Friday, November 6, 2015

Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables!

Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables!  Our friend and neighbor Tim D. was madly taking all the above-ground vegetables out of his garden today, as we had a good hard frost last night.  He brought over about two gallons of green tomatoes (which Debbie's going to make fried green tomatoes and some tomato relish from), a dozen or so gigantic bell peppers, and three pounds (!) of jalapeno peppers, which Debbie's going to turn into jalapeno jelly that I won't go anywhere near.  He also brought over a lovely batch of beets (and he still has a lot more).  I cleaned and skinned them this afternoon, resulting in the bowl you see at right (I like this method better than boiling them with the skin still on, as skinning them takes away all the grit).  Later today I'll boil them up and make about two quarts of pickled beets.  I'll throw a few hard-boiled eggs in as well.  Yum!

Paradise ponders...

Paradise ponders...  Debbie and I were looking out the glass door to our bedroom a few minutes ago, watching the snow fall (first “real” snow this year, though it's not sticking to the ground).  Suddenly Debbie said “There’s a Schnauzer in our yard!”  A little black miniature Schnauzer, to be precise.  I went out and called him to me, and he came right over.  Didn't have any name tag, but he did have a rabies tag – and it had the name of the vet and an ID number.  I called the vet and got the number of the owner, along with the name of the dog (“Rocky Road”). 

I called the owner and discovered that they had given little Rocky away years ago to a family who lived on the south side of Hyrum.  That's almost four miles north of our house – if little Rocky wandered that far, then he's an accomplished traveler indeed!  The original owners (Branden and Emberly H.) drove down to our house right away, picked up little Rocky (who quite obviously recognized them), and set off on a quest to reunite him with the family they gave him to.  About a half hour after we found him, Rocky was on the way back home.  A happy ending!

Technology in Paradise...

Technology in Paradise...  So Debbie and I finally upgraded our iPhones yesterday.  Both of us moved from from an iPhone 5 (purchased over 3 years ago) to an iPhone 6s+ – a fairly large jump in technology, as well as in size.  In the photo at right (not mine), that's a 6s+ on the right and a 5 on the left.  We bought the new phones straight from Apple as “SIM-less” versions, and I did the upgrade myself: just backed up the old ones, swapped the SIM cards, and restored the new one.  It was tedious re-entering all the settings and passwords, but I had no problems with either one.  I don't think it took even one hour to have us both up and running in the new phones.

First reactions:
  • Holy crap these things are HUGE!  Even though we looked at them in the store, I wasn't quite mentally prepared for this.  It's like carrying around a junior-sized iPad.
  • The screens are almost unbelievably crisp, clear, and beautiful.  Not to mention ever-so-much easier to read for our ancient peepers.
  • The camera with its stabilizer is a lot better than the iPhone 5's camera.  A whole lot better, most especially for video.
  • I'm surprised how much easier the keyboard is to use, basically because of the size (and my fat fingers).
  • The curved edges make the new phone much more comfortable to hold.  Me like.
  • The fingerprint reader is much more of a convenience than I'd have thought.  The simple fact that I can wake up my iPhone with just a simple click with my forefinger is surprisingly liberating – no more typing in that pesky 6 digit PIN.  Also convenient: we could set up our phones to accept the fingerprint from either of us, so we can easily use each other's phones.  Awesome.  
  • Debbie loves the “rose gold” case on hers.  Mine is “space gray”, otherwise known as “battleship gray”, and suits me just fine.
So far, two thumbs up.  Did I mention how HUGE these things are?

Headline: “Most women aren’t straight.”

Headline: “Most women aren’t straight.”  My first thought: “Of course not!  They’re curvy!” – but that wasn't what the article meant...

Software is made of decisions...

Software is made of decisions...  A good little essay aimed at helping non-programmers understand what it is that programmers do.  I've struggled to try to communicate this to non-programmers I know, without much success.  This essay does a much better job :)

One caveat: some particular types of programming really are not made of decisions.  For instance, writing the software that allows simple computers to multiply and divide isn't.  However, relatively few programmers ever write software like that.  The vast majority are writing software that does fit the description given by that essay...