Sunday, September 24, 2017

Barely Off the Beaten Path ~ Cumming's Smokey Q on Lake Lanier Serves Up Flavor Heaven

Anyone who remembers the late great Atlanta syndicated columnist Lewis Grizzard knows he was the Will Rodgers of 20th century Georgia. He waxed humorously & poetically on a myriad of subjects, none more profound than Lewis Grizzard on BBQ.

Those comments barely scratch the surface on Grizzard's BBQ Rule Book. Here we shall recap the rules plus toss in what minimal additional wisdom of our own we can muster.

  1. BBQ a/k/a barbecue is a noun. It is not a verb. You do not barbecue anything.
  2. You grill beef, pork, chicken, burgers & hot dogs. You do not barbecue those things.
  3. To say you barbecue anything would make barbecue a verb. Barbecue is not a verb.
  4. Anyone who claims to barbecue anything is either a Yankee or a Yankee rube transplant.
  5. You eat BBQ, which properly makes that a noun in this sentence.
  6. BBQ is made from pork or chicken.
  7. The BBQ Rule Book says BBQ is not made from beef. This debate rages on to the west.
  8. Yankee snobs think BBQ is not fine cuisine. BBQ joints do not welcome Yankee snobs.
  9. Many BBQ gurus were trained at the CIA. Others were trained at the CIA. Some at both.
10. BBQ gurus in Rule 9 prove snobs in Rule 8 to be idiots. Rule 8 idiots then disappear.

On the Lake Lanier shore in Cumming Georgia at the legendary Bald Ridge Marina is a BBQ establishment Lewis Grizzard would love. And patrons of Smokey Q would love Lewis.

Founded in 2016, Smokey Q replaced very respectable sandwich shops that had occupied the space for years. The problem was few go to a sandwich shop by either car or boat to hang out. Every other Lanier marina had festive destination dining spots & watering holes. With the arrival of Smokey Q Bald Ridge has not only a festive destination spot, it has one like no other on Lake Lanier.

Smokey Q's founder, owner, manager, chef & waitstaff Rudy Connor was born in Alabama & later lived in Louisiana. He graduated from the University of Alabama but is not obnoxious about it. This is good for a business owner who wishes to do well in Georgia. And do well Rudy does.

Little is known about Rudy's culinary training. He may or may not have trained at either CIA. No claim is made here one way or the other. Rudy did not authorize the use of these logos.

Rudy may or may not have resided for 5 years in Switzerland. Switzerland is known globally for secrecy, fine cuisine & the extreme scarcity of superior BBQ. This makes for a mysterious 5 years. It may or may not make for a great cover story. Best not to ask too many questions.

Some claim Smokey Q has a remote & mysterious location one can only access via passage thru a manned security gate. One must answer questions by uniformed security officers to be admitted. This bears an uncanny resemblance to the Swiss border.

In truth getting to Smokey Q is far less complicated & intimidating than a Swiss border crossing. If you can find the Cumming Costco you are almost there. Drive toward the lake. When you get to the security gate toot the horn twice, close your left eye & whisper the top secret password "Smokey Q". Security will then let you in without signing anything free of charge. Not very complicated at all.

Getting to Smokey Q by boat is even less complicated. Sail or motor to Bald Ridge. Tie up at dock. Go to Smokey Q. Even less security interrogation & red tape. It's all because you are going to see Rudy at Smokey Q. There may be some mischief but there will be no trouble.

However you arrive at Smokey Q even a Yankee snob can figure it out.

Upon arrival you will know you have arrived. Smokey Q World Headquarters is conspicuous by the abundance of available parking & absence of valet parking attendants.

This is when all the fun starts if all the fun has not started already. You are about to eat.

But not so fast. Chill. Before you eat we must tell you how Rudy will help you chill. Smokey Q now offers Game Day Specials that include $3 beers, 50 cent wings & hours later than Rudy claims to stay open anywhere we can find. In other words he'll stay open pretty much as long as people are eating & watching games & enjoying themselves. Within reason.

Lewis Grizzard would have no qualms with the Smokey Q menu & what is missing from it. Rudy & Smokey Q abide by Rule 6 & Rule 7. Beef is also known by foreigners as brisket. Brisket is known as pointe de poitrine to very very foreign people like the French. Who cares what the French call anything? They are usually even bigger snobs than most Yankees.

Beef & brisket can be considered BBQ only by metrosexual urban cowboys in alien faraway western lands such as Texas & Oklahoma. To Lewis's certain dismay this outlandish variety of BBQ has even found its way onto menus elsewhere in Cumming & to the north in bucolic Dawsonville. We might say nice things about such menus if the menu owners pay us. But they have not offered that yet so we will not say nice things.

Now back to what Smokey Q does serve up that no other place anywhere does serve up. Killer BBQ pork & chicken, smokey wings, a Philly cheesesteak & smoked chicken Philly, pork ribs, pork & chicken tacos, potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans and mac & cheese. All are Rudy's private recipe, made fresh & made by Rudy. Smokey Q's Special Red & Carolina Mustard sauces are Rudy's private recipe, made fresh & made by Rudy.

Rudy also makes his own private recipe rubs. He does not sell his rubs but should. Another thing he should sell but doesn't is his baked wings before smoking them. The rub alone gives them a flavor that would make Lewis smile. Rudy claims space limitations make selling those a challenge. The only challenge Rudy can not overcome is he that went to U of Aladamnbama.

Yet another thing Rudy makes but does not sell due to space limitations is a BBQ staple, Brunswick Stew. Rudy's Brunswick Stew will make your whole family smile, but you can only get it by advance special order or having Smokey Q cater your event. Rudy offers no link to his catering business, so we let Flynt Waters tell you about it in the recent quote above.

We would show you photos of the food if we had them which we don't. We ate the food. We would blow the amazing aromas of Smokey Q at you if we could which we can't. Plus the photos & aromas would only drive you nuts that you are wherever you are & not at Smokey Q. So instead we show you the menu to fill space & confirm what we said in the paragraph above the menu. Some things you gotta wait for & experience in person for yourself.

Another thing Smokey Q serves up that no other place anywhere serves up is the Smokey Q vibe. We can fill more space & write more words by showing you & talking about the vibe.

Smokey Q walls are covered with music, cinema & history memorabilia from Rudy's private collection. The collection is eclectic. Eclectic may or may not be a French word but it sure is not American. Words like eclectic give Smokey Q the vibe no one else can claim.

Rudy insists this poster is more about quartet music than about the "other talent" for which the Clermont Lounge is known. Sure Rudy. We believe you.

Some artwork is about talent we know but in some language other than American. Like maybe French. That might be spoken in secret & mysterious foreign places like Switzerland. Things may or may not be starting to add up.

Oh yeah. Big screen TVs. And the large outdoor patio. The eclectic indoor dining room has many big screen TV's. So does the large outdoor patio. Both will soon get more big screen TVs. And the outdoor patio will soon be heated & semi enclosed so it won't be quite as outdoors. But it will stay heated. In other words everything that is now already real good is about to get even real better. Everything.

As if we haven't told you enough about what Smokey Q serves up that nobody else does. There is still more. Another thing Smokey Q serves up that no other place anywhere serves up is the Smokey Q perfect customer reviews. Actually customers serve those up. Smokey Q does not serve reviews.

Here we gotta get real serious. Almost. Name one other business that has been open for over a year that has not one less than perfect review. You can't do it.

Better than a perfect score can not be achieved without brown nosing the teacher for extra credit bonus points or bribing the scorekeeper. Kinda like the University of Alabama. Rudy refuses to brown nose or bribe anyone without some guarantee he can not get caught. We hope to not get caught for using gettyimages without paying them.

Smokey Q has nothing but 5 Star maxed out reviews. But they have only 22 of them as of this second. Smokey Q deserves more 5 Star reviews.

Rudy has too much integrity to ask specifically for 5 Star reviews. But he says he would simply like more candid reviews. And he will to his part to make sure every customer has a 5 Star experience. We on the other hand have very little integrity.

For every customer who leaves a candid review Rudy may or may not give away a free trip to Switzerland. That is a place where he supposedly lived. Rudy did not necessarily approve this contest or announcement. Rudy did not really approve any of this. 

Note: See revised genuine Call to Action below:

Because of everything we have said you must go to Smokey Q & eat. And you must stay there a while. Or maybe in spite of what we said or how we said it. Either way you must go to Smokey Q. Rudy is way better at food & Smokey Q is a way better place to be than we are at talking about any of it.

Who knows? If you go to Smokey Q you may or may not see something like this next year.

Do not go here for more information about Smokey Q. That link will tell you they are closed when in fact they may be open. Rudy is a real good food guy but maybe a not so good internet guy. Other info there may or may not be true or accurate. Kinda like all the info here.

Rudy even plans to expand the Smokey Q menu. It is perfectly okay to ask Rudy what BBQ stuff he may add. But do not ask him what new stuff he may barbecue. Rudy wants his BBQ food to disappear. He does not want to have to make any Smokey Q customer disappear.

If you've been to Smokey Q please take note. Smokey Q still has great Facebook & TripAdvisor reviews but more of them would really help.

Please click links below and leave a review on TripAdvisor and/or Facebook. The next time you're at Smokey Q show review on your phone to Rudy, mention this, and he is very likely to give you a free draft beer.

If he smacks me for this I will have to take the post down.

But I hope he won't smack me.

And remember that Smokey Q is open all year!

Lewis Grizzard approved this message until someone can prove otherwise.


Rudy Connor
Smokey Q at Bald Ridge Marina
1850 Bald Ridge Marina Road
Cumming GA 30041
Smokey Q Website

Monday, September 11, 2017

Comfort Zone CEO's Foxhead Farm May Serve as Hurricane Relief Base Camp

Soperton GA

Comfort Zone Portables CEO Mark Slade constantly strives to plan ahead for any contingency. Whether it is to serve at a large music fest in California or first responder relief after a natural disaster, Slade anticipates needs before they arise and devises prospective solutions.

So it is with Foxhead Farm in Soperton Georgia. With relative quiet on the storm front since 2008, Foxhead has served as a hunting & fishing retreat for family, friends & Comfort Zone business associates. Roughly halfway between Macon & Savannah just south of Interstate 16, the farm is convenient to travelers across Georgia & the southeast.

In his years of stewardship Slade has made annual improvements to Foxhead. He added a second pond, thinned trees, planted others, groomed acreage & meticulusly restored & maintained biological & botanical balance.

Slade even maintains a "no-shoot" rattlesnake policy consistent with a wildlife preserve. If a rattler threatens kill it only in self-defense. Otherwise get out of the snake's habitat. Snakes were here before humans.

It is Slade's instinct to improve assets & enhance the quality & value of everything. Businesses he creates, events that Comfort Zone serves & property he owns all improve & thrive under Slade management.

Slade has continued to anticipate his original vision that Foxhead would serve a larger purpose in the event of natural disaster in the southeast US. That time has come. In the wake of Hurricane Irma first responders will require shelter & basic life essentials to do their work.

Slade's plan is to construct an approximate 200 man camp for relief workers & utility employees, perhaps even military personnel. The buildings for housing will be wind rated, allowing teams to take shelter pre-storm & for rapid response afterward.

As is becoming well known to large event producers, government agencies & others, Comfort Zone provides innovative, environmentally sustainable sanitation technology where it is needed. Products & services include mobile restrooms, showers & fresh water delivery, as well as kitchen, laundry facilities & more. A large tract of Foxhead Farm serves as a marshalling yard of sorts for such equipment, one of many strategically located across the US.

Mark Slade anticipates that Foxhead can serve as a long term encampment for Irma relief workers. Comfort Zone can provide much of the required infrastructure from its own inventory of products. What is not in their primary line of business Slade can readily secure through his vast network of associates. Tents, temporary buildings, generators, propane boilers & full maintenance & service staff can be in place on very short notice.

In the immediate term Comfort Zone is mobilizing to serve in Texas, Florida, Georgia & wherever need takes them. In the intermediate & long term Mark Slade, Comfort Zone & Foxhead Farm stand at the ready to serve a larger purpose.

Comfort Zone is an industry leader in innovative global sanitation solutions.

Contact Info:

Name: Mark Slade
Organization: Comfort Zone Portables
Address: 5655 Shirlee Industrial Way, Alpharetta, GA 30004, United States
Phone: +1-770-772-8066

For more information please visit

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Comfort Zone Delivers Newest Technology Shower Facilities in Hurricane Relief

Atlanta GA

Comfort Zone Portables is an industry leader in providing sanitation technology to music fests & large scale events across North America. In August & September Comfort Zone was called to action in another arena in which it has over a decade of experience - first responder work.

Hurricane Harvey brought record levels of damage to Texas, and Comfort Zone responded with aid to several coastal towns in the form of base camps for those first on the scene for rescue & recovery.

With Texas efforts still underway Hurricane Irma approached up the Caribbean, and Comfort Zone prepared to go to work for days before landfall in the Florida Keys.

Dating to before Hurricane Katrina, Comfort Zone has delivered mobile restrooms, showers, water tanks and kitchen & laundry facilities where needed. Those come in the form of portalets, trailers & a variety of innovative solutions that best suit conditions in affected areas.

In the wake of Irma in Florida & northward, Comfort Zone aspires to introduce the latest technology for a number of needs, in particular large scale modular shower systems.

The traditional approach to mobile showers are large trailer units, and Comfort Zone was among the first to introduce those. Trailers offer clean, individual stalls complete with their own water supply when permanent facilities are otherwise scarce or unavailable.

While trailers provide comfort & essential hygienic solutions, getting them to relief sites is a major logistical challenge. Such trailers are inherently large steel compartments with sophisticated plumbing systems - and many cubic feet of air.

In Irma relief Comfort Zone plans to utilize their modular 4500 Showers Series.

The 4500 Series is a unique collapsible and reliable shower system, ideal when logistics are a challenge. The modular system offers economical transport, is quick & easy to assemble, and can be applied at open air events, in tent complexes, existing buildings such as sport halls & trade fair halls.

Tented showers can be assembled in various layouts & quantity of stalls. Showers are fitted with water saving shower heads & provide hot water 24 hours a day. They can include extra changing areas for additional privacy.

A key advantage to the 4500 Series is logistical efficiency. The system ships in the equivalent of solid cubes & is assembled on site. The result is high capacity & a small footprint. Hot water is supplied by propane boilers, and drain water is removed to the public sewer or frac storage tanks if sewer in unavailable.

The system is efficient to ship, install, maintain & dismantle, and it can remain in continuous use for long periods with minimal service.

As with every Comfort Zone innovation, the 4500 Shower Series benefits the user, immediate community environment, an often stressed surrounding ecosystem - and planet earth.

Comfort Zone stands ready to put their latest innovative systems to work after Hurricane Irma as soon as conditions are suitable for mobilization.

Comfort Zone is an industry leader in innovative global sanitation solutions.

Contact Info:

Name: Mark Slade
Organization: Comfort Zone Portables
Address: 5655 Shirlee Industrial Way, Alpharetta, GA 30004, United States
Phone: +1-770-772-8066

For more information please visit

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Phi Gamma Delta ~ Kappa Deuteron Chapter at the University of Georgia

Athens GA

Those who think only of the movie Animal House when they hear the word "fraternity" do not know Phi Gamma Delta. In particular they do not know the Kappa Deuteron chapter of Phi Gamma Delta at the University of Georgia.

On March 24, 2018 Kappa Deuteron will host its 50th annual graduate Pig Dinner to commemorate the anniversary of their 1968 founding on the Athens campus. They just learned there will be far more to celebrate than the remarkable last half century.

Technically, “founding” is not the proper word. “Recolonization” is correct. Phi Gam, also known as FIJI, existed at UGA from 1870 to 1890, whereupon the university expelled them for violating curfew to attend the circus. The infamy! No brothers from the era could be reached for comment, so that particular chapter in chapter history figuratively & literally ends here.

Early recolonized brethren learned much from poor judgment of those 1800s Phi Gam rascals. To avoid alternative recreation expulsion from campus again they left the country. In this case a hasty Thanksgiving 2,167 mile road trip to Juarez Mexico. No "going to the circus" misbehavior or mischief for these exemplary young men.

Rumor has it Golden Owl original chapter members may plan a 50th Anniversary 2018 wee hour road trip to this revered establishment for touch up of wrinkled & faded ankle artwork.

Kappa Deuteron will indeed have much to celebrate in 2018. On September 7 they were awarded their 14th Cheney Cup for "greatest all-around efficiency in scholarship, fraternity relationships & general collegiate activities." In other words, the Best 2017 Phi Gamma Delta Chapter in ... the World.

UGA FIJIs won recognition for a record number of 2017 national awards. They include the Baker Cup for religious, ethical, and social service activities & the Brightman Trophy for relations between the chapter & graduate brothers. They earned 2nd place for the Coon Plaque - best chapter publication & the Jordan Bowl -  highest comparative scholarship among the undergraduate chapters.

Famous Phi Gams include Calvin Coolidge, Johnny Carson, Phil Knight, Mike Pence, Seth Meyers, John Ritter, Roone Arledge, Admiral William Crowe, Jack Kerouac, Tom Peters, EB White, Norman Vincent Peale, Donald Trump Jr, Sal Bando, John Cappaletti, Skip Caray, Hale Irwin, Jack Nicklaus, Christy Mathewson, Bob Mathias, Roger Penske, Bobby Rahal, Dean Smith, Payne Stewart, Jerry Pate, Byron White, Tom Brookshier & Matt Suhey.

Kappa Deuterons have long been known for apprecation of individual style & character. Unless the evening theme for some sorority social is "Hey there beautiful lady. I'm Bob from Irwinton."

Kappa Deuterons take pride in some impressive alums of their own, including a major university president, chairman of a national bank, high ranking military officers & innumerable CEOs, judges, physicians, attorneys, ministers & entrepreneurs. They even boast a major Atlanta network chief meteorologist & the UGA Bulldogs Sanford Stadium football announcer. This chapter clearly enjoys a legacy of high achievers.

Kappa Deuteron has also enjoyed their share of colorful personalities. Those include consecutive year student body presidential candidates Chicken Little, Munchin Mark & Ima Duo. The last and only to actually be elected & serve in office was The Unknown Candidate,
who ran his campaign in disguise with a grocery bag over his head.

A brother once known as Keggel is now a senior bank executive. Moonpie is a PhD & dean of a state college business school. Poonhead is a corporate CFO, as is BoBo. Wormy is VP at a stock brokerage. Ajax is broker at a storied real estate agency. So is Chomper. Nick the Stud owned several award winning preschools. Weasel is VP at a major plastics business. Stalker became a journalistic honcho & claims he kept a straight face in the 1978 photo above while interviewing Brothers with whom he pretended to have no affiliation. Early media bias & corruption at its finest. As it should be.

Sparky is a racketeering orthodontist. DA is President of an insurance company with a confusing name. Goose is CEO of a medical services something. Beast is a physician no one wants to visit. BD is a dentist who got rich performing unneeded root canals. Murph wasted a Wilkinson Award & Harvard Law School degree by opening a craft beer brewery which in truth adds far more value to mankind than being some ambulance chasing lawyer.

Scoop is a prominent attorney. Idi Amin is a successful CPA. Papa is a judge & law school professor. Vito is such a big shot at a multinational technology conglomerate one must pay to get his contact info. The Unknown Candidate became a major network director. Bambi became an insurance kingpin by answering the wrong side of a help wanted ad.

Grandfather gives one speech a year in broken German, can still fall asleep standing up & otherwise lurks beneath the radar. Brigadier is a tycoon of some sort & legend in his own mind.

Watty is as unhinged as ever & will never amount to much. The Commodore peddled Florida swampland before becoming a tabloid journalist hack writer. Every dynasty has a black sheep or two. Some less than stellar individuals secure bids only by virtue of a superior older sibling.

The very least worthy individuals require more than one superior elder relative to secure a bid.

Watching over this brood & keeping them on the straight & narrow for 50 years is a wise & prudent Mother Hen, Director of UGA Student Affairs Office of Judicial Programs. No one ever worked up enough courage to call him Mother Hen lest they face consequences from the UGA Student Affairs Office of Judicial Programs.

Because of or in spite of the above, Kappa Deuteron got off to a fast start in terms of national awards. They sustained that momentum for decades. They won their first Cheney Cup in 1972, only 4 years after their return to the UGA campus. They were awarded the Cup again in 1973, twice more in the late '70s and twice again in the '80s & '90s. During an embarrassing run from 2001 to 2004 they won the Cup for 4 consecutive years. Once more in 2011.

Now another Cheney Cup in 2017, with collection of other high honors to accompany that. One would think such recognition might induce complacency. But Kappa Deuteron has never been a group of young men to rest on their laurels.

Keggel, Poonhead, Bobo, Moonpie, Wormy, Ajax, Chomper, Nick the Stud, Weasel, Stalker, Sparky, DA, Goose, Beast, BD, Murph, Scoop, Idi Amin, Papa, Vito, The Unknown Candidate, Bambi,  Grandfather & Brigadier will be among high achievers in attendance at the 2018 50th Anniversary Pig Dinner. Watty & the Commodore, meh. But hundreds of others will reunite on March 24 to celebrate a pretty good first half century.

All Kappa Deuteron Brothers are hereby dutifully, officially & threateningly encouraged to register for Pig Dinner 50 & Lodging today. As in right now. Like post haste. Without further ado. We really don't want to make Ira the Enforcer have to come and find you. Capiche?

Phi Gamma Delta brother Tom Peters of Cornell authored In Search of Excellence. One can find 50 years of excellence at the Kappa Deuteron Chapter at the University of Georgia.

Kappa Deuteron Chapter
Phi Gamma Delta
3 Cloverhurst Court
Athens GA 30606