Classic Dishes...

Mainly On The Plain

It’s the rainy season here in Seattle. Now, I like rain (hell, I wouldn’t have moved here if I didn’t), but this particular set of rainstorms has been annoying, because I get to stand in it.

I haven’t really had to before. My parking space at my apartment complex is covered, and stays covered until I’m inside, so most of my experience with rain here has been running between the drops to and from my car when I go someplace. And really, for as much crap as Seattle takes over the whole rain thing, most of the time it’s just a light drizzle, it never really comes down that hard. Most folks just ignore it.

However, with my new job, I have now become a bus rider, because I don’t feel like paying out the ass to park in the garage at the building I work in downtown. It’s actually worked out pretty well; I found a nice quiet little Park & Ride lot a mile from my place. It’s a church parking lot, which they make available for commuter parking during the week…really kinda smart of them to take the check from the King County Transit people to use their lot during a time when the majority of it isn’t being used anyhow. And the bus I catch goes straight to my building, pretty much, so no transfers to worry about. Not bad at all.

But now it’s raining, and the bus stop isn’t one of those ones with the little shelter at it so you can stay out of the rain. So for the last week or so, when it HAS been coming down hard enough that you notice it, I’ve been standing there in the morning, getting drenched, thinking “Wow, this sucks.”

But no more, my friends, for the rainy season is about to end. I am not a meteorologist and I hold no NWA certifications whatsoever (feel free to insert a Dr. Dre joke here), but I can tell you with confidence that there will at the VERY least be no rain between the hours of 7:30A and 9:00A, and between 5:00P and 6:30P or so, for the remainder of the winter.

Last night, you see, I bought an umbrella. I think of it as rain insurance. Fifteen bucks for the guarantee of dry mornings? Sold American.

So to all of you outdoorsy types, and my fellow commuters, all of y’all who have been suffering because of the wet weather, I say to you: you’re welcome.

(Oh, by the way, I forgot it leaving the house this morning. So it will come down torrentially tonight. Sorry about that.)

None Of The Work, All Of The Credit

While I don’t consider myself a HUGE football fan, I’m at least tangentially interested enough to follow the local Seattle Seahawks from week to week, and I’ll usually watch the playoffs and the Super Bowl. I don’t stay glued to the set all day Sunday, but I’ll play the hell out of a football videogame. I’m that kind of fan.

One of the interesting things about the game is, because of the one-game-a-week nature of the season, if a team does well enough over the course of the year, the last game or two becomes completely and totally meaningless, and you don’t get to see any of the big stars play because they’re being rested for games that matter more. Such is how it’s playing out for the Seahawks this year, who by virtue of a 13-2 record have won their division and are guaranteed to have home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. As a result, sometime in the fourth quarter of the game against the Colts last week, when it was pretty obvious we were going to win, all of the first-string players were pulled out and the benchwarmers got to mop up in garbage time.

The point of all of this backstory? Well, one of the big stories of the Seahawks this season has been running back Shawn Alexander chasing the record for most touchdowns in a season, which was set by Priest Holmes of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2003. Holmes found the end zone 27 times that year. And up to that exact moment in the game, Alexander had 26.

So the ‘Hawks recover a fumble and the scrubs drive all the way down the field to the Colts’ 1-yard line. And Alexander, who has been sitting on the sidelines for this entire drive drinking Gatorade, gets a slap on the butt and is sent into the game to run the ball in for Record-Tying Touchdown #27, at which point he returns to the bench and picks up his Gatorade again.

And this Sunday, in a COMPLETELY meaningless game against Green Bay, a game that Alexander will likely otherwise not even play in, I’m guessing that if the same situation comes up, he’ll be sent out to run the ball Yet Another Yard to break the record, and everyone will celebrate him like it’s some vast achievement.

So let’s recap this: Someone ELSE does the work for 99 yards, and then this guy gets put in to move the ball three feet? _I_ could move the ball three feet.

What good is keeping track of this record if it’s so easily hacked like this? Why not keep some guy on the bench whose LONE JOB it is to run the ball in every time they are on the 1-yard line?

Football specializes everything else; every team has a guy whose only job it is to snap the ball to the punter. No other time, just when it needs to be snapped a long way ‘cuz the punter stands back some. Why not this? I would be more than happy to be the Seahawks’ designated Three Feet Guy, and for a whole damn lot less than most of these guys pull down.

Un-Fair Warning

Tonight I made a frozen lasagna I picked up at the store last night for dinner, because I’ve spent much of the rest of the day doing my holiday candymaking and didn’t want to have to worry about making something more complicated.

A few minutes ago, I was packing up the leftovers (the other advantage to frozen lasagna is that it leaves behind plenty of leftovers to take to work for lunch during the week), and as I finished transferring the final piece to Tupperware, I noticed the following, imprinted dead-center in the bottom of the pan:


While I appreciate their concern, and their desire to keep me from spilling lasagna all over my kitchen floor as a result of picking up a flimsy foil pan, I feel it necessary to point something out here:

When the pan is EMPTY, and you are able to read this message, there is no need to support it.

When the pan is FULL, and therefore requires some extra support, the cook will never see this warning. BECAUSE THERE IS LASAGNA IN THE WAY.

I’m not sure what appalls me more: that someone came up with this idiotic idea, or that someone ELSE approved it.

Beware…I Live!!

If you can read this, then I’m one very happy camper.

I’m pleased to announce that Chez Fred now has a legitimate home.

For the longest time (well, really, always, until today), was merely a domain name, which redirected to whatever free web space my ISP gave me. It always felt kinda fake, since it wasn’t REALLY, it was actually with a pretty decoration on the front door.

Well, a combination of some of The Four Of You mentioning to me that all too often they couldn’t get to the site, me being incredibly frustrated with the shortcomings of Comcast’s free web space (mostly the lack of server-side include capability, though I suspect as I play with this new space I will find quite a few other how-did-I-make-it-this-long-without-being-able-to-do-this-type things), and the recommendation of my friend Peter at Static Zombie caused me to kick a (very reasonable) few dollars to for some real honest-to-God digital real estate for Chez Fred.

And, amazingly, it’s been really easy to port the site over. Granted, it’s not a big site (certainly not as much stuff to move as Peter had when he did it), but I was afraid there would be all kinds of stuff to fix and hierarchal stuff to worry about and what not. Nope. Most of it just copied right over, and I’ve had to spend maybe an hour total noodling with the Blogger and Frontpage publishing settings. I anticipate having more problems getting Bloglines fixed.

The difference to you? Well, the site already seems twice as responsive, and up there in the address bar, you’ll see you are in fact at now, which is a big thing to me; I felt kinda like a fraud before. (And if you catch any broken links (and I’m sure I left some laying, although I’ve always tried to make site links relative instead of absolute for just this reason), please let me know.)

So, welcome down. Now that I have no excuse not to do all of the modern stuff people do with web sites these days, I guess I should go learn how to do it…


The Donald was starting to lose me on The Apprentice. The incredible over-commercialization, Donald’s massive ego, and the complete ineptitude of the contestants was getting to be too much.

But The Donald won me back last night.

Following a reshuffling where each team was allowed to select three people to shuttle over to the other squad (and the men couldn’t dump off Markus quickly enough), the newly-intergendered (and now Markus-free) Excel team went on to suck down the biggest asskicking in the history of the show, actually causing the sporting goods store they were dispatched to create an “interactive sales event” for to LOSE sales.

So the contestants haven’t gotten any better. But the upside is that Trump apparently knows this too. Come Boardroom time, he stripped the Project Manager of his right to nominate people for firing, sent up the guy who was exempt (Brian, and, once again, the Vote For Exemption is more an issue of asskissing than any kind of assessment of the P.M.’s ability) and the two players who didn’t abjectly suck (Rebecca and Marshawn), and told the remaining four (Mark, Jennifer, the aforementioned P.M. Josh, and James) to go out into the hall.

Upon calling them back in, he let them try to shove each other in front of the bus for a while (hey, at least Trump knows what makes good TV), and then canned the lot of them. Wave of the hand. Yer all fired. Get the hell out of my office.

THAT was what brought me back. Making the four of them cram themselves in the Yahoo Cab Of Shame was just the icing on the cake. About the only way it could have been better would have been if the doorman went out of his way to hit them in the ass with the door.

Just You, And Nobody Else But You

Sorry, folks, it’s another hockey post. But stay with me.

Longtime readers of this site know of my utter hatred of that no-good sack-of-crap Ed Belfour, the goaltender of the Toronto Maple Leafs. But I happen to think he’s a perfect fit for that team, as I pretty much have hated them long before that scum-sucking waste-of-flesh turd-magnet signed on to play for them.

If you don’t follow the hockey like I follow the hockey, it can be summed up very easily: The Leafs are the hockey equivalent of the New York Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys. (And, let me tell you, I had to make a concerted effort not to type “Cowpies” there, as that is how I refer to the team in any other instance.) The team’s management and fans completely believe that it is their birthright to win the championship every year, and any other outcome is clearly the result of some kind of horrible and unjust bias against them.

Not that “it would be nice if they won”. Not “if they put in the hard work and team cohesion necessary to win”. Their BIRTHRIGHT. They’d have the Cup off at the engravers before Opening Night if they could get away with it.

Anyhow, long story short, I hate the Leafs and revel in the schadenfreude whenever they lose. But I’m getting off the track a little.

Last night, I’m flipping around the games on Centre Ice. Everybody is playing, so there were 15 games going on throughout the evening. And the league’s P.R. people have come to the amazing conclusion that it might be nice to offer up a nod to the fans that didn’t tell the league to go screw after denying us the last season over the labor dispute. So along the blue lines of every ice surface, it reads in large letters:

Thank You Fans!

Nice sentiment. Except in Toronto, where it read:

Thank You Leafs Fans!

Which is TOTALLY appropriate, considering it’s the Leafs. “Yeah, screw you fans of other teams who might be watching, we just want to thank OUR fans, ‘cuz they’re the only ones who mean anything.”

I’m pleased to announce that the Leafs lost last night, and Ed Belfour will go down in the record books as the loser of the first shootout in NHL history. Good. Bastards.

Game The Hell ON.

It’s been a good last few days. In that time, I have been offered a new job, which I have accepted, picked up Burnout Revenge for my PS2, baked a kickass batch of chocolate chip cookies that my Tuesday Night Game Gang enjoyed greatly…

…and tonight, the puck drops. Go Sharks!

EDIT: If you’re interested in following the exploits of the Sharks this season, and you run something like Outlook and/or have a Palm or PocketPC, my VCalendar schedule for the team is available in the Downloads section.

“Do you have a poem for us today, Nipsey?”

Us game show geeks lost an icon today, when Nipsey Russell passed away yesterday afternoon. In that spirit:

Nipsey Russell has passed away
His legacy plain to see.
As a poet, he’ll be missed much more
Than that pinhead O.D.B..

Anyone who was a guest on the various incarnations of Pyramid as frequently as he was is okay in my book. R.I.P., Nipsey.

They’re Not Worthy

So tonight I tuned in to my first episode of The Apprentice this season. I won’t spoil anything if you haven’t watched yet, but I have two observations to make:

First off, I’m in full agreement with my man Travis when he says that the Vote For Exemption is idiotic. There’s not a single reason TO do it, and yet the ladies handed one out tonight. Dumb.

Second, you would think that after three series of this, the contestants would learn one very important thing: If The Donald suggests or advises against bringing a specific person back into the Boardroom for potential firing, particularly if he does so after you’ve already announced your intentions, LISTEN TO HIM. The Donald does not bluff. If he’s telling you to do that, it means he either wants you to bring that person in so he can fire THEM, or that he’s NOT going to fire the person you DO want to bring in. Either way, NOT listening to him greatly increases the chances that he’s gonna fire YOU.

And, of course, the guy who did this tonight did not listen to The Donald, and therefore was sent packing.

So we have idiot women who don’t know how to play the game, and idiot men who try to throw someone under the bus at exactly the wrong time.

They should all lose. Where’s the Get The Hell Out Of My Office guy from My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss when you need him?


I don’t pretend to be any sort of a genius when it comes to HTML. At all. You probably could have guessed this from the sparse Ikea-like design here. I’d like to be good at HTML, but there’s just so much that has passed me by…I wouldn’t even know where to start. So I pick up little things when I can, but I’m sure I’m still a couple years behind the times. At the same time, I also like that the site is simple and has not one line of Flash in it.

When I originally debuted Chez Fred v2.0, I switched the site to a frame-based thing ‘cuz I liked the idea of having the menu sitting there static on the left, and the content on the right. And at the time that was pretty much the extent of my HTML skills, and I was happy to be able to get THAT done.

Then RSS came along and ruined everything.

One of the things I hated about my setup is that if people read my site via RSS (or Bloglines or LiveJournal or whatever) and tried to go to the actual page so they could comment or what-not, because of how all of this stuff ties together, all that loaded was the actual blog frame. This looked like hell, and I’m sure a few of The Four Of You had no idea there was actually other stuff on my site, since you never saw the menus.

The other thing I’ve wanted to do is change the way the archives work. I like the drop-down, but the way Blogger works, you can’t do the drop-down thing if you want to list archives by the item title instead of (or along with) the date. And I do. I think people would be more likely to use them if they saw a title catch their eye. This didn’t work with the frame setup either.

So a few times I played around with the idea of converting the site from frames to tables, but 1) I didn’t know how to get frames to work how I wanted them to, and 2) I always had a problem with the color of the left pane not staying consistent, because the content there almost always runs out before the content on the right. Well, I finally figured all of that out, and got everything converted, so welcome to Chez Fred v2.1.

The archives are still drop-down by date, because I have to figure out how to do the archive pages in Blogger, but they at least seem to work. Eventually I’ll be adding archive information in the Menu, but this was quite a little bit of progress for a few hours work. I _also_ might switch to Blogger’s internal commenting system because I like the idea of being able to read and make comments without having to deal with a pop-up, but one thing at a time.

So, if you see anything broken, please do let me know!