Sneaking Suspicions
Archives-- October 8-21, 2006

This page includes posts from October 8-21, 2006 in the usual reverse order. Each posting on the home page is perma-linked to these archive pages.

October 20, 2006
The maturing Delaware blogosphere

Two recent posts give an indication of the increasing growth and maturity of the Delaware blogosphere.

Bill Slawski is organizing a Delaware Bloggers' conference in Newark next month, and I hope that a lot of our fellow Blue Hen bloggers find the time to attend.

My hopes for this conference's success improved when I read what appears to be a remarkably comprehensive set of blog descriptions at Hube's site. He not only provides a pithy description of the general content of Delaware's contributors to the internet, but also grades the appeal of the blog layouts.

BTW, Hube, this site is constructed using Frontpage 2002.

I am such a dinosaur.

Hat tip--Mike Mahaffie for the Hube link.

October 20, 2006
Voting to Kill

This week I finished reading Jim Geraghty's Voting to Kill: How 9/11 launched the era of Republican leadership. The folks at Simon & Shuster were gracious enough to send it to me for review a few weeks ago.

It's way past the original publishing date, but books have such a long tail that I wasn't too concerned about the fact that my work and other responsibilities kept me from flogging this fine bit of reportage and commentary until now.

Much of the book reminded me of David Frum's How We Got Here, especially in how Geraghty describes the political culture and foreign policy choices of Republicans and Democrats during my lifetime.

As a fairly conservative Democrat, the book also provides more than ample proof of the current orphan status within my own party of those of us who favor a briskly hawkish approach to protecting this country from its foreign enemies.

Geraghty also gives his readers dozens of depressing descriptions of instances where partisanship rises far above principle in the daily discourse of our so-called political leadership. It's the kind of stuff that sometimes makes me despair of our chances to maintain the kind of broad-based defensive coalition we need against those who just don't care about our domestic political differences--because they want us all dead.

In the last chapter, Geraghty sounds a bit more optimistic about our prospects for a vigorous defense against Islamofascism than I am right now--and I deeply hope he's right.

October 15, 2006
Shameless Promotion

Here are the links to the most recent golf columns:

Preparing for fall golf in the Cape Region is about how folks treat the upcoming end of the season for posting their scores. Once November comes, golfers around here use whatever handicap they finish with in October for the next five months.

This can create some *interesting* performance incentives.

Can you hear me now? is about cell phone etiquette on the golf course--or sometimes, the lack of it.

October 13, 2006
Thompson Island

Thompson Island is part of Delaware Seashore State Park, but it's not something most of the park's million-plus-per-year visitors ever see, except from a distance.

In part, that fact has to do with its location at the head of Rehoboth Bay, about a mile across the Bay from the rest of the park.

The larger reasons have to do with its sensitive ecological and historical significance, especially for local Native American history.

Here's some of what state researchers said about the place when it was considered for inclusion in the National Register:

The island itself consists of approximately 37 acres of well-drained upland separated from the mainland by 32 acres of salt marsh and the channel of Stockley Creek. The elevation of the island rises from sea level at the northern end, where it is bordered by Stockley Creek, to about 20 ft above sea level at the southern end, where an eroding bluff faces Rehoboth Bay....

Although a number of disturbance processes, including cultivation, off-road driving, coastal erosion, and unauthorized digging, have affected the archaeological deposits on Thompson's Island, testing has shown that these deposits, and the information contained within them, remain substantially intact.

The Thompson's Island site appears to have functioned as a micro-band base camp, repeatedly re-occupied by small groups of people for several weeks at a time. No extensive occupation appears to have taken place before the beginning of the Woodland I Period, about 3000 B.C., although small areas were identified where earlier deposits with nondiagnostic artifacts had been buried by aeolian deposits. The greatest intensity of occupation on Thompson's Island occurred between 500 B.C. and A.D. 0, the time period associated with the Wolfe Neck and Delmarva Adena cultural complexes. These complexes are identified by their characteristic ceramics, Wolfe Neck, Nassawango, Coulbourn and Wilgus wares. The north-facing rise at the center of the island functioned as a Native American cemetery from the Delmarva Adena times into the Woodland II Period.

Once the state acquired the property, it imposed significant access restrictions on the island, to help preserve the archeological heritage still buried there.

With some difficulty, folks can still walk onto the island from the mainland. Otherwise, those seeking to visit it must beach their small craft on the spits of sand on the island's south and east shorelines. Back when I kept a Sunfish at the Rehoboth Beach Sailing Association, I would sometimes sail over and stroll around.

Nowadays, the island is primarily part of the local scenery, and there's some comfort in knowing that it will be kept in its current state.

It also forms a nice backdrop for a photograph of a sunset in mid-October, taken during a windy boat ride:

Thompson Island, Delaware--sunset, October 12 2006

Have a great weekend.

October 10, 2006
Start planning now

The folks at the Rehoboth Beach Film Society posted the program for their 2006 Independent Film Festival at their website today.

So go there, already, and start planning for the movies you want to see from November 8 through 12.

You weren't really scheduled to do anything else that weekend--of course.

And if you let me know ahead of time, I'll be able to set aside some Oatmeal Raisin Cookies for you to enjoy during the Festival.

October 9, 2006
Pork Chops with Apple Cider Cream Sauce

Columbus Day is one of my favorite state holidays, for admittedly self-centered reasons. 

When my daughters were in public schools, Columbus Day was just another day at school. For my wife, Columbus Day is just another day of teaching at the community college

For me, it’s a day off, by myself.

Naturally, this also meant that I would fix dinner.

I decided to try an experiment with pork, apples, apple cider, and cream. 

It was very well-received, so here’s the recipe.


1 ½ to 1 ¾ pounds boneless pork chops
2 cups apple cider
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons Creole Mustard (I used Zatarain’s, but any stone-ground mustard should be fine)
2 Macintosh Apples, peeled and sliced thin
2 tablespoons butter


In a medium saucepan, heat the 2 cups of cider until it comes to a gentle boil, and let it reduce to a cup. Stir in the cup of whipping cream and the mustard, and let the mixture reduce again to about one and a quarter cup of sauce.

While the cider is reducing, in a sauté pan heat the peeled apple slices in the butter until softened and falling apart. When the cider cream mixture is fully reduced, stir the sautéed apples into the sauce.

Season both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper, and broil them.

When the chops are done, spoon the cider cream sauce thickly over them, and serve. 

This makes enough sauce to serve four, with perhaps a little left over.


Contact Information:

Fritz Schranck
P.O. Box 88
Nassau, DE  19969

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© Frederick H. Schranck 2002-2006