Monday, November 27, 2006

Teeth. Don't talk to me about teeth.

This morning I had almost finished drafting a paragraph for here about those people who wish that they live in a previous age but of those things that they would particularly miss - like up-to-date dentistry, giving as an example the fact that I had a toothache last week and the way that a dentist can help today that years ago ago they could not (i.e. X-rays, fillings rather than extractions and antibiotics for infections). However I didn't post the piece as we were going shopping and so I thought that I'd post it in the afternoon.

Then over lunch, carefully eating on the other side side of my mouth and there was a crunch. And I realised that a crown fitted only last month had come off. It cost me almost £300 and I had been assured that it would be there for at least 5 years. OK, I didn't lose it and Ihave an absolutely excellent dentist who uses the latest technology from Scandinavia (I think that the machine that produced both that crown and a bridge I also have came from Finland). He will sort out both problems, the crown tomorrow and two more appointments dealing with where the abscess is once all the antibiotics have had full effect. But the whole experience just reminds me of getting older and the fact that one's teeth reach a stage when they begin to disintegrate slowly and slowly. I just hope that false teeth are far away in the future. Somehow I am beginning to doubt it.

And until tomorrow I'll have to eat like a rabbit with my front teeth. SIGH.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

This site is really enjoyable.

Why? Because....

  1. The photos are from NASA
  2. It's a good lesson in astrophysics
  3. The music is by Eric Idle
  4. It made me laugh.

Make sure your speakers are on for this.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Curried Sweet Potato Soup

I make this quite frequently at home as it's both popular and delicious. It's also easy to make.

I kilo sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
1 red onion, diced
1 tablespoon oil
salt and pepper
1-2 tablespoons curry powder, amount to your own taste
1.2 litres vegetable stock
1 400 gram tin butter beans

Heat the oil in a pan add the sweet potato, onion and some salt & pepper, stir well. Put the lid on the pan and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the curry powder, stir well and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the stock. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the sweet potato is cooked. Turn the heat out and add the tin of butter beans. Cool for a few minutes then bled/liquidise until the mixture is smooth. Check the seasoning.

I find that if I make the soup the day before we want to eat it, cool it completely, put it in a bowl and in the fridge overnight that the flavours have a chance to mature and develop.

Adding the whole tin of butter beans makes the soup very thick. If you'd like something a bit thinner then drain the liquid and rinse the beans before adding them to the soup.

Monday, November 20, 2006

And I'm Back

Well, after the computer had been in a computer workshop for a week and a half it became clear that even if they got it running it would no longer do everything we want of it. So I bought a new one. And that's when the fun began.

Up to now any computer I've bought has been put together by the Stepson who is exceptionally good with computers, despite being a History graduate. He, of course, is currently at Cambridge so I had to try to put it all together on my own. He would probably have had it working in about 15 minutes. Faced with all the hardware and a tangle of wires and plugs and feeling very nervous I decided to aproach the problem like knitting an extremely complex Aran pattern, bit by bit. Slowly (OK then, very, very slowly) it all came together.

Then I had to go on to stage 2 of the process of getting the computer working - adding all the essential software as it came with just Windows and a few totally unnecessary free programmes. So I added the software (and hardware) for Broadband access, Internet Security, the printer's system, anti-spyware, Adobe reader, IE7, Webshots, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, iTunes and 27 already purchased audio books that were on the C drive of my old computer and needed to be re-downloaded. I'm sure there were other things I did yesterday but these are the things that really stuck in my memory.

Luckily all the e-mails that were sent to me while the old computer was off-line arrived once I had set the new one up, as they's all been sitting in a "pot" held by my ISP. There was over 1,300 of them, although a huge number of them were Spam or otherwise unnecessary. Is everyone drowning in Spam, as I am? Fortunately my Internet Security software has an Anti-Spam facility. It has a "learning facility" or something and the sooner it learns what is Spam the better.

It's odd though. At work I had internet access within a few months of it becoming promoted generally to the world. At home I've had a home computer with internet access for something like 10 years. But that isn't really a long time when you take into account my life-span generally. But I was staggered how much I missed having access to the internet. I look at many sites during the day as well as reading lots of e-mails and I missed having access to friends and family. Also not having access to Word became a problem as well. It's odd how computers and internet access has become significant to life generally, at least to that part of the world capable of affording it.

Anyway I hope that at least now I will have a relaible computer system after having one that played up quite regularly. Now life can return to an even keel, at least until some time in January when I will probably move to a new ISP.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

My Computer is Dead

Tuesday of last week I wrote of my frustration at the way my computer was playing up. The following day I couldn't get it to do anything. It turned out that my Hard Disc had died. I've lost everything - all the software on the hard disc, documents on Word and Excel, e-mails I was planning to reply to, e-mail addresses, reminders of passwords, everything.

It took until Tuesday of this week for a new Hard Disc to come by Courier and be installed by one of the Stepdaufghter's boyfriends. Then I discovered that there were further problems and yesterday I took the computer to the workshop. I have no idea if the patient will survive or if I'll have to replace it. I'll let you all know in due course.

Oh, I'm writing this on a computer in the public library. Can't get used to its keyboard at all.

If anyone world like to write to remind me of their e-mail address I'd be very grateful - there is plenty of room left in my space in my ISP website for e-mails.