10/06/2012 archive

2012 AL Division Series- As at Tigers, Game 1

Well, what do we know about the As and the Tigers?

The first thing I know is that tomorrow’s Game 2 @ noon Sunday will only be carried on MLB Network which is kind of a drag if you don’t get it.  Unfortunately I do (no rest for the wicked) so I’ll be covering the game which I hope Richard appreciates because I’m not the Tigers fan he is.

And there’s another thing you may not know- Emily, though born and raised in the heart of Tigers territory, is a member of the Borg Yankee collective (resistance is futile) and has hardly any interest in the Striped Ones but can tell you what CC Sabathia had for breakfast (seldom Frosted Flakes) and how he pitches after eating it.

Richard is from God’s Brewer’s Country, however since he started slumming under the bridge he has picked up an inexplicable taste for sugar coated corn.

I know less than that about the As except that their remarkable comeback (along with a ’69 Cubs-like fold) sent the Rangers to their doom last night against the Orioles.  Still, what’s not to like about a team that does the Bernie Lean?

Well, there is that whole police riot crackdown on Occupy, but let’s see if it gets that far.

If you have not yet acquired a rooting interest I recommend this short and funny piece in The New Yorker by Ian Crouch.


Well, the big news was the MLBN discovery.  Perhaps I shall find a video or audio feed to include so you’re not entirely reliant on my commentary.  Today in addition to the usual sports overload I have family obligations that may make me scarce during the first few innings.

TMC is likewise engaged, but as we frequently point out it’s up to you to make your own fun.

Tonight’s second game is Reds @ Giants at 9:30 pm on TBS.  Also tonight is Formula One Suzuka where you’ll want to tune in at 1:30 am to make sure I got all the grid penalties right.

Tomorrow in addition to the As/Tigers match up at noon we will have Nats @ Cardinals at 3 pm, Yankees @ Orioles at 6 pm, and Reds @ Giants at 9:30 pm.  They’re all on TBS so I suppose that if we have delays or extra innings they’ll swap over the new game to TNT as they did at the end of the Cards/Braves, beginning of the Orioles/Rangers games last night.

Oddly enough, both were won by the visitors.

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Health and Fitness News weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

No Parsley Left Behind

Parsley Hummas

In addition to being an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K and a good source of iron and folate, it is rich in volatile oils (which give it its astringent flavor) and flavonoids. The volatile oils contain components that have been shown to inhibit the activity of harmful elements in the body, and studies have attributed antioxidant properties to the flavonoids, particularly luteolin.

If you do buy a large bunch of parsley for one recipe and want to keep it for a few days in the refrigerator so you can use it in another, take the rubber band or twist-tie off the bunch and wash and spin dry in a salad spinner. I sometimes pick the leaves off at this point, but not always. Lay the parsley, whether stemmed or not, on a double or triple thickness of paper towel, and roll up. Make sure the toweling is damp (spray with a fine mist of water if not), and wrap in a kitchen towel or keep in a refrigerator bag.

~Martha Rose Shulman~

Parsley Hummus

This hummus has a pale green hue and herbal overtones.

Parsley Salsa Verde With Grilled Cod

I’ve given you the recipe for this parsley salsa before, when it was served as a condiment for roasted or grilled summer squash.

Pasta With Mushrooms and Gremolata

This savory pasta is just one idea for gremolata, a pungent mixture of garlic, lemon zest and parsley.

Rice Pilaf With Carrots and Parsley

Carrots and leeks make a sweet combination, but you can also use regular onion in this pilaf.

Parsley and Romaine Salad

You can dress it with a vinaigrette, or with a simpler combination of 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Noam Chomsky: Issues That Obama and Romney Avoid

With the quadrennial presidential election extravaganza reaching its peak, it’s useful to ask how the political campaigns are dealing with the most crucial issues we face. The simple answer is: badly, or not at all. If so, some important questions arise: why, and what can we do about it?

There are two issues of overwhelming significance, because the fate of the species is at stake: environmental disaster, and nuclear war. [..]

Elections are run by the public relations industry. Its primary task is commercial advertising, which is designed to undermine markets by creating uninformed consumers who will make irrational choices – the exact opposite of how markets are supposed to work, but certainly familiar to anyone who has watched television.

It’s only natural that when enlisted to run elections, the industry would adopt the same procedures in the interests of the paymasters, who certainly don’t want to see informed citizens making rational choices.

Robert Sheer: Sigh No More: Obama, Romney Leave No Room to Argue

The presidential debate this week was much ado about nothing, and Mitt Romney beat Barack Obama because he was more energetic in distorting the significance of their miniscule differences. What generally has been celebrated by the mainstream media as a wonky debate over substantive disagreements on the economy and medical reform — “a fundamental choice about the future of America,” Peter Baker trumpeted in The New York Times — was nothing of the sort.

It is absurd to depict this rhetorical stew of superficial nitpicking by two candidates with a proven record of subservience to the Wall Street bandits responsible for wrecking our economy as a meaningful exercise in democratic governance. Both would rather talk about anything but Wall Street’s financing and control of both parties and chose instead to dwell on their nonexistent differences over health care reform.

Charles M. Blow: Don’t Mess With Big Bird

Mitt Romney’s Big Bird swipe during Wednesday’s debate raised some hackles: PBS’s, many on social media and mine. [..]

Big Bird is the man. He’s 8 feet tall. He can sing and roller skate and ride a unicycle and dance. Can you do that, Mr. Romney? I’m not talking about your fox trot away from the facts. I’m talking about real dancing. [..]

Big Bird and his friends also showed me what it meant to resolve conflicts with kindness and accept people’s differences and look out for the less fortunate. Do you know anything about looking out for the less fortunate, Mr. Romney? Or do you think they’re all grouches scrounging around in trash cans?

Jim Hightower; Romney Passes the Torch to Taxpayers

One of the mysteries of life in these curious times is that millions of Americans are enjoying the benefits of government – but are either unaware of it or in denial.

A 2008 study found that 40 percent of Medicare recipients, 44 percent of Social Security beneficiaries, 53 percent of people with student loans, and 60 percent of homeowners with taxpayer-subsidized mortgages answered “no” when asked whether they were using a government social program. [..]

But whatever their confusion, at least they’re not running for president. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is. And on the campaign trail he’s disparaging Americans who turn to government to get what he calls “free stuff.”

Robert Reich: The Politics of the Jobs Report

The White House is breathing easier this morning. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent — the first time it’s been under 8 percent in 43 months.

In political terms, headlines are everything — and most major media are leading with the drop in the unemployment rate.

Look more closely, though, and the picture is murkier. According to the separate payroll survey undertaken by the BLS, just 114,000 new jobs were added in September. At least 125,000 are needed per month just to keep up with population growth. Yet August’s job number was revised upward to 142,000, and July’s to 181,000.

In other words, we’re still crawling out of the deep crater we fell into in 2008 and 2009. The percent of the working-age population now working or actively looking for work is higher than it was, but still near a thirty-year low.

Gail Colins: Of Hooters, Zombies and Senators

Today, let’s take a look at debates that do not involve Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. You can thank me later.

I am talking about the races for the United States Senate, people. Attention must be paid! And, as a reward, we can also discuss a new campaign ad featuring zombies.

There are 33 Senate contests this year, although voters in some of the states may not have noticed there’s anything going on. In Texas, for instance, Paul Sadler, a Democrat, has had a tough time getting any attention in his battle against the Tea Party fan favorite Ted Cruz. Except, perhaps, when he called Cruz a “troll” in their first debate.

On This Day In History October 6

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

October 6 is the 279th day of the year (280th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 86 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1927. The Jazz Singer makes its debut in New York City.

The first feature-length motion picture with synchronized dialogue sequences, its release heralded the commercial ascendance of the “talkies” and the decline of the silent film era. Produced by Warner Bros. with its Vitaphone sound-on-disc system, the movie stars Al Jolson, who performs six songs. Directed by Alan Crosland, it is based on a play by Samson Raphaelson.

The story begins with young Jakie Rabinowitz defying the traditions of his devout Jewish family by singing popular tunes in a beer hall. Punished by his father, a cantor, Jakie runs away from home. Some years later, now calling himself Jack Robin, he has become a talented jazz singer. He attempts to build a career as an entertainer, but his professional ambitions ultimately come into conflict with the demands of his home and heritage.

The premiere was set for October 6, 1927, at Warner Bros.’ flagship theater in New York City. The choice of date was pure show business-the following day was Yom Kippur, the Jewish holiday around which much of the movie’s plot revolves.  The buildup to the premiere was tense. Besides Warner Bros.’ precarious financial position, the physical presentation of the film itself was remarkably complex:


Each of Jolson’s musical numbers was mounted on a separate reel with a separate accompanying sound disc. Even though the film was only eighty-nine minutes long…there were fifteen reels and fifteen discs to manage, and the projectionist had to be able to thread the film and cue up the Vitaphone records very quickly. The least stumble, hesitation, or human error would result in public and financial humiliation for the company.

None of the Warner brothers were able to attend: Sam Warner-among them, the strongest advocate for Vitaphone-had died the previous day of pneumonia, and the surviving brothers had returned to California for his funeral.

According to Doris Warner, who was in attendance, about halfway through the film she began to feel that something exceptional was taking place. Jolson’s “Wait a minute” line had prompted a loud, positive response from the audience. Applause followed each of his songs. Excitement built, and when Jolson and Eugenie Besserer began their dialogue scene, “the audience became hysterical.”  After the show, the audience turned into a “milling, battling, mob”, in one journalist’s description, chanting “Jolson, Jolson, Jolson!” Among those who reviewed the film, the critic who foresaw most clearly what it presaged for the future of cinema was Life magazine’s Robert Sherwood. He described the spoken dialogue scene between Jolson and Besserer as “fraught with tremendous significance…. I for one suddenly realized that the end of the silent drama is in sight”.

Critical reaction was generally, though far from universally, positive. New York Times critic Mordaunt Hall, reviewing the film’s premiere, declared that


not since the first presentation of Vitaphone features, more than a year ago [i.e., Don Juan], has anything like the ovation been heard in a motion-picture theatre…. The Vitaphoned songs and some dialogue have been introduced most adroitly. This in itself is an ambitious move, for in the expression of song the Vitaphone vitalizes the production enormously. The dialogue is not so effective, for it does not always catch the nuances of speech or inflections of the voice so that one is not aware of the mechanical features.

Variety called it “[u]ndoubtedly the best thing Vitaphone has ever put on the screen…[with] abundant power and appeal.” Richard Watts, Jr. of the New York Herald Tribune called it a “a pleasantly sentimental orgy dealing with a struggle between religion and art…. [T]his is not essentially a motion picture, but rather a chance to capture for comparative immortality the sight and sound of a great performer.” The Exhibitors Herald’s take was virtually identical: “scarcely a motion picture. It should be more properly labeled an enlarged Vitaphone record of Al Jolson in half a dozen songs.” The film received favorable reviews in both the Jewish press and in African American newspapers such as the Baltimore Afro-American, the New York Amsterdam News, and the Pittsburgh Courier. The headline of the Los Angeles Times review told a somewhat different story: “‘Jazz Singer’ Scores a Hit-Vitaphone and Al Jolson Responsible, Picture Itself Second Rate.” Photoplay dismissed Jolson as “no movie actor. Without his Broadway reputation he wouldn’t rate as a minor player.”

What’s Cooking: Chicken Wings

Whether you’re watching football or the Major League Baseball playoffs, these wing recipes make tasty snacks to nibble on during the game.

Spicy Lacquered Chicken Wings


3 pounds meaty chicken wings, tips removed


3 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons rice wine or sherry

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon grated ginger

6 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

1 small cucumber, diced (about 1 cup)

6 scallions, slivered

2 or 3 small hot red chiles, very thinly sliced (or hot green chiles), optional

2 tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 handful cilantro leaves

2 navel oranges, sliced.


1. Rinse the wings, pat dry, season lightly with salt and put them in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice wine, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, five-spice powder, cayenne and orange zest, then pour over the wings and massage well. Let marinate for 1 hour at room temperature or refrigerate (overnight is fine) and bring to room temperature.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the wings in one layer in a low-sided baking dish or roasting pan (or use 2 pans) and place on middle shelf. Every 8 to 10 minutes, brush the wings with the marinade from the pan, adding 3 or 4 tablespoons water to dissolve the juices as necessary. Continue until well browned, glazed and cooked through, about 40 to 45 minutes. The wings may be cooked ahead and reheated if desired.

3. Pile the wings on a warm platter. Quickly assemble the garnish. In a small bowl combine the cucumber, scallions, chiles, crushed peanuts and sesame oil. Season with salt, toss lightly and scatter over the wings. Sprinkle with the cilantro. Surround with orange slices and serve.

Time: 1 hour, plus at least 1 hour’s marinating

Yield: 4 to 6 servings (18 to 20 wings).

Buffalo Chicken Wings and Blue Cheese Dip

The only hot sauce that I use is Frank’s Louisiana hot sauce. These wings can also be made with boneless chicken breast strips.



4 tablespoons Unsalted butter

1/2 cup Hot sauce , preferably Frank’s Louisiana Hot Sauce

2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce, plus more to taste

1 tablespoon Dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons Cider vinegar


1 – 2 quarts Peanut oil (or vegetable oil) for frying

1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon Ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Table salt

3 tablespoons Cornstarch

3 pounds Chicken wings (18 wings), cut up (see illustrations below)

Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing and Vegetables

2 1/2 ounces Blue cheese , crumbled (about 1/2 cup)

3 tablespoons Buttermilk

3 tablespoons Sour cream

2 tablespoons Mayonnaise

2 teaspoons White wine vinegar

4 stalks Celery , cut into thin sticks

2 Medium carrots , peeled and cut into thin slices


1. For the Sauce: Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in hot sauces, brown sugar, and vinegar until combined. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. For the Wings: Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line baking sheet with paper towels. Heat 2 1/2 inches of oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 360 degrees. While oil heats, mix together cayenne, black pepper, salt, and cornstarch in small bowl. Dry chicken with paper towels and place pieces in large mixing bowl. Sprinkle spice mixture over wings and toss with rubber spatula until evenly coated. Fry half of chicken wings until golden and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer fried chicken wings to baking sheet. Keep first batch of chicken warm in oven while frying remaining wings.

3. For the Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing and Vegetables: Mash blue cheese and buttermilk in small bowl with fork until mixture resembles cottage cheese with small curds. Stir in remaining ingredients (up to carrot and celery sticks). Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Can be covered and refrigerated up to 4 days.

4. To Serve: Pour sauce mixture into large bowl, add chicken wings, and toss until wings are uniformly coated. Serve immediately with the carrot and celery sticks and blue cheese dressing on side.

5. To Make Ahead: The fried, unsauced wings can be kept warm in the oven for up to 1 1/2 hours. Toss them with the sauce just before serving.

Serve with lots of napkins. Bon Appétit  

F1 2012: Suzuka Qualifying

The last thing I want to talk about at the moment is Schumacher and Hamilton, fortunately Baseball has been very, very good to me.

Too good in fact and it’s been difficult to concentrate on anything else.

Suzuka is very fast and one of the few circuits with a figure 8 layout.  I’ve always been disappointed that they don’t run School Bus races there because there’s nothing like a good old figure 8 School Bus races for twisted chunks of flaming metal.

There have actually been a few crashes during Practice including Schumacher and di Resta.  Vettel led the last practice but there seems to be general agreement that Hamilton’s McLaren is faster than anyone.

We shall see.

Popular Culture 20121005: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

Of all of the horrible crap on TeeVee, the TLC program Here Comes Honey Boo Boo amongst the worst.  As a matter of fact, this program is the epitome of redneckery.  This trainwreck revolves around overweight child beauty pageant contestant Alana Thompson, now seven years old, her obese and incredibly stupid mum June, her three sisters (all four of the girls have different fathers), and her father.

I really do not know where to start.  This program is so vile that it would require instruments not yet invented to measure its offensiveness.  But it is my job to give my opinion, and remember I do not always write about things that I like.  

2012 AL Wildcard Sudden Death

Goody.  So much to hate on I hardly know where to start.

First the Designated Hitter Rule.  The reasoning goes, since your Pitcher sucks at hitting anyway, why not use up a roster spot that could go to some young, deserving, and cheap rookie on an expensive has been/never was who’s too old and slow even to play First Base anymore?

Because then I don’t get to rough up your pitcher if he beans one of mine you cowards.  That’s all right, I’ll just call the bench clearing brawl.

The Orioles are simply the luckiest team in Baseball and have no business near the playoffs.  That said they’ve been Yankee killers this season which may influence your estimation.  Me?  I have no problem with the Yankees except that they’re boring and I’d be just as happy to see them win it all.

The Rangers are better on paper but have spent September sucking and that’s a hard thing to turn off.  If you need additional reasons to despise them, just remember they are W and ‘Doper’ Clemens team.  I say steroid boy and the poster child against inbreeding better get their tickets punched tonight because they’re not going anywhere.

Sad to say I think the Orioles will be lucky again and advance against the Yankees.  Showalter gets his revenge.  But if you’re looking for bright spots (and you certainly should if you’re a Pinstripe fan) Saunder’s 9.38 ERA in Arlington simply does not match up against Yu Darvish.

It’s ‘Sudden Death’!  Anything could happen.


Tomorrow’s games are As @ Tigers at 6 pm, Reds @ Giants at 9:30 pm.

Then Formula One Suzuka @ 1 am on Speed.  If you wish to join me for Qualifying tonight, that will be posted at 1 am also.

The NHL New York Rangers google better than the Arlington variety, even in a strike shortened season.