Friday, July 16, 2004

In honor of the Marlon Brando, for his role in "The Freshman," maybe his finest late career performance: "According to experts, the Czech Republic is an important crossroad from where smuggled animals and plants are transferred to Germany and the Benelux countries. International statistics say that live animals are the third most frequent smuggled items, after drugs and arms, in the world. "
OK, I've re-done the Tulip Café web site finally. It's nothing extraordinary, but it's better than what was there before. I did it all by myself, digging back into my memory to dust-off the little code I learned as the manager of a bunch of web programmers back in the dot-com days. Please take a look around and try to find typos and broken links.
My knowledge of HTML and other basic web coding goes up to the part where you get your head around the concept of "nested tables," and then stops abruptly. So using my old version of HomeSite, every time I trot out the "font" tag it tells me "font" been "deprecated" in HTML 4.0 or whatever,  and I should consider using cascading style sheets instead. As much as it pleases me, that mental image of effervescent style sheets cascading gently through the ether, I cannot bring it to fruition. Alas.
Also, if anybody knows someone willing and able to do a better re-design of this site in exchange for food and drinks credit at Tulip Café, please let me know.  

Thursday, July 15, 2004

No blogging these last few days -- indeed, an entire week -- because nothing comes to mind to blog about. Here are a few scattershot items to ponder, for the truly desperate.


One of the most memorable lines in a music review I ever read was a review of a Smiths album, and it went something like this: "The song 'Girlfriend in a Coma' is a very pleasant tune. Then you realize he's talking about an actual girlfriend in an actual coma."

On that note, I had the initial urge to comment that "cancergiggles" was one of the best nicknames I've come across on this blog or any other. Then I read the cancergiggles blog and I realized he's talking about actual cancer and, importantly, actual giggles. Read it.


Friday's Sofistica was a blast. Sorry you missed it, if you missed it. There will be another one a week from tomorrow. Not tomorrow, as I don't have a DJ to fill the slot opposite DougieGyro. If you know anyone who's interested, let me know.

And if you didn't miss it, thanks for coming and I hope you had a good time. Business at Tulip Cafe does seem to be picking up again, thankfully, following the Euro-2004-induced lull. Tuesday night we had a DJ named Amr who spins under the moniker DJ Am12Play (get it? "am-one-to-play") who played a fantastic mix of roots reggae, raggamuffin and r'n'b/hip hop. I'm not sure how much the customers liked it, but I loved it, and I hope he'll come back.

You might wonder why I never link to the Tulip Cafe web site. It's because it sucks, it's always sucked, and it's out of date. Not something I'm proud of, but there have always seemed to be more pressing concerns. Well, I'm happy to say that I'm almost ready to unveil the new site. In fact, it's done, and it looks OK -- on my own computer. I uploaded it to the live server and then found out that our provider does not allow ASP scripts under the package that we paid for, and I wrote the site using ASP (the only web language I know besides HTML). This isn't a huge problem, actually, since the only ASP on this new (highly rudimentary, but much improved) site are the "include file" commands which allow you to use a single block of code repeatedly throughout the site. Sadly, a bit of cut-and-pasting is in order. I just realized you didn't need to know all that. See, that's why I haven't blogged lately.


I'm turning 30 a week from tomorrow. If anybody's seen Klara Nemravova, please tell her to call me, because we a few weeks ago we talked about having a joint 30th birthday party, but I haven't heard from her since then. She looks like this. Klara, I sent you two SMS's and you didn't reply, so what's up with that party?


Doug Arellanes translates: Czech Men, As Seen Through the Eyes of Foreign Women. Says one Syrian woman who married a Czech man, "On a Syrian street you hear nice compliments from men. Here nobody says anything like that."

I wonder what qualifies as a nice compliment in Syria. In Cairo, often when my girlfriend walked a few steps ahead of me she was the target of a helluva lot of hissing and clucking. Usually when these hissers and cluckers saw me, they'd smile and wave and say hello. So who knows, maybe that was just their way of smiling and saying hello to a woman. I might add that my girlfriend has dark brown hair and skin dark enough to pass for Egyptian, and she always had her arms and legs covered, although usually without a headscarf.

Also, Syria is not Egypt. But they were once were the same country.

Oh yeah. Required reading for the week: Remnick does Cairo. Supplemental reading: Lee Smith gives Egyptian democracy a big thumbs down for the near future. Lee Smith, by the way, is a wonderful man and a great writer who helped me out in a big when when I had to write an article about the Egyptian design scene -- read his work on Slate, or this article in Travel & Leisure. I'm looking forward to his upcoming book.


On Sunday, Tulip is unveiling the beta version of our new and improved brunch menu, featuring lots of new things like muffins and mini-quiches on a big buffet, more omelettes, salads, and a big ole American breakfast with thick buttermilk pancakes, eggs cooked to order, and sausage or bacon. Apparently it's going to be tropically hot this weekend, in which can you might be able to enjoy our leafy garden, but it also might rain. Pretty much the same strange weather we've been having all summer long in Prague.


Just recently I realized that in the six months I've been hands-on manager of Tulip, we've never once received a bill from the gas company. That's strange and rather concerning, considering I recently had somebody call the electric company to see how much money we owe them and it turned out to over Kc 50,000 ($2000). Egad. On that note, I'm outta here. I have bills to play.