Happy day after Thanksgiving everyone!

I spent most of yesterday either cooking or playing with the 3 and under crowd. Somehow I got put in charge of the eighteen pound turkey that fed thirteen adults. No pressure there. I followed the roasted brined turkey recipe from the (revised) Joy of Cooking. It went fine, except for a few family members anxiously watching the digital thermometer creep its way up to 175F.

The total cook time was about four and a half hours at 325F. The meat was moist and mildly, pleasantly salty. The skin was heavenly. Very full and very sleepy, I was the first adult to conk out (I’m usually the last) at 9:30pm.

I’m not reading the Web much this week so posts are likely to be deficient in the linky love department. In fact this one is going to be something of ramble about the last few days.

We spent Saturday and Sunday my brother’s place in Buffalo Grove, IL. The neighborhood is suburban. Houses grouped on a rectangular grid of blocks, each lot with a front and back lawn. Wide streets. Lots of dogs and American flags. It reminded me of the Evanston neighborhood where we grew up. They picked a great location, close to essentials like train, daycare, public school, library, grocery store. Our daughter Talia, 2, got to play (aka “learn how to share”) with her younger cousin Kyle. It was a hoot.

We’re at my parents place now, in Winnetka. Lots of high-school era memories here. Last night we looked through some old photo albums and home movies. What a trip. My mom has a mini photo album from my uncle Ronnie’s bar mitzvah. The pictures, crystal clear black and whites from the 1950s, are in fantastic shape. It’s hard to explain what it’s like to see pictures of my grandfather at 40ish and my dad as a teenager. Mini project: compile a sampling of these wonderful pictures on a Web page.

We’ve barely started to look through the home movies (circa 1967-1981), which my mom had transferred to DVD. I realized that both my grand- and great-grandfathers on my dad’s side had blue grey eyes, just like Talia. We were scratching our heads over that one, none of my immediate family has them. So much more to say about that, but I’m going to have to peel myself away for now, to get back to being family guy.

The Mac is back

The “Proof of Repair” says that they replaced a part called

  614-0180         INVERTER,SUMIDA Notched

This is one of the same parts they replaced last time, on 2003-10-1. Not sure what to make of that, but I’m happy to have a laptop again. For however long it lasts.

Dave’s looking for a new laptop. A lot of people like ThinkPads but I was pretty happy with my last VAIO. If things don’t work out with my PowerBook, and it’s not looking good, I’ll probably buy another VAIO. Here’s one with a name that kinda sounds like my last one: PCG-V505DX. Might get that one. That and the double capacity battery (about 6 hours for my previous VAIO).

iLearn 0.8

This is the first release of iLearn. We’ve been developing the tools for about a year now and lauched one site with it. iLearn 0.8 is best described as a “developer preview”. There’s a lot of good stuff in there, but don’t expect to unzip it and be immediately productive. There is missing documentation, important parts of the infrastructure missing, parts we may rewrite and lots of little gaps to fill in. But the basic design feels solid enough to share.

AppleCare Quick Survey

Question 14: Is there anything else that you would like to tell us about your experience with Apple’s Support Services?

  The call took a little too long, extended by several intervals where the support person waited for their IT system to return some piece of needed information. Otherwise the call was quite pleasant.
  But this is a little bit like asking a person with the flu, “Is there anything else that you would like to tell us about your experience with fever and vomiting?”
  My real problem is with the laptop you sold me. I’ve been a PC user for twenty years. Swayed by family and friends who swear by their Apples, I decided to take a chance on a Powerbook.
  Bad call. For the most part, my Powerbook has been a time sink. I’ve written about this publically.
  Since purchasing the machine in June it’s been in the shop twice for repairs. My first time sending a computer back the manufacturer ever. Not once, but twice. Thank you Apple.