Monday, November 18, 2013

Coming to Thanksgiving

Lots of little snippets this time.
My Laptop
As I'm sure you're all aware, I'm a programmer. In fact, I'm a database developer, ETL and reports developer, data analyst, and DBA. I use mostly SQL Server, but am known to help people out who are using VB, ASP, PHP, MySQL, Oracle, and other things too! I just got Guru level accolade on Experts-Exchange for helping people with SQL Server 2008 problems.

Anyhow, a while back (November 2011), I bought a new laptop, 'cos mine was getting a little long in the tooth. The wife practically collapsed at the price (>$1500!), and I've upgraded it since, but it was a really good deal for a 17.4" screen, 8-core Intel i7 cpu, 500 GB drive, and 12 GB of RAM. I've since expanded it a bit - another 500 GB of a second disk and maxed out the RAM at 32 GB.  I think I reviewed it back then: here's another review from about the same time that I've found.

So, to get to date, I've had this monster for just on two years now. It really doesn't seem that long, and I haven't seen anything out there to beat it down! In a year or so I'll probably start looking for a replacement - they've added a few features to it (System-76 are here) but I doubt I'll be replacing it any time soon, as it's doing fine. Right now I'm upgrading operating system versions, which is always fraught, but there you go!

My wife, OTOH, the AG of legend, has a little Asus netbook running Windows XP. It's fine, except that Windows XP is running out of support, meaning that I really have to get her to something more modern before the malware attacks start in earnest.

Aah! Food!!
  1. Get a couple of pounds of chuck and cube it (1"). Brown it well, and put it into a slow cooker. 
  2. Get about a pound of sliced mushrooms and heat them on medium-low heat and stir occasionally After a few minutes they'll start giving off liquid. 
  3. After about ten minutes in all sprinkle about three tablespoons of flour, mix it into the mushrooms, and  cook on for about a minute (no more!).
  4. Next add in a couple of bottles of brown ale (Sam Smith's Nut Brown Ale or Theakstone's Old Peculier are great) and stir well.
  5. Bring to a light boil and stir while the liquid thickens. Then pour into the slow cooker.
  6. Add a chopped up large onion and about a pound of chopped carrots. Also a bay leaf, some pepper and a little salt, and a little caraway seed. 
  7. Leave on low for about eight hours.
  8. Serve with boiled new potatoes or, as I did, with freshly-baked bread (did I tell you what a wonderful cook the AG is?). Her bread is wonderful!


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