Random notes

The new website is mostly up and running, and the computer is slowly getting back into shape. The CD burning software I was using (Nero 6) was too old to run under Vista, and I didn’t want to pay for an upgrade since I use barely any of its capabilities, so I was glad to find that I could use a combination of iTunes and a free mp3-splitting utility to make my CDs. And my questionable audio editing software worked fine while I was preparing the last batch of Blessed Hope recordings for the website.

So far Windows Vista is OK. It didn’t take much tweaking to make it comfortable. And I like the new look is better than I liked the XP ‘new look’—at least I haven’t been tempted to switch back to the Windows Classic look. The best feature I’ve stumbled across so far is “sleep” mode, something like “hibernate” (where the machine saves its entire state to disk before shutting down, allowing a quick restore when you turn it back on) except that it goes into low-power mode, using about one-twentieth the power—five watts, maybe. This means that it comes back to life almost instantly when you fire it back up, unless there’s been a power glitch, in which case it restores itself from the disk. I used to leave the machine on all the time, then decided recently it would be much more thrifty to power it down when I wasn’t using it. I’ll test power consumption in sleep mode at some point; if it really is five watts I’ll stick with it, otherwise I’ll go back to hibernating with the machine fully off.

Thursday night was very cold, so Friday morning we took a shot at getting the Suburban and horse trailer out of the field. I had spun the tires enough to make deep ruts, so we had to dig out around them first. Truck plus trailer was still too much to move, so we disconnected the trailer and got the truck free, then backed up the truck from a different angle and re-hitched the trailer. That worked.

We had to drive down the hill and across the field bottom to get out, which was a little tense, since that’s where all the water accumulates in wet weather. There was some slipping, but I think it was due to melting frost on the grass. Anyway, we made it to the road, pulled the trailer up to the house, and cleaned it out in preparation for returning it.

We tried out our second cheese this afternoon. Last Monday we tried the first one (four weeks old), and we were disappointed—very dry, almost powdery, very sharp, not much richness to the flavor. This one (five weeks old) was much better—excellent moist texture, somewhat less sharp and more rich. And Debbie remembered that the first cheese had been made with Junket rennet, while for the rest we’ve used liquid animal rennet, so that probably accounts for the difference in texture.


4 thoughts on “Random notes

  1. Well, I just have to ask: Is the view in the photo the view from your own porch? If so, wow! I love the openness with hills in the background, and love the morning light. It reminds me of all the best parts of my Southern childhood.

    I’ll feel just a little silly if this is a stock photo almost entirely invented on Photoshop, but still, there’s a reason that we respond to an expansive landscape. There’s something of the glory of God there, and it’s a nice choice for your blog.

  2. Chad,

    I have been seeing references to Widgets and wondering why my installation of WordPress didn’t handle them—thanks for letting me know that it is a plugin. I’ll track it down right away.


    Breathe easy, it is in fact the view from our porch. I took it in late summer 2005, just after we took possession of the house and began working on it but before we had moved in. It’s a landscape stitched together by Photoshop, but other than that I didn’t manipulate it.

  3. Rick :

    The dry powedering texture is usually due to excessive roughness in handling the curd or cooking to high heat too fast. You want to control the expulsion of the whey rigorously.

    Isn’t cheesemaking a blast? It can also be disappointing too.

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