Tag Archives: pledge drive

Pledge Drive Wrap-up

Sorry, gang, been a little busy. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that we made our goal of $500 and raised a total of $577.42. Awesome job, everyone. We'll keep this post up for a little bit if only as a jumping off point for all the great content that came out over the pledge drive. The conversation isn't over yet!

Thanks again, you guys. This is truly the World's Greatest blah blah blah.


"THE NATION HAS PROBLEMS: VOL. 11" - The Nation Has Problems - Greekhouse
"BOOK DAY: AWARD SEASON" - First Monday Book Day - Daneeka's Ghost
"γνῶθι σεαυτόν - KNOW THYSELF" - WGOM Fitness - New Britain Bo
"APPLE JELLY … MADE WITH APPLES & STUFF" - The Nation Has An Appetite - Can of Corn
"FTLT ON THE WOLVES" - NBA - FirstTime "hitman" LongTime
"CSI: CARLSBAD, CA [2003 UPPER DECK]" - Baseball Cards: Detective Work - Rhubarb_Runner
"COMFORT FOOD" - The Nation Has An Appetite - brianS
"CLASSIC ALBUM REVIEWS – VAN HALEN" - Miscellaneous - freealonzo
"TRIPLE-THREAT COOKIES" -The Nation Has An Appetite - Pepper
"A SERIES OF QUESTIONS ON PARENTING" - Father Knows Best - Algonad
"NOVEMBER 21, 1998: RANDOM DAY IN TWINS HISTORY" - History, Minnesota Twins - The Dread Pirate
"FMD: MUSIC FOR KIDS" - Friday Music Day - Philospher
"GUMBO FOR THE PEOPLE" - The Nation Has An Appetite - meat
"MOVIE DAY" - At the Movies - spookymilk
"THE CRUCIFEROUSING" - The Nation Has An Appetite - brianS
"THE GHOSTS OF DOS A CERO" - Soccer - MagUidhir
"BERSERK BOXSCORES: WHITE SOX @ TWINS 04/19/1962" - Berserk Boxscores - Beau

Musings From the Emeritus

Hello, folks.

How are you doing? I understand that there's a fundraiser going on. This is a humble little site, but even humble little sites need $$$ to keep on keeping on. Hungryjoe asked that I say a few words about this. Open up your wallets, folks and shake out a few nickels.

I've been away for a while. In fact, I'd been gone so long that at first that I'd forgotten my login password. Then I remembered: THEWARRIORSBLEWA3-1LEADINTHENBAFINALS (all caps).

The reason I took a hiatus was that someone suggested, when I wished everyone a Happy 2016 on New Years Eve and announced that I'd be off the grid for a week that my being off the grid would make 2016 a truly Happy New Year. This is exactly the type of care and concern that I tried to foster at the site over the years, so I stayed off the grid in the hopes of everyone having a Happy New Year.

Turns out, though, that it's nearly unanimous that 2016 has been, all things considered, pretty crappy. Is it because I haven't been around? Well you can decide that. I thought about swooping in before the election and announcing that I was back to save us all from Trump. I didn't do that, of course, and now we have the most deplorable person to ever hold the office ready to disgrace our country. I'm not sure, but I think that this is the first time in the history of our country that a President-Elect settled a fraud case for $25 million and then headed to twitter to brag that the settlement was a fraction of the potential damage award. Oh. Mr. President-Elect, did you defraud those people of $50 million? $100 million? Or more? Did I say all this out loud? I can say that out loud and not break the politics ban because, well, I'm not talking about politics. Remember when red trucker hats used to be cool?


Personally, I've been doing pretty well, thanks for asking. My little baby girl is now 9 1/2 years old. Some of you may remember that I asked ubelmann to write for the site when she was born because I could no longer write every day with her around. She's now over five feet tall and headed to six feet, I think. (If only she'd pick up a basketball. She does willingly watch basketball with me, but play? Not a chance.) She's skating almost every day and working on her Axel. She plays piano very well for the amount of time she's been playing. I tell her every day, pretty much, that she's got more talent there than I did and that she can really be a good pianist. In other words, I have to motivate her to practice. I used to have to motivate her to skate, but she's doing pretty well there now and doesn't need my motivation.

I'm still working out of state a lot, but not as much as I used to. Plus, I do fly there now, so I've gone from driving about 35,000 miles a year to under 10,000. That makes life a lot… easier. I do spend a fair amount of time away from my family and sometimes that gets to be lonely, but I'm used to it and my time home has gone up quite a bit. Still though, when make that monthly trek, there are days. I've been doing this commute now for almost 6 1/2 years.

In January, we'll be heading out for our fourth Disney cruise. I consider this to be my one real indulgence. Miss SBG and I really love it. Lucy likes it. I can't wait to get on the boat, unplug, and enjoy a week of escaping from all that concerns me.

I'm so old that I remember when we had a banner at the site referring to the Twins saying, "Is It 2014 Yet?" That 2016 campaign was one for the ages. 2016 was necessary. The Twins needed to clean house a long, long time ago. One thing this long period of craptacular baseball has done for me is uncouple me from watching. I gotta go to the rink and watch Miss SBG twirl and jump -- I ain't got no time for watching Ricky Nolasco or some other stiff give the other club 6 runs in the first three innings. I've been a fan for over 40 years, but I'm more of a fair weather fan now. If they win, great. If they lose, I'm outta here. Good job, Twins, you've started to chip away at your most ardent supporters.

One club that never seems to fall on hard times will be gunning for their sixth consecutive FCS Title, entering the playoffs as the number 1 seed. I'm a little less than completely confident that they'll get that sixth one, but even if they don't, man, what a run. In this, what is no doubt the weakest of the six teams, they've gone 10-1 and beat a middle of the pack B1G team. Plus, they are extremely young… very few seniors and they didn't pull a single redshirt. So, all's good there.

Speaking of all being good, how about LeBron? Turns out he's a once in a generation player who carried his club to almost unimaginable heights. Turns out he's pretty woke, too. Heard the Warriors had a pretty good season though, congrats on the 73 wins. To lose a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals after setting the all-time regular season win record… That's a… that's a real kick in the nuts.

Blah, blah, blah. I'm still the same old guy. It's just that my favorite sport is figure skating now.

Back to the fund raiser. This site and its previous incarnations have meant a lot to me and I'm reasonably sure to a lot of you, too. I can think of a lot worse ways to spend your hard earned dough than to kick a few bucks toward the maintenance of this site. For example, paying to watch Ricky Nolasco stink out the joint (I'm aware he was traded… and promptly started pitching better). Money is a resource and a fairly scarce one for most of us. That's why we shouldn't waste it. A dollar a month or two dollars a month to support a site where you can talk about just about anything is a fine allocation of resources. Please keep the site going. Thanks. And remember, the Warriors (best team, evah!!!!11!!eleventy!!!!) blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.

Spoiler SelectShow

Berserk Boxscores: White Sox @ Twins 04/19/1962

It's been 3.5 years since I've run one of these columns. Half-Baked Hall may have something to do with that. While we will resume the voting in 2017, we'll whet your whistle with a crazy game the Twins were involved in 44 years ago.

The Twins inaugural season had been pretty blah, and the beginning of their second season started much the same. Entering into this game they were 2-5, last place in the American League. Jim Kaat would face off against John Buzhardt. Except he didn't really. Kaat didn't retire a batter.

The White Sox led off the first with four straight singles. Kaat was immediately replaced. Either Sam Mele felt he just didn't have it or he was injured. Either way, Jim Manning replaced him and he didn't have it either. He recorded one out, allowed two batters to reach by error, then allowed a single and a hit-by-pitch. He was pulled for Georges Maranda who promptly gave up a grand slam to Jim Landis, who had led off the inning with a single. The inning would end on a double play, but the Twins were already down 9-0 before coming to the plate.

Because this is Berserk Boxscores, I'm guessing you're betting on a miraculous Twins comeback. But you'd guess wrong. So what makes this game so special?

It is the only game in modern history where a team scored at least 10 runs and never left a man on base. 

You saw nine of those runs in the first inning. They would score one more on Jim Landis's second homer, which was the only hit the Twins staff would allow the rest of the game. They did allow two more walks which would be erased on a double play and a caught stealing. In fact, the Twins easily won the game from the second inning forward, outhitting the Sox five to one and outscoring them three to one.

While this feat of the White Sox and Twins is not terribly impressive, it is pretty hilarious. The Twins would remain in last place for one more day, then would steadily climb up the standings, finishing in 2nd place behind the Yankees. They were in 1st place on June 15th and would be as close as 2.5 games back on September 5th, but ultimately could not catch the Bombers. The Yankees would win the next two division titles as well before the Twins finally wrestled it away in 1965.

The Ghosts of Dos a Cero

This past Friday night was USA-Mexico in Columbus, Ohio. A few years ago, I would have circled this on my calendar and looked into tickets (thought the threat of actually going never did materialize). These days, I didn't even know it was happening until (last) Monday lunchtime. How did I - the proud owner of a 2004 #23 Eddie Pope USMNT jersey that's done service through 3 World Cups - fall away from a sport that I used to so passionately follow? Continue reading The Ghosts of Dos a Cero

The Cruciferousing

I can't believe I never did a sauerkraut post. Really? Anyway, with my parents in town again for the winter, I've decided to make a new batch of sauerkraut. Lucky you.
Making sauerkraut is about as simple and foolproof as kitchen fermentation gets. You need a head of cabbage, shredded, some kosher salt, a clean dowel or some other implement for pounding the kraut into the fermentation vessel, and a fermentation vessel. I'm using a quart mason jar.
Continue reading The Cruciferousing

Gumbo for the people

I've long adopted recipes from the region I've lived in, and have adapted the spices and flavors of that region with all the other places I've lived. Dr. Chop taught me how to cook, and taught me how to think about flavors on the fly combining bits of this with bits of that to make delicious dinners (most of the time...). No place has influenced my cooking more than New Orleans. Truth be told I was a bit nervous moving down here as emulsified meats and strange seafood weren't really a thing I considered appetizing. I jumped in with both feet and have been rewarded with some of the most simple yet complex flavors on the planet, and Gumbo is the tie that binds them all together. (Lots of people will tell you that you can't cook a good gumbo unless your grandma's grandma taught you how to do it, and I call bullshit on that. You got this. I believe in you. Just don't stop stirring.)

I've adapted this recipe from Donald Link's Fried Chicken and Gumbo recipe from his book Real Cajun.

1 1/4 C Veg Oil

1 1/2 C Flour

Medium onion diced small

3 celery stalks sliced

1 bell pepper diced small

(optional additional peppers such as a poblano and jalapeno diced (depends on how much heat you want, there'll be plenty spice later on)

1 medium sweet potato peeled and chopped

3 cloves garlic minced

1 tablespoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground white pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 1/2 teaspoon filé powder

3 quarts chicken broth brought to a simmer

1 pound (or more...) smoked andouille* sausage sliced into 1/2 inch moons

Half a rotisserie chicken picked but kept in large pieces

optional 3 cups sliced okra ( if you use the okra cook it down in a separate pan before adding it to you gumbo. You'll actually cook the snot out of the veg which leaves a much, much more palatable finished product.)
*The Best Stop is indeed the best stop for cajun meats in south louisiana. Yup, I know thems fighting words, but hey, the wouldn't call it the best stop if it weren't They ship everywhere, and it's worth it. I made gumbo last night with some inferior andouille and it was lacking something je ne sais quoi.


Chop everything first. Once you begin to heat the oil you'll not have time to do anything but stir the flour, so prep ahead. This isn't a fast recipe, and while I do this on school nights all the time it's not recommended for those with kids or a desire to eat before 9 pm. Put the chopped veg into a bowl to be kept by the stove top. Next, measure out the spices into a bowl to be kept handy next to the stove top. Measure out the flour into another bowl to be kept handy next to the stove top. Heat the oil over medium high heat in a cast iron pot or dutch oven, and when a pinch of flour sizzles it's time to get your roux on. Gently, and carefully, add the flour to the pan stirring constantly with a whisk. 2016-11-02-18-39-16

They call roux cajun napalm for a reason, and stirring with a spoon will splash the roux out of the pot and burn the shit out of whatever it lands on. (Roux is a combustible liquid, and will ignite if overheated... no kidding) Using a whisk, continue  to stir the roux over medium to medium high heat, and as the roux begins to color gradually lower the temp. This will increase cooking time slightly, but will allow you far more control and lowers the chance of burning the roux. Stir all portions of the pan as a single bit of stuck flour will burn and foul the whole pot. Depth of color is totally a personal choice, but real cajun cooks say that the finished product should be darker than a moonless night. I have a different approach, I cut the roux off in between milk and dark chocolate as the flour will continue to cook when you add the veg. 2016-11-02-19-04-12

Add the veg and spice mix to the roux, but be careful as a burst of steam will escape. Now switch to a flat bottom spoon to stir. Cook the veg until the onion wilts and the peppers soften. Stir this often as you can still burn the roux. 2016-11-02-19-05-24

Add the heated stock to the pan and bring the whole mess to a boil. Adding cold stock will break the roux, not the end of the world, but a lot more stirring, and you've already stirred enough for one night.

Brown sausage in a separate pan, and add to the gumbo pot.

Simmer for 30-40 minutes and add the chicken pieces. You'll notice a lot of oil coming to the surface. Skim this oil off and discard. Stir occasionally, and put a pot of rice on the stove. When the rice is done the gumbo is done. 2016-11-02-19-53-12

So, I can't flip the photos, but really they're just here for color comparison.

FMD: Music for Kids

When I was a kid I listened to a whole lot of Radio AAHS. For Citizens not in the know, Radio AAHS was a station aimed at the 5 - 10 year old demographic. I'm not really sure where they gathered all the songs from, but they had a lot that really hit the sweet spot for kids.

As a parent, it strikes me that finding music for kids that isn't outright painful isn't always the easiest thing. Sometimes I'll pull up a kids' Pandora station, but it ends up grating on my nerves before too long. And of course there are plenty of mainstream songs that work for the kids, but you know they don't appreciate them like adults do. Something more on their level can be important (looking back over Radio AAHS playlists, it seems like there was a fair amount of popular music mixed in too. It took some memory jogging, but I do recall that. So I guess the mix of children-specific and children-friendly is nice.).

I'm curious what other parents in the nation do for music for their kids. There's individual groups like the Okee Dokee Brothers (SJU!) and TMBG doing children's music, but I really do regret that there isn't an easy station to tune in for kids. Or maybe there is, and I just don't know about it?

Anyway, for those parents out there, here are a few song recommendations, back from my glory days of listening to kids music. And they've mostly been tested and approved by my kids, so hopefully they hold up for your kids too.

Joe Scruggs, "Bahamas Pajamas"
Rosenshontz, "Hippopotamus Rock"
Lenny Graf, "Water"
"Broccoli & Chocolate"
Jack Pearson, "Googolplex"
Cheech Marin (yes, him), "Red, Blue, and Yellow Too"

November 21, 1998: Random Day in Twins History

I used a random number generator to pick a season from the past with the idea that I would quickly highlight the Twins history that occurred today in that year.  The generator sent me to the year 1998.

The Twins concluded a sixth-consecutive losing season in 1998 and began to finally embrace a full rebuild.   Relatively cheap veterans Greg Swindell, Bob Tewksbury, Mike Morgan, Otis Nixon, and Orlando Merced were all traded during the season or allowed to leave as free agents.  Paul Molitor finally retired.

The STrib's John Millea noted, "Don't be surprised if the 1999 season is Tom Kelly's last as manager of the team.  The payroll is getting smaller, the players are getting younger, and Kelly's patience continues to wear thin.  He is at his best when the clubhouse is full of veterans who have been through the wars and earned their stripes.  Kelly is not exactly the fatherly type when it comes to youngsters, and sometimes that has resulted in strained relationships that can hinder the ballclub's progress."

Well, that wasn't entirely true.  1999 wasn't Kelly's last season with the team, although the payroll did get smaller and the roster got younger.  Who knows how Kelly's patience wore.  The sentence about striped veterans is the type of non-factual, journalistic mumbo-jumbo that would make Ken Tremendous a cult hero within years.

On this date, Terry Steinbach had filed for free agency and the Twins were mulling whether to bring him back.  Their internal candidates were Javier Valentin and A.J. Pierzynski, and the team did not believe either was fully ready for the next season.  Still, the team had been disappointed with Steinbach's production behind the plate the previous two years.

Postscript: On January 4, the Twins finally re-signed Steinbach.  Despite being nearly ready, it would take Pierzynski two more years to become the starting catcher mainly due to some, um, maturity issues.  One wonders at the official number of "wars" Pierzynski has endured in his career.

Did You Know that David Ortiz played in 86 games, and Torii Hunter played in 6 games that season?  On the mound, Eric Milton started 32 games that year.  Hunter has been retired for one season, and Ortiz just retired.  Milton was just 105 days older than Ortiz, and just 122 days older than Hunter, but  has not played in a game since June 27, 2009 even though he earned more than $47 million in his career.

Did You Also Know that the winning pitcher in Milton's last game was King Felix?

Furthermore, Did You Know that the final hitter Milton faced was Junior Griffey?