Thursday, August 25, 2016

Reminds me of my little league days

Although I was more like the camera than the pitcher.

Minutia Men, Episode 17

EP17: Rick and Dave discuss a revenge e-bay sale, German food oddities, a bad use of 9-1-1, the first Cub jersey retired, and Rick’s brush with David Lee Roth.

Listen to it here.

Don't like to brag, but there's a pretty memorable singing performance in this week's episode, featuring a German-American 53-year-old.

The 100 Greatest Films of This Century

The BBC conducted a poll of 177 movie critics to compile this list, and the David Lynch movie "Mulholland Drive" came in at #1. Really? I liked that one, but the best of the century?

Check out the list here.

I have only seen 13 of these 100 movies.

Twilight Zone Moment

This was incredible. Glenn Beck (yes, that Glen Beck) appeared on Lawrence O'Donnell's show last night. And they agreed about the racism of Donald Trump. Wow.


Guaranteed Rate Park?

So many things wrong with this. The logo has a downward pointing arrow. The name is a mouthful and not easily shortenable. And it sounds ridiculous. Maybe they'll call it the "G-Spot" or "Gee Whiz Park" another one?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Hillary on Kimmel

Answering the ridiculous health claims of the GOP...

Howard Johnson's

At one time, Howard Johnson's restaurants were all over the country. There were 800 of them, nearly every one of them located near a heavily traveled road or highway.

Now there's only one.

It's the main reason my kids (who love Mel Brooks), don't really get this scene from Blazing Saddles...

Kids, Don't Try This at Home

Sometimes a headline alone is enough to make me click on a link. Let's see if it's good enough for you too. It's a legitimate story in the Daily Mail.

Ohio Man 'Acting Like a Gorilla and Masturbating on a Sidewalk' is Arrested

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

As the Sumner Turns

Yesterday after the ouster of Philippe Dauman and the announcement of the new board of directors for Viacom, I said that the story should be over now...but I suspected it wasn't. It wasn't. Now Sumner Redstone's granddaughter Keryn is objecting. From Deadline Hollywood...

Calling the settlement deal a “palace coup,” she wants the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court to provide for her to see the agreement that led Dauman and Viacom to withdraw two lawsuits charging that Redstone, 93, was not competent to manage his affairs and was being manipulated by his daughter, Shari.

Shari and Redstone-controlled National Amusements — which owns 80% of the voting shares in Viacom and CBS — vigorously denied the charges.

That's her aunt she is talking about here.

This is why I started calling the saga a soap opera. It's also why I decided not to be soulless, nasty billionaire. I did it for my kids. Didn't want them to grow up this screwed up.

Another Lawsuit For Fox News

From this morning's New York Times...

Andrea Tantaros, a former Fox News host, charged in a lawsuit filed Monday that top executives at the network, including the man who replaced Roger Ailes, punished her for complaining about sexual harassment by Mr. Ailes.

The suit by Ms. Tantaros, filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, is the latest round in a contentious volley that began in late winter, when Fox claimed she had breached her employment contract by writing a book without receiving network approval.

“Fox News masquerades as a defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny,” Ms. Tantaros’s suit says.

I don't doubt her story, but I did once hear her participate (with gusto) in the discussion on Fox News about the softening of our society because of political correctness. That term has lost all meaning. People who are polite, respectful, tolerant, and don't harrass women or minorities are not being politically correct. That's just called being a nice person.


Eckhartz Press author Kipper McGee gets a nice write up in Tom Taylor's NOW column today...

“Tips, tools and trade-craft secrets” about radio in a new 15-minute weekly podcast from “recovering radio programmer and manager” Kipper McGee (ex-WLS Chicago, for instance), and manager/consultant David Martin. The “Brandwidth on Demand” name derives from Kipper’s book “Brandwidth: How Big Broadcasting is Missing the Mediamorphosis.” Early guests on the podcast include Seattle’s B.J. Shea, consultant Tracy Johnson, consultant/futurist John Parikhal, “Digital Goddess” and self-syndicated host Kim Komando, and Founder/CEO Daniel Anstandig of Futuri Media. Free subscription to “Brandwidth on Demand” with a text to 44222 and the word “REBOOT.”

Family Shot

Here's one more shot from son #2's Eagle ceremony. We almost never take family pictures like this. It's a rare shot. Everyone's getting older in the family except my lovely wife.

Monday, August 22, 2016

25 Most Influential Radio Personalities of the Past 25 Years

I've worked with six of the all-time greats mentioned on this list (Steve, Garry, Kevin, Johnny, Larry & Landecker)

Congrats to all of them! They deserve all the recognition they get.

My interview with one of them will be in the next issue of the Illinois Entertainer.

Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite

This is one of the more unusual radio stories I've ever heard. From Tom Taylor's NOW column...

Chicago’s WHPK/88.5 goes dark, but not due to flooding or lightning. It’s bed-bugs. And if you think that’s funny, you’ve probably never had an infestation of them, because they’re a real plague. They’ve got bed-bugs at the studios of University of Chicago-owned variety non-com WHPK, says the Hyde Park Herald, and the station’s gone dark “to keep the bed-bugs from spreading to the rest of the Reynolds Club.” WHPK occupies space there, at 5706 South University Avenue. The administration acknowledges that “WHPK is an important part of our campus community,” but right now, it’s necessary to close it down while the anti-bug crusade goes on. Even worse, according to DNA Info-Chicago - authorities are now checking the homes of all the jocks at WHKP – 70 of them. They’d hoped to return WHPK to the air last Monday, but the school insists that an exterminator inspect the home of every volunteer and employee. (It’s extremely easy to get a re-infestation, and then you have to start all over again.) If you’re feeling just a little itchy yourself right now…well, that’s the power of the mind.

As the Sumner Turns

The news broke this weekend that Philippe Dauman was officially out as the CEO of Viacom. The RAMP Newsletter has the details...

Under the terms of the settlement, which have been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of Viacom and [controlling shareholder] National Amusements, Inc. (NAI), all lawsuits among them will be terminated -- those suits had been filed in Massachusetts, Delaware and California by Dauman and fellow board member George Abrams, challenging the mental capacity of 93-year-old Sumner Redstone to make decisions about his businesses. Viacom will also create an expanded Board of Directors to include the five Viacom directors that were elected in June by NAI -- Kenneth Lerer, Thomas May, Judith McHale, Ron Nelson and Nicole Seligman. The new Board will then select a successor for Chairman. Obviously Dooley's name will be in consideration for the permanent post. Sumner Redstone will remain Chairman Emeritus and Shari Redstone will remain Non-Executive Vice Chair. Dauman will remain as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Viacom through September 13, 2016. Until then it should be nice and awkward around the old conference table... to lessen the blow, Dauman will walk away with some lovely parting gifts -- a severance package worth some $72 million.

Let me translate for you. In exchange for not making Sumner testify, and therefore expose his potential inability to speak or reason, Dauman gets $72 million, and Redstone's daughter essentially gets what she wants.

I somehow think this isn't the end of this story, but it should be.


The Kaempfer family at yesterday's Eagle Scout ceremony for son #2. Very proud of the lad.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Minutia Men, Episode 16

EP16 – Rick and Dave discuss Catgirls, what you should NEVER send to All Contacts, a real bonus with your coffee, and Rick’s brush with Eric Burdon from the Animals.

Listen to it here.

Wrigley Again

Yesterday I went to Wrigley Field once again. This time I decided to have a bit more of a dramatic entrance.

OK, you got me. That wasn't me. But I did take the picture. And I did witness another Cubs victory.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Paul is Back at Capitol Records

From the RAMP Newsletter...

Paul McCartney has come home to Capitol Records, signing a worldwide recording agreement that encompasses his entire body of post-Beatles work, from his 1970 McCartney album, through his decade with Wings, to his other solo and collaborative works. "This is genuinely exciting for me," said McCartney, whose stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (both solo and with The Beatles) are enshrined in the sidewalk outside the Capitol Tower in Hollywood. "Not only was Capitol my first U.S. record label, but the first record I ever bought was Gene Vincent's 'Be-Bop-A-Lula' on the Capitol label."

One last tribute to McLaughlin

Funny bit from 1990's SNL...

Hillary & Paul

The company you keep says a lot about a person. You may not like Hillary, but she knows good music when she hears it.

NPR Gives Up Comments Section has decided to no longer allow comments on their stories.

Long time readers of this blog know that I approve. (Notice my lack of a comments section) It's a cesspool out there, and only the loudest and most depressing voices get heard in the comments section. Everyone else gets turned off and never returns.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Trump Voters

Can he say something so far over the line that he'll lose his voters? According this focus

A Good Metaphor the World

True Olympic Spirit

I haven't watched a lot of the Olympics, but to me this is the kind of story that makes the Olympic Games so compelling.

It's the story of two female runners who crashed into each other during the 5000 meters race. What happened after that crash is what the true Olympic spirit is all about.

Read about it here.

Guess Where I Was Yesterday?

I seem to be taking up permanent residence there. Yesterday my companion was this kid, my youngest son Sean. It's pretty obvious he enjoys the experience more than his brothers. We had a great time. Thanks to my old pal Al Katz for these incredible seats...


From this morning's Tom Taylor column. He jogged my memory about an old Harry Chapin song...

“W-O-L-D” was Harry Chapin’s 1974 song about a journeyman DJ, and these days those calls belong in the southwestern Virginia town of Marion. Now classic rock WOLD/102.5 and “Thunder Country 103.5” WZVA are selling, in a deal that makes Marion one of the most active small towns in the country for deals.

I don't care about West Virginia radio, but I did enjoy listening to this old tune again...


Remember DreX, the former morning personality at 103.5FM in Chicago? He had been hosting evenings in SF, but that stint has just ended. From the RAMP Newsletter this morning...

Yesterday we learned that DreX is stepping down from the night show at Cumulus News-Talk KGO-AM/San Francisco after an 18-month run, citing "personal family issues." DreX, whose real name is Kevin Buchar, is best known for his multiple stints at KTFM/San Antonio and a successful decade-long run in mornings on iHeartRadio Top 40 WKSC (103.5 Kiss FM)/Chicago, along with a stop at the late KSJO/San Jose.

NBC Boss Tell Real Views About Donald Trump

He was his Trump's boss at NBC, and this is how NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt described Trump on his facebook page..

“The sad state of affairs thanks to a pompous businessman turned reality TV star (whose show consistently ran LAST in its time period, by the way) who thinks speaking his mind is refreshing. It’s actually corrosive and toxic because his ‘mind’ is so demented; and his effect will unfortunately linger long after he’s been told to get off the stage.”

Yes, Greenblatt later deleted that comment because he was getting heat for it, but you know that's what he really believes. The problem, of course, is that Greenblatt was partially responsible for creating this reality television Frankenstein. He just never believed that viewers would ever take it seriously.

The Return of Brian Williams

He's still a punchline on the right, but Brian Williams has quietly been making a comeback on MSNBC. Over the past few months he has anchored more than 200 hours of mostly "breaking news" programming on the network.

Between Labor Day and Election Day, he will have his own nightly show on MSNBC. It will air at 10pm Central, right after the Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell.

RIP John McLaughin

McLaughlin hosted one of the first combative political TV talkshows in the nation--and his was on PBS. Over the years, entire cable-news networks have copied his approach.

Among the regular panelists on the show over the years; Pat Buchanan and Chris Matthews.

The show lasted on PBS for 34 years and spawned countless parodies, send-ups, and tributes.

My in-laws (may they rest in peace) never missed a show. McLaughlin may have been a cranky old bugger, but he knew how to do television, and he produced one of the rare shows that represents an era. He was 89 years old.