Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lazy Memorial Day Weekend

AlenaThis year we spent Memorial Day weekend at home. This goes against our recently established tradition of driving someplace reachable by car on long weekends, but these past 6 months have been a little bit out of the ordinary for us, so we are allowed to do as we please. )

We actually considered going to Cape Cod, but the truth is that I just wanted to relax and get a couple of days of nice sleep (and the fact that we came back from our road trip just a few weeks ago also contributed to a desire to be passive). Plus Cape Cod is kind of pricey, especially on holidays, and we’re trying to save a bit in preparation of more frugal times.

Three days flew by. On Saturday we went out to dinner to Al Di La (I think I had satisfied my black ink risotto craving for a long Twenty nine weeks.while now), and on Sunday — to Danya’s parents (his dad cooked a delicious cream of broccoli soup, and his mom treated us with a new dish made with pork, tomatillos, potatoes and other vegetables).

After Sunday night dinner we watched a whole bunch of the Russian game “What? Where? When?” which Danya’s parents recorded from Russian TV for us. I’ve noticed that when at the end of the game the best player is asked to choose the most interesting question, he/she invariably picks the one he answered himself. Isn’t if funny how the human brain work? By the way, I guessed one question — and you know what, this was the most interesting one! ) If you’re curious, that question sounded something like this: “Traveling through Britain, Guy de Maupassant often saw the following picture: 3-4 cows and one sheep grazing together. What was the purpose of this?”

We also went to IKEA and got some shelves and door handles for the new wardrobes. I was wearing my nice pregnancy dress and Park Slop. A place across from Al Di La.felt like a “hot mama” for a change. ) I mean, when I am with Danya I always feel pretty, but when I am on my own (especially at work), I just feel fat rather than pregnant (maybe the fact that I mostly wear pants to work contributes to this). I also miss being a blond, but this is such a small sacrifice for the sake of the little one, that I should not even mention it. )

We started watching “Babylon 5″ again after running out of shows to watch. It’s not bad, but we still remember too many details. I can’t wait for the season 6 of “Entourage” to come out on DVD — Ari Gold, where art thou?

Also, the watermelon season has officially started. I can’t get enough of them and keep bothering Danya to go and get yet another one. He jokes that I already got a pretty big watermelon with me at all times — why do I need an extra one? )

Another good thing I’ve done on the weekend is talking to my family in Minsk. I don’t do it often enough, and a couple of hours spent chatting with my sister and mom were very satisfying (I also talked to Tanya through Skype — didn’t hear her in ages, so it also was a pleasant experience).

And now we’re back at work. I wish we could just stay home together and do nothing for a couple of weeks (and don’t be stressed out about money at the same time) — this would be so awesome! ) Need to buy some lottery tickets. )
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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Blast From The Past

TashkentHere’s a bit of “family” history for you. Most of you should be able to recognize at least 3 people from this picture. Here is a hint — one of them is turning 25 today! Happy birthday!
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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sea Bass With Rice & Eggplants

Pan fried chilean sea bass with rice and eggplant salad.So I felt like eating Chilean Sea Bass tonight, but was not sure what to serve it with. I though that rice would probably go nicely with the fish, but could not come up with a good idea for a salad. I asked my Chinese coworker Vinny, who seem to enjoy cooking, for some advise. He recommended stir-frying Chinese vegetables with some Chinese sauces. As a result, I cooked eggplants with tomatoes, baby bok choy, chili garlic and black bean garlic sauces — and it came out quite tasty!

Chinese souces.So a couple of quick notes on specifics:
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Order Went Through

Apple OrderWell, after about 7 million tries my order finally went through. You can guess the rest, right? Now there is just 9 or so days of waiting and then more agony with activation. Somehow we’re eligible for upgrade on both lines, but we’re going for 1 phone only at this time.
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Chicken Caesar Salad

Chicken Caesar Salad.I think I’ve noticed this particular application while watching some TV commercial, but I am not 100% sure about this (memory could be tricky, you know). ) It does not really matter how or when, but the fact is that this weekend Danya finally installed Jamie Oliver’s 20 Minute Meals on my iPone. I love the design of the application, and there are some recipes which seem to be worth trying (although I wish there were more recipes altogether — the selection on his site is quite a bit more impressive).

Anyhow, I’ve decided to put the app to good use on Monday, and made Chicken Caesar Salad. The recipe closely resembles this one, even though he simplified the process a bit for a better time management. It did not take me quite 20 minutes though, but not too much longer than that. I liked the end result, and so did Danya! )
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Painful Jalapeños

Jalapeño peppers.So yesterday I was cutting some green jalapeño peppers for a corn chowder I was cooking. I did not put any gloves on — why bother, I though, as long as I don’t touch my face with unwashed hands. Oh boy — was I stupid or what? In about 20 minutes after this my hands started to burn like crazy — it literally felt like they were on fire! Nothing like this happened to me before, and I thought that this effect will not be long lasting. Well, after 3 hours of holding hands in iced water, which provides an instant relief by the way, they were still burning…

Danya search online for some remedies –- and apparently, I am not the only genius who had this happened to her. So using online advise we tried rubbing my hands with alcohol, doing the same with baking soda, soaking them in milk, rubbing them with half a lemon and finally putting some toothpaste on them and letting it dry…

Corn chowder.Nothing seemed to be working, so I went to bed with hands still burning and just hoped that the exhaustion will overcome the pain. Surprisingly, I fell asleep in like 2 minutes (getting so tired nowadays), and when I woke up in the middle of the night for the first bathroom trip, the pain was gone. So I am thinking that maybe some of the remedies worked after all. )

Bottom line — never ever cut hot peppers without protection! )
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Monday, June 21, 2010

iOS 4

iPhone home screen in iOS 4.Folders in iOS 4.Apple has released iOS 4 at 1pm EST today and I’ve had it on my phone 15 minutes after. This year I decided not to install developer GM version1, but just be patient and get it via iTunes as everyone else. Upgrade was absolutely painless.

After having it on my phone for several hours I can say that some things are certainly nice. I have yet to see how useful the “multitasking” is going to be and I do have to update my app to stay in the background if user wishes it to — not an automatic thing that I thought it would be.

Folders are nice. Although it will take me quite some time before I sort out all the app mess that I’ve accumulated over the past 2 years. I also like the ability to have home screen backgrounds — that’s how shallow I really am. o.O

However not being to double tap the home button to pull up a phone application is going to be missed. What I really need now is my iPhone 4 itself. Only 3 more days left. teeth

  1. It turned out to be the same thing as the final release, just like last year. []
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Sunday, June 27, 2010

iPhone 4

iPhone 4.Apple has decided to surprise us all with an early delivery of iPhone. A lot of people got their pre-orders delivered on the 22nd instead of 24th and I think the majority got their pre-orders delivered on 23rd. Maruk and I were among the latter group.

A box from FedEx.I was fearing from the start that even if I get mine on 24th the activation tools would be plagued by the huge lines in all the stores and I wouldn’t be able to get it going on the same day. And that was in addition to the fact that I would be in the office on Thursday (24th) and would probably miss FedEx. Wednesdays I work from home office.

iPhone 4 box.Last year I got FedEx delivery at 10am. Also FedEx tried to make a delivery to us a day before and that was at 3pm. So when by 4pm there was no sign of them and my tracking page started showing delivery exception saying that shipper requested to delay the delivery until a future date I was starting to get really upset. But luckily I was wrong and FedEx guy simply ignored the exception. I had my iPhone ten minutes to 5.

Back of the new iPhone.The activation went through in 3 or so minutes. I had the phone up and running, fully synced at 5:15. The screen is amazing. To really see how great it is one should put an older iPhone next to it. Then the difference become very dramatic. I was actually surprised how I never noticed all the blur on the old phone before.

iPhone getting activated.The phone feels good in hand although it is more of a finger print magnet than the older ones — maybe because I used to use white iPhones. I’m waiting for Vaja to come out with a case1 — I’ll get one as soon as they become available. FaceTime works great — you just make a call. No software to install, nothing to configure. Although this is a feature I don’t see myself using very often if at all.

iPhone 3GS vs iPhone 4.I’m very happy with camera upgrades. If before I was considering of maybe getting a point and shoot for the situation when I don’t want to lug my dSLR along now there is no need. And I do always have the phone with me. 5 mega-pixel photos, 720p video and a flash — what more could I need?

Overall I’m very happy with my purchase. Although it’s subjective, I strongly believe that iPhone is still the reigning king of smartphones.

  1. I can replicate the widely publicized antenna issues in certain situations as well. It doesn’t really seem to affect me much as I don’t generally hold the phone that way, but in case I happen to — the case will help. []
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Time: 14:33   Comments: 3 Comments   Post a Comment  
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