Practiced my new found chore of poking under the grates for the first time tonight. Had the ash door open probably 5 or 6 minutes, got a whole lot of ash down that had been resisting the shaker grate and when I was done the coals above the grate were lighting the ash pan up like a the sun on a warm summer's day.
Got up off the floor, shut the ash door, put the poker away and decided to have one last look at the bed of coals...
Good thing I shave my head, my beard is still intact as are my eyebrows although I'm not sure how. Man that was one impressive fireball hiding out in my stove, it decided to come out and say HI as soon as I opened the door. No ash, no smoke, just the fireball. Apparently my heart is in pretty good shape as are my reflexes LOL.
Lesson learned, expect the unexpected and stand away from the door when opening it
I think I'm starting to power through the learning curve. Well plaid stove, well plaid.