12 December 2012

12 + 12 + 12 = 36

Today is 12/12/12, or 12 December 2012. I always used to say that 12 was my lucky number, but 2012 hasn't been a particularly lucky year. The weather has been either freezing cold or much too wet for weeks on end. The garden was okay, but not great. Oh well. Walt and I did have a fantastic trip to the U.S. and Canada in May, after all. Now we'll soon have 13 to deal with.

My post title has to do with today's date and my converting of our music CDs. Yesterday I processed another 36 of them. I've been calling it "digitization" but the fact is that the CDs are already digital. I'm just copying them all to my hard disk. I'm up to more than 5,250 songs and more than 27 GB.

Going plastic-less

As far as backing up the data, my plan is to have several copies of the whole database: two on hard disks on different computers, and then probably a copy on one or two SD memory cards that I can just put away for safekeeping.

Not only are we going to go "plastic-less" when it comes to music, but I'm also trying to go "paper-less" when it comes to newspaper articles. I read a lot of them every day, but I don't like to read sitting in front of the computer screen. I end up with an aching back and stiff neck. So for years I've been printing the articles I read so that I can sit comfortably while reading them.

Reading the newspaper on the radio

Yesterday I spent the day reading articles on the screen of my little Archos wifi radio/tablet. And guess what — it was a good experience. The Archos lets me view and write e-mails, surf the web, play music, or listen to radio stations around the world. The only problem I have with it for reading is that, at 4 inches, the screen is very small.

I see a tablet computer with a bigger screen in my future. Not only will I save my neck, but I'll save a lot of money on printer paper and toner cartridges for my printer. The paper is a big hassle, because I can't stand to pay high prices for it and that means driving to Tours or Blois or Romorantin to buy several reams at a time when it's on sale. 

Also yesterday we decided to make sandwiches for lunch out of the rest of the turkey we cooked on Sunday. I said to Walt that it was too bad we didn't have any sauerkraut, because turkey reuben sandwiches would be really good. Then the drive-up butcher stopped by at noon, and voilà — he had a tray of choucroute cuite on the truck.

Pain de campagne à ma façon

Then we needed sandwich bread, so I decided to make some. The bread lady doesn't come by on Wednesdays. I found a recipe on Marmiton.fr for pain de campagne. I had all the ingredients, and I replaced part of the wheat flour with corn meal and buckwheat flour to make it more interesting.

It turned out to be easy to make, but since I'm not an experienced bread baker the loaf I made came out with a funny shape. Tant pis — it's delicious, and we should be able to make good sandwiches out of it. Now this morning I have to make some Russian dressing. That's easy too: mayonnaise, ketchup, and horseradish.

It's really cold this morning. The weather widget on my computer screen says it's –7ºC in Saint-Aignan — that's +19ºF. Our outdoor thermometer reads a little "warmer" than that, but it always reads a little higher than the official temperature. Poor Walt now has to go out in the cold with Callie.


  1. -7. Wow, that is cold. Near us we have a Depot de Pain. Not knowing the French word for bread, I was wondering a bit about the place. Their coffee is very very good. I hate reading long articles on a screen, but I hate spending money on paper and ink even more.

  2. I too have my eyes on a tablet, but in my probably distant future. Being a Mac man I might buy an iPad, or what will be available with Apple when I make a decision, but I'll have to do some research before I commit myself. In any case, I do want something compatible with my MacBook.

    There is a site where you can download free French literature that is in the public domain. Great choices.

  3. Holy cow, that IS cold. Dedene said on FaceBook that it was "F*#@ing cold!" (or something like that) *LOL*. It's 22° here.

    So-- Nook? Kindle? mini iPad?

  4. Ken,it seems that an iPad would be so helpful for you, and think of all the games you could play on it.( I love "Chicktionary").
    But then again, if you get hooked on games and all the fun things an iPad offers, you won't have time to make all those wonderful meals. Never mind!

  5. It was -4°C here at 9am today. It took me ages to clear the frost off the car to be able to drive to work.

    Still, anything is better than snow, at least when you have to go to work.

  6. chm, you interest me. What is this website of which you speak?

  7. Carolyn, here are the links for free ebooks:
    These two sites are not too easy to navigate, but patience is your reward.

    As far as I can tell, those books are mostly 19th century literature. I downloaded a few and I’m very happy with that.

  8. I'm glad you found the kraut, Ken. You have me wanting a Reuben. I'll be able to get one anytime when our Panera opens in a few months.

    My vote goes to the iPad-I really enjoy mine.

    Your chicktionary game looks like fun, Nadege. I like one called Carcassonne, but I don't think it's free. Chut, don't tell Ken- he's got cooking and blogging to do.

  9. Evelyn, you're funny! That is why I wrote in my comment "never mind". I don't want Ken to stop blogging, photographing... cooking for us.
    (sending you a message on Facebook now)

  10. Un temps pourri, une récolte décevante, mais un voyage super aux E.U. et au Canada.
    Comme on dit en Louisianne:
    "Il faut manger les grillots avec le tac-tac"!

  11. Speaking about you trip, just a video from the BBC to remind you that it " ain't easy " at some border crossings:


  12. What are you going to do with all the CDs once you've copied them?

  13. chm, thank you for the websites. I should be looking for something by the Comtesse de Ségur. That's about the right level for me.

  14. Paul's getting a Samsung 10" tablet for his birthday and Christmas. I spent an hour this morning setting it up so it'll be ready to go when he opens the package. I have a Samsung smartphone and am very happy with the Android system.
    I installed some newspaper and magazine apps, but I know he prefers reading the paper version.

  15. Ellen, thanks for that info. I'm favorably disposed when it comes to Samsung, and I'm looking closely at their tablets.

    Dean, MDR.

    Beaver, thanks for the link. I'll have a look.

  16. If you end up with a Kindle, visit http://www.klip.me/ and download their "Send to Kindle" plug in for your browser. When you encounter a long article (I find them difficult to read at my computer), you click the "K" in the browser toolbar and the article is formatted for the Kindle and mailed to your Kindle so it is waiting for you next time you open it. I have an iPad, but find the Kindle to be better for reading long stuff because not only is it light and easy to read, but it doesn't do anything else, so you're not self-distracted. - Tony

  17. Thanks for that, Tony. I'm still trying to figure it all out.


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