Anderson/Hatgidakis/Nelson/Metcalf: Newsletter

Old news: February 2012

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Cool new photos today -- special leap-day photos, and a portrait of Oscar. Thanks to Amanda and Teghan.

Hope everybody is doing something unusual on this unusual day. Drive home the long way, or go to a new restaurant!

Another Oscar party has come and gone.......... Anna was very excited to win and I am very sad to loose. :) We had a great time though, with Zach, Sam, Mark, Anna and her roommates Christy and Andrea and her boyfriend Tom (who also KILLED in his picks, don't bet against him!). Zach prepared homemade pepper biscuits with chorizo gravy, Sam and Mark brought a delicious fresh fruit bowl and Anna and her gang brought some Pinot Grigio, pita, chips and salsa from Whole Foods (it was so good I thought Mom made it!). I only made some Greek salad and Butterscotch bars. I thought the show could have been better but all we really care about was WHO WON. We have had snow/ice/rain/wind today. Ishy weather but not a blizzard. Ryan, I would love to hear about your new job, but I sure understand how busy you must be, anyway, congrats and best of luck. Zach is making me a mushroom/blue cheese burger, so I need to sign off. I love being spoiled. John started his cancer treatments and will begin his Hep C treatments in March and he is having a tooth pulled next week, aside from that, he is doing well.

John, hope the Tooth Fairy brings you something nice. --Gary

Another rainy day, hate to think how much snow we would be shoveling if the temp was just a few degrees lower. Even hearing a little thunder now that I am home. Marsha are you guys getting snow? Looked like we were getting hit.

A rainy spring day all day here too. --Gary

This year's Oscar results have been posted. Kudos again to Anna and Tristen! Anna, the Oscar went home with Tristen on Sunday night (wearing a fetching new suit of clothes designed and created by Teghan). I'll put a reminder on the countdown page for us to get the Oscar trophy to you around September 1.
Congratulations Anna and Tristen!
We enjoyed watching in SC, minus Erika who had to work....
Congrats to Anna and Tristen, we will have to try harder next year!
Congratulations to Anna and Tristen for their Oscar wins! We had a fun time in Lincoln, and I hope the SC and MPLS parties were fun too. I'm off to bed now, but I'll have the play-by-play up ASAP. Congrats again to the winners!
Okay, Oscar players, our list of Oscar picks has been updated with four more players -- so 15 of us are in the game this year. Thanks for getting your picks in, Metcalfs!

You Minneapolis and Sioux City players will note that the checklists you received yesterday are now incomplete... But you can still print out our "official" checklist if you go to the Oscar picks page and download the form. The download link is right at the top. Lincoln players can do the same, of course, or if you make it to Grandma's Sunday night I will have plenty of checklists on hand.

Tristen: If you remember it, please bring the Oscar over to Grandma's so we can gaze at it during the show. :-)

So, I think we're ready for Oscar night. Good luck, everybody!

Gary, we got our Oscar lists today. Thanks! I've been playing the front page, getting quite a few of them. We have snowy night. Been raining all day, then turned to snow early afternoon. Looks like 3 inches so far. Already seeing lots of late starts for tomorrow, so maybe I can sleep in. I guess the snow is making the critters want some warmer conditions. We had another $%^&*#$ bat in house tonight. Geez I hate those things. Marsha -- how is John doing today? I was thinking of him yesterday.

Aaagh, another bat! Y'all need some kind of bat-scarecrow. --Gary

Uh oh! Teghan submitted hers! We'll redo it. Stand by for amendment/appendix D.

Got it! Thanks, Teghan. I will add all the Metcalf votes to this page tomorrow. Should be a fun Oscar night! --Gary

We got our Oscar packet in the mail today, thanks Gary! Looking forward to watching on Sunday!

You are so welcome, and good luck to everyone. There is some last-minute voting going on in the Metcalf house as I write this, so stand by. Have received Amanda's, Tristen's, and Ryan's, but still awaiting Teghan's. I'll post those results tomorrow. --Gary

New photo: Teghan and a Mardi Gras King Cake. Thanks, Amanda!
Okay, the people have spoken! The Oscar votes are in, the results are tabulated, the checklists are printed, and will go into the mail today to all the players. In the meantime, here's how we voted.

For those of you who won't be in Hollywood on Sunday night, feel free to view the broadcast at Grandma's. As she does every year, Grandma will be preparing an exact duplicate of the menu that will be served at the Governor's Ball (which is held after the presentation for the winners and nominees only). I know that she's already working on the 24 Karat Chocolate Oscars; she mentioned that the hard part is getting the face just right.

Smoked Salmon on Oscar Flatbread with Caviar and Creme Fraiche
Spicy Tuna Tartare in Sesame Miso Cones with Masago
Mini Kobe Cheeseburger with Remoulade and Aged Cheddar
Pork Belly Dumplings with Soy and Ginger
Crab Cakes with Remoulade
Arrancini with Tomato, Basil and Parmesan
Tempura Shrimp with Wasabi Glaze
Vegetable Spring Roll with Sweet Chili Sauce
Smoked Salmon Pizza
Assorted Pizzas

Cold Appetizer Platter
Lobster Taco with Tomato and Pickled Shallots
Caprese Skewer with Bufala Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil
Potato Latke with Smoked Sturgeon and Horseradish
House Made Pretzel Bread with Beer Cheddar Fondue and Mustard Aioli
Prosciutto Grissini

Small Plates
Chicken Pot Pie with Shaved Black Truffles and Roasted Vegetables
Fuji Apple Salad with Crumbled Blue Cheese, Arugula, Shaved Red Onion and Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Beet Tortelloni with Goat Cheese and Toasted Hazelnuts
Gold Wrapped Baked Potato with Caviar and Creme Fraiche
Slow Braised Short Rib with Polenta and Romesco
Crab and Lobster Louie with Horseradish Panna Cotta and Marinated Tomatoes
Truffled Macaroni & Cheese with Aged Cheddar
Shanghai Lobster with Coconut Curry, Jasmine Rice and Pickled Ginger
Chinois Lamb with Cilantro Mint Vinaigrette
Beet Salad with Pistachio Butter, Burrata and Citrus Balsamic

Seafood and Sushi Buffets
Sushi with Wasabi, Soy and Ginger: Rolls, Nigiri and Sashimi
Shellfish with Mustard and Cocktail Sauce: Prawns, Lobster, Stone Crab and Oysters

Passed Dessert
Almond, Orange-Brown Butter Cake with Blood Orange
Date Cake with Sticky Toffee Pudding and Toffee Orange Sauce
Chocolate in 3D
Golden Candy Apple
Banana Cream Pie with Candied Popcorn
Tart Tatin with Pretzel Pastry and Caramel Gelato
Chocolate Mousse in Golden Egg Cups

Dessert Buffet
Raspberry Rose Eclairs
Strawberry Shortcake Push-Up Pops
Red Hot Macaroons
Star Shortbread with Silver Sugar
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pops
Brown Sugar Lemon Meringue Cones
Chocolate Pudding Push-up Pops
Long Stem Strawberries

Chocolate Buffet
Chocolate Fountains with Farmers Market Long Stem Strawberries
Chocolate Paninis
Triple Chocolate Cupcakes
Warm Coulent Souffle Cakes
Chocolate Dobos Torte
Earl Grey Tea Truffles
White Chocolate Coconut Rum Truffles
Milk Chocolate Caramel Truffles
Chocolate Dipped Pop Rock Cakes
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Triple Chocolate Toffee Crunch Cookies
Chocolate Coffee Cups
Chocolate Toffee Cups
24 Karat Chocolate Oscars

Wow, I did lousy on picking the past Oscar winners. Lots of good movies made in 1941. Brent is off for Presidents Day, but school for me.

I think Lincoln schools and the University are all off today, but we UN-L staff will report for duty. --Gary

Okay, now it's a race! Two-time winner Marsha, three-time winner John, and four-time winner Donna joined the Oscar competition last night. That leaves only Amanda, Lindsey, Lori, Olivia, Paul, Ryan, Sean, Teghan, Tristen, and Zachary who are letting the Oscar slip through their fingers.... So far, anyway! They still have this weekend to get their votes in. I will send out one more annoying email to the tardy ones today, and then Monday morning I will be tallying up the results and putting the checklists in the mail. The clock is ticking, so start your clicking!
Gma & Donna, Hy-Vee on 84th has Caribou K cups for $12 for 24 cup box.
We now have eight Oscar players, now that Anna has joined the fun crowd. The rest of you -- which is to say, Amanda, Donna, John, Lindsey, Lori, Marsha, Olivia, Paul, Ryan, Sean, Teghan, Tristen, and Zachary -- have only four days to go to the Oscar page and click your mouse 26 times. Try a practice click right here!
10th St was a MESS when I was in DC last spring. That construction had taken over the entire area. It was crazy. Glad to hear it's done!

You can see it in Google Earth. Find Ford's Theater and zoom all the way in down to the ground. You'll be in "street view" and can look around using your mouse. --Gary

Just letting you all know that the winning Oscar ballot arrived last night -- assuming that all her picks are correct, that is. Yes, Grandma has joined the game, so to the rest of you with your noses pressed up against the window I say, come on in! I'm talking to Amanda, Anna, Donna, John, Lindsey, Lori, Marsha, Olivia, Paul, Ryan, Sean, Teghan, Tristen, and Zachary.

I was playing around with Google-Earth yesterday (one of my favorite pastimes) and I went to Washington DC in street-view. I navigated up 10th Street to see Ford's Theater, and got a surprise: There was a new-ish looking building right next to the old theater, and the new building signage also read "Ford's Theater." Hmm, that wasn't there on my last visit, years ago. Apparently they have enlarged the museum part into this new building. And then this morning I ran across this amazing picture taken inside that very building. It's a 34-foot-tall stack of books -- each one of them about Abraham Lincoln. (That's 6800 books!)

Update: I learned they have also added a new museum and visitor center across the street, right next to the Petersen House, and that the photo of the books was actually taken there. This new museum opened just this month.

About today's cool site: I was looking for just a generic fancy chocolates place for the Valentines Day cool site, and this one turned up near the top of my search. Google has a tendency to put places that are local to you at the top, so I checked the locations: four stores in California, two in Nebraska (one in Lincoln), and one in Maine. Interesting! (I see that the guy who started the company grew up on a farm in Nebraska.) Has anybody been here? It's out near Holmes Lake. If you get there before I do, please give me a review of their French Toast chocolate -- I'm going to be obsessed with that until I try it. Also, the pistachio....
Three-time Oscar winner Samantha has officially entered the contest, so it all got a little more difficult for the rest of us to win -- especially if you are Amanda, Anna, Donna, Grandma, John, Lindsey, Lori, Marsha, Olivia, Paul, Ryan, Sean, Teghan, Tristen, or Zachary, as you guys haven't even sent in your ballots yet! Can't win if you don't play!
Well my 2 hour late is now a whole day :) Must have about 6 inches and still coming down. Brent went to the office, said the road crew hasn't been out yet so the streets were tricky. Did Lincoln get anything?

A few inches of wet snow that is already turning to slush on the streets. Not really a problem here -- just messy. --Gary

A few words about that letter on today's front page: When I first saw it a few weeks ago, I wasn't too sure about it. It seemed a little too perfect, and even a little too modern, to be authentic. So I did some checking on it, and found that it's the real deal. It first appeared in print in that same year, 1865, in the New York Daily Tribune. Other records show that there was a P. H. Anderson in Tennessee in 1860 who owned 32 slaves. Also Jourdon Anderson and his family appear in the 1870 Ohio census. Jourdon's occupation was listed as "hostler," or stable-hand. The census states that Jourdon could not read or write, but his 19-year-old daughter Jane was listed as literate and she could have been the one who took down the letter for him. The V. Winters mentioned in the letter also appears in the census, as a lawyer in Dayton, OH. All in all, a pretty amazing letter and a really unique glimpse into that time.

Speaking of time, if you are Amanda, Anna, Donna, Grandma, John, Lindsey, Lori, Marsha, Olivia, Paul, Ryan, Samantha, Sean, Teghan, Tristen, or Zachary you have only one week to get your Oscar ballots in. Brent, Emily, Erika, Gary, and Karen have already done it -- so how hard can it be, eh? :-)

If you want to make informed predictions, you might want to look at the Golden Globe winners and the Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG). I'll be sending out an email reminder today, to annoy those of you who haven't made your choices yet.


Wow, what a interesting letter, enjoyed reading it this morning. Got an early (5:15) call from the principal this morning. Two hour late start. Got up and looked out the window. Have about 2-3 and it's really coming down...... maybe we'll get the whole day. Had another quiet week-end, but it was nice.

Couple inches of new snow on the ground, but not much more is expected so no closings around here. I don't really want to go out there today, but... --Gary

I LOVE that beef and noodles one. So easy, so good.
I stumbled on that too when I first read it. But read that second fact in conjunction with the first fact: "15% of people are left-handed" and "20% of all Mensa members are left-handed." That means if you're a left-hander you have a slightly higher chance of having a high IQ than a right-hander. If there was no connection between handedness and IQ, then only 15% of Mensa should be left-handed.

On another subject, I tried your Beef and Noodles in crockpot recipe yesterday -- and wow, it's good. Where you noted it is not necessary to brown the meat first, I went a step further (due to a lack of planning ahead): I took the meat from the freezer and put it directly in the crockpot. And it came out perfectly. Dee-lish. Thanks for the recipe!

I've seen that Mensa fact before. And maybe I'm just a right handed dummy, but if 20% of all Mensa members are left handed, doesn't that leave 80% right handed? Hence more right handed geniuses?
Gary, how was the soup?

It was excellent! I added mushrooms (chopped portobellos) and used frozen spinach instead of kale. I found that two large cans of chicken stock would have been way too much (for my 3-quart crockpot); I used only one. And don't leave out the cream -- that really made it, in my opinion. Anyway, it was great yesterday, and I'm looking forward to leftovers today. --Gary


Wow, you guys are getting it good. we haven't had a flake yet. Been hearing for three days how bad is was going to be for us, but so far nothing..... Jack is supposed to be driving to SC this afternoon, I'm thinking he should wait until tomorrow.

I thought yesterday it might all be hype too, except for the fact that I kept hearing the weather-faces saying "100 percent chance" of snow. Never heard them commit before! :-)

Power is on here, and will stay on, knock wood. I did hear a big crash outside while still in bed this morning, but it sounded kind of overhead, so I think it must have been a big chunk of icy snow sliding off the roof.

I'm ready for the snow-day. I've got that Tuscan soup working in the crockpot (thanks, Amanda!), so I've got a bowl and spoon ready and I'm just watching the clock til it's done....

Be careful with that snow, Lincolnites -- it's dense and heavy, so instead of shoveling it, just call Ryan and have him bring the snowblower over. :-)

P.S. to the above: I just now looked outside and saw the cause of the crash I heard this morning. The 20-foot crab-apple tree in my backyard looks like it has split right down the middle, and one half of it crashed down right outside my back door. I think the sound of chainsaws will be in our ears over the next few days....


All Lincolnites have power? We're good here, and Tristen just talked to Grandma, she's still on. I've seen lots of friends pictures on Facebook of trees down, power out. It's crazy. I must admit I was overheard last night saying, "it's all hype, we won't get anything, the weather guys are idiots..." Oops. :-)
Well, it seems that one particular rodent in Pennsylvania saw his shadow this morning, indicating six more weeks of winter. If it means six more like the previous six, I won't mind at all.

In a related note, the groundhog winter forecasts have been analyzed and compared to the actual weather records for as far back as they exist -- and the rodent predictions have absolutely no relation to what actually happened. Just in case you were wondering.