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

FW_Tough

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.

 

Ingredients:

 

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

 

Discovery!

The search for Dos’ Last name is over.

 

The mystery is solved.  It is Toyevsky.

 

Yep—that’s it.

–Max

 

Things That Trouble Me Pt. 1

I like pizza.  If you’ve seen me recently, you can easily determine that I like just about anything to eat.  But I really like pizza—even not-so-great pizza.  To me, a little grease on top is a free extra meant to give garlic bread or breadsticks meaning.

But will someone please tell me why some pizza companies insist on cutting their pies into little squares, kind of like crossword puzzle boxes.  It’s okay if you’re getting an edge piece, but once there is no crust to grab on to, now it becomes a ‘dig your fingers into the piece and pry it off the box’ moment.

Pizza is meant to be cut into triangles.  It’s why they call it ‘pie’ in New York.  You grab it, fold it over, and jam it home.  And sorry, but that ultra thin Chicago or St. Louis stuff isn’t real pizza so don’t bring it up!

I think we need to start a grassroots movement to get pizza cut uniformly the same everywhere (or at least where I order).  And the ‘same’ means no more crossword block pieces!  Someone take the lead in this effort.  I can’t.  I’m busy eating.  –Max

Pool Toys Blowout Sale

Just a quick note—if you’d like to stock up on toys for the pool, we have reduced pricing on just about the entire department with some items being reduced as much as 80% off the original price.  And these aren’t “phantom” reductions—they’re legit.  And if you’re thinking ahead to Christmas (is it really just around the corner?), there are some great stocking stuffers and under-the-tree items.  Stop in and pick out some FUN!–  Max

Save Some Money…

For those that don’t know, the Ohio sales tax rate will increase on

September 1st.  With each county having additional sales taxes, rates vary by county.  By law, for product we deliver, we must charge the sales tax rate for the county in which it is being delivered so your actual rate may vary. But effective September 1, the rate across the board in Ohio will go up ¼ %.  Not a lot, but for every $1000 of purchase price, this will add $17.50.

 

If you have been considering a hot tub, casual furniture, grill, or other taxable product, if you purchase and pay in full before September 1, you will save $17.50 per $1000 spent.  

 

I recommend buying and paying in full before September 1.  The savings on a $6000 hot tub would be $105 and that buys a lot of groceries, a nice night out, or a couple tickets to see the Reds go whoop up on the Pirates or Cardinals.  –Max

This Week in History

The following was this week’s E Perx email introductionWe’ve had several people call and say how much they enjoyed it so we’re posting it here on the blog so more people can enjoy it.  And if you’re not an E Perx member, join up!  You’ll get emails with special offers and some neat information too.  –Max
Every week, we try to come up with something of interest as it pertains to the week’s EPerx Specials specials.  It turns out, there isn’t a whole lot going on this week.  No holidays, no solstice, and no big national events.  Zilch!  We thought about the Baseball All-Star Game, but that happened last week.  So instead, let’s look back in history to some things that did happen on this week’s dates:

 

July 18, AD 64.  Rome burns. Nero really didn’t fiddle.

July 19, 1799.  A group of Napoleon Bonaparte’s soldiers discover the Rosetta Stone.  They immediately sold it to a language-learning company.

July 20, 1916.  The Giants trade Christy Mattewson to the Cincinnati Reds.  He won 372 games with the Giants and 1 with the Reds.  Nice trade!

July 21, 1969. Neil Armstrong’s “Small Step” happens at 2:56:15 AM (GMT).  The transmission was actually garbled and he actually said, “That’s one small step for A man, one giant leap for mankind.”  Seriously—no kidding.

July 22, 1893.  Katherine Bates writes America the Beautiful.  This is not the same Kathy Bates that tormented James Caan.

July 23, 1866.  The Cincinnati Baseball Club forms.  

July 24, 1965.  Bob Dylan releases Like a Rolling Stone.  It is believed, but unconfirmed, that he was also a member of the original Cincinnati Baseball Club.

Come Meet Eastgate Pools Very Own Harry Houdini

Harry

There was once a great escape artist named Harry Houdini.  You’ve no
doubt heard of him.  Here at Eastgate Pools & Spas, we have our own
‘Harry’—Harry Sears.  Rumor has it he is the great, great, great grandson
of the guy that founded that big retail chain of stores.  Then again, it could
be a rumor I just started that is totally wrong.   Anyway, I started calling
him Harry Houdini because, while he’s not an escape artist, he can help
you ‘escape’ from any water problems you have.
Harry is our resident water tester and all-around fun guy to talk to.  If you
are having any issues with your pool or hot tub water, bring Harry a
sample and he’ll analyze it and give you solutions to the problem.  And
he’s not too proud to get a second opinion from other water experts here
too.  You know—“Two heads are better than one.”
So stop in and bring Harry that water sample and get on the road to
escaping you water woes.  And as always here at Eastgate Pools, water tests
are totally free.  –Max

Chemicals for the pool. Boring, boring , BORING! Right?

Maybe, but the quality of the chemicals you put in your pool may be the difference between a yucky green, algae infested pool and one that looks like crystal clear drinking water.  I’ve preached this in the store for nearly twenty years.  All chemicals are not created equal!  Seldom do box stores or groceries have the same chlorine strength as what we have.  If chlorine tablets they sell are 10% less but you need to use 50% more, is it a value or a disaster waiting to happen?  And if their algaecide comes in a gallon jug…just move over to the detergent aisle and pick up some liquid dish soap.  It’s just about the same chemical composition and the foam in the pool will remove any doubt.

 

Sorry, but when I start carrying steaks, burgers, lumber, or bathroom faucets, I’ll agree that it’s okay to get chemicals at a lumber yard or supermarket.  –Max