Rumors of my death or abduction by aliens have been greatly exaggerated.

I’m not dead!

I feel fine!

I don’t want to go on the cart!

Yeah, I’m alive, and nary a single alien probe, either.

I haven’t touched this weblog in eight months. That’s a long time. I’d be surprised if anyone was still out there, but just in case …

There was a bit of a loss of mojo. That, in combination with a massive house renovation project took seven months to plan and prep for, then four months of construction and two months of cleanup (actually, we’re still cleaning up), including gutting our only bathroom down to the studs and subfloor. Not the most clever thing we’ve ever done, tearing out our only bathroom. Nothing says class like Andy Gump in your front yard for three months. (The bathroom is fabulous now, though.)

I really didn’t have a lot of time for this website, unfortunately. Also, with me just sitting here and minding my own business, WordPress broke a lot of stuff, plugins went awry, all my weblog categories disappeared, my archives disappeared, most of the blogroll disappeared, the cocktail index (!) disappeared. All this stuff just spontaneously breaking makes me think that there was a lot to be said for the time when I hand-coded the whole damned thing myself.

I’ve been working to put that back together, thanks to amazing and intrepid repair work by my dear friend and Looka! co-admin Marleigh Miller. The cocktail index and archives are back. The blogroll is back. But wait, there’s more!

I stepped back and took a look at the whole site in general, and … it really looks like shit. I’ve never been a web designer, and what passed for my “design” was anchored right in the middle of 1995, and some of the worst-looking web pages this side of MySpace. Looking like that for years and years … I should have been ashamed.

The good news is that a MAJOR redesign of the entire site is in progress, and I’m hoping to roll out the new, 21st Century Web 2.0 front page in a week or so. Stay tuned!

I’m also getting the itch to start writing again. Not every day, but more regularly, so dust off whatever RSS reader you may be using now that Google Reader has bitten the dust, and make sure my feed’s still in there. Wesly might be getting the itch too, and I’d love for there to be more posts from him because he’s such a wonderful writer.

Watch this space!


12 Responses to “Rumors of my death or abduction by aliens have been greatly exaggerated.”

  1. Brian Clary said:

    Jul 09, 13 at 10:22 am

    You may think it looks like shit, but it’s a beacon that harkens back to a time when people had homepages, and I for one am partial to that era.

    Off-topic: I’m giving both Feedly and The Old Reader a try since Reader bit the dust. I like the interface of Feedly, but I hear TOR lets you export your feeds. But you may not like the fact that TOR classifies the Looka! feed as dead 🙂

  2. Ryan said:

    Jul 09, 13 at 11:16 am

    I’m looking forward to more posts, and I’ll second the nostalgia for homepages. I’ve been reading your site since sometime in the late 90’s if I remember.

  3. Chuck said:

    Jul 09, 13 at 12:08 pm

    Thanks, guys. Good to see y’all, by the way!

    I have a nostalgia for homepages too, but a lot of them looked like shit.


    Actually, one of the things that made the front page look bad is the ad placement. Ads have gotten uglier. Unfortunately, they make me money and in the current economy we kinda need it, paltry and supplemental as it is. Marleigh and I will work on making that look cleaner, if possible.

    I’m also trying Feedly and The Old Reader. I’m not sold on Feedly yet, and it does some annoying things. Right now I’m leaning toward a combination of TOR in combination with Feeddler for my mobile feeds, and for web reading it’s still up in the air. I too have a list of dead links, but fortunately TOR didn’t include my own feed in my own feed. I’M NOT DEAD! I’M GETTING BETTER!

    Ryan, it has indeed been since the late 90s — the weblog debuted on July 8, 1999. The whole archive is still there, although all the pre-Wordpress comments are gone.

    Hey, if you want a sneak peek at the work-in-progress main and recipe front pages, email me and I’ll send you the link.

  4. Kim said:

    Jul 10, 13 at 7:06 am

    Welcome Back! I have been following your page since the old Gumbo pages days when you first started this in the 90’s. Glad you are still around!!

  5. MHip said:

    Jul 12, 13 at 6:44 pm

    That timeline sounds right. It was right after a very late 90’s New Orleans trip when I found the site randomly when I was searching online for a gumbo recipe.

  6. Chuck said:

    Jul 15, 13 at 4:14 pm

    Stay tuned, y’all … gettin’ ready to start rolling out the new site in a day or three, starting with the new front page!

    The rest of it might be slightly slow going — still doing it mostly by myself, but Wesly will be helping with the revamped NOLA section.

  7. Christine said:

    Jul 17, 13 at 9:29 am

    Glad you’re back! Are you and Wes going to Tales this year?

  8. Chuck said:

    Jul 17, 13 at 11:11 am

    No, waaaah! No money, and nobody’s paying my way this time.

  9. Zaelic said:

    Jul 18, 13 at 6:54 am

    Welcome back! Gumbo was the first “blog” I ever discovered and I still checked to see when you would return. Need more food! Drinks! Music! Mo’ bettah!

  10. Kevin said:

    Jul 18, 13 at 8:42 pm

    Chuck – Followed you since early KCRW days. Global Gumbo, I believe it was called – prolly pre-blogging days. You turned me on to Toasted Heretic, Cowboy Mouth & some band from Ljubljana with a song about a bicycle that’s still stuck in my head somewhere! I used to tape your shows (!) and still remember a fantastic acoustic night with Kitchens of Distinction! Thanks for the memories… looking forward to your ‘Comeback’!

  11. Chuck said:

    Jul 18, 13 at 9:19 pm

    Whoa, all these wonderful blasts from the past. Hey Zaelic! Hey Kevin! Yep, my entire tenure at KCRW was in the pre-(we)blogging days, ’88 to ’98. First show was “Gumbo Ya-Ya,” all Louisiana music, then “Global Gumbo” (the “global” bit being Will Lewis’ dopey idea) and finally my preferred title of “Gumbo.”

    That Kitchens gig was magical. Hmm, I wonder who I’d get in trouble with if I were to upload those songs to Soundcloud or something. Kitchens disbanded in 1996, but I heard that the three original band members were working on new material. Maybe I’ll just do it anyway and see what happens.


  12. Mario said:

    Aug 04, 13 at 10:09 am

    Very excited to see that you’re back — helps my hangover.

    -cocktail jones