So I'm sitting here at my computer while the outside ambient temperature hovers somewhere around 25 and -143. I'm used to the cold having served in the Air Force in Montana as well as having lived in Illinois, NE Tennessee, Ohio, and Kansas so the fact the temp is below freezing isn't a big deal to me. To my fellow Alabamians and Floridians, it is a bit of a different story. We have ice on the roof and my on truck which for people living in Florida is like the fine folks in Illinois getting a visit from Hurricane Eloise. As I have said time and time again, I am able to manage all of this adversity because I have the strength of 10 third graders.....the big ones, not those little, whiny ones. Since my last post, we competed in the BBQ and Blues Festival in Perry, FL where we 'nos sugered' (we sucked). While we didn't finish last, we didn't do as well as we had hoped. I guess that goes for everyone who doesn't win. After all, who goes to compete so they can say, "You know, that 27 out of 43 was GREAT!!!" I'm sure there are those that do, I'm just not one of them. With that in mind as it is a new year, many set out making great new year's resolutions. While I make it a physical point of effort to avoid making any new year's resolutions at any and all costs, I was able to compile a few that seemed appropriate to my current status. Feel free to make your own or borrow as you deem fit. #1 Do not spend any time what so ever watching, reading, or listening to anything to do with the Kardasians, Lindsay Lohan (or any member of her family), the Hiltons, Snooki or JWoww, or the Kardasians (said twice because they seem to be everywhere and are twice as annoying as any other family on t.v. I mean really, who gives a rip). #2 To poke anyone in the eye bringing up the Kardasians, the Hiltons, Snooki or JWoww, or the Lohans. #3 Teach my dog to growl at the t.v. anytime the president or any other muppet from congress is on rambling on about some deluded world in which they live. #4 Learn to yodel in Hungarian. #5 Teach my wife to shoot without her having a 'tragic accident on the range' involving myself, 911, a tourniquet, and the phrase, "Wow, if he lives, that's gonna leave a big ol' scar." #6 Actually finish in the top 10 just once in any BBQ competition this season. #7 Repeat #6 as often as possible. #8 Start a new adventure. #9 Get my sauce tested so I can market it and become independently wealthy an socially acceptable. #10 Win $76,334,978.89 in the Florida Lottery to accomplish the same as the previous. As you can see, my resolutions are not so much resolutions as they are 'if I can get around to them'-isms. This past year has brought many exciting changes. We got Shangri-La and have used it at competitions as well as to go camping which was nice....except for the stomach bug that came afterwords. We did six competitions and did pretty well at one of them (Thank you Elba). Still have my family, friends, and job that I started the year with, and I got to spend a lot of time with those that matter to me the most. For the most part, my family is healthy, and for that I am truly thankful. I have also had the great opportunity to get to know some great people on the BBQ trail. Forrest Dilmore, Mr. Cook, Mr. Lovett of Poolside BBQ, Mr. Bentley of B & L BBQ, and many others. I even got to meet Audrey Evans in Perry. Nice lady and I enjoy her BBQ periodical. Team Grandpa's Pride has learned a lot over this past year. I'm hopeful we can take last year's experiences and parlay them into some success this season. The phrase, "I am blessed" seems to be as overused and the phrase "I love this or that", but I can honestly say that I do feel that I am one of the most blessed not because of my self or my accomplishments but by the people God has seen to put in my life. From my loving and ultra-supportive wife to the rest of my family and friends, no man could ever ask for more....well he could but that would be rude. For all the blessing, I am humbled. So in closing, I hope everyone takes a minute to think about the experiences of the past year. Don't stay stuck living in the past but instead use it to see the way to their future. Now that belongs on a card you buy at Hallmark. Happy New Year y'all. Riley says hello and 'shut the dang door. It's cold out there.'