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Monday, June 23, 2008 

And now for something completely different...

“How did you do on your test?”

“I passed! But I failed!”

“Then I am happy and sad for you.”

This quote from the 80’s classic “Real Genius” (starring a youthful Val Kilmer), sums up our first contest of the weekend. But, before I post about that, I need to back up a bit.

I’ve been awol from the blog-o-sphere. Since posting on February 28th, nobody has heard a peep from me about the world of barbecue or anything else. My apologies. I’ll make it up to you. Promise.

My absence from the blog is due, for the most part, to an excess of working. Since February, I’ve been neck deep in projects including a stint of excessive studying for a certification related to my career (the results of which won’t be known until August).

This is not to say that I’ve been kept from barbecue. Nothing can keep me from the pleasure of the grill and smoker. I’ve smoked briskets, pork shoulders, ribs, nuts and eggs. I’ve grilled fish, steaks, sausages and fruit. I’ve tried to keep at it, but all the while my focus has been elsewhere. And this weekend at Merrimack, it showed. But, that’s a story for later.

Before I tell ya’ll about our first contests of the season, I want to make mention of the incredible outpouring of support Howling Hog Barbecue has seen from our friends and family this season. As I’ve mentioned in the past, this hobby is expensive, and the members of this team are not exactly wealthy folks. So, to help make this hobby less costly to our respective household budgets, I begged and schmoozed with friends and family and others who simply dig the idea of lending a hand to a small barbecue team out of Vermont. The results have been wonderful. Through the help of these folks, we’ve raised nearly a third of what I feel our yearly budget for competing is. With their help, we’re fully registered for all of our events, and were able to buy a new tent and some other much needed equipment and are the proud owners of a new Weber One-Touch Gold.

I want to recognize all of our supporters, they are:

  • Rhonda Barr and Tracy Wolters
  • Rachel and Chris Gilker
  • Pete and Melissa Fellows
  • Sally and Kelly Hull
  • Rita Seto and Nate Miller
  • Jim and Maggie Francoeur
  • Jim and Kathy Driesch
  • Eric Kenyon and Gigi Fanning

With special mention for their extreme generosity to:

  • Sandy Sargent
  • Rob Hurley and Tara Race
  • Doctors without Boundaries

Thank you to all of our good friends and supporters. We really couldn’t do this without you.