Category Archives: NPR

>Judge Amanda Williams


Do you listen to ‘This American Life‘?  If you don’t, you must start.  It’s one of the few radio programs (or any media program, for that matter) that can completely entrance me.  It’s made me laugh, it’s made my skin crawl, it’s made me very sad and it’s given me respect for Phil Collins.
The most recent episode, “Very Tough Love” left me with a wide array of emotions and I’m curious to know about your reactions.  I won’t tell you my exact thoughts about the conduct of Judge Williams as to not taint your brain before listening.
But, if you are so inclined, you can write to these people:

Judicial Qualifications Commission

PO Box 191
Madison, GA 30650

Posted by on 30 March 2011 in Anger, Broken Stuff, NPR


>This Again?


The use of “abortion doctor” to describe Dr. George Tiller is distasteful at best. He was a physician performing legal medical procedures to families facing an unimaginable choice. Ms. Lohr and her editors have stooped to the lowest common denominator by supporting such inflammatory terminology.

NPR story by Kathy Lohr can be read here.

Posted by on 22 January 2010 in Anger, NPR, Sadness


>The Puzzler – Answer


Ok all, I’ve just heard the answer. Good news: if you followed this post on my Facebook page, we’ve covered all five options. Bad news: I botched the question (I’m so lame, I know). The question was how can player reach first base with hitting the ball, not a batter. Obviously, this changes things:

1. A walk (no difference between an intentional walk/walk)
2. Hit by pitch
3. Catcher dropping third strike/batter beats thrown down to first
4. Catcher interference (bat/glove contact) – I never realized a base was awarded for this
5. And of course because we are talking about a player, and not a batter – pinch runner

Thanks for playing and I promise to get the question right next time!

To participate in any Puzzlers, listen to Car Talk each week.

Leave a comment

Posted by on 10 February 2009 in Baseball, NPR


>The Puzzler


A bit ‘o baseball trivia for you.

I’m listening to Car Talk and the Puzzler is driving me nuts: Name the five ways a batter can reach first base without hitting the ball.

This is what I can come up with:

1. Walk
2. Intentional walk
3. Hit by pitch
4. Catcher drops third strike/batter beats throw down to first
5. Pinch runner

* I’m wondering if #1 and #2 are counted as the same thing? Would they both go down as “BB” on a scorecard?
* Not sure a pinch runner counts as they never batted and the question specifically asks how a batter can reach first base?
* Can you think of any other scenarios?


Posted by on 7 February 2009 in Baseball, NPR


>Lincoln, Nebraska

I give you and conversation that occurred this morning at Starbucks and my first “You’re not from around here” moment of the trip.

Me (placing my travel cup on the counter): “Could I have a non-fat latte, please?”


Barista (looking at the cup like it is full of radioactive waste): “What. Is. That?”

Me: “A. Travel. Cup.”


Me (sensing her utter confusion): “Can you make the latte in the cup?”

Barista (still has not taken her eyes off the cup): “In the cup?”

Me: “Yes, please.”


Barista (not breaking her stare): “I always make drinks in a Starbucks cup.”

Me: “I know. I use this to save paper cups.”

Barista (finally looks up): “So, you don’t want a Starbucks cup?”

Me: “No, thank you.”

Barista: “It’s ok for me to use this cup?”

Me: “Yes.”


Barista: “What size is this?”

Me: “Grande.”

Barista: “I guess I could make a grande latte in one of our cups and pour it in your cup to make sure.”


Yesterday, I had some pretty harsh things to say about Wyoming and I am here to issue a retraction: Wyoming is not the most boring state in the Union. I know this because today I met Nebraska.

En route to our destination of North Platte, we stumbled upon the small town of Gothenburg which boasted an original Pony Express stop. Cue nerdy photograph opportunity.

We arrived in North Platte and while eating at a Subway within a gas station convenience store (Mmmmmm! Just as tasty as it sounds!), I took a look around.

Cows and corn as far as the eye can see.

To supplement the entertainment, I considered buying the jug of Wild Turkey prominently on display in the liquor aisle of the convenience store. Realizing that North Platte is not quite halfway through Nebraska, lapsing into a psychotic state while driving the other half tomorrow wasn’t as much fun as it sounded. We decided to haul ass to Lincoln.

Thankfully, the new car comes equipped with satellite radio so we could listen to various comedy channels and get our NPR fix. I may poke fun at the Great Plains, but I honestly do not understand how people can drive in Nebraska; falling asleep at the wheel from eye fatigue must be a huge problem here.

Unless you are terrorized by semi-trucks. Matt and I were caught next to four semis driving like maniacs trying to pass each other at 80 mph (129 kph). I was able to snap photographs the license plates and an considering posting them. We’ll see what mood strikes me later.

Lincoln was a much nicer stop than North Platte and once again, I credit the Capital Building. This has to be the best one I’ve seen in my various travels (and I’m quite partial to New England brick). This building was full of marble, stained glass, arches and gorgeous stonework. The mosaic floors reminded me of European churches and the courtyard looked like it could host an afternoon tea. The grandness was understated and it was proudly boasted about by an enthusiastic employee.

At dinner I searched for anything on the menu that did not involve corn.


>Tuesdays With Dorie: Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler

The recipe was chosen by Amanda of Like Sprinkles on a Cupcake and my feelings have been mixed about the selection. The cherry is a fruit that I have always been on the fence about; I’ve had great cherry-based desserts and others that I literally could not swallow. Rhubarb has remained an oddity in my book and I think it stems from trips to the grocery store as a child when my rudimentary thought process was:

1. I do not like celery.
2. Rhubarb looks like celery.
3. Therefore, I do not like rhubarb.

I am reminded of a fabulous story that was recently aired on NPR’s This American Life, entitled “A Little Bit of Knowledge“. The stories within this episode were about speaking like an expert on topics we know little of, including misconceptions and irrational reasoning that manifests in our childhoods and take with us as adults.

Rhubarb is a perfect example.

1. I still do not like celery.
2. Rhubarb still looks like celery.
3. Therefore, I still do not like rhubarb.

It has come the point where someone mentions rhubarb and all I picture is celery. Which is why I made the face I did when reading “Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler” (voice in Jessica’s head: “Cherry Celery Cobbler? Who the hell would eat that?”).

But, enough about my contribution to “Jackass Monthly” (reference will make more sense when you listen to the NPR story), onto the kitchen.

The Filling:
1 lb sweet cherries, pitted and halved
4 long rhubarb stalks, trimmed, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp ground ginger

The Topping:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup whole milk

* Mix cherries and rhubarb together in bowl
* Sprinkle sugar, cornstarch and ginger over fruit and toss well, set aside
* Give a few tosses while making the topping

* Pulse flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and ginger in food processor a few times
* Scatter pieces of butter over dry ingredients and pulse until course
* Add milk while pulsing
* Pulse until moist clumps are formed
* Turn onto a lightly floured surface and form 20 balls

* Pour the fruit and liquid into greased 8×8 glass baking dish
* Top with dough balls
* Bake at 375°F for 35-45 minutes

My notes:
→ A revelation: rhubarb does not taste like celery
→ However, I found rhubarb to be a tad bitter; unsure if this is normal rhubarb flavor or if I just need a lesson in how to select rhubarb
→ I had two Granny Smith’s lying around, so they got chopped up and added to the cobbler. Not sure if this was such a great idea since I found the rhubarb to be bitter.
→ Another revelation: a cherry pitter is a valuable time saver. Wish I owned one. (Well, wouldn’t you know it! It’s on my wedding registry!)
→ I thought the wheat flour was wonderful in the topping.
→ I do not own a food processor, but everything turned out just fine mixing by hand. (Amazing! A food processor is also on the registry!)
→ Hoped for a stronger ginger taste. Next time I think I will add more or omit the ginger all together and do something citrus: adding lemon juice to the filling and the rind to the topping. May work ok with orange juice and rind, too.
→ Call me lazy, but I didn’t feel like rolling the dough into 20 little balls. I rolled the dough into one large ball and dropped hunks of it all over the top of the cobbler
→ Cobblers are a great introductory baking dish and extremely versatile; I encourage everyone to give it a try. I know I will be using the wheat flour topping recipe in future cobblers.

Please check on the other members here and if you are interested in joining Tuesdays With Dorie, click here.

Look carefully and you can see the steam – I couldn’t even wait for Matt to come home before I dug in!


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