|Get two crazy dudes in the same stage of dementia, stick 'em into a house in the desert for four days. What could possibly go wrong?|
All kidding aside, this is the story of one of the most improbable of meetings. For one thing, how many of the people you meet on the 'net do you meet IRL (In Real Life)? Wait, before you answer, add in the fact that both you and Person B (gawd I hate how our politics colors our daily speech...) are fully disabled, living on opposite ends of the country?
And yet, against all odds, it actually happened. Randy and I "met" ....I don't know...year ago? My sense of time has been fubared for a while now. It was on some other forum for afflictions vaguely like our own...one of us posted something and the other responded and from there we figured out we might have been separated at birth. First we both have Lewy Body Dementia, secondly, we are in the same stage of the progression, so we have a lot to share right there. Not to sound too weird but when speaking about symptoms and things that bedevil us, its like we started finishing each others sentences.
At first I think the big thing was the idea of "you are not alone", something that you would be forgiven for thinking if you only had your GP and published information on LBD to rely upon and learn from. You are *almost* like Alzheimers and *almost* like Parkinsons but not quite either of them so......good luck kiddo!
Thus when you meet someone like Randy who knows this road better than I do (both of his parents if I recall) about the disease that is killing us both, it is like like breathing fresh air for the first time. However hooking up online is a kind of joke; have you ever seen two people with aphasia trying to talk over Skype? No, the only practical way to be able to talk and say the things that need saying (and not what you can squeeze out online, while trying to remember the 101 other things you missed as well) is to meet in real life, with time to talk and share stuff, no rush, etc. More, considering that our party is already over the 1-demented person limit here, everything important should happen in as relaxed and chilled-out environment as can be managed.
In the face of all that......yes kids it came to pass! Randy made it out to Sin City (Las Vegas) for a week of talk, dementia, medication, culinary fun and lots of "show and tell."
|The two heroes of our tale, always alert and ready to serve....|
We Were on a Mission....
Aside from the expected meet-and-greet, we were on a mission. The state of Ky is still in the dark ages WRT medical cannabis and since Randy may never see a dispensary in his state, let alone be able to do any intelligent shopping for medicine. Because each case of LBD is unique like a snowflake, each person needs to find which strain or collection of strains work best for them. Thus it was part of our mission to expose Randy to as many key types of cannabis as was practical. Another aspect of this mission was to educate him as much as possible so he not only knew the difference between sativa and indica but he could detect them from the nature of the lift they provided. It became obvious pretty quickly that like most folks, indica is the way to go, followed by indica-leaning hybrids. Sativa-based strains need not apply. I was so proud of him!
The next part of the mission involved RSO. I had only recently come across this ...I want to call it a miracle medicine, though I know that it is not. Lets just say in my experience, RSO (Rick Simpson Oil) is made from cannabis, it doesn't act like other cannabis preparations. In any event, I sent them to the hotel the first day with a gram of so-called "High CBD" RSO, which is the same damned thing as the normal 1:1 version, the THC in the high CBD version is about 5% less than the CBD value. Whoop De Doo. Still, this carried enough of the right kinds of meds to (I hoped) help Randy sleep better in a strange environment, and they don't come stranger than Vegas baby!
This part of the mission was also a grand success. Not only did Randy "get the religion", it helped Karens arthritic pain as well. Woo Woo! Win #2!
The next stage in the mission was a crash course in toking paraphernalia. Out came the Vegas Bong I made along with Spiderbong, all manner of bubblers, hammers, hukas, glass blunts, steam-rollers and so on from my collection...
|Spiderbong. With great weed comes great responsibility...|
It wasn't all fun and weeds....
Since I have been from basically all over and Randy I don't think had been west of Vegas, it was one of those things where: we only had this one meeting and had to make it count for life. Because it had to. So in addition to having Randy sample the best of what Las Vegas had to offer, I was also honor-bound to introduce him to a properly prepared Tri Tip Roast, marinated in my own Hawaiian Teriyaki sauce, flash-roasted to form a sugar and spice-based crust, locking in the natural juices, also to mix in the sweet and spicy yet tropical flavor of the teriyaki.
Finally I thin-slice the roast at a 45% angle to preserve the tender center (done right, this is as tender as prime rib roast). Here is an example of this slicing in progress on a prior roast....you have not tasted a juicier piece of meat.
|This is a version of my Tri Tip roast. This is the tenderest, tastiest piece of meat that I know how to cook.|
For those who don't know, the tri tip roast is a cut of meat peculiar to Northern California. As the story goes, ranchers would give ranch-hands the spare cut of meat known as "tri tip" as compensation...
|Where the Tri Tip cut comes from..|
My recipe for this is simple. First I mix my Hawaiian Teriyaki sauce:
1:1 soy sauce and brown sugar. Start with two cups each soy sauce and brown sugar in a sauce pan.
Bring this to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or so. Add in some ground ginger, real garlic, a shot or so of white wine and some crushed pineapple with juice. Simmer ten minutes then cool. As for the meat, I trim off all of the extra fat, setting it aside. The meat I place in a gallon baggie, then sealing it and massaging it thru the bag, I let it marinate for no longer than 25-30 minutes as the sauce will chemically cook the meat.
While the meat is marinating, I scrub the grill and get it pre-heating to 550 degrees or so. Once preheated the fat removed earlier is used to grease the grill and finally the tri tips are added to the grill, turning and recoating them with teriyaki sauce until a crust forms. This whole process should take no more than 10 minutes.
Once cooked, the tri tips are left to rest on the cutting board for about 3-5 minutes. Setting a dish to one side, an electric knife is used to shave the roast at a 45% angle, putting the pile of meat and juices into the bowl.
Once the meat is all sliced into the bowl, I serve this over steamed rice and the odd vegetable. Bottom line though is, all you really need is a pair of chopsticks, enough meat and juice and rice. Everything else is simply "extra".
The thing is kids, when correctly prepared, tri tip is an amazing cut of meat. Tender almost like butter and juicy doesn't begin to describe what happens when you bite into a slice.....think of it as the biggest, juiciest steak you have ever had. No exaggeration. And I just had to make one for my buddy from Ky, Randy. This was a taste of something he just had to experience. It was a moral imperative that he do so.
This trip turned out to be both more and less than what I feared....
You see, for the two weeks prior to Randy's arrival we both (Beth and I) had bronchitis and had been bed-ridden for much of it. By the second night or so, things took their toll, caught up with me, not sure what but for a day I was seriously down for the count. On the up-side, that was the day Beth joined them for a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon, something I had seen on multiple visits and was more than glad to miss this time around.
Still, feeling like that really sucked the old hairy root, it did. I got out of bed the next day long enough to almost seriously kill his wife and wish them an excellent flight back....once they were headed towards McCarran I was back in bed until recovered a few days later....
For all of that though, I wouldn't change a thing....to finally meet and smoke the peace pipe with Sir Randy was honor and reward enough....I know I only scratched the surface on what happened but feel a fog coming on so....