atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#5343: That's the end of the meat.

Today I used the last three pieces of meat from the Big Beef Buy of 2012. A t-bone and two ribeyes, they've remained rock-frozen the entire time and today was the day to use them. Because of their age, I didn't want to have them as a main course (ie "tonight we'll have those ribeyes which I found in the downstairs freezer after being there for only three years!") but since they have been frozen the entire time they're still edible. I just wouldn't want to rely on their flavor without doing something else with them.

"Something else" like goulash. With the two ribeyes and the last t-bone from the beef buy, I had enough meat to make a respectable pot of goulash, so when I went shopping last I picked up three green peppers specifically for this reason. The steaks were defrosting for a few days so they were ready today, and I hacked 'em up and tossed 'em in the crock pot with onion, tomatos, minced garlic, and paprika. This has been cooking since 2:30 and will be ready for the green peppers around 6:30, which means I'll start sauteeing them around 6:10 and toss 'em in on the tick, so dinner will be around 7 PM. Good enough.

I just need to keep myself from eating everything else in the meantime, because the aroma of cooking goulash really stimulates my appetite.

* * *

Obamacare was designed to do this. The whole point of the soi disant "Affordable Health Care Act" was to ensure that insurance companies could not continue to provide actual affordable health insurance for very much longer, thus opening the door to government stepping in with single-payer, AKA socialized medicine, AKA "welcome to the Bataan Death March in slow motion, prole!"

* * *

If the federal government had to ask people for permission to do things like resettle Syrian "refugees" in their communities, it wouldn't happen very often. But of course the feds have long been all about control rather than obeying the will of the people because the people are idiots and can't even be trusted with sharp objects.

* * *

I'm only waiting for Brave to be out of beta and then I'll move to it from Pale Moon.

* * *

XKCD is pretty good today:

Every once in a while I find myself contemplating exactly the same thing, and I have to stop myself from going too far down the rabbit hole. Every manufactured thing you touch is the result of the effort of thousands--tens of thousands!--of people, most of it expended before even one unit leaves the factory. It gets exponentially worse when you start considering the things those people use to produce the object in question, because each one of those tools or materials has its own story involving another army of people.

But for #Release_Candidate_One I found myself exploring it, because when you're thinking about how an interstellar colony needs to build its infrastructure (particularly in the case of this particular colony, having had its development thwarted by their planet's odd lack of petroleum) you find yourself thinking about how a civilization "gets there from here".

Example: in the latter case, there is really no availability of tools and equipment for working with radioactivity. They don't have nuclear power; the best they have is steam power, and the steam is largely generated by burning a kind of hydrocarbon (and hydrosilicon) clay they call "moxcoal". Because there's no nuclear power, there are no scintillation counters, no radiation armor (well, they have aprons and smocks for x-ray technicians) and no remote manipulators. And one of the characters has to replace a radioactive part in a shuttle's fusion engine using tools that approximate early 20th century technology.

Understand: they have all the physics that were available through the end of the interstellar civilization, including fusion and hyperdrive, but their industrial base can't support the manufacture of those things.

It's like, what if you put an omnicompetent genius on a deserted planet with no tools but what he has in his pockets? Will he be able to build a ship that allows him to get back to civilization?

Of course not. Just building an airplane would take longer than his natural life, because first he'd have to build the tools he needs to make the tools to make the tools to make the tools to make the tools to make the tools he needs to make one part of the thing. You can't build a piston engine from scratch; you need iron, and to get the iron you need to mine it, and to mine it you need something to break rocks with; once you have the iron ore it needs to be smelted, and then the iron needs to be cast. Even if you cast a simple air-cooled engine block, you then need to machine it, and in order to machine it you need all kinds of tooling. And if you want the machining to take less than years that tooling must be powered by something, which--even if you build a water wheel--means building more stuff that needs tools--

Now, you drop this genuis someplace where there are tools and raw materials waiting and he'll be out of there in a jiffy. But absent some kind of industrial foundation, the genius will build himself a nice place to live from local materials which will strongly resemble something you'd find in Earth's paleolithic era, and live out the rest of his life on that planet. Depending on how smart he is, he might be able to build some kind of primitive transmitter to call for help, but that would be the work of years, even so, and that would require a hell of a lot of work. (Not transistors. Tubes. Or some kind of spark-gap transmitter.)

So, yeah--just think about it sometime, and try not to get too frustrated when you realize that the awkward way that one bolt goes into the engine block, someone did that on purpose, probably because it was the best alternative available to him.

* * *

Rocking chair broke again. Same part: the rear hanger. I love glider rockers and would love to find one more durable than this one; seems like I have to repair it about every six months or so. Worst case I can order a new hanger (I think) but I'd rather not have to do that right now.

Keep wondering what a new pedestal would cost--but if I got a new pedestal, how much time would I get out of it before I had to start making regular repairs to it? Exactly the way I have to with this one?


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