Lord of the (Deer) Flies - Michigan Summer and BBQ/Adult Beverage Thread

Submitted by xtramelanin on July 21st, 2018 at 5:52 PM


Summer time in Michigan is great but its not without its challenges.  For instance, those that are heading up north on the I-75 on a Friday have to deal with hellacious traffic, and once you get here, we got some bugs.  The mosquitos you know about but the deer flies are the kamikaze pilots of the entomological universe.  You won't get to them unless you venture into the woods, but once there you better have your armor on.  I made the mistake of mountain biking last week in the daylight through the woods and despite taking defensive measures, was swarmed.  If you can imagine an older and fat Tom Skerrit in Top Gun, explaining to Maverick how his dad died, "There were bogies like [deer]flies all over the sky".  Some of them would have been flagged for targeting, too. One of their 3-tech's nearly knocked me off my bike with a temple shot.  I was woozy, but kept peddling. 

So tonight's questions are this:

1.  What's your summer been like, and have you or are you planning on any kind of trips, camping, cottage time, whatever, this summer?

2.  What's on your BBQ and/or what will be in your glass this evening? 

Have a great weekend. Summer is half-way over, but at least football draws near.  


(p.s. ST3, you are tasked with making sure no Cal recruits read about the bugs.  Don't ask me how, just handle it.)




July 21st, 2018 at 6:09 PM ^

My most important goal this summer was to come up with a drink using Long Road MichiGin and Blue Curacao, plus yet to be determined liquids. I had MichiGin Go Blue in my head for the name, now just trying different combinations of stuff. Not at all satisfied with anything yet, mostly because Blue Curacao kind of sucks. Maybe I should just drink Gin on the rocks and smile.


Football cannot get here fast enough.


July 21st, 2018 at 6:09 PM ^

Relaxing summer. Hiking and swimming Pinckney Rec area. Got some Brown Sugar Maple Bacon on the grill. My dog is horrified of the deer flies and that’s literally the only thing my dog is afraid of. It’s funny and sad. Water in my glass. Trying to get healthy and stay sober. 


July 21st, 2018 at 6:12 PM ^

Weather this summer has been great. Have been able to visit petoskey, torch lake, lake Margrethe and tawas state park beach. Water temperature has been great. Hopefully I am able to get some more beach time before football season starts. 

Have been drinking a lot of all day ipa this summer with the occasional bourbon pours here and there. 


July 21st, 2018 at 8:20 PM ^

can confirm the spring was way different, way cold, and that led to a much later time that the water warmed up.  

has been drier than normal too, but the good news is that this year's crop is rye and it got plenty of moisture early on and is blond and beautiful now so the moisture issue for us this year is unimportant.  we will harvest it soon.  

Craptain Crunch

July 21st, 2018 at 7:01 PM ^

I'm beating the heat by having a nice bowl of vanilla bean ice cream, Hershey's chocolate syrup, and frozen cherries. It is heavenly. 


I'll start drinking some gin and cola later to help drown out wife #3. 


July 21st, 2018 at 7:04 PM ^

this summer has sucked. i’m training for a pretty intense event so i’ve been running, rucking and doing strength training a few hours a day. that, on top of working, having two little kids and being married means i haven’t had time for anything else. 


July 21st, 2018 at 7:15 PM ^

it’s in late september and i think so, but i’m honestly not sure. the passage rate is under 5% and it’s supposed to be one of the, if not the, hardest endurance event in the world.

it’s called goruck selection - it’s run by ex-special forces guys and is 48+ hours while carrying a minimum of 45 pounds in a rucksack (backpack) while doing all sorts of army-based physical training (pushups, lunges burpees, crawls, etc.). 

i’ve been training for months and am probably in the best shape of my life, but it’s hard for me to be too confident about it when you factor in the lack of food/sleep and the fact that the guys in charge are really good at spotting weakness, telling you how bad you suck and getting into your head.


July 21st, 2018 at 7:22 PM ^

man, i've heard of some extreme races, but nothing like that.  i can't imagine the conditioning you are training for.  congrats on that commitment.   if you think of it, can you post something here in 2 months when you've finished?  you're going to make it.  it will be a 'whole lot of suck' as my ranger nephew says, but you are going to make it. 


July 21st, 2018 at 7:17 PM ^

I think I would prefer deer flies to the 20 million zombies roaming around the SoCal desert. 

At least you are constantly reminded that your terrain supports life forms.


July 21st, 2018 at 7:25 PM ^

with all due respect ST3, i don't think badminton is the game to prepare you for the zombie apocalypse.  may i suggest some training like detroit blue, above?  with 20 million california zombies (and those are the worst kind) coming your way, you are going to have to be fit.  

enjoy your cold ones. 

Smash Lampjaw

July 21st, 2018 at 7:40 PM ^

The Honorable Judge Lampjaw retired, so we have been able to enjoy much more time in The Great North. The weather has been great, and I first took note of the deer flies while biking a couple of weeks ago. They draft behind me, for crying out loud, and kayaking up the creek is hopeless, without a stiff wind.


July 21st, 2018 at 7:52 PM ^

bogies lampjaw, get out of there!!

kidding aside, the deer fly season is pretty limited to mid-june to start of august at the latest.  also, if you bike when its cold (say mid-50's or less), dark or windy you'll be fine.  i normally take advantage of those conditions if i'm going into the woods between june and august.  i got careless last week and got bombed.  

did you really retire?  did you bring your boat up this time and are you going to leave it here? 

The Fugitive

July 21st, 2018 at 7:40 PM ^

Summer is like any other season except warmer. I still go to work Monday-Friday. The difference is if I have swamp ass by the time I get home or if I have to scrape off my car before leaving. 

I eating leftover spaghetti with a glass of red wine. Chocolate for dessert. Dont @ me. 


July 21st, 2018 at 7:41 PM ^

I thought this was the MGoCamping trip finally getting organized!

In Virginia, there is no escaping the heat and humidity.  And despite living here for longer than I lived in Michigan growing up, I still haven't gotten used to it.  We usually spend days in the 4'x8' inflatable pool that fits perfectly on our deck.  Sometimes fishing, sometimes at Kings Dominion (the local amusement park), sometimes just sweating our asses off...  Been to the Smithsonian's (History and Air & Space), and ocean beaches a couple of times.

I'll have well marinated pork loin on the barby tomorrow (pending rain).

Shop Smart Sho…

July 21st, 2018 at 9:32 PM ^

The humidity this year has been insane down here in Wilmington. I think we went about a month straight without it dropping below 70%. Average low is over 70, and so is the dew point. Makes life just absolutely miserable. I've gotta figure out how far north I have to get in the summer to get away from this. I'm moving onto my sailboat in a couple of months, and there is no way I'm sticking around here next summer. So it's either get north or get down to the Bahamas so at least there is a nice steady breeze to go with the heat.


July 21st, 2018 at 7:41 PM ^

Just returned from. Three week trip. Spent 10 days in the U.P.  Drove up there from Denver and checked out the sites heading up and took a different route home seeing all kinds interesting sites. It was a great trip 


July 21st, 2018 at 7:52 PM ^

Summer has flown by. Haven’t had the chance to do my usual week mostly outdoors/disconnected yet but aiming to get that in by Labor Day. I often visit friends in the Keweenaw around this time but they’ve got some repairs underway so we’re looking elsewhere. 

Fought my gas grill for a few hours today to get passable ribs and much better sides. Damn thing wanted to get hot and stay hot but alas my city balcony won’t allow charcoal and the oven just feels wrong this time of year. 


July 21st, 2018 at 8:28 PM ^

I feel you on the gas grill. My grill runs very hot. It is only good for burgers, brats, steaks, and marinated chicken. Last summer, I picked up a very cheap smoker someone in my neighborhood was trying to get rid of on nextdoor. I found out why he is giving it away. It can't keep a constant temperature. I have to micromanage that thing more than my grill. At least I only paid $15 for it. 


July 21st, 2018 at 8:36 PM ^

Funny enough I had basically the same thing happen with a cheap used smoker several years ago. That thing was more of a flavoring device than a cooking tool so when I moved I paid it forward (with warning) to yet another neighbor willing to pay next to nothing for an attempt at smoking meats. 

yossarians tree

July 22nd, 2018 at 12:16 PM ^

Have you tried indirect cooking on your propane grill? I do whole chickens on there all the time. I use direct heat to put a hard sear on all sides of the bird and then leave the left burner on and put the chicken on the other side of the grill. I'll wrap a few chunks of hickory that fall off the tree in my front yard in aluminum foil and place that above the flame to generate some smoke. Close the lid and come back in about an hour and you've got a lovely, lightly-smoked chicken.


July 23rd, 2018 at 3:46 PM ^

Delayed response but yes, and the indirect works well for everything except ribs where I'm trying to keep things 275-300. I've done turkeys indirect but not whole chickens (usually just do the beer can/direct), I'll have to try your approach there. 

Nice to have that hickory in your front yard! I always feel like a sucker paying for small amounts of wood chips. 


July 21st, 2018 at 8:11 PM ^

I'm a quasi lurker, but knew immediately by the thread title that it was XM. I enjoy your style, sir.

Anyway, my wife (and baby momma in the near future) got a cottage in Lexington, MI a little while back. It made me rediscover how cool some of the more unexplored parts of Michigan can be. 

As for what is in my glass? My parents came to visit last weekend and my dad left some Busch light in my fridge that I need to get rid of. Cold as a mountain stream and smooth as its name!


July 21st, 2018 at 8:15 PM ^

Just got back from 17 days in Europe. When I left it was still June. Now it's late July and feeling like summer is fading away. It was a trip of a lifetime so I can't complain but I have a lot of catching up to do on Michigan destinations. I only have been to Saugatuck a couple times this year and no trips to Grand Haven or Traverse City as of yet. It's rained all weekend so a road trip didn't make sense.  We did get some great BBQ tonight at Meat in Lansing. Awesome place.


July 21st, 2018 at 8:25 PM ^

1. I am a teacher on summer break. I have been spending the summer cleaning up all of the ancient chemicals and old samples my predecessor left in our storage. Outside of that I have been brewing beer and upgrading my set up and browsing the used car ads as I wait for my car to be totaled by my insurance adjuster. I am also spending my mornings training for the Detroit Marathon. I have been spending a lot of time doing speed work at Ferry Field. Training is going well, I am running the fastest since I was an undergrad. Outside of that I have been playing with my Husky/Mal/Coli mix. 

2. BBQ wise, I enjoy some pulled pork smoked over applewood with some south carolina mustard sauce. Tonight, I am drinking a white oak Jai Alai from Cigar City as I watch the Cubs/Cards game. 


July 21st, 2018 at 8:37 PM ^

i suppose i should share too.  happy chaos has broken out at the farm.  barn chores done early, all tractors in the barn, i am spinning tunes on the computer (pretty good speakers) and the youngest 6 kids are dancing.  hoops tournament tomorrow for the middle 5 kids, so no church.  about to put venison burgers on the grill.   drinking a pleasant, nothing fancy, red pop.  


July 21st, 2018 at 8:40 PM ^

Was diagnosed with pneumonia yesterday so water and cough syrup is in my glass. Not a bad combo. That and a cocktail of azithromycin, ibuprofen and mucinex. 

Not a bad summer though. Going to Traverse City in August. The kids have been in camps mostly so far, mean I've had the house to myself to work on whatever I feel like.


July 21st, 2018 at 8:42 PM ^

Homebrewed Belgian Saison, smoked pork carnitas, Torch Lake, West Branch and Millersburg.  

The lakes are fun, but with the lack of light pollution in Millersburg makes the stars on a clear night unbelievable.  Gives me chills thinking about it. 


July 21st, 2018 at 8:47 PM ^

Summer time... and the living is easy!

Fortunate to spend most of this summer in Petoskey.  My boy is working the bakery and the wife and I have been splitting time up here.  Weather has been very nice.  Spending most of my time hiking to local breweries and back to the cottage.  Then the important question of the day - where are we going to eat dinner.  Drinking a decent amount of Juicy juice from Petoskey Brewing (similar to M-43).

scanner blue

July 21st, 2018 at 9:10 PM ^

Hey XM, I'm drinking Trader Joes best box wine. The power went out right as I was finishing up dinner of beef tacos and cilantro lime rice. Wondering what others do on a no power night? ( Of course most know of the birth spike nine months after a major power outage).... and as I Typed that the street light just came on so maybe thanks to Lsa2000 and DTE. 


July 21st, 2018 at 9:21 PM ^

guessing you are typing in on your phone?   sounds like a fine dinner.  maybe we should talk about getting you a stand-by generator for your place down there.  not a huge expense, adds value to your house some year when you sell it, and you will be incredibly happy one day when it kicks on for a day (or week) or two.  not kidding.  email me or call me and we can talk about what it takes.  sometimes there are zoning issues with how/where you set it up and we can work through those.