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February 23, 2000
a year ago
two years ago

Chicken Fried Steak

I pretty much spent the whole day reading documentation and correcting it. There were two meetings, the first was actually called off but most of engineering sat there and we had fun discussing my role-playing games.

I had sent email to the entire group before I left, and mentioned that I was spending the weekend playing role-playing games. Turns out one of the engineers plays some of the adventure games, which are also called role-playing games, on the PlayStation. He really enjoys those, and thought I was spending the entire weekend doing that. He was fascinated by the concept that human beings could actually run games and looked really interested in, perhaps, someday playing as well. That was pretty cool.

By the time we went home I wasn't quite as exhausted, so John and I stopped by the Safeway. I was really in the mood for chicken fried steak and gravy on mashed potatoes. The cube steaks cost less than the mango. I'll admit it, the mango tempted me terribly, especially since it looked ripe and gave just a bit to the touch. I really should remember to never buy mangos anywhere north of the states that border Mexico. It just never is worth it.

Anyway, I only floured the steaks before frying them, rather than doing the extra dip in egg and making a thicker crust. I really didn't want the extra oil. The cube steaks were especially lean, and there was little oil to pour off afterwards. I then scattered flour in the pan and cooked it until it smelled like nuts. Whisking milk into the resultant mass resulted in a smooth, pale gravy. The instant potatoes took seconds and vegetables microwaved in a few minutes. Dinner was on the table within ten minutes after John got off his bicycle. I really do like timing dinners exactly.

Afterwards, John invited me to play Crash Team Racing. My hands weren't doing too badly, so we sat down and started playing. Three races into a four race cup, the power went out. The power really hasn't gone out here before, not like in Seattle whenever the wind came up the trees would come down and power would go out for days. Here the power has flickered, but never really gone out before tonight. John wandered off into the dark and came back with a candle from the bathroom. I always have a large number of candles sitting around the bathtub, so they are easy to find. So we wandered around house by candlelight.

I really enjoyed that. There is something softening about candlelight, something that makes the world less harsh. Of course, I couldn't see my contact lenses with only one or two candles lit. When I was a little kid Mom and Dad bought, as part of the World Book encyclopedias, a series of story books that were all based on historic situations and decisions. One of the stories was about a surgeon who couldn't get enough light and either he or his assistant figured out that if they brought a mirror and put behind all the candles they could find then they actually reflected enough light to do the surgery. It's really odd what one remembers from ones childhood's reading. Anyway, because of vague recollections of that story I set up four candlesticks in front of the bathroom mirror and found that I did have plenty of light for even my transparent contact lenses.

So we went to sleep by candlelight.

Of course a bare 45 minutes later all the lights in the house went back on. We had to laugh and scramble around house turning everything off while Fezzik watched in bemusement.

Brought to you by Dragon System's Point & Speak.

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