Pilgrimage to the Mecca of BBQ

Long-time friends know that BBQ is not only a food group to me, but I consider the search for the best BBQ in the world one of my life’s works. To say I love BBQ is likely the largest understatement I’ve ever made.

I have spent the better part of fifty years searching for the absolute best of what I consider the Holy Trinity of meat – brisket, sausage & ribs.  Chicken, turkey or pulled pork are not to be mentioned in the same breath as these three.

I have traveled across Texas and the United States (Kansas City and North Carolina only wish theirs was as good) sampling BBQ in my search for meat perfection. Before today, my favorite for each of these meats was as follows:

  • Brisket – City Market – Luling, Texas
  • Ribs – City Market – Luling, Texas
  • Sausage – Black’s BBQ – Lockhart, Texas

Sure, the best atmosphere is The Salt Lick in Driftwood, Texas but the food, while very good, was not even close to being the best.

So fast-forward to today and my trip to what is probably the most hyped BBQ joint in the world – Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas.  So much has been written about the former trailer-based BBQ joint that I finally had to check it out.Franlkin Barbecue - Austin, Texas review

Here is the setup: You have to get there very early in the morning to wait in line for it to open. In a wonderful marketing move, they are open from 11:00am until Sold Out – which they do every day.  You sit in line for hours and feel grateful to get food before it is gone… brilliant!

We arrived at 8am and the line was already more than 100 people deep. Having planned ahead, we took our chairs, umbrellas (it was rainy) and water bottles and waited in line. For the bulk of the line, this was a time of playing music and drinking beer (yes starting at 8am.) It was an excellent opportunity to people watch and chat.

Franklin Barbecue lineWhen we first arrived a young lady came out taking a poll of what everyone would be ordering apparently so they could warn people ahead of time if they would run out before reaching their spot in line.  She was an expert at guessing what time we would reach the front of the line as we got to place our order within minutes of her estimation.  She told us we would be to the order counter around 1:30 pm! You have to really want to eat BBQ to wait 5 1/2 hours, but wait we did.

We ordered a TON of food (I love BBQ as leftover too.)  We are talking 2 pounds of brisket, 2 pounds of ribs and 2 links of sausage!

Franklin Barbecue - Austin, Texas review

Yes, we are talking about a boatload of meat and while all decent BBQ is expensive, our total came to $99.80 – yes, a hundred bucks!

So, what do I (a self-appointed BBQ master) think?  I have to say that the two of my all-time favorites have been surpassed!  Yes, Franklin Barbecue is now home to the best brisket and ribs in the world!  The new leaders:

  • Brisket – Franklin Barbecue – Austin, Texas
  • Ribs – Franklin Barbecue – Austin, Texas
  • Sausage – Black’s BBQ – Lockhart, Texas

Yes, this a must-do bucket list kind of stop for the BBQ connoisseurs and snobs of the world, but the real questions are, “Was it worth the wait?” and “Would I do it again?”

Yes, it was worth the wait – I couldn’t call myself a BBQ expert without having tried it and yes, it was amazing.  But, I am thinking that I don’t see myself waiting five and half hours again anytime soon for BBQ.  I could drive to Luling (1 hour) and get some amazing meats that are probably 95% as good as Franklin and certainly feel my time had been better spent.

If you haven’t experienced it, I recommend doing it once with friends.  Or better yet, bring your Yankee friends and show them what real Texas BBQ is all about.  You will all have a great time and a wonderful story you’ll enjoy retelling.  And if you find some place you think is better, please share with me – just expect that I will have already tried it and be okay if I don’t agree.

by Chris Doelle

Romney and Holyfield – a better show than Money/Manny

photo: Salt Lake Tribune

photo: Salt Lake Tribune

Yes, that is former presidential candidate (in great shape at 68) Mitt Romney in the ring with five-time heavyweight boxing champion (and ear donor) Evander Holyfield in the boxing ring.  And you know what, it had just as much action as the Mayweather-Pacquaio fight.

Yes, the action was light as these two danced around the ring in Salt Lake City Friday night, but it was for a good cause.  The event raised money for the Utah-based CharityVision.  They are an organization dedicated to assisting doctors in developing countries to restore vision in cases of curable blindness.

The event apparently raised over $1 million according to Mitt Romney’s twitter:

Tonight, raised $1 million dollars, which will help 40,000 people have their sight restored.

by Chris Doelle

Little Boy is a Movie with Big Heart

I never heard a thing about the film Little Boy  until surfing through the Flixster app.  It looked like it might be uplifting so we decided to go check it out.  It was more than uplifting.

I cannot recommend this movie enough.  It was such a good film!  Not only is it a great uplifting story, but it is a good family film too.   Watching this, you will believe in miracles!

Little Boy movieThe first film that caused me to cry was Old Yeller as a boy, but tears streamed down my face and I was close to blubbering many times watching Little Boy. I can’t remember crying this much watching a film ever.

The 4′ 3″Jakob Salvati who plays the lead role is a big actor that can raise you to the peak of joy when happy and rip your guts out with his despair.  Michael Rapaport (who plays his father) has been a favorite of mine for a long time and he doesn’t disappoint in this movie either.

I am sure this won’t do great in the box office as it doesn’t have explosions, CGI monsters, superheroes or gravity-defying stunts.  For that reason, most will never see it and the general public may even decide it is too cheesy, too simple or too slow, but hey… they say there’s no accounting for taste.

I can’t tell you enough – this is such a good film.  It is a film that is good for the soul.  Go see it and take someone you care about… but keep the tissues handy.

RATING 9 out of 10 social media, new media titan, chris doelle, fresh media works, http://www.freshmediaworks.comsocial media, new media titan, chris doelle, fresh media works, http://www.freshmediaworks.comsocial media, new media titan, chris doelle, fresh media works, http://www.freshmediaworks.comsocial media, new media titan, chris doelle, fresh media works, http://www.freshmediaworks.comsocial media, new media titan, chris doelle, fresh media works, http://www.freshmediaworks.comsocial media, new media titan, chris doelle, fresh media works, http://www.freshmediaworks.comsocial media, new media titan, chris doelle, fresh media works, http://www.freshmediaworks.comsocial media, new media titan, chris doelle, fresh media works, http://www.freshmediaworks.com

by Chris Doelle

App of the Week: Kayak – great travel tool

KAYAK Pro appKAYAK Flights, Hotels & Cars – kayak.com

Rating: 4 stars over 56000+ ratings

KAYAK mobile app puts a search engine in your hands that enables you to find, book and view flights, car rentals and hotels on the go. There are even extra features that can help you plan ever further like a currency converter. KAYAK will even track a trip for you. Once you add the trip to your planned trips it will let you know when the best price comes around. When put up against other travel sites and apps KAYAK has the lowest average price on its flight, rental cars and hotel packages. All of this is free, but if you pay a dollar you gain access to KAYAK PRO app which contains 100+ airport terminal maps to help you get around.

I totally use KAYAK every time I travel – okay, I have forgotten to use it a couple times, but whether I am sitting around planning for a cool trip or plotting a real one, this is a fun app.

by Chris Doelle

Book Review: Periscope Power! How to use the latest social media sensation

Periscope PowerI had two reasons for reviewing the book Periscope Power! How to use the latest social media sensation by @UpYourPeriscope.  They are:

  1. Non-fiction, business-related books are my favorite genre
  2. The new Periscope app is a big deal

As the subtitle says, this is “The world’s first book on how to win live-streaming’s War of the Eyeballs.”  I certainly agree on both counts.  It is the first book and there is a war on already for the billions of eyeballs.

This book contains a great deal of good information about the app itself.  From the initial install and setup to creation of your first show, this book is a solid read.  There is also a whole lot of basic advice about video production, show ideas, headline writing (your show title) and other subjects that are a bit unrelated to the app but could be useful.

At times it is written like a long-copy sales pitch and because of that, the reader often has that ‘I’m being sold to’ feeling.  In fact, the foreward (or opening few pages) appear to be an exact copy of their sales page.  This is actual text from the beginning of the book:

We cannot hold this rock-bottom price for long… As soon as the updated edition is ready we will make it available, with a new price.



Uh, if you are reading this page in the book, you already acted.  A little editing may be in order.

Okay, so their sales material is re-purposed and added to the beginning of the book, so what?  Does the book still have value?  Yes, if you are the type that learns through reading, then this is a great resource to a beginner off the sidelines and into the game of live-streaming video.

Live-streaming is the next big thing.  It is indeed the Wild West and a land grab for real estate and attention are underway. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am forming a Periscope Mastermind group with the intent of taking advantage of this technology and playing a role in the coming explosion.

Fill out the form below to be considered for the group.  From there, we will setup a phone call to see how you can be a part of the next big land grab for space on the internet – LIVE streaming video content!

If you have an interest in using Periscope for business…

Click —->FILL OUT THE FORM<—-Click

Periscope for Business Mastermind group forming

Video will only be online for 24 hours

Video will only be online for 24 hours

I created a series of quick broadcasts on Periscope to invite those people interested in using this amazing new tool for business to work together.  I am creating a mastermind group of serious business folks that want to be a part of this new frontier.  Yes, this will be used to determine the five people I’d like to work with to take advantage of the amazing opportunity available via the Periscope (and Meerkat) app.  We will work together to take the power of this LIVE production studio in your phone and leverage that into more customers and more income!

I am limiting this mastermind group to five people because I have found that size works best in my previous endeavors

I’m a big believer in the saying:

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”

Fill out the form below to be considered for the group.  From there, we will setup a phone call to see how you can be a part of the next big land grab for space on the internet – LIVE streaming video content!

If you have an interest in using Periscope and Meerkat for business…

Click —->FILL OUT THE FORM<—-Click

Copyright lawsuits on the way!

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao

A heck of a lot cheaper than PPV

When Meerkat and Periscope burst onto the scene, an old battle soon reared its head: copyright infringement.

For those of you who have been living under a rock, these apps are equivalent to television production studios in the palm of your hand.  Yes, these apps are that important.

However, with the ability to produce live streaming content comes issues.  The companies have been pretty good about keeping things like porn off the airwaves, but copyright infringements abound.  In the short time they have been around, I have watched major concerts live, HBO’s Game of Thrones (albeit with someone commenting in the background) and yes, the highly anticipated, much hyped, but ultimate letdown that was the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao bout. (right)

Periscope had hundreds of streams showing the fight live.  It seemed that the company was shutting them down initially but by the time the fight started the streams were outnumbering the efforts to shut them down.

So what does this mean?  I see a few likely outcomes:

  • The entertainment industry bans together and takes this power back out of the hands of the people through lawsuits (15-year olds sued for millions) and legislation (with our electorate for sale, they can slide some money that direction.)
  • Just as was the case with podcasting, the increased reach to new audiences will likely be beneficial to copyright holders (especially the smaller bands, films, events etc.)
  • Ultimately, this is a Pandora’s box that will have a great effect on broadcast media in the future.

What you should do?

Get the apps – this is a really important movement and you should at least be aware of whats happening (even if you don’t feel the need to participate or grab some market share.)


iPhone – Meerkat – Live Stream Video
iPad – Meerkat – Live Stream Video
Android – Meerkat – Live Stream Video


iPhone – Periscope – Twitter, Inc.

There are a ton of creative people already jumping in with both feet who are producing a wide range of “shows” (I use that term very loosely.  I have seen people cooking breakfast, walking their dogs, playing truth or dare, answering business questions, showing ‘behind the scenes’ access to events/businesses, ranting about whatever inspires them, creating live interactive game shows – you name it.

Think of the early wild-west days of YouTube and add in the ability to interact live with your audience and you have the live-streaming scene.

What are your thoughts?  Do you see the copyright issue as a big deal or nothing?  What uses do you see for streaming live?  Will you?

by Chris Doelle

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Crackle warrants another look

For nearly ten years, the founders of Crackle have been fighting an uphill battle against the likes of Netflix and HULU for the attention of the streaming video market.   I remember when it first came out under the name Grouper, it wasn’t all that impressive.

When Sony invested in the company and rebranded it Crackle, I again took a look at it.  It was novel, but the selection of titles was just too limited.  I quickly stopped toying with it.

Fast forward to this week when for some reason I downloaded the app again.  It has changed in some major ways – all for the better.

I am totally biased but when I saw The Blues Brothers in the lineup, I perked up and gave the app another chance. (Long time friends will know that The Blues Brothers is my all-time favorite movie.) After digging through the inventory of movies and television shows, I have to say it has been majorly upgraded.

The selection is much better than it was when I first investigated and the library changes often.  In addition, they are taking a page out of the Netflix playbook by producing their own content.  Sports Jeopardy is the only one I looked at so far, but I see promise.

Then I noticed it can stream to Chromecast! How cool is that?  I write this on my iPad as Jake and Elwood mix mayhem and music on my big screen TV – streaming from the same iPad.

by Chris Doelle

Binge watching is the new normal

Binge viewing, watchingI, like everyone I know, now do what has been called ‘binge’ viewing.  You know the drill – cue up a season or two of your favorite show and then watch them back-to-back over the course of a few days.  For me, it started with Lost.

Just as the series ended, we started to watch it as a family – often three or four episodes at a sitting.  Services like Netflix and Hulu have just made it so darn convenient to catch up on shows you may have missed in their original run.  Even the networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) toyed with the idea before falling back in their old school fox hole of doling it out on their schedule.

I did a survey to learn about the growth of binge viewing. There were some interesting results:

69% still only binge watch a few shows

31% binge watch the majority of their shows

Men (71%) do more binge watching than women (48%) by a good margin. 

There is a direct correlation between age and binge viewing – younger people binge on their television viewing much more than their elders.

The most interesting finding from the survey however was the relationship between household income and binge viewing.  The less money you make, the more binge television you watch. It shouldn’t come as a surprise though, that wealthier people watch less television.

When Netflix released Daredevil recently, they did something interesting.  They released the entire first season on the same date.  It is a nod to the way television viewing has changed.

Releasing a brand new show as a full season is revolutionary, but more importantly, it is a response to the market. Well played, Netflix.

This is definitely a trend that’s here to stay.

By Chris Doelle

What is my most used iPhone app?

I recently passed 21,000 cycling miles – yes, I am a nerd and tracked every mile since I started serious cycling in high school.    I wanted to take a few minutes and talk about the app I use – Map My Ride+.  It has to be the single most used app I have had for years.  Whether I am riding my bike, attempting to jog, going for a walk or just fooling around on the treadmill, Map My Ride+ is the app I open.

The thing I love the best (other than the whole nerd thing of tracking my miles) is seeing friends’ workouts.  It really motivates me when I see my friends across the country and up the road putting in their miles whether it is on a bike on on their feet.  The ability to click “like” when a friend does a 3 mile walk and see a “like” from a friend after a 5 mile ride is very motivating.

After years of using it, I have actually discovered something I didn’t know about it.  You can actually share the soundtrack of your workouts with the world.  I think that’s kinda cool!

I was talking with someone the other day about running and he said he put together a playlist with the beats-per-minute calculated to help him run the best.  I then dug into the Map My Ride+ app and discovered that sharing that playlist was built in.

It isn’t publicly shared by default so I went onto my profile on the web and found where to share it.  Click on Settings in your profile and then choose Privacy.

mapmyride - Chris Doelle
There you can make a lot of your activities either Private, Share with Friends or Share with Everyone.  Color me sexist, but for females out running and riding by themselves, I would keep location things private, but sharing what music pumps you up on your run, ride, walk etc., would be very cool.

Do you use the Map My Ride+ app (or any of its other branded names MayMyRun etc.)?  Click on the image above or here to friend me on there!

by Chris Doelle