On my front, I am also happy to say that the day's grilling came off without a hitch. As I eluded to during the day, I was pretty much sticking to my schedule. The first, and really only snag came when I opened the chickens. They were bad. I mean real bad. I was looking for an environmental clean up team to get them out of the kitchen. We got them from Sam's and they were before their "sell by" date. I would have saved the label to get a refund, but I didn't feel like playing around with them anymore. Fortunately, or rather unfortunately, I ran over to Meijer to pick up two fresh birds. (Meijer: Nice because it's convenient; bad because it's Meijer). Our slight delay in chicken prep pushed the meal back by twenty minutes. However, in my book that is on time.
I used the trusty Minion Method on both kettles and easily maintained a ballpark 250 degrees all day. I added 10 additional unlit coals half way through the nine hour cook. In hindsight they were probably not necessary. The brisket peaked at 190 about 45 minutes before completion, so even though I started it early, I probably didn't need to do that either. I was slightly afraid the pork shoulders were going to need more time, but I was proven wrong. They coasted to 190 easily and were on time.
Thankfully, I had the help of Mike & Jayme (my KCBS judging brethren) to carve up our trifecta of meat. Although half the time, I think I caught Mike eating more pork bark than cutting.
Good friends, good food and good beer.