I’m no Clive Cussler But…

I enjoy writing. One of my responsibilities here at Eastgate Pools is to write various scripts…on-hold, TV and radio ads, and promotional letters.

But I have also written a novel. Okay…consider this a poorly disguised, gratuitous sales pitch for you to jump on Amazon and order it. The title is Tayasal and it was published back in 2000. I call it an archaeological Tayasaladventure novel. It has slowly reached a point just short of being a million-seller. Your purchase would help me reach the 999,000 additional sales I still need. It is also available as an e-book but I get a better royalty with the printed copy. I started a sequel several years ago but got to a writer’s block moment. So the book set idle for several years until I recently re-read what I had written so far. Awful. Garbage. So…back to the drawing board.

Recently, I decided to resume writing and have new idea for a novel. I have an outline and a prologue written and as long as I don’t get another one of those block moments, it’s off to the races!

In the meantime, if you would like to read some of my other works, jump on the Ultimate Air Shuttle web site. I write for Ultimate Magazine, their in-air flight magazine. I’m always up for critique but only if the words are kind.

See you at the library. –Max

How tubs can be useful for all species

Indiana farmer uses hot tub to save baby bovine found in pile of snow


Safety Covers

Been thinking about a safety cover for the in-ground pool…?

Here’s a good reason to have one. This is a picture of our pool lot. Somewhere under that snow is an in-ground pool. PoolLot Now, imagine this is your home and your backyard. It just looks like a yard covered in snow, eh?

We could stand everyone that works here on top of this pool’s cover and they would be safe. –Max

Like meatloaf? Try this one.

I’ve never been a gourmet griller but when we started carrying the Kamado Joe ceramic grills, I was our first customer. I’ve always liked southern-style barbeque and this was my opportunity to get better on a grill and to satisfy my taste buds at the same time. Not to turn this into an ad for Kamado Joe, but I’ll admit that I am now fully hooked on this grill. I’ve done ribs that rival any of the famous steak houses, 8 lb. briskets, 7 lb. Boston Butt Pork roasts, stews, and of course regular steaks, chops, and chicken breasts. But I found a recipe for meatloaf and upon study I thought I could make it even better. The resulting? Moist, spicy, smoky, and very tasty meatloaf that I will make again. Soon. Don’t have a ceramic grill? We can help on that one too but you can also do this on a regular grill. Here’s the recipe:

Prep time: 20 minutes—tops.
Cooking time—2 hrs or less.20150207_164510


2.5 lb ground beef
1 lb sausage. Don’t do spicy. You won’t need it.
1 lb. ground veal.
5 TBS finely chopped sweet onion
2 TBS powdered barbeque seasoning.
3 TBS Hein 57
2 eggs.
6 oz. of chunk cheddar cheese, cut into pieces about the size of peas or beans
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 package of thin sliced bacon. And don’t you dare use that turkey stuff!

Mix everything in a large bowl, except for the bacon. Make sure the seasoning is not all clumped together. Form it into two evenly sized loaves, then place in a throw-away tin pan or meatloaf pan. Layer the bacon over the loaves, letting the pieces overlap about 1/3 of the way. One package covers both loaves with no leftover. (The bacon does not go under the loaves.)

Light lump charcoal and when the coals are ready add the heat deflector. Slowly bring the Kamado Joe temperature to 350-375. Remember, it is easier to get it hotter than to try and cool it off.

Cook at 350-375 degrees for about two hours or until you reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Remove and let stand for about 15 minutes then remove from the foil pans.

Eat, enjoy, and repeat. –Max

Hang In There

Hang in There. Warmer Weather is Just Around the Corner…

Almost forty years ago I was in Central America and picked up a copy of the Central American version of Time magazine. There was a blurb in the back titled “If winter comes, can spring training be far behind?”

I’ve always remembered this because it is true. Spring training is just around the corner and that means that warm weather is too. I say bring it on. I’m tired of this crappy winter weather. –Max

So is it ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy Holidays’?

I know that some people are offended when someone wishes them happy holidays. As for me, I don’t care. I personally prefer Merry Christmas but it boils down to this:

I appreciate any and all sentiments meant to wish me well in this holiday season. I cannot envision ever getting ticked off at someone that is simply wishing me well. I will not take it as a personal affront to my Christianity as I am sure it is not being intended that way.

So no matter what you choose to celebrate, here’s to it being safe, filled with friends and family, and merry happiness.

Happy holidays!
Merry Christmas!
Happy Hanukah!
Happy Kwanzaa!

Seasonal Products

As everyone is aware, Eastgate Pools & Spas is largely a seasonal business.
Well, we are into the new season and we have products for
the now as well. groupfamily3If you are cold, how about a hot tub? Soaking
your sore body in a steaming hot tub will warm you up.

Are you cold inside the house? How about an Infinity or EdenPURE™ infrared room heater? infinityheateredenpureheater
They produce even and efficient heat and will keep
you warm while saving you money.

Is all the staying warm inside boring the heck out of you? Then come in and check out our billiard department.
cascadeWhether you need a billiard table to entertain the family and guests, or you already have a billiard table and are looking for new accessories,
come and check us out. Customers come from all over Cincinnati just to
look for the billiard accessory they couldn’t find elsewhere.

Thinking of Closing the Pool Early?

You might want to think again.  Trust me, I know that we have not had the hottest of summers and some of you are just plain fed up with cool water.  But don’t close yet.  First, you are going still going to get some good hot weather.  And if the kids are back in school, that means the pool is all yours!

The other issue is that if you do close early, you are really going to be stretching the capacity of your winter closing kits to handle the inevitable hot weather still to come, not to mention what is in store next spring.  We’ve been selling the same winterizing kit for 30 years and it works!  But don’t press your luck. If you do indeed close early, add the proper winter kit(s) but consider adding a little extra—either an extra kit or a quart of Algae Destroyer algaecide.  I would avoid any algaecide in a gallon jug.  It is basically soap.  For those that plan on adding a few gallons of shock to the pool, know this:  It gasses off very quickly and if your cover is on the pool, this vaporized chlorine will ultimately weaken or destroy your winter cover.  Hey—it’s an oxidizer.  That’s what it’s supposed to do.

The simple solution is to keep the pool open and enjoy it.

Tornado in Upstate New York


We extend our sympathies to families affected by deadly tornados that blew through upstate New York.  I was drawn to the story on NBC.com and then zoomed in on their lead photo for the article.  Amid all the destruction is a seemingly undamaged Mira Grand Bahama hot tub.  We’ve had many just like this one on our sales floor so I immediately recognized the model.  It’s truly strange how some things survive  these deadly twisters and some things don’t.  There’s no explaining the force of nature when fully unleashed.  –Max

Apple Smoked Beef Brisket

The following recipe is for a Kamado Joe ceramic grill but will also work on a Swiss Grill.  On a Swiss Grill, simply dismiss the section on the potatoes, carrots, and onions.




5-8 lb. beef brisket

Your favorite marinade (Cajun style recommended for spicy brisket)

Your favorite dry rub

1-cup Apple wood chips

2-3 medium-large sweet potatoes

6-8 small yellow potatoes

2 large sweet white onions

1 small bag of whole, junior-size carrots

¼ cup virgin olive oil


The night before cooking, prepare the brisket.  Turn so the fat cap is facing up and trim excess fat, leaving approximately 1/8” of fat.  Once trimmed, score the fat cap in a checkerboard pattern.  Drizzle marinade over both sides of the brisket and rub in. Seal the brisket in plastic wrap or tin foil, then place in the refrigerator over night.  Go to bed and have sweet dreams.


On the cooking day, cut onions into moderately large pieces then place in the bottom of a disposable foil pan, approximately 9” x 13”.  Slice sweet potatoes to 1” wide pieces or chunks and quarter yellow potatoes, placing everything on top of the onions.  Mix in carrots, and then pour the olive oil over the entire tray.  Add ¼ cup water.  (Optional:  Mix in a desired amount of whole, stringless green beans near bottom of the tray.  They will cook up country-style—very soft—so if you like your beans crispy or firm, this is not recommended.).


Unseal brisket and pat it with a paper towel to remove excess marinade, then sprinkle both sides with your dry rub.  Set the brisket off to the side and let it come to room temperature.


Soak 1 cup of apple wood chips in water for ½ hour, then place in then smoker tray. When cooking with the Kamado Joe, place the heat deflector below the main grid and add the grill expander on top.  Prepare your grill by bringing the temperature to approximately 260-265 degrees. (At 265 degrees, plan on 1 hour per pound but keep an eye on the temperature by using a temperature probe.  Smaller, thinner briskets will cook quicker.)  Once the Kamado Joe has stabilized at the desired temperature, put the brisket on the grill expander, fat cap down, making sure the grill’s thermometer probe does not go into the brisket.  Place the tray of mixed potatoes and veggies directly under the brisket on the main grid.  Set the smoker tray on the grid next to the tray then close the lid and relax.


Monitor both the brisket and the tray, cooking the brisket to approximately 160-165 degrees and the potato tray for at least three hours.  For a softer texture, leave the tray under the brisket for the entire cooking time.


Remove everything then tightly wrap the brisket in tin foil.  Let it set for two hours.   Cover the potato tray in the same fashion.  Remove foil, slice to desired thickness and serve.


Important:  It’s all about the temperature so closely monitor the meat’s temperature.  A small temperature variation in the grill will cause it to cook significantly slower or faster.  On a Kamado Joe at 250 degrees, it takes approximately 1 ¼ hour per pound.  At 275 degrees, the brisket will cook much faster at less than 1 hour per pound.  A Swiss Grill uses a more direct heat and will cook faster.

Our Storefront

Ever notice the curvature that graces the front of our store?  The brief history of this building is that it used to be an 84 Lumber, and the curved area outlined an open-air overhang.  We did an addition twenty years ago and enclosed that overhang area.  The old wall used to be where the row of four pillars are that separate the billiard from hot tub departments and the front counter from the furniture areas.   And the entrance to the store was right in the middle where the Boca Patio Furniture is currently located.  If you came to Eastgate Pools before the addition, you would find a series of above ground swimming pools under the front overhang.  In fact, the front desk areas and big sections of the billiard departments were underwater at one time because these pools were filled.

Perhaps you even shopped at the old 84 Lumber before we were here and remember our original store about a half-mile away.  It was next to the Midas right off 32.  Tiny!  My have times changed.

Radiant Pools

If you’ve been following our blog, you recently saw lots of pictures of our new Radiant Pool line.  This is a neat and unique pool.  It can go on top the ground like a regular above ground pool, or you can partially bury it in the ground and pile dirt back up against it.  No retaining wall needed.  Radiant Pools are so strong they can withstand the pressure of having dirt piled up against them and you don’t void your warranty like you would with a traditional pool.  While you’re at it, put it all the way in the ground and make it look like an in ground pool!  You can do it and it will not collapse or fail like a regular above ground pool would do.  Structurally, these pools are ridiculously strong and durable.  Maybe that is why many are still in use, thirty years after being built.


Radiant Pools—the above ground pool that thinks it’s an in-ground!


Stop in and see our display. (Pardon our mess as we continue to beautify our pool lot.)  –Max

My Chicken Calendar

I like chickens and everybody here knows that chickens eat corn.  I remind them every day.  I also believe that any song ever written is improved by substituting key lines with the phrase chickens eat corn.  Try it yourself under your breath and you’ll see.  In 2013, I was blessed with a Chicken Calendar—two amazing chickens each month—in full color!  It was fabulous but alas, 2013 is over and my calendar has been retired.  If anybody knows where I can pick up a new one, let me know.  Ducks are an acceptable substitute.

Hang in There. Warmer Weather is Just Around the Corner…

Almost forty years ago I was in Central America and picked up a copy of the Central American version of Time magazine. There was a blurb in the back titled “If winter comes, can spring training be far behind?” I’ve always remembered this because it is true. Spring training is just around the corner and that means that warm weather is too. I say bring it on. I’m tired of this crappy winter weather. –Max

So….You Really Like Your Hot Tub

Working for a pool and hot tub store has its benefits.  As I run our hot tub program, I’ve seen lots and lots of hot tubs over the years.  I’ve seen every change and innovation that has come along.  Some things work while some things haven’t been quite as successful.

I’ve also owned quite a few.  My first was a small three-person tub that had five total jets.  I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread!  Then somewhere along the way I upgraded.  It had lots of jets, but not nearly as much water movement as I thought.  (Editorial comment:  that is a common theme in today’s market—jet numbers sell, but how much water is really going through the hot tub?).  My third was a little bigger and boasted jets for the calves and hammies.  It definitely moved the most water of the three and I really liked it.  Recently, I got number four.  It is one of our current models and in a word, it is amazing.  Old #1 moved about 60 gallons of water per minute, while this one moves approximately 400 gallons per minute.  Better plumbing, better pressure control…better EVERYTHING.

The point of this message?  We have lots of customers that love their old hot tub—all 4-6 jets and all 60 gallons of flow per minute.  Well, that’s fine, but as you are truly a hot tub enthusiast, why not get current.  The difference is like a computer from 15 years ago vs. now.  There is no comparison.  So get your suit, come in, and try out the newest technology.  –Max