My name's Kris, I live in Indianapolis, IN.
My first brush with smoking was Turkey's with my mom at Thanksgiving on an electric smoker when I was a teenager (20+ years ago). Since then my interest has grown steadily.
I started doing my own smoking probably 10 years ago after getting settled into the first house my wife and I bought. Had one of the Brinkman smoker/charcoal grills, and kept the tradition of doing Turkeys for the Fall/Winter holidays.
Maybe 4 years ago, when the Brinkman was rusted out in places, I picked up a Char-griller small barrel (the same size that works as the side box on the larger ones). Then about 2 years ago I went bigger and turned the small barrel into the sidebox. I've enjoyed staying up on overnighters doing 10-20 lbs worth of pork butt on a number of occasions, but continue to want more. Last year I bought a vertical gas/charcoal smoker (the Master Forge from Lowes) that can hold quite a bit more meat, and does a decent job holding temp (i.e. less babysitting as long as the wireless temp is nearby). I like to fire it up to do multiple chickens or a few racks of ribs, though I often indirect grill those on the barrel as well.
With a birthday coming up, and the fact that we've recently moved into a bigger house with a good amount of patio and deck space, my wife has relented, and blessed the purchase of a kamado to go along with everything else...I was worried she would make me give one up to get a new one, but she's a good wife : )
I've pretty much decided to go with the Char-Griller Akorn since the reviews have been pretty good with some minor mods - plus it's easier to spend $350 than 3x that much. I hope to have it home and seasoned by this weekend to test it out with some friends coming over.
I look forward to exploring the site and the forums and getting new ideas.