ah ha - found my answer:
(Blogger Status) Some users may be seeing star ratings on their posts without having opted in to this new feature. This is an experimental feature that was accidentally enabled on some users’ blogs. We’re currently working to remove star ratings on all affected blogs. In the future, you’ll be able to choose to opt-in to this feature; it won’t appear automatically.
Update: The Star Rating feature has been disabled for the moment.
from the Blog Herald
Thank you Google. You made me realize that I need to back up my three years worth of mundane minutia because after all it is MY mundane minutia that you graciously host for free.