atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#4120: Dinner and a song

Last night, Mrs. Fungus and I had weird polish chicken.

She went to "the weird store" and bought some stuff at random, including some sort of chicken seasoning. The instructions on it were in Polish, but I was able to figure out how to use it from the pictures.

Step one: put chicken and seasoning in the included plastic bag.

Step two: shake a lot.

Step three: bake in the bag at 400° for 60 minutes.

Step four: Enjoy.

Once the bag was sitting on a cookie sheet and ready to go into the oven, I started singing:
It's weird!
It's Polish!
It's chicken in a bag.
It's weird!
It's Polish!
It's chicken in a bag.
Wait just a New York minute!
'Cause we don't know what's in it.
It's weird,
It's chicken,
It's Polish chicken in a bag!
...which practically reduced my wife to hysterics.

Besides the weird Polish chicken in a bag, we had julienne potatos, and corn-on-the-cob, and it all worked out fairly well. The chicken was overcooked and a bit dry; the spice is approximately salt, pepper, and paprika (meaning it's probably more Hungarian than Polish, but whatev) with a dash of cayenne. It tasted all right.

And we still have no idea WTF it is.

* * *

It snowed again today--is flurrying a bit as I type this--and at times it was pretty heavy. We got about three inches of powder, but I didn't need 4WD once on the drive home, not even to get up the driveway.

Hours have been cut at work again. Time to fire up the old resume, I guess. *sigh*

Looking over the schedule, I saw (again) that I have the fewest hours of anyone in the precinct. Until this evening I was thinking that this was indicative of disfavor, that perhaps they were trying to get me to quit--but then it hit me: I have the least seniority. Everyone else that works in the precinct was hired sometime before me; the most recent hire before me was there at least six weeks before I started and that person ("A") is getting perhaps one more shift per week than I am. And "B", who was hired a little while before "A" was, is getting one more shift per week than "A" is. So if I work 6 hours in a week, "A" works about 12, and "B" works perhaps 18. And the people who have worked there the longest get the most hours.

Looked at that way, it makes perfect sense; it's not even remotely unfair, either. It's just that I'm the low man on the totem pole--and as such, this is how it goes. Things are afoot, though--not-bad things--and if they shake out approximately the way I think they're going to, there will be more hours available by and by...and I just need to find a way to hang on for a few more weeks.

* * *

Obama's ambassadors are FAIL. How can I get a job where I can take 15 personal days a month, like Obama's ambassador to the Bahamas? And--this is the important part--still get paid for them?

* * *

Here's a hint for those of you who have spare laptops laying around that you might want to trade in. If you're going to try to get money (even store credit) for your old electronics, clean them up before you bring them in. If I have to spend several minutes cleaning smudges off the case to see if it's scratched up, I'm going to tend to think of it as being in "fair" rather than "good" condition and you will not be getting top dollar for your computer. The smudges may hide scratches, but I'm going to clean the case off so I can see what it looks like--that is part of my job--and if I have to do that, I won't be as inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt for imperfections as I would be if you brought a clean machine to me.

You also might want to charge the battery before you bring it in. I'm not going to spend 20 minutes testing your battery; I'm going to plug the laptop in for about five minutes so I can verify memory and hard drive, and make sure it boots. Once I've done that, I'm going to pull the charger cord; and if it dies, I'm saying that the battery is no good--and that will cost you quite a bit of value.

Finally, don't expect wads of cash. If you're bringing in a laptop you don't use because it's old, don't think I'm going to give you a lot of money for it, even if it's in perfect condition. Think about this: you're getting rid of it because it's obsolete; what makes you think someone else is going to be willing to pay top dollar for an old used laptop? Computers depreciate frightfully quickly, and when a person can buy a new laptop for under three hundred dollars which beats the pants off anything made even four years ago, a used machine is not going to be worth very much. A budget laptop that's more than two years old, in "fair" condition with a bad battery, is going to fetch you about enough money to have a couple of pizzas delivered from Pizza Hut, as long as you don't go nuts on the toppings.

You won't be walking out with a Franklin in your jeans, not even if the thing is pristine and in its original box. Sorry.

* * *

Speaking of "old and busted" I've been thinking about my old Compaq Presario 1230. It's been sitting in the basement for quite a while, and it's probably past time for me to get rid of it. I'll probably dig it out and play with it a bit before recycling the thing (and I'll pull the hard drive before I do) but let's face it--it never was really all that good of a computer, and now that it's 16 years old it might as well be an abacus.

* * *

I was watching Wheeler Dealers the other day and--for the first time--was disappointed in how Edd Chyna did something.

Basic gist of the show: Mike Brewer buys cars in need of repair, and Edd Chyna fixes them up; then they try to sell them at a profit. They don't include Edd's labor in the deal so it's clearly a conceit, but it's still interesting to watch Edd work on the various cars.

Anyway, normally Edd does a pretty good job with the things he does, but the ep I watched yesterday was about a Morgan Plus 4 (I think that's what it was). The Morgan cars have wood bodies; this particular car needed a new chassis as it would not pass another Ministry of Transport inspection...which is why Mike was able to buy it for a mere £13,000--cheap for a Morgan.

The new chassis is £600 from Morgan, but it's a 100+ hour job to swap the old for the new.

(Multiply pounds by 1.5 to get dollars. It's close enough.)

The thing is, the new chassis was galvanized, but otherwise untreated. Edd left it as-is; if it had been me doing that, I would have painted the damned thing--first with a good primer, then with something tough. Galvanized steel is fairly rust-resistant by itself, but I'd want that extra, you know?

Then--he had to make new floor panels for the new chassis, as the wood floor panels were mostly shot. He used marine plywood, but didn't put anything on it.

Again, if it were me, I would have put healthy coats of polyurethane varnish on that shit before putting it in the car, even if the wood is sufficiently durable in its own right. Taking the car apart and putting it back together is such a royal pain in the ass that I think the extra effort would be warranted. When you're talking about how the labor charge for the chassis swap is £6,000, doesn't it make sense to do the little extra things that will help ensure that car will never need such a job done on it ever again?

Still, it's a shame that you can't get Morgan cars here. The one on the show weighs 900 kg (20 lbs shy of an English ton) and with its 2 liter engine goes like a rocket. They've got classic styling, too, and they look like a ton of fun.

Oh well.
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