Greetings SMF'ers! It's about time I checked in formally, having lurked now for almost a month. I live in suburban Atlanta and do the 1950's style commute downtown every day (37 years with the same fine company and less than two years from packing it in!). My spiritual home, though, is the north Georgia mountains in a little town called Mineral Bluff, where my family has a log cabin on a ridge overlooking the Toccoa River. I get to work there most Fridays, so on a Thursday like today, my 4WD is loaded with fly rods, waders and clothes. When I get up there straight from my office today, I'll have time for about an hour's trout fishing before settling in with some dinner and a quiet evening. My wife, oldest daughter and dog usually join me up there Friday evenings after I'm done working (and maybe fished for another hour or so). It's a great life.
Thanks to this forum, my vehicle is also loaded with a brand new MES 30 (standard model), an ANMPS, Maverick 732, plenty of pellets, a grill mat, ceramic tile for a quick mod, and print outs of Jeff's rub and sauce recipes and his 5-day class notes. Actually, I also pre-shopped the ingredients for the rub and sauce, so all I'll need to pick up in the mountains is some chicken and ribs.
Smoking will be a real growth experience from my usual grilling, which has always been pretty basic. I've got a propane Weber in suburbia and a Weber kettle in Mineral Bluff. My skills, especially with the kettle, are sub-novice, which is why I went with the electric smoker. I look forward to learning how to smoke, which in Georgia is a major art form. My wife, in fact, has a second cousin with a very well regarded barbecue restaurant (Wallace Barbecue in Austell, GA), so maybe I can pick up some family secrets after I've advanced to novice status.
I appreciate you folks and all the experience, generosity and goodwill on this forum. As a member of several other web forums on fishing and shooting, I know how welcoming and helpful a community we devotees can be. And thanks to Jeff for bringing us together to learn and have some fun. I'm not much of a photographer, but I'll try to post a picture or two after I get set up this weekend.