EEE – Happy 2012

Happy New Year to everyone.  Being bored as all get-out at my parents, I've decided to restart the EEE, at least for the time being.  Let's go ahead and recap everything since the Boxing Day matches, shall we?

On Boxing Day, Manchester United beat Wigan by a score of 5-0, while City only managed a 0-0 draw with West Brom.  This brought the two Manchester teams level on points, with City in first on goal differential.   A pair of WGOM Derbies as Fulham-Chelsea and Sunderland-Everton both ended 1-1.   The next day saw Wolves draw away to Arsenal, holding on to the 1-1 scoreline with only 10 men after a red card in the 75th minute.  A brace from Welsh wunderkind Gareth Bale saw Spurs dismiss Norwich 2-0.

New Year's Eve saw a surprising Blackburn win over Manchester United by a score of 3-2.   Chelsea lost 3-1 to Aston Villa.  Fulham, Spurs, and Wolves all drew 1-1, with Norwich CitySwansea City, and Bolton respectively.  With a chance to go three points clear of United, Manchester City lost away to Sunderland 1-0 on  Ji Dong-Won's goal in the 93rd+ minute.  Everton beat West Brom by the same 1-0 scoreline.

In today's action, Fulham defeated Arsenal 2-1 by scoring to goals after Djourou was sent off in the 85th for a second booking.  Chelsea snatched all three points away from Wolves by winning 2-1, Wolves having drawn level in the 85th only for Lampard to score just before stoppage time.

Relevant Table

Position Team Games Played Points Goal Differential
3 Spurs 18 39 15
4 Chelsea 20 37 14
10 Everton 18 24 -1
12 Aston Villa 20 23 -4
13 Fulham 20 23 -4
15 Sunderland 19 21 1
16 Wolves 20 17 -14

EPL Prediction Contest

Place Player Points
1 Homer Dome 19
2 Freealonzo 19
3 Daneeka's Ghost 15
4 MagUidhir 12
5 Spookymilk 11
6 Buffalo 10
7 The Dread Pirate 9
8 DK 8
9 AMR 8
10 davidwatts 3

First Monday Book Day: Summertime Blues

Happy New Year (celebrated). I'll be heading to the office shortly, to get caught up a bit. I don't have ESPN anyway, so I won't be missing the bowl games (grrr).

The New Year is a traditional time to look backward and look forward. Today's selection, Joan Vinge's 1991 Hugo nominee, The Summer Queen does both of those things.

The book is the long-awaited sequel to Vinge's 1981 Hugo winner, The Snow Queen, based on a Hans Christian Andersen story. I read the original perhaps five years ago -- it was a masterpiece, but I've forgotten too much. This volume (I'm half-way through) is complex, confusing, and tantalizing. Moon Dawntreader, the hidden clone of the Winter Queen and heroine of the first volume, is the Summer Queen, presiding over an effort to drag her techno-phobic people toward modernity during the long "summer," during which her planet's wormhole gate to a wider human civilization is inaccessible. Her planet holds both a Spice-like life-extending substance and the secret to a civilization-wide information technology mediated through "sibyls" -- human computer interfaces. Meanwhile, outside, other characters are in a race to rediscover a long-lost technology for faster-than-light travel.

The characters and (most of the) relationships are interesting and compelling, and the action sequences well drawn. I'm hooked on this space opera. But you'll want to read The Snow Queen first.

New Year's is a time for lists, so here, here and here are links to NPR's top sci fi picks, of the year and for evah (thanks, Sean, for that third link).

I don't yet know where The Summer Queen will rank on my top whatever list, but it will be in the mix. What are you reading?

Happy Birthday–January 1

Tim Keefe (1857)
Hugh Nicol (1858)
Webster McDonald (1900)
Ethan Allen (1904)
Hank Greenberg (1911)
Joe Reichler (1915)
Sherry Robertson (1919)
Earl Torgeson (1924)
Carl Scheib (1927)
Roy Majtyka (1939)
Bill Bethea (1942)
Rick Albert (1951)
Bob Owchinko (1955)
La Marr Hoyt (1955)
Fernando Tatis (1975)

We would like to wish a very happy birthday to mrs. bhiggum.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–January 1

January 1, 2012: Cheers

To the Trinket, to the Kernel, to famished pete and to the Calf. To Sheenie's fight. To socal's new gig. To the show getting picked up. To meat finding his place in Ireland after it beat him down. To Mag conquering another country. To The Boy getting accepted to the alma mater. To Beau & Stef, to nib & Linds, to Daneeka's Ghost and his wife and whatever he's going to nickname his kid. To those of you who passed the bar. To the memory of CarterHayes's stepfather. To E-6, AMR and anyone else who makes my taste in music better. To the many of you who play Werewolf and Spookymilk Survivor over at my other place. To Sean, who makes this website clean and quick, and who isn't quite as guarded in person. To Jeff's congregations - both the one he serves in his church, and the one he serves by doing such great work here. To ubes's return. To the semi-retirement of our Boss Emeritus, whom without we'd just be a bunch of nerds scattered about the country cheering for the same laundry. To all of us - the religious, the secular, the leftists and rightists, the college sports lovers and college sports haters, the married, the engaged and the still looking, to the kind, the surly, the sarcastic and the level-headed. To the World's Greatest Online Magazine.

I raise my bottle of Sierra Nevada Celebration to y'all. I love you guys.

Sunday Dinner on Friday Night.

When on the road I tend not to cook elaborate meals for a multitude of reasons not least of which is that there is very little enjoyment of eating a meal alone when you live in a frozen, cold water, walk up flat. Last night I decided that enough was enough. I was going to pull out all most some of the stops and make a pot of Guinness stew, garlic mashed potatoes, and some pan wilted cabbage. I stopped into the local butcher (I'm lucky enough to live between to family owned butchers who source their product locally, and process the meat in house) and bought about a pound of chuck steak nicely cubed for stewing.

You'll need:

1-1.5 400 mL Cans of Guinness (Pint to pint and a half)
1 large onion diced
1 large carrot sliced into rounds (or your favorite shape)
3 celery stocks sliced into small bits
2-3 cloves garlic smashed
1-2 lbs chuck steak or other cut for stewing cut into 1.5 inch cubes
flour to cover steak
seasoning of your choice for flour (I went with red chili, salt, and pepper)
Neutral Oil that can withstand high temp searing (general purpose olive, or veg / peanut)


Warm about a table spoon of oil in a dutch oven, or other oven proof pan, over medium / high heat while dredging the steak bits in the seasoned flour. Preheat the oven to 300˚. Add the meat, being careful not to crowd the pan, and sear on all sides, and remove from the pan. You may have to do this step in batches. Once all the meat has been browned add a splash of oil to the pan and toss in the diced onion. Add the carrot and celery to the pot once the onions begin to turn translucent. Cook the veggies, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until the celery goes a little soft, and add the garlic. Return the meat to the pan, and pour at least a pint of Guinness over the whole mess. Turn the heat up to to high, bring the pot to a boil, and put into preheated oven for 2-3ish hours. You can also cook this on the stove top by simmering for 2 hours.

The garlic mash is made better with a whole bunch of gruyere and a chopped green onion or two. I pan wilted the cabbage with butter and a hit of salt and pepper.

Spanning the Globe


Hermosillo 7, Mazatlan 4 in Hermosillo.  Anthony Slama pitched a perfect inning with one strikeout for Mazatlan.


Ponce 5, Caguas 2 in Ponce.  Angel Morales was 1-for-4 for Ponce.

Mayaguez 6, Carolina 4 in Carolina.  Daniel Ortiz was 0-for-3 with an RBI on a sacrifice fly for Mayaguez.


Anzoategui 5, Lara 4 in Anzoategui (12 innings).  Lester Oliveros retired both batters he faced for Anzoategui.


Perth 9, Adelaide 5 in Adelaide (Game 1—Scheduled 7 innings).  Luke Hughes was 1-for-2 with two RBIs for Perth.  He was also hit by a pitch.

Perth 16, Adelaide 11 in Adelaide (Game 2—Scheduled 9 innings).  Luke Hughes was 2-for-3 with a double, a home run, and three walks, scoring twice for Perth.

Melbourne 15, Sydney 7 in Melbourne (Game 1).  Jacob Younis was 0-for-5 and scored once for Sydney.

Brisbane 3, Canberra 2 in Brisbane (Game 1).  Rory Rhodes was 2-for-4 with a home run, driving in two for Brisbane.

Brisbane 10, Canberra 2 in Brisbane (Game 2).  Rory Rhodes was 1-for-3 with a home run and a walk, scoring twice for Brisbane.

Remodeled basement. Same half-baked taste.