Tuesday, March 20, 2018
So I'm sitting at the old computer trying to figure out my current tax alternatives. I have two viable yet differing options: 1) Practice my waltz for the federal prison prom or (2) cross the border to Mexico and open my own Uber business in Guadalajara called......Uber. Looked it up, and yeah it's the same in Mexico as it is here. Who knew? Both options would require me to make a significant change in my life. A life of learning how to make a shank and jailhouse hooch, or a life of learning more than 6 words in Spanish despite two years of it in high school and two semesters in college. Neither is appealing, so I guess I better get busy livin'. Anyway, this brings me to today's topic: Change. Two things I always say at least a million times a day: 1) Don't exaggerate and (2) Change is inevitable but growth is optional. Change is important but how does one know when one must make that change. Sure, there are the easy ones like, "There is something warm and squishy in my shorts that wasn't there before a particularly violent sneeze. Might ought to change my shorts" and the always tried-and-true, "My wife is mad at me. I think I'll take back the matching pot and pan set I got her for our anniversary and get something a bit more jewelry oriented." Easy right? Sometimes it isn't so cut and dried. Take competition BBQ and making changes midstream. Any decent, or in my case mediocre at best, BBQ aficionado will tell you that consistency is the key. I agree, but I also pose the following question, "Can and when is being too much a slave to consistency a bad thing?" Think about it for a second, if you are consistent day-in and day-out in each and every competition and maybe your scores are OK with some decent placements, but because you are so tied to your style you never really make any advances. So when do you decide to pull the trigger and change things up? Here's a bit of free advice, I wouldn't do it in the middle of a competition. Sure, you might get lucky and hit it out of the park, but the chances are more likely you will screw the proverbial pooch, and to be honest, no one really likes a pooch screwer. Don't be a pooch screwer. I do, however, recommend you apply the scientific method to any changes. Things do evolve, and this definitely applies to the taste buds of judges. There are always new techniques, new flavors, and new implements to alter the flavors of the BBQ you prepare, so you too must evolve. Look what happened to the dinosaurs and the wishbone offense. You evolve or die. By judicious application of the scientific method, you have a control and an experiment. The control is the way you have always done it compared to the experiment that has one element change. You compare and move forward taking copious notes along the way. By adding some double-blind taste testing, you can see if the changes are worth pursuing. Kind of like life. You get an opportunity to do something new and you have to decide the following, "Am I happy where I am with things, or do I apply a change and see what happens?" Apply some prayer and the sound counsel of trusted friends and family, and you can at least have some good information with which to make a decision. BBQ and life share a lot: Both are only as good as you are willing to make it. Anyway, y'all take care and Riley says, "Hello."
Friday, February 2, 2018
Let me start by begging, nay, imploring you as I do each Valentine's Day: No stuffed, cutesy, baby-talking, droopy-eyed, stuffed animals for the person you love, you want to love, you need to love, or love to watch through a window at 2:17 a.m. while the person sleeps. No judgment but either way, please no stuffed animals. With that out of the way, I want to say congratulations to Matt Barber of Hot Wachulas for his back-to-back perfect scores. He does keep a high bar and the TOTY race interesting. If this keeps up, it looks like it is going to be another foot race to the end. With the crazy weather we have had in Florida, I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say I look forward to more comfortable days with cool or even cold nights. Cold nights are good for what we collectively call lovin'. So as everyone prepares for the day celebrating all things love related, I had a few suggestions to make the night extra special or terrifying.....your choice. Feel free to use these as you see fit unless that way ends up in a restraining order in which case you're on your own. Men, you have to set the mood, and what better way than with the sweet, soothing, sultry sounds of the mysterious crooner known as Barry White Sauce. Granted, this Barry is not as widely known as THE Barry White; however, he is a huge hit in Northern Alabama where he can be found making hearts melt and loins loosen at most local watering holes/retirement centers. Greatest hits available on 8-track and good old vinyl. For those of you who prefer to fish at the pond of love at the annual family reunion, nothing sparks the embers of love like the hit, "If Lovin' You is Wrong, I Don't Wanna Be Right." Are you currently doing 10-15 years for a crime you didn't commit? No problem as I've got you covered. For those experiencing that unfortunate incarceration, nothing gets you ready for the prison prom like the classic, "Sleeping Single in a Single Cell." With playlist set, we move on to the setting. Here's a helpful tip from Grandpa's Pride BBQ, it would be a poor decision to light 328 candles in a 10 x 10 bedroom. While candles are quite the mood enhancement for ooh la la, a fully involved conflagration and a visit from the local fire brigade does exemplify the term "coitus interruptus." That is unless you're into getting hosed down and skin removed with a fire hose at 75 psi....again no judgments. As for food di amore, you can't go wrong with chocolate dipped strawberries, Slim Jims, and Boone's Farm; however, if you want to veer off the beaten path and highlight your creativity and thus subconsciously communicate to the object of your affection your prowess and ability to provide, nothing says Hubba Hubba like anything cooked over open fire. This hearkens back the primitive times when Ook was trying to bag and tag the lovely Gerta. From Raccoon to Rib-eye steak, kill it and grill it. Along those lines, nothing, and I mean nothing, drives the women wild like a little dab of liquid smoke behind one's ears. Oh yeah.....that's it. There are many important points I would like to see everyone take away from this article: (1) Yes I am legally married and she married me willingly 19 years ago (2) Love should be celebrated every day of the year and not just on some day that is also known for one of the biggest gang hits of the Capone Era (3) Stalking and misunderstood Committed Love have a very, very thin line of legal delineation. At least that's what a friend told me. Anyway, y'all take care, and for the love of all things good and great in this world, please don't buy the stuffed animals, and Riley says hello.