Manny to the Dodgers, Jason Bay to the Red Sox.

Posted July 31, 2008 by Dewb
Categories: Baseball, Manny Ramirez, Red Sox

The deal doesn’t look too bad. Bay is under contract for 2009 (at $8m) so the Sox lose Moss, Hansen, and a few points of OPS, but save around $10 million (vs. keeping Manny and exercising the option) and a lot of headaches. Decent defensive upgrade in left, also.

I’m sad to see Manny go, but it had to be done.

Quick thoughts on the first hour of Generation Kill

Posted July 13, 2008 by Dewb
Categories: Politics, The Wire

So we just had our first hour of television from David Simon & co. since The Wire closed up shop. It was good TV. Not amazing, but nobody familiar with The Wire expects a David Simon production to show its hand in the first hour. We’ll know if it’s good or not around episode 4, probably.

Good: The characters, the acting, the dialogue. Bad: Hmm. Well, the empty desert is already getting old. Many of the actors, while unknowns, look vaguely familiar — leading to a lot of false “Hey It’s That Guy” hits. (Yeah, I’m stretching.)

Didn’t see too much new fuel for the political debate around the show. Most of that seemed sparked by the trailer, which definitely had a bit of selection bias towards soundbites that would attract an anti-war audience. And certainly there’s a larger selection bias in Simon and HBO choosing this project. But Simon’s promised neutrality holds up, and I don’t think either side of the debate has grounds to complain. At least not yet.

A certain few nicknamed officers of 1st Recon are not going to be happy, though, woo. No way.

As clear a demonstration of cause and effect as you’ll ever see.

Posted April 22, 2008 by Dewb
Categories: Facebook

Trendlines for \"party tonight\" and \"hangover\" via Facebook Lexicon

Facebook Lexicon: party tonight, hangover.

Things to do in Stockholm.

Posted March 26, 2008 by Dewb
Categories: Chef John Bull, Clavia, Denmark, Food, Kirstein Ketsjer, Stockholm, Sweden

Standard touristy stuff: Visit the Vasamuseet and the Arkitekturmuseet.

Ring up Clavia and beg for a factory tour.

Go to Chef John Bull’s restaurant Back A Yard.

See a Kirstein Ketsjer show — whoops, never mind, that’s Copenhagen.

Wikipedia)

(In truth I’ll see Kirstein Ketsjer in New York next month. This post is a thinly veiled excuse to link to Chef John Bull.)

Predictions.

Posted March 3, 2008 by Dewb
Categories: Clinton, Football, Journey, McCain, Obama, Politics, Predictions, Sopranos, Sports

I am terrible at getting predictions on record. This means that I don’t have to eat crow when I’m wrong, which is most of the time. But it also means I don’t get to rub my genius in everyone’s faces when I’m lucky right.

Let’s remedy that. First, let me clear out the backlog of expired predictions:

1. The Sopranos.
Last summer, with only a few episodes left in the final season of The Sopranos, some website I can’t recall ran a contest: What song would roll over the closing credits on the last episode? The Sopranos was of course known for its creative and esoteric musical selections, so the field was wide open for speculation. The early entrants made clever guesses, picking out forgotten treasures, callbacks to songs or artists used earlier in the series, etc. High-minded stuff. I thought about it, and said to myself, c’mon, David Chase isn’t going to end the series like that; he’ll switch it up. It’ll be something cheesy, something Everyman. Something like Journey. “More than a Feeling,” or maybe “Don’t Stop Believing.” But then I didn’t enter the contest!

So you’ll have to take my word on this one. Sigh.

2. The Super Bowl.
In January, while the 18-and-0 Patriots were being penciled in for an undefeated season — once they’d run through the formalities: you know, show up, put uniforms on, throw a few balls to Randy Moss, make Eli cry — I was saying that all outcomes were possible.

Don’t get me wrong, I thought the Patriots were going to win handily, but: all outcomes were possible. Except a Giants blowout. The Patriots could roll, they could squeak out a win, or the Giants could play solid and catch the Patriots on a bad day. I told anyone who would listen that Chuck Klosterman had written the only insightful article about the Pats dynasty.

Still, still! — I thought the Patriots would win. I don’t think any predictions for that game count, really. If someone says they called it for the Giants, then that means they foresaw Eli-in-the-grasp to Tyree’s helmet. That doesn’t happen, the Giants don’t win. And there’s no way anyone would have or could have predicted a play like that. No way.

3. The 2008 Presidential Race.
Here’s the lay of the land in the week before Super Tuesday. Before the polls opened on February 5, this was the story I was telling people (not verbatim):

McCain locks up the Republican nomination, probably quickly. Hillary wins over Obama eventually, but it will drag out a bit, and Clinton needs the Michigan/Florida delegates, the superdelegates, or dirty campaign ads to get over the hump. The prevailing impression is that Obama got screwed. Clinton, with all her baggage, goes on to lose to McCain, despite a commanding lead for the Dems in the Generic Democrat vs. Generic Republican polls.

After the election, Obama is feted, partly out of regret for not nominating him and partly for the class and grace he shows in the loss, and the Democrats give him a leadership role in the Senate. He becomes the public face for Congress as it fights with President McCain, and Obama becomes the runaway favorite for the 2012 nominee.

Free from the need to pander to the left during a Democratic primary, Obama is able to move to the center and capture more independent voters, libertarians, social-liberals/fiscal-conservatives, etc. (People like me.) McCain is not a terrible president; he gets the cleanup process started on the messes that the Bush administration created (or identified, if you prefer.) The next president won’t inherit so much and will have a freer hand. But McCain is old. Maybe he doesn’t even run for a second term.

Obama wins handily in ’12, ascends bodily to the highest office in the land, and governs at the head of a previously unimaginable coalition of hardworking civil servants, smart pro-market economists, young folks awakening to politics, and vision-thing business leaders. New age of peace and prosperity, yadda yadda yadda.

Well, that vision has been shot full of so many holes that I don’t know where to start. The whole thing was probably more wish fulfillment than sober analysis. I was right about McCain knocking off Romney, though.

UPDATE: Marc Andreessen still likes what he sees in Obama.

First post.

Posted March 3, 2008 by Dewb
Categories: Blogging, The Internets

This is way too late — a whole week, an eternity in Internet time — but I have to link to my friend Kara’s first-ever blog post.

I’m not exactly going out on a limb here, but I think she’ll get a lot more hits than I do.

Year of the Pig barbecue menu (“Bacon tastes good. Pork chops taste good.”)

Posted February 11, 2008 by Dewb
Categories: Barbecue, Chinese New Year, Pigs

Chef’s recap of the party on Saturday:

Carolina-style pulled pork

This turned out okay. I smoked two pork shoulders (deboned, Boston butt, skin on, ~7 lbs each) overnight, but with temperatures in the teens and twenties, the smoker only hovered around 200°F. The plan was to finish the butts in the oven for a few hours, then shred and let sit in sauce on a warmer for a while before the party started. But I wasn’t really happy with how much fat rendering I had after they came out of the oven, so I put them in for three more hours, and I ended up having to shred it during the party. In the end I was still a little disappointed with the flavor, but people seemed to like it. Folks scooped it out of the serving dish faster than I could fill it up.

Ass-Kickin’ cole slaw

This is an old family recipe (meaning we saw it in a magazine a few years ago, and have since been making it every chance we get.) Unfortunately I couldn’t find my copy so I had to reconstruct it from memory and a phone call to my dad. I didn’t have any sour cream so it was a little on the dry side, but it still tasted pretty good. Extra horseradish.

Collard greens with bok choy and tofu

This is the first time I’ve ever made something up completely, no recipe or memory to guide. I needed another vegetable dish, and when I saw the collard greens at Whole Foods I grabbed two bundles along with one giant bundle of mustard greens and some bok choy, with the idea that I’d just figure something out. The bok choy was labeled “Shanghai” bok choy, because it was half the size of the other bok choy on display, but it was still about five times as large as Shanghai minis are supposed to be (in my mind, at least.)

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