This is a summary of what has happened today. I hope I'm not chasing the temp. I wait at least 45 minutes after making an adjustment before I even check the temp again.
-9:30 AM-11AM ~250 (2 vents closed, 3rd 1/6 of the way open.) then
- 11AM-noon: it went up to and stayed at 275-285
-noon: it had been at 275-285 for an hour so I decided I wanted to try to bring it back down to 250 so I closed the 3rd vent all the way.
-about 1pm I noticed it was down to ~250
-2PM (now) I checked it again and it was down to 230. I checked the only open vent and noticed a build-up of white ash in the small openings so I opened the vent up and tried to get the ash out with a stick. At this point I closed the 3rd vent down to 1/6-1/8 of the way open as it was before but I also slightly cracked (very slightly) the other 2 vents.
Maybe I just need to only check it every 2 hours instead of every hour and only make adjustments if the temp has been above 285 for 2 hours? I am trying my best not to chase the temp but when its at 275-285 for an hour I think it is time to make a minor vent adjustment. Could definitely be wrong though.