Thursday, September 28, 2017

Minor Catharsis, Major Key

Every fucking thing in the world makes me want to scream right now. Every fucking thing. And so much of it is the feeling that everything is so completely unmoored from the reality that I thought I understood pretty well. That, and the feeling that I have no fucking clue how to make it any better.

I have no answers. And so I scream. Metaphorically. Which makes me think of the sublime record, 'Scream in Blue (Live)' from Midnight Oil.

And so here's some less metaphorical screaming from Peter Garrett, with bonus digeridoo.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

You Know What Today Is?

Neither did I.  But the Internet isn't just for spreading nasty stories about other people in hopes of exerting your political will over millions of humans any more.  It isn't even just for porn!  You can learn stuff.  Hey, the more you know.

Anyway, here's the deal.  December 25? Christmas.  January 1? New Year's Day.  March 17? Take off work and slug Guinness at the Dubliner Day (Known in some parts as the Saint Patrick's Day Massacre.)

September 26?  Glad you asked.  This day could never be just one holiday.  To wit:

Happy Lumberjack Day!
Image result for lumberjack song"Lumberjack Day celebrates the archetypal woodsman, the lumberjack. The day was created in 2005 as an excuse to eat pancakes and waffles with friends."

"It has grown to be celebrated all around the country, with people getting dressed up in plaid shirts and wearing beards, and even having lumberjack parties."  And, I'm quite sure, watching this age-old classic from the Python boys.

Happy National Dumpling Day!
It has been observed annually since 2015. Dumplings are becoming more popular all the time. They can be served as an appetizer or a part of the main meal. One of the beautiful things about dumplings is that the flavor and shape possibilities are endless.
National Dumpling Day September 26
"Celebrate by enjoying some dumplings with your friends or family. Perhaps as a part of dim sum."  (Not to be confused with our fearless leader, "dim always.") "Take photos and post them on social media using #NationalDumplingDay."  Note to TR: Read carefully -- this is not National Dumping Day.

Happy National Pancake Day!
Image result for mama steve's house of pancakes williamsburg va"There is archaeological evidence suggesting pancakes are probably the earliest and most widespread breakfast food eaten in prehistoric societies. Pancakes are also known as flapjacks or hotcakes." Apparently an offshoot of National Lumberjack Day. Apparently both of these were offshoots from International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Man. People used to say I had too much time on my hands....

Head on over to Mama Steve's and have yourself a few silver dollars on GTB ('s recommendation).

One problem.  September is National Breakfast Month, and September 26th is also recognized as Better Breakfast Day. "For many families, breakfast is a low priority or not one at all. If you think you are saving time or cutting calories by skipping breakfast, think again! Making a healthy breakfast a part of your morning can get you (and your family) on track to make healthier choices through the day and curb overeating at other meals."  Oh, fate, you are such a fickle, cruel breakfast mate.

Happy National Voter Registration Day!
Image result for vote dammit"National Voter Registration Day, which was started in 2012, is a holiday celebrating democracy in the United States, in which the goal is to make sure everyone has the opportunity to vote. Awareness is raised so that tens of thousands of people register to vote who may not be reached otherwise. Volunteers work on the ground and with technology and media to make sure this happens. The day is endorsed by the National Association of Secretaries of State and State Election Directors."

Dear lord, people, please be registered to vote come November.  Celebrate by registering a papal ballot tonight.

National Shamu the Whale Day!
Image result for shamu"Shamu is the name that is used in several of the SeaWorld orca shows, and it is the stage name that is given to the “star” of those shows, beginning with the original Shamu in the late 1960s.

 Shamu died in 1971. However, the name Shamu was trademarked by SeaWorld and has been given to different orcas at various times when performing in Shamu shows in several SeaWorld parks."

...aaaaand if you saw the documentary Blackfishnone of this seems really cool any more.  Celebrate by watching the movie Orca instead.  Or make fun of GTB's most whale-like figure. Shut it.

Happy National Situational Awareness Day!
Image result for situational awareness
"The National Situational Awareness Day is observed annually on September 26th. Situational awareness is the foundation of one’s personal safety since it focuses on being aware and paying attention to your environment. Situational awareness is really just another word for mindfulness and developing it will make you more present in daily activities, which in turn helps you make better decisions in all aspects of life."


"Pretty Loaded, LLC submitted this day in November of 2015."
Say no more.

Happy Johnny Appleseed Day!
Image result for johnny appleseed"On National Johnny Appleseed Day, we honor the man who made apple (and pear) trees grow heavy with the bounty of their fruit across most of this country. On September 26, we commemorate the day of his birth and celebrate his legendary wit, wisdom and enduring story.

Johnny Appleseed Day is celebrated on either March 11th or September 26th. The September date is Appleseed’s acknowledged birth date."  Happy Birthday, Johnny!  Smoke up!

Celebrate by dressing up as this goober and eating apples.

---on the other end of the spectrum from Johnny Appleseed...---

Happy World Contraception Day!
"World Contraception Day takes place on September 26th every year. The annual worldwide campaign centers around a vision where every pregnancy is wanted. Launched in 2007, WCD's mission is to improve awareness of contraception and to enable young people to make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health."

Enjoy all of these holidays, especially this one, with the theme song of World Contraception Day!

Happy Holidays!  God mock us, everyone.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Where Have You Gone, Peter Venkman?

We've been pretty consistent here with respect to our concern that the world-destroying power of the Large Hadron Collider isn't receiving anything close to the level of public scrutiny and panic that it deserves. Other than CAA Hoops and Muppet videos, it's our stock in trade.

Of late, I gotta tell you, I've been less concerned about the LHC's intentions, mostly because it feels like this is a world that could use some annihilation via black hole. Frankly, we kinda deserve it.

That doesn't mean I haven't been on the lookout.

Just yesterday the black helicopter pilots at CERN announced plans to build a new collider three times larger than the LHC, some 90-100 kilometers long, in an effort to keep pace with Chinese particle physicists. If you think the LHC is going to take this lying down, friends, you don't know that vindictive bastard very well.

And while the eyes of science are on the mega-collider debate, another demonstrably evil development has taken place.

According to NASA and NOAA, "The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R Series (GOES-R) is the next generation of geostationary weather satellites." Launched in November 2016, GOES-R just started delivering high-resolution satellite imagery this hurricane season. Some of the incredible images we all saw during Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria were captured by GOES-R.

So it would seem that the latest NASA/NOAA collaboration is not just innocuous, but a really important and valuable scientific and forecasting tool.

That's what the LHC's sycophants wanted you to believe, too.

GOES-R. Say it a couple of times. Take out the hyphen and say it again. What's it sound like?

Maybe, just maybe, does it sound like...Gozer? As in...the Gozerian? Gozer the Gozerian, Gozer the Destructor, Gozer the Traveler, Volguus Zildrohar and Lord of the Sebouillia?

It does, doesn't it.

On your toes, people. And see if you can find Winston Zeddemore. We're gonna need him.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Seven Miles High, Thinking About Vietnam

I was seven miles high last week (in a literal sense, not a Snoop Dogg sense), returning to the East Coast from a brief work trip. I had Maron's WTF podcast filling my ear-holes while I tried to subtly disperse methane amid my comrades in Economy Plus. I am lactose intolerant and have spent my whole life ignoring that fact, much to the chagrin of family, friends and others who have crossed my path. I need to give up dairy. But I digress.

I have been touting Maron for a while to you fockers. I have to admit that after 800+ episodes, he's running out of intriguing guests. No offense to Edie Falco or Jay Baruchel, but I have plenty of podcast options these days. So I skip many episodes. But I was excited to see Ken Burns and documentarian colleague Lynn Novick were going to be guests. I recently finished the podcast. It was the first time I heard Burns speak at length. He is an unbelievably articulate and elegant speaker who has the ability to weave curse words into the spoken word without having it detract from the power of what he says. Not sure if that makes sense the way I want it to, but let's just say he is no revanchist.

So why was he on WTF? As many of you have probably seen/heard by now, Burns did the interview as press for his ten-part documentary on The Vietnam War. It started last Sunday night on PBS. I strenuously urge you all to set your Tivos accordingly. I set my DVR on my cell phone from 2,500 miles away when I realized the series was starting. The whole process took about fifteen seconds. Technology is neat.

You all know Burns' work by now. I was immensely moved by his WWII documentary, which I can't believe came out a decade ago. I was equally moved by his Civil War doc, but merely whelmed by his baseball doc. Sorry for being honest. With that said, I am excited by this new documentary, even though I know it will keep me awake a few nights and bring up plenty of uncomfortable emotions. Burns documents war like no others.

Episodes 1-4 have aired already. There are ten in total. The wifey and I watched Episode 1 and part of Episode 2 so far. The doc provided a lot of new information to us. You can make a legitimate case that the whole issue can be blamed on the French, which you should naturally do, because, France. Sacre bleu!  I won't divulge much more, but the story has been fascinating so far. If you're going to give the benefit of the doubt to any creator of art these days, give it to Mr. Burns. Do yourself a favor and go get some history. It may make you cry, but it will make you wiser.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Nothin' But the Dog in Me

Y'ever wonder what kind of dog breed your fellow Gheorghies would be, if they were canines. Teejay's obviously a lhasa apso, but for everyone else, the Internet has come to the rescue.

Courtesy of, here's something to debate for a while. I'd have done the whole team, but the site stopped working for some reason. Maybe we'll have a sequel.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

In Memorium

I never met Len Wein. And I'm not a huge comic book guy. But Mr. Wein's recent passing caught my attention nonetheless.

Within the past year, I read Michael Chabon's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, so I feel fairly expert regarding the comic book business. Based on that hard-earned pedigree, I'm confident that I'm on solid ground when I say that Wolverine, a character created by Wein, is the greatest superhero of all time.

Brooding, conflicted, and yet completely badass, Wolverine doesn't rely on extrahuman capabilities like the ability to fly or shoot lasers out of his eyes. He doesn't have billions of dollars with which to outfit himself in technological superfluity. Sure, he's got an adamantium-enhanced skeleton and the ability to heal himself from nearly all injuries. Big fucking deal. He still feels pain. And he still wades into the fray to rep the forces of good.

So rest in peace, Len Wein, and may your adamantium casket preserve your brilliant brain.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Move Over Dad, 'Cause I'm a Double Dipper

Tuesday night was a humdinger for music junkies like me.  I began the evening at the historic Naro theater in the Ghent neighborhood of Norfolk.  As I mentioned that day, they were part of the one-night-only theatrical release of the documentary on the Avett Brothers.

The film is good fun. Now, I can't recommend the film if:
  • You like your music documentaries to have sex, drugs, violence, arrests, and general mayhem throughout the picture.  This film is the opposite of the "Behind the Music" on Mötley Crüe. Two musically inclined brothers whose feelings about each other are the diametric opposite of the Gallaghers.
  • You want all concert footage.  There's a lot of studio footage, backstory clips, family time, and behind the scenes of the process. Good live stuff, but it's not Stop Making Sense.
  • You don't like overly emotive bad banjo players.  These dudes emote heavy.  Seth Avett describes the band as guys who read their diary on stage.  Scott Avett says it's never crossed his mind that people might not want to hear his innermost feelings.  And he admits that's really stupid at times.  That's just who they are.  
Some cool stuff includes clips of them as a wanna-be grunge band in the early 90's; lively performances; closer looks at a couple of the other band members, including my friend's old co-worker at IBM Joe Kwon who's now the cellist; some emotional moments surrounding the health of bassist Bob's child; Deb from "Dexter"; and a cool segue from scratching out lyrics to them performing the song live.

Rob, check it out.  Rootsy, probably don't.


As soon as the credits rolled, my friend Jeff and I trucked it downtown to the Norva, where St. Paul and the Broken Bones had just taken the stage.  
A friend gave us VIP passes (her cousin Allen is the trumpet player), and we spent the night overlooking the band from immediate stage left. They were outstanding -- extremely enthusiastic performers and pure purveyors of soul. Lead singer Paul Janeway spared not an ounce of sweat, and his moves were... well, he had a lot of moves.  

I hadn't seen this Birmingham-based act before, but I'll see them again.  Based on their gratitude at the crowd going bonkers, I expect they'll come back to Norfolk.  At least I hope so.
Yes, the mic is lying on the floor
Check out the video.  Paul Janeway had crawled under the drum riser mid-song, and sang a verse from under it. Just silly.  Here's when he comes out...

Tons of fun.  Great night. Damnation, I enjoy music.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

I've Got Love

"You can't stop me. You can't break me. I'm too loving. These songs are going to change the world."

In today's American society, those words from an octogenarian African American woman speak with a bullhorn's turned-to-11 volume. And while I've found it so very easy, too easy, in fact, to dwell on division, and hate, and stunned disbelief, Mavis Staples' new song, 'If All I Was Was Black' is a little bit of a light in the darkness.

The legendary soul/spiritual singer collaborated with Jeff Tweedy on a new record, due out November 17 on Anti-Records. Per Tweedy, "I've always thought of art as a political statement in and of itself – that it was enough to be on the side of creation and not destruction. But there is something that feels complicit at this moment in time about not facing what is happening in this country head on."

Man, does it feel like something we need by the bucketload.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Hope and Scoop

I may not do this enough every day, but today is certainly a day to think of others.

The Islanders (not the hockey team), Texans (not the football team), and Floridians -- especially GTBers traumatized by 100+ mph winds and storm surges taller than Gheorghe Muresan.  God bless.

Mexican earthquake victims, just the latest natural disaster to plague the planet's inhabitants. With more such events to come along soon, sadly and assuredly.

All of these catastrophes remind me of two things. Weirdly.

One, the line "we care a lot about disasters, fires, floods, and killer bees. Faith No More.

The other is Gheorghe Carlin's typically irreverent take on our planet and those who would assert it needs saving.  It's all good Carlin, but jump to 6:30 for the best.

Well, there's a slew of Mother Nature ass-whippings taking place out there this week, and I am hopeful that casualties are few and far between.  It does seem like Irma could have been far crueler to the Gulf Coast (thus far).  At least compared to what was "forecast" from the meteorologists.  The weather folks appear to be chucking darts at a board for their predictions, now more than ever.  Actually, Dave throws darts far more accurately than they predict weather.

Me wishing good things for those that have endured these irrevocably life-changing disasters doesn't really do a whole lot, as our curmudegonly fratre Malone posted this weekend (see meme at right).

As such, for those that are inclined, click on this link to go straight to the Red Cross donation site.  I will make a donation so as to not be a total hypocrite.  Or give blood. I'm Type O+ so they need my blood, amazingly.  It's more pure than in the old days, so I give every few months.
Anyway, today is September 11, so there's more to think about.  This morning 16 years ago a lot of things changed for the worse.  This far removed, it remains important to keep the spirit of fallen brethren (and anyone who perished that day) alive.  We frequently highlight our friend Lud, in part because he always seemed to think of others first, and because the elder GTBers were simply much closer with him, his sister, and his parents. For sure, never let the vitality of Mark Ludvigsen ever fade.

At the same time, it's just as important to remember that, accordingly a school official, six undergraduate alumni of the College of William & Mary died in 9/11, and three of them were members of our fraternity separated by just six years. Uncanny.  Crappy.

In addition to Jim Connor '85, a resident of Summit, NJ at the time, we lost Mike Edwards '90.

Scoop, as we called him for some reasons unbeknownst to me, was a couple of years older than Dave, Rob, and I, and he mocked us mercilessly.  Deservedly.

It's funny that in college you know someone for just a few years, but because back then we crammed 37 guys into 19 tiny rooms without cable access, we got to know each other -- and our faults -- really well.  Of course, then you read someone's obituary, like that of Michael Hardy Edwards:
One way he found joy was through athletics. He was a crack hurdler in college, and he continued to run. In fact, name just about any sport, and it seemed that he did it: golf, skydiving, scuba diving, snowboarding, skiing.
Crack hurdler?  I don't even know what that is, but if it's akin to papal elector, I guess that could be right for Scoop. I don't remember him doing a whole hell of a lot athletic, maybe simply because his permanently affixed do-rag and tie-dye don't exude "SPORTS."  Anyway, I do like that on a memorial website there is this:
Education:Garden City High School
College of William & Mary 
Affiliations:New York Athletic Club (where Lud's memorial service was)
Garden City Golf Club 
Hobbies and Interests:
Pi Lambda Phi
golf skiing
playing guitar
scuba diving 
Special Interests: Scuba Diving, Skiing, golf, the Grateful Dead, Central Park, Cuban cigars, Dave Matthews Band, Allman Brothers, Traveling, his friends, family
I trust that last section isn't in order.  Anyway, what I remember most about Mike Edwards is whiling away the afternoons when others went to "class," lounging with a Milwaukee's Best or two and some crap cassette of Hartford '83 or the like.  In his honor, here are three shows that we would have enjoyed, each performed on September 11.

Scoop... have one.




Sunday, September 10, 2017

That's My Fun Day

As you certainly know, because you're an educated crowd and you dig your music, the late Prince Rogers Nelson was a prolific songwriter. Wikipedia credits him with writing (or co-writing) 171 songs, which seems low, given that he recorded 260 songs on his own. In any case, the dude wrote a lot of tunes.

That first paragraph isn't particularly relevant to the topic at hand, but I needed a way to stretch this somewhat thin post idea. Some filler, if you will. You see, one of the songs Prince wrote was Manic Monday, recorded by The Bangles (and the supercute Susannah Hoffs).

"It's just another Manic Monday. I wish it were Sunday. 'Cause that's my fun day."

And today, in a complete lack of coincidence, is Sunday. See how it all comes together?

What I really want to talk about is statues. Not the ones Nazis are defending, though they've probably got an opinion on this one. No, we're talking about a different rapacious and divisive historical figure than those from the Confederacy.

The State Capitol building in St. Paul, Minnesota features a statue of Christopher Columbus. And Wintana Melekin and 2,000 others want to replace it with a monument to a son of their city. They want Columbus to come down, and Prince to rise in his place.

Says their petition, “Across the nation, city governments are choosing to remove statues of white supremacists, slave owners, and those who threatened the livelihood of Black people. Here in Minnesota, communities are reigniting the demand to bring down state’s monument to Christopher Columbus, a man who murdered, raped and enslaved Black and Native peoples in the Americas. We, the undersigned, do not believe that Columbus represents the values Minnesotans carry. Rather than glorify a man who wanted to extinguish Black and Native peoples, we should honor members of our community whose leadership we find inspirational.”

I think we can all agree that this is an inspired solution to a problem that's plaguing us as a nation. It might even be a sign...o' the times.

But why let Minnesota have all the fun? Let's get rid of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville and replace him with Dave Matthews. Let's raze Birmingham's Confederate monuments in favor of Patterson Hood and Jason Isbell (Muscle Shoals is close enough) and the Blind Boys of Alabama. Down comes Stonewall Jackson in Atlanta, and up goes Outkast.

We could do this for a while. It'd be more fun than arguing with ignorant revanchist assholes. Play along in the comments if you've got a mind to.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Terra F-irma

The lore of the islands and anywhere from Dewey Beach to Duval Street includes romantic tales of "hurricane parties" and stubborn sons of Hemingway refusing to leave their domicile for any storm.

CNN and The Weather Channel report stories of homes devastated and lives lost, and government officials implore anyone in a storm's path to take higher ground in far-off safe havens.

The reality of most folks we know is somewhere in between.  Batten down the hatches, meet in Danimal's safe room, and drink rum until she's gone.

As such, there should be some appropriately themed songs to soundtrack your experience.  Let's spin a few...

Fingers crossed for Mark, Dan, collective loved ones, and all of Florida.  Even Finky's.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Spanning the Globe

Throughout the past week, national soccer teams the world over have been engaged in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. Predictably, at this stage of qualifying, results varied dramatically. Spain, for example, belted poor Liechtenstein, 8-0. The German Mannschaft rolled to its eighth consecutive final round victory, improving its goal differential to 35-2 with a 2-1 win over the Czech Republic and a 6-0 drubbing of Norway.

But keeping things in Europe, tiny Luxembourg drew mighty France, 0-0 to put a monkey wrench in Les Blues plans for Russia. The Faroe Islands, which might be imaginary, beat Andorra, which definitely is, by a 1-0 score, rising to striking distance of third place in their group, a moral victory in the making.

Closer to home, our Yanks were four minutes away from goose-egging this international break, trailing Honduras, 1-0, on the heels of a dismal 2-0 home loss to Costa Rica. Had Bruce Arena's squad failed to equalize, the U.S. would've fallen to fourth place in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying, and put our hopes in real jeopardy. Great American Bobby Wood let us breathe for a few more weeks by doing this:

The U.S. plays its final two matches against minnows Panama and Trinidad and Tobago, but at this point in the process, nothing is guaranteed, given both the USMNT's tepid form and the fact that fucked up stuff happens in CONCACAF on the regular. The top three teams in the region qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, while the fourth is forced into a playoff.

In far less sublime global soccer news, FIFA ruled today that Senegal and South Africa must replay a qualifier originally contested in November after finding that the match official, Ghanaian Joseph Lamptey, "unlawfully manipulate match results'. Lamptey awarded the South Africans a penalty kick on a phantom handball in the Senegalese penalty area, which keyed the home team's 2-1 win.

Since sports are nothing if not redemptive, we'll close on an amazingly emotional note. Syria, a nation that's been through some of the worst trauma imaginable, has made a surprisingly competitive run through the Asian Football Federation's qualifying process. More than 50 Syrian professional players have been killed during that nation's six-year civil war, and 13 others are missing or detained. Top talents have left the country in fear for their lives. Nonetheless, the Syrians entered play yesterday with an outside chance to guarantee a World Cup berth.

Into stoppage time, Syria trailed Iran, 2-1, and results elsewhere meant that the underdogs would be eliminated with a loss. And then this happened:

Syria now play a home and away series against Australia, with the winner advancing to take on CONCACAF's fourth place team. Which, as we've learned, could be the United States of America.

And how'd you like that for some geopolitical intrigue?

Monday, September 04, 2017

Expanding Our Cultural Horizons

In the spirit of my man Plato (and/or Socrates - scholars are somewhat divided), I've been doing some deep self-examination of late*, trying to step back from the urgency of the social media-driven now and figure out where I can make personal changes that help in some small way influence societal evolution. I realize, for one, that like very many Americans, I'm comfortably ensconced in my own personal bubble, surrounded by people who generally view the world the same way I do, and if they don't, are awfully quiet about it. Bill Bishop continues to be right.

As a solution to this issue, I've resolved to try to put myself in places that make me a bit uncomfortable, or at least in places where people with different worldviews are likely to show up. For example, I went to Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, looking for Nazis. I'm told I was a few weeks late, though I did see a lot of white folks. And Malcolm Brogdon. I also ate at a Chick-fil-a. I'm going to run the Army Ten-Miler in October, surrounded by flag-waving and troop-saluting, something I'm told liberals don't do. That might surprise my Dad.

The point is, I'm trying**.

In fact, I found and event in my local area that promises to put me in the middle of a demographic dogpile that's beyond my normal boundaries, with the bonus virtue of supporting a friend and fraternity brother. The Tribe's own Kevin Reynolds has traded in the constricting world of Capitol Hill for the freedom of professional wrestling management, as you can see below:

Seriously, though, that dude (the one getting an asswash from a fat 'Scottish' guy) was the Chief of Staff for a U.S. Congressman as recently as two months ago. 2017, man.

Given the sketchy circumstances surrounding that match, the principals have agreed to a rematch during Ultimate Championship Wrestling (UCW) Defiance on September 23 in Sterling, VA. Tickets are available here. I'll be there with bells on***.

Because, as I said, I'm trying****.

* I haven't really been doing that much self-examination. I feel like I'm mostly right and we're being led by a bunch of fucking buffoons elected by morons and halfwits*****. And Russians. But I am trying to be a little bit nicer on Twitter.

** I'm really not. I probably should be. But I'm not. Still mostly pissed.

*** I won't, but only because I have a commitment with my daughter's soccer team. I've reached out to Mr. Reynolds in an effort to ascertain if/when the UCW may come back this area. I'll be at that one. Unless I get a better offer. But hit me up if you want to go.

**** As noted previously, not really.

***** That's really not fair. But we do need to come to terms as a body politic with the reality that one of the most distinct lines of demarcation in the 2016 Presidential election was whether a voter had a college degree. The increasing disdain by a large number of Americans for expertise is dangerous shit, and not at all what I came here to blog about.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Sit-around Sunday Sounds

You're not doing anything today. No reason to try to hide it. Embrace the inertial pull of your sectional, pull up an internet-connected device, and dig on some soothing tunes.

Jason Isbell's recent Tiny Desk set is sublime, and there's a little lagniappe tucked into the last tune for people who wonder what it might be like to sit in with the band.


FOGTB Dave Fairbank tweeted about Chris Whitley and few days ago, and while I knew of the man's legend, I didn't know any of his stuff. Holy shit, but this dude's sound was incredible.

St. Vincent's new single, 'New York', is almost certainly the most beautiful tune ever recorded that prominently features the word 'motherfucker'.

The National have a new record out on Friday. If the first two singles are any indication, it's gonna be killer. Here's 'Day I Die'.

Have a great sit-on-your-ass Sunday. It's the least you could do for you.


As part of my ass-sitting, I read this great Washington Post feature on Hanson. You read that correctly. NPR Music called their new single, 'I Was Born', "...a gloriously rousing, life-affirming top-down anthem that's virtually impossible to resist." It's seriously catchy, for real.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Friday Entrepreneurial Update

We've all got talents here at G:TB. Mark excels at recreational hoops and finding blank spots on his body for new ink. Danimal's a renowned hobnobber and elbow-rubber, not to mention an elite triathlete. Me, I have a talent for wasting time while appearing productive during the workday. Case in point.

Not all of us can turn our natural abilities into financial gain, as nice as that might be. Now, though, through the miracle of modern science, one of us is well on his way to a gilded existence.

According to a recent Washington Post article, the local sanitation utility, D.C. Water, is now in the business of selling human poop as fertilizer.

TR just struck brown gold.

D.C. Water's not just selling human waste, they've created two different branded offerings designed to appeal to diverse markets. Fresh Bloom is a less-processed offering, with a gummy consistency, while Cured Bloom is sun-dried and turned, offering users a more soil-like experience.

As you might imagine, reaction to the Bloom product line has been mixed. Lidia Epp, a New Kent, VA-based biologist goes full alarmist, "This is Flint, Michigan, happening everywhere in the country in slow motion."

Sunday morning in TR's backyard
Meanwhile, Bill Brower, resource recovery manager at D.C. Water's Blue Plains treatment facility, and wholly unbiased observer notes that independent scientists, "have looked at all the literature, and if biosolids are applied correctly there’s no significant risk to human health or the environment."

That 'if' is doing a lot of work in that sentence, but as one who tends to fall on the side of modern institutions generally doing the right thing, for fear of crippling lawsuits and public approbation if for no other reason, I lean towards Brower's point of view. (And I'm conscious of how much work 'generally' is doing in that sentence - Wells Fargo says 'hello'.)

I lean in that direction in large part because I've used processed human poop on my own lawn without negative consequence. Without positive consequence, too, for what it's worth. The locally sourced pelletized poop was inoffensive in smell and appearance, but didn't do much for my lawn. I'm sure my lack of attention to the grass played no role.

Watch this space for news about the G:TB-sponsored Kickstarter campaign to fund launch of TR-branded bags of poop. Next step, profit.