Training Wheels Paella

Last night I cooked my first paella. To the purist it was not really paella but it was a good first attempt.

I used Food Wishes' Sausage and Shrimp Paella recipe. It turned out really well. I did one minor change and one major change.

The minor change was I used fresh Andouille sausage and left it in link form rather than slicing it.

The major change was I did not have any saffron. I used a substitution suggested by The Spruce Website. For every 1/4 teaspoon of saffron I used 1/8 teaspoon of tumeric plus 1/2 teaspoon of paprika. While I can not speak to how authentic the taste was, the taste was very good.

While not an authentic paella my wife loved it and is that not the true measure of a recipe?


Upgrading Treat Dispenser

During Christmas break I I found a replacement AC adapter for Roman's treat dispenser. The treat dispenser is an Esquilo project. Esquilo is WiFi enabled physical programmable circuit board.

The treat dispenser is a repurposing of Patrick Jackson's Internet-enabled Candy Dispenser. The only change I did was hot gluing the auger to the servo rather than screwing them together. The idea being the hot glue functions like a sheer pin. If the auger jams the hot glue will break rather than burning out the servo.

The library has a 3-d printer which was great way to get the mounts and auger made.

The project is an easy beginner project in terms of both programming and hardware assembly. So give it a try today.

Upgrading Ubuntu 12.04 to 16.04

For sometime now I have been wanting to update my desktop computer from Ubuntu 12.04 to 16.04. Knowing that sometimes an upgrade can go sideways. I waited till fall semester was over. Yesterday, being the first Monday after semester over, I decided to tackle the upgrade.

I downloaded the iso image and installed it onto a usb drive. The first glitch I came accross was a small one. When the machine booted from the usb drive rather than going to Ubuntu live I received an error.

Missing parameter in configuration file. Keyword: path
gfxboot.c32: not a COM32R image
boot :

The error is not a big problem all I had to do was type live and Ubuntu finished booting. The error is caused by a different versions of the fie syslinux in the iso compared to the machine creating the bootable usb drive.

I selected the install icon and the install was off and running. The install procedure I thought went off without a hitch. But to my suprise when I rebooted, I was taken to the grub rescue prompt. Something had happened to my grub configuation file. I did try to fix the issue from grub but to no avail.

After doing some searches I found boot-repair-disk. I installed the software onto a usb drive and rebooted. The software walked me through the grub repair and before I knew it my computer was booting properly.

Even with the issues, the upgrade went fairly smoothly and the new version of Ubuntu is running fine.

Sometimes you just need a brownie

Sometimes when you are working at home you just need a brownie. I came across this brownie recipe and it came out pretty good.

I did not use the original recipe but the modified recipe in the comments. Here is a list of the changes I used from the comments.

  1. Decrease the cocoa powder to 3/4 cup.
  2. Decrease the sugar to 1 1/2 cup.
  3. Increase the butter to 3/4 cup.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients together.
  5. Mix the dry ingredients together.
  6. Combine wet and dry ingredients.

I would also suggest two other modifications.

  1. Use a smaller pan than a 9 x 13. I would use a 9 x 9.
  2. Watch your time. Your brownies my not take the full 30 minutes. Mine were done in about 20 minutes.

I liked this recipe for several reasons. First, it makes a chewy brownie which I like better. Also, the recipe is quick, easy, and uses standard pantry ingredients. Another plus is it just uses cocoa powder so no need to melt chocolate chips.

Matrices: including Gauss-Jordan and the Simplex Method

While I normally just teach math, this summer I am also tutoring. I am enjoying the tutoring because it allows me to assist students with different mathematical topics than I normally do not get to teach. One of the popular subjects in the tutoring center this summer in finite math. Finite math is not a particular topic in math but rather a broad category that covers a variety of topics.

The topic of Matrices seems to generate a lot of questions. I found several helps this summer dealing with matrices and in particular the Simplex Method.

The first site I found was How to Compute Determinants at Dartmouth College.

The second site I found was Finite Mathematics & Applied Calculus Resource Page. It has two very good lessons on the Simplex Method.

The first is The Simplex Method: Solving Standard Maximization Problems

The second is The Simplex Method: Solving general linear programming problems

The last site I found is not really a site but rather a YouTube channel by patrickJMT.

Here is a list of some of his videos dealing with matrices.

Using Gauss-Jordan to Solve a System of Three Linear Equations - Example 1

Using Gauss-Jordan to Solve a System of Three Linear Equations - Example 2

Inverse Matrix Using Gauss-Jordan / Row Reduction , Example 1

The Simplex Method - Finding a Maximum / Word Problem Example, Part 1 of 5

The Simplex Method - Finding a Maximum / Word Problem Example, Part 2 of 5

The Simplex Method - Finding a Maximum / Word Problem Example, Part 3 of 5

The Simplex Method - Finding a Maximum / Word Problem Example, Part 4 of 5

The Simplex Method - Finding a Maximum / Word Problem Example, Part 5 of 5