Portraitgray2Gray Russell, Montclair composting guru and all around nice guy, has just been awarded a prestigious three month long fellowship in England to study energy use.

Gray, Montclair’s Environmental Outreach Coordinator, has long been committed to improving our environment, and might be most recognized around town for promoting composting at local events. He’s the first United States citizen to win the Chevening Fellowship, a three month program of academic, practical, policy and political study of energy consumption. Gray tells Baristanet: ” Energy is a big, sexy issue. We are all going to have to deal with it, now, and in future generations.  Energy conservation is important not only from a cost perspective, but also an environmental one.”  Gray went on to say: “I am very excited to be awarded this fellowship. Not only do I hope to bring a lot back to my community, I am looking forward to sharing information about some of the environmental programs in Montclair…The Energy Efficiency Fellowship takes place in the town of Leicester. It’s like an immersion course — we’ll be looking at case studies, experiences from other cities, and government programs.”

“At some point I’ll  be placed in a business, like a utility company or power plant. I hope to pick up new ideas and come home with some additional tools to help me carry out the recommendations of the recent energy audit we conducted in Montclair.” Gray promises to update Baristanet on his experiences across the pond. Bon Voyage, Gray!

121 replies on “Congrats to the Compost King!”

  1. What is a “political study of energy consumption.” ? I’d favor a scientific study myself.
    Anyway, I am pretty sure I can guess. But what is it?
    And, just curious to whom will the travel expense bill be presented?

  2. This sounds like an interesting opportunity. I am curious, though, what type of car he drives. Not being a wiseass (not this time anyway), just curious.

  3. i know gray, i don’t know what car he drives and i don’t know who pays for his travel, but isn’t that usually included in the fellowship award? gray is very smart, warm, kind and is also a talented recording engineer. (apropos of nothing.) i am thrilled that his sincere concern for our community and the environment will take him to this exciting program. i wish him a wonderful trip and hope that english people in leicester appreciate him as much as his friends do!

  4. Always ready to catch a hypocritical liberal, eh? ROC and MissM. You’ll have to snark someone else, Gray’s commitment is deep and consistent–above board, positive, constructive. A man who talks the talk and walks the walk. Congratulations on the fellowship!

  5. actually cheaplazymom, (despite your cheapshot) I am sure he is a fine guy and I am certainly not opposed to the fellowship, it sounds great. (we conservatives like clean air too!)
    But since he is the “Montclair’s Environmental Outreach Coordinator” (whatever that is) I think it is a fair question to ask if the township is paying for any part of this.
    Still would like to know what “political study of energy consumption. ” would entail.

  6. Congratulations to Gray! I always read his column in the Montclair Times. He has practical, easy to implement information on ways to use the town’s and the planet’s resources more efficiently. I can’t wait to hear about his trip.

  7. Having looked up the Chevening Fellowships, they do seem to be awarded by the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office in order, I quote, “to support UK international priorities.” They’re not specifically for the study of stuff like energy consumption, in other words, but rather for a smorgasbord of topics. Some of them, somewhat ominously, are co-funded by the Soros Foundation (as in George, whose money so often props up the Democratic party).
    I did not, however, find any requirement listed that an applicant had to wear such garb(in clashing checks and plaids yet!) as Gray Russell apparently has on in the picture above. But then, perhaps those who agree most with him that energy is a “big, sexy issue” enjoy it best swathed in flannel.

  8. He should tell the Brits he’s from Canada, and they’ll assume he’s a lumberjack. Anyway, I did some research and found that the fellowship includes all expenses except air travel, but fear not. A wealthy benefactor has undertaken to pay this expense. His name: Richard O’Colgan.

  9. Hey, I remember this guy from the WC. (I cross myself every time I invoke that much-feared institution.) All these whiners were hyperventilating about how awful it was to have to bag their leaves and how we should sue the town and take to the streets and demonstrate etc etc. Gray Russell very calmly and rationally told people to, in essence, chill. This dude I like. Count on me to pay for the peanuts on his outbound flight.

  10. I didn’t understand the leaf thing either. It turned out to be easier to blow the leaves in to my neighbor’s than it ever was to make a neat pile in the street.

  11. Imagine what that snowy December would have been like with leaves in the streets. Gray for Mayor!

  12. Looks to me like this entire site has essentially devolved into the same 5 people posting back and forth all day between themselves, beating to death the same tired political rants time and again, regardless of the alleged subject matter being discussed. (Call it 6 degrees of separation from the same tired political harangues.) Yawn. Perhaps time to sign off for good.

  13. For the record, I didn’t mean any disrespect to Mr. Russell. If he’s working to improve the environment, that’s admirable and the trip is money well spent.
    I was just thinking out loud, in response to a recent Star-Ledger article on Mr. Hartnett, which indicated he drove an SUV.

  14. Don’t go, m-i-c! we need people like you! Isn’t Baristanet supposed to be a 3 towns info/gossip/news/fun blog. I come here for restaurant reviews, real estate news, info on local doings (like Gray’s fellowship!) I’m hoping it will get back to that, and that every topic won’t get hijacked by the same boring old rants.
    BTW, I’m NOT implying that the T8 posters are boring or old (haven’t met them, and from Miss Marta’s troll photo it’s hard to say how old they are). But, sheesh, some of them do rant!

  15. Farewell, montclair_is_crazy. Nothing becomes your presence so well on this site as your leaving it. Ta’.
    We are “old,” google addict. Old and wizened. But we never (well, I can’t speak for walleroo, he may) ever wear clashing plaids and checks. Especially a “shirt jac” that seems to come with a pad against which to rest one’s shotgun, even if that does seem to suggest the ultimate way to enforce Montclair’s new leaf policy. I’m sure they’ll love that in the pubs of Leicester.

  16. Funny, I was rejoicing at how interesting Baristanet had gotten lately. So unlike the Watercooler (sign of the cross). We’re all just here hanging out, MIC. You’re welcome to hang, too. If you want to start a conversation with other people of like mind, please. Regardless of whether you stay or go, though, don’t be a sourpuss. What’s the point of lifting your cheek in a crowded room and letting a noisy one fly?

  17. Cathar
    Miss Martta
    Miss Martta
    Miss Martta
    Miss Martta
    Miss Martta
    Miss Martta
    ad infinitum, ad nauseum

  18. Don’t you have a restaurant to run? I think there are some people at table no. 12 who need their water glasses refilled.

  19. All right, I’ll admit that was pretty funny. But I’m still upset that you broke our rhythm. It was Miss Martta’s turn, and now everything is all fuckyknuckles.

  20. Gray Russell has been dedicated to improving the environment for 30 years, even when as an audio engineer in NYC, he worked on Patti Smith’s Easter, the Go Gos “We Got The Beat”, Television, David Johansen and the demo for the all-girl garage rock band The Catholic Girls. The group 20 years later is getting airplay on Sirius radio’s Little Steven’s Underground Garage.

  21. Gee, I remember when (as I’m sure Miss Martta does too) the Catholic Girls played the Dirt Club. Bigger on enthusiasm than talent, they would have had to drop the uniforms eventually if they’d really made it. I don’t think, however, that either the Catholic Girls or even Patti Smith qualify as an “improvement” to the environment.

  22. Respectfully there, Greg Spinelli, you really shouldn’t try laying any kind of thug trip on any of us trolls. You’re not that good an angler.

  23. Another sucker on the line.
    Sorry Cath, but I am constitutionally unable to allow the T8 gang’s constant snarky thuggery to pass without comment. For crying out loud – attacking a guy for his wardrobe.
    duelist or dualist?

  24. One-word answer: both. But much more interested in being a lover.
    As for “snarky commentary,” well, Greg, that’s anyone’s right here insofar as I can tell. I’m just amused you think you can intimidate others out of it. You’re not that impressive an “angler,” either, I for one was up late for totally different reasons, and with that I will wish myself a pleasant night-night with a final suggestion that it’s perhaps time to turn your boat around, ride the tide and go home so you can slumber well too. The fish ain’t running tonight.

  25. “I for one was up late for totally different reasons”
    I’m slow or you’re off the wall.

  26. Ok, I packed the car, I got flyfishing gear, a standard reel, if need be, a dodgeball uniform complete with kilt, my Monty Python handbook, my Dirt Club pass, my non partisan voting stubs (even includes Libretarian vote from last election), wall climbing gear, a foil and face mask…Let me in Coach I’m ready to play.

  27. clm, butch called out some of the right leaning folks as trolls so they have circled the wagons and are letting their freak flag fly by adding 8T to their moniker.

  28. 8 “trolls” as designated by someone else with whom some have been in constant opposition, your cheapness, and the number “8” was indeed stressed. It’s not an arbitrary number, just an unexplained one to date. Try as some of us “usual suspects” might, I for one cannot for the life of me come up with more than 6. Wanna join? You are as welcome as anyone else. But if you do, you may have to also play on our dodgeball team. Which might of course be fun.
    (This mystery reminds me of long, long ago, when then-Times theater critic Clive Barnes said that “all 5” of America’s greatest dramatists were homosexuals, and most people ran out of viable candidates at 3.)

  29. I’ve moderated another message board for several years and I’ve found that there will always be a core of obsessed posters whose frequent posting often discourages others from posting their opinions. Please note that I am in no way passing judgment on this blog’s membership. Only want to say that there are often lurkers who are afraid of flaming. On my board, we specifically ban “mindless personal attacks.” One of the main problems with typing and reading communications instead of face to face contact is that there is a huge probability of being misunderstood.

  30. The community can’t function without the free and open exchange of ideas. Please step up and express yourself.

  31. Trolls? As in you hide under bridges and have exessive body hair? That certainly wouldn’t describe Miss Martta who I picture to be long, lean, and practically hairless (in a good way).
    I always thought blog trolls were disconnected from the community in which they were trolling–wing-nuts logging onto liberal sites and stirring up trouble and vice versa. But, you all seem to be a part of our little world, even if you are cranky sobs. Some come to baristanet for the news and local resources, some come for the posts, some like both. Certainly there is room for all.
    I’ll decline your invitation for membership–I’m just too lazy to type an additional 2 keys. Plus the thought of playing dodgeball with 7 short hairy conservatives and one tall lean child-free libertarian is just too scary. I wouldn’t stand a chance.

  32. “That certainly wouldn’t describe Miss Martta who I picture to be long, lean, and practically hairless (in a good way).”
    This had me in stitches, CLM! I have been called many things in my day but this takes the cake! It sounds like you’re describing Dr. Evil’s cat!

  33. “I’m just too lazy to type an additional 2 keys. Plus the thought of playing dodgeball with 7 short hairy conservatives and one tall lean child-free libertarian is just too scary.”
    Troll on…now I need to find me a delicious Hobbit

  34. yeah, those free and open ideas include Cathar’s making fun of the poor guy’s shirt!
    I am happy to have a nice discurse with those with whom I disagree politically, Miss Martta and Iceman being prime expamples.
    However, some of the posters on this board (gee, I wonder who I mean??) are mean spirited and, in my own humble opinion, pompous windbags who seem to get such a glee out of nasty unprovoked comments that I have to wonder about what trauma they must have experienced in their pasts to make them so hateful.

  35. But seriously. As much as I like being part of the troll gang (I had LOTS of troll dolls as a kid and I loved ’em all-especially the two-headed one with orange hair on one head and blue hair on the other), I was always under the impression that an Internet troll was someone who posted things to deliberately get a rise out of other posters. Ironically, I have not witnessed such behavior among the “Gang of 8” posters.
    For example, if someone were to post “Britney sucks” on a Britney Spears web site, that would be trolling. However, someone who offers a contrary opinion on another post is merely engaging in debate, which is healthy discourse.

  36. can we add this one to the jeff foxworthy redneck dictionary?:
    “I cain’t do it the regular way till discurse is over baby, we’ll mess up the sheets. better use the back door.”
    What, you don’t like this one either? okay, back to work. forget i was ever here.

  37. Miss M, you are correct in your definition of trolls. However, the person to which daniella so obliquely refers often posts in a way that illicits the same reaction a troll’s post would receive, especially when it gets personal.

  38. And that person to whom daniella obliquely refers to is the real “Compost King” on this board, IMHO.

  39. My, but we have a full crop of overwrought indignation this morning. Cathar’s comment about the shirt:
    We are “old,” google addict. Old and wizened. But we never (well, I can’t speak for walleroo, he may) ever wear clashing plaids and checks. Especially a “shirt jac” that seems to come with a pad against which to rest one’s shotgun, even if that does seem to suggest the ultimate way to enforce Montclair’s new leaf policy. I’m sure they’ll love that in the pubs of Leicester.
    is, in Troll parlance, known as a “crack”, a “jest” as in a joke. (I think it is pretty funny, actually.) I don’t know him but I suspect Mr. Russell probably does not feel much injury over said crack. Of course the extensive “pain” felt by some on this site sue to the remark seems to more than compensate.

  40. This is all a bit much. The crack about the shirt could hardly have hurt Mr. Russell’s feelings, given that it came in the context of excessive praise for his virtues. And even if he sobbed himself to sleep over it, does he need Greg Spinelli to ride to his rescue? He does not.
    Seems to me like the eight-trolls comment had the completely unintended effect of triggering a certain comaraderie among those who have self-selected themselves into the group. Okay, we got a little rowdy. We’ll chill. Not a big deal.
    As for the notion that regular posters drive away other posters, that’s a tricky one. On the one hand, it must be pretty scary for some people to post, even anonymously, at the risk of being called an idiot, more or less, by others. Shouldn’t people be allowed to say what they want to say without being “shouted down”? On the other hand, the beauty of this site is that people speak their minds. About how many places in Baristaville, or anywhere for that matter, can you say the same? Do we really want to sanitize things for a few timid souls?
    Barista, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

  41. Daniella, I suggest to you (as Tom Wolfe certainly would, not that I’m comparing self to him, and as Carson Kressley also well might) that there is something, well, fairly calculated about the outfit pictured above. Something purposely meant to say, “Hey, I’m an environmentalist and I’m earnest about it, dude!” Do you seriously believe someone just tosses an outfit like that on without some thought as to the image it conveys? (And aren’t you a tad perturbed if what looks like a gun patch turns out to be just that?)
    Be that as it may, surely the issue of combining multiple checks and plaids, if it has to be done at all, should be left solely to the discretion of Prince Charles and Camilla, and whether one is tramping over moorlands or compost heaps.

  42. Actually, I think Gray looks quite appealing in the picture.
    His smile is wonderful- and so is his fashion statement.
    Obviously, you guys have no outdoor fshion sense- after all don’t trolls live in caves or under bridges and don’t go out- I’ve also heard they have horrible feet.

  43. ROC, I feel no pain over his remark about the shirt, I just find it indicative of the overall petty nature of his comments, and by extension, of the man himself. That’s all.
    I think the tenor of his comments and the fact that they are usually directed at the poster rather than at the issue tends to drive a lot of people away from this site, which is unfortunate. I, however, am not so easily bullied.

  44. Whatever we wear or don’t wear, fashionista, we do so with style and verbal agility. Sans others’ attempts to make fun of our hygiene, too. You wear your minus-T with pride, girl.
    More seriously, walleroo touches, and quite touchingly, on a great point above: that, however, inadvertently, a real, vibrant community has been created on Baristanet. Which, all of us “trolls” keep trying to emphasize, is open to all. (I just wish walleroo would emerge from the conservative closet, and he will if I have to pull him out by means of a wire hanger wrapped tightly round his neck.)
    Some of course will opine back that there has always been a community here. Well, yes, in a sense, but too often it has been a smug, insular sort of one, chockful of people who keep expressing shock, shock!, shock do you hear me? shock! that others might express conservative viewpoints, either mild ones or the full-bore version. (They do vary, you know, even among the 8 trolls.)
    But this site is hardly a BlueWaveNJ breakout committee session, now is it? Instead, it’s become a venue for free and open expression, however “rowdy” it gets at times (and I know from real rowdiness and believe me, this discernedly ain’t it). For which I, for one, love and admire the Barista (whom I have already sincerely called a goddess here). I hope she makes millions eventually off our squabbling and comments to each other.
    Yes, sometimes it goes a bit beyond the usual Katzenjammer Kids-like spirit, and when it does, she is well within her rights to remind us of our responsbilities on what is, after all, her and Liz’s site. So we should behave better when she asks us to. Most especially because she and Liz have never, ever asked anyone here temper their stated politics along with their verbal antics. (I’m not a member of any other Montclair-oriented site, but others here have indicated that isn’t remotely the case on them.)
    What does bug some of us, admittedly, is nannyism. There occasionally are attempts to quench both the spirit and the content. Perhaps that’s why some of us took umbrage at the heavy-handed style of the restaurant owner-cum-Nimrod. Possibly, too, it’s why a post, such as one above which refers to “mindless personal attacks” (hint: they’re probably never mindless on this site, and the personal attack bit works for both ends of the ideological spectrum) and claims not to be passing judgment but is doing so nevertheless in the best primly Miss Grundy style the author can summon, that approach never impresses either. A site with the kind of decorum urged in that post, I don’t know, who would it really appeal to save a bunch of sequestered Carmelites?
    So hail this as a community, however fractious. And don’t expect thought control whatever your politics. We don’t all really have to “get along,” I kind of think that line is so much wind, but we can quarrel and disagree with each other with genuine verbal panache and wit without alienating anybody else. Thus, try listening to “the wisdom of walleroo” on this one (and I won’t even charge the lad for this catchphrase). Fun remains possible here whatever our considerable differences. Nannygoatism is bad. The Barista, marvelously, appears to be looking out for EVERYONE’S welfare here, and that is a rare thing indeed. Hey, it’s a great site, and 9 times out of ten you’ll get better ripostes here than anywhere else. Why, it’s suddenly dawning on me, it’s even a great community, however ideologically riven at times.

  45. Greg,
    They were biting pretty good yesterday! Looks like checks and plaids are hatching today.
    3 big fish in a session looks pretty good to me, especially in such a small stream.
    Too bad you’re catch and release. I think we ought to cook some of those big ones.

  46. Butch, MIC, etc don’t leave cause you don’t agree or don’t like how someone responds. Heck, the fun part is making a statement and then watching the community respond to the shots.
    Now, where is my dodgeball!

  47. The trolls judge everyone. Yet, cannot take any judgement from anyone else. Get over yourselves.
    Furthermore, this site is so boring. Barista, please get back to doing more interesting local stories, and leave the open threads and political controversy for another site where people care about that. This site used to be about community…now it’s become about trolls arguing.
    BTW, contrats to the compost king.

  48. “Don’t do it daniella or you’ll be used a a human shield.”
    LOL…Line of the day, caddisfly.
    How bout that new Cabella’s store?

  49. The Cabela’s in PA? Amazin’ store! Go there when you have a couple of hours to kill…it’s HUGE!

  50. Any store that features Labrador retrievers in camo hunting jackets is my kind of store!

  51. i hate when dogs wear sweaters…i don’t mind a kerchief around the neck but not sweaters

  52. “I think it is a fair question to ask if the township is paying for any part of this.”
    From the town website
    “The fellowship also pays for the recipient√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s entire academic, living and travel expenses.”

  53. Iceman and Miss Martta, surely, if the Creator had sincerely wanted doggies to wear clothing, or even neckerchiefs, He would have provided them with opposable thumbs with which to put them on themselves.
    Cats, I might point out, never have to deal with this urge towards dress-up by their food and shelter providers. They’re also very skilled at tossing party hats off their heads.

  54. I respect the divergence of political views expressed here – that wasn’t the point of my first post last night. And yes, I guess “snarky commentary is anyone’s right here.” If that’s what floats your boat, by all means ride the tide.
    My comment on the cracks on Gray’s wardrobe was offered as an expression of my disdain for the base level of the rhetoric spewing forth from under a few bridges – not nannygoatism, but contempt.
    The *point* of my opening post last night was to express the crushing tedium inspired by one thread after another devolving into a mutual admiration society of a small handful of snarks peddling pseudo-intellectual pablum.

  55. Good point Greg. I and some others had a nasty run-in not to long ago with one of those snarks who didn’t even have the courage to call me out under his real( or should I say “regular” ) Barista board name – This place has been hijacked.

  56. …Oh and by the way, Congratulations to Mr. Russell on the grant. you sound like one helluva talented individual. “Easter” is still agreat album, BTW.

  57. But to the real point of this thread: Congratulations, Mr. Russell. You sound like a man of many talents.
    BTW – “Easter” is still a great sounding album!

  58. The comment above about being a “member” sums up the problem here perfectly: these grownups who tag themselves as the 8T behave like a cliquish group of high school kids who dominate every single thread. I don’t have any problem with their viewpoints, and like when others step up and help expand the discourse – I would encourage more people to post and don’t worry about anyone busting your chops (it’s just a blog, afterall). I can’t imagine Baristaville is this heavily conservative, as one might guess from simply reading the majority of posts that have been written by 8 people. Let’s get some fresh new voices here.

  59. Biff: What exactly IS your point? The fact that we of a conservative ilk post here doesn’t forbade people with different viewpoints from posting here as well. Where is it written that they cannot express their views?
    I find this whole thing funny in a strange way. In the whole scheme of things, the “8T” gang is truly a minority in Blue Baristaville. So why do folks who hold the majority viewpoint stay away? Or is that merely a figment of one’s imagination?
    Are they afraid that we are going to wrestle them to the ground and steal their lunch money?
    If you have a viewpoint, then bring it on! Just refrain from attacking posters personally as, without me naming names, several have already done in this thread.

  60. I must say that talking about *how* we shall talk is about the boringist talking of all.

  61. Miss M…please, I was being sarcastic but it doesn’t come across in print.
    ‘Red’ in Baristaville.

  62. Greg,
    They’re biting on ANYTHING today. You don’t even have to put a fly on the line.
    I’m used to see fish rising to some sort of bait or hatch but these are leaping out of the water, coming up on the bank and spitting at anyone who’s there!

  63. caddifly…i like the ‘sneaky pete’ popper for bluegill. it’s fun catching panfish from the shore.

  64. htb – just go to the main Barista page and google “only the crane knows” and perform a search w/in barista you’ll eventually find a 9/26/05 barista story of that same name. “voice in the wilderness” turned out to be the poster more commonly known as “cathar” and that’s a fact.

  65. If it’s “tedious” to you, Greg and others, then don’t read it and don’t comment on it. I also hear that chomping on tin cans is a great way to get some fiber into your diet.
    It is dismaying that some wish merely to incude in the community both walleroo and I have noted here only those with whom they agree. The “debate” therefore should be one of gradations, not genuine disagreement? Where is the liberality in that, o Montclair, oh Babylon?

  66. I saw there’s a new iPod charger that is solar powered … I’d like that as well as one for my laptop.

  67. when I was working for EDS, I had a client who had a heavy southern accent and I had trouble understanding her on this particular word and she replied:
    “a as in egg”…guess you had to be there.

  68. Some of us non-Trolls actually have to work for every billable minute and can only post when the work is done. I am quite impressed that Cathar went to the Dirt Club and wasn’t always a curmudgeon. After the demo, the Catholic Girls were signed by MCA Records, had a Billboard pick and then broke up. The lead singer, Gail, moved to California, and wrote a published novel. They reunited a few years ago (still using the name, not Catholic Women or The Nuns), but the bass player, Joanne, was MIA. They put out some new CDs, available on the Internet and made some local appearances.

  69. I had trouble getting my posts to work for a few days, and I really wanted to post this earlier.
    If there is one person in this community, that uses his head, heart and soul in working towards the betterment of this town, its Gray. On so many levels, his work brings together much of what we all stand for, and hope to have… a community that is safe to live in, for many generations.
    Best of luck Gray on your journey, be safe and bring back with you the knowledge and concepts of what may make for a better way of protecting our environment and our lives.
    ps..you must think of some way of sneaking Linda over to see you.

  70. Wow, you all are a fun gang; mostly very delightful and funny stuff going back and forth. I didn’t take offense at anything…was I supposed to? I guess I’ll have to stay tuned to you all over in the UK, when I get back to my dorm after classes! Many of you said such nice stuff that it makes me smile. Thank you; I truly appreciate it and will remember the kind words as I leave my home and family and the town I love.
    BTW, I know only a couple of folks who know my music track record so well… (especially one guy who’s having a birthday next week and who is still most impressed – as am I – with my un-credited work on the Darkness on the Edge of Town record).
    FYI…The entire fellowship, including transportation, ground travel, lodging, classes, books, and a daily stipend for food is paid for 100% completely by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. They believe the study of energy to be critical at this time due to its connections to the global economy, international security, the environment, human health (especially children’s respiratory effects), climate change, foreign policy and national security.
    The content of the course is based on what Brits call the Master of Sciences curricula of Climate Change and Sustainable Development, and Energy and Sustainale Building Design. The course will present an integrated approach to efficient energy use, and the issue of climate change and its abatement through policy, regulation, changing awareness and designing a modern implementation strategy.
    To me it sounds absolutely fascinating.
    The shirt foto is from my expedition to near the edge of the Arctic Circle in October and the temperature was about 27F. Glad you liked it…bright enough for ya?
    My 2004 Toyota Prius averages above 40 mpg.
    Keep smiling, and Happy New Year.

  71. Leaf dude! Thanks for being a good sport. Hope you have a good time, and please keep up apprised of what you find out (I mean that — I for one really want to know). But please, no sex…

  72. Local trivia: The Catholic Girls had a song back in the 1980s called “A Boy for Me.” It paid tribute to the salvation and possible love to be found at Tierney’s.

  73. Yanno, I had to rack my brain a bit but I DO remember the Catholic Girls! I saw them live once at some function courtesy of WDHA-FM! Can’t remember the venue but it was in Morristown somewhere. They were great.

  74. MM8T, It could have been The Showcase in Dover. They were known as Double Trouble before changing their name.

  75. CONGRATULATIONS, GRAY! What an exciting and interesting thing to be a part of, Montclair is lucky.
    We, at the Presby, wish you Godspeed, and hope you’ll come for a visit when you get home.
    linda sercus

  76. Congrats Gray…..though the weather pretty lousy this time of year. Don’t forget to pack you wellies and an umbrella.

  77. I note with great pleasure (though I’d have guessed so, anyway) that Gray Russell has proved he has a much greater sense of humor and takes himself less seriously than Greg Spinelli. Which figures. Class shows, too. Even with all those checks.
    As for The Catholic girls, I still don’t recall them as being very good. Nubile and somewhat purposely squishy (playing to their intended audience), but hardly musicians first and foremost. Or even secondarily.
    And for all the talk of the “trolls,” remember, people, t’was butch who specifically named us as 8 in number. It’s therefore her job to count them off. Some of us who figure we’re likely included in the designation simply revel in the camaraderie. Others plainly eat their narrow hearts out.

  78. The historical significance of The Catholic Girls was they were the first East Coast all-girl band to be signed by a major label, albeit a West Coast label (MCA).
    Elbow’s birthday, Gray. Have a great trip!

  79. Well, boring, at least we now know what “brown can do for you.”
    Remembering what label the Catholic girls were on, now, that is true knowledge. My admiration there! I also learned that the ladies (they’re too long in the tooth to remain girls) in fact remain together. Why doesn’t the Barista ask them to play at her next party, particularly since we’ve given them so much free publicity?

  80. All this talk about Late 70’s -80’s girl groups ….let’s give props to the TRUE pioneers – Fanny. Anyone remember them ?

  81. I remember seeing a video by Fanny on VH-1 ages ago. My BF was a fan of theirs.
    BTW-The Catholic Girls are coming to Pat Duncan’s show on WFMU next month:
    The Catholic Girls
    Thursday, February 16th, 11pm – 2am
    on Pat Duncan’s show
    The Catholic Girls were born in the 1980s and signed to MCA Records. After two national tours, widespread commercial airplay, and MTV exposure, they disbanded in 1985. The band is now back and have released their first full-length album since the MCA days entitled “Meet The Catholic Girls” which contains a variety of garage, punk, & power-pop tunes.

  82. Fanny had two sisters of Asian descent in the band, the Millingtons, I believe. And were produced by Ray Davies or someone like that. Weren’t they in the Warner-Reprise stable?
    And before them way back in the 60’s when the Wagon Wheel and the Peppermint Lounge were on 43rd Street, there were four bleached blondes billing themselves as “The Female Beatles,” and also “Goldie & The Gingerbreads,” from whence came Genya Ravan.
    All, alas (I suspect) too old to convincingly play punk, power pop or garage rock music. It’s not that rock is limited to the young, just that after 20 years or more in the business we expect musical competence, not just exuberance. The commodification of The Catholic Girls, with those school uniforms, may not play as well in 2006. I wish them well, but… From what I’ve read, however, however good they are now, they’ll probably do just fine in the Japanese market, not least because of the Japanese male’s reputed interest in “maedchen in uniform,” especially the under-16 variety.

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