TR BBQ XIV is in the books. I'd tell you it was a good time, but that would be stating the obvious. drfish and his family have the art of entertaining internet people down after over a decade of hosting the TR community at their lakeside cottage. Mother Nature did her part by handing us a clear day with a high near 75° F (24° C)—perfect for hanging out by Lake Michigan and enjoying everything the BBQ has to offer.
By my estimate, 54 people joined the festivities by the end of the day, keeping up a record of strong attendance that's persisted through the three BBQs I've attended. That number was bolstered by the large family of BBQ first-timer finkka, who cleaned up in our raffle by sheer numbers. I may have indulged in some of just brew it!'s wide-ranging beer selection while failing terribly at hacky sack with finkka and several other gerbils, as well. Let's hope there are no records of that event.
Speaking of, this year's BBQ was enlivened by some fresh faces and travelers from far afield. TR code monkey Bruno "morphine" Ferreira journeyed all the way from Portugal to drfish's beachside cottage, and our business guy Adam Eiberger drove up from Kansas City with Nathan "Gyromancer" Wasson in tow, leading to what may have been the most complete meeting of the TR staff in recent memory. Long-time TR supporter Corsair sent PR folks Harry Butler and Justin Ocbina out from California to visit with us, as well, along with a truckload of prizes to motivate our cornhole tournament participants. More on that in a moment.
zgirl's ribs are arguably the most critical part of any TR BBQ, and her hours of practiced low-and-slow cooking paid off in spades again this year. "Delicious" doesn't ever seem adequate to describe these delectable pork slabs, and my stomach is rumbling again as I write this. Seems going back for fourths wasn't enough. Our deepest thanks to Kelli for putting in the hard work to feed dozens of hungry nerds year after year, and to everybody who brought food and drinks to share.
Once everybody's stomachs were full, the knives came out over the cornhole boards as attendees battled for supremacy in our beanbag tournament. I didn't follow through on my commitment to practice from last year, so I fell to Bruno's unconventional-but-effective overhand style in the preliminary round. In turn, Bruno was defeated by drfish's experienced hand in the first round of actual competition, making way for eligible gerbils to take a shot at our prize pool. And what a prize pool it was this year, thanks to the amazing contributions of Justin and Harry at Corsair and the audio wizards at Tunai.
Corsair threw in one of its Crystal 570X RGB LED-illuminated cases, two K95 Platinum keyboards, five Void headsets in an assortment of wired and wireless versions, and two MM800 Polaris RGB LED mouse pads.
Tunai contributed 10 each of its Clip Bluetooth headphone amplifiers and Firefly Bluetooth sinks to the pool.
Though zgirl put up an incredible fight, Josh S. ultimately emerged victorious for the second of my three BBQs. He took home a K95 Platinum keyboard and eternal fame.
zgirl grabbed a Void RGB headset from the pile as her second-place prize.
FroBozz_Inc took home the second K95 Platinum as his third-place trophy.
Dposcorp was the lucky winner in our raffle for the Crystal 570X case.
While many more prizes were subsequently given away, I didn't grab pictures of every winner. That's because with 30-plus Corsair T-shirts and 20 Tunai audio devices to choose from, nearly everybody who attended went home a winner in our random drawings. Our thanks again to Corsair and Tunai for their support of the TR BBQ.
After the sun set over Lake Michigan, perennial pyromaniac Shoes brought out a brand-new custom fireworks rig tailored to fire off bigger and brighter mortars than ever. My eyes have never been as dazzled nor my ears as deafened by a TR BBQ fireworks show. Shoes may need a permit if he keeps outdoing himself like this.
I've said as much every year I've been, but it's only become truer with time: the TR BBQ is one of the highlights of my summer. The excellent food, friendly competition, and tight-knit community that's arisen from this event is a credit to drfish and everybody else who pitches in to make sure a fun time is had by all. The TR staff extends its thanks once again to drfish, zgirl, and everybody else who made this event possible. We'll see you all again next year.