10 May 2009

Gordo's Mother's Day Gift to Me

Gordo is saving his allowance to give me the Amazon Kindle DX for Mother's Day, or so we joke. It's a good joke if you ignore that a) Gordo doesn't get an allowance, b) he has no idea what a Kindle is, c) I'm not his mother, and d) dogs really aren't that good at saving.

Wendy Johnson mentioned that Amazon was rumored to be coming out with a new Kindle this summer but that she wasn't going to wait and had bought a Kindle 2. She really likes it and says many of the same things that I did after I got mine.

The idea of an advanced model interested me greatly, so last night I surfed on over to Amazon on my Kindle 2 and discovered that they'd just made the formal announcement. I read the page, decided I really needed the larger screen, and put in a pre-order for the Kindle DX and the leather cover. It will be coming out in the summer, they say, and promise a definite delivery day as soon as they know it. Bigger screen, choice of portrait or landscape mode, more storage (3500 vs 1500 books), better graphics, native PDF display. The screen is 9.4" diagonally, compared to the Kindle 2's 6".

It looks to me as if it has one flaw, though. It doesn't have the page controls on the left side, just on the right side. I like to hold my book in my left hand and, on the Kindle, use my left thumb to change pages. This isn't a huge deal and I'll learn to live with it, but I'm sure I'll miss it sorely at first.

It's kind of funny. A few months ago, I might have looked at the Kindle DX page and thought something vague like "That's nice, I suppose" and now I'm criticizing the control layout based on the images. How I've changed since the end of February.

Update on the pressure cooker. I tried cooking potatoes for five minutes and one potato was just fine but the other one was overdone, although not as badly as the seven-minute batch had been. I had noticed a difference in the texture of the potatoes as I peeled them, so I wasn't totally surprised when they cooked up so differently. I ran over to the store about an hour ago and picked up more potatoes. These look very similar, at least on the outside, so they may cook more uniformly.

The navy bean soup turned out very well. I think it was better after sitting overnight and being reheated. I'm more than halfway through it and really enjoying it. When I bought the beans, the store had them on sale, three one-pound bags for five dollars, so I have more beans to practice with. In addition, it seems to be pretty much impossible to buy a single ham hock. I've got a recipe that uses bacon instead of ham and I picked up some thick-sliced applewood smoked bacon at the service butcher, so I may try that one next. The extra ham hocks will freeze nicely.

I really do like the pressure cooker, although I haven't cooked anything too challenging, just potatoes, beans, and rice. I've cooked a couple of boxed risottos. They're not really cooked like risottos, which requires adding the liquid gradually and stirring constantly for twenty minutes, but they're pretty tasty. They're really quick in the pressure cooker, pretty much requiring just that I react when it chirps.

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