Rollin' Like Sisyphus

The Best Of The Best Of The Best, With Honors

Posted in Our Simple Affirmative Action President by Huckleberry on May 31, 2013

Down, but not out. Plus, for all the points on a compass, there's only one direction, really...

Down, but not out. Plus, for all the points on a compass, there’s only one direction, really…


One of the first things any child learns is the application of deflecting blame when caught doing something wrong. Ideally, that child quickly learns that such a tactic is not only ineffective, but morally bankrupt. Or, failing that, the child never learns from a single mistake and embarks on a shiftless, middling career as a quasi-academic politico who stumbles into the Oval Office to become our Simple Affirmative Action President.

To paraphrase an old saying, one scandal is a big fucking deal, 259 scandals are statistical noise. A classic element of most magic tricks is misdirection – artful misdirection involves the magician skillfully directing your eyes to his left hand while his right hand picks your pocket without you catching wise. As the O-Force has recently demonstrated, the inartful “magician” sets off all of the smoke bombs simultaneously, chucks an entire deck of cards in your face, insists that it’s not HIS rabbit defecating on your shoe, all while his thick-lipped goon shoves a fist in your back pocket, fumbles your wallet out and says “you didn’t see nothin’, got it?”

Contemporary Western Politics, in a nutshell.

As I’ve said before, though, it’s a show, so enjoy it.

Chances are you’ll never see the likes of it again.

Enough of that, though. Let’s talk Q.

The weather’s been absolutely incredible here the past couple of weeks, which has meant a lot of time outside, but the BBQ was almost done for this past weekend. For whatever reason, the vent flue on the firebox of my brick-and-mortar cooker – my pride and joy, incidentally – fused in the full-open position. This was a non-starter, because my fires require a nearly closed inlet so it’ll stoke mellow and give me an even 235 for several hours. At that point, I gradually open the flue over the course of several more hours to keep everything going, adding wood only occasionally. Of course, when I’m done, I shut everything up to keep as many critters out as possible. I had to cut the entire piece out with a plasma torch. Replacing it wouldn’t be an issue if it was a metal rig, but since its permanent brick and both the firebox and the smoke chamber are enclosed within a single larger cube for better insulation, I’d have to tear apart the whole damn thing to replace the flue.

Ordinarily I would have just let it lay, but it was Memorial Day. Better man than I died for my right to cook. People were on the way and expecting food. I dusted off one of my old smokers, the Weber, and did it like we used to do it. Smoked two beef rib slabs and a beautifully marbled brisket but the results were less than optimal. Also, the smaller smoker meant a lot of the good meat I meant to cook was taken off the menu, supplemented with burgers and dogs on the grill.

I forgot how much I liked the Weber, but I was totally out of the habit of keeping the damn fire at temp. I had to chop up all the wood into small chunks just to fit, I had to keep chucking it in every 45 minutes or so, which kept the temp on an inadvisable spike-and-plummet pattern, and I ended up having to use a lot more wood than I had planned. Nothing beats a good firebox, so I’m going to have to figure something out.

It’s slightly possible that it was neighborly sabotage that did my flue in, but I have no evidence.

Yet.

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