The Fell Clutch of Circumstance

A blog detailing a road trip by two brothers from Seattle to Albuquerque. There will be beer!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Stamp your forms, sonny

Well, nothing says "I've been jerked around too many times" like the final parole speech from good ole Ellis Boyd Redding (sorry, the original YouTube vid disappeared - 11/09). And Vikings fans this week certainly must be feeling like they've been jerked around by Brett "Mr. Inflated Ego" Favre. I personally am glad that chucker walked away, and hope it'll serve as motivation for the remaining guys. Simmons talks about the "nobody believed in us!" factor. This may be the first season we see the "nobody believed in ME!" factor. Or it'll be a total meltdown.

But I have another reason to feel jerked around this week. Let's just say my "parole" has been denied for the second time and I'm starting to think I should answer questions like Red. But I can't complain.

Shall we discuss masthead changes to the Clutch offline? Or are we thinking this might just take up too much time?


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I'm on the fence...

Can I give you my decision a day before training camp?


Thursday, July 09, 2009


We can keep it going, no problem. We might have to change the masthead though.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Let's give credit where credit is due

And by that, I mean the GPS. Much as I disdained the annoying voice giving me directions, it proved invaluable during numerous situations. It was even comforting when I screwed up to see that I only added 5 minutes to the trip. I'm still not caving and getting one for myself, but I'll admit it comes in handy. And Mr. Simmons was definitely handy in keeping us alert.

But seriously, thanks for the complements, and I'll have to say that John was a great traveling companion as well. I'm glad I could help, and the good beer, food, and sights more than made it worth my while. In fact, given the hospitality in places like Nashville, Memphis, and Asheville, I might advocate for removing "armpit" from the description of our trip. Maybe we could probably upgrade it to navel.

Now that the trip is done, do we retire the blog? Or do we alter the theme and continue the back and forth? Perhaps our millions of readers want us to expound on the Stephen King movie theory, or hear us muse on the circumstances we find ourselves in 1500 miles apart?


Saturday, July 04, 2009


Back safely in Durham after a long, but enjoyable four days on the road. We managed to find a short hike yesterday off the Blue Ridge Parkway that got us to a pinnacle with some nice views of the area. Then we drove a bit, stopping for lunch at the Atlanta Bread Company just outside Hickory, NC. It was probably one of the lamer lunches we had on the trip, but at that point we were sort of out of town halls to stop in.

We got back into Durham around 4:30, unpacked, and then checked the web to see that the Durham Bulls were in town. So that scrapped Tyler's, and we ended up going to The Federal instead for a couple of good brewskis and sandwiches.

The whole trip had a very much Bill Simmons feel to it. Mike and I discussed all manner of things, such as how the vast majority of movies based on Stephen King novels have been absolutely terrible. We also listened to about 15 hours of Bill Simmons' podcasts and a good number of mix CDs.

If you're going to make a trip across the armpit of the US, I highly recommend making it with a brother like Mike. It made what would be a long and mostly boring drive into a pretty good time.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Nashville and Asheville

We wake up this morning in lovely Asheville, NC, after spending 8 hours yesterday driving through Tennessee. We were lucky to have great weather, stopping at a cool gift shop/gas station in the morning, and then taking our chances with yet another unfamiliar downtown for lunch. While strolling through downtown Nashville, John had the brilliant idea of asking the valets in front of a hotel where to get good sandwiches. One of them cluelessly recommended Quizno's, but the other recommended the Provence Bread & Cafe. This Nashville chain has some unique choices, and while the guy behind the counter was inaudible, the food was inspired.

After some light traffic in Knoxville, I made a minor slipup while driving, taking us north on I-81 instead of staying on I-40 (curse those left-exits!). But we quickly turned around and headed through the beautiful Smoky Mountains. (Best license plate: just "FLOW".) Top that off with an evening drinking good beer and eating sweet Mexican/Cuban/Carribbean food at Salsa's, and we consider it another successful day.


Thursday, July 02, 2009

Walking in Memphis

Great day yesterday.  We drove through Arkansas, and had a tough time figuring out where to stop for lunch.  None of the options from the highway looked appealing.  So we just decided to wing it and drive into downtown Little Rock.  In 5 minutes we found Cregeen's Irish Pub and had a good, albeit late lunch (I had a beer since Mike's shift was next).  

Then we drove the rest of the way to Memphis, getting in around 5.  The Hotel is within spitting distance of Beale St (above).  Mike thought that we might have trouble finding music, since he got the idea that Wednesday is the night most bands take off.  This was not to be.  Beale Street was humming, as there's some biker fest in town.    They had Beale Street closed off, and people were walking around with open containers.   Giddyup.

We grabbed some artery-clogging Tennessee barbecue at a local joint on Beale, and then cruised the street.  We stopped into a cramped bar and watched a really good three-piece band play for a set.  All things considered, this all worked out perfectly.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Thunder and License Plates

Well, this morning we wake up in downtown OK City, right next to the Ford Center where NBA's Thunder play. Which I find ironic, given that we've been listening a lot to Bill Simmons who, in honor of Sonics fans who had their team hijacked and moved here, refuses to call the Thunder by their actual name. (Note that this Google search still shows the Thunders URL as

The other irony is that the only other trouble we had on the road yesterday was a driving rainstorm that looked like it was two whispers away from a tornado. Stuff was flying across the road, construction barrels were turned over, a semi parked itself under an overpass, and I swear I saw Helen Hunt drive by in the opposite lane. John may have gotten some good shots of lightning, and we were rewarded with a rainbow in OK City. If the pix come out, we'll see if we can post them in here.

Lastly, I want to have a running tab of interesting license plates we see. Yesterday's winner: WARPIG 9 from PA. Apparently WARPIGs one through eight were taken. What a disappointment for that guy!