Shaking off the rust…

First off, we all got #Boatrighted in Bixby. Congrats to Kent on the GC. 

What a way to get the BBQ year started!  I was the last team to pull in, landed right in the middle of all my OK BBQ family, and was right nextdoor to Three Hog Night Smokers. After unloading my new Cargo trailer and figuring out where to put everything for the first go at a new setup and attending the cook’s meeting, we all proceeded to surprise Donny & Cindy Teel on their 30th wedding anniversary. It was a great evening that was followed up by TNK hosting a breakfast to get us all fueled for Saturday. 

For having not cooked at a competition since October, it went fairly well. When the dust settled, my cook yielded me 4th place brisket and 13th overall out of 83 teams.  Next stop on the circuit is Okmulgee 

Till next time…

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Back in Kansas

It has been a few weeks since we loaded everything up and tranplanted our family back to Kansas. Surprisingly, only a few things got broken and the odd few items are still missing or misplaced, but so far the boys are loving that we are so close to Grandma and Grandpa and have ~12 acres to explore.  Along with the acreage comes some yard work and maintenance. I’ve been busy clearing out undergrowth and trimming trees and Kristi got herself a new Grasshopper mower.  The house has been unoccupied for a couple of years and needs a little TLC here and there but will be a great place. 

The only real issue we have had is that despite being less than 2.5-3 miles out of town, cellular reception and the ability to get internet has been less than ideal. I’m still hopeful for unlimited radio tower internet but Kristi is ready to throw in the towel and get satellite internet with bandwith limits. 

My shoulder is starting to feel pretty good and my BBQ habit has been on hold all spring, but I think I’m about ready to buy some stuff and get back out there. I’ve updated my schedule to work around the call schedule at my new job. Stop #1 will hopefully bring me to Bixby. 

Till next time (hopefully with internet and pictures)…

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OKC Farewell

Where to begin… I have accepted a new position in Coffeyville, Kansas. 

Four years ago we packed up everything and moved our little family from KC (Kristi and I had lived in the Lawrence/KC area since we were married) to OKC. Not knowing what to expect, we moved to a new state with a toddler and 4 month old. What we were met with was a great city with so many great memories and firsts…

Noah’s 1st birthday

First day of school for both of our sons

First T-ball game

First church group – Faithmates

First swimming lessons

Family cruise to Alaska

Kristi winning best in show at the state fair

My first mission trip to the Dominican Republic

Extended family vacations to Colorado and Texas

First KCBS BBQ contest in Chandler, OK

First (and second) time volunteering with Habitat for Humanity

Kristi and I traveling to Europe for the first time

And so many more…

But what we will miss the most is you!  We have made great friends and been so fortunate that you have included us in your lives. OKC and you will hold a special place in our hearts. 

While Edmond has become home, we are ready to move close to family.  Kristi and I had been talking about wanting our children in a smaller school district and buying a house with more land.  So when this opportunity came up, it felt right.

For all my BBQ friends, I will probably miss you this Spring but hope to see you at contests in the summer and fall. 

Till next time,

The Oklahoma Jayhawk

(I’ll probably keep the name)

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Last KCBS contest of the year

After a short drive to Sand Springs, OK, I found myself at the last KCBS contest of the year for Oklahoma Jayhawk BBQ.  With nice cool weather, the teams setup at River Park.  I was treated to a brisket chili dinner by Moo Chew Sooey and Backwoods Pecan Pie Moonshine (seriously the best shine) by Three Hog Nights.  After trying a few new things this cook (changed to cooking everything in pans and used new rubs on everything except chicken, I found myself with an unimpressive overall score of 660.  However, this was all overshadowed by my first 1st place call that was also a 180 in ribs.  It made for a great way to end the BBQ season.

Looking back over the year, I notice that I managed to score above 170 in every category at least once, but could never manage to do it at the same time.  My average scores for chicken, ribs and pork all went up; whereas my average brisket score actually went down.  Two guesses what I will be practicing the most this winter.

Till next time…

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A Crazy 5 Weeks

Sometimes it is hard to know where to begin but perhaps grateful is the most appropriate. The last five weeks have been filled with adventure and reunification. It all started when I let my wife Kristi pick which anesthesia seminar trip would would go on this year. As it turned out, she selected a Mediterranean cruise. From there it expanded to include Paris and Munich; resulting in a 21 day, 7 country travel whirlwind.  We were lucky enough that our parents agreed to stay with our sons while we traveled.

We started off with a red-eye Delta flight from Oklahoma City to Paris via Atlanta.  After a little bit of sleep and a lot of jet lag, we hit the ground running in Paris. Following  a lengthy line through customs, we hopped a train to dowtown Paris to our hotel. It cost a bit more, but it was great to be just steps away from the Louvre, Tuileries Garden, the Seine, Notre Dame, Musee d’Orsay and a metro ride away from so much more.

From Paris we had a short flight to Barcelona to board our Holland America ship, the Nieuw Amsterdam. The ship then ferried us to St Tropez, Monte Carlo, Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Rome, Naples, Sicily, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Montenegro and Venice. After Venice, we rode the train to Munich for Oktoberfest. Each stop offered us new cultures and excursions.   My wife’s blog does a great job of highlighting each day/destination.  I have provided a montage of selfies and photos at the end. 

Even after our journey half way across the world, I ventured up to Kansas City to visit the Oklahoma teams at the American Royal contest and have some drinks with a couple of former anesthesia classmates. The next morning I met my brother Keenan and his wife Merideth for brunch in Lawrence on the way home. It amazes me how I still feel at home walking downtown in Lawrence. 

After a short work week, it was back to my hobby of competition bbq for my last contest of the year in Sand Springs, OK. Hopefully, not too rusty after a month off…

It has been a month of adventure, travel, new experiences, old friends and some time away with my wife. I truly feel blessed by all of it

Till next time 

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
   

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Just the Guys

Saturday, I thought it would be fun to get out of the house and have a day with just my sons. The first stop in our journey was practical since it is August and the boys needed new shoes for school. Kristi and I almost always buy Elijah and Noah shoes at Stride Rite because they don’t cost any more than other brands and hold up really well. So, without paying attention too much but prohibiting shoes with light and sounds, I let the boys have their pick. Elijah picked some Skechers. Then I laughed when I realized Noah picked the exact same Stride Rite shoes he wore into the store. Of course we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go to the Lego store without mom :) 

 
By the time the boys had picked out a Lego set, it was time for lunch.  With no real consensus on where to go, Noah wanted pizza and Elijah wanted a bread bowl; I overruled then both and went to Mutt’s Amazing Hot Dogs. The fried pickles and cheesy fries were a big hit.  

 
Tummies satisfied, we drove over to what I like to call “The Cheap Ghetto Theater” (aka $2 movies at Northpark 7 Starplex Cinema) to watch Tomorrowland. The message of the movie was lost on my 5 and 3 year old, but they loved all the rockets, jet packs and robots. 

After the movie was over, we headed off to the park since there was a breeze and it was under 95 degrees for the first time this week. They only lasted about 45 minutes before getting really hot and thirsty. It was a good day out and around OKC. 

Off to home to build those Legos!

Till next time…

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Liberty Fest and Fort Smith

It has been a great couple of weeks for the Hogan clan. Even though I worked on the Friday and Saturday of the July 4th weekend, we had a great time attending Edmond’s Liberty Fest events. Kristi took the boys to the morning parade while I was at work placing labor epidurals like they were going out of style. After I got off of work that evening, we drove to the UCO campus to get our parking spot and set out our chairs and blanket for the fireworks show. I’m always impressed how great the show is for a town no bigger than Edmond.

Elijah and Noah playing frisbee with a couple of kids while waiting for the fireworks show to start.

This past weekend, I packed up and made a trip to the Bordertown BBQ Bash in Fort Smith, AR and man it was a scorcher. ¬†I almost had my first DQ in competition when I turned in my pork with 10 seconds left on the clock. In the end, Oklahoma Jayhawk was lucky enough to get a 7th place call in chicken and pull 15th in pork with a crowd of great teams. I committed my constant error of making my ribs too dark, but that doesn’t compare to how much they hated my brisket. Despite being so hot and my rather poor showing, it was a great contest that was reorganized and relocated on short notice after flooding – I hope my schedule allows me to come back. ¬†Congrats to TNK on RGC and Clark Crew on another GC

Till next time…

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