April 29, 2011 archive

Today on The Stars Hollow Gazette

Our regular featured content-

and these featured articles-

Join us tomorrow afternoon for our weekly features-

The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is an Open Thread

The Royal Wedding

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

ek, you ask, why do you live blog dull things like Formula One, College Basketball, and Le Tour instead of exciting ‘once in a lifetime’ events like the Royal Wedding?

This Week In The Dream Antilles

A week of sighs.  And gratitude.  Spring finally arrived in the formerly frozen tundra in which your Bloguero has been confined since the Fall.  There are now daffodils and tulips.  The shagbark is in flower, and the leaves have finally started to unfold.  Among the sounds your Bloguero hears is his own sigh of relief after a very long, very hard winter.  The next sounds will probably include lawn mowers.  And the hatching of the starling chicks in the nest these uninvited birds have built for the fourth year running in your Bloguero’s bathroom vent.  For now, it is enough again to put duct tape on the switch for the fan, and sit idly in the sun and feel its warmth.  Gracias, gracias, gracias, gracias for your Bloguero’s long journey from Winter to Spring.

Others have been far less fortunate.  The Storms in Alabama and other parts of the South have killed hundreds and devastated communities.  And in Ecuador Tungurahua has erupted.  The radiation in Japan continues, though it has slipped off the front pages.  It was a week in which Pachamama again undermined belief in the planet’s immutability and demonstrated her capacity for constant change, ever evolving impermanence.  She is clearly unhappy.  Humankind, however, apparently doesn’t pay attention.  Or seek supplication.  It is far happier with the facile, the grotesque spectacle of an imperial wedding and the Republican sociopathy when confronted with the President’s birth certificate.  It’s no wonder that Pachamama is so unhappy.

Phoebe Snow passed on.  For many, many years she devoted her life to caring for her child.  She and her flutelike voice, sometimes almost a yodel, will be sorely missed.  Thank goodness for Youtube.

A Dangerous Idea transformed your Bloguero’s expressed giddiness at the idea of his metaphorically becoming a human cannonball into dour sobriety.  An English human cannonball was killed when his safety net “failed to engage.”  A sad story.

A Victory Cigar announced your bloguero’s completion of the manuscript for his second novel, Tulum.  What’s it all about?

The book, set in Tulum in Mexico’s Yucatan and in Cuba, is at once a travelogue, a love story, and the story of the unlikely friendship of a Mayan Curandero and a middle aged, gringo expat with a shady past, who ultimately embarks, as an apprentice, on the path of becoming a Shaman. There will be no spoiler here. The book, drawn from the deep cenote of Magical Realism, adopts Carlos Fuentes’s guidance:

A writer should never know the whole story. He imagines one part and asks the reader to finish it. A book should never close. The reader should continue it.

Put another way, your Bloguero’s not telling much.  Not yet.  He’s turning it over to you, the reader.  He’s telling just enough to whet your materialist streak, the part of your internal dialogue that whispers, “You know, I really should buy a copy of that and read it.  Did he say it was his second book?  What was the first one like?”

And your Bloguero noted Shakespeare’s birthday with his favorite quote from the Tempest.  You know the one.  After all, your Bloguero believes, we are all such stuff as dreams are made on.

Your bloguero notes that this Digest is a weekly feature.  Your Bloguero usually posts this Digest on Saturday morning early.  He hopes that you will (again) forgive his putting it up a trifle early.  Your bloguero will be back next week, hopefully on Saturday morning early.

What’s Cooking: Baked Rigatoni with Ham and Mushrooms

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

In case you still have a few slices of that ham left and are truly sick of ham sandwiches, don’t let it go to waste. Here’s an easy recipe that can make use of those last few slices.

Baked Rigatoni with Ham and Mushrooms


* 1/3 oz. dried porcini mushrooms or 6oz. fresh button mushrooms

* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, if using fresh mushrooms, plus 6 tbsp.

* 12 oz Rigatoni

* 1/3 cup all purpose flour

* 2 1/2 cups of milk (low fat is fine)

* pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

* salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

* 4 oz of Fontina or Swiss cheese, cut into julienne strips

* 6 oz ham, roughly chopped


If using porcini, place in a bowl with lukewarm water ans soap until softened about 30 minutes. Drain. squeeze out excess water and chop finely; set aside. . If using fresh mushrooms, cut off and discard the stems, wipe clean with a towel and thinly slice. In a frying pan over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp. butter. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté fir 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

 In a large pot bring 5 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add rigatoni and cook for about 6 minutes; they should be very al dente. Drain the pasta and transfer to a bowl. Ass 2 1/2 tbsp of the butter and toss well.

Preheat an oven to 350 F. In a sauce pan melt 2 1/2 tbsp. of the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until smooth, about 2 minutes. Stirring constantly, gradually add the milk. Continue to stir until it thickens and is smooth and creamy, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, ass the porcini or fresh mushrooms, sprinkle with the nutmeg and stir well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Grease an 8 by 12 inch oven proof dish with the remaining butter. Arrange 1/3 of the rigatoni in the dish. Sprinkle one third of the cheese and ham over the top and spoon on one third of the sauce. Repeat the layers in the same order two more times, ending with sauce.

Place in the oven and bake until heated through and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Serve at once.

Serves 6

My daughter says to increase the sauce by half for a creamier dish

National Security Musical Chairs

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

While everyone was focusing on the bogus issue of President Obama’s citizenship and busily examining the authenticity of the newly released long form, there was a national security shake up going on that finally got it’s 5 minutes of attention by the media. Defense Secretary Robert Gates had announced that he would be leaving the Pentagon this year. There was some speculation about his replacement that included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She has since made it clear that she was not interested and would remain in the critical job steering Obama’s rudderless foreign policy. By law, the Defense Secretary must be a civilian and disqualified if having served in the military in the last 10 years, thus eliminating any of the current or recently retired generals.

The President met this morning with his national security advisors at the White house and announced that current CIA Director Leon Panetta would be replacing Gates and Gen. David Petraeus, the current Afghan war commander, would take over the CIA. The other announcement at the meeting was that Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who was ambassador to Iraq under President Bush, would move to Afghanistan to become the Ambassador there, replacing Karl Eikenberry. One of the most experienced diplomats in the foreign service Crocker has also served as Ambassador to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Marine Lt. Gen. John Allen would replace Petraeus as the commander of the war effort in Afghanistan. Not yet decided, or atleast not announced today was who would replace retiring Gen, Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Once again, as we did with Bush CIA Director, Gen. Michael Hayden who continued to wear his uniform, the military dominates the national security agencies. As David Dayen puts it

So the merging of the military and the intelligence community is complete. Within a few years it’ll just be one big black op. The good news is they can cut the military budget then, and put everything into the secret, off-the-books intelligence budget so as not to raise suspicion.

h/t David Dayen at FDL

The New York Times

Susan Crabtree at Talking Points Memo

Six In The Morning

Searchers comb twister debris for victims; death toll nears 300

‘Neighborhoods … basically removed from the map,’ Tuscaloosa mayor says

NBC, msnbc.com and news services

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Survivors and rescuers combed through destroyed towns and neighborhoods on Thursday, looking for belongings and victims after dozens of tornadoes ripped through the South overnight.

The death toll continued to climb in Alabama, and at least 298 people in six states perished in the deadliest outbreak in nearly 40 years.

People in hard-hit Alabama, where at least 210 deaths occurred, walked through flattened, debris-strewn neighborhoods and told of pulling bodies from rubble after the storms passed.

“We have neighborhoods that have been basically removed from the map,” Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter Maddox said after surveying his city.


Scaredy Cat

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Time for a break from poetry…in order to create some art.

To be dragged in the wake of the passive flock and to pass a hundred and one times beneath the shears of the shepherd, or to die alone like a brave eagle on a rocky crag of a great mountain: that is the dilemma.

–Praxedis Guerrero

Ogle 23

Late Night Karaoke

Horses of the Woods

The horses are off the former Apocalypse Ranch.  They have been moved to their new woodland quarters.  People who love us attended our first cookout which was followed by a campfire.  Still tons of grief and uncertainty about the future.  The end of suburbia, our former ways of life.

My grand daughter looks like her mother.  Two years ago this would have been such a joyous time.  Such things now are jaded by the certainties of a crash and burn America.

Our Hopeless War


On February 28, 2011 Polish and American Soldiers with TF White Eagle in Ghazni Province Afghanistan hand out blankets, coats and school supplies in a small village near Ghazni City. Two days later the villagers burned the items in a protest against Coalition Forces. (US Army photo and caption by Ryan Perez.)

Photo from Our Hopeless War in Afghanistan


On February 28, 2011 Polish and American Soldiers with TF White Eagle in Ghazni Province Afghanistan hand out blankets, coats and school supplies in a small village near Ghazni City. Two days later the villagers burned the items in a protest against Coalition Forces. (US Army photo and caption by Ryan Perez.)

Load more