Sancocho

Added on by Bill.

Leica M9, Leica Elmarit-M 90mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/2.9, 1/90sec

This recipe was given to us by a Columbian friend; we've enjoyed it on several occasion.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 quarts chicken broth 
  • 1 tablespoon salt 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander 
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed 
  • 3 pounds Ox tail
  • 2 plantains, peeled and cut into 6 pieces 
  • 1 large onion, chopped 
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled 
  • 4 pounds fresh cassava roots, cut into 6 pieces
  • 6 Green Onions
  • 3 carrots
  • 4 ears of corn cut into 3 pieces

Steps:

  1. Pressure cook ox-tail for 45 minutes with green onions and coriander
  2. Cut carrot, potatoes, corn, cassava etc in chicken broth
  3. Put in ox-tail to broth with green onion and coriander
  4. Cook for about 30 minutes
  5. Serve with cut-up green onion and coriander on the side
  6. Serve with rice and slice of avocado

 

Piper's Heath

Added on by Bill.

Hard to say if this will be the last game of the year, but with only 6 players on the course and fine weather it was very enjoyable.

iPhone 4s, 1/850 sec

Switching

Added on by Bill.

Part 1: The Problem

My internet plan provides me 60 gb per month.  This is no longer sufficient for my needs as we regularly run over that limit. We don't get cut off; we just pay an additional $2/gb.  The incremental charge over the last few months has exceeded that charged for the next plan that offers 100 gb per month.

Part 2: The Inquiry

I called my ISP using the number published on the web site.  I was told that due to unusually large volumes of calls that I would have to wait about 5 minutes. They offered to call back, but having a headset I felt I could wait.  The headset leaves my hands free so I can do other things. 

To me the volume of calls was a good sign.  It's like when you go to a restaurant. If it's empty you wonder why.

After about 20 minutes I got to speak to a person. I explained that I wanted to upgrade my service to the next plan.  I was told that the number I called was for new customers and that I needed to call a different number.  Fortunately they were able to transfer me.  Again, there was unusualy volumes of calls and I would have to wait.

Part 3: The Order

After another 10 minutes I was able to speak to another person. I explained that I would like to move to the next higher plan ... the 100 gb one.  In my mind I was hoping they would be able to activate the new service directly from head office, central network command. My high expectations were not met, but I was not disappointed. Deep down I thought it might be asking too much.  

I was informed that the modem I had (from the ISP) would not be able to handle the new service and that I needed to get a new one.  "Oh." The new modem was $7/month or $199 to buy it.  "Seems expensive." Well it has wireless for in-home networking.  "Well, I already have that."  OK, there goes my DL 655.  I asked if I could pick it up and was informed I could.  But wait; they need to check my line to make sure it is OK. This means a service guy will have to come out. No point buying it myself. Another $45 to install.

I continued with the order. They would come in a couple of days to install.

Part 4: The Failed Delivery

They didn't show up.  They had called and left a message that they were coming, but left no number to call back.  I called later.  They said no one was at home.  That was not true; they were unable to answer the phone. I cancelled the order.

Part 5: The Alternative

I searched the web for alternatives.  One ISP asked I enter a telephoine number so they could confirm service was available in my area.  "Hmmm, I doubt that's why they need the telephone number; a postal code would do."

Within one half hour I got a call from the ISP asking if I was interested in Internet service.  In the end, lower cost, no modem fee (and I can keep my wireless network); no installation fee, just a $29 activation fee (?why?). Monthly cost is slightly less but for the first year there is  50% discount. 

I will run the service in parallel with my existing service just to make sure we get through the bumps.  After that I will fire my original ISP. Stay tuned for Part 6.

Biking

Added on by Bill.

Our weekly trips to Ottawa include packing our bikes. When folded I can pack both in the trunk along with our luggage.
Yesterday we drove along the Rideau. This morning along the Ottawa River.

It is comforting to know that these two trips have a carbon offset of 2.5 kg. Our pace it mitigated by regular stops to take pictures.