Random (but not really)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

No, No, No…

Philosoraptor is wrong.

Do this!

Push the lever! All the other rats are doing it!

Written by Michelle at 10:16 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
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Antikythera Mechanism

Scientists used 3D X-Ray Tomography to look at a computer from the 3rd century BCE. (NY Times)

Letter in Nature.

How cool is that? A computer that’s thousands of years old, and more technically advanced than anything that would be seen for centuries.

Written by Michelle at 2:24 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Science, Health & Nature  

Demo-ing Office 2007

I realized today that the release of Office 2007 is upon us, and that someone had best familiarize themselves with it, because it won’t be long before we start getting questions on it. (And believe me, there will be screaming. A lot of people here are resistant to change. And this is a huge change.)

So I went through the Office 2007 demos on the Microsoft site, and although it’s not quite as horrific as I thought it would be, converting is going to be a problem. Additionally, I wasn’t that impressed with the demos. The focus seemed to upon document presentation. Which is all well and good, except that in practice what we’re going to get is people spending all their time changing to formatting of their documents rather than focusing upon the content.

Seems like the motto of the demos should be: Office 2007 – Making It Even Easier to Shine Shit.

Sorry, but I simply don’t care about applying themes to Word documents and Excel worksheets. What I care about it how easy it is to work with text and numbers, and how useful the spell checker is.

Now this doesn’t mean that Microsoft hasn’t improved the things that are important. I’m just saying that the demos focused upon things that aren’t important, while making me dig through the site to discover information I needed, like whether we can still use keyboard commands (you can use them, but in the demos the commands are no longer listed anywhere) and whether you can concurrently run Office 2003 and 2007 (the answer appears to be yes, although there may be issues.)

So, we’ll see what happens when I actually get my hands on a copy of Office 2007. I don’t think I’ll hate it, but I can tell you right now I don’t think I’ll care for the amount of window space the ribbon takes up–especially while I’m using a laptop.

Written by Michelle at 11:59 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
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Word of the Day

Well, actually last week’s word. But I was busy.

steganography \steg-uh-NAH-gruh-fee\ noun
: the art or practice of concealing a message, image, or file within another message, image, or file

This is a lovely word. I learned it reading Simon Singh’s The Code Book.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Quizzy Goodness Gone Wild


Written by Michelle at 11:54 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
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So, the basement is as done is it’s going to get. Other than cleaning (yetch) and straightening, we’re done until spring (or whenever we have another significant chunk of spare time.) Grandmom is getting settled in, and we’re getting into a routine (although Thanksgiving break threw that off).

But being able to sit down and catch my breath allowed me to realize that I am so far behind in e-mails and letters, I feel like I should steal a page from S, and request that people contact me telepathically, as it would be faster than waiting for me to write.

I owe so many people e-mail that just the idea of trying to get caught up is a bit overwhelming. Especially considering the fact that I now have Christmas cards to write and send out.

So how about this? If I owe you an e-mail and you happen to read this post, what say you pretend that I wrote you, and you can respond to the things that you imagined I wrote to you. Feel free to make up as much detail as you please. Then I can reply to your “reply” and we’ll be all caught up. Won’t that be nice?

Written by Michelle at 11:35 am      Comments (7)  Permalink
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Monday, November 27, 2006

Kitchen Toys

So the ridiculous shipping charges were for new kitchen toys, and I have to say that despite the insane prices I paid for shipping, I’m quite pleased with what I’ve received so far.

French Rolling Pin

I broke down and ordered a French rolling pin, because I like to make pies, and the design is supposed to be the best for pie crust. I ordered the Vic Firth rolling pin, because Cook’s Illustrated (the Consumer Reports of cooking tools) recommended it as the best rolling pin from their tests.

I have to admit that the French rolling pin did make rolling out the pie crusts easier. Of course so did refrigerating the dough overnight before rolling. But those were definitely the three easiest pie crusts I’ve ever made. And I didn’t even have to use two sheets of Saran wrap–just a single sheet for the bottom–I made sure the top of the dough was well floured, so I had no problems with sticking. Lovely.

It’s also relatively light, and a good length for thwacking people who bother you while you’re baking.

Apple Peeler

Also recommended by Cook’s Illustrated was an apple peeler. I’d thought it a ridiculous expense, but peeling and coring and cutting apples for the apple pie I made for my grandmother’s birthday, I realized why I don’t make many apple dishes: I hate peeling and coring apples. So I figured that perhaps if I had an apple peeler, maybe I’d make more apple pies.

The peeler came just in time on Tuesday, and I wasted no time getting it set up to peel apples. Holy Cow. The thing was amazing. Instead of taking forever and wondering if I could get away without filling the crust, I zipped through six apples, and peeled a seventh, just for fun.

After my Kitchen Aid, this may be the Best. Tool. Ever.

In fact, when I made bread pudding last night, I added apples, just because I could.

So I have to admit that although I wasn’t pleased by the shipping charges, I was more than pleased by the new kitchen toys I got.

Written by Michelle at 11:32 am      Comments (1)  Permalink
Categories: Food  

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year, I’m thankful for my family (and their willingness to assist us in home improvement projects)
That my grandmother agreed to move in with us
Pie with whipped cream

But most of all I’m thankful for Michael.

Written by Michelle at 8:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Day Before Thanksgiving

I thought my day off was supposed to be, you know, a day off.

Open new grandmotherly checking account
Get grandmotherly handicapped parking permit
Visit Social Security Administration for address change etc
Get stamps from post office

1 apple pie
1 sweet potato pie
1 pumpkin pie (overdone)
2 batches of bourbon balls (For Christmas. The need to stew in their own juices.)

To Do Tomorrow:
Everything else for Thanksgiving dinner

To Do Now:

Written by Michelle at 9:17 pm      Comments (1)  Permalink
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Today’s Word

dolorous \DOH-luh-rus\ adjective
: causing, marked by, or expressing misery or grief

Written by Michelle at 8:24 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
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