spent most of the day upgrading to OS X 10.6.x, finally got my machine up and running, will write more tomorrow.

while searching for spring flower photos in the weblog archives, i came across my tried-and-true barbecued chicken pizza recipe. the last time i made it was november 2009 - has it really been that long? that inspired me to visit the supermarket to get some ingredients for tonight's remake of a classic.

first i had to begin the preliminary setup for upgrading my mac operating system. the first step to any OS overhaul is backing up all the data. of course if i was more conscientious computer user, i would've been backing up my stuff all this time. but i'm not, so i had to suffer through hours of file transfer from my laptop to the external hard drive. i was using my esata express card, which is a bit buggy, but has a faster transfer rate. not willing to risk a crash in the middle of a lengthy copy job, i refrained from using my machine so it could backup undisturbed.

that left me with no web access for much of the day, so i failed to see the e-mail from my roommate informing me that his girlfriend has gotten the go-ahead from her advisor to come to boston for 3 weeks. she's be here for most of april according to the tentative schedule. how do i feel about this? it's not like the first time this has happened, but never for this long. i feel bad for them because they have to squeeze into that tiny guest bedroom. it might also suck for me if she's home all day while her boyfriend is at work. i think the biggest thing is this is her first time in america, so how can i deprive someone of her first taste of the US? but all this won't happen until more than 2 weeks away, so i still have some time to enjoy having the place to myself during the day.

with my computer copying away, i took the time to visit the bank in union square to deposit some cash. the teller was very flirty and was casually trying to get me to sign up for a citizens bank credit card. she suddenly remembered me from about a week ago, and said, "did i already ask you before?" then coming back, i stopped by the supermarket to get some barbecued chicken pizza ingredients. there was a sale on chicken breast, i picked up a red onion, and some mozzarella cheese (i already had some shredded pepper jack at home). i parked my bike in the backyard in anticipation of some snow later tonight.

barbecued chicken pizza involves 3 favorite things: barbecue, pizza, and bread machine. i've never made dough before by hand so i let the bread machine do all the work. all i have to do is add the ingredients to the bread pan and click the start button. you'd think it'd be easy to do but even i can mess it up. notes from the pasts informed me that i should use 2 cups of flour instead of 3 cups. i followed that advice but failed to take into consideration i was using less flour, and ended up using a full cup of water when i should've used less. it wasn't so obvious at first: the bread machine kneaded the ingredients into a ball like normal; but when it was all done, instead of a nice dough ball i had a dough soup instead, sticky one at that. i tried to knead it by hand with some additional flower, but i just ended up making a big mess (imagine trying to shape peanut butter). i threw everything back into the pan with 1/4 cup of flour and ran the bread machine for 15 more minutes. the result wasn't perfect but it was better. i let it sit in a pyrex dish to "chill out" before the evening.

once all my data files were transferred to the external hard drive, it was time to erase my computer and reinstall the system. there was a moment of hesitation, as i made sure i copied everything. it took just a minute to erase what took me half a decade to accumulate. i then went ahead and installed OS X 10.6 (snow leopard) from an usb thumb drive.

while the computer was busy installing, i went into the kitchen to assemble the pizza. i turned on oven to preheat while i rolled the dough into a flat disc. it was still a little sticky, but nothing some more flour on the board can't fix. once i put the dough onto the round baking tray, that's when i realized i was missing a crucial step: the chicken! i quickly grilled the 3 chicken breasts on the foreman, cut them into little pieces, and then mixed them with some barbecue sauce. only then did i sprinkle the chicken on the pizza.

the final result wasn't bad, and i shared half with victor. we both had 2 slices and it wasn't hard to coax him into eating another slice. we ate in the living while watching some basketball. celtics played the grizzlies. the game was notable in that 2 former celtics (from the 2008 championship team) were on the memphis squad: leon powe and tony allen. both teams played terrible, although the celtics really didn't have an excuse being the eastern conference champions and playing at home. the grizzlies ended up winning the game.

later in the evening i continued setting up my computer, importing my browser favorites and mailboxes1, then installing some essential software (CS5, bbedit, chrome, utorrent, skype, adium, VLC, iwork, ilife, perian, and tuxera NTFS).

having made the switch, i found the OS X 10.6 experience remarkably similar to 10.5. the most useful new feature is the grid view in the popup stacks. supposedly the new system is faster but i don't really notice it. i do see that i have 70gb of free space (after allocating a portion for boot camp which i haven't installed yet) versus the 4-5gb from before. quicktime 10 will take some getting used to. i like that videos are now displayed without borders, but the GUI that popups up on top of the video is distracting (i wish it could be made smaller, or more transparent).

1 most applications just required copying over the old corresponding application support folder. however with OSX mail, copying over the mail preference file (com.apple.mail.plist) is important as well, otherwise it won't accept the old accounts. all this could've been made easier if i just used the migration application, but i didn't want to copy over any buggy 10.5.x files and wanted a fresh start.