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The Nightstar Zoo • View topic - 10-2-2018 A theory

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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:38 am 
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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:22 am 
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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:39 am 
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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:14 am 
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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 6:46 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:54 pm 
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All true, but . . . try to do it again. Try to get another cook/chef like Liz.

I say that, realistically ( :roll: :roll: :roll: ), you're not going to be able to adequately staff the support side without extensive automation. And automation is cheaper and more reliable.

So you automate the crap out of the kitchen, (no offense to his seargency) and let the sentients provide the creativity.

--FreeFlier


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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:26 am 
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I was figuring that automating things would be more useful for times like this: when you need a large quantity of food in a very short amount of time. Even with a fully-staffed kitchen, I have some doubts that they'd have been able to turn out enough cookies for the whole ship in 10 minutes. (8 minutes 20 seconds to bake leaves about 1 minute to cool down enough that they won't fall apart or be too hot to touch - and then about 30 seconds to start putting them on plates before everyone gets to the mess hall.)

In the everyday course of things, the kitchen crew probably aren't relying that heavily on pure automation, even with the size of the rest of the crew and everyone having different meal shifts. But under normal circumstances, the kitchen crew probably have two or three hours (at least) for prep time and getting things ready, and they'd need at least half an hour (maybe an hour) to get the batter made, portioned, and baked into cookies. The automation is for when they don't have enough prep time to get the quantities they'll need, and can't stall for more time.


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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:08 am 
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My thought is, at least with current tech, every new gadget consumes a chunk of space and only does one job.
Consider the typical modern kitchen* with...arranged on the top shelves gathering dust, 1 blender, 1 food processor, 1 sandwich/waffle grill...thing?, 1 crock pot, 1 fry daddy, 1 iced tea maker, 1 ice cube maker, 1 rotary slicer/dicer...thing (non-motorized, crank handle, great for grating cheese), 1 food dehydrator, 1 automatic pressure cooker, 1 bread maker, 1 hard plastic cookie extruder (not kidding, it's smoked brown plastic and comes with a set of dies, including some that look like Christmas cookies), 2 mixers (1 small handheld one and one with a stand), 1 handheld blender wand, 1 electric skillet** (extra large, so it won't fit in the sink, got a bigger sink?, next skillet will be bigger still...), 1 electric reciprocating knife (gets dug out every Thanksgiving), ...
To use any of these, first you need to clean it, because while it was put up clean, it has since had time to accumulate dust, and condensed grease. Then you use it, for a task that, if you were properly skilled, could generally be done with hand tools, (such as a sharp knife or a simple pot.) Then you have to clean the thing, and all its myriad parts, many of them sharp, before sticking it back up on the shelf over the stove to collect a fresh layer of dust and grease for next time.
Knowing how to use a knife suddenly saves time over digging out a tool, and cleaning it twice, in order to maybe save half the time to dice something, by just feeding it into the maw.

The things you would have in a space constrained kitchen are the things you use every day, or at least every few days and you wouldn't really bother with putting away. Specialty gear, especially space consuming specialty gear, just isn't worth the cubage.

Now, a quick way to produce cookies, which, from the subtext, are very popular and probably a frequent treat, might be the one piece of specialized gear you keep around, especially if it's kept on standby for things like this; stalling while something more filling can be prepared. The same would go for the coffee maker. Sure, you can make coffee in a pan, but if you're making it every day, possibly multiple times a day, that specialized tool ceases to be an underused tool and easily pays for itself in its cubage costs.
Frankly, better than any combination of enclosed, motorized tools with finicky cleaning needs would be one bushbot that can clean itself and use regular knives. Tailor, while a tailor and a surgeon, would be a better choice for a field cook for human mercenaries, who were limited in their hiring choices. Can't hire one? Get an HV-1 license and roll your own.

*I'm combining two kitchens I'm familiar with, and most of those appliances have long been disposed of...for being of little value and taking up space. This in a ground based pair of kitchens, one which has a high ceiling.

**There were years, growing up, when that skillet, or one of its predecessors, was the single most used kitchen appliance after the microwave.


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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:03 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:25 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:33 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:05 pm 
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Remember, you're comparing a commercial/institutional kitchen to a home kitchen . . . things that don't get much use in a home kitchen will see daily use in a professional kitchen.

Instance: fry-daddy vs. deep-frier. A professional kitchen will start the grill and the deep-frier each morning as a matter of course.

Instance: George Foreman vs. commercial griddle 3' x 6' (1m x 2m). commercial griddle wins, hands-down. (And see above.)

Instance: food processor vs. knife. When you need to slice 4 bushels of potatoes, you're not going to use a knife. (The home food processor is a light-duty version of a professional tool.)

Instance: Can opener. A commercial-grade can opener is a table-mounted gadget up to a half-meter tall - and costing several hundred dollars - that opens cans up to 28cm (11') tall , not those wimpy little $10 things that you crank around the can . . . if you can get them to cut.

Image

Instance: home mixer vs. industrial bakery mixer: they'll look somewhat alike, but an industrial unit will be six feet (180 cm) tall, bolted to the deck, and the bowl will have wheels on it because you're not lifting it when it's full of dough or whatever.

The galleys will have lots of automation or semi-automation. Anything else is idiocy.

--FreeFlier


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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:20 am 
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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:53 am 
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Also, Liz has a shown knack of being able to provide tangibly useful insight into many situations with both her food and useful aphorisms, from Tagon's discovery of the metallocytes for the Oafans to helping Kathryn and her intel team quite a few times. Similar to a bartender, she's a very good sounding board.


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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:14 pm 
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You're also listing a lot of things as unitaskers that...aren't actually unitaskers. The blender? Works for anything that needs to be pureed, it's not just for making smoothies in. The food processor can shred and slice anything you put into it; my family uses it to shred potatoes, because hand-grating enough to make anything would take approximately five forevers and no one's got time for that. The crockpot can make a wide variety of dishes, including rice. Both mixers work for anything that needs whipping or mixing, but would be tedious or exhausting to do manually. The handheld blender wand is great for pureeing things more finely, without needing to move it into a different container or requiring you to do batches - my household often uses it for lentil soup, for example, where it'd be time-consuming and messy to try and use the regular blender for it. Even the fry daddy, the electric skillet, and the electric knife aren't truly unitaskers - the electric knife is a knife, the electric skillet can be used for anything that you'd use a regular skillet for, and the fry daddy could probably be used for deep frying anything that'll fit into the basket.

If all you use these things for is one specific task, then that's on you. It doesn't mean that they are a unitasker inherently.

Plus, as FreeFlier noted, a commercial or institutional kitchen is not going to be structured the same way as a home kitchen. It can't be, because the volumes of prepwork and cooking done in a professional kitchen are just at a completely different scale from what most people do in their home kitchens. Even during Thanksgiving or Christmas, or any other holiday meal where most of your family is getting together for dinner, you're making food for...maybe a dozen people, these days, at most. A professional kitchen is making food for three or four times that many people a day. One of the things that contestants in shows like Masterchef often struggle with is creating enough prepped ingredients to make portions that will feed everyone they have to - often over a hundred guests - and they're usually interviewed at least once, stating that they're not used to working with volumes like this. In a professional kitchen, you automate as much as you can so that things can get done without needing to have either a massive number of people working, or spending half a day working on the prep for one meal.


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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:57 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:52 pm 
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Look at that, Liz is getting a pay rise.


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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:20 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:41 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:38 am 
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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:38 am 
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I think Sean is trying to say that Liz ran away because she didn't realize the brass would actually welcome her input. Now that she's been told her opinion is actually welcome, by the brass themselves no less, she may take the job.

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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:16 pm 
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I wonder what kind of officer she'd make...

Probably a decent one. But for right now, she's like "Oh crap... I done got volunteered! Me and my big mouth.."


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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:44 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:24 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: 10-2-2018 A theory
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:31 pm 
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Traditionally, the bartender has this role. Even Guinian from The Next Generation had the role of "give useful relevant soundbites to spur people into a different way of looking at the problem".

As said before, if they needed just a way to get fed, they have machines to feed the grunts. Liz has gotten away with it not just because she is in good company, she is similarly to the chaplain a good philosophical support officer. Even if that isn't what she's paid in the company ranking.


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