Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I was just checking my e-mail and I got my weekly report from the site meter people that keep track of the hits and visitors on my blogs.

I must admit I don't usually look too closely to those numbers. But today, I looked just to get an idea how many people checked them out in 2009.

Would you believe 725,000?


Thanks so much everyone. It's nice to know I'm not just doing this in a vacuum.

My little working/research/X-mas vacation is almost over. Here's the schedule for the various different returns...

*I'll have a new Father Knows Nothing on Jan 3rd.

*This blog will return on Jan 4th.

* The Just One Bad Century blog will return on the same day.

*The regular Just One Bad Century website will return with two new features on January 11th.

*My first Chicago Radio Spotlight interview will be posted on January 16th.

Thanks again for your support in 2009!

Your pal,

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and for those of us in the northern part of these United States...Happy Shoveling!

Monday, December 21, 2009


Bye Bye now.

Seattle was the farthest possible place to send you. Alaska doesn't have a team.

Father Knows Nothing

My latest Father Knows Nothing column is posted at NWI Parent. This week's column is entitled "Sean's Christmas Fund."

You can read it here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jose Cuervo Christmas Cookies

"BP" sent this recipe...



1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup or brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup nuts
2 cups of dried fruit
1 bottle Jose Cuervo Tequila


Sample the Cuervo to check quality. Take a large bowl, Check the Cuervo again, to be sure it is of the highest quality, Pour one level cup and drink.

Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter In a large fluffy bowl.

Add one peastoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the Cuervo is still ok, try another Cup just in case.

Turn off the mixerer thingy.

Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup Of dried fruit.

Pick the frigging fruit off the floor.

Mix on the turner.

If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaters just pry It loose with a drewscriver.

Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity.

Next, sift two cups of salt, or something. Who geeves a sheet. Check the Jose Cuervo. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.

Add one table.

Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can Find.

Greash the oven.

Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall Over.

Don't forget to beat off the turner.

Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the Cose Juervo and make sure to put the stove in the wishdasher...

Cherry Mistmas !

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Father Knows Nothing

I just posted my latest Father Knows Nothing column at NWI Parent. This one is called "Blitzen" and it's about a rather unfortunate event with my favorite reindeer.

You can read it here.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Old Cub fans

It kills me every time I see an obituary like this one. I never met Sydney Medintz, but I got a little verklempt when I read the first few paragraphs of his obituary in the Sun Times...

Sydney Medintz, 95, waited all his life for a big win for his beloved Cubs.

In 2008, a century after they'd last won the World Series, Mr. Medintz told his family: "I can't wait much longer.:

He died at home Monday. He had one last message for the Cubs in his death notice.

"Go Cubs. I waited as long as I could."

He was born the year they built Wrigley Field...and never saw a World Series championship. I feel almost guilty for considering myself a long suffering Cubs fan.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Father Knows Nothing

My latest Father Knows Nothing column is now posted at NWI Parent. It's called "Snap!" and it's about the new vocabulary I'm picking up from my kids.

You can read it here.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Tina Louise

I don't even get this commercial, but I still like it...

Ok, back to research.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Research Time

I'll be stepping back from the blog over the next month or so just like I did last year. Chicago Radio Spotlight and Just One Bad Century will return in 2010.

The only regular posting will continue to be my weekly Father Knows Nothing column, which I'll re-post here as I always do.

Of course, you know me, I may just pop up on this blog a few times to share something funny, cool, or interesting. I just won't be posting the usual volume, and there will be days when I post nothing at all.

I'm in deep research mode. One novel is about 2/3 done, one book is essentially done and is being pitched as I write this, and the third book I'm working on still needs quite a bit of research. That's what I'm concentrating on this month.

I'm also researching for two new Just One Bad Century features that will debut the week of the Cubs Convention.

So, if you need me I'll be holed up in my basement bunker. I'm still checking e-mail, of course, and I'm still on Facebook, so it's not like I'm completely unreachable. Just unshaven. And probably wearing sweatpants.

Family Feud

This is my latest contribution to NWI Parent. It's the back page "Family Room" essay in the current issue, and it's about my childhood battle with my sister Cindy.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Father Knows Nothing

I just posted my latest Father Knows Nothing column at NWI Parent. This one is called "Incredibly Specific Shopping Lists."

You can read it here.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

Christmas Shopping Season

Christmas shopping season is officially upon us, so once again we'd like to offer a few products for the Cubs fan on your Christmas list. We just went through our inventory, so please pay attention to the sizes and choices still available.

Allow about seven to ten days for delivery. If it's a rush order, e-mail me at rick@justonebadcentury.com, and I'll see what I can do.

This classic teardrop Cub shirt has been a big hit. It says so much without saying a word.

It's available in M, L, XL, and XXL.

Order yours here.

We're starting to see some of these at Cubs games now. It's one of those things that looks like the real thing, and leads to a double take. Ah, yes. I feel your pain too.

It's adjustable (fits everyone).

You can get yours here.

For the Cubs optimist, the Losing is Soooo Last Century t-shirt, is a popular choice. Look at how happy this young lady is wearing hers.

It's available in L and XL.

Order yours here.

And for the Cubs fan at the end of his rope, this one says it all.

It's available in M, L, and XL.

You can get yours here.

We also have a few old classic 1908 Cubs baseball cards available here.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all the readers of my blogs. I hope you have a wonderful day with your families, and thanks so much for reading my nonsensical ramblings this year.

Monday, November 23, 2009

2009 in Review

I wrote an article for the latest SHORE Magazine, and it's out now.

I think it came out pretty well.

It's called "2009 in Review."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Father Knows Nothing

I just posted a new Father Knows Nothing column at NWI Parent. This one is a humorous story about my mother Hildegard. It's called "Foul Mouthed Thanksgiving."

You can read it here.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Chicago Radio Spotlight: Jake Hartford

I just posted my latest Chicago Radio Spotlight interview. This week I talk to Jake Hartford from WCPT. He has some great stories from his long television (working with Walter Jacobson) and radio (WLS, WCPT) career.

You can read it here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Brutally Honest Commercial

Thanks to "BP" for sending me this...

Brutally Honest Mobile Home Commercial - Watch more Funny Videos

12 "facts" about the 1500s

Someone sent me this, and since it's the same person that sends me the most ridiculously untrue inflammatory anti-Obama stuff, and because none of the below facts are sourced at all, I would take them with more than a grain of salt. Plus, it was one of those mass e-mails, which are almost never true.

Some of the following "facts" sound a little hard to believe (OK, very hard to believe), but I do know that at least two of them (Peas porridge and tomatoes) are true. Hey, bottom line, it's about the 1500s, and if it's untrue, no biggie.

12 facts about the 1500s:

#1: They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & sold to the tannery.......if you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor". But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldnt even afford to buy a pot......they "didn't have a pot to piss in" & were the lowest of the low.

#2: Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June... However, since they were starting to smell .. .. . brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor .. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

#3: Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water!"

#4: Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs ."

#5: There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

#6: The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, "Dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing.. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.

#7: In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire... Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot.. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.

#8: Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat".

#9: Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 300 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

#10: Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

#11: Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

#12: England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive.. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus,someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Musical stairs

This is fascinating. I think I still might have taken the escalator, but then again, I'm a lazy, lazy man.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

40 years ago this week...

...a young KC Royals outfielder was named American League Rookie of the Year.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Father Knows Nothing

I just posted my latest Father Knows Nothing column at NWI Parent. It's called "18 years in 18 pictures" in honor of my 18th wedding anniversary (which is 11/16).

Check it out here.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Chicago Radio Spotlight

I just posted my latest Chicago Radio Spotlight interview. This week it's with WGN Radio's Steve Cochran.

You can read it here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sammy's new look

He and his agent (sort of) discuss why he looks so white these days.

Veteran's Day

It didn't become known as Veteran's Day until 1954. Before that, it was Armistice Day, a day honoring the end of World War I.

Novemember 11, 1918 was one of the most joyous days in American history, tempered by the fact that we were in the midst of a flu pandemic that would wipe out more people than the war did. This film shows how San Francisco celebrated...

Chicago had a parade too. There were rules about what to do at a parade...because a large gathering of people was sure to spread the flu virus further.

Here are a few more details about that.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Berlin Wall

It was 20 years ago this week...

This day meant a lot to me. I had been to the wall many times during my years in Germany. I had gone through Checkpoint Charlie several times. I had been on the other side of the wall...and it was the most terrifying place I had ever been.

I didn't believe this day would ever come.

On the day it actually happened I was working for Steve & Garry's show. They made me call my relatives in Europe. My sister lived in Switzerland at the time, but S&G didn't like her because she didn't have a German accent. They wanted someone that could speak English, but someone with a thick authentic German accent.

So, I called my grandmother. She came on the air with them, and after the first Nazi joke, told them off and hung up on them.

I miss Oma. She died the next year. But at least she lived to see the wall come down. Her entire family lived on the other side of it.

Rock Trivia

The Beachwood Reporter collects these little tidbits of rock trivia. I enjoy checking out the list occasionally. Among the 575 items...

Cat Stevens went to Catholic school.

Ray Charles' favorite dessert was sweet potato pie.

Neil Young's early band, the Mynah Birds, featured future super freak Rick James.

Carly Simon's father co-founded Simon & Schuster.

The Who's Keith Moon died in the same apartment that Mama Cass died in four years earlier.

The Osmonds earned more Gold records in a single year than any other group in history.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Father Knows Nothing

I just posted my latest "Father Knows Nothing" column at NWI Parent. This week it's called "Misunderstood Lyrics," and it features a priceless contribution from my middle son Johnny.

You can read it here.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Sammy is that really you?

He looks more like Ricky Ricardo in this picture, but it's actually Sammy Sosa at an event in Las Vegas.

Do steroids bleach your skin too?

Chicago Radio Spotlight: Bill Gamble

I just posted my latest Chicago Radio Spotlight interview. This week I talk with long time Chicago program director Bill Gamble. He talks about the two radio stations he is programming now (US99 and Fresh FM) along with some of his previous stops on the Chicago radio dial.

Read it here.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Don't buy this car

This is a Honda Odyssey. Same color and model as mine.

The transmission just went out. The bill is $5000.

You read that right: $5000.

Did some research on it after we got the most outrageous bill I've ever gotten in my life, and found out that the transmission is an issue with Honda Odysseys from 2002 and 2003 (we have a 2003), but that Honda has refused to issue a recall. Someone is trying to put together a class action lawsuit.

Just warning you.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Weezer Snuggie

It's getting a little more difficult to market a new record. Got to hand it to the boys in Weezer for getting creative...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Tom Snyder/Ace Frehley

This is classic...

5 years ago

5 years ago this week, John "Swany" Swanson and I were featured in Bill Zwecker's "5 Questions With" segment about our brand new book (still available, kids), The Radio Producer's Handbook.

You can read Zwecker's piece here.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Ellen scares Taylor Swift

November Birthdays

23 great stories about November birthday boys, courtesy of Just One Bad Century...

Larry French (Nov 1)

Johnny Vander Meer (Nov 2)

Cub Fan Warren G. Harding (Nov 2)

Great Mustache Dwight Smith (Nov 8)

Cubs curser--Martin Luther (Nov 10)

Great Mustache Mike Vail (Nov 10)

Cub Fan J. Ogden Armour (Nov 11)

Rabbit Maranville (Nov 11)

Sammy Sosa (Nov 12)

Cub Fan Joe Mantegna (Nov 13)

Great Mustache Willie Hernandez (Nov 14)

Bunions Zeider (Nov 16)

Gene Mauch (Nov 18)

Dickie Noles (Nov 19)

Billy Sunday (Nov 19)

Rick Monday (Nov 20)

Cub Fan Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis (Nov 20)

Dick Bartell (Nov 22)

Cub Killers Joe DiMaggio (Nov 25) and Stan Musial (Nov 21)

The Gravedigger; Richie Hebner (Nov 26)

Johnny "Bear Tracks" Schmitz (Nov 27)

Howard HoJo Johnson (Nov 29)

Not that there's anything wrong with that

Laura Ricketts, one of the new owners of the Chicago Cubs, is an "out" lesbian. This quote was in the Windy City Times this weekend...

"I came out to my family I would say early to mid 30's. I think for a long time I wasn't really out to myself growing up in Omaha, Neb., to a Catholic conservative family. It took me a while to come out to myself and not long after that I came out to them. I think that it really couldn't of been a better experience. They were all immediately supportive. ... I have been really really fortunate in that regard."

They're Catholic and conservative, yet they're also tolerant.

My love affair with the Ricketts family continues.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Father Knows Nothing

I just posted my latest Father Knows Nothing column at NWI Parent. It's called "In the blink of an eye" and it's about a terrifying moment from this past week.

You can read it here.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Sights & Sounds

Friday is Sights & Sounds day at Just One Bad Century, and this week we've got some classic Harry Caray audio and video.

Check it out here.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Weeghman Park

This is a great piece about the opening of the shrine on the north side of Chicago. It opened on April 23, 1914, and the Cubs weren't the home team.

Although there were plenty of Cubs on hand.

(Photo: Weeghman under construction)

A commercial that makes me cringe

I only met Chris Farley a handful of times, and don't claim to have been his friend, but David Spade was supposedly one of Farley's best friends. Every time I see this commercial I think: "Dude, how could you do this to a dead friend?"

What in the world was he thinking?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ricketts takes over


Tom Ricketts is now officially the owner of the Cubs. He took control yesterday.

He will introduce himself to Chicago on Friday (an off day during the World Series).

Halloween Costume ideas...

...for slightly effeminate boys, courtesy of the Onion.

Mean Dallas Green

He knew talent, but his personality left a lot to be desired.

This week's Tale from a Bad Century is my personal favorite Dallas Green story: The heartless firing of pitching coach Billy Connors.

Read it here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Joke for a Monday morning

Contributed by "AH"

Curtis & Leroy saw an ad in the Starkville Daily News Newspaper in Starkville, MS. and bought a mule for $100. The farmer agreed to deliver the mule the next day. The next morning the farmer drove up and said, "Sorry, fellows. I have some bad news. The mule died last night."

Curtis & Leroy replied, "Well, then just give us our money back."

The farmer said, "Can't do that. I went and spent it already."

They said, "OK then, just bring us the dead mule."

The farmer asked, "What in the world ya'll gonna do with a dead mule?"

Curtis said, "We gonna raffle him off."

The farmer said, "You can't raffle off a dead mule!"

Leroy said, "We shore can! Heck, we don't hafta tell nobody he's dead!"

A couple of weeks later, the farmer ran into Curtis & Leroy at the Piggly Wiggly grocery store and asked, "What'd you fellers ever do with that dead mule?"

They said,"We raffled him off like we said we wuz gonna do."

Leroy said,"Shucks, we sold 500 tickets fer two dollars apiece and made a profit of $898."

The farmer said,"My Lord, didn't anyone complain?"

Curtis said, "Well, the feller who won got upset. So we gave him his two dollars back."

Curtis and Leroy now work for the government. They're overseeing the Bailout Program.

Anne Frank

The Anne Frank Museum has uploaded the only known video of Anne Frank. You can watch it below. It's just a short glimpse of her looking out the window, but it is a bit haunting...

The last out of the ALCS...

...was made by an ex-Cub. He struck out.

This is what Gary Matthews Jr. looked like in a Cubs uniform. Just for the record, he struck out plenty for the Cubs too.

As for the World Series, both the Phillies and the Yankees have ex-Cubs, but remember that the Phillies had three last year, which officially put to rest the Ex-Cub factor.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Father Knows Nothing

I just posted my latest Father Knows Nothing column at NWI Parent. This one is called "Fight Club" and it's about my middle son Johnny.

You can read it here.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Chicago Radio Spotlight: Robin Baumgarten

I just posted my latest Chicago Radio Spotlight interview. This one is with WGN Morning News co-anchor Robin Baumgarten.

You can read it here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

E-mails, we get e-mails...

"RP" writes...

"Generally, I agree with you. Abbey Road #1. Rubber Soul is #2 for me, then Sgt. Pepper, then White Album. First chord from "A Hard Day's Night" is my favorite chord of all time.

I admit I haven't heard the albums remastered, however.

What is Steve Phillips thinking?

And yes, $800,000 for a hitting coach. "It's money they have, and peace they lack," as Terrence Mann said. This is Hendry's desperate bid to find it."

I love that Terrance Mann line. It's perfect for this situation.

Rudy Jaramillo

$800,000 for a hitting coach?