Friday, May 25, 2007

Pig Pickin' Prep Part 2: Getting a Pig

[My photo serving site, Zooomr, is currently offline. To offset the lack of pictures, I've inserted the occasional colorful font.]

If step one of having a Pig Pickin' is getting a pig cooker, part two would be getting a pig.

With the deadline for RSVP-ing past, we used the secret Traveling Roths Guest Attendance Algorithm (TRGAA) to predict how many people would be here. Here it is.

People who said the'yre not coming score a 0
People who said they are coming scored a 1 for each adult, and 0.5 for each child
People who failed to respond despite multiple reminders (Jeff Overstreet) scored 0.5 for each adult, and 0.25 for each child.

Applying all the factors, we came up with a guest count of 63. Adding a little more for "random error", the statistical version of poetic license, we decided to get a 70 lb. pig. So on Monday we made the call

Satriale's Pork Store
I'd like to order a pig, please
Sure. Name?
Traveling Roths
Oh wow, I read your stuff regularly. I'm a huge fan!

(ok that last line did not happen)

What size?
Seventy pounds, please.
OK. When do you want to pick it up?
Friday afternoon.
OK, we'll have it ready for you.

It's just that easy. Friday came, and I made the trip to Satriale's. I signed the pig cooker rental agreement, paid for our 72 pound pig (they used a little "random error" too), and watched the kid struggle to hoist it into the back of my truck, and then not attach the pig cooker properly. After some correction from an adult (who was not me, since I couldn't get it attached right either) we were on our way. . .taking the back streets back to Mebane, since homemade pig cookers do not do well at Interstate speeds.

Once home, after the requisite photos, the pig went into the action packer, and got covered with Presbyterian ice. There it'll sit 'til Sunday morning.

In the meantime. Andy/Shelley/Alex/Ella arrived from Maryland. We all walked downtown and partook of some fine Pomodoro pizza, and checked out the changes of Downtown Mebane (the whole block!) and went home to relax. It'll be a busy weekend.
Saturday, May 19, 2007

Atlantic Beach Weeknd: Pre-Post

We're down in Alliance, North Carolina right now, and will head out to Atlantic Beach after breakfast. The temperature is only supposed to get up to 70F, which is not as warm as the water at ~72F, so it could be an interesting day. What's the water temperature at the South Jersey shore right now? Around 57F.

And because I've been remiss, here are some pictures from last weekend. . . Mothers Day (tm)

Three Taylors LandscapeThree Taylors Landscape Hosted on Zooomr

GenerationsGenerations Hosted on Zooomr

More later. Watch the Twitter feed for updates --->
Monday, May 14, 2007

Postcards from Down Under: Great Barrier Reef

Continuing in our series from Jeanine and Sean, we have today's postcard from the Great Barrier Reef.

Australia Great Barrier ReefAustralia Great Barrier Reef Hosted on Zooomr

Dave, Jennifer, Tristan, Zoe

Now that we know we have made it to the traveling roths blog - we couldn't pass up this opportunity to send another lovely post card from our Aussie Adventure. Billy
[Jennifer's cousin, and Jeanine's brother] is here with us in Port Douglas. It is sunny and hot and we are having a great time. We've already seen the Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation and of course the Great Barrier Reef. Sean and I went snorkeling while Billy went diving and we were all lucky enough to see a green sea turtle. As I write this not on our outside porch, there is a lovely green tree frog sitting beside me.

Jeanine, Sean and Billy
Friday, May 11, 2007

"What are you doing?"

The Traveling Roths are now on Twitter. You can find us at

For those of you who are not in the know, "Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send "updates" (text-based posts, up to 140 characters long) via SMS, instant messaging, the Twitter website, or an application such as Twitterrific."

"Updates are displayed on the user's profile page and also instantly delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them. The sender can restrict delivery to those in his or her circle of friends (delivery to everyone is the default). Users can receive updates via the Twitter website, instant messaging, SMS, RSS, or through an application. While the Twitter service is free, posting and receiving updates via SMS may incur charges from the wireless carrier." (

What is it?
Twitter is a community of friends and strangers from around the world sending updates about moments in their lives. Friends near or far can use Twitter to remain somewhat close while far away. Curious people can make friends. Bloggers can use it as a mini-blogging tool. Possibilities are endless! (

In my own words, Twitter is a way of keeping friends and family in the loop with short, simple updates. Updates for times when a blog entry is "too formal", as funny as that sounds. Updates that your day-to-day interactions with these people would provide, were you geographically close.

At first I thought the concept was pretty cool, but not very useful to us, since a lot of what we do is pretty routine. I imagined our posts would look like, "Going to work", "Working," "Eating lunch", "Heading home." Who would want to read that?

But since I've signed up and began posting regularly, I've found it more interesting than I'd thought. We're now in the process of getting more friends and family to join up, because having a circle of people you'd like to stay in touch with, even very informally, is a pretty cool thing.

So go sign up. It's free and it's fun. You can update your own self via the web, instant messenger, or via text message from your phone, and have your friends' updates sent to those same places. . . or not.

In the meantime, check out our Twitter widget in the right margin of this blog ---->

Twitter: What are you doing?

p.s. For fun, see what other Twitter users from all over the world are doing right now!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Spring Soccer: Season Finale

Saturday was the end of the season "Festival" for the U8 league, which means there are just a lot of games on one day, and the results don't mean anything, standing-wise. The results can be found here.

In the first game, the eighth-place Strikers tied the #2 Fury, 4-4, with Tristan scoring two of those goals. I wasn't there, so there aren't pictures of that game.

After the first game, we went to the Glenwood Fair. It was raining again this year, and that makes for a crowded, chaotic mess. The kids had fun though. . . and pizza, soda, two cotton candies, and various other carb-laden delights. That's OK, though, they had another soccer game to burn it off!

The second game was at 4 against the #4 Kiro Kids. I was there to take pictures, but because I had the "wrong" camera, plus it was raining, none of the pictures really turned out. Just look at our tons of soccer pictures at our Zooomr site, and imagine them grayer, with the occasional drop of rain on the lens. The Strikers won this one handily, 5-1 with Tristan scoring 3 of the goals in his final game with the Strikers in the U8 league. Zoe will be back in the fall, but Tristan will be on to U10.

So that's it for the soccer posts. . . until August, which is only three months away.

We just found out the other day that we got into the Dogwood Pool as members from this year forward, so there may be some swim-team action in the near future. That should photograph nicely.
Thursday, May 03, 2007

Pig Pickin' Prep: Part 1

Reserving the Pig Cooker

Cooking a whole pig requires some serious hardware. Hardware I don't personally own. Fortunately, the place I buy my whole pigs from also rents pig cookers. I reserved early because having a pile of people over to your back yard, and not having a good way to cook 70 pounds of pig would be problematic, to say the least.

A pig cooker, traditionally, is a 250 gallon fuel oil drum that's been modified with a few cuts, hinges, springs, smokestacks, doors on each end, and a 5' x 3' cooking grate. . . all mounted on a trailer frame for convenient towing. Inscoe's has four of them, and they're first come, first served. They rent for $30 for the three-day weekend, with a refundable $40 deposit when you bring it back clean. A bargain.

Now that that's out of the way, the next big step is ordering the pig, which will take place on Monday, May 21st.
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