atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#3987: Removing keys

I said I didn't want to take keys off the keyboard that I find inconvenient, but perhaps three weeks ago I'd finally had enough of CAPS LOCK and yanked that bitch.

It's been surprisingly easy to get used to the thing not being there. If I want CAPS LOCK on, I grab a pen or something and press the membrane pad down, but since I've needed it exactly twice in that time I don't miss it at all.

That emboldened me to make another modification: the right-hand Windows key got yanked out Wednesday night, because I had long since been totally sick and tired of going for the "/" key and hitting it instead, thus changing focus from whatever program I was in to the freakin' desktop and Start menu. This is particularly inconvenient when I'm playing WoW; when I'm in an instance and need to tell the rest of the party something urgent, switching to the desktop is--to put it mildly--inconvenient.

I'm trying to figure out how I could make a blanking plate for the missing Windows key. I will never want that one back; in fact I don't understand why there have to be two of them on the keyboard to begin with. I'm a touch typist and have never, never, ever needed to hit either Windows key while typing; as I said the only thing the Windows key does is pop up the Start menu. And when that happens accidentally, it interrupts whatever I may be doing, and requires that I take a hand off the keyboard in order to use the mouse.

The only thing the Windows key ever does is to pop up the Start menu. It can't be programmed to do anything else, rendering it almost completely useless. Why does it have to be by commonly-used keys? Why isn't it instead up by ESC or over by the scroll lock key or something? And why do there have to be two of them?

Anyway, I don't miss CAPS LOCK and I know I'm not going to miss the right-hand Windows key, either. The keyboard looks like ass but at least I don't have to put up with a bunch of stupidity from it.

* * *

I really don't understand why this will prompt a government shutdown. The GOP is going to move ahead with a continuing resolution (CR) which will codify a one-year delay in the implementation of Obamacare.

...why is that going to cause a problem? "President Barack Obama has vowed not to sign any spending bill that tampers with his signature legislative achievement," the article says, but WTF! Obama wants to delay the law for a year, and this CR will give him political cover for doing exactly that. It repeals the medical device tax--big whoop. Is that a strategic point for the Democrat position? All Your Trick Arms Are Belong To Us?

The truth of the matter: the Democrats want a shutdown. They want a shutdown because in 1995 there was a shutdown, the GOP got the blame, and thus the 1996 elections were less of a disaster than the Democrats had any reason to hope for. This time out their situation is even more desperate; it's an off-year election in 2014, their President is hugely unpopular, and the writing is on the wall. If they can force a government shutdown, their allies in the press will spin it as Republicans being mean racist sexist bigoted homophobes and the Democrats will have a better chance of retaining their lock on the Senate.

Because the Democrats want a shutdown it won't matter what the GOP sends them.

* * *

Rich's company demonstrates the folly of Obamacare. Because of Obamacare and other economic factors, they're suddenly slowing down and letting people go. This is a company--if you read Rich's blog regularly--which runs continuously, and Rich rarely gets a Saturday off. Now, however, he's looking at a vastly different situation. "At least I still have a job and a full time one at that," he says ruefully.

* * *

Man-made global warming causes early frosts. Late September for frost is f-ing early.

* * *

Last night, for the first time in my life I made pasta salad from components, rather than a kit. It came out perfect.

Mom never liked mayonnaise. She was a Miracle Whip person, and so was Dad; when she made tuna salad she made it by adding Kraft's "sandwich spread" (the "special sauce" in Big Macs, I might add) to tuna. It's got more of a tang to it than mayo does.

But Miracle Whip is one of those products which is made by taking vegetable oil and doing things to its chemical structure. And as people are learning, the alterations make the stuff less healthy.

I grew up in the 1970s, which is when everyone was positive that margerine was better for you than butter. Now it's turning out that saturated fat isn't nearly as bad for you as transfats are, and the process of turning oil into margerine--hydrogenation--is what generates the bulk of transfats.

And I do believe making Miracle Whip is pretty much the same way.

So I use butter, rather than margerine. It used to be that margerine was cheaper than butter, but that's not so any longer; there's no economic benefit to it and there certainly isn't a health benefit.

And since my wife prefers mayo to Miracle Whip--and I don't have much opinion either way--I'm just as happy to use mayo myself. I'm not entirely certain but I do believe it's more healthy, anyway.

I do find that I feel a lot better if I eat food that does not include a lot of processed gunk in it. Last night's dinner was crunchy chicken, the aforementioned pasta salad, and canned green beans. The processed stuff consisted mainly of the fried onions from a can, used to coat the chicken, and the mayo. Otherwise, everything else was raw. (Let's be honest--it's mass-produced mayo. It's processed. And canned beans--they're cooked, but the ingredients are "green beans, water, salt".) I feel a lot happier eating that than something like Hamburger Helper.

But I'm happiest when I'm eating food that was 100% raw before I cooked it, with nothing pre-processed involved.

I have found that I can make a perfectly acceptable meal and spend less than an hour in the kitchen to do it. It's not haute cuisine but it's good food, like last night's meal; some meals are even simpler to accomplish.

And the crunchy chicken--that stuff is amazing. You take two cups of fried onions and two tablespoons of flour; crush the onions and mix the flour in. Dip boneless-skinless chicken breasts in a beaten egg, then coat with the onion/flour mixture. Put 'em on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 for twenty minutes. It comes out delicious and tender and juicy; I can cut it with a fork.

...and total prep time is ten minutes for two servings, assuming the chicken is already defrosted. When I want to serve crescent rolls with it, I bake it at 375 and put the crescent rolls in after the chicken's been in for about 10 minutes, and both chicken and rolls come out fine twelve minutes later.

It is an amazing thing to look at yourself and realize that somehow, your mother taught you to cook through osmosis or something. I don't know how it happened, but I'm pretty fair dinkum in the kitchen. I think most of it is realizing that none of this is terribly complex and you don't have to spend a lot of time cooking something to make it delicious.

I'm never going to be a 4-star chef, but at least I can make food people like to eat. That's enough for me.
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