Monday, October 24, 2016

Dave Is Brilliant (according to Dave)

Although we've been a little slower pumping out the episodes since school started, we are still making The Test.

I haven't posted all the episodes up here, because my prolific creativity annoys Marls, but the newest episode is something special (and my favorite one so far). This is mainly because the final question-- which I conceived in my super-brilliant brain-- is a culmination of not only everything we've learned on the podcast, but quite possibly ties all the knowledge in the universe together, an enormous version of Lebowski's rug. The ladies might not wholeheartedly agree with my assessment, but they don't totally disagree either.

I also set a cunning pepper-related trap, which they fall into headfirst (and refuse extrication). And we solve a mystery.

It's an amazing tour-de-force. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll shoot mucous from your nose, and if you're not careful, you just might learn something (pepper-related).

Sunday, October 23, 2016

World Series Open Thread

(Read: lazy man working on a World Series post didn't get it done.)

We'll break down the Series, G:TB style, over the next few days, but suffice it to say that our editorial position is that it's really freaking cool to see the Cubs make it to the this point, and it's hard for some of us to root against Terry Francona.

Friday, October 21, 2016

I'm going to miss Joe Biden

I never understood how I went to college in southeastern Virginia, NASCAR country, but only met one other car guy (El Weenaldo). We need more car guys. Guys like Joe Biden and his mint 1967 Corvette. 1967 was the final year of the second-generation (or "C2") cars, and I think they are some of the most beautiful sports cars ever, especially the convertibles. Biden's has the base 327 engine but it can still lay a patch.

Any car guy would love a C2 Vette in Goodwood Green. But this is more than just a great classic car to the Vice President. Watch this video.

Every time he sees this car, he's reminded of his father whom I'm sure he loved. Every time he sees this car, he's reminded of his wedding with his first wife who died tragically. Every time he sees this car, he's reminded of his son Beau who also died tragically. I can't fathom the memories and emotions this hunk of iron and fiberglass stirs in him. The smells of combusted leaded gasoline and burned rubber, the clatter of sixteen pushrod-activated overhead valves and almost unfettered exhaust, the feel of the road through the bottom of the seat and the huge skinny wheel, the whole experience has to be moving every time he gets behind the wheel.

Maybe you never worked on a car with your father, or your father never had an American car with a big V8 and a convertible top, or maybe you saw your father every day so your only quality with him wasn't the drive to and from his house on Saturdays. Maybe this video doesn't choke you up from 1:15 to 2:20. Maybe you aren't a car guy. But if you are, you understand why I went from misty-eyed at the 2:10 mark to full-on "FUCK YEAH JOE!!" joyousness at the 2:27 mark.

I'm going to miss Joe Biden. I hope that in a few months he gets to drive his cherry Vette as much as he wants and that he enjoys everything it evokes inside him.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Progress Is On The Ballot

I've struggled for a while, probably for this entire cycle, to articulate the reasons why I'm voting for Hillary Clinton. I mean, I'm unequivocally voting against Donald Trump, for reasons that are self-evident to anyone that knows me. But when I saw this ad a few days ago, it fell into place for me.

I'm voting for Hillary Clinton because she's a continuation of the progress that I believe President Obama has made. And because she's a direct repudiation of the strategy of obstructionism, cynicism, and yes, racism, that the modern GOP employs. I don't love everything about her, but I'm with her.

I'm with her because of him.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

They're Playing Our Song

As a devoted fan of American Whiskey, I've been watching a new trend that purists may find close to blasphemous. Distillers across the country (and the world) are blending different whiskey types to create new hybrid styles.

According to Bloomberg (please don't tell my employer that I read something from Bloomberg), the practice isn't entirely new. In the sober days of Prohibition, boozemakers running low on spirits would mix their stuff to extend their stock. Now, though, distillers are doing it on purpose.

And if I know my audience, I believe I've found the hybrid whiskey that'll soon be gracing bars across the Gheorgheverse.

Japanese spirits house Chichibu is marketing Ichiro's Malt & Grain, a blend of whiskeys from "the big five" whiskey-producing countries: the U.S., Canada, Scotland, Ireland, and Japan. Bloomberg says the $65 bottle (hard to find in the U.S. under $100, apparently) is "silky and elegant, with warming, almond-like tones and a honey-pepper finish".

Bloomberg also touts a three-decade blend from The Hilhaven Lodge (rye from the 1980s, Tennessee whiskey from the 1990s, and bourbon from the 2000s), Wild Turkey's 'Forgiven', which is 78% six year-old bourbon and 22% four year-old rye, and High West's Campfire, which includes rye, bourbon, and a bit of Scotch.

Those all sound tasty, but I think we all know what we'll be looking for at our local packie. First one to find Ichiro needs to report back to the class.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Gheorghasbord: Happy Fun Time Edition

As we lurch on towards November 8, each day seemingly more disgusting than the next, our relentless plumbing the colon of the body politic exposing our ugliest secrets, it's high time that we find a few reasons to be happy to be alive.

First and foremost, we're alive. That's pretty fucking great, even as we sometimes focus too narrowly on the things that aren't (present company really guilty). And according to the highest authority in the land, we're alive at the greatest moment in human history. In a guest essay for Wired, Barack Obama said, "...the truth is, if you had to choose any time in the course of human history to be alive, you’d choose this one. Right here in America, right now." (He also admitted to being a Trekkie, which we probably should've known - the ears, and all.)

The fundamental optimism of his essay stands in stark contrast to the elemental doom projected by the GOP Presidential nominee, which is just one more of a thousand reasons why I'm going to greatly miss President Obama. As, after a time, will nearly all of us.

Shlara had an inkling that I'd be writing this kind of post today, because she linked to a story about finding happiness in being present in the comments of the previous post. Penned by a former touring musician, it explores the notion of the relativity of joy and peace. When the author, stuck washing dishes in a bar owned by Michael Stipe, questions the R.E.M. frontman's complaints about having a bad day, he gets a lesson. According to Stipe, “Getting rich and famous only solves two problems. Not being famous and not having any money. And it hands you a whole new set of problems you never knew you could have.”

Here's to the problems we've got, and may they pale in comparison to the joy at hand all around us.

This is Lynden Gooch. He's an American.
You'll hear more about him.
While the election's certainly important, I'd much rather be focusing on November 11. On that date, the U.S. Men's National Team begins the final round of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. Jurgen Klinsmann's lads, fresh off a pair of middling tune-up performances, take on old rival Mexico in the first of ten qualifying matches. We host Mexico in Columbus, Ohio, where we've beaten El Tri four consecutive times by identical 2-0 scores. If you hear your soccer-minded friends saying 'dos a cero' a lot in the run up, you'll know why.

We're odds on favorites to advance to our eighth consecutive World Cup, needing only to finish in the top three of the six teams (besides us, it's Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, and Honduras), but there are no guarantees. After playing Mexico at home, we play at Costa Rica, and there's a non-zero chance that we start in a hole. Getting a result in at least one of those two matches would go a long way to easing the nerves of American soccer fans.

Finally, the thing that's probably got me the happiest at the moment is the fact that college basketball season is a mere month away. On the same night that the U.S. entertains Mexico in Columbus, a handful of really good games tips off the season. Indiana plays Kansas and Arizona takes on Michigan State in the Armed Forces Classic, getting the season off to a quick start.

Guys, I think this is the Tribe's year.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

My Name's Pete Nice. You Want My Autograph?

I recently uncovered an old iTunes playlist I made for a party many years ago. I loaded it onto my iPhone for shits and gigs. I played it while walking to the train for my commute home. Two big takeaways:

1) Super Bon Bon is the perfect Manhattan walking-with-a-purpose tune. Catchy, intense and angry, but not the kind of speed metal that makes you want to punch someone.

2) Hol-ee crap, do I dig the old 3rd Bass tunes. Everyone kinda digs them, I know. This isn't a big call I'm making. But cranking Brooklyn Queens is all kinds of awesome. And after watching Boogie Nights 69 times, I now recognize that the tune sampled Best of My Love by The Emotions. Totally enjoyable tune as I trek from 50th & Park to 50th & Broadway to take the 1 train south to Penn Station.

Dig it.