Everyone needs a good non-stick pan, but what kind? Cast iron can develop a nice season and be a good non-stick surface, but establishing and maintaining that seasoned cast iron can take a little work. Classic teflon is great, but is prone to scratching, can be destroyed by overheating, and the perfluorinated monomers/oligomers that can leech out might pose some health concerns. I have a “new” non-stick pan that claims to be perfluorooctanoic acid free, and it is a wonderful non-stick surface. On a whim, I picked up a 10″ “Orgreenic” ceramic-coated non-stick pan and I’m thrilled with its performance. I usually try out a new pan by making an omelette because eggs and cheese are both prone to sticking. I’ve made dozens of omelettes in my “Orgreenic” and it’s been an absolute champ. When I see the claims made in infomercials, I am naturally skeptical, but this pan lives up to the hype. The only place anything sticks is on the heads of the rivets holding the handle onto the pan, an unfortunately uncoated part of the pan interior.

If you’re looking for a pan that performs well, is relatively inexpensive, and is easy to use and maintain, you could do much worse than an “Orgreenic”. Yes, this sounds like a shameless infomercial for this “As Seen On TV” products, but in my experience, it just plain works.

I’ve had a little experience with Windows 8 now, and I think I can say with some confidence that the experience has been positive. It’s an OS and interface that I will get used to using, although it’s definitely a bigger jump that some of the other “new” Windows interactions that have happened, especially in the recent past. A few specifics…

1. Begs to be touched – I have used W8 on 2 different laptops, neither of which has been a touchscreen. The W8 Metro interface is just SCREAMING to be touched. It just looks so much like a tablet… And that may be where I’m having some challenges here. I have been using a tablet much more in past 6 months so I’m comfortable mashing my big grubby finger into the screen to make things happen. I sometimes find myself trying to poke or swipe at my W7 laptop screen when my brain gets stuck in “tablet mode”, so this is not purely a “feature” of W8-Metro, but the tile layout is definitely touch-intuitive.

2. Loss of control – This is certainly another “learning curve” thing, but I really feel like I have very little control in W8. Call it “Start Menu Withdrawal”. It seems like things either work perfectly, or I’m left staring at the screen with no idea how to fix them. When I set one of these computers up for my Mom, I could definitely see the advantages of the simple interface; once I get everything set up correctly, she’ll be able to use it without too much tech-anxiety.

3. The Windows Store – My experience so far with the Windows Store has been a little less than awesome. I was one of the MANY people who ran into the perpetually-pending-updates problem. {Do a search for “Windows 8 App Update pending stuck” to see the internet joy…} I’m not going to be too hard on them quite yet, I was trying to update a bunch of apps {those things we used to call “programs” or “software”} on Christmas Eve, so I would imagine there was significant traffic coming in to their servers, but it looks like this has been a recurring problem for a few MONTHS for many users. I’m going to try and update a few more apps later this morning to see if I managed to fix all the problems, otherwise I may have to take a little trip to the Geek Squad people for some help. {And their first question will be “Did you try turning it off and back on again?” No, dipshit, that idea never occurred to me…}

4. Random navigation – It seems like there have been a LOT of times that the program I’m working on seems to just close all by itself and dump me out to either the Desktop or Metro or some other {seemingly} random program. I know that this is due to me getting used to a new touchpad and some of the touch-screen activated features that I’m accidentally activating by touching the edges of my touch-pad, but it’s definitely caused a little “salty” language to pass my lips.

As I said, overall I’m pretty satisfied with W8 so far. It looks good, it {usually} works well, and it just might encourage me to request a massive, touch-screen monitor for my next computer at work. Make that a DOUBLE massive touch-screen set-up… I’ll be so much more productive that way…