-Salt, first off Merry Christmas to you and all the other members of this forum.
My first venture with the smoker went well although certainly not without mishap. I did a chicken since I had read from various other forum entries that the first one or two times are not all that good. So I wanted to try and cheaper meal if I screwed it up. But all in all, the chicken came out good - moist and smokey. But I had to struggle with the fire temps getting too hot at first and the food cooking way too rapidly. But I finally got that in order. But at some point, my food probe stopped working (kept showing HHH instead of the temp). But at some point, I squeezed the connector back into the transmitter and that seemed to correct the problem.
It was a good experience overall, learned alot. I think my next attempt will be spare ribs.
Thanks to everyone for their help in getting me going.