The Jambalaya Calculator

What’s that? A post, you say? The first one in over a year? *clutches chest* <voice=”Fred Sanford”>I’m comin’, Elizabeth!</voice> An actual old-school weblog post — links with commentary! Well, I’ll be dipped in hot sauce.

Yeah, rumors of my death or abduction by aliens has been greatly exaggerated. Wesly and I would both like to get some more posting done on here, despite the fact that weblogging is more or less dead. We’ll see. Anyway.

What could possibly inspire me to make a post after over a year? THIS! A guy from New Orleans has created a Jambalaya Calculator.


The Jambalaya Calculator is a labor of love devoted to a Louisiana specialty. It’s the equivalent of a detailed cookbook, but an interactive one, in several ways. For starters, it’s crowd sourced from expert cooks.

Instead of a hardback book or an e-cookbook, the calculator is in the form of an Excel spreadsheet, one that could only have come from Louisiana — the land of big-batch outdoor cooking of all kinds. Want to make jambalaya for 150 of your nearest and dearest? Change the numbers in the pink cells. You will need 60 pounds of meat and 24 pounds of long-grain rice.

The Jambalaya Calculator lets the user sort the recipe according to several criteria: The size of the pot, by number of quarts or gallons to prepare, by serving amounts in various sizes.

It’s for the brown style of jambalaya favored across most of southern Louisiana, not the red Creole style of New Orleans. (Sigh.) It’s OK though, I do like me some brown jambalaya too.

This could come in very, very handy.


Follow me on Google Plus

The weblogging world is changing.

For one, almost nobody says “weblogging” or “weblog” anymore except stubborn old farts like me. Also, the original idea of a weblog — links to other interesting sites with your own commentary — has changed drastically. Weblogs, blogs, whatever you want to call them, now seem to be primarily sites with mostly if not entirely original content, and over the years that’s more or less what this weblog has become.

I still like to share links, though. I just don’t always think sharing a link warrants an entire WordPress article — it seems an awful lot of trouble just to share a link. Other places have cropped up for that sort of thing, one of which is Google Plus / Google+ / G+.

I ignored my G+ account for a long time, but I’m now finding it useful for link sharing (with optional discussion). So … if you’re interested in the link sharing I do, follow me on Google+:



Yeesh, their links are so impersonal. For once Facebook got that right with personalized user name URLs, but Google doesn’t seem to be interested in that. I made a shortcut:


It’ll be nice to get some real followers and not the spam accounts from Pakistan, Ghana, Yemen and the Ivory Coast that seem to have flocked in of late. See you on The Google!

Ooh, pretty redesign!

You may (or may not) have noticed that a couple of things look a bit different around here.

Specifically, a complete redesign for the front page and recipe page for the first time in many years. Long overdue, I might add.

The idea and 90% of the implementation came from the amazing and wonderful Marleigh Miller, who has many dinners coming her way for this. The other 10% was me stumbling around with learning CSS and figuring out how to tweak things by trial and error, and somehow I managed not to break everything she gave me. (Actually, I did break them — several times — but figured out how to fix them without too much weeping and hair-tearing.)

“It’s Web 2.0!” she says. And how. Actual pictures, sliding from one to the next to actually give you something nice to look at, plus all the words are still there. I’m inordinately proud of the fact that the site still looks fine on a UNIX terminal text-based browser like Lynx.

Gradually I’ll be going through the entire site and spiffing things up, adding CSS to the individual pages and photos where I can, trying to hunt down broken links (because any site dating back to the early 1990s that still has lists of links is now 99-44/100% link rot) and doing other gradual improvements. I’ll add to and change the over photos periodically as well.

There are a few other things. I know that the use of the term “page” and “pages” is kinda Web 1.0, but since this site has been called “The Gumbo Pages” for almost 20 years I’m kinda stuck with it. I did activate my personal email domain for the web too, so you can now also access the site via this link:

I’d also like to keep up with updates to the site, but that old (and hideously ugly) “What’s New” page is going away. I decided that the best way to deal with updates about what’s happening with the site without cluttering up Looka! with them and without having to go through the trouble to start a separate WordPress page (a pain in the arse in its own right) I just started a Tumblr. It was really easy to set up and will be easy to maintain, and will only involve what’s new with the site in general — what’s been updated or redesigned or added or whatever. That will be available from the “Updates” link in the title/logo bar, and the direct URL is:

If you’d like to add it to your RSS reader, the RSS feed’s URL is:

Wesly has expressed interest in posting here again. W00t!

We’re both about to get to work on rewriting and revamping the horrendously outdated “What to do in New Orleans” page, so that’ll likely be the next big project.

Great things are afoot! I hope they’ll make things nicer for y’all.

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!


Frakkin’ A! Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome is here!

I have been waiting for this for a very long time. Ten webisodes starting today, 2-hour movie (and, I hope, official series pilot to then be picked up) in February 2013. Read more here. Now watch it. I’m going to wait until I get home so I can see it on the largest screen possible.

Episode 1:

Episode 2:

So say we all!