Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Something I was watching said that not so long ago many astronomers felt it was possible that we would *never* discover planets around other stars, since it was doubtful telescopes could see them and doubtful that the kind of space travel needed to get closer would ever really be possible.  

Perhaps before the Kepler telescope was put into orbit that notion had been disabused, and certainly is disabused now. Yet the way Kepler does it seems simple now. I guess there was doubt that it could really do this at some point. Finding earth size planets is in the news again. This image from has a good explanation of how Kepler does it. The URL is Or with a PC anyway you can right-click on the image and select "open in new window".

Friday, December 16, 2011

Egg Adventures

This week was the week for the egg it seems. Two separate events.

While hunting in Caroline County VA I was going down a road seldom traveled and saw a new sign for "fresh eggs". It was a "why not" moment and I was able to get half a dozen, touted as maybe laid two days prior. Next morning Sue and I dined on some.  It is my opinion that the fresher the egg the better it tastes when over easy, sunny side up, or soft boiled. We both tried some over easy.  "Middle runny, white not" we used to joke in my youth, and I did indeed cook it no more than necessary to get all the white solidified. When served, we were rewarded with an astonishingly orange yolk that was very rich. I had to try a third egg for me which I did sunny side up, using the technique of sending some of the hot grease over the egg to cook the white enough. This was outstanding indeed as it increased the bacon flavor somewhat too. Yeah, I know, nobody is going to give us the award for avoiding fat and cholesterol. With home fries and biscuits and butter, we might have been at risk for the police breaking down the door to arrest us. Actually we forgot we had some cooked bacon we could have reheated, and just as well as I was not hungry again for a long time and almost didnt develop an appetite for dinner.

Honestly, by paying through the nose we have recently been some really good eggs at the store, that seem pretty fresh too. Supposed to be free range blah blah blah, I have my doubts but they *are* good. I have unhesitatingly cooked those over easy as well. These farm eggs were better tasting,  I'd say not to the degree you felt it was a different species or that type of thing, although if compared to cheap-not-so-fresh eggs you might conclude that. Certainly they were different tasting, the richness was palpable. The shells were thicker! and no yokes broke, a problem we can have with these other good eggs we get [of course there could be sampling error with half a dozen]. For sure very cool to be able to get them at all! Those chickens get to scratch the dirt and eat bugs, you know, a key factor IMO for better eggs and chicken too [if I get to know the farmer maybe the discussion can turn to getting some chicken as well].

Event #2: The prices for these premium eggs vary quite a bit, and it's up there. $3 per dozen is not unusual, and some are over $5, which we don't want to pay even though both of us eat eggs for breakfast less often than once a week [Sue maybe once a month at best]. Of course they are used in cooking. Doing more of the shopping myself lately, I decided one day to try to figure out exactly what we have been paying, getting convinced that the Harris Teeter we shop at hadn't clearly priced them for some time. I got aggravated about that and actually took two different cartons to the cashier and asked her to price them. Sure enough, one was over $5 and it was not clearly marked so. Next visit I collared the manager, who has been seen a lot lately, and told him I had to have the cashier do that, since the department is so poorly tagged with prices. He said it would be fixed and thanked me. Well, next week I checked it out and if anything had been done, still the problem of the incorrectly marked eggs had persisted. To be exact, the tag said $3.19 per HD, and the smaller unit price was $3.19 per HD, even though IMO that is not proper unit pricing [what has been going on with unit pricing in all these stores is a disgrace, but I won't get into that here]. At the time I couldn't even figure out what it meant; 3.19 per hundred? Certainly not! Sue figured out it meant "half dozen" even though the sign was placed at the full carton area. But she wanted me to chill. Apparently she believes in my secret life I spend quite a bit of time tangling with security and police [I shouldn't have told her about Officer Owens I guess . If you have followed this blog you'll know about him and the traffic ticket]. I spotted the manager again, though, so there was no stopping me. I insisted we visit the egg department, and politely pointed out what was bothering me. He agreed that it was a mess as far as tagging and in fact gave us a free dozen of the $5 variety!

I guess our arteries are somewhat harder now but overall there is no denying that in the matter of eggs we have done quite well this week!