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June 28, 2005

Dashing in, slightly out of breath...

John seems to be batting a thousand on his daily assignments, as he gave Saturdays to the Jewish guy. Luckily, I'm a bacon cheeseburger kind of Jewish guy (ham and cheese on matzoh for Passover), so this shouldn't be too much of a stretch.

Hello, everyone, I'm your redundant backup Scalzi for the next few Saturdays. Name's Jeff, and I'm the token non-professional writer here—which is to say, I've written one book and I'm writing another, but there's been a ten-year stretch in between. Looking around at my fellow guest hosts, that appears to put me in the distinct minority.

And naturally, the email from John asking for introductions came during three concurrent crises with my clients, so my hello will be uncharacteristically brief. A longer introduction forthcoming after a few web servers I could mention stop emitting smoke and setting off the Halon systems.

(And to be serious for just a second—hey, it's an honor to be here. I respect John and I respect the Republic of Scalzi, and so I'll be doing my best to keep you entertained. Many thanks to the Grand High Poohbah.)

Posted by at June 28, 2005 07:42 PM

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Jim Winter | June 28, 2005 09:09 PM

Don't feel bad. For Ash Wednesday, I skipped the ashes and went to Outback for steak and potatoes. I was stressed out and figured God created beef, starchy veggies, and Foster's on draft for a reason.

Doug Hoffman | June 28, 2005 09:37 PM

My recipe for "Jewish Chicken Soup", posted at my medical website, has garnered me more than a little hate mail. Why? Because I brown the chicken pieces in butter, and use more butter for the matzoh balls. One gal wrote that my parents must be very, very, ashamed of me.

It's so nice to get through to people.

John H | June 28, 2005 10:51 PM

Maybe they're just thinking of your cholesterol...

Next time tell them due to their complaints you've decided to trade out the butter for bacon grease!

mythago | June 29, 2005 12:29 AM

They should be ashamed of you. Matzoh balls should only be touched by schmaltz, not butter. (Fussing about browning chicken in butter, though, that's just silly.)

Jeff Porten | June 29, 2005 12:32 AM

I suppose you're keeping to the spirit of Ash Wednesday if you get your steak very well done.

In case it wasn't clear, I only brought up the Saturday thing by way of humorous introduction -- it's not like I'm really conflicted or anything. I figure that God will have enough trouble getting over my interpretation of the Yom Kippur fast to include Marlboros and Starbucks; blogging on Shabbos is just icing on the cake.

Soni | June 29, 2005 02:52 AM

"A longer introduction forthcoming after a few web servers I could mention stop emitting smoke and setting off the Halon systems."

Ah...that would be the magic smoke, no doubt. You know better than to breathe that stuff, right? Or the Halon, for that matter.

Jim Winter | June 29, 2005 10:52 AM

Hmm... Actually, I got the steak bloody rare. I was in a REALLY bad mood.

I smoked a cigar with dinner, though. Does cigar ash count?

Brian Greenberg | June 29, 2005 12:33 PM

Don't look at these things as reduced participation in religious traditions - look at them as placeholders for confessional/Yom Kippur.

Heck - you wouldn't want to get to the end of the week/year and find out you were perfect, would you?

(yes, that's my first emoticon with a halo. Thank you. Thank you very much...)

Brian Greenberg | June 29, 2005 12:36 PM

Oh, btw, Jeff - what's the deal with those web servers? I thought servers running Mac OS's never went down!

(For those who don't know Jeff well, rest assured that I just ruined at least one of your July Saturday's...)

claire | June 29, 2005 03:26 PM

ha! just to change the subject for a second, jeff, IN WHAT UNIVERSE, is a man with two books not a professional writer? i guess in the universe in which a woman with ONE PUBLISHED SHORT STORY THAT SHE'S EVER GOTTEN PAID FOR is a "professional writer". let's get some perspective here.

Jeff Porten | June 29, 2005 11:21 PM

Claire -- have plenty to say on the topic, but if I do it here I'll have to come up with a whole new idea for Saturday.

Brian: halo? I think we're theologically disqualified. And you well know that being atonement-free is the least of my worries at Yom Kippur (especially since I'm usually concurrent on the whole "not being at synogogue in the first place" thing). I tend to think of Dom Sivardaya as a checklist.

Oh, and the Halon-inducing web server this week is a Linux box. Just FYI.

Jim: speaking of theologically unqualified, can't comment on the cigar. But I think you're better off getting your steak at The Palm, no?

Soni: Halon would probably be an improvement on my atmospheric diet.

Jeff Porten | June 29, 2005 11:22 PM

Whoops. "Dom Sivardaya" was supposed to be to the Hebrew checklist of sins. I think I got Ten Plagues instead. Those are NOT a checklist.

John Scalzi | July 1, 2005 05:42 AM

(just adding comment to keep this comment thread open -- for whatever reason threads less than a week old turn into moderated threads at the turn of the month)

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