A story of a young man's obsession

Grilled meat, smoked meat, roasted meat and photography go way back for Biggles. I have pictures of the food I've been preparing and eating for a bit over twenty years. In high school I took photography classes like a madman, usually two classes a day. It's in my blood, there's nothing I can do about it. Besides, the equipment is really shiny and cool looking. In 1980 my fanatical devotion to grilling meat began, doesn't seem that long ago. But if you use math, it is. I started out with ground beef on a hibachi hidden out behind our house, I just knew my parents wouldn't cotton to me grilling without a legal adult around. Oh well, what're you gonna do?

In a few years while hanging out with some friends of friends, I watched this skinny dark haired guy (he was really cool and we were really cool cause we got to hang out with him. That's how that works, ya know?), I watched with awe while he dumped the entire chicken breast in the BBQ sauce, then back on to the grill. It was this person who taught me to submerge, no brush. Thanks to you sir!

It snowballed from there and by 1984 my boss dubbed me, "Carno Man". I have pictures of Carno Man with 3 full grills going at once, man those were the days. Sun, smiling faces and cool refreshing beverages. The next step was in 1993 or so when I bought my first scanner and got an email account, the ol' unix shell days. That's when the emailing pictures of meat started. On a weekly basis these recipients were bombarded with glistenny grilled chicken, crunchy fried chicken, toasty roasted chicken stuffed with bacon. You get the idea. One early evening my neighbor caught me upstairs taking pictures of the chicken on the patio below. I assured her I was only taking pictures of my meat, I don't believe she felt any better and walked back in closing the door behind her, shoopwabam.

Over the years I added smokers & more grills & more fry pans & many more really old cool knives. The emailing of meat continued on a steady roll. In 1998 Cyberbilly.com went up and hosted some pictures of meat and a few articles. Not much really, my html skills weren't great (still blow chunks) and if it wasn't for Murdock, would never have come to be. This site stagnated until May 2003, that's a long time in Internet Years.

In that infamous year of 2000, I purchased a used digital camera. It was at this point probably 30 or more people, 2 or 3 times a week were receiving meat pictures. My rig went with me every day to work and on every excursion, as did all my previous cameras. These included Pentax Srewmounts, a Minolta SRT 101, Nikon F2a and so on. Don't forget the tripod, gotta have those.

My sister, the html ninja, finally said, "Dammit Biggles, you need a blog to distribute those meat pictures you keep sending everyone." And that right there, was that. She set to work in her wily ninja ways and got Movable Type up and going in no time. Thank you sister!

Initially Meathenge was just a "look at all the great food I get and you don't" blog. A few months passed and I realized it wasn't a nice thing to do and started putting the recipes and processes down so others might benefit. Which was fine by me because I was able to take more pictures of meat, from start to finish.

Approximately 6 months passed, I was out of my schtick, like a used tube of tooth paste. How many roasted chickens & slabs of pork ribs can people be interested in viewing and reading about? So far, six months worth. But this couldn't possibly continue, Meathenge needed some fancy thinkin' & steppin'. As time rolled by the writing improved, no really, it did. And my world got quite bit larger. I left the confines of MeatHenge Labs to visit local famer's markets, restaurants and whatever else looked like fun.

Many months of thought & time bring you the Meathenge of today. A simple yet quirky food blog that rambles along bouncing from recipe to restaurant to whomever.


Points of Interest

Whar'd you get the name, foo?

Many years ago Ed and I bought 9 pounds of ground beef, all in one flat patty like thing. Grilled it like it was, huge. Needless to say we couldn't have possibly have eaten it all, so we played with it. Meathenge was born. This dates back to 1993, I think.

What you shootin' with?

Meathenge today is photographed using a Nikon D200 DSLR rig with a gaggle of Nikon glass, both auto & manual focus. This is mated to a handle-mount flash, a Metz 45 CL-4 or the Nikon SB-800. Lighting is supplied by UV balanced flood lights with soft boxes, diffusers and reflector cards. Previous rigs included a Canon G5 using a handle-mount flash, a Sunpak 555. The little Nikon Coolpix 950 started Meathenge out and is in use today, neat huh? I know what you're thinking though, punk. How come if you got all that fancy stuff some of your photographs suck? Yeah well you see, I'm a father of two children. When I'm in the kitchen or at the pit, I'm a cook, a father, in a really small kitchen with a tripod & lights. So, sometimes the pictures suffer due to the fact Tiny E needs a cup of juice or a cookie OR to eat what I'm taking a photograph of. Sometimes my shots come out really nice, sometimes they're so so. They get posted either way. You get it all with Meathenge, it's because I care.

You a knowit all? Or have someone giving you assistance?

My father, Big D and Joe Bob are kind enough with the photography advice. As far as cooking goes, most of that skill comes from years of making mistakes, taking notes and trying it again. When I find myself interested enough, I'll read enough related books to make my eyes shake. And bless our local PBS station for their many years of Saturday morning cooking shows.

Are you the only one posting?

We've got a few people who post and/or submit articles for Meathenge. These would be Biggles (that's me), and we also have Mr. & Mrs. Meathead, my sister and her husband. And last and definitely not least, is Joe Bob from Denver Colorado. Other than Joe Bob, we're all located in the San Francisco Bay Area. I can be found at drbiggles at cyberbilly dot com, just in case.