73 thoughts on “11:11, 2015: Make a Wish”

  1. I've got 18 votes for HBH. Going to close the ballot box later this morning unless you let me know you're getting to it.

  2. I just heard about this on NPR on the way into work - Codebreaker. If you can decipher the code in the episode, you have instant access to the next one. Otherwise, you gotta wait a week.

  3. My nephew born with half a heart, some brain problems, and many other issues turns four today. Doctors were surprised when he made it two days, then two weeks, then two months. I don't think anything he accomplishes comes as a surprise any more. Impressive, yes, but surprising, no.

  4. the best headline you will read today:

    Discovery News - ‎50 minutes ago‎
    Astronomers have found a rocky planet orbiting a small star that is within easy telescope views from Earth. Make Breakfast Stuffed Mushrooms.

    1. How about dinner fried mushrooms?
      Hericium americanum ("Bear's Head" or "Lion's Mane"). The last of a 3.5lb beast I found three weeks ago. (It appears to keep well in the fridge.)
      This is my first, still figuring out appropriate cooking uses. Tonight, I sliced some and peeled the rest kindof like a 3D string cheese.
      Frying right now in bacon grease with a splash of apple cider vinegar. May sprinkle salt as needed. (Depends on the bacon grease.)

      1. Such a weird mushroom. The cooking advice online (that it's watery so cook dry for a while to dry it out) is just completely wrong and may apply to other species of Hericium.
        This mushroom soaked up whatever oils or liquids I put in the pan, and when I tried dry-sawteeing it, they were sooo dry.
        When I was finished tonight, the thin slices were like a hybrid of crackers, an Indian cheese, and shellfish-meat.
        The peeled bits were crunchy and a good snackable substitute for fries or homemade chips. I think they'd be good in soup like a dumpling.

    1. Super interesting trade at first glance. Hicks was a better hitter than Murphy in the minors, but it's not 100% clear if either hitter will hit their ceiling in the majors. The big question in my mind is whether or not Murphy can catch. If he can field his position well, he could have Hicks-like value but at catcher, where the Twins have less depth than in the OF. Murphy's SO/BB ratio is pretty concerning at the moment, but he also hasn't played a ton in the majors. In the minors it was about 2:1, which can be sustainable in the majors if you can hit for some power.

      The concern would be that the Yankees are selling high on Murphy after he had a 103 OPS+ in short 174 PA with the Yankees last year. The hope would be that if he can be a league average hitter and field his position well, the Twins would be set at catcher for a few years.

    1. I was not ready to give up on Hicks. Murphy will turn 25 in May and was the Yankees backup catcher last season. He batted okay, but that's about all, in both AAA and the majors. He's young enough that he could improve, especially with more playing time. He could be a decent batter, but my guess is he won't be much more than that in the majors. I have no idea whatsoever about his defense.

      1. I don't think this is giving up on Hicks. Its tough to acquire a a C. A bummer though still. Luckily we have a lot of legitimate OF.

        1. the worst part about the deal is that Suzuki is under contract for 2016 for $6 million, with a PA-based vesting option for 2017. And both are right-handed hitters who can't hit a lick against righties.

          1. That's not the worst part of this deal, that's the worst part of the Suzuki deal. Sunk costs, and all that.

      2. a decent bat will be an enormous upgrade over Suzuki, who was horrendous last year and has been horrendous most of his career. I just wish he was left-handed. His defense doesn't look that great at first glance, but again, Suzuki's pretty horrendous there, too.

        Don't know if I'm a huge fan of the trade, but at first glance I'm not angry about it. We can still have a great outfield defense even without Hicks. I'm not sure this is the Twins giving up on Hicks as it is they're desperate for any catching. Maybe Hicks will turn into Gomez, but the Twins did trade form a position of strength for a position of weakness, both positions having scarcity issues in MLB. It's not a catcher for a closer, that's for sure. Let's just hope Murphy is decent.

        1. If Murphy is even slightly-below average with the bat and behind the plate I totally agree that this is a huge upgrade over Suzuki. Especially because he's much younger and much cheaper than Kurt.

        2. Don't know if I'm a huge fan of the trade, but at first glance I'm not angry about it.

          That's kind of where I am on right now. Murphy should be better than Suzuki offensively, and I always thought Suzuki's defensive reputation was overstated. Hicks might turn out to be really good, but he might not, too. I'm not thrilled about it, but it might work, so I'm willing to wait and see.

    2. wow is right. He's still fairly young, but doesn't have a very impressive track record at the plate. I hope he's great behind it.

      Seems like a reasonable decision, however. Plenty of OF options, and Hicks wasn't exactly showing evidence of future greatness.

          1. You may have that vibe, but it's not very well supported in the splits data. 720 OPS before the break, 721 after. He had one really good month (346/424/577 in July) between lots of mediocrity or worse (by month: 623, 547, 1001, 597, 701).

        1. I've always maintained that Torii Hunter is Hicks' best Twins comp. Similar enough minor league numbers, if I am remembering correctly, and their MLB careers at the plate have been pretty similar at first glance:

          73, 80, 102 -- Hunter, OPS+, age 23, 24, 25
          63, 76, 95 -- Hicks, OPS+, age 23, 24, 25

          Hunter's SO/BB rate was a little worse over that period, actually. Not sure how they rank defensively, though Hunter was quite good in his early years.

      1. That's where my concern comes in, I don't trust the Twins front office when it comes to defensive valuations.

        Agree that it is a reasonable move as-is though.

    3. I think I'm mostly okay with this trade because I don't have a huge attachment to Hicks. I cried listening to Span's interviews after being traded. My reaction to this is more "huh." than anything.

    4. This also makes it less likely the Twins trade Plouffe. Or at least makes it easier for them to make it appear they don't need to trade Plouffe and can get a better deal for him. Sounds like Angels are interested. Also, Twins are very right-handed now. If they trade Plouffe, that would open up an outfield spot for Kepler to start the year with the Twins. I think Hicks is improving and everything, but his career OPS in the majors is lower than Murphy's. Small sample size and all, but Murphy is a catcher and is a year younger and will be under team control longer, I believe.

      1. Discussing with Trueblood, he suggests this might mean the Twins aren't impressed by the early market for Plouffe trades. He thinks Plouffe isn't seen as a long-term solution by most teams. He likes this trade for the Twins, but pointed out the Twins were pretty down on Hicks for a while, and they might feel his improvement wasn't enough to overcome those earlier down moments. He sees JRM as a starter, something like the 18th best out of 30 starting catchers. Bottom half, but not too far down that.

    5. Aww, I liked hicks because he had such a bad major league start but was able to not wash out and improve. I don't know anything about Murphy other than what you guys have said, but overall I don't mind it.

      I'm gonna be more bummed when they trade Vargas and Plouffe, though.

    6. Pierzynski and Iannetta getting ready to sign deals not to long after this trade was announced. I'm guessing this kind of jumpstarted the second-tier catching market.

  5. Last night at 12:30, all our security alarms went off at an insane volume throughout the house. We tried to solve the problem for an hour before finally turning off the power. This morning upon turning on the power, it happened again repeatedly. I had one of the worst nights of my life since the Milkmaid had a two-day training out of town while I was stuck with the nursing baby. Meanwhile, Skim wasn't awoken by the alarms despite being about four feet below one of them. So I guess if there's ever a fire, I'll have to save her, 'cause she sure won't wake up on her own.

    1. That happened to us once. Eventually had to destroy the security system (we weren't paying for it anyway, so it was just noise)

        1. They did. When I turned it on, the Jets were down by four goals. When I turned it off, they were only down two.

  6. ...Not Forbidden Zone...
    Seems like a Florida Senator (who shall remain nameless) has a problem with a certain citizen of small stature (who shall also remain nameless).
    Apparently Senator X wants Citizen Y to cease procreating.

    1. This is really short-sighted. With the team playing better, attendance will likely be up. You wanna hold that card until things slump. Then, put Torii in the Twins Hall, have a Torii weekend, sell tickets.

    2. I wonder if this is part of a deal to make Hunter a special advisory to the team, or some other Front Office job.

  7. I started my first trial run of cider-making last night.
    Thawed the frozen apples and pears for one day in the garage (in a covered bucket).
    I drilled many small holes in another bucket of the same size, removed the thawed fruit from the first bucket, put the strainer-bucket into the first bucket.
    Then I chopped the fruit in a food processor, dumped it in the buckets, and put a weight on top (A plate that barely fit in the bucket and a bunch of soda cans. Plus lid.)

    Problem 1: holes too small and too few (I think).
    Problem 2: Fleet Farm's buckets weren't all the same size. One was slightly smaller than the other. I did not notice this until I had drilled holes in the bigger bucket. So pulling them apart to check on status is tough and will get moreso with sticky juice.

    What I did lick off my hands tasted good though.

    I don't know what I'm going to do once I have the cider removed from the fruit. One step at a time. I needed room in the freezer for venison.

    1. We lived for a few years on a farmstead in Indiana that had an apple orchard, must have been around 20 trees or so. We'd pick all we could and let friends and neighbors pick all they could and we never ran out. For three years we ate all the apple butter, applesauce, apple jelly, apple pie, apple crisp and apple cobbler we could stomach, but I don't ever recall Mom making cider. We did make grape juice, though, since we also had a really big arbor of Concord grapes.

      1. I made grape juice (cooking wild grapes with water & sugar) last summer. I needed to work on proportions. Somehow simultaneously too strong and too weak.

          1. The grape juice was a one-off with the bounty from the vine I'm not cutting back from the buckthorn trees. I'll try again in the future. Probably would have made a better jelly.
            Not sure if I can turn the cider into hard cider or if I'm just putting a lot of work into making fancy juice for the kids.

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