wednesday randomosity.

Some random bullet and link salad to go with your coffee, tea, chai, or microwaved cup of whisky this morning:

  • Matt at Blunt Object on his personal views on politics, where you’ll find significant overlap with my own political philosophies.  I don’t often say “+1” or “what he said”, but nothing I’ve ever read at Blunt Object has ever had me disagree on any major point.  Matt’s posts are the kind of stuff I read for intellectual stimulation.  He’s in the same league as LabRat and Stingray over at Atomic Nerds when it comes to well-articulated intelligence, and his stuff is always worth a read, especially the posts on economics.  ( I’ve come to believe that 99% of the electorate and 99.5% of the gang in Congress know fuck-all about economics, and don’t care to know anything about it.  Instead, they believe in a strange sort of Loot Voodoo, where the government always has money, there are such things as “free” goods and services, and you can conjure up those “free” things with the stroke of a legislative pen if desired.)
  • Australian writer Damon Young wrote a piece on the appeal of writing with a fountain pen, and he, too, has me saying “+1”, “what he said”, etcetera.  The computer is an indispensable tool for writing, but I found that it’s only indispensable for the editing process, and that the slowness and single-task functionality of the fountain pen are much more of an advantage than a drawback when it comes to making up new stuff.
  • The Mac mini my wife has so  graciously purchased for me is currently on a USPS truck, and winging its way to me from some warehouse in the Midwest, so I’m cleaning up my desk while squee-ing in anticipation.  Does anyone have a good suggestion for a new keyboard to go with a Mac mini?  I have plenty of wireless and wired keyboards floating around at the Castle, but I’d like to get something particular to fit the minimalist character of the Mac mini.  Specifically, I’d like to find a keyboard that is both wireless (Bluetooth or 2.4GHz), and missing the numeric keypad I never use anyway.  (Yes, I know that Apple makes a wireless BT ‘board without the numeric keypad, but I still can’t make up my mind whether those little two-dimensional keys are great or horrible, and I want to shop around for alternatives as well.)
  • I know I haven’t done the Search Term Safari on Monday.  You know why that is?  It’s because I had exactly two original and snark-worthy search terms to work with.  In fact, most of the terms in the Snarkolator were either repetitive, or downright gross.  (Note to self: Must cut down on discussing the masturbatory practices of the homeless and/or disturbed members of society.)  So, I got cranky and grossed-out when I went through the stats page on Monday morning, and decided to postpone this week’s Search Term Safari until the Snarkolator has refilled with more wholesome and original fare.
  • I have a deadline coming up this weekend, and between that and the daily kid maintenance stuff, I’m even busier than usual, just in case you were wondering why I’m not on Google Chat/AIM/IRC much lately. 
  • In the category Small Victories, I won thirty-eight bucks in rental credit at my local video rental place in town.  They had a drawing, and my name came up, so yay me.  It’s not the Powerball, but it was a nice surprise, and it beats a swift kick in the junk, doesn’t it?  That’ll keep the kids in new movies to watch for a few weeks.
  • I’ve had home-made Reubens for lunch the last three days in a row, and I don’t feel the least bit bad about that.  A competently assembled Reuben made with quality ingredients is the tastiest deli-type sandwich there is, and I will entertain no discussion on this subject.
  • Fourth day of spring, and I see snow coming down out there this morning.   This winter was a mild one, though.  We went through four tons of wood pellets, two cords of firewood, and maybe $50 worth of propane.  I actually turned on the propane furnaces for a few minutes yesterday to make sure they’re still in working order, because we haven’t used them all winter.  (Our dryer runs on propane, too, so all our consumed propane was used to make our undies toasty.)
  • I think I need a vacation.  One of Robin’s friends is coming for a stay next month, and I’m seriously considering just saddling up the car and going on a drive for a few days, to work off some of the mental ballast that accumulates when you’re at home with two small children day in and day out for years without a break. 

And with that, it’s back to work for me.  The kids are stirring, and I have a short story, a query letter, a synopsis, and a novel chapter to finish…in between playing referee, caterer, nurse, teacher, and A/V operator, that is.  More later, time permitting.

20 thoughts on “wednesday randomosity.

  1. scotaku says:

    I vote “great” on the Mac keyboard. I’ve been using the full-sized, wired variant since they shipped it, and I love it the way others love old IBM keyboards. Downside: The keys do accumulate a patina of usage grime, but it’s easily removed, so not a huge minus at all.

  2. Don’t nuke the whisky! All the good stuff goes into the atmosphere when you do that.

  3. Joanna says:

    I’ve had home-made Reubens for lunch the last three days in a row, and I don’t feel the least bit bad about that.

    Nor should you. A good Reuben is the essence of gestalt theory — its whole is much, much greater than the sum of its parts.

    • Shrimp says:

      I still remember my first Reuben. I was about 12, and my mom had made one for herself. I hated sauerkraut at that age, and listening to the rest of the ingredients, couldn’t imagine that it could taste very good. In fact, I was sure I was going to hate it.

      But I couldn’t get over the wonderful aroma, and with some pushing on my mother’s part, I tried a small bite. Heaven. Absolute Heaven.

      Yes, the Reuben is by far the best deli sandwich I’ve ever eaten, and now I’m craving one. Unfortunately, I have none of the ingredients except the sauerkraut, and with eight inches of fresh snow (and still falling), I can’t go to the nearest store to get what I need. Certainly not in time for lunch.

      Thanks a lot, Marko.

  4. Tam says:

    I’ve had home-made Reubens for lunch the last three days in a row, and I don’t feel the least bit bad about that. A competently assembled Reuben made with quality ingredients is the tastiest deli-type sandwich there is, and I will entertain no discussion on this subject.

    I used to eat a Reuben for lunch every. single. day. at the little deli near where I used to work. I would walk in and they would start making my sandwich when I stepped through the door…

  5. aczarnowski says:

    +1 and What he said about BluntObject. Glad I wandered over there ever since some time ago.

  6. Adam says:

    Mind sharing your preferred Reuben ingredients? Got me a hankerin’ for one.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      Corned beef or pastrami from the supermarket deli, Hebrew National sauerkraut, good Swiss cheese, and home-mixed Thousand Island made from organic Heinz ketchup and Kraft’s Real Mayo, with a dash of relish. Home-made rye bread is best, but a decent store-bought variety will do.

      Oh, and the whole thing needs to be butter-fried in a cast iron skillet, flipped halfway through so that both bread slices get browned and crunchy-chewy.

      Mmmm…can’t wait for lunch.

  7. j t bolt says:

    Blunt Object has some good stuff. It’s a shame he uses that horrid white text on dark background format, rendering it unreadable in a physical sense.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      I read everyone’s blogs through Google Reader, so they all look the same to me: white background, black text.

    • aczarnowski says:

      Different strokes; I really like the layout there.

      Could be my brain has just wired itself differently after years of running black computer shells with light text (green/yellow in my case).

      • bluntobject says:

        Yep; that’s where I’m coming from. White backgrounds aren’t as eye-searing on an LCD monitor as they were on an old CRT, but I still prefer the bright pixels to be the important ones.

  8. ZerCool says:

    Heh! I’ve been finishing up the last of St. Paddy’s Day corned beef into Reubens. Great minds, etc.

    If you feel like wending your way into the doom state to your west, there’s guest space here and plenty of state parks and land to explore within an easy drive. And I’m sure we could arrange time at a range.😉

  9. bluntobject says:

    That’s quite a compliment. Thanks!

  10. Sigivald says:

    I share Scotaku’s preference; the Apple keyboards are fine.

    And I just have this aversion to 2.4ghz proprietary wireless anything. We have a perfectly good standard for short-range wireless now, and it doesn’t require a proprietary dongle to function.

    (Yeah, you might need a BT dongle with, say, non-Apple hardware. But those cost $2, and they’re standard.

    [And yes, I own three or four of those Hong Kong BT adapters, and they work perfectly. DX is a great source for cheap crap, as long as you have realistic expectations of quality…])

  11. Justthisguy says:

    Thanks for turning me on to Bluntobject. My favorite words from there: “blogging…like /b/tarded lolcats.” Lulz!

  12. red says:

    Make sure you clean out the mini at least once a year (or twice a year if you have dogs or keep it near the floor). The fans and misc cooling bits get covered in schmutz at a rapid pace.

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