Skype is useful and overall I kinda like it. The news some time back that Microsoft had Borged it, was decidedly unwelcome news. Microsoft does NOT make good software, and at the time was looking like it was doing its damnedest to abuse its (near) monopoly in the desktop operating system market. That the Skype Linux client was ignored was rather expected. After all, Microsoft pushed its own Windows stuff and grudgingly acknowledged that Apple and OSX existed and tried to claim Linux was something evil. Project much?
More recently a new Skype beta for Linux finally appeared. I discovered this when I updated to a new version of my preferred OS (Linux Mint, Xfce version – in case you were wondering) on a laptop and Skype was not listed in the repository. So I went looking for a directly installable version and found the beta. I tried it. It works, I’ll give it that. The dark theme is there and not hard to find. But the thing EATS screen. It’s wasteful of the most precious resource in modern computing. Changing hard drives is annoying, but readily doable. RAM upgrades are a bit easier. A bigger screen or greater resolution.. on a laptop? Riiiiight.
While I am not *quite* feeling nasty enough to sentence Skype devs to using 640×480 screens until they get a clue, I’d be giggling madly if it happened and not feeling at all bad about it. I’ll settle for them having to use Windows Phones, 1366×768 laptops and 120 grit tp. That might help excise their heads from their tuchuses. I’m being nice. It could have been 80 grit.
One version of the classic Manhattan cocktail:
2.5 oz. rye whiskey
1.0 oz. sweet vermouth
dashes orange bitters
garnish: cherry OR lemon/orange zest
Mix with ice, strain into chilled cocktail (Martini) glass.
Good bourbon may be substituted for rye.
I started using the Manhattan as my default cocktail (When unsure what to order, I order this, assuming I want something fairly potent.) as it can take a fair amount of abuse in varying ingredients and quality thereof. Typical rail whiskey and even poorly treated vermouth still makes a tolerable Manhattan. One which is honest and up front tells you it will kick your ass if you aren’t careful. But use a top shelf rye, a well-cared for high-quality vermouth and it becomes downright dangerous: A delicious drink that greets you with “Hi, Friend…” but it will still kick your ass if you aren’t careful.
Should you happen to ever see me sitting at some bar (or restaurant that serves drinks) please do NOT buy me a drink without asking about it. I once had a well-meaning fellow buy me what was my fourth (I think.. it might have been “only” my third) Manhattan. And that was Rather Much, even though I had been switching to water between cocktails to help stay hydrated and even things out some. Fortunately this was at a convention after I was well and truly done for the day and evening and had NO plans beyond fairly mindless wandering about and sleep.
 Do NOT use Jack Daniels for this, though! I had the worst, and one of the best, Manhattans at the SAME place (in Manhattan, no less) as a new bartender made me one with Jack Daniels. A more experienced fellow, who I’d complained to, made the next – with Maker’s Mark. Talk about going to opposite ends of the spectrum. This wasn’t IR to UV, but longwave to X-ray.
 Unless a place serves Martinis frequently, do not order one. The Martini is very sensitive to ingredient quality and vermouth from a neglected half-empty, dusty bottle will result in nothing worth drinking. And, yes, a Martini does need vermouth. One sans vermouth is merely gin. If you want gin, just order/drink gin and be honest about it.