She’s Gone

My MacBookPro died.

I’m a little heartbroken.

She’s been with me since 2010. It was one of the 17-inch models. 8 gigs of RAM. She gave me her all for four years.

Tonight when we came home, I tried booting her up and she gave me the screen you typically get when you first boot it up out of the box. Wilkommen. Bienvenue. Bienvenidos.

I reset the SMC, PRAM, and attempted a safe mode reboot. It was at this point that I noticed my hard drive was no longer spinning.

And then the screen went black.

And now she won’t boot up.

I can recount every computer I have ever owned. It started with an
Apple IIc, which ran like Jim Brown until high school when I got my first Mac, an SE-30 that I bought from a teacher. I moved to a Performa 200 late in high school and took that to college. It died on me, so I went to a Performa 6116 with a CD-ROM. That got me through grad school, when I moved to an iBook. Faulty logic boards saw that replaced three times in five years. Those substitutes carried me to 2010 and the silver cased notebook sitting on my coffee table.

Thank God for incremental backups.

And now a moment of silence.

The Pickled Pig Pub, Rehoboth Beach, Del.

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REHOBOTH BEACH, DEL.

The pub culture of England gave birth to the gastropub, a step up on the food scale from the neighborhood pub. There, it means raising the bar from bangers and mash. Here, it means stepping up our game from the boring burger.

For Rehoboth Beach, the gastropub means The Pickled Pig Pub on Route 1. The offspring off The Pig & The Fish, The Pickled Pig is situated in the heart of the outlets between Rehoboth and Lewes. Like The P&F, The Pickled PIg has a rather eclectic food and beer menu. Unlike The P&F, The Pickled Pig has quite a bit of seating and is not wedged into a house along Rehoboth Avenue near the Boardwalk.
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Grocery List: July 13, 2014

I’ll be checking in along the way this week from Rehoboth Beach. The grocery lists are loaded on to the iPhone apps for Wegmans and Safeway, so nothing to show here.

Oh, and if you see The Wife, wish her a happy anniversary. Today marks 12 years of wedded bliss for us. Yeah, 12. I always get that number wrong.

 

Al Dente On The Side: Tortellini Salad

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Tortellini salad ranks somewhere below fried smelt and French onion soup, but still within the top five on the list of holiday mainstays in the Paventi/Mancini family.

This was a latecomer to the race. As the faces at the table changed, so too did some of the dishes. In this case, I think it was a greater variety of pasta available at Wegmans, combined with some tinkering by The Father that led us to this summertime side dish. Continue reading

Tuesday Dinner: Stuffed Top Round

2014-07-08 at 17-23-45Forethought is tough sometimes. During the week before vacation, my thinking ahead powers are occupied with what I have to pack, potential Delaware detours, and what I am going to write on my blank Cards Against Humanity set.

That also meant that I would not be marinating the top round, as prescribed in the original recipe from The Kitchn. We would need a workaround and, in this case, that meant we would not use balsamic vinegar.
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NYC Burger War: Shake Shack vs. Umami Burger

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NEW YORK

Hamburger perfection is served in a vinyl red tray, and only available in five states.

In-N-Out Burger is the alpha and the omega. The North, South, East and West. It’s the beginning and end of the discussion on fast food burgers. No one who has experienced it can deny this fact.

Virginia-based Five Guys Burgers and Fries, while more widespread, is good…great even,  but it simply does not exist in the same universe as In-N-Out (the fries, though, are another story).

McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s, do not register in this conversation because nothing about their menus speak to quality food. Whataburger seems to do well in Texas, but they average about two customer shootings per year at their stores (a Google search for “Whataburger shooting” returns 164,000 entries). If Chick-Fil-A is known for good chicken and a gay-hating owner, Whataburger is famous for the fact that you may be shot while waiting for your order.

New York’s fast-food burger options are plentiful. They have about 20 Five Guys stores in the five boroughs. They also have Shack Shack, a 10-year-old chain with stores throughout the city. In 2013, Manhattan got its first Umami Burger, the Los Angeles-based darling that is sprouting nationally (Las Vegas, Chicago and other NYC sites are coming).

Nothing would make me happier than to say that the $21 chargrilled burger with Roquefort at The Spotted Pig is the best in town, or that the half-pounder from Peter Luger was life changing. But, when you just want a burger, are you really going to drop $21 and hours of your life waiting for a table? Are you really trucking to Brooklyn for a burger that begs for a dress code?

Of course not.

So for you, dear reader, I added two notches to my burger bedpost. Continue reading

Grocery List: July 6, 2014

Photo Jul 06, 11 56 20 AMThere are (typically) 22 non-holiday related weekdays in July. In a good year, I’m in the office for about half of that. In 2014, I will work 13 days of this month. This is usually the product of a post-school year trip that trickles into July, an extended vacation in Rehoboth Beach, Del. during the middle of the month, and enough service time at my job that I qualify for a metric ton of paid time off.

This week marks the four-day sprint to my mid-month siesta in The Constitution State The First State. Though I’m not looking forward to the drive through Wilmington this year, it’s the week I live for each year. I believe that I have discussed the significance of this trip in the past, so I’ll simply offer links and leave it at that.

A couple of other thoughts before descending into vacation.

  • Attended a wedding for some people that I had never met before. The Wife works with the bride, so it’s not as if I was crashing. I have to say, the food at the Genesee Grande was remarkably good for Syracuse-area banquet fare.
  • My MacBook Pro is entering stage III of a terminal illness. It’s turning five this year which, in terms of laptops, means I’ve made my money here. It’s one of the final 17-inch models sold by Apple, packs an Intel 2.66 GHz Core i7, 8 GB of RAM and was purchased when I was earning money from the content farm. I get very attached to my computers, in the way that some become attached to their cars. I’m going to miss her when she finally goes. Until then, I’ll try not to tax her with too many memory or processor intensive projects and keep the ice chips handy.
  • For all of the complaining I do about Wegmans (TL;DR: I take them for granted and get mad when they let me down.), one of the things they do particularly well is respond to their customers.Last week, I purchased expired yogurt. It’s not the first time this has happened there, but it was the first time I bitched about it on Twitter…

Usually when I complain on Twitter, it’s about United Airlines or Time Warner Cable. Because both of those companies are inept and disinterested at serving their customers, they tend to let my ravings go without response. Wegmans actually responded and notified the store that I would be coming in.

And, sure enough, today when I visited, the front desk was aware of my situation. No questions. No problems.

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