Wow, thank you for the detailed reply. This actually helped me a lot. I didn't see it until Friday evening, but it got me to put the meat on before I was planning. So to sum up the cook....
For a quick bit of background, we had out of town guests in that stayed with us Friday to Sunday. I bought a brisket and small pork shoulder as we were hosting a BBQ Saturday. I live in Chicago so I was out for the Bears game Thursday night and since it was such a dumpster fire, a lot of drinking was done. This led to a really tired and hung over me on Friday. So I was dragging all day and super tired. I saw Frank's response to my post probably around 7PM. At that point I decided I needed to get the brisket on before 11 as originally planned. The brisket was a prime full packer, 15.5 lbs. I trimmed it pretty aggressively and did a salt and pepper rub around 5PM. I put it back in the fridge until I was ready to smoke. I also trimmed the pork shoulder a bit and used one of the random seasonings I had. It was a small 4.5lbs.
I lit my joe at 8:30. I was following John's advice from another post about prepping for an overnight, so I brought the grill to about 175 then started slowing it down. It rose very slowly to 225 and then went past it just slightly to around 230. It was 9:30 so I put the brisket on but then the temperature didn't want to rise past 195 so I opened it up just slightly and it got to 220 and started holding there. At this point it was about 11 and due to the Bears game hangover, I was struggling to stay away. I was in bed but at about 12:30 I got a high temp alarm at 240. If I was sure it was going to hold at 240, I'd probably have left it but I didn't want it to keep rising, so I went outside and made a small adjustment. At this point I fell asleep from 1-3:30AM but was awoken with a low temp alarm at 199. From 3:30 to about 4 I was having a tough time getting it above 200, I was afraid the coals might have gone out but that didn't make much sense to me (and they didn't) but I didn't want to over correct. I took a peak at 4AM for the first time because it had hit 160 so I was thinking about wrapping. To my disappointment the park didn't look good at all. Frankly there wasn't much there. I wasn't sure if it was because the temperature was too low or what. At this point I got a little more aggressive and raised the temperature to about 250. I checked it again at 6am (I think it was at that time, lack of sleep now has me very foggy). and the bark looked so much better, much more what I was expecting. I took the brisket off and wrapped it in butcher paper and put it back on. I removed the pork shoulder, wrapped in foil and put in a couple tablespoons of apple juice. I got them both back on the grill and raised the temp to about 275. The reasoning behind this was I was afraid I under estimated the cooking time and with people coming over as early as 2, I didn't want to chance it. At this point I was able to get about an hour of nap time in. My internal probe hit 205 around 9:30 AM. I was a little nervous just because it was earlier than I planned but when I probed, it was amazingly tender all over. Both the point and flat, same with the pork. So at this point I was cautiously optimistic that it was going to be OK. I wrapped them in a towel and put them in a cooler to rest. They sat there from 9:15AM to about 4PM. Since the Joe was still going, I made a jalapeno corn bread in a skillet as well as John's beer pretzels/beer cheese as an appetizer. When I finally took them both out, I was relieved. The bone slid right out of the pork and it just fell right apart. The bark on the brisket looked great. The point pulled away from the flat almost without the use of a knife. I just cut a bit of the leftover fat off and started slicing. I cut up some burnt ends as well.
This was definitely a learning experience and I made a lot of mistakes but in the end, everyone loved the food. I've had a lot of trouble holding at a temperature, especially at 225. I really need to work on that. Between all the beer and BBQ, I was passed out by 10PM and I used yesterday as a recovery day. I can't wait until I'm more proficient managing the grill. Even when I had time to close my eyes I couldn't sleep because I was nervous it was going to spike or drop. Thanks for all the advice here!