December 21, 2008

The Digg Effect: Bacon Edition

Filed under: Waste of Time — Chris @ 3:02 pm

In case you’re curious, here’s a snapshot of the Digg effect hitting this blog, from beginning to end:

11/22 - 12/21/2008

11/22 - 12/21/2008

In short: our average daily traffic, from July through Dec 14, 2008, was between 10 and 50 page views. On Dec 15, after appearing on the Bacon Reddit (?!), we had 292 page views. On Dec 16, after appearing on the front page of Digg (?!!), we had 20,960 page views. Even today, after the wave has passed, we’re still getting several hundred page views a day on the bacon post, including a trickle of referrals from and the like (who are these people?!).

Bottom line: write more about bacon, even if it’s stupid.


Top Chef: Conspiracies Afoot

Filed under: Top Chef — Chris @ 2:28 pm

I’m not one to jump to the conclusion that producer interference has led to one cheftestant going home over another, but… is it a coincidence that the judges decided not to send anybody home this week, when Jamie—a strong contender and a one-woman Victorian melodrama—had a full-on judgment breakdown and served mediocre scallops raw and under-seasoned in a lukewarm vichyssoise? Her only hope was that Eugene stuck his neck up on the block by stubbornly defending his sickly-sweet poisson cru in the face of the judges’ criticism (Rule #8, people! It’s like you don’t even read the blog!). Here’s a tip for you, Eugene: if Tom Colicchio says your dish is too sweet, do not counter with “to me … it was tart.” Tom Colicchio has good reason to think somewhat highly of his own palate.

So what’s the deal with nobody going home? Was it always planned, as part of the holiday theme? Was it actually a response to the refrigerator snafu, in spite of the fact that neither of the affected cheftestants under-performed because of it? I’m getting progressively more weirded out by the pretenses and lacunae in the presentation of the show: Thanksgiving and Christmas in July, complete with disingenuous references to seasonal ingredients; Gail’s Potemkin bridal shower; the presentation of decisions most likely handed down by the legal department as evidence of the judges’ beneficence. Or how about a “one-pot wonder” Quickfire Challenge in which at least half the cheftestants (including the winner) didn’t make anything anyone would consider making in one pot, ever. For example, Fabio’s polenta and duck breast. Have you ever made polenta? Have you cleaned a polenta-caked pot? Would you seriously make polenta, clean the pot, then sear a duck breast in it instead of just using a separate sauté pan for the duck? Preposterous. I understand they want to present an show that is interesting and exciting without getting bogged down in unnecessary details… can’t they do that without insulting my intelligence?

Private to Padma: scallops are something I associate with winter, especially considering the New York State Atlantic bay scallop season runs from November to March (i.e., winter, more or less).

Private to Arriane: six kinds of deviled eggs? Six? As an hors d’oeuvre?

Just to Annoy H…

Filed under: Waste of Time — Chris @ 11:00 am

And because it’s awesome. Can you identify this bit of film dialogue, and explain to my wife why it’s hilarious?

A MAN and a WOMAN are lying in bed, kissing and caressing.

WOMAN: What else should I know?
MAN: I could teach you the secret of how to treat azaleas.
WOMAN: Oh, tell me. I’m all ears.
MAN: I can see that. Well… just treat them the same way as you would a begonia.
WOMAN: No kidding?
MAN: That’s gospel.
WOMAN: You mean what you’re saying is what’s good for azaleas is good for begonias?
MAN: You got it.
WOMAN: [MAN’s name], this is fascinating.
MAN: I thought you’d be interested.

For extra credit, explain why the above scene is funnier than the following.

A SECURITY GUARD finds an OTHER MAN engaged in a theft.

SECURITY GUARD: Hold it right there, nigger.
OTHER MAN: Hey! How you doin’, old dude? What’s happenin’?

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