Thanksgiving 2016

A little known fact: Irish Thanksgiving is the Saturday following the American Thanksgiving. The legend goes that after the rather sterile and serious Puritan Thanksgiving a few of the Irish attendees hopped on an Aer Lingus flight back to Ireland a few days later and had a proper dinner and craic.

No idea if it’s true or not of course, but sounds plausible.

Before filling the feeding troughs this year, I took a stab at some troff and produced a menu for tomorrow’s festivities.

It turned out to be a little harder than I thought. So I’ll now digress into a bit of troff learning. I was used to being able to do man -t command1 command2 commandn but through some trial and error discovered that what’s actually happening is that the man command is running groff -Tps -c -mandoc on each command in sequence and sending that to the printer. And then I discovered that screws up the page number. Lastly I learned that font sizes on Linux and OS X groff installs are different and that they have a different default paper size. The difference means that page numbering is correct on OS X but wrong on Linux.

Edit: pdf now updated for Linux (and no longer works on OS X - sigh).

In the end I came up with this Makefile:

menu.ps: mom.eps front.6 intro.6 roast-chicken.6 lasagne.6 sweet-potato.6 steamed-veggies.6 apple-crumble.6 veggie-soup.6 Makefile
        if [ -x /usr/bin/ps2pdf ]; then \
          GARGS="-Tps -dpaper=a4 -P-pa4 -mdoc -rS11"; \
        else \
          GARGS="-Tps -dpaper=a4 -P-pa4 -mdoc -rS12"; \
        fi; \
        ( \
          groff $$GARGS front.6; \
          groff $$GARGS -n1 -c intro.6; \
          groff $$GARGS -n2 -c veggie-soup.6; \
          groff $$GARGS -n3 -c roast-chicken.6; \
          groff $$GARGS -n4 -c chicken-curry.6; \
          groff $$GARGS -n5 -c lasagne.6; \
          groff $$GARGS -n7 -c sweet-potato.6; \
          groff $$GARGS -n8 -c steamed-veggies.6; \
          groff $$GARGS -n9 -c apple-crumble.6; \
        ) > menu.ps

Thanks to the OS X Preview.app I was able to easily print it into booklet form (two pages to a side, double sided) so the twelve pages end up in a nice booklet on three physical pages.

It’s funny though. I did all that because I had to write the whole menu down. Not only that I have a page that has timings to get things started at the right times. Something my mom had always wanted me to do previous times I’d cooked large meals. Back then I could keep it in my head. Used to drive my mom nuts. Recovering Kevin can’t quite manage that though. I think if pushed I could have. I do feel a lot better these days than I did even back in September. But it resulted in a fun diversion.