Monday, November 23, 2015

Turkey Trot

It is Thanksgiving Week, oh the horror: travel, cooking, cleaning, family, Detroit Lions football, Hallmark Channel Christmas movies – it can all be very unsettling.

It is not all unsettling, this past week in Southern California there have been cloudless skies and temperatures in the eighties. November weather is the best this time of year.

A few Rink Rats Thanksgiving Week tips –

AN ENLIGHTENED THANKSGIVING – The horror of a Thanksgiving dinner strategy whose planning would make a Four Star General cringe.; the unlimited shopping lists, various turkey cooking styles, the best wine and cocktails, and of course the decorations.

This year keep it simple, so turn off The Food Network. A fresh free-range bird set to high heat will cook to just 6 to 8 minutes a pound (most birds are done in two-and-half hours). Prepare one simple, original vegetable dish and then outsource the other sides, meaning have each guest bring their favorite or use the freezer. A no-fuss sausage and country bread version stuffing prepared in advance say Tuesday or Wednesday.

Now the gravy, which pulls the whole meal together, dialing up the flavor of everything on the plate: Turkey has the best sauce potential of any beast. A rich stock of necks and giblets is combined with pan juices and red wine for a great sauce- no flour-thickening necessary.

Wine: one red preferably a Pinot and a White (you make the call), we like Paso Robles, California wineries.

Dessert - simple, pumpkin pie from your favorite bakery.

See how easy that is, I wish I had an answer for the Detroit Lions football game.

THANKSGIVING MOVIES – since we are home for a few days how about our favorite Thanksgiving themed movies:

Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Easily excitable Neal Page (Steve Martin) is somewhat of a control freak. Trying to get home to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with his wife (Laila Robbins) and kids, his flight is rerouted to a distant city in Kansas because of a freak snowstorm, and his sanity begins to fray. Worse yet, he is forced to bunk up with talkative Del Griffith (John Candy), whom he finds extremely annoying. Together they must overcome the insanity of holiday travel to reach their intended destination.
Release date: November 25, 1987
Director: John Hughes
Screenplay: John Hughes

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is the tenth prime-time animated TV special based upon the popular comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. It was originally aired on the CBS network on November 20, 1973, and won an Emmy Award the following year.
Directors: Bill Melendez, Phil Roman
First episode date: November 20, 1973

Home for the Holidays: When her teenage daughter opts out of Thanksgiving, single mother Claudia Larson (Holly Hunter) travels alone to her childhood home for an explosive holiday dinner with her dysfunctional family. Claudia quickly tires of her parents, her long-suffering sister (Cynthia Stevenson), her snobby brother-in-law (Steve Guttenberg) and her nutty aunt (Geraldine Chaplin). But the evening gets interesting when sparks fly between Claudia and her brother's handsome friend Leo Fish (Dylan McDermott).
Release date: November 3, 1995 
Director: Jodie Foster

Other People’s Money: "Larry the Liquidator" Garfield (Danny DeVito) is a corporate raider, deconstructing companies and selling off the parts for a profit. His new target is a small-town cable company that employs the majority of the town's residents. With everyone's livelihood depending on him, company chairman Andrew Jorgenson (Gregory Peck) hires his sexy stepdaughter, Kate (Penelope Ann Miller), to distract the ruthless raider. Larry takes the bait -- and soon finds that he must choose between Kate and money. The film is centered on Thanksgiving in Vermont.
Initial release: 1991
Director: Norman Jewison
Screenplay: Alvin Sargent

CIDER – What could pair better with Thanksgiving than the Pilgrims’ favorite beverage? Hard apple ciders are surging in popularity, but you may have to get past the top sellers to find dry, structured offerings that can stand up to the turkey feast.

Eden Sparkling Dry Cider – This Vermont product features the Kingston Black cider apple, a classic.

Downeast Cider House Original Blend – Though made from eating apples like McIntosh and Gala, this Boston cider strikes a balance between sweet and bone dry.

Famum Hill Extra Dry – This delicious, very dry cider from New Hampshire uses cider apples only.

RINK RATS WEATHER – Thanksgiving Forecasts:

Claremont, California: 64 degrees and clear skies
Jackson, Michigan: 54 degrees and rain
Littleton, Colorado: 30 degrees and snow
Central Park, New York: 61 degrees and clear
Tucson, Arizona: 68 degrees and clear
Orlando, Florida: 77 degrees and sunny skies
St. Paul, Minnesota: 32 degrees and snow
Hanapepe, Kauai, Hawaii: 82 degrees and rain

WHAT’S ON THE iPAD? – five songs we are listening to this week:
1). “A Buena Vista”, 2004 – Luis Frank Arias
2). “Call Me The Breeze”, 1974 – Lynyrd Skynyrd
3). “Chain of Fools”, 1968 – Aretha Franklin
4). “Why I Sing the Blues”, 1983 – B.B. King
5). “Someone to Watch Over Me”, 1950 – Ella Fitzgerald

COLLEGE CHRONICLES - Colleges update mascots, mottos, amid pressure from students: Amherst College has turned on its mascot. Georgetown University is renaming buildings. Union College has a new motto. Faced with growing pressure from students, colleges across the U.S. are updating campus fixtures that have been deemed insensitive or outdated. Inspired by racially charged protests at the University of Missouri, students have demanded tweaks of that type among broader calls for improved treatment of minority students.

TRUMP'S WEEKEND - In case you somehow missed it, Donald Trump this weekend suggested it was A-OK that attendees at one of his events in Alabama "roughed up" a Black Lives Matter protester, cleared up any controversy by saying he would absolutely consider making all Muslims in the U.S. register in a database, retweeted grossly inaccurate statistics on the racial breakdown of murders in the United States and again said (completely erroneously) that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheered for 9/11. Will any of these things hurt his poll numbers? Probably not.

But every time Trump strides deeper into the darker corners of the American electorate the harder it will be for him to ever galvanize the entire Republican party and actually win the nomination, not to mention the White House. Keep your eye on Ted Cruz who has surged into second place in Iowa according to the latest CBS News poll. Marco Rubio comes in third and could still eventually find himself in a one-on-one fight with Cruz if he can get his fundraising together.

MACRI WINS IN ARGENTINA – From our University friends in Buenos Aires: Mauricio Macri, the centre-right mayor of Buenos Aires who has vowed to bring change to Argentina, won presidential elections on Sunday, marking the beginning of a new political era for South America's second-largest economy. ... The 56-year-old son of an Italian construction magnate won 51.6 per cent of the vote, leaving Daniel Scioli, the government-backed governor of the province of Buenos Aires, on 48.3 per cent, with more than 97 per cent of the vote counted.

The victory for the former president of Boca Juniors, one of Argentina's most popular football clubs, brings an end to 12 years of populist rule by the outgoing leftist president, Cristina Fernández, and her late husband and predecessor, Néstor Kirchner, who took power in 2003 in the wake of a devastating economic crisis. The shift to the right in Argentina comes as many leftwing leaders in Latin America, especially in Brazil and Venezuela, are suffering plunging popularity ratings and tanking economies as the resource-rich region adjusts to the end of a decade-long economic boom spurred by high commodity prices.

HUGE SCANDAL BREWING - Inquiry Grows Into Intelligence On ISIS Surge: At the U.S. military's Central Command (Centcom), analysts say that supervisors revised conclusions to mask some of the American military's failures in training Iraqi troops and beating back the Islamic State. ... Military officials have told Congress that some ... emails and documents may have been deleted before they had to be turned over to investigators ...

Current and former officials have separately made similar claims ... to The New York Times. ... The insurrection inside Centcom is an important chapter in the story of how the United States responded to the growing threat from the Islamic State. This past summer, a group of Centcom analysts took concerns about their superiors to the inspector general, saying they had evidence that senior officials had changed intelligence assessments to overstate the progress of American airstrikes against ... ISIS. ... Centcom's official posture remained generally upbeat. ...

"Obama and senior intelligence officials have acknowledged that the Islamic State's rapid emergence caught them by surprise. At the least, the prospect that senior officials intentionally skewed intelligence conclusions has raised questions about how much Mr. Obama, Congress and the public can believe the military's assessments.”

THE BIGGEST PILL - Pfizer and Allergan have agreed on a historic merger deal worth more than $150 billion. The tie-up would create the world’s biggest drug maker and accelerate the rapid pace of health-care consolidation. It would also move one of the top names in corporate America to a foreign country, in the largest so-called inversion ever. Such deals enable a U.S. company to move abroad and take advantage of a lower corporate tax rate elsewhere. The news comes days after the Treasury Department released new rules aiming to curb such deals. Analysts said the rules didn’t appear to be able to thwart a combination of Pfizer and Allergan, though the risk of government action remains.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Traci Attman a belated birthday wish, Vice President Joe Biden (73) Washington D.C., Bo Derek (59) Montecito, CA, Danny DeVito (71) Malibu, CA, Goldie Hawn (70) Beverly Hills, CA, Megyn Kelly (45) New York, NY, Gordon Lightfoot (77) Toronto, Canada, Martin Scorsese (73) Miami, FL.

A GOOD READ – Maureen Dowd’s ‘Just Get Us in the Room’: Our Favorite Quotations From the Women of Hollywood

SPOTTED - St. Lawrence University President Bill Fox (75’) and his wife Lynn, along with VP of Advancement Tom Pynchon at Tuscany iI Ristorante in Westlake Village, CA updating friends and alumni on events at THE St. Lawrence University.

NFL PICK OF THE WEEK – Thursday 11/26, 4:30 PM ET CBS; Carolina Panthers (10-0) at Dallas Cowboys (3-7), its’ Thanksgiving Day and Tony Romo is back, The Boys end Carolina’s win streak 21 – 17. Season to date (6-5)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 11/28, 12:00 PM ET ABC; #3 Ohio State Buckeyes (10-1) at #12 University of Michigan Wolverines (9-2).

Q: A Michigan kid and an Ohio kid are in the third grade. Who is bigger?
A: The Ohio kid of course. He's 16.

Q: What do OSU and U of M students have in common?
A: They both got in to Ohio State!

Michigan wins 24 – 20.
 Season to date (8-4)

SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 11/28, 6:00 PM ET HGTV; #25 Cortland State Red Dragons (9-2) at #2 Linfield Widcats (10-0), Cortland must travel cross country to Oregon, enjoy the rain: Linfield wins 32 – 20. Season to date (11-1)

COLLEGE HOCKEY GAME OF THE WEEK – Saturday 11/28, 7:00 PM ET OSN; #11 Yale University Bulldogs (5-1-2) at #1 Providence College Friars (8-0-3), Yale upsets the Friars 5 – 4. Season to date (0-1).


(NCAA, Nov. 28) UCLA Bruins (8-3) at #25 USC Trojans (7-4); the Bruins are too inconsistent; SC wins the rivalry game 38 – 31.

(NFL, Nov. 29) New England Patriots (9-0) at Denver Broncos (9-2); the annual carnage for Denver against Tom Brady: Pats win big 35 – 21.

(NHL, Nov.29) Dallas Stars (17-4-0) at Minnesota Wild (11-5-3); two of the NHL’s best thus far this season, we like Dallas 3 – 2.

Season to date (91-58)

MARKET WEEK - Wall Street posted its best week of the year last week. That upswing could continue into this shortened Thanksgiving week, usually a good one for the market.
The S&P 500 is coming off its best week since October 2014, with a gain of 3.3 percent. The Dow rose 3.4 percent in its best week in six weeks. The Nasdaq was up nearly 3.6 percent for its best week in four months.

U.S. oil prices were volatile this morning, off more than 3 percent before recovering. Continuing worries over a global supply surplus and the stronger dollar were adding to the uncertainty.

DRIVING THE WEEK – This is family week and Michigan vs. Ohio State week. Not much else matters.  J

Next week: On Demand Economy, Career Services and Words of the Month

Until Next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
November 23, 2015

CARTOON OF THE WEEK – Doonesbury, Garry Trudeau

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