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Did you know that our best view of pluto right now is this?

However, in July of 2015 the New Horizons probe will do a close pass of not only Pluto but it’s currently known 4 moons. Did you even know Pluto had 4 moons?

So, in just under 4 years we will finally get up close and personal views of our farthest ex-planet. To me Pluto will always be the 9th planet, and anyone who says different can bite me.

Anyhow. It’ll be interesting to see what Pluto truly looks like. And Charon, Hydra, Nix, and whatever the final name of P4 turns out to be.

Maybe like Ganymede. Smooth and ice covered.

Or maybe like Mercury. A crater covered ball.

Or maybe it’ll turn out to be nothing but a potato shaped blob like Deimos. Which would mean it really isn’t a planet. That would be a sad day.

What pray tell is a Scottish Egg? Ahhh, it’s artery clogging goodness. Imagine a hardboiled egg wrapped in sausage, covered in bread crumbs and then deep fried to yummy perfection.

According to the Wiki article they date back to 1738 and in the UK they are most commonly eaten cold.

From Projects

That’s a Scotch Egg. So, for my first try I used Jimmy Dean Sausage regular in the roll package.

For the bread crumbs I tried two different types. Panko and Western Family.

From Projects
From Projects

I didn’t think I liked the Panko so much, but then I made a couple with Western Family, which is much finer, and I actually like the more coarse Panko. I think it has a bit better texture.

Here’s a picture side by side.

From Projects

So, how do you make the Scottish Egg? Pretty easy really.

  1. Hard boil some eggs.  12 minutes or so at a boil.
  2. Shell them and rinse them off in cool water.
  3. Take a chunk of sausage and wrap the egg completely in a thin layer of sausage.
  4. Dip the sausage wrapped egg in whipped egg and then roll in the bread crumbs, getting a good covering.
  5. Deep fry the egg for about 4-6 minutes. Don’t burn the bread crumbs.
  6. Place on some paper towels to drain and  cool.
  7. Eat.

That’s it. They are good hot, cold, in lunches as a snack. They were

We picked up a Presto Fry Daddy deep fat fryer a while ago that we use for French Fries, Beignets, etc. It works perfect for these.

From Projects

One Jimmy Dean Sausage Roll made 8 Scottish Eggs with a pretty thin sausage covering. I think in the future I will use 2 rolls for a dozen eggs. I think that might be about right. I also might try the Maple sausage instead of the regular. Just because.

Here they are, the ones that are left after all my taste testing. I had to be sure they were cooked correctly. 🙂

From Projects

2 1/2 days til the fun begins! Can’t wait! Can’t wait!

I understand that the Seattle Times ran an article talking about how the Seattle area has warmed so much in the last few years. In fact I found this snippet in this article

At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where the city’s official weather observations are taken, the normal daily high temperature has risen for every month of the year, except October. In Seattle’s warmest month, August, the “normal” daily high rises from 75.6 degrees to 76.3.

Now, what you may find interesting is that the official temperature for the Seattle area is taken at the Seattle International Airport. You know, the place where a few years ago they added a 3rd runway.  Cliff Mass did a nice article, including pictures, of the changes to both the temperature at SeaTac compared to other weather stations locally and where the temperature sensors at SeaTac are located.

Here is a nice picture taken from Watts Up with That (which grabbed it from Chris Mass) that shows the change in temperature averages before, during, and after the 3rd runway construction.

Interesting how the temperature jumped almost 2 degrees (compared to other local temperature sensors) during the construction of the 3rd runway and then stablelized somewhat after, at the higher temps.

Oh wait, didn’t the Seattle Times tell you that??? Oh, gee, the must have just forgotten.  The Seattle Times would never push the meme of “WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIIIIIIEEEEEEE!!!!”

It would be nice if institutions like the Seattle Times would stop with the bull crap and actually give a straight story without the fear mongering. Oh well.

Roberta and I decided to head out for a motorcycle ride on the 4th. We ended up riding through Carmel Valley towards Greenfield. (We actually got within 8 miles of Greenfield before turning around and coming back).

From 2011 Adventures

What’s interesting is the change in temperature between our start point and the top of the hills inland. 59 degree starting temp up to 100 degrees and then back to 55 degrees coming home. It was foggy and cold in Pacific Grove when we left, then we got out of the fog and into the California sunshine up in the hills. Coming home was the reverse, we left the sun and hit the cold fog of the coast. Kind of hard to dress for those kinds of changes in only 40 miles. My bike has an air intake temperature sensor, so I can get a fairly accurate reading of temps as we ride.

This picture is from about 10 miles past Carmel Valley Village out in the hills.

From 2011 Adventures

And this one is just a few miles farther along the road. It’s was pretty  interesting how quickly the terrain changed.

From 2011 Adventures

Here’s the bike while we were taking a break near one of the creeks we passed. We didn’t stay there all that long, with the cooler temps, water, and shade the flies and mosquitoes were pretty bad.

From 2011 Adventures

Just be careful of the Newts. (-:

From 2011 Adventures

It was a pretty nice ride. We didn’t push it that hard, just out having fun. What’s interesting is how much of the tires we used “just” cruising around. We stopped for some water in Carmel Valley Village on the way back and I noticed the wear pattern on the new back tire. The shiny part is because the tire is only a week old and the protective coating hasn’t all been worn off yet. As you can see, we used about 90% of the tire on the trip, taking it easy. Can you imaging if we were riding hard? Talk about an easy leaning bike.

From 2011 Adventures

Roberta and I ate lunch at a local place called Holly’s Lighthouse Cafe (I’d link to their home page, but it’s a overdone Flash site that I think could cause seizures, ya, that bad). Anyhow, while we were there having lunch we saw a neat old picture on the wall showing the building and street we were on from 1940.

We determined 1940 by using Google to research the movie playing at the movie house. It’s The Westerner with Gary Cooper. Released September 1940. The waitress was happy when we told her. She said people kept asking when the picture was taken and she had no idea. Now she does.

From 2011 Adventures

What I really love is the fact that the central sign says “The Pine Cone Cafe”. Growing up my grandfather used to take us to a Pine Cone in Lynwood Washington where they had the greasiest home made fries. I still remember sitting there as a child eating those fries with my Grandad. Driving there in the mid 70’s in a big old LTD style boat of a car. My grandfather using one foot for the gas and the other for the brakes. He’d go through brakes like you wouldn’t believe! I remember that, that and the smell of Cigars. Those are the memories I have of a Pine Cone Cafe.

I’ve run into a problem where one inventory set uses the Dell Service Tag (a 7 digit alphanumeric value) and a different one uses the Dell Express Service Code, a strictly numeric value. Now I need to marry the two inventories.

I’m screwed you think? Well, as it turns out, both numbers actually represent the same value. Only one is Base 10 (the Exp Service Code) and the other is Base 36 (the Service Tag). Which means, if I’m froggy enough, I can write a conversion tool that takes one and outputs the other.

Here is my first crude perl version of the code.  This Perl code will take a file full of Service Tags and spit out the Express Service Codes.

USAGE: ./ mylist

mylist is just a file with a list of Service Tags. Be aware they have to currently be in upper case.


use strict;
use warnings;

# Written by Richard Hickey
# 5 July 2011

# This program will take a Dell Service Tag and convert it
# into a Dell Express Service Code.
# The Service Tag is a Base 36 copy of a Base 10 Service Express Code
# So Server Exp Code 24692084176 base 10, is Service Tag ABC1234 base 36.
# numbers 0-9 are 0-9. Letters A-Z are 10-36.
# Service Tag ABC1234 converts to 22453156048
#     A = 36^6 * 10 = 2176782336 * 10 = 21767823360
#     B = 36^5 * 11 = 60466176 * 11 = 665127936
#     C = 36^4 * 12 = 1679616 * 12 = 20155392
#    1 = 36^3 * 1 = 46656 * 1 = 46656
#    2 = 36^2 * 2 = 1296 * 2 = 2592
#    3 = 36^1 * 3 = 36 * 3 = 108
#    4 = 36^0 * 4 = 1 * 4
#    21767823360 + 665127936 + 20155392 + 46656 + 2592 + 108 + 4 = 22453156048
# So the Service Express Code for ABC1234 is 22453156048
# usage myfile <enter>
# myfile is a file with a listing of Service Tag Numbers

# Read in the file

# Variable initialization
my $ServiceTag;my @ServiceTag; # just initializing the arrays
my %value; @value{“0″..”9″,”A”..”Z”} = (0..35); #set each character to it’s value
my $base;my @base = (2176782336,60466176,1679616,46656,1296,36,1); #set each location to a 36base value

# Main body of the converter will  make sure the first line matches
# what we expect a service tag to look like and do the conversion

if(/^[0-9A-Z]{1,7}$/){           # Make sure the line looks like what we expect for a Service Tag
@ServiceTag = split //;      # split the line into component characters

my $ExpressServiceTag = 0;         # set the Express Service Tag value to zero for each iteration
for (my $i=6; $i>=0;$i–){         # count backwards through the arrays  BEWARE the minus minus, or – –  on the $i– looks like a single – not sure why
$ExpressServiceTag = $ExpressServiceTag + $value{$ServiceTag[$i]} * $base[$i];

print “$_ $ExpressServiceTag \n”; # $_ still references the Service Tag that was read in.


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July 2011
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