Baking/​Burning Tally

Sunday, 20 December 2009

This Christmas sea­son I have made:

  • 4 batch­es of Art of Darkness Brownies
  • 3 batch­es of choco­late-dipped pret­zel rods
  • 12 pounds of fudge (soon to be 16)
  • 4 batch­es of 7-lay­er bars
  • a dozen Best of 2009 CDs

Guest Blogger

Friday, 18 December 2009

This has been one crazy week. Abraham's regular babysitter has been in the hospital for over a week now, and he's been shuttled all over the place (including a new temporary babysitter) until DeeDee is back home. I've been baking in every spare moment, and work has been hectic with last-minute high-priority site building. So. I'm gonna sit back and let Bram type the rest of this post.



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Tuesday, 15 December 2009

I have this ridicu­lous idea for a gim­mick restau­rant. This is not the hos­tile takeover of Grumpy’s in which every­thing with “ca­jun spice” would be re­moved from the menu (which would al­low us to ba­si­cal­ly write a whole new menu), all wait staff would be forced to wear flo­ral print aprons and the place would be re­named Frumpy’s. No, this idea is even bet­ter.

The place would be called The WTF BBQ. It would serve trompe-l’œil food. Mexican spaghet­ti made with corn noo­dles, chori­zo meat­balls and chipo­tle toma­to sauce. Mediterranean tacos made with kibbee and fat­toush. The pulled pork is fish. Cheeseburger piz­za. You get the idea.

I am a ge­nius.

Gormenghast Weekend

Monday, 14 December 2009

I’ve ei­ther got what Bram had, or some­thing from a cowork­er. Christmas shop­ping is fin­ished, though I al­most got in­to a fight at the liquor store buy­ing some­thing as a part of my se­cret san­ta gift ex­change at work. All that I have left to do is fur­ther bak­ing. Apparently, choco­late-dipped pret­zel sticks are a hit with a teething 18-month old and his moth­er. The first batch I made has dis­ap­peared.

We fin­ished up watch­ing the Gormenghast minis­eries last night. It’s based on a fan­tas­tic cou­ple of books by Mervyn Peake (the third book, not so much), and the BBC did an ad­mirable job trans­lat­ing the thick, dusty and some­times de­lib­er­ate­ly turgid sto­ry in­to 4 hours on screen. Jonathan Rhys Davies is an im­pres­sive (if far too pret­ty-look­ing) Steerpike, and while Gormenghast cas­tle is the main char­ac­ter in the books, some­thing that is near­ly im­pos­si­ble to trans­late on screen, who­ev­er did the set de­sign had a keen and in­no­v­a­tive eye for com­mu­ni­cat­ing the age, im­men­si­ty and de­cay of the cas­tle. It ap­pears that all of the ac­tors in the minis­eries had a blast por­tray­ing Peake’s car­i­ca­ture char­ac­ters, who are sil­ly goth­ic grotesques, one and all.

The bus routes changed over the week­end, so I have to leave the house 20 min­utes ear­li­er than usu­al. Hopefully my tim­ing won’t be too far off, or else I’ll have to wait a half hour for the next bus.


Wednesday, 9 December 2009

I had to take the day off of work be­cause Bram has an ear in­fec­tion. First we had to spend an in­ter­minable 2.5 hours at MetroHealth, but get­ting his $3 pre­scrip­tion one door down from the pe­di­atric clin­ic was nice. It’s that pink stuff that tastes like bub­ble gum.

Instead of study­ing for my Intro to Public Adminstration fi­nal, which is to­mor­row, I baked. Dark choco­late brown­ies (so dark they look like coal), 7 lay­er bars, and choco­late-dipped pret­zel rods. So much to do, so lit­tle time left be­fore the hol­i­days.

Cobbler’s Children

Monday, 7 December 2009

Probably the best rea­son to call for good web stan­dard prac­tices and a con­sis­tent and log­i­cal ap­proach to build­ing web­sites is the ease with which such good plan­ning en­ables fu­ture-proof­ing and up­grad­ing how a site looks. In 2002, when I start­ed this thing, I was blind­ly mov­ing about us­ing WYSIWYG, think­ing I knew what CSS was and how RSS worked. Now that I’ve got my head around that, and know how to build lean, se­man­tic markup, ac­knowl­edge the pow­er that tags can have and un­der­stand first-hand the im­por­tance of ac­ces­si­bil­i­ty in ex­pand­ing the web ex­pe­ri­ence, I of­ten want to go back and clean up all the dusty cor­ners of this site, mak­ing each post pass all of the var­i­ous tests that ex­ist to test web­pages.

I’ve been, every once in a mo­ment, when I have a mo­ment, been work­ing on a re­design. HTML5 and CSS3, ex­cel­lent ty­pog­ra­phy and a new it­er­a­tion of the min­i­mal de­sign aes­thet­ic that’s be­come the norm here. I’ve been work­ing on it for months, but it is still on­ly bare­ly start­ed. It takes more time to fig­ure out where I left off than it does to make changes and up­dates to the de­sign. It’s the cobbler’s chil­dren.

Dave’s Market

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Just about every Saturday morn­ing, ear­ly, I take Abraham to Dave’s to do the week­ly gro­cery shop­ping. Just about every Saturday morn­ing, Dave him­self is there, and nev­er fails to greet the kid and I with a nice word and a smile. It isn’t re­al­ly Dave Saltzman in the flesh [that would be gross]. The man­ag­er just hap­pens to be named Dave. I’m pret­ty sure he rec­og­nizes me, since not very many peo­ple are at the gro­cery store on a reg­u­lar ba­sis be­fore 9am on the week­end. I like the guy.

Though he’s not the Dave, I think he prob­a­bly feels as if the store is his, even more so than oth­er man­agers be­cause it car­ries his name. There’s no log­ic be­hind that kind of feel­ing, but I can tell that this Dave is proud to run his store well, and hap­py to be feed­ing fam­i­lies in this neck of the woods.

Cleveland is a small-town city.