New Year’s Eve snacking

December 30, 2008

I am making one of my favorite dishes this New Year’s Eve, Daniel’s Eight Pepper Pasta salad.  It is not for the faint of heart.  I like hot food and this is a recipe I came up with for a Christmas party at Boeing well over a decade ago.  I eat less of it now then I used to, I love the flavor, but my body doesn’t handle the processing as well as it used to.  Anyway, since I have enjoyed it, I thought I would share it.

Daniel’s Eight Pepper Pasta Salad


  • Serrano Peppers (6)
  • Habanero Peppers (6)
  • Red Hot Super Chili Peppers (6)
  • Jalapeno Peppers (6)
  • White Chili Peppers (2)
  • Pablano Peppers (2)
  • Anaheim Peppers (2)
  • Top Ramen Oriental flavor noodles (2 pkgs)
  • Sliced mushrooms (2 cups)
  • Garlic (4 cloves)
  • Soy sauce (4 oz)
  • Thai Peanut sauce (16 oz)
  • Tsang’s hot chili oil
  • Toasted sesame seeds

Take all the peppers and slice them into rings.  Make sure that you save all the seeds.  For extra heat the seeds should be crushed with a bash and chop, or the flat of a knife blade just prior to being added to the oil.  Heat a wok with the Tsang’s oil.  It takes about a tablespoon for me, but will depend on your wok.  When the wok is up to temperature add the seeds, peppers, garlic and mushrooms.  Stir fry.  When the mushrooms and peppers get a translucent sheen add the soy sauce and the seasoning packets from the ramen noodles.  Reduce the heat to simmer.  Cook the noodles in water as per the instructions on the package.  Drain and add the noodles once cooked.  After the noodles have been thoroughly mixed in add the Peanut sauce.  Bring back to a simmer.  remove from the heat and place in the desired serving dish.  I use a Corningware 9″ French white casserole dish.  Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.  Refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

The dish needs 24 hours for the various peppers to blend and reach full potency.  The end result is estimated at about 250,000 SR, or 10 times hotter than Tabasco.



Let it snow :)

December 18, 2008

Dinning Room table - small

Surviving the cold

December 16, 2008

The ramification of the fire at the beginning of December are beginning to become fully known.  We have removed the carpet and flooring around the wood stove.  The repair falls just under our deductible amount and we will be waiting to fix it until after the new year.  The smoke smell is starting to dissipate, or else we have become to inurned to the stench.

We had not wanted to have any fires because we feared that the flooring might be more susceptible to fire having already been scorched, however our hand was forced.  Our primary heater has had issues due to a vermin infestation.  We had been living on our wood stove and gas fireplace until after the first of the year (still catching up our mortgage for the previous unemployment).  Well, our Gas fireplace failed.  So, no central heating, no wood stove, no gas fireplace and the coldest temperatures since 1964.

I ended up buying two space heaters to keep the house survivable until I could make alternate repairs.  I dug out and sanded down the sub flooring beneath the wood stove.  I bought some hearth rug and heat resistant wood.  I put down the food, covered it with the rug and placed the old cracked mantle on top.  It has worked like a charm and we are again having fires in the fireplace.

I tested and then took apart the Gas fireplace (yes I disconnected the electricity and the gas first).  It was very dirty inside.  I cleaned it all out, but could not revive it.  I can get the pilot light to start if I manually light it, but the igniter will not maintain a flame. I believe the electronics are fired.  It is 20 years old and time for a replacement.

Yesterday evening I got the main heater working.  It is now a balmy 65 degrees in the house.  We were getting it up to about 50 with the space heaters and the stove.  This seems like absolute paradise.

Now at least we can survive the cold streak.

SCCM Certification complete

December 7, 2008

I took the System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2007.  The test was fairly easy.  I will be continuing on the infrastructure tracks.  I am planning on doing 2 tests a quarter.  Ultimately I am looking for an Enterprise Administrator Master Certification.  If I can keep the pave I will have it by next Christmas.


I also cleared up the issues with my previous certification tests.  I cannot use them for an MCSE, but at least I got my MCP certification.


I will post comments on the experience when I am a little less burned out.

Saturday, at last

December 6, 2008

I have been preparing for a demonstration of Hyper-V, Microsoft’s Virtualization technology, for several weeks non-stop.  At the same time I have been preparing for Technical Specialist certification in System Center Operations Manager and System Center Configuration Manager.  This past week it all came together with a certification boot camp and the Hyper-V demonstration.  Both were rousing successes. 

Now it is Saturday and I feel like I have run 20 miles and my reserves are depleted.  It feels good.  I look forward to resting through the weekend, because next week we take the demonstration on the road to our clients and potential customers.

Planet works with Federal, SLG (State and Local Government) and Public sector.  It should be interesting.  Most of my work has been with retail or utilities.

By the grace of God

December 5, 2008

We had one of those traumatic experiences that you look back on and say wow!.  I woke up Saturday to the smell of smoke.  I got my wife up and we went to the kitchen and the split pea soup was burning on the stove.  We turned it off and went back to bed (sans fire alarm).  I could not get back to sleep and got up.  I went out and started playing on the computer.  The smell of smoke got stronger.  I went into the dinning room and the floor was on fire.  The carpet under the wood stove had caught on fire and was burning down to the floor boards.  (thinking it was safe under the hearth I has stored some papers and fire starting materials there – doh)


It burned so hot it cracked the hearth.  To the left of this fire was our compressed wood.  To the right of it was a stack of accelerant soaked fire starting blocks.  Next to that was our wood pile of two year old fir and cedar.  The compressed wood had a couple of scorch marks, but nothing burned other than the area where our cinder bin had resided.  We dumped water on it and called the fire department.  They came and said the temperature was well over 200 degrees in the carpet padding.

We are very blessed.  An inch to either side and we could have died in our sleep.

Took the SCOM Certification test

December 5, 2008

I just finished the three day Certified Technology Specialist: System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) 2007 boot camp and took the certification test.  It was fun, I really enjoyed the instructor.  There was a lot of good repartee between the attendees.  Most of us were fairly experienced consultants with 10+ years in the space.  Most of the class did very well.  I passed, which is what counts.  Here is the new logo.


I take the test for Certified Technology Specialist: System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2007 tomorrow.  Should be interesting.