Monthly archives: August 2008
I Second that Emotion
So Will beat me to it, except I think she is way hotter than Tina Fey. Considering I also have a thing for McCain's wife there is a body part that wants to vote for the Republican ticket. If only this ticket would promise they would go back to the tax rates under Clinton (YEAH TAX INCREASE!) and choose moderate judges (Oh yeah, they are both against abortion). Since this isn't the case and I thought choosing Biden showed Presidential decision-making, I'm going with Obama. ****************************************************************** I am a fan of Keith Olbermann, but his constant approval of all things Obama and constant scorn for all things McCain has made him a Sean Hannity-like figure when it comes to reporting the news. While I agree with most of Obama's policies, my sorta fair and balanced radar, which was fine tuned from my journalism background, has real trouble with anyone who comes off extremely slanted one particular way. Liberal media outlets like Countdown or Rolling Stone Magazine (yeah, you Matt Taibbii) slammed Hilary Clinton every chance they got and have went even further that direction with McCain. The way FoxNews behaved for Dubya, many Liberal media outlets have emulated with Obama. I think their zeal to slam Hilary has already backfired and if this unknown Governor helps to connect with some of these disaffected voters, it might just be a death blow to the result they were looking for. Democrats are less likely to go for slanted political commentary, as we don't automatically root for the home team. This is the reason there will never be a progressive Rush Limbaugh. We like the NPR type slant in our news. Mild and classy, not blowharded crass. ******************************************************************* I thought McCain should have picked Pawlenty, as he is a really impressive politician. I am just happy he didn't choose Senator Joe Conn. I think he cost Gore the election as much as anyone outside of Ralph Nader and no politician gets on my nerves more than him. His sanctimonious behavior in condemning Bill Clinton's indiscretions was I began to turn against the guy. I have a real problem with people who lecture others on their marital behavior, as who is to know what goes on between a husband and wife. (I plan on posting something more on this subject in regards to John Edwards in the coming days.) I especially have problems with those who browbeat people with marriage difficulties when they have a divorce or 2 in their background, as well. See Limbaugh, Gingrich, Joe Conn, etc. ******************************************************************* I thought I would see a black person or a woman achieve the presidency and vice presidency during my lifetime. What I never thought would be the case is for a person who grew up in Hawaii or Alaska to be the one's to achieve it. If Aaron Sorkin had written a West Wing script where a foxy mama from Alaska became the Vice President, he would have been criticized for doing it to boost ratings. Palin has an Anne Archer type sensuality, circa 1990. You look at those brown eyes and cheekbones and maybe that goofy show where Geena Davis was the nation's boss wasn't so far-fetched.
I Gotta Say It
McCAIN - MILF '08!
Seriously, McCain just picked a Tina Fey lookalike as Veep. Cool. I'm not sure how Hillary supporters will react, but Lorne Michaels just has to be thrilled.
Shuffling The Race Card
I'm still loathe to talk politics, still not completely on board with Obama, and still waiting for this campaign to grow a pair. That said, the DNC speeches, especially from John Kerry and Joe Biden, plus the strategic moves by Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton have made it a success.
But that could all blow up tomorrow, a Mile High.
The "greek temple" is just the latest small detail that the Rove Republicans are seizing on. Of course, most Americans don't read Politico and won't see that George Bush put up columns in 2004. The Obama campaign has done just enough after Iowa to win, but couldn't shake Hillary and now they can't shake John McCain, so those details all count.
But what worries me most is what Barack Obama might say, or rather, how he might say it in front of those columns, in front of a screaming crowd of thousands, and most importantly, on August 28th.
Yes, it was August 28th, forty-five years ago, when Martin Luther King Jr. gave his speech and in Obama, many of the people moved by King are seeing that dream answered. A multi-racial, multi-cultural young man is being judged on the biggest stage in the world for the most powerful position in the world on the quality of his character.
I grew up in the South and know racism first hand. I've heard the harsh words and worse, the actions towards blacks and immigrants. I've seen the gnarled racism of Wallace-era segregation set in hearts of stone. I've seen the ugly racism of those with hate in their souls. I've seen the thoughtless racism of those who didn't hate as much as held it as an ignorance.
Those people are still there and still all across the country. They'll see Obama standing in a crowd of thousands, in front of columns, accepting the presidency and echoing Dr. King on the same day as his greatest speech, but they'll just see an uppity black boy speaking in the cadence of a call-and-response preacher.
There are times when Obama, like so many great black preachers, finds himself echoing the preachers he grew up with, though with Obama, I'm curious just how much he did grow up with them. Yes, we know that Jeremiah Wright speaks in those cadences, but I wonder if Obama echoes King more than Wright. I hear none of Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton, none of Crefilo Dollar and certainly none of Malcolm or Farrakhan.
If Obama's speech is to cross over, to speak to all of America and not just the ones that already have their early vote ballot filled out, he's going to have to catch himself when he starts to sound too much like King. Simply, Obama's dream is going to have to have it's own voice. To make his dream come true, he'll have to understand the race card is always in play and shuffle the deck.
Rule #1: Hearing someone talk about their fantasy team is more boring than watching paint dry.
Rule #1a: Hearing someone talk about their draft is even worse.
Ok, so I'm going to break those rules, but I also broke another:
Rule #2: Don't play Fantasy Football with your boss.
I'll go you one better. Don't play in a league with a bunch of people you've worked for. Or experts. In my case, both. Taking on Aaron Schatz, Jeff Ma, Eric Karabell, Chris Liss, and Matthew Berry isn't something you should try at home. Using Ma's new Facebook software, powered by SI, I drafted a team.
Rules: Standard, non-PPR, 12 teams, no flex. (It's easier in football.)
The rest, below the fold
Not A Blogger, Part 10
I've often said I'm not a blogger. I'm a writer. What I do isn't any different on this site, on BP, or in a book or magazine. The method of delivery seldom has anything to do with what I do, though linking is a bit of a crutch -- my recent Popular Science piece reminded me how much I lean on it for explanations.
So when I read a recent article about the Colts -- read here -- it reminded me of what a problem this is ... in comments. Buzz Bissinger famously equated the comments at Deadspin to what the bloggers write, which is like comparing the letters to the editor to a newspaper. (Conversation? When's the last time you saw a writer jump into comments on a larger blog? It's called hit count ...)
But read this:
The statement is a bit out of context but when he says "I wish people that blog ..." it's clear that he means people that COMMENT, not the writers. Heck, it's a web-posted article that will run in a daily paper, not even a blog based at the paper.
The word is starting to get mushy. As more people access it, you're not going to get early adopters out of the Ivy League. You're going to get stupid people from Podunk, Indiana who now think they can talk to 'them people in the big city.'
I am a writer who maintains a blog, but also writes in other formats. If you're a writer or a blogger, you'd better think about what people will be calling you.
Future Scott Long Midwest Comedy Dates
I will be in Milwaukee next week and then will be at the Broad Ripple Crackers Comedy Club (Indy) the following week. I then am off to Fargo, Minneapolis, Kansas City.... so if you are interested in more details, email me at email@example.com. Sorry, but I don't see myself hitting the coasts during the rest of 2008, as I've been working hard on getting the Good Scott/Bad Scott concept down. In the Midwest I'm starting to draw some people. I am an unknown entity in the rest of the country, but I'm hoping to change that over the next couple of years.
I plan on posting some video of my creation, Good Scott/Bad Scott, sometime next month, as I believe I've worked most of the kinks out of the concept. (Truthfully, Bad Scott is mainly kinks, so maybe that isn't the best way to describe it.)
A couple years back, my pal Brad Wochomurka was trying to catch up on "24" before the new season started. He had the DVDs and wanted to watch it in "real time." I don't think he made it through, but this kind of "burst watching" is becoming more the norm. With DVDs, Tivo, and Hulu, there's no reason to wait.
(Speaking of waiting, the longer I wait for Obama's announcement, the more I note that his campaign hasn't made a good decision since Iowa.)
The problem is that I *do* have to wait. Heroes (Season 3) won't be done and on DVD until this time next year. Pineapple Express is in theaters, but I want to watch at home on my couch. The concept of "windowing" is as antiquated as a weekly serial. If there's a premium to be had, why not make it available? The Wire kind of did this, releasing an episode a week before normal airtime on HBO On Demand. Why not do this more? Or for the whole season?
NBC is trying to be innovative with a show sponsored by Chevrolet. We've seen 24 debut with limited commercials. There have been a couple others that tried this model. Why not push out a DVD or better, trade a bunch of personal info for a show. Look, I'm not buying a Chevrolet -- I'm not in their market -- but I'm guessing that a Christian Slater spy serial must be in the sweet spot of their demographics.
Burst watching, TVD box sets, a la carte cable, and digital on demand, all to come back to the Texaco Star Theater model? I'd hope that we can do better. Dr. Horrible might be bigger than any show this season when we look back on the entertainment landscape.
I have a creative nomad mp3 player, but I decided to buy an Ipod classic, because I had run out of memory. (Here comes the SAT/ACT type question.)
My Ipod holds 80 gb. I have been trying to figure out how to transfer the 40 gb of music I had on my Creative device, into my Ipod. The only way I was able to figure it out was to move the music into a Word document (my music) and then transfer it over to the Ipod. The big problem with this is by doing this I am using a buttload of memory, which my desktop doesn't have. To try to work around this, I deleted all the music I had in my desktop Itunes folder, as it was already loaded on my Ipod. Problem is now my computer thinks my Ipod is an alein device. I now get a message saying I would have to get rid of what is on my Ipod to put anything new on it. (Obviosuly this has defeated the purpose of what I was trying to accomplish.)
So here is where I could use suggestions.
I'm actually planning on buying a new laptop, so that would help me with the problem of memory, as I should have enough to get this done. I'm a still stumped on how to put what is on my Ipod into an Itunes folder, so than I can add the previous music I have in my Creative device.
I realize that I have been going around in circles here, but hopefully someone can give me a tutorial to help me. If you would prefer emailing me the info, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Any advice on what laptop I should buy? Here are the basic parameters.
Obviously, with these qualifications, it isn't going to be an Apple, so don't try to sell me that direction. I realize the advantages, but I need something cheaper and I'm hoping I can buy it at a place that will give some free financing. (This is not an absolute.)
Another Contender and a Roadtrip
There's finally another contender for my album of the year pick. The release of "The '59 Sound" by The Gaslight Anthem sounds like Social Distortion playing Springsteen. Described as punk, I just don't see it, unless punk is suddenly more the spirit of Joe Strummer rather than Johnnie Rotten. I'm still re-listening to the album, but so far there's not a misstep on it. It's too early to compare this band to some other Jersey successes, but it's a damn good album with a unique sound.
For those of you in and around the Indy area, I'll be heading to Bloomington for what promises to be an amazing double-bill at the Bluebird. Juice favorites Drive By Truckers and The Hold Steady will be playing on November 13th. Tickets are $25 bucks and go on sale Friday. It's not the best venue, but it's a fun little place, especially considering these two bands should be playing much, much bigger venues. If there's enough interest, we can carpool down or meet up for a pre-show nosh.
I understand what Matthew (who's great) is saying here, but I disagree. The last thing I need is more networks, more incoming noise, and less control over it. The firehose is already turned on to high. It was easy to control when there were a few blogs to read, but now there are hundreds in my Google Reader. Some are must/everyday reads, some are 'when it gets my attention', and some I should purge. I have Twitter/Identi.ca. I have Facebook. I have ...
Heck, I published in about ten places this week. BP, of course. Here. Sports Illustrated. Football Outsiders. Fantasy College Blitz. Rotowire. A Q&A at Outs Per Swing. Ballbug thinks Unfiltered is another source, so there. XM. Radio gigs. TV some weeks (including an upcoming national one.) Then you add in comments I've made or as Ken puts it here, "conversations."
Ideally, FriendFeed or the new Facebook would give me a place to collect all of this. I don't need a "walled garden" especially since when those build up to a supercritical mass, they tend to break down. "It's so crowded there nobody goes," as Yogi said. Do you need to see all my stuff though and how is it monetized? Comment systems like Disqus and Seesmic or even Digg disintermediate comments.
Ideally, everything goes in, then you take what you want out. Some don't care about my football stuff. Some could care less about cigars. Some of my readers feel like they know me because I write about things I do and some HATE it. Do I need a place for my friends (real friends, not virtual) and another for the haters? (With things like Loopt and geotagged photos, that's actually a major issue.)
Or do we need it at all. NONE of these models, save for a few, have any sort of monetization. I'd wager that many of you have read other blogs here and gained knowledge, but guys like Alex, Jon, and Josh all work day jobs. There are full-time bloggers, but not many. Newspapers aren't buying up baseball blogs, they're pushing their writers to a new format. Some are good, some aren't, but guys like my Toastermates might be widely read, but not widely paid.
There's an internal tension between much of the new content streams and the old pocketbook. Between rights fees, press passes, and bloggers who think that the outsider perspective has any sort of validity, it's not changing soon. Which means we're in for a lot of change, and soon.
BDS on BPR
Any reader of this blog knows I'm loving the album from Back Door Slam, a big contender for my #1 album of the year. I had a chance to interview their singer/guitarist Davy Knowles over on BP Radio. Give it a listen and be sure to check them out.
Now, let's see Scott get an interview with Conor Oberst! Ha!
Cooking For Guys: Steak
There's nothing like a big, juicy steak. Sure, it makes a lot of sense to go vegetarian, but when you see a thick, dry-aged, bone-in rib steak at the butcher shop, you just have to buy it.
Like this one that I got from The Goose.
So now that you've found the perfect steak (and it is), you have to cook it right to make it worthwhile. Steak is simple to cook (grill it to the proper temperature) but difficult to get right. Even tougher is to cook it right and season it right, so let's do a very simple dry rub.
Get some ground coffee (dark roast), some paprika, and salt and pepper. That's all stuff you should have around anyway. You can sub in ancho chile if you prefer it to paprika. You'll also need to preheat the oven to 425 -- it's raining, so we're not doing this one on the grill -- and get two cups of mojito. You can use the pre-made mixes available everywhere, but the citrus and mint is going to help flavor the steak while it cooks.
Mix the dry ingredients (coffee, paprika, S&P) and just rub them on the steak. Leave it sitting on the counter until the meat is 'room temperature' or at least not cool to the touch. Rub it only on one side. You have a good piece of meat, so there's no need to completely cover that up. The rub will just enhance it, so one side is enough.
Now you want to crust the steak. Heat up a pan really hot with just a bit of oil. Put the steak in, rub-side down and let it go for three or four minutes. You don't want to cook the meat, just crust it, so as you see the side of the meat start to brown, you're done.
Take the steak and place it rub-side up (now a nice crust that looks like this):
into a pan with about a half-inch of the mojito. Place the meat thermometer in, put the steak in the oven and go do something. Don't look at it until it gets to the desired temperature. Yes, this means you need a thermometer that has an alert, so go to Target and buy one for twenty bucks. You need it for the grill anyway.
Once done, it will look like this, assuming you also cook to medium:
(Picture didn't come out and by the time I realized it, the steak was eaten!)
But you're not done. You're not satisfied with just cooking it properly, you want to make it look great as well. Yes, it looks pretty darn good as is, but if you head to a high end steakhouse, they make it look better, don't they? Since we're using a bone-in rib steak, you have a couple choices once the steak has rested about five minutes. The first is to do the more complex butterfly style, leaving the strips attached to the bone. If you've got enough knife-fu to pull this off, it's the best
If you don't, a simpler thin slice will look phenomenal and not quite as intimidating to your lady friend. Cut away the bone, then slice it to quarter to half inch thick slices. It looks better if they're even, but it doesn't have to be perfect. Lay these slices over a bed of fresh greens and you, my friend, are golden.
Of course, if you don't have greens, you can just plate it and go! You can thank me later, after you chew.
Some people will look at me funny when I tell them to put in the thermometer and walk away. I do the same thing with my grill, in large part because I have a Holland Grill. It's a very different breed of cat which you'll either love or hate. Because of how it cooks, you can do things on it that you can't with other grills, like cook bacon. There are some things it doesn't do well too, like burgers (it's bad at them) and steaks (you have to get used to it.)
If you're one of those guys who has a "Grillmaster" t-shirt or a set of BBQ tongs that come in an aluminum case, you probably enjoy standing there watching the stuff cook and turning things, poking them, flipping them, dealing with charcoal, or whatever. I don't. I'd rather put the stuff on, grab a beer, and do something else, like talk to people or watch a ballgame, but to each their own.
Cecil Cooper says he'd quit if Barry Bonds was brought to Houston. It's a punk move on several fronts. First, he didn't say it until he knew the team wasn't interested and had announced it publicly. Second, I doubt he'd have the same reaction to local legend Roger Clemens.
It's sad to see Cooper go so far towards being a company man, making him a perfect match for Ed Wade and the hapless Astros. McLane has gone from being a bad imitation of George Steinbrenner to a bad imitation of George W. Bush*.
* As owner, Bush was meddlesome when he felt like it while still being completely ignorant of most operations.
O Say ...
There are some things I don't care about. Pros playing Olympic basketball is one of them. People taking 2:30 to sing a one minute song is another. But damned if Nike didn't make me just watch that whole thing.
How 'bout we play the Marvin Gaye version every time we win a medal? Or just all the time. That and Jimi Hendrix would work for me.
Bigger, direct version because YouTube's being a bit slow ...
Societal Critic at Large: Scott Long
About the Toaster
Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
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