Thursday, June 26, 2008

The basement.

The American League Central Division standings:

Games Behind, Winning Percentage, Streak
Chicago White Sox
-, .551, Won 1

Minnesota Twins
0.5, .544, Won 9

Detroit Tigers
4.5, .494, Won 2

Kansas City Royals
7.5, .456, Won 5

Cleveland Indians
8, .449, Lost 3

"Bats, they are sick... Bats are afraid."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

More Nine Inch Nails rehearsal videos released.


Echoplex and Letting You.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Washington, DC Newseum weekend

This past weekend, the House of Gordon made yet another trip to Washington, DC and spent virtually all the time at the Newseum. Being yearly "Press Pass members", we get to enter at our whim instead of $20 each visit, plus we get emails concerning upcoming special interviews etc. that we could RSVP to first. Pretty cool.

Saturday began with a desire for a good breakfast. The concierge at the hotel mentioned Old Ebbitt Grill for a good brunch, or the Lincoln Waffle House. Granted, we'd been to Old Ebbitt Grill once before and found their food divine, but the urge for a "greasy spoon" overtook us, so the Lincoln Waffle House was to be it. James and Monica met us at the hotel and we Metro'd deeper into town to get to 10th and E, NW. We get to the spot: across the street from Ford's Theatre (sadly closed for renovation until Winter 2009!) and a few doors down from the Petersen House where Lincoln died...and they're closed. CLOSED!!!! The horror! Long U-shaped diner counters, swivel chairs, the feel and ambiance we were looking for. Closed. Dejected, we decide to head over to either Old Ebbitt or somewhere else. James was the only one of the 4 of us to decide to head towards the corner instead of backtracking the way we came. And lo, our prayers were answered. The "Lincoln Waffle House" has incorporated their greasy breakfast concoctions a few doors down into the "Lincoln House Restaurant Bar and Deli". With great joy, we squeeze into the tight quarters and belly up to the counter. Busy, busy place! The "A" Special with waffles, sausage, and eggs; a huge omelet with toast; country-fried steak with cheesy eggs and pancakes; and chocolate chip pancakes were all ordered and consumed with reckless abandon. Yum. It was delicious. And the atmosphere hit the spot with its sticky counters and hometown feel.

From there, the Newseum was our destination. A new exhibit, G-Men and Journalists, was on display and held some interesting tidbits, but sadly did not have as much concerning the '20s and '30s as we'd hoped. No Eliot Ness? So little about Al Capone? Prohibition gets a passing glance? Instead, it's the Unabomber, Waco, the DC Snipers, Patty Hearst. There is more to history than "recent history", and the tiny wall displays of Dillinger and Baby Face and Machine Gun Kelly paled in comparison to the huge wall display of the Patty Hearst kidnapping. What gives? The Brannons had to leave for a trip to Pennsylvania, so we bid our adieu's at the G-Men exhibit. The Gordons then cashed in their RSVP to a 2:30pm program in the Knight Studio at the Newseum. Ron Kessler, author of The Bureau: The Secret History of the F.B.I. spoke concerning his insights on the F.B.I. and its directors. A chronological persepective of the directors and their efforts. We rolled our eyes at Kessler's love and praise for the Patriot Act. Gee, who will he be voting for in November. Interesting.

Next, more displays, a 4-D movie with moving seats, and just general nerdiness as we take in and read every single display and item we see. Sometimes, people who go to museums with us may feel sluggish and detained, as they are forever waiting on the Gordons to finish what we're reading or looking at.

Next on the agenda, at 5:30pm we made our way down the street to the Safeway's National Capital Barbecue Battle. As you can see in the photo to the left, Pennsylvania Avenue is closed off for booths upon booths of smoked pig and tents upon tents of stages for bands. One of the main attractions the Godfather of Go-Go, Chuck Brown, was set to perform at 7:30pm. Friday night, James had described Chuck Brown, a DC icon, as "a mix between Motown and Parliament Funkadelic with a bit of acid jazz era Miles Davis thrown in." Intriguing. So, to kill 2 hours, we strolled and listened to bands and ate one 6-bone sample of sticky saucy barbecue (that was too fatty for our liking). (We were still rather full from our enormous breakfast, plus we needed to be hungry for our late night birthday boy dinner at a local pizza joint. But that's for later.) Not much on YouTube for Chuck Brown that has quality audio, but here's a snippet of his music:

It was a great show! His stage tent was PACKED, and the majority of the crowd who remained just filled the area around it. The music was infectious and frankly a TON of fun!

A smidge after 9:00pm, Chuck Brown's music and the day's barbecue battle were over. We made our way to the Metro and headed waaaaay northwest past the Naval Observatory and the National Cathedral to the Tenleytown/American Univ. stop. Then, a good mile-plus walk down Wisconsin Ave NW. Our destination? A residential neighborhood containing 2Amys Pizza.

We subscribe to Washington Post emails every week concerning goings-on and restaurants and the like, and one email was about pizza. It began: "Ask where to eat pizza in town, and just about everyone will recommend 2 Amys or Pizzeria Paradiso. Good choices, both. But the Washington pizza universe has other bright stars. Five picks for not-to-miss pies:" We were intrigued.

So Chris selected 2Amys for his birthday dinner extravaganza. Delicious. The Italian government designates some pizza as D.O.C., Denominazione di Origine Controllata, meaning it must adhere to rigorous ingredient and preparation methods. "Only soft-grain flour, fresh yeast, water, and sea salt may be used for the dough, and only Italian plum tomatoes, mozarella di bufala, extra-virgin olive oil and fresh basil or dried oregano may be used for the toppings." Chris ordered a D.O.C. Margherita pizza, and Kimberly ordered a "Norcia" with roasted peppers, salami, mozzarella, and grana. Yum!

Afterward, we walked off the pizza with a mile-plus walk down Macomb Ave NW to the Cleveland Park Metro stop; two stops further into town from Tenleytown. Gratefully, it was all downhill walking through a gorgeous residential street filled with hugely expensive homes like this one.

Whew, that was Saturday.

Sunday, we had the breakfast buffet at the hotel, then made our way back to the Newseum for more displays and learning. Today's 2:30pm program had CNN Justice Dept. correspondent Kelli Arena and assistant director of public affairs for the FBI John Miller discuss the FBI in the news, and the tuggle and give-n-take between the press and the FBI. Interesting.

Then, sadly, it was time to go. The weekend is over and there is work to be done back in NC in order to bankroll constant trips like this weekend's latest to DC. It was jam-packed and full of fun and nerdiness and good food. What could be better?

Monday, June 23, 2008

New NIN rehearsal video released today.

"1,000,000" from the latest CD The Slip.

August for the concert cannot get here soon enough. Watch this and see what all the House of Gordon hubbub is about with this band. Way cool.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Where the hell is Matt?

Just who is this "Matt" person anyway, and where the hell is he?

This is Matt, and this is where the hell he's been:

We received this YouTube link in an email, and the corresponding comment sent with it rings true:
Here is a great YouTube video. Just so fun, up-lifting, and joyous. Destroys cynicism and shows how much everyone, everywhere loves to have fun. Enjoy.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bull Durham at 20.

"Hit bull, win steak."

It's 1988, the summer before senior year in high school, and Bull Durham hits the silver screen. And to this day remains on of Chris's all-time favorites.

A principled man.

Sure, he may be a little bit of a kook. Sure, he's waaaaaay left of the political spectrum. Sure, he not so secretly shares some of Chris's views. But hey, nobody else has the balls to state what they truly feel in public. Four plus hours a smidge over a week ago in an otherwise quiet House chamber into the wee hours of the morning giving 35 articles of impeachment. Apologies for not posting this sooner.

You go, Dennis. Fight the good fight.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Feeling ornery tonight with R.E.M.

Chris was feeling a little surly tonight and wanted to post a video to R.E.M.'s I Wanted to be Wrong, another one of their "Fuck you" songs to G.W. Bush. Sadly, there isn't a video to be found that can be embedded here. Although if you want to borrow it, it's on our DVD of R.E.M. Live from 2007.

In its place, just the lyrics:

You know where I come from
You know what I feel
You're Yul Brenner Westworld
Reporting from the field.

I threw it into reverse,
Made a motion to repeal.
You kicked my legs from under me,
And tried to take the wheel.

I told you I wanted to be wrong,
But everyone is humming a song
That I don't understand.

Now I know that the sun has shined on my side of the street.
The basket of America, the weevils and the wheat.
The milk and honeyed congregation, scrubbed and apple-cheeked
Salute Apollo 13 from the rattle jewelry seats.

Mythology's seductive and it turned a trick on me
That I have just begun to understand.
I told you I wanted to be wrong,
But everyone is humming a song
That I don't understand.

The rodeo is staged, gold circle goat-ropers and clowns.
A rumble in the third act, tie 'em up and burn 'em down.
We're armed to the teeth, born a little breech;
Blue-plate special analysts, cells and SUV's

We can't approach the Allies 'cause they seem a little peeved
And speak a language we don't understand.
I told you I wanted to be wrong
But everyone is humming a song
That I don't understand.

Prop up The Omega Man, we're primed for victory,
God gave us the upper hand, there's honor among thieves.
Temper it with arrogance, a dash of sad conceit.
The top's down on the T-Bird, we're the children of the free

Storm into the boardroom of the conquering elite.
Did you recognize the madman who is shouting in the streets?
Destroy the things that I don't understand
Destroy the things that I don't understand

So to provide you with a quality R.E.M. video, how's about one from 1986 concerning the Native Americans who once lived on the shores of Lake Erie near the mouth of the Cuyahoga River (Iroquois for "Crooked River")? How great in high school to discover an alternative band singing about something from CLEVELAND? At the time, and as now, too too cool. "Burn the river down..."

Let's put our heads together and start a new country up
Our father's father's father tried, erased the parts he didn't like
Let's try to fill it in, bank the quarry river, swim
We knee-skinned it you and me, we knee-skinned that river red

This is where we walked, this is where we swam
Take a picture here, take a souvenir

This land is the land of ours, this river runs red over it
We knee-skinned it you and me, we knee-skinned that river red
And we gathered up our friends, bank the quarry river, swim
We knee-skinned it you and me, underneath the river bed

This is where we walked, this is where we swam
Take a picture here, take a souvenir
Cuyahoga, gone

Let's put our heads together, start a new country up,
Underneath the river bed we burned the river down.
This is where they walked, swam, hunted, danced and sang,
Take a picture here, take a souvenir
Cuyahoga, gone

Rewrite the book and rule the pages, saving face, secured in faith
Bury, burn the waste behind you

This land is the land of ours, this river runs red over it
We are not your allies , we can not defend
This is where they walked, this is where they swam
Take a picture here, take a souvenir
Cuyahoga, gone

Tim Russert memorial

He hath borne himself beyond the promise of his age doing in the figure of a lamb the feats of a lion; he hath indeed bettered expectation than you must expect of me to tell you how.

What does it say when Kimberly and Chris get all weepy and sniffle like ninnies every time we watch anything related to the death of Tim Russert? Watching Countdown with Keith Olbermann last night, the collective House of Gordon wept somewhat silently, oftentimes not, in front of the TV. Hell, I'll say it. We cried.

This was the culprit:

We are not particularly religious people. We eschewed religion once we applied common sense and scientific analytical thinking to it. Suffice to say we are not especially fond of organized religion and its trappings. But, frankly, that's a discussion/argument/debate for another time. This being said, the irony and coincidence of performing Somewhere Over the Rainbow as folks file out of the memorial service at the Kennedy Center in DC while they look up and see this is awesome:
Meet the Press and Gordon Sunday mornings will never be the same.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

South Atlantic League All-Star game

Greensboro was host for the 2008 Class-A South Atlantic League All-Star game last night. The first time the city has hosted it since 1990. The SAL's largest ballpark hosted fine young propects for an evening of competition.

The Northern Division won in a whopping 13-4 shellacking.

A beautiful night for baseball. Sadly, Chris had to work 2p-10p.

The story here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The curious non-story of Buster the Pug.

It was July 1994. We lived in relative sin in Bedford, OH. We planned on getting ourselves a dog.

He was to be a pug. Buster the Pug.

We made an appointment to visit a pug breeder south of us close to Akron. We traveled down after lunch on a sunny Saturday to see the mother and make a deposit.

It was awful.

The pregnant mother looked ragged, was in the middle of a pack of other misbehaved dogs, and was generally harassed by all the other dogs this "breeder" had around. Um, no thanks.

So in the age before cell phones and the internets, we glanced through the newspaper with our road map and saw if we could find a pug from another breeder. Nothing.

So, on our way back northward we hit up every pet store and mall we could find to locate our elusive future pug named Buster. Nothing. No dice.

Backtrack 6 weeks to June 17, 1994. Somewhere in Nebraska a particularly bright snow white Lhasa Apso is born on a puppy farm and soon thereafter transferred to a puppy farm distributor in Kansas. Shortly after that, this particular dog is sold to a retail outlet and ends up far away at a pet store in a mall in Fairview Park, OH.

Back to that Saturday in July, Chris and Kimberly have been shopping for hours to no avail. Finally, in a last ditch effort, we end up at Westgate Mall in Fairview Park, OH. Far away from Akron and quite a haul from our eastside digs in Bedford. The store closes at 9:00pm. We enter at 8:30pm.

There he was. Not a pug. Not by a longshot. But a snow white fluffball in a cage with a hospital bracelet around his neck. Breed? Lhasa Apso.

We take him out. We bring him into a little cubby to pet and play with him. He bites us. He gnaws on our fingers. He chews on Kimberly's purse.

So logically, we take him.

It's 10 minutes before the store and the mall closes and we are buying a dog (and bowl and food and treats and toys and leash) from high school kids at a mall on the westside of Cleveland.

"Sidney". We'll name him Sidney.

In an epiphany in the car in the parking lot, Kimberly exclaims:

"Sam. We'll name him Sam."

Happy 14th birthday, Samuel J. Buttinski. June 17, 1994 was a wonderful day: the day the best dog anyone could ever hope for was born.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Incredible Hulk

2003 saw a moody (and frankly a downer) "Incredible Hulk" film by Ang Lee. A monetary disaster and a film in which no one really CARED about the Hulk. 5 years later, a new cinematic version appears on the big screen, and it doesn't fail to impress.

But first as always, the trailer:

It doesn't rehash the 2003 film, it merely picks up where it left off. 2003 was an "origin" movie. 2008 does indeed follow along 5 years later with loner scientist Dr. Bruce Banner on the lam and on the run. The TV series from the late 70s is paid homage to with Banner's melancholy shuffling through nameless towns to keep on the run. It steers away from proper Marvel Comics canon with its story alterations, giving pause to some devout comics readers and stubbornly types, but the cinematic theme is the essentially the same.

The computer effects are mind-numbing here. It's hard now to watch a movie and NOT feel as if you are watching a cartoon or video game. That being said, Edward Norton picks up the slack and adds an "aw shucks" human element to Dr. Banner.

A nerdy "omigosh I can't wait for the next movie" moment occurs with the star of another Marvel movie making passing mention of The Avengers, a la after the credits of Iron Man; but this time you won't have to sit through the credits to see it.

The score? A solid Matinee Plus. Not quite full price.

And just for shits and giggles, the begininng of the 1978 television show:

Friday, June 13, 2008


Chris got home from work tonight only to be instantly smacked in the face with terrible news. Our Sunday mornings will never be the same: cheesy eggs, Johnsonville maple sausages, Eggo waffles, "Icing on the Cake" Wisconsin coffee, and Tim Russert hosting Meet the Press. No more.

Kimberly shared a common alumnus title, and Chris pretty much "married into" the adoration of Tim Russert. The void left in our lives, call it trivial if you will, is vast. Our sadness is profound. For once, we are speechless....

NBC’s Tim Russert dead of heart attack at 58

WASHINGTON - Tim Russert, NBC News’ Washington bureau chief and the moderator of “Meet the Press,” died Friday after suffering a heart attack at the bureau. He was 58.

Russert was recording voiceovers for Sunday’s “Meet the Press” broadcast when he collapsed. He was rushed to Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, where resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful.

Russert’s physician, Michael Newman, said cholesterol plaque ruptured in an artery, causing sudden coronary thrombosis.

Russert had earlier been diagnosed with asymptomatic coronary artery disease, but it was well-controlled with medication and exercise, and he had performed well on a stress test in late April, Newman said. An autopsy revealed that he also had an enlarged heart, Newman said.

Russert had recently returned from Italy, where his family was celebrating the graduation of his son, Luke, from Boston College.

“Meet the Press,” which he began hosting in 1991, was considered an essential proving ground in the career of any national politician.

“If you could pass the Tim Russert test, you could do something in this field,” said Howard Fineman, senior Washington correspondent for Newsweek magazine and a columnist for

Russert’s tenacity as a reporter and his consuming passion for politics were evident during his nearly round-the-clock appearances on NBC and MSNBC on election nights.

Aside from his on-air responsibilities, Russert was also a senior vice president and head of NBC’s overall Washington operations.

He was “one of the premier political journalists and analysts of his time,” Tom Brokaw, the former longtime anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” said in announcing Russert’s death. His assessment was echoed by former CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite, who said, “This is a tragic loss for journalism and for all who were privileged to know him."

Russert’s death left his colleagues devastated.

Brian Williams, managing editor and anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” called his death a “staggering, overpowering and sudden loss.” Steve Capus, president of NBC News, called it “a loss for the entire nation.”

In a statement, President Bush called Russert “an institution in both news and politics for more than two decades.”

“Tim was a tough and hardworking newsman. He was always well-informed and thorough in his interviews. And he was as gregarious off the set as he was prepared on it,” the president said.

Earlier this year, Time magazine named Russert one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Mayor Byron Brown ordered flags flown at half-staff in Buffalo, N.Y., his hometown. NBC News planned to air a tribute to Russert on “Dateline NBC” on Friday at 10 p.m. ET, and Brokaw was to host a special edition of “Meet the Press” remembering Russert on Sunday morning.

Timothy John Russert Jr. was born in Buffalo on May 7, 1950. He was a graduate of Canisius High School, John Carroll University and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He was a member of the bar in New York and Washington, D.C.

After graduating from law school, Russert went into politics as a staff operative. In 1976, he worked on the Senate campaign of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., and in 1982, he worked on Mario Cuomo’s campaign for governor of New York.

Russert joined NBC News in 1984. In April 1985, he supervised the live broadcasts of NBC’s TODAY show from Rome, negotiating and arranging an appearance by Pope John Paul II, a first for American television. In 1986 and 1987, Russert led NBC News’ weeklong broadcasts from South America, Australia and China.

Of his background as a Democratic political operative, Russert said, “My views are not important.”

“Lawrence Spivak, who founded ‘Meet the Press,’ told me before he died that the job of the host is to learn as much as you can about your guest’s positions and take the other side,” he said in a 2007 interview with Time magazine. “And to do that in a persistent and civil way. And that’s what I try to do every Sunday.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in a statement that Russert “asked the tough questions the right way and was the best in the business at keeping his interview subjects honest.”

Russert wrote two books — “Big Russ and Me” in 2004 and “Wisdom of Our Fathers” in 2006 — both of which were New York Times best-sellers.

Russert was to have received a lifetime achievement award from the Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University on June 23. The school said the award would be presented posthumously.

In 2005, Russert was awarded an Emmy for his role in the coverage of the funeral of President Ronald Reagan.

His “Meet the Press” interviews with George W. Bush and Al Gore in 2000 won the Radio and Television Correspondents’ highest honor, the Joan S. Barone Award, and the Annenberg Center’s Walter Cronkite Award.

Russert, who received 48 honorary doctorates, won countless other awards for excellence during his career, including the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association, the John Peter Zenger Freedom of the Press Award, the American Legion Journalism Award, the Veterans of Foreign Wars News Media Award, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society Journalism Award, the Allen H. Neuharth Award for Excellence in Journalism, the David Brinkley Award for Excellence in Communication and the Catholic Academy for Communication’s Gabriel Award.

He was a member of the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame and a member of the board of directors of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

He was a trustee of the Freedom Forum’s Newseum and a member of the board of directors of the Greater Washington Boys and Girls Club and America’s Promise — Alliance for Youth.

In 1995, the National Father’s Day Committee named him “Father of the Year,” Parents magazine honored him as “Dream Dad” in 1998, and in 2001 the National Fatherhood Initiative also recognized him as Father of the Year.

Survivors include his wife, Maureen Orth, a writer for Vanity Fair magazine, whom he met at the 1976 Democratic National Convention; and their son, Luke.

Alex Johnson of and John Yang and Ken Strickland of NBC News contributed to this report.

Star Wars: Clone Wars

We have both DVD's of the animated Clone Wars TV series in our possession (shocker), but this coming August a CGI feature film will hit theaters. NOT released under 20th Century Fox, but rather Warner Bros. Interesting. Apparently it's some sort of deal in order to have the upcoming 2009 television series (yeah that's right) to appear on Cartoon Network.

In any event, the August 2008 movie trailer(s):

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"Let's put our heads together, and start a new country up."

Last night saw Chris and Dale, one of his beer geek friends, drive over to Raleigh to see R.E.M. in concert. Sadly, Kimberly couldn't go as planned as her work schedule shifted. This made her sad as the last time we saw R.E.M. (13 years ago today on June 11, 1995 in Cleveland, OH) was one of the best concerts she ever saw.

After work, Dale and Chris drove over to Pittsboro and Carolina Brewery for dinner and some delicious Flagship IPA. It's conveniently about halfway to Raleigh on US-64. Bellies full, it was off to Raleigh and the outdoor amphiteater there. Hot, sweaty, and close to 100 degrees before the sun went down. Ugh.

At 6:30pm, the band The National hit the stage for a half-hour set in the oppressive heat. Then, at 7:30pm, Modest Mouse went onstage to play for 45 minutes. Finally, at 9:00pm, the main event: R.E.M. for close to 2 hours. Fantastic. After the proverbial sit in traffic in the parking lot plus the ride home, it was 1:00am when Chris finally got home. On a Tuesday night even.

Michael Stipe wore a suit for the entire show. A suit! In this heat! Mike Mills's harmony was angelic and beautiful as ever. And Peter Buck frankly looked old on the guitar. He played well. He just....looked...."old".

A great mix of old (and I mean OLD) songs with new. As opposed to our 1995 concert where a majority of the songs were off of their heavy 1994 Monster album (do kids still call them albums nowadays?), last night's was a mix of wonders from all throughout their catalogue, spanning 1982 to today. 1982! Compare the setlists:

June 11, 1995 - Cleveland, OH
I Took Your Name - 1994
What's the Frequency, Kenneth? - 1994
Circus Envy - 1994
Turn You Inside Out - 1988
Near Wild Heaven - 1991
Crush with Eyeliner - 1994
Drive - 1992
Country Feedback - 1991
Half a World Away - 1991
Losing My Religion - 1991
Tongue - 1994
I Don't Sleep, I Dream - 1994
Man on the Moon - 1992
Strange Currencies - 1994
Pop Song '89 - 1988
Get Up - 1988
Bang and Blame - 1994
Star 69 - 1994
encore: Let Me In - 1994
encore: Everybody Hurts - 1992
encore: Finest Worksong - 1987
encore: It's the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine) - 1987

June 10, 2008 - Raleigh, NC
Harborcoat - 1984
Living Well is the Best Revenge - 2008
Bad Day - 2003
What's the Frequency, Kenneth? -1994
1,000,000 - 1982
Man-Sized Wreath - 2008
Welcome to the Occupation - 1987
Accelerate - 2008
7 Chinese Bros. - 1984
Hollow Man - 2008
Imitation of Life - 2001
Houston - 2008
Electrolite - 1996
Walk Unafraid - 1998
The One I Love - 1987
Final Straw - 2004
Find the River - 1992
Let Me In - 1994
Horse to Water - 2008
Auctioneer (Another Engine) - 1985
Orange Crush -1988
I'm Gonna DJ -2008
encore: Supernatural Superserious -2008
encore: Losing My Religion - 1991
encore: Pretty Persuasion - 1984
encore: Fall On Me - 1986
encore: Sitting Still - 1983
encore: Man on the Moon - 1992

A great concert, with plenty of Michael Stipe diatribe:
"Hey you on the lawn, check this shit out!" before 1,000,000
"For our awful president, George W. Bush." before Welcome to the Occupation
"Here's our first #1 single. In Japan." before Imitation of Life
"We wrote this in response to our government's terrible response to Hurricane Katrina." before Houston
"We wrote this the week our awful president invaded Iraq." before Final Straw
"This about growing up queer in the south." before Pretty Persuasion
"Today is my sister's birthday. And this was the first song I wrote that I felt gave something to society in a positive way, and it's about her." before Sitting Still

and the best one:

"I have felt proud for just the first time in the past few months to be from the south because North Carolina went for Barack Obama. [quoting lyrics to Cuyahoga] Let's put our heads together and start a new country up."


Special guests included The Smiths Johnny Marr on guitar for Fall on Me, and early R.E.M. producers Mitch Easter & Don Dixon on guitar on Sitting Still.

The Raleigh News & Observer review can be found here.

In closing, a video and lyrics for Final Straw for our "awful president".

As I raise my head to broadcast my objection
As your latest triumph draws the final straw
Who died and lifted you up to perfection?
And what silenced me is written into law.

I can't believe where circumstance has thrown me
And I turn my head away
If I look I'm not sure that I could face you.
Not again.
not today.
not today.

If hatred makes a play on me tomorrow
And forgiveness takes a back seat to revenge
There's a hurt down deep that has not been corrected.
There's a voice in me that says you will not win.

And if I ignore the voice inside,
Raise a half glass to my home.
But it's there that I am most afraid,
And forgetting doesn't hold.
it doesn't hold.

Now I don't believe and I never did
That two wrongs make a right.
If the world were filled with the likes of you
Then I'm putting up a fight.
I'm putting up a fight.
Putting up a fight.
make it right.
make it right.

Now love cannot be called into question.
Forgiveness is the only hope I hold.
And love - love will be my strongest weapon.
I do believe that I am not alone.

For this fear will not destroy me.
And the tears that have been shed
It's knowing now where I am weakest
And the voice in my head.
in my head.

Then I raise my voice up higher
And I look you in the eye
And I offer love with one condition.
With conviction, tell me why.
Tell me why.
Tell me why.
Look me in the eye.
Tell me why.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Vroom, vroom!

In my best Dante voice from Clerks: "I wasn't even supposed to BE here today!"

Chris had the day off Monday, after working a 7-day stretch, but our Controlled Substance Inventory was due at end of business. So, in a fit of philanthropic goodwill, he offered to come in from 2p-5p whilst the inventory was done. He walked into an absolute shitstorm. Two techs called out, a relief pharmacist was working the midshift, and our manager only got two hours of inventorying in before he felt compelled to jump in and help. 2p-5p turned into 2p-6p and a flurry of hectic prescriptions...more than requried for an extra couple hours. And Chris wasn't even supposed to BE here today!

So, to backtrack, he's speeding along as usual along his usual 17-minute route from Greensboro to High Point. And then,......disaster.

[Cue European police siren: wee-doo-wee-doo-wee-doo...]

The Po-Po, the 5-0, the fuzz. A nice well-groomed High Point police officer interrupted Chris's travels to work, on a day he [cue Dante] wasn't even supposed to BE at today...

HPPD: Do you know why I pulled you over?
CAG: No, sir.
HPPD: I clocked you doing 63 in a 45.
CAG: [feigning surprise] Oh dear!
HPPD: Where are you going driving this fast?
CAG: I'm on my way to Walgreens, sir. I'm a pharmacist there, sir.
HPPD: Which one?
CAG: The 24-hour one on Eastchester and Main Street, sir.
HPPD: License and registration, please.
CAG: It's in my glove compartment, sir. I need to reach and get it, sir.
HPPD: That'll be fine.

pause pause pause

HPPD: Here's a written warning. No penalty, no points on your license.
CAG: Thank you, sir.
HPPD: Be careful driving. Please slow down. That's a rough store, isn't it?
CAG: Yes it is, sir. Thank you, sir.

Ta-da!!! Utilizing the word "sir" at every opportunity, and telling the officer every single thing you are about to do appeared to have worked like a charm. Plus working at a store that is a shithole and has police presence quite often doesn't seem to hurt.

Tee hee hee! Good to get off scot-free. so that at least ONE member of the driving House of Gordon has an unblemished record. No monies donated to the NC highway fund as there was $100+ "donated" to the Ohio highway fund by a certain House of Gordon member. Tee hee hee!

For some classic Dante, enjoy the following two clips:

Foothills Brewing expansion

Always good to read good press about our favorite brewer. Copy-n-paste job from today's Winston-Salem Journal to follow:

Jamie Bartholomaus, the brewmaster and a co-owner of Foothills Brewing, stands next to a fermentation tank in the brewery room. The restaurant currently accounts for the majority of Foothills’ income. Journal Photo by David Rolfe

By Fran Daniel - Journal Reporter
Published: June 9, 2008

Foothills Brewing on Fourth Street in downtown Winston-Salem is doubling its capacity and making plans to move into new markets.

Foothills produced and sold a little more than 2,330 barrels of beer last year. There are 31 gallons in a barrel, or basically two kegs. In August, the microbrewery will upgrade its refrigeration equipment and add two 60-barrel fermenters, two 60-barrel conditioning tanks and a 60-barrel hot liquor tank to hold hot water.

Jamie Bartholomaus, the brewmaster and one of four owners of Foothills, said that the microbrewery is running near capacity.

"Our inventory levels on our beers have come down a little because we've sold so much," he said. "So sales are doing quite well."

The $250,000 expansion will allow Foothills to do two brews a day for a production of about 6,000 barrels this year.

"It will definitely provide us with all the growth we need for 2008 and 2009 and most of 2010," Bartholomaus said.

If business does well through 2010, the company hopes to add another production building.

Foothills opened on St. Patrick's Day in 2005. The other owners are Matt Masten, Brian Cole and Bob Hiller.

A restaurant operates daily in the front part of the microbrewery's building on Fourth Street, offering American cuisine. The microbrewery is in the back.

The restaurant accounts for 75 percent of the company's overall revenue. But, by the end of 2009, Foothills expects the brewery to increase its sales, accounting for 40 percent to 50 percent of its business.

Foothills' sales -- restaurant and brewery combined -- were $2.4 million in 2007 and are projected to reach $3 million this year. Most of the company's 65 employees work in the restaurant.

Bartholomaus plans to hire two more people to work in the brewery as a result of the expansion.

"Definitely our goal is to keep the restaurant running real steady and to grow the brewery," he said.

Foothills has won several medals for its beers, most recently a gold and silver at the international World Beer Cup in San Diego.

"Winning the medals has given us the confidence to feel that it's worth expanding, that there is demand for our product," he said.

He said that the brewery industry nationwide is ripe for growth and credits Foothills' brand recognition from strong marketing efforts and recognizable logos for a big part of its success.

"Also, our self-distributing really does drive our business here," he said. "We literally see every customer every week."

Foothills, which self-distributes its product in North Carolina only, sells its draft beer in kegs to bars and restaurants. The company recently started expanding into South Carolina but has suspended sales there until it increases its capacity. The company hopes to start sales in eastern Tennessee and southern Virginia by June 2009.

$4 for a gallon of gas, sure. But a $5 beer pint?!?!? Better make it a full pint!!!

Beware the possible shenanigans of publicans and barkeeps. A good 16-ounce pint pour is being shafted. The horror!!! For a $5 pint, make sure you get a PINT.

A Wall Street Journal article points out the problem pours at some establishments. The prices of raw materials to produce your favorite beverage have been skyrocketing. Barley fields are being turned into corn for the ethanol craze. Hops have taken a downturn with the combo of bad weather and a frankly devastating fire at a northwest U.S. hop storage facility. To maximize profits, some bars are producing short pours in altered glassware or just shortchanging the consumer with less beer than ordered. Chicanery. 14-ounces instead of 16? "We can get 20 more beers out of a keg that way," says Archie Gleason, director of marketing for the [Hooters] franchisee, RMD Corp.

The British organisation (UK spelling) CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, is fighting to keep proper pours proper. "Take it to the Top" is one of their current campaigns. Sadly, an organized campaign like that in the U.S. would surely not have a legislator to take up the issue as their own. So it's up to the consumer to demand proper and full pours. According to CAMRA:

Pints of beer are regularly served up to 10% short because the Government will not legislate to give beer drinkers the same rights as other consumers. If you buy a litre of petrol you can expect receive a full litre of petrol. If you buy a pint of milk you can expect to receive a full pint of milk. Beer drinkers are denied their basic consumer rights and as a result are frequently served short measures.

Full Pints Key Facts:
- 1 in 4 pints are more than 5% short measure
- Short measure costs consumers £481 million a year, or over £1.3 million a day
- Pubs serve customers 208 million more pints than they buy in

CAMRA needs your help to ensure you receive a full pint of beer every time. Please sign CAMRA's National Full Pints Petition calling on the Government to keep its promise by putting an end to short beer measures.

Watch your glasses, and send 'em back if they're wrong. At the very least, ask for a "top off" once the initial head whittles away. Demand to receive what you pay for!!!

How hot?

The highs for the previous few days in Greensboro:
June 3 - 85 (fine, the average is 82)
June 4 - 93
June 5 - 94
June 6 - 97
June 7 - 97
June 8 - 97

And the forecast:
today - 96
tomorrow - 95
Wednesday - wow, back down to a cool 87!

But hey, at least it's a wet heat. Ugh.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

"Final personnel lineup for the forseeable future"

In Nine Inch Nails-speak, this means until the end of the summer tour. TR speaketh:

I am proud to announce the final personnel lineup of nine inch nails for the foreseeable future. We've added, we've subtracted and we've wound up with unquestionably the strongest lineup I've EVER had. Joining me onstage will be Robin Finck, Alessandro Cortini, Josh Freese and Justin Meldal-Johnsen.We've been working on something really special for these shows and so far I couldn't be happier with the results. We'll be revealing some live performances shortly here on - in the meantime, we've posted some photos from rehearsals up on Flickr here.

On lead guitar, Robin Finck is back. Aaron North is out. Here's the band lineup:

Everyone's favorite, TR:

Robin Finck and Alessandro Cortini:

Justin Meldal-Johnsen and Josh Freese:

Interesting. Some old faces, some new ones. Who'll play keyboards when TR's on the geetar? Justin? Perplexing.

Anyhoo, enjoy "Me, I'm Not":

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Yes. We. Can.

It's been posted here before. But frankly it tingles the skin with each and every viewing.


It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation.

Yes we can.

It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom.

Yes we can.

It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.

Yes we can.

It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballots; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.

Yes we can to justice and equality.

Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity.

Yes we can heal this nation.

Yes we can repair this world.

Yes we can.

We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.

We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics...they will only grow louder and more dissonant ........... We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.

But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

Now the hopes of the little girl who goes to a crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of LA; we will remember that there is something happening in America; that we are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in the American story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea --

Yes. We. Can.

"America, this is our moment. This is our time."

Anyone else take pictures of their television screens last night?

Wow! Electrifying up and down the spine! Thrilling! Tears of joy were welling up with the end of this speech:

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

HE DID IT!!!!!

What began on July 27, 2004 with an inspiring speech at the Democratic National Convention, had continued on February 10, 2007 in Springfield, IL on the statehouse steps, and has evolved into a new chapter on June 3, 2008.

We have a 2008 Democratic Party nominee for President of the United States of America.

His name is Barack Obama.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Iron Man redux

Sunday afternoon, after another morning of riding to nowhere at the Y, the Gordons went to see the movie Iron Man. Kimberly, not previously knowing the story, found it to be a fantastic film...and not just because Robert Downey, Jr. was in it. Chris found it just as exhiliarting and entertaining as the first time he went to go see it.

A big winner in her book.


Sunday, June 1, 2008

El Presidente, cheesecake, and Motown.

It was Saturday. It was busy. Here's the lowdown:

Kimberly and Chris rode miles and miles and miles, yet somehow stayed in place. She in her spin class at the Y and he in the main workout room on the bike. Afterward, it was a captivating afternoon in front of the telly watching the Democratic Party Rules and By-Laws Committee meeting unfold. Yes, we are indeed THAT brand of nerd. Congressman Robert Wexler takes the cake with his testimony. Pwned!!!11!1!

Kimberly and Monica then ventured out into the treacherous territory of [cue dramatic music] shoe stores for a few hours. Dangerous. Many boxes were brought home, only to be returned soon because some will not match outfits already in possession. And the male of the species scratches his head once more.

Afterward, we made our way to Kernersville to a doctor's home for a dinner party. Not just ANY doctor's home. It was the home of the pediatrician who went to the Dominican Republic this past February. Yes, it was the reunion party for Chris's Dominican Republic trip. Cronies, cohorts, and, ahem, drinking and cigar buddies all got together again for fun and camaraderie. Due to an illness, the debut of the photo DVD with soundtrack was not available for its premier. Drat. A huge metal tub was filled with ice and bottles upon bottles of El Presidente and El Presidente Light and were consumed refreshingly with wild abandon during the warm evening. Also, a large plastic liter of not just Vat 69 scotch (see the daily D-R posts about the trip), but...are you sitting down?....Vat 69 Gold. Vat 69 Gold. A mere 3-year old scotch, with a born-on date to prove it. Why drink a dusty old 12- or 18-year old bottle when Vat 69 proudly proclaims its youth? And Vat 69 Gold! Yum.

From there, our friends the Aarons joined us to downtown Greensboro to Cheesecakes by Alex for delicious sweet treats and coffee. After we "closed down" the joint at 11:00pm, we walked the block or so up Elm Street to Churchill's to catch the Gordons' favorite local band, Soul Central, led by (Gordon favorite greasy spoon) Fincastle Diner's own J-Bird on vocals. Another romp in a smoky dark bar for great Motown and dancing. Mind you, it was the Gordons on their arses watching everybody ELSE make fools of themselves dancing about. A few drinks, some smoke stench, and more than a handful of fake breasts and tight clothing to fill the eyes. One particularly old man, at least 80 years old, stole the show by asking every whore-ish looking hottie in tight spandex to dance with him. How could they refuse? A tip of the cap to ye, bold man. We salute you.

Then, it was finally a 1:30am shower to wash the stink and stench away before collapsing in bed. Soul Central MUST be a good band for the Gordons to suffer through stale smoky air to see and hear 'em.

A full day's work.