Sunday, June 5, 2005

Weekend Update

Saturday was the 'grand opening' of a new Apple Store in Bridgeport Village, which itself has been doing a staged 'grand opening' for the last few weeks. Since I've needed to haul one of our machines to the Apple Store at the mall on two separate occasions in the last couple of months, this is a good thing. Bridgeport Village is maybe five minutes away, versus fifteen to twenty to the mall, depending on traffic. For their grand opening, the Apple Store was giving away T-shirts to the first 1000 visitors.

So I tooled over to Bridgeport Village, and got into the queue around 9:45am. It took around half an hour to actually reach the door! But I got my T-shirt, and wore it today. They had the good grace to make the hand-out an Xtra Large, so no pain. More amusing was the pep rally atmosphere they cultivated. A few minutes before they opened their doors, the entire crew of employees went running past shouting and clapping and shaking hands. Whenever a new batch of people were allowed to enter the store, you could hear cheering from within. I muttered "oh please" on more than one occasion, but I got my T-shirt!

Once done there I moved my car from one end of 'the village' to the other, so I could enter the new Wild Oats organic grocery store. They have cleverly been mailing out coupons for free goods staged to be available every week. One week it was for free vitamin C. This week it was for four pounds of free strawberries. So I went over to claim my 'prize'. While there, I invested in a few bottles of Honest Tea, about which I'll write more later.

On the whole, standing in line or driving around the complex, this feels a lot like Downtown Disney. This is, I suspect, no accident. The last two times I was in Anaheim, once for a Kelly birthday, and once for Anime Expo, I've spent a fair amount of time there. It's homogenized, but convenient and reasonably stress free for a high-traffic pedestrian plaza, and I think the builders of Bridgeport Plaza are making a very deliberate effort to emulate the layout and atmosphere of the place. I'm sure I'll go there again, if only to use the new movie theatre that will be opening there soon.

Sunday I made Chicken Enchiladas for the second time, and they turned out even better than last time. One change I made was to dice the pickled jalapenos finer than they came in the can, which distributed their spiciness more thoroughly. I'd been reading some cooking websites, and I've concluded that I need a new knife. Dicing went fairly fast, but I kept bumping my knuckles on the cutting board, which was not painful, but slowed me down. So I'm gonna go looking for a Santoku, though hoping I can find one for less than the J. A. Henckels model linked to. I guess a Chef's knife would fill the bill as well. Curiously, the J. A. Henckels knives we got as a present do not include one with an offset handle like a santoku or chef's knife. I wonder why.

[update: One santoku recommended by America's Test Kitchen: MAC Knives Superior Series SK-65 - Superior Santoku - 6 1/2 inch ($60, ouch!); one chef's knife by same: RH Forschner / Victorinox Black Fibrox 8" Chef's Knife
($20-$30, more like it)]

[Double update: I *do* have a chef's knife, I just don't have a brain. The J. A. Henckel set has a chef's knife but it was up by the knife sharpener and I didn't notice it. So while I am still interested in a santoku, I doubt I'll be getting one anytime soon...]

Finally, in the afternoon I took Kelly with me for a walk. We walked for 45 minutes, and I heard nothing but complaints. "My feet hurt... My hip hurts... Can we rest for a few minutes?" Frankly, I lost patience with her. "Kelly, I'm nearly five times older than you, and I have a rotten ankle that often hurts, but I can do this walk without complaint."

Awhile ago, she was taking swimming lessons, but she's completed the entire curriculum. Then she was studying Irish dance, but recently dropped out because she felt that the class was weighted toward serious dancers who ignored her, and she felt embarrassed whenever she had to do the steps. Jean agreed that she could drop out if she found other forms of exercise. Kelly agreed to take up running, but this lasted about two days before the "my feet hurt" complaints began.

So I told Jean about the incident, and we've agreed that Kelly has to go for walks with me every evening until she finds some other activity that has suitable levels of exercise for her age. I'm fine with her pursuing interests such as crochet so long as she doesn't let her body atrophy. Cross your fingers. I know how well a kid can wear down my resolve.

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