a panoply of updates

Yeah, I’m being scarce again. I’m midway through a long tech writing contract and in that “OMG I can’t stand to do any more writing” frame of mind when I get home every night. My head has grooved deep into tech writing and its hard to think about anything else. I think in dotnet. I dream in dotnet. Pray for me.

I’m feeling a bit less dotnet right now so I can catch up with a few updates on past posts and maybe post a link or two.

Still Not Buying an iPhone

An update for why I am not buying an iPhone

So, the Jesus Phone is out, and other than the expected AT&T horrorshow, people seem to love it. Apparently I have no cool friends because none of them have bought one, and I haven’t managed to get to an Apple store. Yes, that’s right, it’s been weeks and I have yet to lay eyes on an iPhone in person. Sob. There is a possibility that once I actually get one in my hands I will be consumed with gadget lust and insist on buying one, but so far from the actual hands on reviews I’m actually even less inclined to buy an iPhone than I was before. No one really likes the keyboard. The email client is only meh (no spam filter? aiieee!). Support for iCal calendars isn’t that great, and To Dos don’t sync (arrrgghhh! I live in my calendars and to dos!) There’s no bluetooth sync or file sytem browse. As fabulous as the multitouch interface is, it’s implemented inconsistently across applications.

Right now I’m thinking I’ll wait for iPhone 2.0 or 3.0 — or more likely, I’ll buy a nice widescreen multitouch iPod when they ship those, which Apple most obviously will.

Awash in Apricots

An update for greed and apricots

So, the apricot tree fell down a month or so ago with a zillion unripe apricots on it. And I cut down a few of the branches that were blocking my path through the garden and crushing the squash. But I left up a good portion of the tree in place — although the branches were broken they were mostly still attached and I figured that maybe they were connected enough that
the apricots would turn ripe anyhow.

I was right. The apricots left on the tree are slowly ripening up. The tree is dying so they aren’t going to get as ripe as they would on a healthy tree, but I am getting ripe and sweet apricots. I harvest them when they’re a little soft and let them ripen the rest of the way on the kitchen counter.

My only problem now is that there’s so many of them. If they had all ripened up at once I’d bring bagfulls of them into work and give them away. I’d can them and jam them and dry them. But instead now I only get a small number ripe apricots every day.

I’ve never tried to eat an entire tree full of apricots all by myself. Its, um, kind of hard on the body. And even worse: the peach tree, also totally full of fruit this year, is just about to come ripe. whimper.

Laundrytastic

An update for i hate water. hate, hate, hate water.

We bought a front-load washer and matching dryer, a Kenmore set from a local Sears subsidiary called Orchard Supply Hardware. They’re nice people, and they deliver.

I should point out here that It took me six months to research and order a new coffeemaker. It was eighteen months before I found the perfect toaster. I’ve been planning a kitchen remodel for close to ten years and that doesn’t even include moving anything around. But I spent perhaps twenty minutes researching washers and dryers on the internet and only an hour and half driving around shopping. The Kenmore washer and dryer are just fine. Perhaps I have some sort of appliance OCD and I need an emergency so that I can actually make a decision.

The new washer is worth gushing over for just a moment. It it one of these spiffy front-loading washers; it senses the size of the load you put into it and figures out how much water you need, which is almost none at all. It is nearly silent when it runs, except when it is spinning the almost no water out of the laundry at insanely high speed. And yet it gets the clothes way cleaner than the old washer ever did, and uses almost no electricity. I think I am in love with this washing machine.

The dryer was a bit of an adventure because we use propane at our house and I could only buy a gas dryer. The salesperson assured me that the conversion kit was easy to find and trivial to install; the installation people would put it in for me. The conversion kit was not easy to find now that my appliance guy is gone, and the installation guy laughed at me when I asked if he would put it in. I ended up putting it in myself and it was somewhat less than trivial thanks to somewhat awkward access. Although I can handle a lot of appliance repair myself I admit that rejetting a gas mechanism is a bit more intimidating than your usual repair. If you screw up you can blow up the house. We haven’t blown up the house yet, so I must have done it right.

From my original story you may remember I had two sets of old washers and dryers. The installation people were instructed to pick up my old set and I asked if they would take away the extra too. They looked dubious until I suggested that since pickup of the first cost me $20 I would be happy to contribute another $20, in cash. Suddenly, magically, there was room on the truck.

They pulled the old washer and dryer out of the barn and just before the dryer got loaded up into the truck a big fat brown mouse ran out of it. There was an exchange of dark looks and I thought for a moment I was going to have to offer another $20. But after banging on the side of the dryer for a while with no further rodent appearances all was good and all my old, bad, leaky, stinky, mouse-infested appliances went away down the hill.

More updates later.

One thought on “a panoply of updates

  1. A Yummy Peach Sangria

    Ingredients:
    4 firm, ripe peaches, cut into thin wedges
    1 cup peach schnapps
    2/3 cup superfine granulated sugar
    6 cups chilled rosé wine
    4 cups chilled sparkling water

    1. Stir together peaches, schnapps and sugar in a large pitcher until sugar dissolves.
    2. Let stand for 1 hour.
    3. Stir in wine, sparkling water, and pour over ice. Serve.

    Serves 10.

    First of all, I can tell you that this does NOT serve ten! (Although, um, it is possible that the three of us just drank for ten.)

    Also, we didn’t let it sit for an hour, and just mixed everything together and drank right away. Be sure to use superfine sugar, as regular white sugar doesn’t dissolve nearly as well. For the second batch we dispensed with the official recipe (we lost it somehow! This stuff goes down smooth) and just poured the ingredients until it looked right.

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