Chuck's Virtual Refrigerator Door

I've got a lot of strange stuff stuck to my refrigerator door.

There's a McDonald's double-cheeseburger wrapper from Moscow (roughly transliterated from the Cyrillic, it's a "dvoinoi chizburger" -- hamburgers are called "gamburgers" because there's no "H" in Russian); a birthday limerick written for me by my friend Jeff Mandelbaum; a take-out/delivery po-boy menu from the Royal Street Grocery in the French Quarter in New Orleans; my grade cards from Principles of Cooking I-V at UCLA Extension (an "A", natch).

I've also got several nifty refrigerator magnets, such as the one depicting a cockroach saying "Let's eat!" as well as some Bunny Matthews characters, the KCSN one, the Magritte one that says "Ceci n'est pas une pipe", the White Castle one, the one from Staromëstké Námesti in Prague, the Frank Lloyd Wright "Tree of Life" one, and several more. My refrigerator door is a weird catch-all place for things I find interesting, amusing, or of sentimental value.

Here's a wildly varied collection of interesting, useful, amusing and/or silly stuff I've plucked from here and there on the Net, text-packrat that I am (and I'm a paper/book/record packrat in real life too, aaaaack), that I thought I'd stick up here for all to see, instead of just having it virtually rot in non-world-readable directories at my Internet provider. Look around, there's some fun stuff in here.

This page will constantly grow as I clean out my home directory on Netcom and as I gather new stuff from cobwebby corners of the Net.

Astronaut Chuck
I spent my entire childhood wanting to be an astronaut. Here's a certificate naming me as an honorary member of the crew of Space Shuttle Flight STS-67/ASTRO 2, in March of 1995. You can't imagine how cool I think this stupid thing is ...

The Balkan Top Ten
One of my best friends is from Belgrade, Yugoslavia, and we've talked a lot about the appalling situation being perpetrated there by both our governments. One of the ways the Yugoslavs are dealing with it all is through gallows humor, much of which has strong elements of truth within, as you'll see in this series of lists of the Top Ten Reasons to be Serbian, Croat, Bosnian, Slovenian, Macedonian, Albanian, Montenegrin and Yugoslav.

This dangerous chemical is planetwide. Here's how you can learn more about its dangers, and how you can help get it banned.

Banned Books
In the '90s, people are still censoring and banning books. Here's a list of some of them. Kids, if any adult tells you you can't read these, RUN, do not walk, to the nearest library or bookstore and get it, because you need to know what they don't want you to know.

How to Sing the Blues
You may get the blues sometimes, but you can't just up and sing the blues. There are rules, you know.

Food Spoilage Chart
From the Chefs' Mailing List. How to tell if your food is spoiled.

If architects had to work like programmers,
we'd all be living in tents, I think.

A bit about the Irish-style bouzouki
For all you Irish music fans who may have wondered what that terrifically ballsy string instrument is in all those Planxty, Bothy Band and Altan albums.

The Chef's Rules
As posted to the Chefs' mailing list. The definitive set of rules as to how a kitchen is run. What am I getting myself into??!!

Church Bulletins
Several amusing examples of butchery of the English language, supposedly taken from actual church bulletins. Apocryphal? Maybe, but still good for a chuckle.

Constructing a Logical Argument
People, particularly Usenet and IRC users, generally can't put up a decent, logical argument to save their lives. Here's a gentle introduction to logic and reasoning.
  • Here's what happened when a guy tried to rob Mr. Logic

What to say and what not to say to them; or, how not to get arrested and/or get the living crap beaten out of you.

Whatever you do, do not click this link.

"God's Judgment on Heterosexuality and the Church's Caring Response"
A marvelous work of irony by Tobias S. Haller, BSG, pastor of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Yonkers, NY. He has more excellent writings on his own website as well. I thank him for his permission to reproduce this work here.

God's Total Quality Management Questionnaire
In order to serve you better ...

Gourmand Syndrome
Oh. That's why I love fine food. I have a brain injury.

A poem by Steve Melton, who hated grits. I hate 'em too. Well, not so much anymore ... I did as a kid, until I learned to cook 'em right! (Andouille cheese grits with fried eggs and Creole sauce, mmmmmmm ...)

"I'm My Own Grandpa"
The lyrics to a song I've loved since I was a kid.

The readers of the Irish Times select six ways to know you're really Oirish.
Frankie Kennedy
On the passing and funeral of the brilliant Irish musician, at age 38 in 1994.

Keeping the Peace, Clinton-Style
Using the Clinton Administration's finely-crafted logic in bombing Yugoslavia to free Kosovo, we can certainly see that there are lots more places around the world that could use this kind of treatment. Let's bomb 'em all! (Cue Randy Newman's "Political Science" ...)

A killfile tutorial
Killfiles can be great Usenet sanity-savers, by automatically junking articles by flamefesters, jerks, morons, eejits, bozos, Nazis, homophobes, and their ilk. For those of you who are still dinosaurs like me (and therefore still cool), here's how to do it for the UNIX shell newsreaders rn, trn and strn.

The Layman's Guide to the Supreme Court Decision in Bush v. Gore
Or, how the guy who got the second-highest number of votes in the 2000 Presidential election got to be President.

Morel mushrooms
Some tips on using morels from members of the Chefs Mailing List.

Bob Mould
A 1993 interview.

Puirt a beul
Or, Scottish Gaelic "mouth music". What is it?

Murder Ballads
My friend Steve Gardner has an odd hobby ... he collects murder ballads. Here's a list of 459 of 'em. Oh well, don't worry, Steve's a nice guy, and harmless. Well, mostly harmless.

The O. J. Simpson Trial
What if it had been covered by Dr. Seuss?

Operating Systems
What they'd be like if they were beers ...

The Right-Wing Christian Dictionary
What some people really mean when they say certain things.

Sampling the Cardboard Bouquet
A highly amusing tidbit from the Los Angeles Times that begins thusly: "More than 15% of wine drunk in this country is dispensed from a cardboard box. Does that mean the stuff is socially acceptable? To find out, we called some restaurants celebrated for their extensive wine lists and presented the following fiction: A father-in-law with a passion for wine-in-a-box would like to bring his own supply, OK?" (*giggle*)

Things to Avoid When Being A Rock Critic
You'd be surprised how few rock critics manage to avoid all these points.

Sex For Brides
An 1894 guide to "Instruction and advice for the young bride on the conduct and procedure of the intimate and personal relationships of the marriage state." Over 100 years later, much of it is amazingly true today, according to some opinions. I think it's funny. And let's not forget that Cardinal Rule of Marriage, ladies ... "GIVE LITTLE, GIVE SELDOM, AND ABOVE ALL, GIVE GRUDGINGLY". (I've recently heard that this is a hoax, written in modern times. Maybe. But it's still funny.

The Shakespearean Insult Kit
The cool way to insult people. Thou cockered, beef-witted tallow-keech! (Temporarily offline.)

"Titanic": The Condensed Version
I initially got this in email from a friend. It's a perfect condensation of James Cameron's wretched Academy Award® non-winning screenplay. (IMNSHO, "L. A. Confidential" should have won out of that field of "Best Picture" nominees.) As it turns out, it was a copyrighted piece that the author asked be removed from my site, but I've retained a link to it on his site, with his kind permission.
A neat little perl script written by Sean Burke, that takes a server access log and spits out a nice little report listing by name each top-level domain that's accessed your site, and how many hits you got from those domains. Here's a sample report, generated by piping the output into sendmail: tld archive | mail chuck@(xxxxxxxxxx).com

Top Ten Reasons Why Beer Is Better Than Jesus
If you don't like mildly blasphemous humor ... jeez, lighten up! I personally believe that Jesus had a sense of humor. (I don't drink much beer, anyway...)

What does the Bible say about abortion?
Fuel for thought and (one would hope) rational arguments. Try not to shoot anybody, okay?

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Chuck Taggart   (e-mail chuck)