Centrino, RAM, and Gigabytes Oh My

My computer is dying a child-inflicted death. After having the power cord ripped from its port many times too many, the connection between the port and the motherboard is loose. Unable to charge the battery or consistently power the system, this is the end.

So, dear reader, if your computer (brain) needed to be replaced fairly suddenly, how would you mount the quest to find a new and better brain? Where should I look? Bricks and Mortar? Online? Dell? Amazon? Costco? Best Buy? Not Apple? What should I care about? Intel vs. AMD? 2 gb of RAM or 4? 32 bit Vista or 64? Core 2 Duo or Duo Core? 12 inch screen? 17 inch? Portability vs. power? Please advise. Remember to justify your response–anecdotes are welcome.

Pumpkin Cheesecake for Thanksgiving

My parents hosted us for Thanksgiving this year and I had only one assignment: Pumpkin Cheesecake.

The recipe isn’t too demanding, except 1) it’s very important to plan ahead so that the eggs and cream cheese come to room temperature 2) mixing between each and every addition makes the recipe a little fussier than is fun and 3) doing the waterbath is a new experience for most of us. Planning in advance to bring the cream cheese and eggs to temperature is easier said than done. You don’t want the cream cheese to end up too warm. So when children and a dirty kitchen conspired to make me start later than I had planned, I ended up shuttling the cheese and eggs between countertop and refrigerator trying to keep them safe, yet still at room temp when I needed them. You will be relieved to know that no one died or got sick!

The directions suggest running a knife around the side of the pan while the cake cools. But unfortunately I think this damaged the sides of the cake. How can I make the sides look better?

Fortunately, despite shortcomings in presentation, the cake was delicious and seemed to be appreciated by all. It had just the right level of spiciness. The graham cracker crust was my favorite part–it was spiced as well, and just delicious.

My Face is Famous

I had a surprise today. I called a woman in my Church congregation that I don’t know very well to remind her about something. To my surprise, she said, “Oh, I was thinking about you today.” ? That struck me as strange. Awkwardly, I said, “Oh . . . really?” It turned out that she had seen a picture of Amelia and I in the General Conference issue of the Ensign (LDS Church magazine) and she assumed that I knew about the picture already.

I was astonished. If I want to review conference, I usually read the talks online or listen on the internet, but if I had been reading the Conference issue of the Ensign, I think I would have flipped right past that picture without even noticing it. So, anyway, for those of you who have the November issue, see page 101. Unfortunately, the picture doesn’t appear in the online version as far as I can tell, so I can’t post it here.

Read about our General Conference experience.