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.