I was talking about my website with some guys in a class recently - basically complaining that I had no idea how to generate traffic (especially *repeat* traffic.) One of the guys suggested that the problem might be the fact that I haven’t updated the content in like 6 months ... hmmm ...., you mean I have to actually come up with new content on a regular basis? That sounds suspiciously like work to me. (And we all know that work is the worst of the four letter words in the English language.)

So okay - what’s the easiest way to generate new content? Why, Blog, of course! But blogging requires that you either have an area of expertise or an interesting life - and I’m not sure I qualify on either count... After some thought, and a few beers, I realized that I just had to emulate a couple of my favorite entertainers - Bill Shatner, who has built an entire career (and quite a fan base) on absolutely no talent and Jerry Seinfeld who created one of the best sitcoms in history based on - you guessed it - absolutely nothing! No talent? No topic? - Hey I think I can do that!

So ... now you know how high I set the bar for myself ... I’m not shooting for the the gold here. I’m not even sure I’ll make a second entry, but I can promise that I will live up to the “No Talent, No Topic” standards!

While I might not have a topic, I do have a plan. Planning stuff being one of my few skills (I wish I could translate that into actually doing things, but we all have room for improvement!) So each time I post I thought I’d ramble for a bit (see above,) talk about somewhere I’ve gone or something I’ve done, and then maybe mention some new technology that I’ve discovered, played with, or thought about. No promise that each entry will have all three components (although I’d be willing to bet that I ramble *every* time!)

New York City

I recently spend a week in New York City doing a co-teach for the Steelhead WAN optimization product from Riverbed (more about this later in the post.) New York - the city that never sleeps. Actually
I couldn’t sleep my first night there either - which turned out to be fortuitous. I was walking around Times Square late Sunday night - May 1, 2011 to be exact. Some of you might already see where this is going ... think back ... what big announcement was made that night? You guessed it, I was on Times Square when the big ticker in the sky announced that death of osama bin laden! I’m not sure if it’s politically correct for me to say this - but I was moved to tears to be standing in New York on the day that monster finally got what he had coming.

The reaction of the crowd was heart warming - a spontaneous rendition of The Star Spangled Banner. Tears, hugs, smiles, and chants of “USA!” I don’t believe I’ve ever enjoyed a sleepless night as much as I enjoyed that one! Now I know some of you might find it weird to celebrate the death of another human being - but that’s where we differ. There are certain acts that remove an individual from the “human” and place them in some other weird category. To me, bin laden was like a rabid raccoon in your neighborhood. You know that sooner or later it’s going to bite someone, and you are glad when someone finally removes it.

Anyway - this website is mostly about food, and New York offers just about anything you can name. I had a few memorable meals on this trip, places where for whatever reason I didn’t get pictures and don’t plan on doing a full review. I guess this blog is a good place to give them a shout out.

1) I love paella. If you’re not familiar with this dish, it’s basically a rice dish with a tomatoey sauce filled with a mix of whatever proteins you prefer - the more the merrier. I’ve seen Crawdads, chicken, chorizo, clams, mussels, shrimp, lobster, you name it, it’ll work. Anyway, there’s a Cuban restaurant near Times Square called
Havana Central that has some of the best seafood paella I’ve ever eaten. I’ve gone there a number of times and have never been disappointed! Try the fresh Chicharrones as well!

2) I wasn’t really expecting much in the way of BBQ in New York. Especially after the disappointing experience I had last time at B.B. King’s off time square. Well I should have gone next door to
Dallas BBQ. While it wasn’t the best BBQ in the world, it was conveniently located in near Times Square, reasonably priced (a rarity in that area,) and offers BBQ beef ribs - not something you see very often. Overall this was well worth the stop - the food was good, the portions were large, and the staff was personable.

3) Have you ever been to one of those Brazilian BBQs where they keep bringing out skewers of hot meat until you say “No Mas!”??? They’re technically known as “Churrascarias” and for around $60 (plus drinks) you can get your fill of protein for the week! There’s a place within walking distance of Times Square called
Platforma that I would definitely recommend. I’m not sure its a great date night for you and your lady though - although the salad bar looked good from our table (that’s as close as I got.) This is definitely a meat eaters night out!

Riverbed Technology

I know I promised a little something about the Steelhead WAN Optimization appliance - and it deserves a mention ‘cause it’s really cool tech! Unfortunately, looking at Mickey’s hands, it is past my bedtime so ... I guess there’ll be a second post after all ....

C’ya later,

Bob The Grill Guy