Thursday, February 15, 2007

More New Stuff

New on the Blogroll

The blogroll now has pretty much everyone on it who was on my Blogger 1.0 roll and is still blogging. I’ve fit everyone into the new categories, with no doubt some new ones to come. Since adding links is easier with Bl 2, I’ll be a lot freer with them.

Some specific moves of note. I’ve added more folks to the writers list – most notably Akronintes Paula Mooney and Mary Biddinger. Speaking of new stuff, Mary just received copies of her first published book of poetry. Surf on over and say congrats.

I also added Bill Sloat’s Daily Bellwether in the writers category. It’s a tough call since Bill blogs overwhelmingly about politics, especially Ohio politics. He’s a bit more centrist than the folks on the Progressives list, so I wedged him uncomfortably where he is since he is a professional writer (former PD staffer.)

I created a new category for folks blogging specifically about their city. I haven’t been living up to my blog’s name much, but some folks do and deserved their own space. Plus it opened a spot for Shout Youngstown which, again, isn’t a progressive blog.

I was finally successful in finding a chick blogger who writes about nonchick stuff woman blogger who blogs beyond women’s issues. Laura Rosen at War and Piece writes about international relations for American Prospect and does the same on her blog. This is a twofer since I’ve been looking for a good IR since Eric Umansky went on his interminable sabbatical. I also added Bitch Ph.D. and Broadsheet, the two feminist-oriented blogs I’m finding most enjoyable.

New Subhead

After some twenty months, I’ve ditch my snooze-inducing self-description for something damn near inscrutable. Here is the post where I describe the militant pragmatist. I’ll probably be referring to it more, but basically it’s a reaction to the tendency toward dogma as policy on both the left and the right. Some others I considered were:

-Not centrist so much as reasonable.
-Reality spoken here.
-More pages! Less Akron!

New and Pre.ty Tast.y

I finally signed up for a account last week and installed the badge on my sidebar. Now it’s one of those things I kick myself for not doing earlier. What you’ll find there is mostly stuff I find very interesting but probably won’t get to in a post. Even days when the blog is pretty sleepy I generally will at least look over news headlines and, since it’s only a couple clicks, add them to the list.

All of which is to say, you really ought to come by here every day, even when I haven’t posted.

New Side of Pho

Last week I had a long talk with a blog friend and realized over the course of the conversation how much people still don’t know about me. For instance, that I cook. I have been the primary cook for the family even before I stopped working for a paycheck. It’s long been a hobby and, once I got married, offered a way to contribute to the household that didn’t involve a whole lot of vacuuming.

Beyond that, I'm pretty good. Kid Z says I should try out for Top Chef -- I'm not that good, bless her heart. But I do have some serious game in the kitchen.

Lots of bloggers – even the Serious bloggers like Kevin Drum – post more personal and lighthearted stuff. Kevin’s Friday cat blogging as an example. It humanizes the blogger, makes the serious stuff seem, I dunno, a little less overwhelming.

So I’m going to start dinner blogging. When something turns out looking good, I’ll take a pic and post with a few words about ingredients and prep. Don’t expect full recipes as I tend to improvise heavily and never touch measuring spoons except on the very rare occasions that I bake. Also, brace yourself for lingo just because I want to make things quick and it’s a lot easier to say “chiffonade” than “slice leaves into thin, uniform strips.”

To start it off, here’s last night’s dinner:

That’s scalloped potatoes punched up a bit to give them credibility as a main dish. It’s a bit of a cheat because I use canned mushroom gravy and canned cream of celery soup, but that makes it workable as a crock pot meal. I did render the bacon and brown the onions, before tossing everything in the crock and going outside to shovel my afternoon away.

I’ve tried putting carrots in the dish to add some nutrients and because they add color and slow cooking tends to make things beige. But the kids have decided that carrots are only good raw, babified and dipped into ranch dressing and no one is going to tell them differently. This time I addressed the beigification problem with a healthy dose of paprika in the sauce.

Verdict: A tasty meal as always, though probably a little heavy with the pepper as it turned out.

New Tag

A lot of them, actually, but one in particular. I've added a Best of Pho to tag the best/most important posts from the archives. It's entirely subjective based on my feeling that I hit one out of the park or lots of people giving good feedback. Given the traffic on this blog, "lots of people" constitutes "more than two." The only other rule: I held myself to a strict 2 Cafaro limit. If, perchance, a past post really struck your fancy, let me know and I'll consider adding it to the Best of file.


Paula Neal Mooney said...

Thanks for the add! I will now blogroll you as well...

Take care in all this snow.


redhorse said...

I can vouch for your cooking skills, or at least grills skills. Although you weren't impressed, I'd find myself in a tizzy if my grill came out that well.

Still working on convincing the spousal unit that a pig pit is just what we need for the 4th of's not going well.

John Ettorre said...

I think this means only one thing: that you must invite us all over for dinner soon. I'll bring the beer. And thanks for sticking me under that uber-cool heading, perfectly articulated as only you can.

Pho said...

Blogger dinner party at the House of Pho, after the weather breaks. Could happen.

Glad you like your new digs on the sidebar. And thanks for the love. Seems like any time I'm down about the blogging thing, you surf over here with a vote of confidence to buck me up again.