Saturday, May 09, 2009

Chicago Radio Spotlight: Mitch Michaels

This weekend's Chicago Radio Spotlight is with one of the most legendary rock jocks in Chicago radio history: Mitch Michaels. You can read the whole (very lively) interview here.

Notorious Birthdays

Anton Cermak was born on this day in 1873. He becomes the Mayor of Chicago, attends the World Series at Wrigley Field with FDR, and then is shot right in front of the President a few months later. Read his story here.

Billy Jurges was born on this day in 1908, during the Cubs last championship season. He later becomes a Cub and is shot by a female fan. All the details of that notorious event are here.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Anna Kaempfer

If she were still alive, my grandmother Anna would be turning 95 today. I wrote about her when she passed away last year.

Mother's Day weekend is still a little strange without her. Because her birthday was May 8th, we always celebrated Mother's Day/Birthday with her.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Dissing Heino

The Tribune has been doing a feature about the worst album covers of all-time, but they've gone too far this time.

They dissed Heino. My mother loves the Albino Heino. And this particular album cover is translated: "Dear mother: A bouquet of flowers that never wilts." Just four days before Mother's Day. Shame on you, Tribune.

(I'm not kidding about my mom loving Heino. She actually has this album. Heino, by the way, has a deep baritone voice. I used to play some of his covers of English songs on Ebony & Ivory. Imagine Robert Goulet doing "Spanish Eyes" in German, and that's what Heino sounds like.)

Bill Lee

They called him The General, and he made his Cubs debut on this day in 1934.

He pitched a shutout.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Mother's Day

I just got off the phone with the mother in your life, and you know what she told me?

She said she really, really wants a Just One Bad Century shirt for Mother's Day. It's true. If you order today, it will be there in time for Mother's Day. I can't force you to make the mother in your life smile, but remember, you can get them right here, and it's easy as pie. (Although not as delicious as the pie she makes...just one of the many things she has done for you over the years. The woman just wants a shirt--it's the least you can do.)

Cannonball Run Outtakes

Get the feeling Dom was a fun guy on the set?

RIP: Dom Deluise

Reaction to Father Knows Nothing

Last weekend I posted a Father Knows Nothing column called "Potty Mouth" that has been getting a lot of reaction on the blog, on Facebook, and in my e-mail box. Here are a few of the responses...

WS writes: "wish I was as daughter grew up around the hockey rink (and its language), and I was never good at keeping it Christmas (I think she was 2?) the whole extended family was gathered...she was trying to fit a toy horse in a toy truck...wouldn't fit..very matter-of-factly, she let loose a "f***ing horsie!!!!"...and went to playing with something else...either no one heard, or was too polite to show it :)"

KL writes: "We were at Thanksgiving at my sister's house in 2007 and we were trying to assemble one of those light-up Christmas lawn animals. The kids were all playing upstairs. Suddenly my nephew came running downstairs and around the corner. He came to a screeching halt in front of us and said "what the h*** is that? We all laughed so hard once he had left the room."

ML writes: "One of my sister's friends used to keep a bar of soap in the mini-van so if one of her three boys said something out of line, she'd pull over and do the deed right there!"

DB writes: "My wife and I have tried to be careful with our language around our kids, but ultimately, we don't have to wonder "where did they hear that?" I will say, when I do let slip, I apologize to my kids, and try to use it as an opportunity to explain the difference between "bad" words and acceptable words. Usually, though, when my daughter tattles on her brother for using the "S" word, she is referring to "shut up"."

AS writes:
"Hi. My name is Anita, and I’m a potty mouth. I plead Italian. Ummm….we’re swearers. Especially New York Italians, which is the stock I come from. Evidently, as I was sitting in the playpen back in ‘65 or so, I ripped the head off a doll and said the “S” word and my grandfather thought it was the most hilarious thing he’d ever heard (well, guess who I got it from?). So, of course, I continued, because there was no person in this world that I adored more than Papa, and if I could make him laugh…SCORE! Flash forward about 22 years and my mother calling me at work. “DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR SON JUST SAID?” Oh no. Can’t imagine. Evidently, the apple didn’t fall far, because he broke a toy and uttered the OTHER “s” word, “sonofa….” Now, I really don’t say that one. Too many syllables. I like it quick and singular. So, I thought about it, as my mother was lecturing me about how I need to watch my mouth around my son, because he’s “at that age…” and I interrupted, “Mom….where is he right now?” “On the deck with your father.” “Mom….what is Dad’s favorite phrase?” Dead silence. “Exactly. Now, go lecture your husband.” Click. I’m sorry. I’ll try to do better. Can’t speak for Dad, however…"

JP writes: "I’ve never known anyone who’s actually had their mouth washed out with soap. I wish I could be that hard-core but I too, could never do it. Sounds like you handled this perfectly, though. Especially placing the soap right next to him. Brilliant."

Annie writes: "my mom’s thing was lying. she used to make us bite down on a bar of soap…not to get a lot, just to make a point. it sure straightened us out!"

In honor of Sigmund Freud

The father of psychoanalysis would be celebrating a birthday today if he were still alive.

Of course Freud had absolutely nothing to do with the Cubs, but this believer in Freud's theories did. If you haven't heard the story before, you're never going to believe it.

Monday, May 04, 2009

This week in...


The Cubs are in the midst of a pennant winning season.

*On the same day the Cubs trounce the Phillies in a double-header behind the pitching of Pat Malone & Charlie Root, Prussia outlaws anti-fascists.


The Cubs are in the midst of one of their most memorable seasons.

*While Adolopho Phillips is being walked to force in the winning run (Ron Santo) against the Mets at Wrigley Field, Majestic Prince wins the Kentucky Derby.


The Cubs are hoping to make the playoffs for the first time since World War 2.

*The same afternoon that Ron Cey knocks in Ryne Sandberg to beat the Padres in the bottom of the tenth inning at Wrigley Field (and Garvey goes 0-4), Swain wins the Kentucky Derby. Laffit Pincay Jr. is the jockey.


The Boys of Zimmer are taking Chicago by storm.

*Scott Sanderson beats the Dodgers 4-2 in Los Angeles thanks to home runs by Andre Dawson and Ryne Sandberg, just hours before Mike Tyson gets a speeding ticket for drag racing in Albany, New York.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Father Knows Nothing

I just posted my weekly "Father Knows Nothing" column at NWI Parent. This week's column is entitled "Potty Mouth."


I know she's a local girl (Downers Grove), and I know she's pretty, but whoo boy, singing is not on her list of accomplishments...