atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3920: In which I think about food

Today Mrs. Fungus and I are planning to have pot roast. I just put the ingredients into the crock pot.

A layer of carrots, a layer of celery, a layer of onion, and atop that the meat, which I seasoned with the usual three and browned. ("Usual three": salt, pepper, garlic powder. You can't go wrong with using them on all kinds of meat.) Then the lid went on, and it just sits there on low power for ten hours. When she gets home from work tonight, it'll be ready.

Can't beat that.

* * *

I've been asked to do the occasional bit of cooking for my aunt, who is undergoing radiation and chemo for some kind of cancer they found, and my uncle. So a couple of times a week I'll be heading over there with some food for them.

The first thing I'll try feeding 'em is something Mrs. Fungus had me make last night, a recipe she got from the back of a can of French's fried onions. Basically, you dip chicken breasts in beaten egg and then dredge in crushed French's fried product with some flour added, and then bake at 400° for about twenty minutes. Using their recipe (two tbsp flour, two cups onions, crushed) it was enough for three chicken breasts. It came out pretty tasty, but next time I make it for us I'm going to dust the breasts with the usual three before doing anything else.

I have a pretty reasonable repertiore these days, when it comes to cooking; certainly I've advanced beyond my "I can cook some asian dishes..." schtick. WTH, I've got three or four good ways to do chicken; two or three good ways to do pork chops; I can cook barbequed ribs with the best of them; I have several good beef recipes; and none of this involves using a wok or a crock pot. (I have three or four good crock pot recipies besides.)

In seven months of marriage, I've come pretty far from my bachelor cooking skills. I've learned how to cook fish, ribs, and cornish hens (!) in addition to trying new recipes for other things, and I've discovered--as so many newlyweds have in the past--that you need not be a galley slave to turn out tasty food. In fact, the only meal that's had me spend more than an hour in the kitchen all told was the Thanksgiving meal I prepared for Mrs. Fungus (then Lemonzen) and myself, the Sunday after the actual T-day.

None of this stuff is going to get me a slot on the next Hell's Kitchen but at least I can turn out good quality meals.

Now all I need to do is to learn how to do it all on the grill.

* * *

This is a neat idea. This guy seems to be thinking of it as an escape hatch, but I wouldn't mind doing something like that for a primary residence on a chunk of land in the boonies. You know, build something habitable for the time being and plan to build a proper house later with all the money you save by not having to pay property taxes in a socialist shithole like the "collar counties" around Chicago and Cook County. be honest I see nothing wrong with building that "proper house" out of shipping containers. They're inexpensive enough and once you've finished the inside of the thing you'd never be able to tell the difference, anyway. That guy could easily have added a peaked roof with shingles and vinyl siding and it would look just like a frame building, rather than something made from shipping containers. If you're not doing the job on a shoestring, you go ahead and have a full basement poured--why not?

But I'm married now, and my wife naturally has different ideas about what makes a home and what doesn't. I don't think she'd be very excited about this kind of project, and I can't really say that I blame her. What I do know is that if I have to give up on this kind of thing in order to be married to a wonderful woman, then bring on the marriage and to heck with living in the boonies.

* * *

I'd say that's a 500% markup on that battery. Replacing a the battery in a defibrillator apparently costs $135,007.58, and of that, $63,371.71 is the battery itself.

"Labor" is $67,950.40, which proves once again that it's not the cost of the parts, but the labor, that gets you every time.


"Minor procedure"? If a minor procedure is sixty seven thousand dollars how much does a major procedure cost?

Via Karl Denninger, who notes that if the battery cost as much as $200 to manufacture its retail price of $12,000 is also egregiously overinflated.

Absent the $131,000 for the battery and labor, the rest of the charges are almost--almost reasonable at around $4,000. But 45 minutes of "cardiac services" costs $1,243? A similar period of "anasthesia services" is $1,343? Really? That means these services are $1,658 and $1,791 per hour, respectively.

But look at the actual replacement of the battery: $67,950.40. According to this bill, replacing that battery costs $90,600.53 per hour, or $1,510 per minute.

Now, unless he is capable of restoring you to youth, there is no doctor on this planet whose time is worth fifteen hundred dollars per minute. Just no.

Now look at the image of that bill. Across the top it says, "In the healing ministry of Christ", but Jesus healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, made the crippled walk, and cured lepers, and He didn't charge any fifteen hundred dollars a minute to do it.

I'm not saying that a hospital which invokes Christ's name must provide medical services for free; far from it. But they sure as hell ain't doing the Lord's work when they're charging people 500% markup for an already overpriced battery and then charging almost seventy thousand dollars to take out the old one and put the new one in.

But because there is no competition in the medical industry--because clinics and hospitals are allowed to establish monopolies--this is what we get. Medical care is extraordinarily overpriced in the United States.

Having government come in and take control is not the answer. Sure, in Canada it doesn't cost you much to get looked at by an MD, but your taxes are egregious and there's a crapton of rationing of medical care.

Ah, I'm just shouting at the wind, here. *sigh* And this was supposed to be a fun post.

* * *

I re-discovered this flash game called "Hexiom Connect". I downloaded it eons ago and stashed it on my hard drive; and lately I've been playing it a lot again. It's a simple little game that I can play to kill five minutes here or there.

It's also f-ing addictive.

The part I like best is the random level generator. Gameplay is simple; it gives you a grid of hexagonal-shaped pieces with colored lines on them and your job is to connect the lines so they form "circuits". When all the circuits are formed the puzzle is complete, and while it's a timed game there is no timeout; you try to complete each puzzle as quickly as you can.

I could not, if I tried, explain the strategy I've developed for solving puzzles. I just kind of feel them out.

...and while I play, I think about how the game could be a kind of "intelligence test" sent to Earth by aliens who want trained monkeys to assemble circuits. I don't have much of a story to go with the idea (and I've no doubt what I have is already derivative of Niven's "What Can You Say About Chocolate-covered Manhole Covers?") but what the hey.

* * *

On the plate for today is trimming: cutting the grass and reducing the length of my goatee. Whee!

...I don't feel like doing any of it. *sigh*

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