Can you overdo Jelly?!

Posted on December 6th, 2010 by DF in Health and Wellbeing, Other

JellyOver the years, I’ve somehow lost my sweet tooth.  That’s not to say, I don’t love my sweets (cakes, chocolates, custard, desserts etc), I just don’t have the same hankering I had for them when I was a kid. But there’s still one thing, I can’t seem to get enough of. I still love jelly (also known as jello, for those that live outside of the British English speaking world).

For no particular reason, I’ve been having a bit of it lately (other than the fact I love it that is), and I thought I’d pass on a seemingly insignificant but somewhat crucial tip for the budding jelly enthusiast.

What I’ve noticed is, there seems to be a sweet spot (if you pardon the pun), for its consistency. According to the packaging, it says to leave it in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours. What most people do is make it for the following day, which is fine. But I’ve discovered, you can also leave it for too long. Once it’s been in the fridge for longer than 5-6 hours, it begins to have a rubbery texture to it. Not that it makes inedible of course, it’s just seems to have that slight amount of rubbery’ness to it, if you leave it longer than 5 hours or so. Sure, if you make it today to have tomorrow for a party or whatever, no one is going to know the difference.

IF however, you’re looking for that supreme bowl of jelly perfection, that only the most discerning of jelly connoisseur expects, then leave it in the fridge for no less or no more than 4-6 hours. Allowing for variations in fridges of course.

The best things come in small packages

Posted on October 30th, 2010 by DF in Technology
Netbook

The best thing come in small packages

Recently I acquired myself a new toy… err I mean business tool. I started a new job, and what was bestowed onto me was a shiny new netbook (and I mean shiny, it has a ‘piano’ finish which is a nightmare keeping the fingerprints at bay!). And while the acquisition was serendipitous, what was even more unexpected was how handy it actually is.

I normally use desktops, however lately I have been using laptops more and more, and while they are mobile and can be used pretty much anywhere, I still find them a little cumbersome at times. Now when I first saw these little netbooks with their small screens and seemingly underpowered computing power, I thought to myself why would anyone want to get one of these?! Sure they look cute and all, but what possible use could they be to anyone? But who was I to turn away a new gadget when offered one (particularly since it was required for my new role).

Surprisingly however, from the moment I started customising the cute mini laptop, I couldn’t help but notice how much easier it is to use than it’s comparatively large clunky bigger brother. Yes, the screen is smaller (around 10” compared to most laptop screens of 14” or 15”), but it does fit most web sites in comfortably. Yes, it’s not a full sized keyboard (90% of the size), but it’s also actually quite comfortable (in fact I’m typing away on it now!). I find it a lot more ‘portable’ than a laptop (I know it even sounds strange as I type it), less heavy, the battery life is longer, you can rotate a document around, hold and read it like you would a book (it’s just like reading a text book!).

Of course you could connect a monitor, a mouse and a full size keyboard to it and use it as a desktop, but it’s a bit underpowered for that purpose (however I’m sure some would, and do). Plus it doesn’t have a CD/DVD rom built in (you can connect it externally though). But for quick/easy access to files, email, browsing the web, and ultra portability this little number is, dare I say it, almost perfect. It’s hard to fault, and I have to admit that came as quite a bombshell. It’s something I never expected.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking, what about and iPad?! While I like the idea of the iPad, I find it limiting in many ways, in customisation, connectivity, expandability, flexibility. But more than that, if you do a lot of typing, you can’t beat a proper keyboard, particularly when a virtual keyboard takes up precious screen real estate. Having said that however, I’m still waiting for the tablet pc’s to become more widespread and affordable. That is one good thing about the iPad, it has brought the tablet pc to the average user. Ideally this netbook would have a touch screen that folds back onto itself so you could use it as a tablet as well as having a proper keyboard when needed!

But until that time comes, I’ll stick with this unexpected little bundle of pleasure. Even if it’s for work, or at least mostly…

Note: After a quick search, there is actually a netbook with that has a touch screen, as well as it folding back on itself so you can use it as a tablet PC!  It’s the Asus EeePC T101MT.  But since I’ve been handed this one, I think I’ll stick to it for now.  At least until work decides to upgrade!

To blog or not to blog… Is that the question!

Posted on October 10th, 2010 by DF in Other, Projects
Blogging

Blogging

Turn around these days and you’re bound to run into probably around a dozen blogs (at least!).  Seems that everyone these days has some kind of blog.  I even encouraged a friend of mine (who… err ahhem… shall remain nameless) to set up his own.  It’s easy, a piece of cake, just write about anything and everything that comes across your mind.  It sounds good in theory, but in practise a familiar nemesis rears its head from the shadows…  Writers block!

Who would think that having an unlimited source of topics to choose from for writing about, causes paralysis of the mind!

I’m not exactly an expert in writing by any stretch of the imagination, and I can’t remember the last time I’ve had to do any kind of ‘formal’ writing, but it’s incredible the amount of effort a simple little blog (or even an entry in a blog!) can take.  You have to take your hat off to writers who write on a regular basis.  I’m envious of those that can sit down, and in what seems only a few minutes later, almost an entire thesis is written!

So to those regular bloggers out there, a new found respect has been forged from the depths of mental anguish in attempting to string together a few simple words.  One can only hope that the years of cerebral atrophy can be reversed somehow in some way…