Black Bean Soup with Ham

Am so not in love with Mac. I know, I’m supposed to love it. Everybody does, right? But right now I’m close to throwing the bum out on the street with all its stuff, had I not already invested so much into this relationship.Yesterday I was starting to fall in love, despite the fact that it still can’t detect my wireless network (having had two stints on the phone with the very nice people at AppleCare, who also couldn’t solve the problem and in the end said it was probably the router, which is less than a year old and according to the manufacturer completely Mac-compatible) but does pick up all my neighbours’ networks. I can get online if I plug the ethernet cable directly into the modem, but the laptop can’t be used at the same time and so if I want to switch I have to pull the cord out and reconnect it to my router. Annoying, but no biggie. It is very sleek and pretty and very fast, and I was starting to love it.Then last night I went to post on my blog. I posted a recipe for sauteed apple pie from the New York Times (very much worth a try, I think) that I made for CBC this morning. (Twice I went back to edit and found it had turned into one long run-on sentence that I had to break up again; annoying, but not a big deal.) Then I added a few of the latest recipes to the Index, since I had forgotten to when I first posted them. I added 4, and when I added the last link and hit save IT ERASED MY ENTIRE INDEX. Remember how much time I spent on that index? Somewhere in the vicinity of 100 hours? Gone. I went back on my browser and it was there in the edit box, again condensed down from a list to one extremely massive run-on sentence. I tried “Save” – erased. Tried “Save and Continue editing” – erased. Repeated enough times to convince myself it was not just a temporary glitch. As you might have noticed, my index is just gone. (Not a problem I’ve had in the past year plus a month.) I spent until well after midnight doing damage control, trying to get it to save and/or figure out what’s going on. No luck.So I managed to cut and paste the code of the index into an email and send it to myself. At best I’ll be able to add it back on another computer (this one won’t let me, even if I open up a new window) as one massive sentence of code which I will have to pick through and separate, then realign and hope each link works. At worst I’ll have to rewrite my entire index. Which took many, many evenings as well as a huge chunk of my Christmas holiday.(Here’s something interesting: according to Consumer Reports Macs only rate well in the category of all-in-one desktop computers – they don’t make the cut at all – in terms of overall ratings and reliability – in the categories of ‘workhorse’ or ‘high-end’, and the mini comes in second to a PC in the ‘budget’ category. My 20 inch iMac comes in second in ‘all-in-one’, but with an overall score of 66 vs. 65, 64 and 63 in the following PCs – so not as huge a difference as I would have thought. The Consumer Reports chart my dad emailed me lists the reliability of laptop computers organized by percentage that require repairs or have serious problems and Apple was second to last at 20% – with H-P at the bottom at 21%, and all other PCs above it – Sony came in #1 at 18%. So while they are pretty much immune to viruses, it seems they aren’t immune to problems! And the Mac dude on their commercials is so hip and healthy-looking…)Dinner last night was black bean soup made with a leftover chunk of ham from our weekend brunch – I made it on Sunday because it’s always best after a day (or two, or three) in the fridge, and it’s perfect insurance against coming home hungry without a dinner plan. Took 5 minutes to reheat, and I crumbled some feta overtop. It was so tasty Mike used the F word when he ate it. I used it several times later in the evening, but not in reference to the soup. UPDATE: those of you who subscribe may have noticed that this came through as one giant paragraph – when I published it it went from several to one giant paragraph. I had to go back and edit it again. Lets see if it works this time… Nope. Looks like it wants to stay one giant paragraph, and every time I change it back it reverts when I save it. You may just find an iMac this week on Free Stuff Fridays…


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32 comments on “Black Bean Soup with Ham

  1. Barb
    January 20, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Oh boy. I feel for you. Hours and hours invested into something that is supposed to save you hours and hours. I still have faith that the guy in the commercials is right but it is fading…..

  2. Heidi
    January 20, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Thank you for the heads-up! Nobody tells you valuable stuff like this.
    I was thinking about switching to a Mac but will definately do more research, or forget the whole idea. Would they send that lovely young Mac guy to your house? You could fix him a bang-up meal.

  3. Lana
    January 20, 2009 at 10:53 am

    OMG. What a nightmare.
    I am cursing like a trucker in your honour.

    Oh, and I love that soup, too.

  4. Lesley
    January 20, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Sooooo frustrating. But when I look at the website, the index is all here…?

    P.S. I think I seem like the type of person who would love Mac and all my “artsy” friends love it. But I still feel very loyal to my PC…but not for any really good reasons. I guess if it aint broke, don’t fix it. Is it wrong at 34 to feel like an old dog who can’t learn new computer systems?

  5. Leah
    January 20, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Wouldn’t be fun to throw that computer thru the window or take it out to your driveway and back over it with your car? I don’t have a Mac but it’s a little dream of mine. I love that Mike uses the F word in regards to tasting really good food. I thought my husband was the only one to do that.

  6. pauline
    January 20, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Oh Julie, I feel sick for you, really sick. On a food note I made the chick pea salad, wow it was soooo good.

  7. Terry
    January 20, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Um,..I see the index also. Is it possible that it is still here but it looks different from your hosting end? I tried a few of the links too and it worked great.

  8. Sue (London)
    January 20, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Oh Julie… I feel your pain! How frustrating! Where did you buy it? Can you return it? I know for example that a friend of mine bought a laptop (not Mac) for her son at Costco and many months later returned it for a full refund (after it froze on him during a University class). Just a thought.
    I just happen to have some leftover ham at home – looking forward to the soup.
    And I just have to tell you that last night after an exercise class a woman said to me “So, when is that baby due”… I haven’t been pregnant in 15 years. I was totally speechless – how’s that for incentive? (not good really, it feels AWFUL but will probably get me to think about what I shovel in my mouth for the next little while!)

  9. gwendolyn
    January 20, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Feel your frustration as there are few things more annoying than computer problems (second only, I would argue, to attempting to put together Ikea furniture). I feel sad too that you are having a bad Mac experience. I love my Mac (and all of its Mac predecessors). I’m curious too: how did the computer erase your index? If it’s posted online, then wouldn’t that have been the blog’s server responsible?

  10. Barb
    January 20, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Index works for me, too

  11. Heather
    January 20, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Index works for me and I’m using a Mac.

    Still love my Mac. I wouldn’t buy a PC again if a gun was held to my head. I’ve had no issues with a Mac while anything I ever tried to do in a PC was painful, slow and took me forever to either figure out how to do or having to research and download some stupid software to fix/troubleshoot/help whatever. Plus my Mac never slows down like any PC I ever used did.

    I’m sorry to hear you are having issues. What blog software do you use?

  12. Erica B.
    January 20, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Sorry to hear you’re having such trouble I feel for you 🙁 Thanks for the heads up though since I was considering chucking my WindozeXP driven laptop for a shiny new Mac. Maaaaaaybe not(!)

    I have the night off from dinner prep tonight, or I’d be making your soup. DH and I are going out (sans kids!!!) to ‘O’ in Marda Loop assuming they have a table when we get there…they apparently don’t take resos. Of course this also means finding something to wear other than yoga pants. Yikes.

  13. Ann
    January 20, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Oh, Julie, I’m so sorry (but not surprised) to hear of your Mac problems! It’s just a sick feeling to think hours and hours of work may need to be redone. I hope not! I hope somehow a rabbit will get pulled out of the hat and all your Mac problems will disappear.

    As a long time PC user I got a MacBook a couple of years ago. I have to say I’m not impressed with it, but then I’m not into that fancy stuff using it to produce videos or graphic design stuff or whatever those Mac lovers do with their Macs.

    Love the black bean soup . . .

  14. Charmian Christie
    January 20, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    What a nightmare. I love my Mac and curse my husband’s PC, but if you got a dud, you got a dud. Seems when Macs go bad they do so in a big way. Hope you kick up a fuss and get the answers you need or a replacement computer.

    I was having issues with my blog platform (their glitch, not my computer) and decided I’d invest in an offline editor. I now write all my posts in Ecto and love it. Initially, I had a few formatting issues, but once I read the instructions figured it out.

    Good luck with getting this resolved.

  15. angiebean
    January 20, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    We have a PC and Mac in the house. Both can’t be connected to the internet at the same time. If the PC goes online, it is perfectly fine going back and forth (between Mac and PC).
    Unfortunately the Mac is not. If the PC was just online, we have to reboot the ethernet/internet connection (router) and restart the apple. Then turn on the wireless airport (will usually go on automatically when the computer starts).
    The computer help-line people couldn’t figure this out, we did.
    Hope this idea helps you.
    Good luck!

  16. pauline
    January 20, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Index of recipes is not there for me.

  17. Fiona
    January 20, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    I can’t see your index, so maybe it’s a software thing? It obviously still exists, which I guess could be comforting in some small way. WordPress has screwed me over before, with the paragraph thing. We lost all our posts once, too.

    I’m sorry your Mac experience has been less than positive. It’s too bad there’s no sort of standard in the computer world. Life would be much easier if there were. Our friends had trouble with their router, too (but that was Telus, not Shaw).

    I love black bean soup. I always eat it with cheddar, but the feta has got me thinking….

  18. Melanie
    January 20, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    I’m so sad for you. I really do love my macs and hate using my pc at work… then again, I don’t have a blog to maintain – I just get to read yours!!! Thank you, really, for all you put into it! Computer frustrations are the worst!!!

  19. Erin
    January 20, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Yowsers! What a pain in the you know what! I can see and use the index too so very strange. I’ve mostly heard good things about macs…and love my iphone. Good for you for not turning to chocolate(my weakness) in the middle of that stress.

  20. Janet
    January 20, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    I too can see the index and browse through it…
    strange, that some of us can and others not!…hmmmm

  21. Nicole
    January 20, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Can I suggest you seek some professional Mac help?? I hear the Apple store will totally help you trouble shoot. ( you know there’s one in Market Mall right?) As previously mentioned, I suspect your blog software site is not completely compatible or something with your Mac?? There could be an easy solution. I won’t continue to sing the Mac praises in your likely present state of Mac hate…but really they ARE WAY BETTER than a PC. (Our PC laptop and my iMac share a wireless router no problem)

  22. JulieVR
    January 20, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Yes, and I got the $199 AppleCare 2 year extended warranty with the 24 hour phone support line. I’ve already called it twice and they couldn’t figure out why my computer wasn’t picking up the router (nice people though) – I suspect this blog thing is really gonna throw them for a loop! I’ll bite the bullet and do it tomorrow.

    I know they are great computers. (BUT not really rated as that much more dependable – that Consumer Report on laptops was based on 63,000 laptops between 2004 and 2008 and Apples in general came out almost at the bottom of the list!) And I didn’t have these problems with my PC! It was slow and old and abused and had glitches, but I didn’t expect as many with a brand new iMac…

    (And just half an hour ago the Mail stopped working – wouldn’t send the email I typed, wouldn’t do anything, I had to close it and restart the computer…)

  23. margo
    January 20, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    If you are a Shaw user, I must say we’ve had very poor and erratic service from Shaw in the past month: like tonight, service from Shaw is on, then off, every few minutes, back and forth. Very frustrating, so it’s possible that your problems are a combination of the new computer and Shaw? (This coming as a shot in the dark from a complete non-techie).

  24. margo
    January 20, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    And, as you said Julie, it wouldn’t send or receive my email in fits and spurts as well. Bizarre, and very annoying.

  25. margaret
    January 20, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    I can’t see the index on my Mac. There are few things worse than computer frustrations that you cannot figure out. Hope you get it sorted out soon.

  26. Dana F
    January 20, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Julie – I was about to break up with my Mac in the first week I had it (I think I told you about it?). After ab bunch of calls to Apple care and two trips to the Apple Store for testing, they apprehended my iMac and set me up with my new Mac-Daddy and he and I get along swimmingly. 🙂 (the first one had an electrical short and would keep shutting down at random moments on me and mucking around with whatever I was working on).

    FWIW, I switched from blogger to WordPress (am I allowed to say that here?) and despite my affinity for all things Google, I really love WP. (and blogger is completely transferable – just a thought)

  27. Jan
    January 21, 2009 at 5:40 am

    I’m so sorry you’re in computer hell.

  28. JulieVR
    January 21, 2009 at 7:15 am

    I am using WordPress! It has the best ratings of any of the major blog platforms. I downloaded Apple’s other top-rated web browser – Firefox (someone told me that Safari doesn’t play well with some programs, WordPress one of them) but last night when I previewed my post the second half came up in the left column (over ‘previously for dinner’ – but MUCH wider) and then half of the post was where it should be, but not really in place, and the rest of the content (everything in the left sidebar, all my previous posts) were gone. $^@##$%@!! Here I was happy that it wasn’t squishing all my words into one giant paragraph.. this is much worse! And my index is still gone. (Never had any WordPress problems on any of the PCs I used.)

  29. Theresa
    January 21, 2009 at 8:12 am

    If you used a credit card to purchase it and have insurance……………. 🙂

  30. Carolann
    January 21, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Wow!!!! sure now glad I didn’t switch over to Mac although friend swears by them. Now, solve a problem for me Julie – where did you purchase the Canton beans. Have tried most stores around me, NE to no avail. I know you didn’t make them up. HELP

  31. JulieVR
    January 21, 2009 at 9:58 am

    I didn’t purchase them – the PR company sent them to me for a food styling gig! They keep insisting that they are available at Sobey’s out west, but I’ve never been able to find them. Sorry! They are SUCH a good product, I don’t know why you can’t get them out here.

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