September 22, 2005
Of Birthdays And Hurricanes
I spent the day at work running between meetings, and the stopping involved reading weather reports on Hurricane Rita. Rita is a lot of commotion generating a lot of worry, where my day was a lot of worry in the midst of a lot of commotion.
My oldest friend is in Houston with his wife and stepson. With the traffic as awful as it was getting out of Houston they have decided to stick it out in their house and hope the storm track continues to send the eye to the east. I worry about them, but there's not a lot I can do.
And yes, I reached the Rolling Rock age today. And while I hate birthdays, I appreciate the cards, e-mails, and prezzies I received from everyone today. I promise that one of these days I'll remember your birthdays as well.
I also changed the banner picture. It's supposed to be a random image every time you come to the site, but I can't get the server to prefer index.php over index.html, despite it being ok with index.php on Annabel's site.
September 17, 2005
A Tale Of Two Chinese Takeouts
A few days ago, I noticed that the Chinese restaurant down the road from us had shut down. I believe that was the third failure of that takeout in the last four years, given it had had three "new owners" signs, a name change, and a paint job during that period.
We ate Chinese from there twice, I believe in iterations one and three. It was pretty standard West Coast Chinese, nothing super-exciting, but reasonable comfort food. Iteration three, I think, was better. They hit the right balance of seasonings.
Note, though, that I said we'd eaten there twice in the last four years. It was never our regular takeout; that honor belonged to Chef At Wok, which is further away. You could walk to the closed Chinese place and back in 10 minutes; Chef at Wok is 40 minutes round trip walking, so we always drive to get pickup. It's not that different from the closed Chinese place. Why choose them?
Here's the list I came up with:
- The owners live in the neighborhood. Susan has seen them shopping in the QFC. Localness counts.
- And the owners know who we are. They know our names. They ask about Annabel. We talk neighborhood politics and their kids.
- They've had the same chef for a number of years, an old Chinese guy with a big smile and wok hay.
- Their mu shu is pretty good.
- And the name probably plays into it too.
Again, it's not like the closed Chinese place was trash while Chef At Wok was the cheap Chinese answer to Canlis. They weren't all that much different, aside from some differences of opinion of what goes in General Tsao's Chicken. But we chose "our Chinese," and we've stayed with "our Chinese," and until Canlis opens a Chinese restaurant in Broadview that will give us a $20 dinner, they will remain "our Chinese." They're good, dependable, and always there to bail us out of cooking when we're too tired.
I wonder if this is the case for everyone else on our block. I've seen quite a few of them at Chef At Wok.
September 09, 2005
All Quiet on the Northwestern Front
Little to report. I'm mad about Katrina but don't really want to write what would probably be a 2500 word analysis-slash-diatribe. I went to Samantha's ever-fun birthday hoedown at a dive-ish Eastlake bar Wednesday night. Tonight I have a 44-page document that needs editing; so far I've done... none of it. Annabel climbs the furniture now with impunity. Oh, and Harry stopped blogging.
Only new thing here is the new Music Diet in the sidebar, thanks to a spiffy new Movable Type plugin called MediaManager. It uses Amazon's API hook-ins so that you can search their database for whatever piece of media you want to add to the queue, and then it uses Amazon's info on that piece of media to populate its database. I'm still playing with it, but I'm very pleased with its robustness. You can even use the plugin to post reviews. (And I did steal the name Music Diet from Elaine; hope she doesn't mind.)
I'll be 33 on the 22nd. No party planned. No nothing planned. Outside of family, I don't expect anyone will want to do anything.