesterol and BP are rising! At least for me, it’s hard to argue with such specific evidence.

MathewK said...

Wow that looks nice, hope it turned out just as good.

FreeThinke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FreeThinke said...


I'm always happy to hear a great success story. Yours certainly qualifies. I congratulate you for being a man of unusually strong character, perseverance and determination.

The point of my lengthy little family health saga, was not to try to refute anything you said, but only to add that it is ironic that of all the members of my once-very-large family the ones who did the most physical exercise, ate the healthiest food in sparing amounts, and led the most orderly, disciplined lives lived on average twenty years less than most of those who were less active and more self-indulgent.

It doesn't compute, and it wasn't fair, but that's the way it was.

I'm a wretchedly poor example of how one ought to live, but when I was under a lot of stress several years ago, I had a "heart scare" -- all the classic symptoms of a heart attack. The results of this unpleasant experience proved interesting.

Given my parents' sad history of chronic illness and relatively early deaths from cardiovascular disease the event was very frightening.

The upshot, however, was that my stress test fell within the normal range, and a subsequent cardio-catheterization showed no blockage in the arteries.

The only person more surprised than I was my doctor, and I've always had a sneaking suspicion he was disappointed that things didn't turn out all that badly after all. (:-o

But I'm sure life would be even better than it is, if I had the wisdom -- and the gumption -- to follow your excellent advice. but it just seems contrary to my nature. I confess to being downright otiose when it comes to physical exercise -- not that I didn't do my share of it in younger years.

Remind me to tell you about the ten-foot long, four-foot wide, six-foot deep dry well I once dug to keep rain from flooding the downstairs of our house, which was located in the middle of a wooded hollow. A pretty, but not very practical location.

Filling it in first with boulders, then large stones, small stones, pebbles, gravel, sand and topsoil, took every bit as much effort as digging the damned thing in the first place.

I'm sorry but I can't say the experience left me eager to pursue a career as a ditch digger. ;-}

Al the best,

~ FreeThink

KP said...

FT, I completely understand you sharing your story. It is intersting how much some of us "respond" and some of us do not, and still why some of us appear not to need to try as hard (although the last group might live to be 110 if they tried to).

Like so many things in life, average is not normal or even desireable.

Part of my expertise is to study elite athletic performance. I have spent considerable time at the Olympic Training Centers and combing through data files.

Some athletes respond to altitude training and some do not, they just get more tired.

It turns out, average or median values lose context. Each of us needs to figure out what works best if we want to be our best.

On a side not, SF's wife is kicking ass if she is doing pull ups and push ups!

KP said...

Thinke, where did you get that hat and how long have you had that beard?


FreeThinke said...


The hat's older than the hills. It's what I wear when I'm not taking the reindeer out for their annual Christmas Eve skyride.



S. Claus

Silverfiddle said...

@ KP: "I was 43 years old..."

That is an inspiring story, especially given your subsequent accomplishments. Many of us think 40 is over the hill and too many people get flabby and just give up.

Have you written any books? I didn't see any listed on your website.

KP said...

No finished books yet!