Friday, October 24, 2014

Father Knows Best versus Father Knows Nothing



Father Knows Best (1950s) versus Father Knows Nothing (2010s). The "Father Knows Nothing" book will be available via Eckhartz Press in November. A perfect holiday gift for the hapless dad (and aren't we all?) in your family. Pre-orders will begin on November 1st. For more info, check out the Father Knows Nothing page on the Eckhartz Press website.



Back in the (Promotional) Game

Eckhartz Press author Rich King will be on Steve Cochran's show (WGN Radio/720 AM) on Tuesday morning to promote his book "Back in the Game".

This will be different than the other interviews, because he will be joined on the air by his wife April--and also Lindsay Eanet, his co-author. (Photo: Rich and Lindsay) Should be a proud moment for Lindsay's dad--Dave. He's the sports director of WGN Radio, and a big part of Steve Cochran's show.

Be sure to tune in!

AMC buys BBC America

Well, not all of it, only 49% of it. But still, AMC will have operational control and will be looking to get BBC America into more homes.

If that means BBC News will more available, I'm all for it. I watched in Switzerland when I was over there last month, and it was like a breath of fresh air. I had forgotten what a real newscast was supposed to look like.

Between Two Ferns

Brad Pitt encounters a very dick-ish Zach Galifiniakis.

"Is it hard for you to maintain a suntan?" "Why?" "Because you live in your wife's shadow."

Very funny. I couldn't figure out how to embed, so I only posted the link (above). It's worth five minutes of your time.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Father Knows Nothing

I'm starting to get very excited about my upcoming Father Knows Nothing book (which comes out in November via Eckhartz Press). Everyone in the family has signed off on the cover illustration by Dave Mosele. Here it is, still uncolored...(An actual photo will be inside the book)

The Alma Mater Statue

From today's Daily Illini...

A University employee reported on Friday afternoon that someone damaged the Alma Mater statue at the corner of Wright and Green streets. “On the Alma Mater herself, it looks like someone took a sharp object and scratched up the eyes,” University Police Detective Sgt. Tom Geis said. He added that the eyes on one of the figures next to Alma, known as “Labor,” also had similar scratches on it.

I'd like to point out that the picture below was taken several months ago. I have an alibi for every day since.

Foo Fighters at Wrigley lineup

All Chicago bands will open...including the always great Cheap Trick, Naked Raygun, and Urge Overkill.

If Dogs Could Apologize

Thanks to "JS" for sending this one. As a dog owner, I can relate...

Soccer versus Football

I love football, but I have no complaints with the observations of John Cleese. When he's right, he's right.

To Trust or Not To Trust

From Tom Taylor's NOW column, an analysis of the latest Pew Research study about where people get their news...

How trusted are talk radio and TV as news sources? Rush Limbaugh is at the top of the list that he doesn't want to be on, from a new Pew Research Center study. 39% say they distrust him, the highest of any personality or program in the research. Limbaugh does have considerable awareness, with 66% saying they’ve heard of him. But only 8% say they get their news from him, and only 12% say they trust him. Glenn Beck is third on the “distrust” list at 24% (remembering that he’s on radio and also online, as many other pundits are). Beck's awareness is at 49%. The “Sean Hannity Show” is fifth, at 21% distrusting. (His “heard of” is at 45%.) Further down is NPR, at 9% “distrust,” 53% “heard of,” 20% “get news from,” and 29% “trust.” Liberal talker Ed Schultz is at 5% on the “distrust” list, but only 15% have heard of him. Just 3% get news from him. Beck’s TheBlaze is at 3% “distrust” and 18% “heard of.” That’s the radio-related group of personalities and services mentioned by Pew.

No offense, radio world, but listeners should not be "getting their news" from anyone on this list. They are not newscasters (except NPR). Have we forgotten what news is?

Net Neutrality

The FCC asked for comments regarding their ruling on Net Neutrality (which essentially gives big companies the right to charge more for faster internet service, while depriving others who can't afford it), and they got more than they bargained for. From the FCC's blog...

It is now well known that the FCC’s Open Internet docket is the most commented upon rulemaking in the agency’s history, with more than 3.9 million submissions to date filed both through our Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), our dedicated openinternet@fcc.gov email address, and via the additional option of Comma Separated Values (CSV) files. Regardless of the method through which a comment was filed, every comment submitted has been made part of the official record of this proceeding.

The comments are being made available at the website, which is good, but nowhere in this lawyer's release does it say that they are actually being read by the FCC. I'm hoping an activist group spends some time and goes through them. Don't let them say "We received some in favor and some against, and made them all available. What's the problem?" The problem, of course, is that we need to be ready with the actual totals to point out there weren't just some on each side: "One side had 3.8999999999999 million. The other side had three e-mails."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Paul is Still Alive

From Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac, this little tidbit from 45 years ago today...

October 22, 1969…Paul McCartney issued an official press release through Apple stating that he was not, in fact, dead, as had been rumored. He then retired to his farm in Scotland where LIFE magazine tracked him down to prove he was still alive.

Wrigley Construction 2014

This is a jarring sight. Thanks to Dane Placko for the photo...

Giant-friendly version of ‘Royals’

A KCBS radio reporter has done a Pro-Giants parody of "Royals" by Lordes.
You can listen to it here.

I hope the series gets better. That was a bummer of a game last night. I'm rooting for a seven game series.

More About the Hacked Radio Station

From this morning's Tom Taylor NOW newsletter...

It’s a like a real-life Halloween fun-house, because the off-shore hackers are still slipping into the cluster’s in-house network server every day and creating fresh horrors. After being dark for seven hours on the first day of the invasion, the stations did manage to get back on-air without paying the ransom of $500. (The hackers wanted it in untraceable Bitcoin currency.) But it’s a mess at Stannard Broadcasting-owned country KVVP Leesville (105.7), adult alternative KROK South Fort Polk (95.7) and AC “Mix 106.7” KUMX North Fort Polk. Radio World says the problem affects all three. The staff toiled through the weekend on the problem, complicated by the fact that one of the stations is installing a new transmitter. The irony is that the hackers probably don’t even know they penetrated a radio operation – they just know they gained control of a computer whose files they can mess with. One issue may be the Windows XP system used by the cluster, which is no longer supported by Microsoft. Automation provider RCS isn’t the service provider to Stannard, but its Dwight Douglas tells this NOW Newsletter that “We’ve been urging our stations to get off XP.”

RIP Ben Bradlee

A giant of the journalistic world has passed. Here he is talking about his incredible career...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Foo Fighters To Play Wrigley

Tickets go on sale on October 27.

Count me in.

Have you seen the new HBO series starring Foo Fighters? It's incredibly well done. The first episode was all about Chicago. Loved every second of it. The DVR is set to record it regularly now.

Stanley Cup Ring

Bridget and I were at a charity fundraiser last night and met Blackhawks public address announcer Gene Honda. He let Bridget wear his Stanley Cup ring...

Hacking a Radio Station

From today's Radio Ink...

Although they did not give the call letters of the station, The Louisiana Broadcasters Association posted a message on its website that claims a hacker shut down a Louisiana station for five hours last Friday. The LAB says ransom was demanded by the alleged hacker and the owner of the station says, "It's going to cost tens of thousands of dollars to replace computers and software in his facilities." He's suggesting that anyone running Windows XP should evaluate and upgrade to a newer version supported by Microsoft, stating there's possibly a glitch in Windows XP that can be hacked. There is also a possibility that the issue was a file-encrypting "ransomware" virus, which actually holds computers hostage.

I read up on this story, and it appears it was automation software that was hacked. If a live human being had been there, it wouldn't have happened.

Just saying.

Fighting Ebola

One of the people studying the ebola virus is a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at The Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School.

His name? Raymond Kaempfer. A story about him is here.

I'm pretty sure he's not related to me, but at least now I can say that the Kaempfers are contributing to society.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Who's On First For Classic Rockers

Thanks to "MW" for this one...

A Father For 19 Years

My oldest son Tommy was born 19 years ago (yesterday). As I get ready to publish my "Father Knows Nothing" book (which comes out in a few weeks), I've been getting nostalgic. I wrote over 400 columns about my experiences as a father. Reading through those old columns, there are entire episodes I had completely forgotten about. (I'm soooo happy I had a deadline every week to write them!) But there's one thing I never would have forgotten, and that's the first day I became a dad.

At the time I was the producer of the John Records Landecker show on WJMK. We talked about the pregnancy on the air, got updates on Bridget's condition, and when the big day came, I called into the show from the delivery room. The following is a transcript of that telephone conversation on the air the morning of Tommy's birth. The participants are John Landecker, sidekick Vicki Truax, and proud papa Rick.

(Tommy's brothers were born on the air too...all three transcripts will be in the book "Father Knows Nothing"...available for pre-order beginning November 1st)


John: Oldies 104.3 WJMK, It's 12 minutes after 6:00 with John Records Landecker and Vicki Truax. The hotline...the private line...is ringing. Hello.

Rick: Hello.

John: Well?

Rick: I'm a papa.

(Loud cheering and whooping in the studio)

Vicki: A girl or a boy?

Rick: A boy.

Vicki: I KNEW IT!!! What's his name?

Rick: Thomas Peter.

Vicki: What time?

Rick: 4:06 a.m.

John: Wow. How's everybody doing?

Rick: Everyone is fine.

Vicki: Bridget is fine too? Is she exhausted?

Rick: Yup, she's holding Thomas right now.

John & Vicki: Awwwww.

Rick: 7 pounds, 3 ounces.

John & Vicki: Awwwww.

Rick: And I recorded the entire thing on Digital audio tape.

Vicki: You're kidding? She didn't make you turn it off?

Rick: No. I had it put in a nice place where it didn't get in anyone's way.

John: We've got Thomas' birth on tape.

Rick: Yup. And we got his first bath on tape too, and his first cry.

John: Something tells me we better get more tape. OK, here's his first eyelid opening. Better get that on tape. We're going through his first toll...let's get that on tape. Hey Rick, don't you just want to...

John, Vicki & Rick: Hug and kiss them all the time?

(That was something Vicki said so often about her daughter it was a running joke on the show)

Rick: He is so damn cute.

John & Vicki: Awwwwww.

Rick: Wait a second...is he crying? Hold on.

Sound: A tiny baby cry can be heard.

John: Is that him?

Rick: Yup. His on-air debut.

John: Wow!

Rick: He's got some lungs on him.

John: That kid sounds like he's two years old.

Rick: Yeah, he's got good pipes.

John: Does he want to come in and do a few record talkovers?

Vicki: How long is he?

Rick: 21 inches.

John: So what was it like?

Rick: It was so cool. It was just like the movie "Alien." The baby kind of popped out and looked around. Then he jumped up and sucked my eyes out...

John & Vicki: (Laughing)

John: Then Siguorney Weaver came in with some sort of a mechanical device. It was unbelievable.

Vicki: You guys. Is he all wrinkly. Does he have hair?

Rick: Yeah, he does have hair. That was the first thing we saw. I asked the nurse...ewww...what is that? That's his hair. Oh.

John: Did you get it on tape?

Rick: Of course. Uh, oh. I have to go. We need to take Bridget up to the recovery room.

Vicki: You're still in the delivery room?

Rick: Yeah.

Vicki: That's dedication.

John: How many calls have you made so far?

Rick: This is my second call. I called my mom first.

John: Wow. Well take care of everyone.

Rick: Thanks.

John & Vicki: Bye.

John: There they go. Dad Rick, Mom Bridget and now Thomas Kaempfer.

Vicki: I kind of liked the other name Rick was talking about before.

John: I don't think Bridget was ever going to agree to Ringo.

Russell Brand Versus Fox News

I personally don't think you can win battling someone or something that has 24 hours of television time every day to fight back, but you have to give it Russell Brand.

He's trying. The security staff threatened to have him arrested. Full details at the Hollywood Reporter, complete with your usual cesspool of hate in the comments section.

Bears Explode...After the Game

I turned it off when Cutler fumbled on the ten yard line. Brandon Marshall wasn't so lucky. He had to be there for the rest of the game. And he apparently went off on his teammates in the locker room.

Details are here.

I'm totally cool with that. It seems like it might be more effective than my yelling "You suck!" at the television.

Wacky Radio Stunt

From today's RAMP newsletter...a wacky radio stunt about the World Series...

The 2014 World Series gets underway tomorrow night, pitting the National League Champion San Francisco Giants against the American League Champion Kansas City Royals. And in keeping with that longstanding radio station tradition of publically posturing during times of major sporting events, several San Francisco radio stations are already doing their part for the home team by taking a (ceremonial) hard line against playing any song that may sound even vaguely in favor of their rivals -- Cumulus Triple A KFOG and Entercom AC KOIT are proudly proclaiming that they will stop playing "Royals" by Lorde "until the Giants win the World Series." Yes, sports fans, it's that serious. KFOG PD Jim Richards tells RAMP, "KFOG is going to root for the home team. We'll never be Royals... but we will always be Giants!" KOIT PD Brian Figula commented, "As of 4pm Friday we've removed Lorde's 'Royals' from our playlist until the end of the World Series. Go Giants, beat the Royals!"

A radio station in KC, by the way, is putting the same song into higher rotation.

That's vintage radio wackiness, there.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Stingtones

Another good bit by Jimmy Fallon...



Jimmy does enough of these quality bits every week to keep him on the air for a very long time.

Fan Gate

This is really beginning to feel like the moment Rick Scott lost his governorship of Florida...

Madison Bumgarner Chugs Six Beers

That's celebrating...

The Story Behind Eric Karros' Cubs World Series Cap

He unveiled it on the air the other night--a Cubs cap from 2003 that has a World Series logo embroidered in the side. It was in his locker during Game 6 of that series, but obviously never worn.

The full story is in the Sun Times.

Ebola e-book

It's 6 pages long, and it's called "DEADLIER THAN EBOLA: 57 THINGS MORE LIKELY TO KILL YOU THAN THE PLAGUE OF OUR LIFETIME". The description on amazon says: "The current Ebola outbreak is terrifying, but we all have some fear left over. Be afraid - and prepared."

Pretty clever.

I bet it took him about an hour to write it. He's selling it for 99 cents.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

And the Walls Come Crumbling Down

What's Wrong With Talk Radio?

Today's Tom Taylor NOW column has this as the lead story today...

New Bridge Ratings study about talk radio says “One thing that stands out is listener fatigue.” Dave Van Dyke gets specific about the syndrome – it’s related to “talk radio topics and the frequency with which they air.” He says in the 15 years he’s been tracking news/talk, “news information has become oversaturated, particularly in the political news coverage arena.”

Totally true. It takes hard work to come up with new and compelling topics instead of repeating/recycling the same topics every day. But when there are multiple outlets offering the same thing, you have no choice. Even within the political bubbles (on both sides), it gets tedious hearing the same thing every single day. Be as conservative or liberal as you want. But don't give up being innovative and/or creative.

HBO to Offer Stand-Alone Streaming Service Beginning in 2015

I'm one of the dinosaurs who still has cable. HBO has been one of the reasons. That reason will be gone next year.

I can't watch the news anymore (thanks so much, "advocate" journalism). The comedy shows I watch are also available on line (in various forms). The only (non-HBO) show I like is Top Chef, and I think I can live without it.

Live sports broadcasts (football, baseball, hockey, soccer) are officially the only thing keeping me from pulling the plug now. It's just not the same on the internet (or the radio).

CNN ranked the world's most known news brand

The numbers in America might not back this up, but worldwide there's no doubt about it. From The Drum (A marketing/branding blog)...

According to the Affluent Global survey, CNN was found to reach 40 per cent of upscale consumers and decision-makers – more than any of its competitors across TV and digital platforms...CNN's global digital audience was estimated to be as big as 99 million unique visitors according to comScore data – over 25 million ahead of the BBC.

That's pretty impressive.

Weirdest Debate Beginning Ever