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Archive: 'Cleveland' Category

Breakfast Bliss

One of my long-time favorite places to eat is Yours Truly, which is a local chain of sorts—well, to be honest, they’re more of a local institution in seven locations—and whose Web site lends serious support to my theory that site quality is inversely proportional to food quality.  They also have free WiFi at the location nearest us, not that I ever happen to have my laptop along when I’m there.  But there’s always the possibility of using it.

In a menu full of good things, one of my favorites is their Notso™ Fries (“They’re notso common!”).  To make a plate of Notso™ Fries, you first pile up some cottage fries, which are those little round crinkle-cut jobbies.  To the fry pile, you then add a whole bunch of cheese.  Then crumbled bacon, and I think more cheese.  The whole plate is then broiled until the cheese is golden, and just before serving you plop on a generous dollop o’ sour cream.

It’s like a heart attack on a plate.

I had long thought that this wonderful dish represented, in some sense, the apex of cholesterolicious cooking, but this morning I discovered that I was wrong, that the fine folks at Yours Truly had gone themselves one better and given us…

The Notso™ Omelet.

Substitute hashbrowns for the cottage fries but keep everything else the same, stuff the result into a three-egg omelet, and put the sour cream on top.

Oh yeah.

NEOAC Talk

Just a quick note for people in the Cleveland area: I’ll be giving a talk this Saturday, 22 January, at the meeting of the North East Ohio Apple Corps in Strongsville.  The topic will be turning your Macintosh into a powerful Web development environment using resources, scripts, tricks, and tools available for free.  If you’re interested, drop by, and if you need directions, check out the NEOAC Web site.  I’m told that there will be donuts.  Mmm…. donuts.

Ten Things To Do In Cleveland Before You’re Dead

I quick-linked 10 Things to Do in Cleveland Before You Die, but the more I looked at the list, the less happy it made me.  So I’ve decided to compile my own list.  Note that this list doesn’t include restaurants.  As much as I love to eat, I just don’t think that a single meal is worthy of a “things to do before you’re dead” list, no matter how amazing the meal.  I might compile a separate “Ten Places to Eat In Cleveland” list, but that’s a subject for another day.

  1. Hear the Cleveland Orchestra.

    Not on CD, you goof—anyone can do that.  Hear them perform live and in person at least once in your life.  Odds are you’ll want to make it more than once, given that they’re one of the best orchestras in the world.  Bonus points for seeing them at Blossom Music Center, followed by a fireworks display.

  2. Tour the cultural institutions of University Circle.

    That includes the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, which includes the Shafran Planetarium; the Western Reserve Historical Society, which includes the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum; and the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, all within a quarter-mile radius.  Included in that grouping is Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra.  This one’s kind of a cheat, since if I mentioned them all separately that would make this a “Top 15 Things To Do” list, which for some reason doesn’t sound as interesting.

  3. Spend a day at the Cleveland Metroparks.

    Known as the “Emerald Necklace”, the extensive park system (20,000 acres in 14 reservations) not only girds the city but also runs throughout the greater metropolitan area.  There are hiking trails, picnic areas, educational events, and a whole lot more, including the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

  4. Tour the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    The real joy is in the smaller cases, where you can find original lyrics sheets to landmark songs complete with scratched-out ideas and arrows marking rearrangements, bills for hotel-room damage, and other tidbits.  The architecture of the building is fascinating as well.

  5. Visit the West Side Market.

    Besides the dozens of fruit and vegetable stalls in the outside promenade, the interior market space is filled with local butchers, bakers, and other amazing treats.  Come early on Saturday morning for the best selection.

  6. Spend Labor Day weekend downtown.

    That’s where and when you’ll find the Taste of Cleveland, a great way to sample various cuisines, while the aerial displays of the Cleveland National Air Show, based not half a mile away, soar overhead.  (Assuming the FAA relaxes its restrictions on such flights near sporting events, that is.)  If you stick around until nightfall, you’ll have a perfect excuse to go party in the Flats, too.

  7. Hit one of the amusement parks.

    Technically these aren’t in Cleveland itself, but they’re close enough to warrant inclusion.  About forty minutes southeast of downtown is Geauga Lake (formerly Six Flags Worlds of Adventure), a combination amusement park and water park.  Just over an hour west of downtown, you’ll find Cedar Point, one of the nation’s premiere amusements parks and the roller coaster capital of the world.

  8. Go sailing on Lake Erie.

    Whether you take out a two-man boat or take a dinner cruise on the Good Time III, it’s worth seeing the city from the water.  Even better, if you’re captain of your own boat, you can sail to one of the islands or head west along the shoreline to Cedar Point.

  9. See a game.

    With three major-league teams (the Indians, Browns, and Cavaliers) playing downtown, if you’re a sports fan, you’ll find a game to watch.  There are a number of other teams in town as well, including the Barons (hockey) and the Force (soccer).

  10. Drop by Lakeview Cemetery.

    Do it while you’re still alive, okay?  You’ll not only get great views of the city, but also see artistic, beautiful monuments to James A. Garfield, John D. Rockefeller, Eliot Ness, and others.  The Wade Chapel, situated on the shores of a pond, features an interior designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany and full of the famous glasswork bearing his name.  Who knows?  Maybe you’ll find a place to rest after you’re dead.

I have to be honest and admit that I haven’t even done everything on my own list.  However, I suspect that as our kids grow up, we’ll do all of those things more than once.

Guru By Design?

You’ve probably already seen the Gurus vs. Bloggers matchup over at Design By Fire; I quite enjoyed it, and not just because it’s funny.  I found it to be gratifying because I took a close look at the designs, and I think there’s very little doubt about it.  meyerweb’s design just screams “guru,” don’t you think?  (David Robarts does.)  I’m kind of hoping that I get into a future round of the matchup, so I can by completely demolished by the likes of Dave Shea or Doug Bowman.

Of course, I can always counter with cute pictures of Carolyn. A closeup of Carolyn lying on the floor and look out of the corners of her eyes toward the camera, with her left hand near her chin and the index finger extended into the corner of her mouth. She’s suffering through another cold, but that doesn’t seem to prevent her from being just too adorable for words.  Now, I know it isn’t the right finger, but I still can’t help thinking, “One billion dollars!”

For some reason, Kat and I like the show $40 A Day, where host Rachael Ray visits a different city each week and goes through a full day without spending more than $40 on all her meals.  One of this past weekend’s episodes had her visiting Cleveland, calling it “one of the most underrated cities in America.”  Kat and I found it fascinating to watch, getting an outsider’s perspective on the city.  We don’t have the time or space for me to enumerate everything great about this city.  Nonetheless, it was still interesting to hear words of praise from a visitor, even one hosting a show that does what are basically puff pieces about the visited cities.

It didn’t hurt that two of the three restaurants she visited were the always-excellent Tommy’s (where the waiter shown on-camera is one of those guys who’s been there forever) and Trattoria Roman Gardens down in Little Italy, not to mention spent some time at the West Side Market.  I thought the show could have done with a few less “___ ROCKS!” jokes—okay, we get it, the only song the rest of the country associates with us is “Cleveland Rocks.”  Thank you.  It’s time to move on.

Of course, I suppose I might be tired of the whole “rocks” thing because it’s a lot like having people always tell you the sky is blue.  After a while, it gets to be a little bit wearying to keep being repetitively told something you already know.

Building Blocks

Imagine my surprise to discover that an off-hours bit of work done with a couple of colleagues got a mention in the mainstream press.  XFN, which seems to be spreading through the blog world and is generating some very good feedback, was mentioned in a Seattle Times article titled “Social networking beginning to take shape on the Web.”  I’m amused that years upon years of work on CSS, which is arguably a cornerstone of the modern Web, netted me (so far as I know) exactly zero newspaper coverage, while something to which I made minor contributions merited ink within a month of its launch.

With that article still fresh in my mind, I received something like my fourth or fifth invitation to join LinkedIn, which was mentioned in the very next paragraph after the bit about XFN.  Since I’m rather interested in social networking technologies these days, I decided to set up an account and experiment a bit—do some compare-and-contrast between LinkedIn and XFN, from a user’s point of view.  It’s interesting, but I’m not sure I quite grasp the point of it.  Are links intended solely to deliver prospective clients to vendors?  Or is it supposed to be a way to show who you know, and thus who they know, and so on?  For myself, I’ve decided to limit my connections to people with whom I’ve had some contact professionally.  So if you’re a member and want to invite me, go ahead.

One of the people I did invite to link to me is George Nemeth, Cleveland-based superblogger extraordinaire.  I dropped by his site to see what he’s talking about, and spotted a link to a LEGO® recreation of M. C. Escher’s Relativity.  The same people also did Ascending and Descending, and a few others besides.  Color me impressed!  From there, I visited some other LEGO®-sculpture sites, finding at one point a really large model of a stegosaur, which was even more impressive, both from a sheer achievement point of view as well as a testament to the amount of free time some people have available.  And check this out: the guy who came up with a model of the Nebuchadnezzar, a mostly working badger, and a whole bunch of other LEGO® sculptures besides, lives right here in Cleveland.

Like how I came full circle with that one?

Hot Steaming Internet

If you’re on the east side of Cleveland and want a nice warm caffeinated place to get online, the new Arabica on Lee Road, just a block or so south of Cedar-Lee, is the place to be.  The network SSID is 2WIRE173; it is a closed network but they’ll tell you the password at the counter.  Note to Mac users: you’ll need to enter the password as a 40-bit hex key, not as a plain password.  Something about their security setup causes this, although neither I nor they knew exactly what that might be.  I figure it’s no big deal, since once you enter the information and add it to your Keychain, you’ll never have to worry about it again (unless of course they change it).

Ketchup

The weeklong break is over.  Now I start a weekend break.  Meanwhile, a few things that flitted across my radar while I was away:

  • Please, for the love of all that’s holy, patch your Windows boxes!  Like Zeldman and Kurtz, I too have had an e-mail address filled into forged e-mail headers, and been hit with bounces galore.  Hopefully this will all soon become a lesser problem with a change in server, but still—patch those leaky systems!  Now!
  • Some interesting quotes from and commentary on Weaving the Web.
  • Thanks to a post by Mark Pilgrim, “‘Considered Harmful’ Essays Considered Harmful” is getting some traffic.  This amuses me.
  • Hell yeah.  I’m behind George 100% on pretty much every point he makes, and I’ll just add that we’re a major airline hub so finding reasonably priced flights to just about anywhere is a snap.  ‘Nuff said.

That’s it for the moment, but I hope to have a new site and some new content to share with you on Monday.

April 2014
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