Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The House of Gordon is now truly united.

Read the news this morning during the ritual pre-work morning duties:

John Edwards to quit presidential race


Ending it where it began: New Orleans.

He's not endorsing another candidate. Yet. However, this particular Edwards campaign contributor will not wait to endorse another. Kimberly and now Chris both have their own profile pages on At any rate, we're betting it's a done deal his delegates go over to Obama as well.

Another vice-presidential bid coming? Or maybe even better, an Attorney General cabinet post? Good luck John. You will be missed. Greensboro's just 45 minutes from Chapel Hill. Swing over and get yourself a hot meal here at the House of Gordon sometime.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Optometrist, er, ophthamologist, um, eye doctor rant.

So, last week, Chris decides to snap his smartly fashionable eyeglasses right in two while cleaning the lenses. Behold the inhuman strength and manly power. Grumble grumble grumble. Sigh, time to open up the old set of spares from the top dresser drawer and put those old relics on. We immediately go from this stylish fellow:

To, um, this:

The time warp is complete. The early 90's Costanza glasses return! OK, so the appointment with the eye doctor is made last Wednesday (albeit 5 months overdue) and new specs are ordered. Today, a call is received that the new eyeglasses are in! Woo-hoo! Let's go get 'em before going in to work today!

Bad news. The lenses for the prescription sunglasses were placed in the regular glasses, and the regular clear lenses are loose and awaiting their new home in my sunglass frames I bring in.


Seriously. In the ordering process, does it make ANY sense that someone would want their regular clear lenses loose to be installed in sunglasses frames? And then having tinted lenses go in regular eyeglasses? Seriously? That makes sense?

So the balloon of eyeglass joy is immediately busted with the prospects of another week with huge-rimmed headache-inducing Costanza glasses until at least Monday so they can remedy the situation and get the damn order correct.

Until then, time to return being the assistant to the traveling secretary to the New York Yankees.

"A future of resplendent delight"

Simply put, The Onion rocks.

Mysterious Traveler Entrances Town With Utopian Vision Of The Future

The surge of hope absolutely swells.

Enjoy the following 19 minutes and 16 seconds of NBC, CBS, CNN, PBS, and ABC coverage of the endorsement of Barack Obama by Ted and Caroline Kennedy.

"It's about whether we are going to seize this moment to write the next great American story, so someday we can tell our children this was the time we healed our nation; this was the time when we repaired our world; and this was the time when we repaired the America that has led generations of weary travelers from all over the world to find opportunity and liberty and hope on our doorstep."

Monday, January 28, 2008

For you. All because of Maureen...

Well if that rascally Maureen Dowd actually mentions an article from "The Onion" during yesterday's show of Meet the Press, well then by golly it must be mentioned here!

Bill Clinton: 'Screw It, I'm Running For President'
January 23, 2008 Issue 44•04

CHARLESTON, SC—After spending two months accompanying his wife, Hillary, on the campaign trail, former president Bill Clinton announced Monday that he is joining the 2008 presidential race, saying he "could no longer resist the urge."

"My fellow Americans, I am sick and tired of not being president," said Clinton, introducing his wife at a "Hillary '08" rally. "For seven agonizing years, I have sat idly by as others experienced the joys of campaigning, debating, and interacting with the people of this great nation, and I simply cannot take it anymore. I have to be president again. I have to."

He continued, "It is with a great sense of relief that I say to all of you today, 'Screw it. I'm in.'"

In a show of respect, Clinton then completed his introduction of Hillary Clinton, calling her a "wonderful wife and worthy political adversary," and warmly shook her hand as she approached the podium. A clearly shocked Mrs. Clinton got halfway through her speech about the nation's obligation to its children before walking briskly offstage.

A spokesman for Sen. Clinton's campaign had no comment.

"No longer will I have to endure watching candidates like Hillary Clinton engaging in single-pump handshakes with voters, as I use every last ounce of restraint not to shout out, 'No! Warm double-clasp! Warm double-clasp!'" Clinton said. "America deserves someone who can do it right."

While the announcement has come as a surprise to many, Beltway observers said it was not completely unexpected, citing footage from a recent Democratic debate that showed Clinton fidgeting in his seat, gripping the arms of his chair, and repeatedly glancing at all the television cameras while rapidly tapping his right foot. Analysts also noted one debate in which Clinton mouthed responses to all the moderator's questions while making hand gestures to himself.

Clinton told reporters Tuesday that seeing so many "Clinton '08" posters "really got [him] thinking," and said that the fact that he was already wearing a suit, and smiling and waving on the campaign trail was an added motivator.

"From signing healthcare reform legislation, to working with politicians from across the aisle, to brokering international peace treaties with foreign dignitaries, I goddamn love being president," Clinton said. "For too long has this nation been deprived of a Bill Clinton presidency, and for too long have I been deprived of being president. Now I get to experience all these wonderful things again myself."

"And the applause," Clinton added. "I look forward to the endless roar of applause perhaps most of all."

Since his announcement two days ago, Clinton has raised a staggering $550 million. He has also surged in national polls, rising from a mere 2 percent prior to his candidacy to a commanding 94 percent, ahead of former front-runners Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who are now tied with 3 percent each. John Edwards withdrew from the race Tuesday, saying only, "I am not worthy."

Although some have pointed out that it is unconstitutional for Clinton to run for a third term in office, he has silenced most critics by urging voters "not to worry about the Constitution for now" and assuring them he will address those legal issues immediately after regaining control of the White House.

"All I am asking of the American people is four more years," Clinton said at a fundraiser Tuesday where tens of thousands of South Carolinians gathered to stare in gape-jawed wonderment at the former president. "Well, maybe eight. Actually, you know what, definitely eight. Eight more years."

Thus far, the response among voters has been positive.

"I love Bill Clinton," said Orangeburg, SC resident Marsha Demarais. "God, he was just so great as president. Can we just make him president again right now?"

Clinton also noted that, if elected, the timing would be perfect for his family, as his wife has recently expressed a desire to move back to the D.C. area.

"A President Like My Father"


A President Like My Father
The New York Times Op-Ed Contributor
Published: January 27, 2008

Over the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama.

My reasons are patriotic, political and personal, and the three are intertwined. All my life, people have told me that my father changed their lives, that they got involved in public service or politics because he asked them to. And the generation he inspired has passed that spirit on to its children. I meet young people who were born long after John F. Kennedy was president, yet who ask me how to live out his ideals.

Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things. In those rare moments, when such a person comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible.

We have that kind of opportunity with Senator Obama. It isn’t that the other candidates are not experienced or knowledgeable. But this year, that may not be enough. We need a change in the leadership of this country — just as we did in 1960.

Most of us would prefer to base our voting decision on policy differences. However, the candidates’ goals are similar. They have all laid out detailed plans on everything from strengthening our middle class to investing in early childhood education. So qualities of leadership, character and judgment play a larger role than usual.

Senator Obama has demonstrated these qualities throughout his more than two decades of public service, not just in the United States Senate but in Illinois, where he helped turn around struggling communities, taught constitutional law and was an elected state official for eight years. And Senator Obama is showing the same qualities today. He has built a movement that is changing the face of politics in this country, and he has demonstrated a special gift for inspiring young people — known for a willingness to volunteer, but an aversion to politics — to become engaged in the political process.

I have spent the past five years working in the New York City public schools and have three teenage children of my own. There is a generation coming of age that is hopeful, hard-working, innovative and imaginative. But too many of them are also hopeless, defeated and disengaged. As parents, we have a responsibility to help our children to believe in themselves and in their power to shape their future. Senator Obama is inspiring my children, my parents’ grandchildren, with that sense of possibility.

Senator Obama is running a dignified and honest campaign. He has spoken eloquently about the role of faith in his life, and opened a window into his character in two compelling books. And when it comes to judgment, Barack Obama made the right call on the most important issue of our time by opposing the war in Iraq from the beginning.

I want a president who understands that his responsibility is to articulate a vision and encourage others to achieve it; who holds himself, and those around him, to the highest ethical standards; who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; and who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again that our country needs every one of us to get involved.

I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.

Caroline Kennedy is the author of “A Patriot’s Handbook: Songs, Poems, Stories and Speeches Celebrating the Land We Love.”

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dancing with the Stars...LIVE!

Saturday night the Gordons hopped over to the Greensboro Coliseum to catch the live tour of one of our more recent indulgences: Dancing with the Stars. Granted, there were a boatload of professional dancers from the show, but the only real 3 "stars" involved were Wayne Newton, Marie Osmond, and Joey Lawrence. This was the 24th show out of 38, and apparently each show's lineup so far has been different due to injury, sickness, and the like. Interesting.

It was a 2 & 1/2 hour show of fun and dare I say dazzling numbers. These professionals really strut their stuff and go all out. Legs kicking, bodies twirling, bodies flipping. We were almost breathless ourselves just watching. And one of the dancers really kept the "show must go on" mantra as her skimpy bra-like top became undone in the back. Luckily (for her) there was so much fringe that all her fun parts were kept covered. She danced the remainder of the number with one hand clasped behind her back to try to keep her bra-like top reasonably in place.

10 local dance couples from area Fred Astaire Dance Studios also competed before the big show and the top 2 returned towards the end for an amateur competition. We couldn't imagine doing that in front of the upwards of 9-10,000 people at the Coliseum last night. Quite brave!

No Julianne on this tour (sigh), but it was still great to see and frankly a LOT of fun to go to.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Fare thee well, Dennis.

It was more than a sharing of hometowns.
It was more than a sharing of drastically liberal thinking.
It was more than a sharing of uphill underdog fights.
It was all this and the sharing of views and ideas that brought us together. Remember this Find Your Candidate post? Good times....

But for now Dennis Kucinich, your presidential ship has sailed. Godspeed, honorable Congressman. Safe journeys back to Cleveland, OH.

Kucinich Abandons White House Bid

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"Best of 2008" beer awards

North Carolina "popped the cap" of a 6% alcohol-by-volume ceiling after a successful long-running grassroots legislation change in August of 2005, and since then this state has truly become a mecca of beer diversity and quality brewmanship in the south. North Carolina is really growing by leaps and bounds in the beer scene. And I'm not just playing a "homer" here. Brewery-wise, I'd venture to say that NC tops our home state of Ohio. Chew on that bit of info...

RateBeer is a consumer beer-rating website where folks can jot down their thoughts and reviews of beers and places they've experienced to be tallied into a particular score. They've just released their 2008 "best of" list, and various North Carolina establishments and brewers fared quite well. Beers and establishments throughout the entire world were rated and listed.

Here's the link to the Pop The Cap blog to read all about it:

One of Chris's favorite haunts, Foothills Brewing in Winston-Salem, scored very well as the #83 brewer in the world. The world! Congratulations Jamie!!!!


And the nominees are....

"Oscar" nominations are out, which means the House of Gordon will go on an even greater movie spree than we usually do to see as many nominated films as we can. We'd like to be "informed viewers" on the big night. We've seen a smattering, but there are plenty left to see.

Here is the list of the major categories:

Actor in a leading role:
George Clooney, "Michael Clayton"
Daniel Day-Lewis, "There Will Be Blood"
Johnny Depp. "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"
Tommy Lee Jones, "In the Valley of Elah"
Viggo Mortensen, "Eastern Promises"

Actress in a leading role:
Cate Blanchett, "Elizabeth: The Golden Age"
Julie Christie, "Away from Her"
Marion Cotillard, "La Vie en Rose"
Laura Linney, "The Savages"
Ellen Page, "Juno"

Actor in a supporting role:
Casey Affleck, "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"
Javier Bardem, "No Country for Old Men"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Charlie Wilson's War"
Hal Holbrook, "Into the Wild"
Tom Wilkinson, "Michael Clayton"

Actress in a supporting role:
Cate Blanchett, "I'm Not There"
Ruby Dee, "American Gangster"
Saoirse Ronan, "Atonement"
Amy Ryan, "Gone Baby Gone"
Tilda Swinton, "Michael Clayton"

Best picture:
Michael Clayton
No Country For Old Men
There Will Be Blood

We've got some movie-going to do! Thoughts and what-not coming to this space soon...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Treatise on subcutaneous fluid and jagged stones.

In the 13 1/2 years we have had Sam in our family, we have obviously grown to know his quirks and idiosyncracies by heart. So it was with an odd sense of concern that 2 weeks or so ago we made a vet appointment with the symptoms of excessive whininess and "he's just not right". Sam's a "talker", lacking in the quiet "Lhasa Zen Buddhism" department that his vet Dr. Doub teases him about. So when his talking had become markedly more pronounced, we were quite concerned.

A bit of urinalysis and x-ray revealed the presence of a cluster of bladder stones in the poor guy's innards. Time to prep for a cystotomy.

Monday, January 21st, Chris drops him off at the vet for a front right leg catheter insertion and a day of fluids. (Then it's the task of occupying both himself and Maxie to prevent them from going nuts without Sam in the house. Not easy.) We bring him home and the vet says in her report that he managed to pull it out, so they'll just give him another on surgery day Tuesday the 22nd.

Monday night back home, and the little man is all tuckered out on the chair-and-a-half from his day of excitement. Time to go o-u-t-s-i-d-e before bedtime, and he doesn't want to get up. What? Bypassing a trip to his outer domain to peruse his kingdom infested with lowly squirrels, birds, and bunnies? Not like him. So he finally jumps off the chair and lands awkwardly. He doesn't want to put any weight on his right leg. And damn if it doesn't "look" funny too. Crap. It looks broken or dislocated. He won't put any weight on it and he's whimpering. It's close to 11pm and surgery is in the morning. What to do?

We make a late-night trip to Carolina Veterinary Specialists, the emergency clinic vets who literally saved his life in February 2002 when he experienced his spinal cord infarct. His rear legs are already quite weak from the "stroke", so an injured front leg would only compound his ambulatory hiccups. It appears that a bolus of fluid had in fact seeped outside of the vein and underneath the skin, inflamming his knee and radiating upwards to his axillary region. Between the swelling and him pulling his leg inward it looked deformed. Poor guy. Luckily nothing was broken, so it's just pain meds and a night of rest.

...except that the homegoing hydromorphone they gave him really FREAKED him out and scared him. He did not like losing control over his psyche. Panting was a side effect, but little did we know that each and every pant would be accompanied by a high-pitched squeal and crying. It was like staying up with youir druggie friend who dropped the blue acid instead of the red acid. Made for a night of literally zero sleep. Well, I shouldn't say that. Between 3am and 6am Chris got a good 10 minutes dozing each hour. 8 hours at Walgreens was an over-caffeinated smorgasbord of stimulants to say the least. And to think, the doggie emergency room gave us a syringe of Buprenex to squirt under his tongue overnight for pain relief if needed. Yikes, not after his experience with the Dilaudid!

Tuesday morning comes and Sam is still weak and disoriented and cannot stand on his own. Shit. Another x-ray at the vet's pre-op shows the stones have migrated dangerously close to his urethtral parts, and dislodging them from there would NOT be fun for ANYBODY involved. Will we have to tank the surgery because of his leg?

By lunchtime, the vet reports that he's up to standing and on his leash is pulling the techs outside "towards the taxi stand" telling them it's time to go home. Not so fast little buddy. Surgery is on.

After work today, Chris and Kimberly made their way to the vet's to visit with the post-op patient. Sam was sitting up and groggy, but he was more alert than we were frankly expecting. We stayed and petted Sam for about a half-hour before leaving to let him rest. Maxie, freaking out in her own right because Sam hasn't been basically been around for the better part of two days, gave us the third degree when we arrived home.

The surgery went well. The removed stones were remarkably jagged and rough. A residual fetal tubule that once connected to the umblilicus was removed. His teeth were cleaned while he was under. He'll come home Wednesday afternoon with some antibiotics and just Tramadol for pain. No Dilaudid. No Buprenex. And most importantly, no painful stones jiggling around in his lower abdomen.

Wednesday and a full complement of Gordons under one roof cannot get here soon enough!

Never a dull moment in the House of Gordon.

Monday, January 21, 2008

January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968

August 28, 1963: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

And eerily prophetically on April 3, 1968:

Please always work to keep the dream alive.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Just one more year...

...until inauguration day.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The transformation has begun.

Please allow a quiet moment for me to collect myself...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Paralyzed with fear

Snow. Sleet. Freezing rain. Batten down the hatches! Close the schools! We may never survive this maelstrom of inclemency! The town is shuttered! The residents are gripped with anguish!

This morning, does Greensboro look like Denver? Or New England?

Or how about Cleveland? Or Green Bay?

Nope. There were literally days of warning. Evening forecasts predicting a melee. Shouts of our first major snow event since 2003. The locals are stirred to a feverish pitch! The dander is up! The panties are in a twist!

For what? For this:

Imagine if you will, you are not employed in your current situation; but rather, you are a professional meteorologist. A weatherman. A weather forecaster. Imagine the job security in knowing that no matter what you say, no matter how often you are wrong, there is seemingly no repercussion for your ignorance. Just come back the next day with a smile, and forecast the weather out of your ass. Tout your pretty computer pictures and super duper double doppler in commercials. Brag about your inclusion on the news staff. Now, take that auspicious percentage and apply it to your current position. How long would you in fact be employed?


But hey, I'll give them this: later tonight on the news, they will sure tell us what ALREADY HAPPENED in bright cheery colors and pictures and satellite imagery. Which surprisingly, will not mirror what they forecasted would happen in the first place.

I hate weathermen.

Enjoy this "breaking news" email we received from our local fish-wrap this morning. Emphasis and commentary has been added.

Guilford, other area school systems closed

From Staff Reports
Thursday, Jan. 17, 2008

Snow fell overnight in the Triad but switched over to mostly rain by daybreak today. Still, there could be a few more flurries mixed with light freezing rain.

The heavier freezing rain that was earlier predicted seems to not be a threat, as temperatures hover around 32 degrees, not the ideal cold for freezing rain.

"We're starting to see more and more rain reported," [edit: and yet, NOT FORECASTED!!!!!] Jeff Orrock, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh, said about 7:30 a.m. "There could be a few more bursts of snow for the next few hours. "I think as far as snow accumulation ... what you see on the ground now is what you are going to see."

Most school systems decided Wednesday night to cancel school today. Area school systems including Guilford, Rockingham, Forsyth, Davidson and Alamance all are closed.

The winter storm warning remains in effect until 4 p.m.

There were reports of some wrecks, but roads appeared to be mostly wet. "Right now, everything's quiet," said Sgt. JB Sessoms of the Highway Patrol. Along North Church Street stretching from north Greensboro to downtown, there were a few patches of slush but no slowdowns. Traffic was light on Bryan Boulevard in both directions between New Garden Road and Benjamin Parkway.

The city of Greensboro said today its services were running on a normal schedule. Trash pickup is going on as scheduled.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

January 16, 1978

Here's an historical anniversary for you: 30 years ago today on television, the Science Fiction Film Awards hit the airwaves. William Shatner was both host and, ahem, "musical guest". Enjoy:

And as huge fans of Family Guy, this little pop culture tidbit makes SO much more sense to the House of Gordon now. At first viewing on TV, we thought it was just a drug-induced stream of consciousness by the animator, but now its real genius is revealed! Kudos to you Seth MacFarlane!

Who's missing?

Dennis is, that's who. In last night's Nevada debate, Big Wigs in the television industry did not want Representative Kucinich to appear espousing views that do not align with, and frankly may startle, the more "mainstream" candidates. Sad really. I realize that Kucinich has no hope in winning; but in a debate of candidates, and the record will reflect that Dennis is indeed still a candidate, one would think that ALL views would be welcomed. Not so. “When ‘big media’ exert their unbridled control over what Americans can see, hear, and read, then the Constitutional power and right of the citizens to vote is being vetoed by multi-billion corporations that want the votes to go their way,” the Kucinich campaign said.


At least with all the schmoozing and making-up that Kimberly's boyfriend Barack and Hillary were doing over the recent race snafu, it was an opportunity for Chris's boyfriend John to seize the opening and make a firm statement or three versus his rivals on Iraq, nuclear plants, and receiving big money from Big Pharma and insurance. “Do you think these people expect something, or are they just interested in good government?” ZING!

Slowly coming around to the fact that maybe Edwards has as much of a chance as Kucinich does to win this nomination, but I'm glad he's sticking with it "all the way through to the convention."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Symphony night.

Saturday night, after partaking of "Juno" in the theater, the Gordons mixed in a little bit of Greensboro Symphony between NFL football playoff games. We watched the 1st three quarters of the Packers/Seahawks, went to the symphony, then came home to watch that TiVo'd ending plus the TiVo'd Patriots/Jaguars game into the night.

We get season tickets to the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra Masterworks Series, and Saturday night was our monthly date night for that. A full program that you can enjoy in its entirety if you wish as a rebroadcast on Winston-Salem's WFDD at 8pm on Sunday, February 8, 2008. The pieces played were as follows (mind you, the YouTube performances were NOT Greensboro or the soloist, but performances of the pieces by others):

Jules Massenet (1842-1912)
Scènes alsaciennes
I. Dimanche matin ("Sunday Morning")
II. Au Caberet ("At the Tavern")
III. Sous les tilleuls ("Under the Linden Trees")
IV. Dimanche soir ("Sunday Evening")

Then 23-year old violinist Augustin Hadelich took the stage to play:
Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936)
Violin Concerto in A Minor. Op. 82
I. Moderato
II. Adante sostenuto
III. Allegro

After intermission, it was
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Symphony No.4 in B- flat Major. Op. 60
I. Adagio: Allegro vivace
II. Adagio
III. Allegro vivace
IV. Allegro ma non troppo

Finally, three Hungarian Dances sent us away with a flourish!
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Hungarian Dances
Ending with No.5:

After the performance, we met up with Kimberly's cello teacher Gina who so happens to play in the Symphony Orchestra. A quick backstage tour with her and then we were on our way home for a night of football. An enjoyable day all the way around.


Saturday afternoon, before a full dose of playoff football and the Greensboro Symphony, saw the Gordons take in a matinee of "Juno". The sharp wittiness that we had hoped for in "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" was dealt here in spades. What a great film! But first, as always, the trailer:

Autumn. Juno MacGuff, a junior on the outlying fringes of high school society, becomes pregnant. (The shots of "freaker" Juno walking against the grain down the halls of high school "normalcy" are telling.) The decision is finally made to keep the baby and offer it to a childless couple who would then adopt.

Winter. Throughout the pregnancy, Juno's relationships with the adoptive parents, her stepmother, and her "boyfriend" change.

Spring. The final months. Sudden changes in plans. Sudden changes in relationships. Sudden changes in what one thinks is normal and what was going to happen.

Summer. The birth has already occurred and people go on with their lives, however changed. But could everyone really play it out as if the "30-odd weeks just never have happened?"

Full of striking wit, smart dialogue, biting comebacks, and sarcasm at its finest. Newcomer actor Ellen Page as Juno was outstanding. THIS was the smart movie we had been waiting for. Two unequivocal "Full Price" scores from the Gordons for "Juno".

Friday, January 11, 2008

And all that was formerly right in the world has abruptly ceased.

Jacobs Field. "The Jake".

The Cleveland Indians' home since 1994, and one of the last holdouts from corporate greed has succumbed to pressure and will be from here on out known as...


A news conference is scheduled for 11:30am today. Looks like The House of Gordon scoops again.

Can't wait to catch Opening Day in a few months at "The Prog". Yuck.

Indians to rename ballpark Progressive Field

January 11, 2008

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Jacobs Field will be renamed Progressive Field under terms of an agreement between the Cleveland Indians and the auto insurance company.

The downtown ballpark, known as Jacobs Field since it opened in 1994, will be rebranded for the 2008 season, the Indians said Friday. The change was first reported by The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer on its Web site Thursday night. Indians president Paul Dolan scheduled a news conference for Friday morning to release details about the name change.

Progressive Corp., based in the Cleveland suburb of Mayfield Village, is the nation's third biggest auto insurer, ranking behind State Farm and Allstate.

Former team owner Richard E. Jacobs had held the ballpark's naming rights, but his contract expired at the end of the 2006 season, and the club hired sports marketing firm IMG to find a new naming rights partner.

What exactly does Kimberly do every day?

After a rigorous 2-year Masters program, what is the result? Why, she does this:

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tiger Beat for dorks

Completely slipping our minds, we thought we'd share a "Newsweek" moment with you from earlier in the week.

When the latest issue arrived after the Iowa caucus, Kimberly gleefully giggled at the cover of her boyfriend and exclaimed that she would "Hang it in her locker at work like a Tiger Beat cover."
Upon further inspection of the January 14th issue, namely referring to page 29, Chris replied that he would do the same if he had a locker with the picture of one of HIS boyfriends:

And lo, as a result a hearty guffaw was enjoyed by all.

Little did we know, that the side-splitting website The Onion beat us to our own humor MONTHS ago! It surely must have been subliminal. Observe:

Barack Obama "Tiger Beat" Cover Clinches Slumber Party Vote
June 19, 2007 Issue 43•25

WASHINGTON, DC—According to a poll released Monday by Teen Zogby!, both Barack Obama's approval and dreaminess ratings among slumber party–attending tweens have risen to 82 percent following last week's publication of the Tiger Beat cover pictorial "Hangin' With Barack!"

"Barack is sooooo hot!" said 12-year-old Tiger Beat subscriber Beth Majors upon reading the issue, which included a "supercute" poster of Obama leaning against the Lincoln Memorial and an interview in which he revealed that his most inspirational hero is "you." "He so totally has my support. Obama in '08!"

Obama is expected to remain a solid favorite with the giggling-and-talking-until-4 a.m. voting bloc, as hunky war hero John McCain, his closest contender, is widely considered by the slumber party demographic to be a gross dork.

View Chris from the inside!

So, in a bit of delayed news, on January 1st, Chris in his haste on the way to work takes an absolutely wicked spill out of the kitchen into the garage, banging his knee on the garage floor and his shin on the door sill. Ouchie. He then proceeds to experience swelling, discomfort, knee "swimminess" and whatnot after a week of standing 8-hours a day at Walgreens. All the while Dad Torda is in town, so we can't go to the doctor, right? Ah yes, Gordonian stubbornness at its best.

Tuesday after Dad T. leaves, it's a trip to the primary doc.
Afterward it's a referral to get x-rays.
And finally on Thursday, a trip to the orthopedic doc who fixed this very knee back in 2003.

The blogworthy piece of all this is that now instead of lugging huge films in a huge manilla envelope to the doc, I am just given a CD to take over. Hmmm, let's see if it works at home also.

Way cool. Enjoy:

So, essentially and thankfully, after a good deal of tugging and prodding and twisting at the ortho, all is structurally sound. Just a boatload of swelling from two bumpies to the leg plus the fun of standing at work all the time. I'll take Prepatellar Bursitis for $100, Alex.

More ice!


For years the House of Gordon has rallied for the cause of acquiring good offensive linemen in football. (And also for quality starting pitching in baseball, but that's for another season.) Statements like "Joe Montana would SUCK as a Cleveland Brown with our offensive line." were commonplace around here. The Browns drafted left tackle Joe Thomas from Wisconsin with the #3 pick in last year's draft, and the House of Gordon celebrated. Maybe, after a quarter of a century, the Browns brass may again "get it". Finally, after the smallest number of quarterback sacks allowed in recent memory, plus a 1,300-yard rusher in the mix, a *gasp* Cleveland Brown offensive lineman has made the NFL's all-star game: the Pro Bowl in Hawaii.

And there was much rejoicing.

To truly understand the futility of Cleveland Brown offensive lines past, look at the sparse recent history of league-identified lineman all-stars from northeast Ohio:
Thomas becomes the first Browns' offensive lineman to make the Pro Bowl since Cody Risien 20 years ago, following the 1987 season. He's the first Browns' left tackle to be named to the game since Doug Dieken following the 1980 season, and the first Browns rookie to go since Chip Banks following the 1982 season.

Quite a drought: 20 years for any lineman, and 27 years for a left tackle. The times, they maybe are a-changin'. Good for you, Brownies!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Waves of nausea.

For the 2nd year in a row, The Ohio State University Buckeyes lose in the national championship game to a Southeastern Conference team. January 2007 saw a 41-14 shellacking to Florida, and January 2008 found the Bucks on the wrong side of a 38-24 score with LSU.


Truly a nauseating evening. It started out so well with a 65-yard touchdown run to put the Bucks up 7-0 on just the 4th play. But sadly that was really all she wrote. It was great to see them make it to the big game, but quite knife-twisting to watch the debacle occur.

Since our births in 1971, our sports teams have only made it to the ultimate game/series in the following years:
1993 (Ohio Northern basketball)
1995 (Indians)
1997 (Indians)
2002 (Buckeyes football)
2006 (Buckeyes football)
2006 (Cavaliers)
2007 (Buckeyes basketball)
2007 (Buckeyes football)
with just the 1993 Ohio Northern and 2002 Ohio State teams winning it all. Locally, we did see the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes make it to the Stanley Cup finals versus Detroit in 2002 and Edmonton in 2006, with the 'Canes winning it all against the Oilers. But we didn't "grow up" with the Hurricanes; so that victorious joy, albeit exciting and a thrill to experience, wasn't truly near and dear.

Until next year, Coach Tressel. Hang on Sloopy.

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

"May you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you're dead." -- traditional Irish toast

Monday afternoon found the Gordons home from work and set to take in a 5:20pm matinee of the Sidney Lumet ("Serpico", "Dog Day Afternoon") film "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead". Expectations were high due to a powerful cast of Gordon favorite Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Marisa Tomei, and Albert Finney. Here's the trailer:
Two brothers, desperate for money, devise a mom-n-pop jewelry store heist that goes awry. Threads unravel with breakneck speed and you sense from the start that this will end badly. In this robbery caper turned ugly, the all-star cast would lead you to believe that this was going to be, pardon the pun, killer. But alas, the film was dreadfully disturbing and horribly depressing. We expected more "smart" dialogue and witty interaction, but we left with heavy hearts and deflated moods.

Gordon Movie Scale? Even with a good dose of Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" garners only a Pay-Per-View grade. Disappointing.

Stoughton meets Greensboro

Enjoy your stay at Chateau Gordon.

The House of Gordon hosted an out-of-towner for 4 days as Dad Torda flew in from Wisconsin for some after-holiday North Carolina hospitality. Unfortunately, he brought some cold northern climate with him, as our moderate temperatures plummeted from mid-60's highs to consecutive overnight lows of 18 and 19. Brrr... In another of our rather sucky work schedule anomalies, Kimberly was off the entire time whereas Chris was on an 8-day stretch of 8a-4p. Luckily, the nights were still able to run quite late for maximum fun.

So after touchdown and arrival on Thursday, we gathered 'round the obese tree and had a not-yet-unwrapped-Christmas-gifts-sent-from-up-north gift exchange. The loot was divvied up and smiles were all around.

The next brew project was acquired containing an Alaskan Smoked Porter clone ingredient kit. Yum! Hopefully it will honor the original in all its tasty glory.

Kimberly then surprised both her father and her husband with special "Thank you" gifts for supporting her through her vigorous Masters program these past two years. Dad received a fancy Mont Blanc pen set and Chris received a stunning new watch. Wow.

Friday saw the all-day preparation of a 14-pound bird with famous bacon'd stuffing and other side dishes for dinner. Kimberly christened her new Emile Henry pie dish for another of her world-famous white cheddar cheese crust apple pies. Abso-frickin-lutely delicious.

A rousing game of Monopoly ensued afterward, with the real estate mogul Kimberly losing her crown and succumbing to the aggressive vulture tactics of Chris and his expensive Yellow Property empire!

Breakfast and running around occurred during the day for the father-daughter team on Saturday, then at night all 3 revelers traveled over to Winston-Salem to meet our good friends the Aarons at Diamondback Grill for some NFL playoff football (screw you Pittsburgh HAHAHAHA), drinks, dinner, and good times. Time sped by and before we knew it, close to 5 hours were spent occupying table and bar space. We all had another GREAT time at Diamondback.

More running around and breakfast out for Torda and former Torda on Sunday, then at night it was drinks and the TiVo'd GOP/Democratic debate. And plenty of drinks were needed to muddle through the crazy madness that is Republican philosophy. Holy crap, those guys are loony! Thankfully, the Dems followed up with their own brand of loony: windbag Bill Richardson. Just drop out already you worthless sack! Still later, another round of Monopoly was started only to stall late in the wee hours by lack of viable property trading.

Sadly, Monday saw the departure of our guest back to cold Stoughton, WI and the feet of snow still occupying the ground there. Yes, "feet". Of course, the temp here shoots up to 70 once the plane departs. Another fun trip, albeit with some pharmaceutical occupational responsibilities putting a kink in any "entire day" plans.

We leave you with concrete proof of Dad T.'s obssessive quest for cleanliness. Damn those Christmas tree needles and their irresponsible leap from the tree to the floor!
(I'm sure he'll be pleased with that one.)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Good riddance!

Finally. It's gone. History. And the world rejoiced.
That damn scraggly beard on David Letterman is gone.

From the AP of all things, a newsworthy piece:

Letterman Loses Strike-Inspired Beard

NEW YORK (AP) — For David Letterman fans, it may have been the kindest cut of all: His beard is history.

The late-night funnyman had the bushy beard he grew while off the air during the strike by the Writers Guild of America shaved Monday on his "Late Show." One barber buzzed the beard with an electric razor; the next one lathered him up and finished the job with a straight razor.

"We have to say goodbye to an old friend tonight, and I'm just sick about it," Letterman said.

He said he was "being pressured" to shave, although he wouldn't say by whom. Not shaving added 15 minutes to his day that he could use to goof off, he said. He had
fun with newspaper photos and cartoons about his beard, including one in which a couple sat at home watching his show. "Shhh," one said to the other. "He's about to do his opening fatwa."

Guest Tom Hanks brought Letterman a first-aid kit for a small cut above the lip. "Shaving beards on TV," Hanks said. "That's what shows without writers do."

Letterman's show and others recently reached a deal that allowed their writers to return to work.

Welcome back.

"Welcome back to that same old place that we laughed about."

Welcome back to the series of tubes. It's been about a week since we've been around here. Kimberly's dad flew down from Wisconsin for a post-holiday visit, and our days and nights were filled with frivolity and cheer. So there has been little to no access to the interwebs to comment on events or update you on our antics. We missed out on commenting on the Iowa caucus, the dual GOP/Dem debate on ABC, kooky NC temperature fluctuations from 18 to 70 degrees in just 2 days, and R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe's 48th birthday.

An update will occur soon, but for now it's a commercial break in the Ohio State/ LSU national championship game, so we must run. Good to be back.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Fight for your right to PARTY!

New Year's Eve in the House of Gordon was rather mild-mannered and tame compared to previous years.

Kimberly worked 7a-7p, and Chris worked 2p-10p. Due to a mutually beneficial switch with one of his partners at work (Leamon to come in late after a night of revelry, and Chris to leave early for most college football and outdoor NHL game viewing), Chris then returned to work by 8am on January 1st. So a usually late December 31st night was right out.

Kimberly had finished up watching the rather smart movie Inside Man for the 836th time, and Chris grabbed a tiny bite to eat at 10:30pm. Then there was a smattering of local news to be found on TV, and finally Dick Clark and a Times Square ball drop to ring in 2008.

TV off and lights out by 12:15am. The Gordons sure know how to party like geriatrics!

We apologize for our lackluster New Year's Eve "news". We are, at times, rather lame.

For 2009, we promise to have a little more pomp and excitement like Hong Kong's 2008 celebration: