Classic Dishes...

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!


This week’s Ron Popeil Award for Bad Product Design goes to this.

Mmm, appetizing!

They missed an opportunity, though. They shoulda built one of those butter-melting thingies into his schnozz…

All In The Family

I might have made a huge mistake today. I gave my Mom the address here at Chez Fred.

(Just kidding, Mom.)

Actually I’m really proud of her. She bought her first computer (that she actually used…sometimes) in 1994. It was a Mac LCIII, and I bought it for her when I was at San Jose State. And when we sat down for me to teach her how to do stuff, she told me she just wanted a list of what to push and what to click and what not to accomplish what she needed to.

And I did it, ‘cuz I’m a good son like that, but I didn’t like it. I tried to explain to her that her life would be a lot easier if she learned what the concept of, say, “opening a file” was and meant instead of just knowing “okay, if I want to change this document, I click File then Open then the filename then Open again.” It would pay off in the future, and once she knew how to do it conceptually, she would be able to do it in damned near anything. But, nope. “I’ll never get how to do all of that, just tell me what to do.” Sigh. Okay, fine.

And, several years later, when her office (she’s a school secretary) went mostly computerized, she learned the concepts, and she can do all kinds of things. I knew she could do it, ‘cuz she’s Mom and she rules. Now they have their very own PC at the house and they have their dialup account (man, that is gonna KILL me next time I go home and I have to use the MODEM in my laptop…what kind of neanderthals do I have for parents? :)), and they’re getting online.

Not bad at all for a couple of complete technophobes. :)

So, please make Mom welcome to our little party here, and be sure to be on your best behavior, because we need to make a good impression.

(Just kidding, Mom.)