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Blog - FUN for everyone!

The blog for Pros and HOs

Ok everyone.  This page is is going to be my blog where I will be discussing a wide range of topics from tips for HOs (Home Owners) and Pros (The folks you REALLY want to hire for your jobs.

We are going to talk about products, service, choosing and dealing with contractors etc. (Hey wait!  I thought this page was going to be fun?)


Fishing, and hunting adventures, grilling and cooking outdoors and sometimes indoors. (Like most plumbers, cooking and especially grilling have become a big hobby and passion for me)  I will share some of my favorite grill recipes tips and tricks and even a disaster or two to make you a better outdoor chef. (Or at least get you braggin' rights at the next cook out.)

On the bottom of the page, I'll have links to some of the great things I discuss here and you are welcomed to e-mail me your questions that just might be the next blog topic! Check out the links and PLEASE click "Like" to let people on Facebook know about my blog!

Check out the YouTube series on tankless water heaters here

Evan and Me with Myron Mixon
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Weekend to remember - Capital BBQ Battle and hanging with a Champion

This past weekend my son Evan and I went to the Capitol BBQ Battle in DC.  We were introduced by a great friend of mine to none other than Myron Mixon of Jacks Old South BBQ team. (From TLC’s TV show BBQ Pitmasters)  Now I confess that I have not seen the show yet, however I will be watching it for sure from here forward.  I have however read of Mr. Mixon in various BBQ books and knew him already to be the biggest deal on the BBQ circuit so it was kind of cool for him to meet me.

Haha just kidding, it was me the amateur BBQ Pitmaster wannabe that was honored to meet him of course.  It was like being a go-cart racer being able to hang out with Dale Earnhardt in the pits.  Very cool.

We hung out a bit and then Evan and I walked the event and took in all the sights and smells.  Bought some rubs and sauces from Jacks Old South and generally enjoyed the event.  When we swung back by the Jacks Old South Pit we noticed that David (Myron’s Son) was set up selling the rubs and spices but they did not have any way of people sampling anything and that was hurting their sales.  We talked about it a bit and since I happen to know just a little about sales and wanted to help I humbly asked if it would be ok to help out.  David said Sure, go for it. 

After a mad scramble and finding some small sample cups we started getting the patrons of the event to try the rubs and sauces they had brought with them.  These guys have some AWSOME stuff!  The rubs and sauces sell themselves once someone gets a taste and sure enough by the end of the day we were running very low on sauce and had put a big dent in the rubs!

As the contest progressed, I got to watch from the pits how the team worked together to prepare the entries and run the smoker and other things probably secret so I’ll leave out any of the details but ya’ll…Oh…my….gosh!  You should be so lucky as to put teeth to the Brisket that Myron Mixon creates!  I have never had such a thing in my life!  Hell, you won’t even need teeth!  That stuff is melt in your mouth good!  Now I’m not sure why they did not get first place in brisket but the guys who won must really have something to beat this. (Cool Smoke out of my home town won that one and congratulations to them!) 

The chicken thighs Jacks Old South entered won 3rd place and they were also awesome!  I even was asked to run block to clear the crowd for Mike (The runner) to get the chicken to the judges’ tent in time. (They always cut it close)

While I was gone Evan stepped up and helped out with the selling with David and was doing a great job.  Not too bad for an almost 14 year old at his first time ever doing anything like that.  I was really proud of how well he did.

At the end of the day Myron and David asked if we could come back Sunday.  Since we had so much fun and really had no other major plans we said sure and Sunday we were back at it again.  I decided to show off a bit and really put in the effort to move some more of Myron’s new best seller cook book (which he was signing for everyone who bought them) and more of the rubs.  In just a couple hours we sold out of all the remaining sauce, we had a big dent in their books and the rubs were going like hot cakes. (For a good reason…They are awesome!)   Heck, I wish was as easy to sell my book as it is his!

We stayed for the awards ceremony to see what all that’s about and really enjoyed watching as the teams all got their prizes.  Many of which were small teams and to get to see their excitement as they took the walk was really cool.

I heard from people who have seen the show on TLC that Myron comes off as a sort of rough guy but have to tell you that after spending two days hanging around him and the team, He is as gracious and welcoming a guy as you will ever meet.  I watched him sign dozens and dozens of books for fans and shake hands and with hundreds of people, always with a warm smile.  He seemed to truly enjoy meeting every person and I can say he is one class act all the way around.

We were even more honored to be asked to join them in Galax, VA for an upcoming contest in a few weeks.  We are going to do it.  I think we are just about hooked on this BBQ contest stuff.  I’d really love to try a small local event sometime but one thing I learned at this one was how much I don’t know yet!  I will definitely have to get into one of Myron’s cooking schools and try my hand at this eventually but for now, I’m am perfectly happy to be a small, temporary part of one of the best teams in BBQ.

11:33 am edt 

Friday, June 24, 2011

A few cooking videos

With the help of my son (cameraman) I have made a couple of short cooking videos.  Cooking on the grill is one of my favorite things to do and sharing good grilling recipes is fun (and yummy)  here is one of my more recent additions. (I hope the link works)  Once I get the hang of posting stuff like this here, I'll add more and...I'll make a deal with you: If I get up 500 hits on this blog or 50 people who "Like" my blog on facebook....I'll make public...my Super Secret....simple...soon to be award winning....CHICKEN RUB! But only for a little while for those of you who helped me spread the word.

Here's the video on ABT's

10:14 am edt 

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Special Father's day!

Well we have an exciting weekend this weekend.  My little girl is graduating High School!  She is going to a local well known medical college to study to be a radiologist and will minor in Music.   Tonight will be some work to prepare for weekend festivities etc. and a cookout on the grill. (One of my favorite things to do!)

Saturday is her big day and the ceremony is downtown so that will take up a lot of the day. It is a bitter sweet moment for me because it seemed like just yesterday she was little bundle in my arms looking up at me.  I remember many times holding that little baby wondering about how her life may be.  Here we are with the first part of it passing and the next chapter beginning to be written.  We are so proud of her.

For father’s day I will take my son and a couple friends fishing in a club tournament in the bay.  That evening will be cleaning fish (Hopefully!), cleaning and putting away gear and enjoying a few frosty beverages.

Time moves so fast!  I hope you are able to take time with your family at every chance.  I’m sure none of us at the end of our lives will be lying on our death bed thinking “I wish I had one more day to go to work!”  There are things you have to do, things you want to do and things you should do.  Take time to stop and enjoy it all and give thanks for what you have.

Think of this;  If you gave your kid a toy, would you want them to set it aside and let it rust or ignore it, or would you hope they would wear it out playing with it?  You would want them to enjoy it and play with it and remember you gave it to them.  I thank God for all of the blessings my family enjoys!  As long as he chooses to let me hang on to them, I’m going to enjoy all of it to the fullest.  I hope you do too.

9:24 am edt 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Disaster! well, almost anyway.

For this first post I’d like to share with you a near disaster at our house that happened last year. With the grilling season in full swing I think it’s timely to share this now so that you can avoid this kind of mishap.

I was cooking ribs on a charcoal “bullet” smoker.  The upright kind that looks like R2D2 from star wars.  I had cooked the ribs (Which of course were great!) and left the smoker out all night to finish burning down like I have done countless times before. It sits on the pavement in an area with nothing around it to catch fire so no big deal.

Well the next day comes and goes and in the early evening I decided to finally get around to cleaning up the smoker from the night before. (This is about 20 hours after cooking on it!)  As usual I take the thing apart, and dump the coals and ash in a little area just in the woods off the back yard kind of behind where we park the boat at the edge of the yard.

 I complete a few other chores outside that take and hour or so and make a run to the store.  On the way home I spotted a neighbor of mine and stop to chat near the end of the very long drive that leads to our house.  I’m talking to him for a few minutes when the cell phone rings.  I see it’s my wife and I figure she’s calling to see where I am.  When I answer the phone, she is screaming and going nuts!  The only thing I hear is FIRE, THERE’S A FIRE!!!!!!!!!!

OH CRAP!  I hit the gas and explode down the drive to see flames at the edge of the woods right behind my boat!  The one that holds 80 gallons of gas in the tank!  I slide to a stop and bolt into the garage and grab the fire extinguisher we keep there, run to the fire that now has flames about 10’ up a tree and a spot about 10’ around burning on the ground and hit the lever.  FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF!  I am able to knock almost all of the flames down before it runs out but it is close and the fire is not completely out as I yell to me son to bring me the hose and turn it on. (Our hose will reach this area)  With disaster averted, I spend the next hour hosing and raking and hosing and raking the entire area and searching the nearby woods for any hot spots with my son just to make sure everything is cool again.

 About the time I was hosing it down my neighbor I was talking too comes running, huffing a puffing with his fire extinguisher to help.  But by that time I had it pretty well under control.  Everything from the answering my wife’s call to getting the flames knocked down took probably less than 2 vary scary minutes.

So why would I go on the World Wide Web and embarrass myself admitting this fiasco?  Because it was too dangerous and too easy a mistake to not share it so everyone can learn from my screw up.  Here is what I hope you take from this story as well as what I learned:

1.       S#!T HAPPENS  and it happens FAST!  You better be ready when it does and so better everyone else!

2.       If you cook with charcoal, spend a few bucks and get a small ash can! (Or at least hose them down when youre done)

3.       A fire extinguisher at every floor in your home and garage is a must!  We now have 3 in the garage, one outside and two more in the house.  Also I had a fire extinguisher “class” with the family the next day to make sure everyone knew what to do!

4.       Train EVERYONE in house what to do if there is a fire!  The little fires, how to handle it before they become big fires, the big ones how to run and call 911!  You think they know, but they don’t.

5.       Buy more fire extinguishers!  They don’t cost that much.  Buy MORE than you think you need.  You can even find reconditioned ones for less money at the companies that sell and refill them for a great price.

6.       And lastly…yours truly is not invincible and not so smart that I still can’t screw up royally once in a while. (***Blush)

Enjoy your summer and be safe!

9:06 am edt 

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