701) How did you get interested in
The first episode I saw was the onion show,
A Bowl of Onion, in November 1999.
Actually, I only saw a snippet of the end. But what I saw, I loved. Not
having Tivo or TV Guide or a fast connection to the internet at the
time, I didn't know what the show was called. I told my wife about it
and she didn't get what I was talking about. (Do they ever?)
Several days later I saw it
again and this time I got the title of the show. I was hooked. Thus
began my infatuation with everything Good Eats. I feel lucky in that I
got in on the show during it's first season. I quickly got to see every
episode because there weren't many; all the re-runs were all from the first season. Nowadays, folks either have to buy the
DVDs or wait a long time before they can see the early shows.
702) How did you come about making
the Good Eats Fan Page?
In the beginning, I tape recorded the show on my
VCR. I would go back and watch the show and take notes because
there was just so much gosh darn good information there. (I would later
transfer them to my digital camcorder and upload them to my computer
where I would burn a digital copy of the show.)
It wasn't long before I was experimenting with posting the
information on the small web page I had at
After a few shows, it became obvious to me that just the notes weren't
enough. I would miss something or couldn't fully note a concept without
writing out everything Alton said. So, I decided to start transcribing
After Geocities became way to slow to what I was doing, I
decided to go ahead and register the GEFP domain and get it hosted at
what is now an old Yahoo hosting service. This was in January, 2000.
What a ride it's been.
703) How do (did) you transcribe
I used to record the show on VHS tape and then
copy it down to my digital camcorder which I then imported to my
computer via firewire. From there I made a mpeg file of the show and
took out stills for the transcript.
While I'm copying the tape to my digital
camcorder, I'm also making a cassette tape of the show. Then with
lots of stopping and rewinding, I listen to the show and type in
what I hear. I tried using a copy of the closed caption, but with
their many errors and omissions, it was taking me longer to
transcribe than my method. So I gave that up.
After I type it all in, I go back and look
for errors. Then I go back while watching the show to add graphics,
scenes, etc. Later, my fellow fans go back and proof my work. And
that's how it's done.
Nowadays, I have fellow fans who
transcribe for me. I just don't have the time. And frankly, I was never
good at it. I had lots of errors. So, I get their transcript and format
it and double check it myself.
704) So, you must be the #1 fan of
Well, I used to claim that. A few other folks
straggled in with some okay web pages about Good Eats. But no one has
had the scope I had. I've scored
interviews with several of the cast including Alton himself. I got started watching in
season 1. I've even gotten a letter from the Food Network lawyers for
copying too many of their graphics and putting it on my web page.
But early on I decided I wasn't a fanatic about Good
Eats let alone Alton. Having done TV and theater, I know these
productions are more than just one person. I have always attempted to
applaud the cast and
crew for their contributions to the
show. And I also don't obsess about greeting Alton, nor buy every little
appliance he suggests, nor stalk his wife and kid ... ( ... any more
So, I decided I would proclaim myself the Good Eats #1
Aficionado for my breadth of knowledge and love of what the show tries
705) What do you do, MikeMenn?
I work from home at the moment. When I started
the GEFP, I was working for Lucent. I survived 7 rounds of layoffs
before I was let-go in February, 2002. It got so bad there that I was
spending all my time working on the GEFP. Hey, free T1 lines to the
internet. I wasn't complaining.
Now I've started my own 1-man company, MikeMenn Productions.
I'm doing a lot of AutoCAD for a local company,
Precision Jet. But I'm trying to
start doing video work such as taping, editing, slideshows, etc. Mostly,
I raise my son, Justin. He's in 1st Grade now at the age of 7. I also
work with a Foundry Engineering company in Alpharetta, GA.
I'm also taking Taekwondo. I'm a senior-red belt at the moment. I
would be a black belt now if it weren't for tearing my right ACL
doing a jumping front kick back in August, 2005. That's been fun. *rolls
706) How can I contact you?
Email, my friend. Email. I live in front of a
monitor most of the time: