August 31st, 2010


New England Roadtrip, July 8, part 1: Salem Diner

We'd spent several days driving from place to place, so on Thursday we felt a need to do just one place at a time, without thinking about trying to make a schedule. So we went off to Salem.

For brunch, we went off to the Salem Diner, which really looks like a classic diner. It has not been restored - look for faded boomerang-print formica in the backgrounds of the food photos.

Lori had the blueberry pancakes, which were fine, even good, but not exceptional.

I ordered the turkey hash and the loukaniko sausage. I had never heard of loukaniko before, and I am the sort of person who consults Wikipedia while reading a menu; it may therefore match my dining experience to quote from Wikipedia:

Loukaniko (λουκάνικο) or locanico is the normal Greek word for pork sausage, usually somewhat dried.
There is a variety of sausages in Greek cooking, but perhaps the best-known is flavored with fennel seeds and orange peel, sometimes smoked; another popular flavoring is greens, especially leeks.

This was the fennel and orange peel style, and it tasted unlike other sausage of my experience. I could taste the orange peel and the fennel if I focused on those flavors, but they melded together into something broad and exotic. The texture was familiar, like a hot link or a dry kielbasa, but the flavor was very unusual to me.

The turkey hash was very mild in texture and in flavor. It was very homogenous, much more finely textured than I usually get in corned beef hash.

Up next: The House of Seven Gables

No Outside iOS Development for Me

I had thought that I could develop iOS apps with approval from my manager, but I was wrong. From Apple's Business Conduct Policy:

Am I allowed to develop outside iPhone or iPad apps on my own time?
No. Employees are not permitted to have any involvement in the development of outside iPhone or iPad apps, either alone or jointly with others.

I haven't actually done things against this policy, but I've spent more time thinking about outside app development than I would have if I'd been fully aware of this.

My Economic Irrationality and the iPhone 4

Since reading Predictably Irrational by Dan Arielly earlier this month, I've been more conscious than usual of my own economic irrationality. Today's story is about the effects of anchoring.

Since the iPhone 4 was announced, I've been very interested in upgrading to it. In particular, the promise of a better camera attracted me a lot; upgrading my iPhone's camera would enable me to take better pictures without making me learn to carry a bigger camera with me.

But I got the iPhone 3GS last year, so AT&T would charge me $499 to upgrade my iPhone. I could afford that - but I think it's very plausible that next year's iPhone will be just as much of a leap in coolness over the iPhone 4. So I felt that I was choosing between a lifestyle of upgrading my phone every year for $500 a year, or upgrading every other year at a cost of $150 a year - and that's enough of a difference that that made me dither.

But last Thursday, I realized that Lori's phone was eligible for a $299 upgrade, and she was willing to let me use her upgrade. And apparently I had anchored on the $499 price as my point of dithering; once I realized that there was a cheaper option, I went for it like a shot, without any dithering at all.

I received my iPhone 4 today. I'm only waiting to activate it to make sure that it gets activated with my phone number, not Lori's.