Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Minutia Men Are Coming!

Thanks so much to Larz at Chicagoland Radio & Media for this nice mention of my podcast Minutia Men, which debuts tomorrow on the Radio Misfits Podcast Network...

* * Rick Kaempfer and David Stern, lifelong friends and Eckhartz Press co-publishers, announced they will be creating a new weekly podcast of their own entitled "Minutia Men." Kaempfer is also the Media columnist for the Illinois Entertainer and longtime Chicago radio producer. The new show is produced by Tony Lossano and his Oppih Productions. Among the regular segments planned for "Minutia Men" include "This Week's Minutia" (small news stories from the week before), "Just One Bad Century" (Cubs talk, based on Kaempfer's website of the same name), "Balds in the News" (Stern's discussion about the follicle challenged), "Celebrity Potpourri" (Kaempfer's brushes with fame stories), "Father Knows Nothing" (humorous parenting stories, based on Kaempfer's book of the same name), and "Million Dollar Idea" (one of Stern's numerous ideas floating around his head). "Minutia Men" episodes will be posted up each Thursday on the Radio Misfits Podcast Network website. The debut episode will be posted on May 5th.

Super Bee!

The superhero bee pulls a nail right out of the wall...

Just Drying It, Right?

Presumptive Nominee

Ted Cruz had a bad day yesterday. After Donald Trump basically accused Cruz' father of being involved in the JFK assassination, Cruz went nuts. He called Trump "a pathelogical liar" and "a serial philanderer" and "utterly amoral".

Then, he lost Indiana to the guy. So, he dropped out of the race. Now he will probably have to call Trump "his candidate". (By the way...I know this happens in every election to a lesser extent, but after some of the things his fellow Republicans have said about Trump, how in the world can they possibly vote for him? They will, though.)

Anyway, the thing that was interesting to me as a media analyst, was the discussion of the word "presumptive nominee". Each of the networks had a slightly different take on it. TV Newser has the details.

As far as I'm concerned, it's just a matter of semantics at this point. It looks like it will be Trump vs. Clinton--the two most disliked candidates in history.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Kevin Koz Koske


My May media column has been posted at the Illinois Entertainer.

This month I spoke with Mix afternoon man, Kevin "Koz" Koske.

You can read it here.

Little Richard is Gravely Ill

According to this piece in the Mercury News, Little Richard is very ill. He's had a stroke, a heart attack, and hip surgery in recent years. He's 83 years old.

I met him once at an Oldies concert we did during my WJMK days. At that time, he was a sight to behold. I just remember thinking "his head is huge!"--it's abnormally large. He also wore more makeup than any woman I've ever met. It was thick pancake makeup. But when he got on stage...yowza. He was still absolutely electric well into his 70s.

My conversation with him was brief, but it was long enough to figure out a few things. One, he considers himself the architect of rock and roll, and two, he is a little bitter that he isn't credited as such. He mentioned it several times in the two minute conversation I had with him. But here's the thing about Richard...he's right. His early records (and Chuck Berry's) really are the building blocks of the art form.

Wisdom

Thanks to "OG" for this one. Truer words have never been spoken...

Great Story About Prince

This is the best Prince story I've heard since his passing...

Millennials

A song about a generation...

As the Sumner Turns

Sumner Redstone will be deposed by the lawyer of his former "companion" as part of the resolution of her lawsuit, according to this piece in the New York Times.

The man is 92 years old and can barely speak. The deposition will be painful.

Sigh.

Doggone it. It's happened now. I've actually started feeling sorry for Redstone. After reading his autobiography, I never dreamed such a thing could be possible. He really comes off as a despicable man in that book; greedy, vain, nasty, vengeful, and utterly without a conscience...and he wrote it himself.

But even he shouldn't be forced to go through this simply because his family is too greedy to pay off the too greedy former companion. There's plenty of dirty money to go around, y'all. No need to humiliate an old man in order to get it. Even if that old man is a real-life Mr. Potter.

Leicester City Wins the Premier League

I watched the Tottenham/Chelsea game yesterday and it was one of the roughest, nastiest games I've ever seen. Tottenham players gouged eyes, spiked hands, and tackled the Chelsea players like they were trying to break legs. It was clear that Chelsea successfully got under their skin, because Tottenham was the team that needed to win the game to keep their slim hopes of winning the Premier League alive.

They didn't.

The final score was 2-2, which gave the championship to Leicester City.

How big of an upset is it for Leicester City to win the championship? At the beginning of the season, their betting odds were 5000-1. They have never won it before. Never. And the club has been around for 132 years.

This is a bigger upset than the Cubs winning it all.

U of I Getting a New Mascot

Since the old mascot (The Chief) has been banned, the University of Illinois is looking for a new mascot. Details are here.

My college buddy Brent suggests we make it the "apple pipe". We were, after all, named the best party school in the country this year. It can have a smile, and smoke coming out of the side of it's head. Just camp him out at the concession stand for the kids who get the munchies. It's medicinal (and therefore legal). In fact, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Can't get more wholesome.

RIP Peter Thomas

You may not recognize his name, but you'd certainly recognize his voice. Peter Thomas was a legendary voice over artist, and he passed away this weekend at the age of 91.

He's the voice on this commercial...

Monday, May 02, 2016

Q&A with the latest Eckhartz Press author: Jeanne Bellezzo

Jeanne's "Rantings of a Bitter Childless Woman" is available for pre-order now at Eckhartz Press. The book ships later this month. We recently chatted with her about her book, her background, and her sense of humor.

bittercover

You're originally from Chicago. Where in the area did you grow up and how did Chicago influence the kind of writer you became?

Jeanne: I grew up on the Far Northwest Side – literally as far as you could go within the city limits. If you crossed Belmont Avenue, you were in River Grove. Across Cumberland Avenue was an unincorporated forest preserve. After college, I lived in DePaul and Lincoln Park for several years, and loved it.

So many of my friends and co-workers in Chicago were smart, quick-witted and somewhat sarcastic, but not in a mean or hurtful way. I live near San Diego now, and people often comment on how nice Chicagoans are! So I think that combination of witty but benign and often self-deprecating humor influenced my writing.

What other writing have you done before this?

Jeanne: I’m a professional freelance writer and editor, so I’ve written all kinds of advertising and marketing copy, website content, public relations campaigns, that kind of thing. I’ve also done ghostwriting and editing for several non-fiction books.

What inspired you to start the blog that eventually led to this book?

Jeanne:: I had written an email to one of my good friends (who has kids) about the child counting out change in the grocery store express lane (“Paper or Plastic?”), and I asked her if I sounded like a bitter old childless woman. It became kind of a theme. She though the email was funny, and I just started to write more of them.

How have your friends and family (who have kids) reacted to it? Do they see themselves in any of your stories?

Jeanne:: Well, a couple of them are the subjects of the stories! But they’re fine with it. They’re still speaking to me, anyway. I’ve found that parents who raise their kids to be considerate and kind feel the same way I do about parents who don’t.

What do you say to parents who are offended by your humor?

Jeanne: Fortunately, I haven’t come across that (yet). I’ve had people tell me that I don’t understand what it’s like to have kids, and they’re absolutely right. I’ve also heard that you become more tolerant when you have kids, which makes sense. I’m certainly not trying to offend anyone. It’s humor.

The demographic of people who have chosen not to have children is an all-time high. Have you found solidarity with that demo?

Jeanne:: I heard that recently and I was actually surprised, because I feel like most people I know do have kids. I’ve never felt judged by my friends who have kids; if I did, we probably wouldn’t be friends. I do have a group of close friends who aren’t parents, and we tend to get together more often than we do with our parent friends just because our lifestyles and schedules are different.

What's your favorite story in the book?

Jeanne:: I think that would be “Dying of Boredom” because so many people can relate to it, whether they remember playing The Alphabet Game on car trips as kids, or they have kids now who have more energy than they know what to do with. And, we still laugh about how we entertained the kids all day and then they wanted to “do something fun.” I also like “Table Manners” because everyone has their own similar story – especially people who work in restaurants.

What's next for you?

Jeanne:: Thinking about my next book…maybe Rantings of a Crazy Cat Lady?

No Bathroom Issues in Scotland

Thanks to "OR" for this one...

100 Year Old Bridges



Four Chicago Bridges turn 100 years old this week. Read all about them at DNAinfo.

The one on the left is the Kinzie Street Bridge in 1916.

Fight Breaks Out At Correspondent's Dinner After-Party

The fight was between ambush "journalist" Jesse Watters from Fox News and Huffington Post reporter Justine Grim. Here's what happened, according to the Washington Post...

Here’s how it went down, per several witness: Grim and Watters were among a group located in a heated tent just outside the main party area. The two apparently don’t have a personal relationship, but Grim realized who Watters was and recalled a beef he had with the “O’Reilly Factor” correspondent that dated back to 2009, when Watters, known as an “ambush journalist,” had engineered an on-camera confrontation of writer Amanda Terkel, now a HuffPo colleague of Grim. Terkel’s account of the incident was headlined “I Was Followed, Harassed, And Ambushed By Bill O’Reilly’s Producer.”

Grim decided to give Watters a taste of his own medicine, whipping out his camera phone and filming him. Watters didn’t take well to this, eventually snatching the phone away from Grim and putting it in his pocket. Grim set out to retrieve it, and a scuffle ensued. No cinematic sparring or broken beer bottles, witnesses said, but the two flailed around a bit, upending a table and bumping into several people.

Watters says he will address it tonight on O'Reilly's show. I respect most people in the press, but not this guy. I've seen him in action and he's despicable. He's all about harrassing, insulting and pressuring--trying to get people to say something that can be taken out of context and used on the air. I call it "Do you still beat your wife?"-journalism.

The White House Correspondent's Dinner

Lots of uncomfortable chuckles...



The President did better than the professional comic...

Minutia Men on Lossano and Friends!

Dave and I made our official debut as guests on the Lossano and Friends! podcast. We appeared on the show with NBC's Lee Ann Trotter and stand up comedian Martin Morrow. You can listen to it here.

This Thursday we make our official debut on our show. The podcast will be called Minutia Men, and it will also air on the Radio Misfits Podcast network. I'll have all the information for you later this week.

A rare night out

This past weekend I made the trek to Elgin to see some old friends. The co-author of my first book, John Swanson, was performing with his band The Fireballs. So, I called up a couple of my old Loop buddies and we went out to see the show. It was great seeing everyone again.

Rick and Swany before the show...



Loop producers 25 years ago...Rick, Swany, and Jimmy "Bud" Wiser...



Rick and Mike "Igor" Davis (Kevin Matthews/Steve & Garry)



A tender moment between Wiser and Swany...



Swany in action...(that's him jamming in the front of the band)



Friday, April 29, 2016

Dobie Maxwell on Mancow

I accompanied Eckhartz Press author Dobie Maxwell to this interview on Mancow's WLUP show the other morning.

You can listen to it here.

I had forgotten what an ADD free-for-all the show was. There were literally five things going on at once while he interviewed Dobie. There was a man who melted his face off. A portal to hell in Gary Indiana. A short one minute newscast of recorded headlines. A sports report. And a bit about Steve Dahl.

That may or not be your cup of tea, but it is definitely not like anything else on the radio.

Half-Time Rave Out By Pro Soccer Coach (2016 version)

For my fellow international soccer fans. A hilarious take on what it takes for a coach these days to give a half-time speech to his team...

The First Eight Presidents

Think you know who the first 8 presidents were? You don't. At least I didn't, and I'm a history dork. This is something you don't read about in the history books, but there were eight presidents between the end of the Revolutionary War in 1781 and the adoptation of the Constitution in 1789. They were 1-year presidents under the Articles of Confederation...

John Hanson (1781), Elias Boudinot (1782-83), Thomas Mifflin (1783-84), Richard Henry Lee (1784-85), John Hancock (1785-86), Nathan Gorman (1786-87), Arthur St. Clair (1787-88), and Cyrus Griffin (1788-89).

This fascinating article explains it.

Washington was just the first president under the Constitution.

Old Music is Outselling New Music

It's the first time in history this is true. Check out the details here.

There are at least three reasons old music is outselling new music. One--radio has lost its prominence. This was where new music was broken for the past half-century. Two--some of the biggest classic artists are dying and reviving interest in their music.

But the most important reason is this: New music sucks right now.

Sorry, but the truth hurts.

Helpful Hint

Thanks to "KS" for this one. This really cracked me up...

Is Trump Running As Revenge?

The New York Times has posited this theory, arguing that his humiliation at the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner so infuriated him, that he decided to run just to stick it to the president.

The woman who sat right next to him that night has a different perspective. She wrote about it in this morning's Washington Post.

Reading this article reminded me of that whole Birther fiasco that Trump was leading in 2011. I watched part of his speech last night, and he was in full-voiced "nanny nanny boo boo" bully mode against Hillary. She should study the way Obama tore Donald apart with humor in 2011. For every "she's old" or "she screams" or "she plays the woman card", Hillary should say, "Why don't you run along and bring us that Obama birth certificate bombshell you promised."

Don't Look Now, But There's a Run on Media Companies

Comcast just acquired Dreamworks for $3.8 Billion with a B.

They are doing it to compete with Disney's recent purchases of Marvel Studios & Lucas Films.

The behemoths are getting behemoth-er (new word).

I have a friend who keeps asking me to update the end of "$everance" where I list what every company owns. It has changed significantly since I wrote that book almost a decade ago. I think it might be time to do that.

Just Say No, Kids.

The NFL Draft last night was one of the strangest drafts I can remember. Just as the draft was beginning, someone hacked the account of offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil and posted a picture of him smoking pot with a gasmask on. The Ravens were going to pick him at #6 overall, and they passed on him. He dropped all the way to #13.

That very strange story is covered here at Deadspin, complete with the photo in question.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

May 29, 1973

That's the last time the Cubs and White Sox both had the best records in their respective leagues.

This is going to be a fun year.

Can't wait for the crosstown classic.

WLS Wins Newscast Award

From this morning's Radio-Online...

For the third consecutive year, the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association has named Cumulus Media's WLS-AM/Chicago as Best Newscast in the Large Market category. WLS-AM took top honors from a field of Illinois Large Market radio stations, including: WBBM, WBEZ, Rivet Radio and WGN. Winners of the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association contest were announced Saturday, April 23 in Springfield, IL.

VP/Market Manager Peter Bowen said, "Continuing to provide great local news is a key part of our growth plan for the Big 89. I credit PD/OM Peter Bolger and News Director John Dempsey and his excellent news team for their ongoing commitment to excellence in providing our community with the very best news programming that they can count on, day after day and year after year."

WLS-AM Program Director/Operations Manager Peter Bolger added, "I've been associated with the news business for many years, and I can tell you it is very difficult to win this honor three years in a row-especially in a market as competitive and as rich with talent as Chicago. Although it's a team effort, our winning entry was anchored by Jennifer Keiper -- and this is the second year in a row that she has anchored the award winner."

As the Sumner Turns

Remember when I posted that an agreement has been reached in the Sumner Redstone case? It turns out that deal fell apart. That'll happen when millions are at stake and everyone involved in demonstrably greedy.

All of the parties hoped that this trial could be private because it involved medical issues.

A judge ruled against that yesterday. This will be a public trial.

Get some popcorn and buckle up for the freak show of the century. I know I'll be watching.

Explaining Minutia Men

OK, so yesterday I was out of the office most of the day. I accompanied Eckhartz Press author Dobie Maxwell to his appearance on Mancow's show (The Loop), and Mancow had him on the show for an hour and a half. When I find the podcast of that interview, I'll post it.

As I was leaving for the interview, I noticed that Robert Feder posted the little tidbit about my upcoming podcast with Eckhartz Press co-publisher David Stern. I didn't really have time to explain the show yesterday, so I just posted Mr. Feder's article (it's a few posts down) with promises of additional information.

This morning I have a little more time to explain it.

Dave and I have known each other for more than 30 years. We met at the University of Illinois in the early 80s and instantly became best friends. Before we left town, Dave and I hosted a show together on the radio station there (WPGU). We mocked the powers that be at U of I (especially the Chief), and we ran for Homecoming King and Queen. We got a few job offers to do a morning show in a few markets, but Dave wanted to get his Masters Degree, so we turned them down.

I went into radio and got a bunch of jobs in Chicago. Dave moved to Chicago and went into sales. We both got married and had kids (I have three boys, he has three girls). This picture makes it look like we got married to each other, but actually we stood up for each other's weddings. I was Dave's best man (he says I was an OK man at best). When Dave calls my house and Bridget answers it, she says "Your first wife is on the phone."

We have been constant collaborators over the years. I had him appear as a character on radio shows I was working on (as a Cliff Dancer on Steve & Garry, as Bobby Bitterman on Ebony & Ivory and as a ridiculous letter writer on John Landecker's show), and we went through the Second City improv school together and created a show there. We formed an advertising agency together (AMISH Chicago Advertising), and a publishing company (Eckhartz Press). But Dave still wanted us to do a radio show (probably still feeling guilty for turning down those job offers in 1985).

The obstacle to our doing a show has always been that people in the business didn't know Dave. Over the years he has gotten to know my radio pals, and they all loved him mainly because he is a laugh riot. When we hung out at parties or restaurants or bars or golf courses, we inevitaby did the Rick and Dave show for everyone around us (with me as the straight man, essentially). For years we've been hearing..."you guys should do a show together."

Well, one time about a year and a half ago, the person who said that was Tony Lossano, and he just happened to be starting up this Radio Misfits podcast network with Ed Silha (the owner of the network). We kept putting it off, and I'll admit it was 100% my fault. I had an inkling what it took do a radio show, and I warned Dave that we didn't have the time to do it right. Podcasting required a technical expertise that neither of us possessed. We'd have to learn it, write a show, do the prep work, etc, all while doing our full time jobs (publishers of Eckhartz Press).

But I was thinking about it all wrong. I was thinking of the type of radio shows I used to produce. I was thinking of a promotional vehicle for Eckhartz Press with lots of authors coming on the show to discuss their cool new books, and fully produced comedy bits.

"That's not what we want," Tony said. "We want what you guys do when you talk to each other. That's the show."

"We don't talk about anything important," I pointed out. "It's just the sort of minitua that interests us at that moment, and stories about things that have happened to us. It's never ever something important or deep."

"That's whats so entertaining," he said.

"And," Dave noted, "we do that on the phone every day anyway. Let's just do it once a week on a podcast. We can handle that."

That's when Minutia Men was born. Tony and producer Chris Cwiak came out to my house and set up the equipment. In an afternoon they taught me how to use it (I'm essentially a technical moron), and Dave and I have done a few practice shows the past few weeks...and you know what? I think we've got something here.

A warning...the show doesn't have a defined length. We try to make it about 30 minutes, but it can be more or less than that depending on the many tangents. The subject matter varies, but it's never political. We share some of our favorite minutia stories we've discovered that week. We talk about things like parenting, the Cubs, balding, and rock and roll. Dave asks me to share some of my brushes-with-celebrities stories. In other words, we do a podcast version of what I post here on this blog.

That's the show. If you enjoy this blog, you'll enjoy the show.

Even if you don't, you'll enjoy Dave.

But if you're looking for a slickly produced comedy show, or a deep serious discussion about anything at all, Minutia Men is not for you.

This is the link to where the show can be found every Thursday. As long as people enjoy it, we'll continue to do it as a podcast. If people don't enjoy it, we'll continue to do it on the phone.

Twenty years from now, God willing, we'll be those two old men sitting in a booth at a diner comparing our medical maladies. There's still a chance if you tune in between now and then, you'll still get some humorous non-medical talk.

That's all we can promise.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Rogers Hornsby



Another day, another Cubs Hall of Famer celebrating a birthday. Here's his write-up from Just One Bad Century's EVERY CUB EVER feature...

~Rogers Hornsby 1897 (Cubs 1929-1932)
It’s hard to imagine that one of the greatest players in history was not popular in Chicago–but Hornsby clearly was not. Hornsby had one great season for the Cubs, their World Series year of 1929, and he became the manager at the very end of the following year. Despite managing a notoriously rowdy team, he ruled with an iron fist. He didn’t just ban drinking (which, of course, was illegal at the time), he banned reading, movies, soda pop, smoking, and eating in the club house. He was so hated by his players that when the 1932 team won the pennant (after he was fired), the players voted to give him zero cents of a playoff share, even though he had been with the team for 4 months.

Their hatred of him went much deeper than his strict rules. He was in deep debt to many of the players on the team. The Commissioner of Baseball, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, became so alarmed by the reports he was getting about Hornsby, that he sent letters warning the team and the players about him. He also sent one to the NL President demanding any and all information he had about Hornsby’s gambling. Hornsby was defiant about it until the very end: “Gambling’s legal,” he would say. He never bet on baseball, only the horses. Probably influenced by Hornsby’s star power, Landis chose not to punish him. But his letters to the club led to an internal Cubs investigation. Team owner William Wrigley and team president William Veeck discovered that Hornsby had borrowed $11,000 from his own players. That’s when they fired him and replaced him with Charlie Grimm. Grimm led the 1932 team to the World Series. Hornsby never experienced the playoffs again.

Later in life he was hired by Wrigley’s son Phillip to become the teams first minor league batting instructor. The same prickly personality and inability to understand why people couldn’t naturally hit as well as he did, however, made him as lousy at that job as he was as a manager. As a player Rogers Hornsby had very few peers. His lifetime batting average is .358. He hit .400 three different times. He narrowly missed it a fourth time (.397). He won two MVP awards, two triple crowns, and seven batting titles. And he did all that while gambling away nearly every dime he earned.

Minutia Men

Thanks so much to Robert Feder for the nice mention of my upcoming podcast "Minutia Men"...

Rick Kaempfer, author, blogger, media critic, longtime Chicago radio producer and publisher of Eckhartz Press, is adding podcaster to his credits. Starting May 5, Kaempfer and co-publisher David Stern will co-host “Minutia Men,” a weekly podcast for the Radio Misfits network at radiomisfits.com. Produced by Tony Lossano’s Oppih Productions, it’ll feature Kaempfer and Stern sharing stories and drawing on their vast treasures of worthless information (hence the title).

More info to come soon. I'll be on Lossano and Friends! on Saturday explaining the show a bit more, and then we debut next week.

Heading out of the office this morning. I'll be with "Monkey in the Middle" author Dobie Maxwell at Mancow's show.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Brilliant

Just found this guy on Twitter...







Over/Under Craziness


A Las Vegas oddsmaker puts the over/under on Cubs victories this year at 116.5

This is crazy. I'm thinking the odds are driven by optimistic Cub fans betting on their favorite team, but the over/under on wins this year is the all-time record? Let's not get ahead of ourselves here.

Happy Birthday Hack



~Hack Wilson 1900 (Cubs 1926-1931)
Hack led the league in homers four of his six seasons in Chicago (Photo: 1928 Baseball Card), and is still remembered for his record 1930 season when he drove in 191 runs. That year he was so fearsome at the plate, he inspired this poem in The Sporting News. (author unknown)

“How do you pitch to Wilson?”
Asked the rookie up from the sticks,
“I’m up to learn the hitters,
And know their little tricks.”
“I’ll tell ya,” said the veteran,
who had pitched for many years,
“When ya dish up Hack yer fast one,
You’d better watch your ears.
“He’ll drive that agate at ya,
Like ya never seen before
He’ll learn ya in a jiffy,
Not to show him speed no more.
“N’then y’ll try to curve him,
N’he’ll crash one off yer shins:
If ya keep on throwin hookers,
He’ll tear off both yer pins.
“N’then ya’ use year change of pace,
He might strike out on that;
N’perhaps he’ll ride the ball so far,
You don’t know where it’s at.
“I’ll tell ya son,” the veteran said,
“When ya see that sawed-off squirt,
Just flip one towards the platter,
N’take care ya’ don’t get hurt.”

But during his Cubs days Hack was known for more than just slugging the baseball. He was known as a notorious hellraiser. Wilson had several run-ins with the law, his teammates, opposing players, and even fans. For instance…

*In his first season with the Cubs (1926), Hack Wilson was arrested and charged with drinking beer in violation of the Prohibition Act. Four cops arrived at his friend’s house, and he tried to escape out the side door. While he was attempting to escape, his friend (a woman named Lottie Frain) threw a bookend at the cops. Wilson was caught and arrested.

*One night Wilson and his teammate Pat Malone were walking down the hallway of their hotel, and Wilson laughed. Someone in a hotel room mimicked his laugh. Wilson and Malone broke into the room and beat the hell out of four men, until all of them were out cold. One of the men was still standing and Malone kept punching. Wilson pointed out that he was already knocked out. “Move the lamp and he’ll fall.” Malone moved the lamp, and the man fell to the ground.

*In 1928, Wilson charged into the stands to fight a milkman who had been heckling him throughout the game. 5000 fans stormed the field during the melee. Gabby Hartnett and Joe Kelly had to physically pull Wilson off the milkman. Hack was fined $100 for that.

*In 1929, Wilson got into two fistfights with players on the Reds, and was suspended for three games. In the first fight, he charged into the Red’s dugout to punch Red’s pitcher Ray Kolp…after he had just gotten a single. He was tagged out in the dugout. The second fight happened that same night at the train station with Red’s pitcher Pete Donohue—who was trying to stop Wilson from attacking Kolp again. Hack punched Donohue in the face twice.

*Joe McCarthy knew how to handle Hack Wilson and keep him functioning. He once took a worm and dropped it in a glass of whiskey. The worm quickly died. “Now what does that prove?” asked Joe. Wilson thought about it for a while and replied, “It proves that if you drink whiskey, you won’t get worms!”

Near the end of his Wilson’s life he appeared on a network radio show where he spoke about the effects of “Demon Rum.” This was just a few months before his death from an internal hemorrhage on November 23, 1948. He was only 48. His body was unclaimed for three days before National League president Ford Frick paid for the funeral.

Monty Python in Chicago 1975

Great WTTW promos in Chicago by the Monty Python folks...

Twin Peaks Cast List

I was a huge fan of the original Twin Peaks and am eagerly awaiting the revival...even more so now that I see the cast list. The ones with an asterisk are returning cast members. The others include a pretty eclectic array of actors and artists, everyone from Richard Chamberlain to Eddie Vedder.

Mike Tirico Leaves ESPN

This is big news in the sports broadcasting world. Tirico has been play by play man on ESPN's Monday Night Football for many years, and is moving to NBC to host their Thursday Night Football broadcasts.

Variety has the details.

Not from North Carolina

Thanks to MT for sending this one along...

Barber Cuts Two Inches Off Boy

This is my son Johnny awaiting his haircut yesterday afternoon. (Not photoshopped)



This is what he looked like after his haircut.



The second one should be a little more appropriate for his graduation and Eagle Scout ceremony.