So like many of folks living in the State of Florida, I'm thankful the storm didn't impact our area as badly as it could have. Don't get me wrong, there were large parts of the state that got hammered , sadly, with loss of life and property. Many lost everything they have to include family and friends. I ask that everyone continue to pray for those folks and the folks impacted in Texas and Louisiana. The other day, I ran into a large convoy of Texas Game Wardens that were heading south to help out.....just like our Florida FWC officers did for them. Nice. With the majority of the storm heading up to Georgia and other parts north, I've been doing like a lot of others which includes a lot of prayer, taking stock of the storm's impact, doing some reading, thinking about what we need to do to be better prepared for the next storm/natural event, and watching t.v. Sadly, shows like Keeping up with Kardashians, Real Housewives of the whatever, and CNN are still on. To add to the televised nightmare, there is a new show on Animal Planet called, and I'm not kidding, "My Big Fat Pet Makeover." Apparently, someone, maybe sober....maybe not, in the Animal Planet Executive Suite said, "Hey, the Kardashians and CNN are still on, so why don't we do a show about fat pets and how we help the pet's people get them slim again." I'm no animal expert; however, maybe....just maybe.....you should stop feeding your pet 4,390 empty calories a day and let it run once every solar eclipse or so. But that's just me. It also got me doing a lot of pondering about my BBQ status. I haven't participated in any competition in over a year, and my beloved Frankensmoker 3.2 is disabled due to a horrible miscalculation on my part. So given our current meteorological state, I've had time to rethink a lot of things to do with BBQ. Primarily and before I can even consider returning to the circuit, I will have to get Frankie up and going again which will include designing and finding someone to fabricate a new firebox. I ideally would like a firebox that will be sealed and will allow for a charcoal basket. I'm sure the right resources are out there. Anyone with any ideas, please message me. Also, I think I want to dedicate more time to doing BBQ for the sake of doing BBQ. I enjoy BBQ, I enjoy eating, so why not do more of the two things I like most? I want to play around with rubs using different spices. I don't have any grand ideas that I will sell my stuff since I don't really have the BBQ circuit cred' to make it like many of the Titan of Smoke have done before me; however, who knows what the future holds. My fear is that BBQ is waning in popularity which is sad to me. There are fewer and fewer t.v. shows that focus on all things BBQ, and there has been a decline in the number of competitions. On the upshot, there will always be a strong base to support good BBQ since BBQ isn't about competitions or t.v. as much as it is a way and style of cooking. Additionally, there are BBQ restaurants in both chain and individual forms that continue to grow across the country, the number of sauces and rubs available at local stores continues to increase in variety and styles, and people who just enjoy good, slow-cooked, ol' fashioned, smoke-filled, take-the-secret-of-the-sauce-recipe-to-the-grave, lip-smacking good BBQ keep on enjoying their body weight in BBQ each year. Whether you call it BBQ, Bar-B-Que, Barbecue, or Heaven slathered in a sweet and sticky sauce, we gotta keep the flame burning with the accompanying thin, blue flame. If the Kardashians and the Real Housewives of Hair Product #3 can stay popular, I think the future for BBQ is pretty bright. It would be too sad to consider otherwise. Y'all take care, and Riley says, "Hello and I'm not going out to pee in that."