Monday, October 17, 2011

Patty hits Channel 4

My friend Patty makes an appearance on Channel 4, talking about on-line lotharios:
Online Dating Scammers

Damn, first Lynne, and now Patty.  Everyone around me is hitting the airwaves.  Me?  All I ever say is "No comment, motherfu**er."  That usually keeps me out of the public eye.

My friend Lynne's project

Thursday, August 18, 2011

August 15 redux

August 15

The minister is speaking
and all gathered are
on his words of comfort.

I, on the other hand,
am more concerned with
the insects-
grasshoppers, crickets, bees,
and others-
all singing of life.

It seems to me
they are singing a song
praising the one we all
are gathered to honor,
even as we mourn
her passing.

I hear the pastor's words
and I understand them,
even agree with them
but that's my issue,
not his)
I appreciate his efforts.

I thank him, after the
is complete.

Everyone is gone.
I give my thanks
to the insects,
for their role
in this ritual.

Ashes will be spread
on the shore tonight
at sunset.
I will listen then, as well
for nature's song.

Goodbye, my darling.

© Ivar G. Anderson 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

August 15th

Today is both a sad day and a day of celebration.  I am at Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin, to conduct my wife's memorial service and the interment of her cremains at a gravesite adjacent to her mother's burial place.  Lots of in-laws from this area will be in attendance, together with my delightful sister-in-law Joy, my father-in-law Wes and his wife, Dottie.  My two sons are here, Stephen and Brian, and Stephen's g/f Katy tagged along for the adventure.  Nothing fancy planned, just a few words from a local pastor, and then a chance for anyone that would like to express their thoughts about LeeAnn.
Following that, a picnic-style luncheon is planned at LeeAnn's cousin Karen's cabin, where we all can gather and reminisce about the departed.  I brought along the photoboards Dottie made up for the earlier memorial we held in May back in Michigan, and maybe I will post some photos from the day on Flicker-if so, expect a later update to this post with a link.  Or I could just embed them, I suppose.
Later tonight, I plan on scattering some of my wife's ashes here at the lake.  She so loved it here, it only seems appropriate.
Time to prepare.  More later(?)...
It's later, here's the Flicker link to the set of photos I uploaded this evening.  All the way through scattering the ashes at sundown today.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


I just received my invitation to Google+ and after poking around it a bit, I am intrigued.  Not sold on it replacing Facebook just yet, but I have great faith in Google as a web innovator.  Anyhoo, if any of my readers want an invitation to join the service, leave me a comment on this post and I will see what I can do.  You need to give me your e-mail address, but that should go without saying.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

New Recipe-Brined Smoked Whole Chicken

I had planned on smoking a whole chicken for our Fourth of July dinner, but my brother-in-law Mark generously suggested we grill some pork tenderloins and brats he had purchased and we did that instead.  Actually, I used the smoker that I was gifted by my good friends Lynne and Mike for the pork, and it couldn't have worked out better.  Brats on the grill over indirect heat are always a treat, and a fine feast was held.
But, I still had the roaster I had been planning to smoke.  So after dark on Monday, I mixed up a brine of 2 liters of water, 1/2 cup of kosher salt and brown sugar each and added a tablespoon of black peppercorns and a handful of rosemary and thyme to the solution.  I cut the backbone out the bird with my kitchen shears, and put both the bird and brine solution in a gallon ziploc bag.  I squeezed all the air out of the bag before sealing it and plopped it in a tray that I stashed in the refrigerator for 4 (maybe it was 5) hours.  I then drained the brine solution from the bag and rinsed the bird before placing it in a new gallon bag, that I left open and deposited it into the fridge.  There it stayed for 2 days. 
Last night, I fired up the smoker and when the firepot was ready, I put the bird on the grates, bone side down and weighted it down with a brick wrapped in foil.  After 2 1/2 hours, Brian and I went to look at the chicken.  Where the brick didn't cover the fowl, the skin was a dark brown,  and since my instant read thermometer said it was at 170°, I pulled it onto a platter and brought it inside to rest.
The breast meat, due to the brining, was moist and succulent, and Brian ate a leg, a wing and a couple big hunks of breast meat, telling me it was among the best chickens I had ever prepared.  I sampled some as well, while packing up the leftovers for the refrigerator, and I have to agree.  The brining keeps the meat tender and moist, and the herbs flavor the meat.  Butterflying the chicken allows for even cooking of the entire fowl, and the smoking with soaked mesquite chunks and apple wood logs adds that extra special flavor.  I think the drying out process helps the skin to crisp nicely as well.  It takes a bit of time, but the results are definitely worth it.
A big thanks to Mike and Lynne for the gift of their smoker.  My summer grilling schedule just got a bit busier.

My day at Slows

I've been trying to eat lunch at Slows Bar B Q in Detroit on Wednesdays of late.  Not only is the food delicious, the staff is so friendly and accommodating that I feel at home.  It is one of the shining lights of Detroit, along with Michael Symon's Roast at the revitalized Book Cadillac Hotel.  Today was a fine example of superb hospitality.
When I strolled in at 4:30, my favorite Detroit based bartender, Heather, greeted me with a radiant smile, asking, "Are those Courts keeping you away from us?  Don't they know you need to be here earlier?"
I smiled, and explained, "Computer problems today, no court."
"What will you have?"  Per normal protocol, I let her pick my drink, although she made me taste the beer first.
Later on, she asked if I wanted to eat.  I explained that I was starving, but had promised my boys that we would deal with the leftovers in the fridge.  "A snack then.  What about a brisket enchilada?"
It was loud in the restaurant, and I couldn't hear her very well, but nodded in approval, figuring anything that came out of the kitchen would be scrumptious. My dish was served by Nurse Elizabeth, a bartender at the establishment two doors down from Slows, whom I had met a couple of Fridays past, on the day she had passed her nursing boards.  She recognized me (amazing to me as I was dressed in my work clothes, not a tropical shirt and shorts like when I first met her) and told me, "I have an interview tomorrow, and I am so nervous."  I tried to reassure her, telling her, "Why?  You;ll be great."  She smiled, and said, "I hope so."
Next, the wine buyer and manager, Tara came by.  She set a glass in front of me and poured the rest of a delightful Spanish white wine.  I accepted it with a smile and a thank you, and sipped.  The first impression was of green apples, but as it breathed, the mineral flinty-ness took over and I noted a delicate finish.  Served chilled, it was perfect for summer, and when Tara returned to inquire, I advised her of my impressions.  She smiled and said she thought the same things about the wine.
Heather, returning to my place at the bar, asked, "You just have wine bottles appear in front of you?"
"When I'm lucky," I replied.
My beer was gone and Heather returned.  "Something else?" she inquired.
"What do you recommend?"
"You usually move on to bourbon," she responded.  "You want me to pick?"
"I always do.  I trust you."
She poured me a couple of fingers in a rocks glass, and I saw her inhaling the aroma before she set my drink before me.  "It smells really good today." she advised.
"That's good.  I though maybe it had gone bad."  She shook her head, and moved off to serve another patron at the busy bar.
At 5 or so, Heather advised me, "I'm leaving now.  Your lunch was on me."
I stared at her, dumbstruck and speechless.  Finally, I managed, "Can I tip you, at least?" failing to thank her properly.
She grinned at me.  "Next time.  You will be back, right?"
"You can count on that."
I let the new bartender pick out my next bourbon, after my choice was found to be wanting, both on the shelf and in the reserves.  Tara, as she left, came by to bid me farewell, and I made a point to thank her for the wine.
I never had a chance to wish Nurse Elizabeth the best of luck at her interview, but it was busy and I didn't want to be a distraction.
I love Detroit.  I don't venture into the more questionable neighborhoods, but with reasonable precautions, it is a great place to visit.  And if you ever get a chance to go to Slows, try the pulled pork or the brisket.  It's so good, you could plotz.
All in all, as Richard Dreyfus said in Let it Ride:  "I'm having a very good day."

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

My Dinner with Bob and Suzanne

My wife recently passed away, and my friends have been solicitous in regards to my needs during this period of mourning.  So it wasn’t really a surprise when one of our oldest friends asked me to meet her at the Detroit Institute of Arts to see an exhibition that was closing last Sunday.  We made arrangements to meet in the front lobby near member services.
I arrived a bit early, so that I could renew my membership.  The helpful woman at the membership desk handled my renewal efficiently, then asked what showing I wanted to attend.  I explained that I was awaiting my friend and she told me to return when she showed up.  I waited until a few minutes after 2 PM, then called my friend, getting her voicemail.  I dawdled about the lobby until about 20 past the hour, before returning to the membership desk.  There was only one ticket left for the 2 PM showing, but the woman told me if my friend arrived, she’d make sure we could go in together.  I went to the exhibition hall, wasting another 10 minutes, then finally decided to use my ticket.  Of course, as soon as my ticket was torn, my phone rang.  My friend apologized, explaining that she had lost track of time while cleaning her patio furniture (it was a gorgeous day-70 degrees, sunny, with a light breeze).  She instead suggested I come over to her home for a glass of wine after I finished at the museum and I readily agreed.
After strolling through the exhibit, I made my way to the Modern Art wing and took in the Impressionist paintings and the Diego Rivera fresco, then retrieved my car and drove north.  When I arrived, I saw my friend, standing in her driveway, her phone at her ear.  As I got out of my car, she laughed and said, “I can’t offer you anything to drink.  I’ve been locked out of the house.”  By her husband, it turned out.  I reached into my back pocket and pulled out my flask.
“Good thing I come prepared.”  We shared some bourbon, then went to inspect the door.  “I have a lock pick,” I told her, “and we could try to get inside.”
“Why do you have that?” she laughed.
“It’s a lawyer thing,” I enlightened her.
 At the door, I saw her husband inside, and he waved at me but then walked away, deeper into the house.  “How about I take you out for a drink?” I suggested, replacing the pick in my pocket.
She agreed and we climbed into my car.  We were considering where to go as we approached 8 Mile, when I noticed a car coming up fast behind me, then pulling up to my left.  I looked over to see what manic was in such a hurry and saw her husband.  He waved us to go back to the house, then turned right onto the divided road and took off with a screech of tires and was quickly at, then beyond the speed limit.  I looked at my passenger, who said, “Well, we might as well go back to the house and see if he unlocked the doors.”  We parked and found the back door unlocked.  Entering, we made our way to the kitchen and she poured us each a glass of red wine.
“Why don’t you get your keys?”  I suggested.
She shook her head, advising me, “I don’t have keys to the doors.  I come in through the garage usually.”  Saying that, she opened the garage door and found the openers disabled, but was quickly able to reconnect the devices.
We sat outside on the patio, sipping our wine, enjoying the lovely day.  I was provided with some details about their recent troubles, when I noticed the same car that had screeched off down 8 Mile pull up.  He strode up purposefully, and said to me, “My sympathy and concern for you outweighs how much I hate my fucking wife,” giving me a quick hug as he continued into the house.
We sat in stunned silence for a moment, and then I pressed for further details, which my friend supplied.  To our mutual surprise, her husband joined us on the patio with a drink.  I inquired as to what he was imbibing, and he happily described his beverage.  It seemed to turn the page for him, and he engaged in the conversation.  I should note that I was there for dinner the week previously, and had noticed that I carried on conversations with both my friend and her husband (to be fair, he is my friend as well), but that the two of them did not speak to each other.  It made for a strange dinner party.
My friend went indoors, and he and I talked, but not about them.  When she returned, she said, “I am going to Bob and Suzannes’ to have dinner with Julie.  You are, of course, invited.”  This she directed toward her spouse. 
“No, I wouldn’t be good company.  Why don’t you take I.G.?”
Both of them then looked at me.  “Ah, shit, I don’t know…” I hesitated.  I knew Bob and Suzanne from dinners at my friends’ home over the past few years, and liked the couple.  I also enjoyed the company of my friend’s mother, who she usually referred to by her first name, Julie.
“No, go with (my wife).  I’m sure they will have plenty to eat if they expected me.  You two should ride together.”
I demurred that option, instead opting to drive separately and follow my friend.  “I will go for a drink, and see how it all plays out,” I conceded.
Despite an accident on Woodward, we were there in a jiffy, and went in to Bob and Suzannes’ home.  I was greeted by all the occupants of the kitchen, who hadn’t seen me since my wife’s death.  We discussed the tragedy, while my friend set up the appetizer she had brought along.  Just as the starter plate was ready, Bob announced that dinner was served and began to dish up jambalaya for us all.  Obviously, there was no possibility of me just having a drink and disappearing. 
Dinner was excellent, and we had a pleasant conversation about the Stratford Festival, our hosts being regular attendees at the plays held in Ontario, Canada each year.  It was still light out when Julie announced that she was going to depart.  We said goodbye to her, and my friend and I finished our wine from dinner while standing in the kitchen.  When we decided to move on as well, Suzanne provided us with carry out containers of pasta, not jambalaya, which I graciously accepted.
Once outside, my friend and I stood next to her car.  She kissed my cheek and thanked me for coming.  I looked at her, and told her, “This has been one fucking weird day.”  She laughed, agreeing with me and I noted, “It’s not late, want to grab a drink and talk about this?”
She nodded and we found a quiet bar down the street.  We discussed the events of the last few hours, but I still had no clue how things had proceeded to the point that I was sitting at a bar in Royal Oak, in a nearly empty bar talking about the secrets of men (there aren’t many, as I advised her). 
We parted in the parking lot, looking at my missing wheel cover and dented rim, the result of a late winter pothole I wasn’t able to avoid while heading to the hospital one afternoon.  “Actually,” I informed my friend, “I missed the hole, I just hit the huge slab of concrete that was in front of it to the side.”  We agreed to get together more frequently, with me stressing something I had realized too late:  “You need to make time to spend with those that matter most to you.  It’s far too easy to think you have all the time in the world, but that’s our arrogant mistake.  I won’t do that anymore.”
As I drove home with the sunroof open, enjoying the still warm night air, I pondered my day and decided that although odd, it was worthwhile, as a life experience if nothing else.
*Postscript:  Things seem to be better between my friends.  At least, they carry on conversations between themselves.

Some links and quotes

There is not much better in the world of web surfing than being able to read the writings of an author on a weekly basis, especially when the content is so wonderfully humorous.  Witness Drew Magary of Deadspin in the most recent Funbag installment:
All day long, from the commute on the train in the morning to the commute back, and for every reasonably attractive female that passes by my office door in between (but excluding images encountered, e.g., on the web), I do at least a quick imaginary mental-bang of dozens of women each day. Hell, they don't even have to be that attractive. I've fucked disabled fatties - in my head - just for a laugh. If you were to tally the total number of women you've had some mental relations with, how many do you think total in your lifetime?
What's the world population? Roughly that. The mind of any man is a sewer.
 The most amazing thing is that I actually said something along these lines, trying to explain my gender (actually, I learned today that gender isn't properly used here, instead I should say my sex, that being male, as gender is more of a grammatical distinction and not a differentation between male and female...anyway, I digress) and how we are all basically little boys at heart with uncontrollable desires to fornicate.  I don't think I'm as bad as Jim in the above qoute, or Drew for that matter, but I'm no saint.  That discussion took place at the end of a weird afternoon and evening I spent with my friend, which I'm still attempting to commit to this blog.
A little more Funbag before I put this post to bed:
After reading the story about Ina Garten snubbing a Make A Wish kid, I got to thinking what my wish would be. The 1st to come to mind (assuming I can't wish for endless wishes) would be nailing Brooklyn Decker or smoking a joint in the White House. But those seem too easy. Should I wish to be a manager for a baseball team or to be a head coach for an NFL team? Or do I go on tour with Prince? So many decisions.
I think if we're dealing with REALISTIC wishes, like those bestowed by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, your choices are pretty limited. No sex acts. No money. It's basically "meet someone famous" or "do one cool thing". And meeting famous people is boring as shit. I think I'd probably ask for a free trip or something. But let's face it, those poor Make-A-Wish people probably have to spend 80% of their day explaining to very sick cancer boys why they can't get a blowjob before they pass away. Because that's what every dying young boy wants. Even that kid who's getting to ride with dolphins and shit is probably thinking to himself the whole time, "Man, I really wish they had gotten me a blowjob." If a kid I know ever gets cancer, I'm buying him a blowjob, damn the consequences.
 Fine thoughts indeed from Mr. Magary.  But holy shit, did Ina Garten really snub a Make-A-Wish kid and his or her dream?  For shame.  No more watching you on Food Network or The Cooking Channel.  The young boy is only 6, so I guess having her make up for the snub by taking up Drew's idea is out of the question.  Note:  apparently the bad publicity forced Ina to relent and grant this wish.  It wouldn't seem so bad if she wasn't constantly tossing parties for her friends on her show.  Busy schedule, indeed.

Before I go, you remember Antoine Dodson from this post, right?  The YouTube star with the Bed Intruder Song (just Google search and you'll find it, trust me). Turns out he had a bit of a disagreement with the local law enforcement officers and was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana, as well as not having insurance for his BEENNZ (E-Class), failing to appear on a traffic warrant and speeding.  Here is a short but sweet post on The Root to get you some early background and give you a place to jump into the details more fully via the blogosphere.

Material from Deadspin used pursuant to terms of  Terms of Use policy.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Hospital #1

Hospital #1
Feet moving
Head twitching
The feeling:
Prone in a
                hospital bed-
spewing from
                the bed remote
Blood flows
to what purpose?

Swaddled in white blankets       
I wonder
“Where are you really?”

Ivar G. Anderson
March 19, 2011

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

2011 MLB Tiered Cheatsheet

Part of the reason I put together my projections database and the resulting spreadsheet is to create this Tiered Cheat Sheet for use during fantasy baseball drafts.  The first version of the Cheat Sheet is now ready for download from several locations, namely:
Google Docs
Offfice Live
Buckaroo's Ballers Fantasy Sports website

Feel free to visit any of the three sites and get your own version of the drafting tool.  Make sure you check back for updates, too.  The date of last modification is just below the key to the left of the sheet.

Monday, March 07, 2011

2011 MLB Projections

My projections spreadsheet is up and ready for downloading.  It's huge (3.1 MB), so I had to save it to Office Live here.  I also saved it to Google Docs here.  My suggestion is to go to one of the links, and download the actual spreadsheet, then open it in Excel.  I created it in Excel 2007, but if you cannot open it, send me an e-mail at iganderson at and I will see if I can upload a copy in Excel 2003 format.  No promises on that front, however, since I am not certain all the formulas will carry backwards to the older format.
No need to pay attention to the AVE and SD columns, or for that matter, the Z columns.  The Stat columns (e.g., HR or ERA) are the averages of all the projections I used in creating the spreadsheet.
Next up:  a tiered cheat sheet.  But that is for another day.

Auction Values

You can see my auction values spreadsheet here or here.
Or if the embedding works, you can look at it below.  Office Live is acting kinda wonky lately, so you are prolly better off clicking one of the links above.  Viddy well, my droogies.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Mickey Mantle: Outstanding in Right Field (or under the bleachers, actually)

Mickey Mantle
Click on the link above if you are not easily offended, or if you do not worship Mickey Mantle as a person of great character.  It's a great example of Mick's humor, and does the history of the Yankee franchise proud.

Friday, January 28, 2011


I was talking with my wife the other day about the various hats I wear and the groups I belong to these days.  She joking brought up a designation I had developed when we were in our senior year at U of M-The BCA.  The acronym refers to the "Brahmin Class of America." If you are interested, the Wikipedia article about the Hindu caste Brahmin is here, but basically the Brahmin class was composed of the teachers, scholars and priests of Hindu society.  I was an arrogant young punk in college, I admit, even for a student at Michigan (I never really was insulted by Darryl Rogers "arrogant asses in Ann Arbor" comments, especially since he backed up his words).  But, I did and do believe that most college/university students do belong to the BCA, at least until graduation and stepping into the work-a-day world.  The time you lucky fortunate students spend studying, debating, philosophizing and enjoying yourselves should be one of the best of your lives, so enjoy your status while you can.  If anyone tries to tell you that being a scholar is a meaningless, trivial enterprise, just remember, membership in the BCA is a privilege and an honor to be savored.
I may write about this further, but at this point, I simply wanted to get it posted so I would not forget about one the groups I value my membership in, even if I was its founding member.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Oh, the humanity

I just posted this on one of my Facebook friend's pages in response to this posting:

“As I look out the window, I see a very beautiful planet that seems very inviting and peaceful. Unfortunately, it is not. 

These days, we are constantly reminded of the unspeakable acts of violence and damage we can inflict upon one another, not just with our actions but also with our irresponsible words. 

We are better than this. We must do better,”
-CMD Scott Kelly

I agree we can do better, but a glance at human history depicts a different tale.  Man's inhumanity to man has been manifest in our cultures for untold generations.  It really is up to each of us to make the world a better place, a safer place, a place we can live in peace.  I may be a cynic, since I don't expect that to happen in my lifetime, but I will do my best to make it happen around me.

Now, I will admit I am cynical, possibly the biggest cynic among my friends.  But I also live by the Attorney Code (adopted from the Repo Code as related my Harry Dean Stanton in Repo Man, an excellent cult classic and probably Emilio Estevez's best work).
The Attorney Code:
I will not, through action or inaction, allow any harm to come to my client, nor through action or inaction, allow harm to come to my client's property. 
The corollary to the Code is that to the best of my ability, I will strive to make any situation better for all involved, if at all in my power to do so or if it is within my ability.
There is justice, there is fairness, and rarely do the two dovetail, but I have considered it my duty to make any and all attempts to make the world a fairer, more just place for the poor suffering bastards (that would be a good name for a band, I think it is already a name for a drink in the singular tense) that inhabit it, me included.

Enough pontificating.  Back to your regularly scheduled nonsense.

Friday, January 07, 2011

The Greatest Letter Ever Printed on NFL Team Letterhead via Deadspin

I usually only post Drew Magary's work from Deadspin here, but this is far too exceptionally wonderful to pass up the opportunity to make more widely known.  Yeah, I know, from this blog, more widely known is a misnomer, but grant me my delusions.
The Greatest Letter Ever Printed on NFL Team Letterhead
As an attorney, I wish I had been practicing back in the 70's.  If I wrote a letter like that today, I'd prolly lose my license.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Other 100 Greatest Movie Insults of All Time

No need for explanations, just watch and enjoy.  Oh, and make sure you check out the original 100 Greatest Movie Insults of All Time in my post from December 30th of last year.