March Madness is HERE!!!

I know it doesn’t look like it outside, but March Madness is here!! This by far, to me, is the greatest sports month of the year!! The Reds are in spring training, NASCAR has started again, free agent signings for our beloved Bengals!! But the best thing is College basketballnatl-champs-60-61 and the run to the Final Four!! I take off work for the first weekend of the tournament because I don’t want to miss the great shots, great players, buzzer beaters and of course the Cinderella teams that make a run!! I am a HUGE Bearcat fan, and while not much is expected from them in the tourney, nothing would be sweeter than seeing them survive and advance!! For all of the Cincinnati, Xavier, Kentucky fans out there you have to agree with me that this is the best time of the year right?

Home and Garden Show

The first several years I worked for Eastgate Pools & Spas we were always a fixture at the Home and Garden Show here in Cincinnati. While you likely have noticed we haven’t been there in recent years I think it is important to understand why. We decided we could do more for our customers here by working with our manufacturers and not spending the extra money on booth space. It is just that simple. I think if you attend the show and stop in here you’ll see that our focus is clearly on offering the best values in the Cincinnati market across all of our product categories. There are plenty of expensive options out there and there are plenty of low priced options out there, but the key is providing value and I really believe we provide that for our customers more than any other retailer. I encourage you all to do some comparison shopping and I think you’ll agree.

Hard Water Problem?

This water that I’m talking about isn’t coming out of the tap at my house, it’s the hard water that is covering each and every place to fish. Normally by this time of year Lake Isabella has stocked the trout, and my son and I have had the chance to pull one or more Lake Isabellafish out, but not as of yet this year. I know my son is chomping at the bit to get out this season as evidenced by the fact that when I got home last night he had his tackle box in his room going through what he thought would be the best baits to use to catch the previously mentioned trout. I know that soon enough it will be time to wet a line, but that time is not getting here quickly enough.

Spring has sprung

It’s that time EastTentof year again, if you can believe it.  Even now there is still a small amount of snow left to melt, we have started to put up our tents with close out and demo outdoor patio furniture.  Just to name a few vendors under the tents: Telescope Casual, Tropic Garden, Berlin Gardens, and Agio. If it’s a demo that means we only have the one left so these sets will not last forever.

How tubs can be useful for all species

hottubbing_cow_1425746008225_14591782_ver1.0_640_480
Indiana farmer uses hot tub to save baby bovine found in pile of snow

http://www.wcpo.com/news/state/state-indiana/indiana-farmer-uses-hot-tub-to-save-baby-bovine-found-in-pile-of-snow

Safety Covers

Been thinking about a safety cover for the in-ground pool…?

Here’s a good reason to have one. This is a picture of our pool lot. Somewhere under that snow is an in-ground pool. PoolLot Now, imagine this is your home and your backyard. It just looks like a yard covered in snow, eh?

We could stand everyone that works here on top of this pool’s cover and they would be safe. –Max

Like meatloaf? Try this one.

I’ve never been a gourmet griller but when we started carrying the Kamado Joe ceramic grills, I was our first customer. I’ve always liked southern-style barbeque and this was my opportunity to get better on a grill and to satisfy my taste buds at the same time. Not to turn this into an ad for Kamado Joe, but I’ll admit that I am now fully hooked on this grill. I’ve done ribs that rival any of the famous steak houses, 8 lb. briskets, 7 lb. Boston Butt Pork roasts, stews, and of course regular steaks, chops, and chicken breasts. But I found a recipe for meatloaf and upon study I thought I could make it even better. The resulting? Moist, spicy, smoky, and very tasty meatloaf that I will make again. Soon. Don’t have a ceramic grill? We can help on that one too but you can also do this on a regular grill. Here’s the recipe:

Prep time: 20 minutes—tops.
Cooking time—2 hrs or less.20150207_164510

Ingredients:

2.5 lb ground beef
1 lb sausage. Don’t do spicy. You won’t need it.
1 lb. ground veal.
5 TBS finely chopped sweet onion
2 TBS powdered barbeque seasoning.
3 TBS Hein 57
2 eggs.
6 oz. of chunk cheddar cheese, cut into pieces about the size of peas or beans
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 package of thin sliced bacon. And don’t you dare use that turkey stuff!

Mix everything in a large bowl, except for the bacon. Make sure the seasoning is not all clumped together. Form it into two evenly sized loaves, then place in a throw-away tin pan or meatloaf pan. Layer the bacon over the loaves, letting the pieces overlap about 1/3 of the way. One package covers both loaves with no leftover. (The bacon does not go under the loaves.)

Light lump charcoal and when the coals are ready add the heat deflector. Slowly bring the Kamado Joe temperature to 350-375. Remember, it is easier to get it hotter than to try and cool it off.

Cook at 350-375 degrees for about two hours or until you reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Remove and let stand for about 15 minutes then remove from the foil pans.

Eat, enjoy, and repeat. –Max

Hang In There

Hang in There. Warmer Weather is Just Around the Corner…

Almost forty years ago I was in Central America and picked up a copy of the Central American version of Time magazine. There was a blurb in the back titled “If winter comes, can spring training be far behind?”

I’ve always remembered this because it is true. Spring training is just around the corner and that means that warm weather is too. I say bring it on. I’m tired of this crappy winter weather. –Max

Football Fan

I am a football fan. I admit I am a Bengals fan, but moreover I am a football fan. If football is on TV, I am watching it: high school, college, or pro. I will watch college basketball, but not with the same intent as I follow football. You see the same fade to darkness every year. The twilight starting with the college bowls picking teams, followed by the award winners being announced. Once the twilight has faded to late evening the fun begins in earnest, the same way it does on Fourth of July. The NFL playoff picture begins to clarify, college bowl season runs it’s course of over 30 games in under 2 weeks. After those 2 weeks, once the teams have been determined, the NFL playoffs lead up to the crowning of the champion of the game that cannot be named. But once the crown has been laid upon the champion’s head all must go dormant for 5 months. Maybe this is why I am such a fan of football, it is like the seasonal cycle here in Cincinnati where all of the plants are silenced for roughly 5 months to only then re-emerge.

Alas, pitchers and catchers report next month. On to baseball! –Chris

Spa Water

My advice is very simple. Just keep it simple. What goes in the spa, stays in the spa, so be careful what you put in the spa. Now while it sounds simple, one has to take a look at a lot of different factors from the chemicals one uses to the beauty supplies that are commonly used. The biggest culprits of dirty water when it comes from a human source are lotion and make up. These are items that when placed in water come off very easily and will therefore cause cloudy water and clogged filters.

A common problem is foamy water which can be caused by detergent in bathing suits, soap residue from our body, or cartridge cleaning solutions that aren’t rinsed all the way out of the cartridge element. Still, the problem comes from foreign substances getting in the water that we don’t want. If you are having trouble with your spa water, it might be time to look at the whole picture and reevaluate your approach to your spa maintenance.

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