The range we bought was different from the one we originally chose, for several reasons. We thought the Kenmore 79363 was dual-fuel (electric oven, gas range) like the one in the store, but they offer a gas-only model as well. This range has five different burners, a cooktop that makes it easy to move pots around, and several different burner sizes for simmering, hardcore cooking, and regular heating. It came with a cast-iron grilling rack that reverses to a frying surface, something we haven’t played with yet. The difference between electric elements is huge—water boils much quicker, and the heat it puts off is immediate.

The oven has a convection option, soething that came in handy for browning the turkey on Thanksgiving. It’s 5 cubic feet of space, which means we were able to fit a 20 lb. bird and two casserole dishes of stuffing in at the same time. The user’s manual is huge, and there are several features we haven’t figured out yet. It also features a warming drawer on the bottom, which we tried using for the rolls on Thanksgiving.

Overall, I’d say we’re thrilled with the range. It’s everything we wanted without a $3,000 “Viking” badge stamped on the front.

Date posted: November 30, 2005 | Filed under appliances, house, kitchen | Comments Off on Range Notes.

The fridge was the one appliance we didn’t change our minds on. We bought the Kenmore 76233 21.7 model in stainless steel. Consumer Reports gave it a good review, and it has a stellar EnergyStar rating, so I was sold. It’s been very good so far. The freezer is ice-cold (it doesn’t play around, be warned) and the fridge is absolutely huge—two gallons of milk fit comfortably in the door, something I’ve never seen before. There’s a built-in water dispenser on the left side, and the filter produces cold, fresh water that tastes pure. However, because it’s set up with the thin plastic water hose used for most ice-cube makers, the water comes out slow, which means the door is open for a long time. Consider the next higher model with the dispenser built in on the outside, or another model with a true water dispenser.

Other than that small quibble, there’s nothing else to complain about. It’s quiet, huge, and worlds better than our old fridge.

Date posted: November 30, 2005 | Filed under appliances, house, kitchen | Comments Off on Refrigerator Notes.

So we went with the Kenmore 16279, in black. (The other model we’d picked out was unavailable.) So far, it’s working well; we’ve found that there are problems with spotting and haze on the glasses, and had to increase the water softener setting higher from the factory default to prevent etching. As with any appliance, we’re still learning its peculiarities, but overall, we like it. We’re also going to stick with the black front—after being told we could order a custom cabinet front mount, I called Kenmore and couldn’t get anyone on the phone to find the part. So be warned, folks-the Sears salesmen will advise you to go through Kenmore directly to save money, but Kenmore might not be able to help you.

If you have children, I’d recommend this one. The controls are on the top, which hides them under the granite of the countertop, away from little fingers. It has several different washing options (Turbo Wash being one of them) and when it’s operating, it’s very quiet.

Date posted: November 30, 2005 | Filed under appliances, house, kitchen | Comments Off on Dishwasher Notes.

purple is back on the air

I took a break this morning, and chased down the wire in the basement marked “PINK/DATA” amid the spaghetti hanging from the ceiling. Five minutes later (after having to refer back to the wiring diagram to refresh the noggin) and one click, and I had the purple iMac plugged into the network, automatically sharing 46GB of music. It’s good to have my music back.

Date posted: November 30, 2005 | Filed under house, music | Comments Off on Purple Is Back Online.


From the Baltimore Business Journal this morning:

BreakAway launches affiliate to push ‘serious games’

“It was unclear Tuesday if BreakAway was planning a hiring push to staff its federal systems affiliate.

In July 2004, executives said they planned to add up to 40 new employees, nearly doubling in size, to handle growth on the “serious games” side of the business and also re-establish its brand in the gaming industry.”

Um, no, I don’t think they’re hiring anybody else.

Date posted: November 30, 2005 | Filed under humor | Comments Off on HA!

Dad and some trains

Date posted: November 29, 2005 | Filed under family | Comments Off on My Father And Some Trains.

I find this story so sad, on so many levels. When I was a kid, I used to love to read about fighter aces, and I looked up to them as heroes. I’m saddened by the fact that this man, who (I thought) stood for honor and courage, sold himself out for a fucking Rolls Royce, a house, and some antiques.

Date posted: November 29, 2005 | Filed under history | 1 Comment »

CSS Templates
Helpful little shortcuts.

Date posted: November 29, 2005 | Filed under art/design, shortlinks | Comments Off on CSS Templates

Thanksgiving 2005 at the Lockardugan house went over exceptionally well. With the aid of a New And Improved! kitchen, preparation of the bird went much easier. Along with my family, we invited some friends from the neighborhood (and my old job) to join us, so we had the patter of little feet in the house to make the place cheerier. The bird made it on the table a few hours late (I’m still getting the hang of this new stove) but I think everybody had a great time. I’d like to post pictures of the day, but I didn’t have the time or presence of mind to touch my camera.

Friday we took a field trip to a few places I’d read about but never been to before: Second Chance, an architectural salvage warehouse, and Housewerks, another (smaller) warehouse with one-of-a-kind architectural elements. Second Chance is an old home enthusiast’s wet dream. More wooden doors than a person can shake a stick at; fields of cast-iron bathtubs; hinges, porcelain tile, sinks, and shutters; and a whole warehouse with overstocked new/used building materials (windows, cabinets, etc.) Housewerks is located in an old gasworks building I’d been to 10 years ago in its previous life as a photographer’s studio. Think of old signage, wooden gears, carnival canvas, stained glass, and other unique finds from all over the country, and you get the idea. (The kind of stuff you can’t fit in a house like ours, but would go great in a loft/warehouse-style apartment.) It kind of sucked not having any money to spend, but I’m positive we’ll return there when we do.

We then saw the new Harry Potter movie, which I’d give four stars out of five. I’ve not read the two books, but it was fun entertainment—just don’t go hoping to see some of the details in the books fleshed out (I’m told they cut a lot of it out.) They’d better hurry up and film the rest of them before the kid who plays Harry hits middle age.

We got the two train nuts together for a trip to the B&O Museum on Sunday, which turned out to be a fun afternoon. My Dad spent his childhood blocks away from a major switching yard in Jersey City, and much of the freight going west through Pennsylvania went through Jen’s father’s town, so they wandered the yards and asked the old-timers about engines and steam and cars they’d grown up looking at. The Museum has done a lot of work in the last year, adding new cars, opening the work shed, and updating exhibits—it’s great to see. Meanwhile, my mother and sister launched a full assault on the local Kohl’s and Target, and filled the back of the car with Christmas presents.

This morning, they stuffed the car and headed home into the overcast skies. I always get a bit down after Thanksgiving, because of the build-up and excitement of the weekend, and this year is no different. This year I also have to come back to reality and figure out where the mortgage payment is coming from, which is why I’m writing this and putting off what I should be doing.

Date posted: November 28, 2005 | Filed under family | 1 Comment »

Ajax In Action.
Slashdot seemed to like this book. I’d like to see what the whole thing is about.

Date posted: November 23, 2005 | Filed under design, shortlinks | Comments Off on Ajax In Action.