Overzealous Recycling 004: That’s up to the gods


I snuck out the last Overzealous Recycling with no promotion, but you can read it here — 

Maybe this is a hedge, but I’m more of a New England Patriots admirer than a fan. I’ve read a few books on Bill Belichick during the past few years because I’m intrigued by how he’s been able to maintain such success in a NFL that turns over so frequently. And Tom Brady is a Michigan man who was never appreciated as much in Ann Arbor as he should’ve been.

Also, a good friend of mine recently moved to New England and is saturated with Red Sox and Patriots talk, as you might imagine. I tend to follow the sports teams wherever she lives, if for no other reason than feeding her watercooler conversation topics.

So I suppose I’m rooting for the Patriots in Sunday’s Super Bowl LIII. I’d have no problem with the Rams winning, and it would sort of be revenge for the Pats beating the then-St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI (2002). But I’ve always liked to see excellence rewarded, even if it doesn’t make for the most compelling sports story or rooting interest.

During one of my local radio appearances on WISE Sports Radio here in Asheville, I said on the air that the Patriots would win, 31-20. (And I’ll be sitting in as a co-host this Friday for the second consecutive week.) So I should stick to that. But I do have this feeling that the Rams’ fearsome defensive tackles, Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh, could disrupt Tom Brady. It might be closer than I predicted.

Musical Interlude

Sometimes, I feel like the people who truly get me in this life are those who share my love of CBS Sunday Morning. If you’re with me, you enjoy that signature theme song and trumpet. The show is celebrating its 40th anniversary and last week ran this feature on that distinct theme.

You Stand Corrected

How many replies did NPR get from Dungeons & Dragons fans (or board game enthusiasts) to post this correction?

Grocery Store Playlist

For the last couple of years, I’ve joked with friends that the best music I hear these days is playing at the grocery store. Songs from the ’80s and ’90s just hit my sweet spot. I probably linger in the aisles longer than I should because I’m enjoying the music, while also fantasizing about eating healthier and cooking more ambitiously.

During my last three visits to the grocery store, I’ve started keeping track of which songs I hear (Shazam helps me with the tunes I don’t recognize) and posting those playlists on Facebook. But it occurred to me that I could share the fun by making Spotify playlists of those songs. Here’s what I heard last Saturday while buying salad ingredients, restocking La Croix and marveling over what’s available in the frozen food aisle these days.

That’s two Musical Interludes for this week, isn’t it?

Meal Plan

I’ve been wanting to include some food content in each (not a) newsletter, and Super Bowl Sunday seems like a good occasion to share some fun dip or snack recipes. But I usually just have pizza or wings. Nothing too exciting.

But I’m thinking of trying Sean Brock’s recipe for pimento cheese this year.

3 large pimento peppers (about 12 oz.)
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup mayonnaise, preferably Duke’s
1/2 tsp. vinegar-based hot sauce, such as Tabasco
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
1/8 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 cup pickled ramps, chopped, plus 1/2 cup of the brine. (If you can’t find ramps, you can substitute finely-chopped bread-and-butter pickles and brine.)
1 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater

You can read the prep at Garden & Gun. I’m not sure about roasting the peppers, but know they’ll taste better and mix better with everything that way. Oh, I’m gonna eat way too many crackers…

10 to Read

** We’re probably to the point where Tony Romo is overpraised for his analysis on CBS NFL broadcasts. (“Genius”? C’mon.) But he is really good on TV and it’ll be fun to watch/listen to him on Sunday’s Super Bowl telecast. [New Yorker]

** Journalism should be supported with subscriptions. But should that money be put toward an inferior product? Friends of mine have lost jobs due to the Citizen-Times‘ layoffs here in Asheville, and the current product has very little local news in it. It’s not worth my money. But is that attitude part of the problem? [Washington Post]

** My former colleague Harry Lyles Jr. wrote a fascinating piece on Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood and how it changed irrevocably after the January 2000 incident involving NFL linebacker in which two people were murdered. [SB Nation]

** Information for life, if you ever happen to eat a Lego piece. (Accidentally, presumably.) But a specific kind of Lego piece. Imagine volunteering for this study. [Smithsonian]


** Lost in all the disbelief over Donald Trump serving the national champion Clemson Tigers an array of fast food burgers, fries and salads is that only 15 of the team’s 74 black players opted to visit the White House. That’s 26 percent, folks. [The Root]

** Would you be surprised to learn that Trump’s favorite thing to point out when giving tours of the White House is where Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky spent their… intimate moments together? No, me either. [Washington Post]

** I changed my passwords on a couple of Gmail accounts because I couldn’t remember them. It caused a mess that took me at least a half-hour (it sure felt like longer) to fix. This writer tried to cut Google out of her life entirely and it didn’t go so well. [Gizmodo]

Yes, I know I’m far too dependent on Google and Apple, and should probably do something about that. For now, I’ll accept the consequences for convenience.

** I want to disagree with Drew Magary’s contention that bagel sandwiches are bad because it’s such an unwieldy eating experience. Yet in thinking about how I usually eat bagels (bagels with cream cheese are one of my favorite foods; if only that was nutritious), I almost always deconstruct the sandwich and eat each half individually. Mostly to prolong the joy. [GQ]

** Jumping back to the wasteland of the current media landscape — sports media, especially — there may be no better example of how bad things are than acclaimed sports columnist Ray Ratto being unemployed. Ratto is polarizing because he doesn’t try hard to be liked, but he’s dead-on about so many things in the industry and how sportswriting should be approached. [The Ringer]

** A couple of weeks ago on the Amusement Park Podcast, I highlighted YouTube show Cartoonist Kayfabe as something I’ve really been enjoying recently. I just love the deep dive nostalgia on comic book magazines, artists, characters, and trends. This interview with hosts Ed Piskor and Jim Rugg extends the fun. [Monkeys Fighting Robots]

Weekly affirmation


Not a Newsletter 007: Radio nowhere

milesspidey_readingWhen I was a kid, working in radio seemed like such a cool job. Every station had to be like WKRP in Cincinnati, right?

That delusion was first dispelled when I won a prize from the old WIQB (Rock 103!) in Ann Arbor and drove to the station to pick it up. Rather than a respectable office with the magic happening behind the glass, WIQB was basically a shack out in Saline.

As I grew older and got to know people in the radio business, I learned how brutal it could be. Many of them had been ruthlessly fired. (My podcast co-host was one of them.) Plenty of people in other lines of work have been let go because of salary cuts or job duties changing. But radio was supposed to be the cool job.

I was reminded again of how cruel working in radio could be earlier this week when a host I’ve worked with for years was fired. Here in Asheville, Bill McClement was a co-host on the sports talk show I’ve contributed to for nearly five years. I’ve talked to him two to three times a week throughout that time. I’ve sat in with him as a co-host a handful of times and always had great fun doing so.


Working at home, I’m not always the most social guy, so there have probably been many weeks when Bill was one of the few people with whom I had a conversation — even if it was about baseball for a segment on a sports talk radio show.

No, I don’t know all the details and probably never will. It’s not my business. But watching someone lose his job after 15 years with a company (and 40-plus years in the industry) is heartbreaking. It sure seems like he deserved better.

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Not a Newsletter: 03/04/18


Hello from the mountains of North Carolina! Last week’s Not a Newsletter was a bit whiny, as I was hit with a surprise cold that had me feeling lousy and thinking burnout. I’m not sure that was totally accurate, but it’s on my mind and I put it out there. But plenty of us are working a lot and slogging through.

As I finish this up, the Oscars are hours away. It’s one of my favorite events of the year, though I don’t think that interest is shared among many friends, except for a close few. Yeah, the Oscars are self-important and probably silly. But for those of us who love movies, it’s the culmination of the past year. And maybe some of us like knowing we have good taste; our favorites were named “The Best”!

Due to feeling sick for a few days, it wasn’t the most productive writing week here at Casselbloggy HQ. That probably meant more reading. But I did manage to pound a few articles out, including a ranking of the 2018 Best Picture nominees.

Here’s what we have to show from the past seven days. Be excellent to each other.

Read This


** So Trump was having a bad day and because he was in a pissy mood, he decided to put tariffs on steel and aluminum. Yeah, that seems rational. [NBC News]

** Jordan Peele is only the fourth African American to be nominated for Best Director. Could he be the first to win that Oscar? The Hollywood Reporter gathered those four filmmakers for a roundtable discussion. [THR]

** I’ve been a Detroit Tigers fan all of my life (or since my adolescence when I first took an interest in sports). It’s astounding to me that I didn’t know who the public address announcer at Comerica Park is. His name is Bobb Vergiels, and he drives from Central Florida to Detroit 12 times a year for that job. [Detroit News, hat tip Mike McClary]

** My pooping habits are quite normal, thank you very much. [Men’s Health]

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