Sunday, November 30, 2008

Connection Redux

Doesn't it figure?

AT&T insisted that I spend $80 getting a new DSL "modem" since they were certain the one I had (made by ActionTec) was causing my connection issues. The unit they sent me is a Motorola 2210. After receiving the new unit I configured it for use in my environment, then set it aside waiting for an opportune moment to make the swap. The next day, magically, all my connection problems went away. I've had over a week of solid uptime with 0 drops, still using the old ActionTec. The Motorola is still sitting in my office, unplugged.

Magical little boxes: they can fix a problem just be being in the same house!

Thanksgiving dinner

It was a delicious meal, made all the more pleasant by sharing it with friends.

The turkey breast and legs received a spice rub treatment consisting of sage, rosemary, thyme, and minced garlic, mixed with some grapeseed oil to provide it some body. This was rubbed underneath the skin several hours before roasting. The turkey was then roasted in a gas grill, over a drip pan filled with chopped onion. I also included a tray of water next to the turkey to provide moisture during roasting, and I basted everything with the grapeseed oil periodically during cooking. The bone-in breast took about 2 hours to cook, and the drumsticks were done sooner.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving planning

For Thanksgiving this year I am planning a very traditional meal, adopted for our small gathering (4 adults and one child).

We will start off with some cheese and crackers to nibble on while finishing the meal preparations: Cheddar Harlech and Robusto.

For the main course:
Bone-in turkey breast and turkey legs, cooked with a spice rub and grapeseed oil
Mashed potatoes with turkey gravy (and a mushroom gravy alternative)
Traditional green bean casserole
Fresh sweet potatoes in a candied sauce
Bread cranberry dressing
Relish tray
Yeast rolls
2007 Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir

For dessert: homemade pumpkin pie with whipped cream

Connection headaches

Over the past week my DSL connection has been giving me multiple headaches. When I initially switched from Earthlink to AT&T I discovered that the old DSL "modem" didn't work with the new fast connection. Rather than wait several days for AT&T to ship me one of theirs I went to Fry's and bought whatever they had. This was probably a mistake. Although it worked adequately for a few months, these past two weeks has been especially bad. After several rounds of phone calls and field repair by the AT&T engineers, the conclusion is that my DSL "modem", made by ActionTec, just isn't cutting it. The suggestion is that I should replace it with something AT&T likes. The new device just arrived so all I have to do is make sure it is configured correctly and drop it in place. If I have any connection problems after that, they can't blame my equipment.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Guatemalan Food

Tonight I did something a little different for dinner: I prepared some Guatemalan dishes for my family. Guatemalan cuisine is similar to Mexican, but generally the dishes have more subtle tastes, they are not as spicy, and in some cases they are sweeter. So tonight I prepared: tacos de Guatemala, rellenitos de platano, and torta de maiz.